Armidale’s 200 Years Celebration Mass at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel, Armidale. Source: Catholic Schools Office Diocese of Armidale.
On 19 February a mass was celebrated by Bishop Michael Kennedy at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel Armidale, attended by school principals, Catholic Schools Office (CSO) and diocesan staff for the 200 years of Catholic education.
CSO director Chris Smyth delivered an address and spoke about the history of Catholic schooling in the Armidale Diocese.
“There was no local diocese when a Catholic school was opened in the small town of Armidale in 1848, in fact there was not even a parish of Armidale,” he said.
“The story of the religious teaching orders in our diocese is the story of the Ursuline Sisters who once walked the grounds and hallways of this Armidale precinct, the Sisters of St Joseph, whose founder St Mary MacKillop trod the streets of some of our towns, the Dominican Sisters, the Sisters of Mercy, the Presentation Brothers, the De La Salle Brothers, Patrician Brothers and the Irish Christian Brothers.
“Throughout Australia, these groups and others like them, at the invitation of bishops themselves, often urged on by enthusiastic priests, set up Catholic schools,” Chris said.
“It is my hope that we in Catholic schools and in the Catholic Schools Office are seen to be and continue to be seen to be a vital part of that nurturing of the people of God in our part of Australia.”