Student Leaders' Mass
A tradition that has been an annual feature of College Life since Bishop Connors came to Ballarat was held again on 5th March with the Fr Peter Sherman standing in for Bishop Paul Bird. The student leaders of the Catholic Secondary Colleges in Ballarat city, Damascus College, St Patrick’s College and Loreto College, gathered at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral on the day before the beginning of Lent to acknowledge their role in their colleges. Fr Peter challenged the school leaders to follow Jesus witness and to reach out to those most in need this year. He especially recommended that young leaders offer support of those who have emotional difficulties. He asked the student to be aware and to be proactive about the access the significant mental health resources in our schools and in Ballarat.
The ceremony was a simple celebration of the Mass, moving from the font, recalling our baptismal commitment in a Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling, to the lectern and the proclamation of God’s Word and finally around the altar for Eucharist. The dismissal included a blessing of the Ashes that would be used by the colleges in Ash Wednesday ceremonies the following day. The launch of Project Compassion was conducted after communion and before the final blessing with the assistance of local Caritas director, Sue Searles. Fr Peter joined the students in the garden of the cathedral for the traditional Shrove Tuesday pancakes.