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St Francis Xavier's Primary School Ashbury 90th Anniversary
On Tuesday 4th February the St. Francis Xavier’s community celebrated Mass for the opening of the school year. As this year marks 90 years since the school was opened, they incorporated many special touches into the Liturgy. It was a time of remembrance and thanksgiving especially for the Ursuline sisters and the people of the Ashbury faith community who worked hard to establish the school.
In his homily, Bishop Terry Brady traced the development of the Parish and the school through the various ethnic groups beginning with the Irish, then the Italian, the post World War 2 European immigrants to the Lebanese.
The school houses are depicted in the banners which were carried in the Entrance Procession and placed in the sanctuary during the Liturgy. In the naming of the houses the founding Parish Priest, Fr. Mc Mahon is featured along with Merici, Ursula and Purcell. The latter represents Mother Veronica Purcell who was the prioress of the first Ursuline Community in the establishment of Ashbury.
At the end of Mass the Acting principal, Brian Anderson thanked all those who had made the present celebrations possible. In his thanks to the Ursulines for their charism and dedication during the past 90 years, Brian made special mention of Therese Brennan in saying “Therese was born here in the Parish and her life work is the epitome of our school’s motto Serviam.” As we all know Therese and her family have had a long involvement with Ashbury over the years, but in recent times Therese has been a vital Ursuline link with the school community.
It was a day which celebrated the weaving together of the old and the new. Many ex-students now have children attending the school.
As we remembered all the generations who had been educated at St. Francis Xavier’s during the past 90 years, we gave thanks for the many ways our presence can still nurture and cultivate this life-giving branch of the vine entrusted to us adhering to Angela's Merici's 8th Counsel: “Never cease to cultivate the vine”Image above from left: Sisters Judith Coleman, Therese Brennan, Marjorie Carroll, Patty Andrew & Venera Nicolosi