200 years Mass held in the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes

17 Mar 2021

Above: Parish Primary Schools and Red Bend Catholic College students, staff, parish priests and other guests at the bicentenary celebrations. Source: Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes

Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes (CEWF) held Mass at Red Bend Catholic College in Forbes, celebrated by Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes Columba Macbeth-Green OSPPE DD on St Patrick’s Feast Day (17 March).

Representatives from the Diocese’s 18 parish schools attended the event with many more students and staff from across the diocese joining via a live stream.

CWEF director Anthony Gordon said the history of Catholic education in the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is rich and colourful.

“The first Catholic school in our diocese was founded in Forbes in 1862,” he said.  

Above: Bishop Columba talks with students at the bicentenary celebrations. Source: Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes

“It is fitting that this celebration will occur on the feast of St Patrick as so many Irish were instrumental in the founding of our Catholic parishes and schools.

“It is inspiring to reflect that we carry on the great personal sacrifices and gave devoted service to our parish schools.” 

During his homily, Bishop Columba reflected on the difficulties faced by the religious orders that first arrived in the diocese in the late 1800s and the challenges of teachers working in the diocese today. 

“It is hard for the teachers today,” he said. “They come out to a little rural communities in Wilcannia-Forbes.

“They do that to answer a call to spread the good news and make Christ present everywhere, even out in the bush,” he said. 

Bishop Columba said it is a time to thank our teachers and collaborators in Catholic education, parents and students. 

Watch the full event below


Pioneer Catholic Educator remembered

Pioneer Catholic Educator remembered

Image: Fr John Neill OP OAM with Blackfriars Priory School students in 2016.  For 200 years Catholic schools have been established and staffed by pioneer clergy, religious and lay educators, many of whom devoted their entire lives to Catholic education.  "Let us not...

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