On Thursday 26 October, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, celebrated Mass at St Gabriel’s School Castle Hill to mark their 95th Anniversary.
The school community of families, past students and local dignitaries joined together for the occasion. St Gabriel’s has been providing educational excellence for children with hearing impairment and other special needs since it opened in July 1922.
Br Gerald McGrath who came to St Gabriel’s in 1945 as an 18 year old Novice Brother and teacher and eventually, Principal at St Gabriel’s attended the Mass. “I felt so genuinely welcome. The presence of the old boys brought back many precious memories of days gone by and stirred dreams I thought forgotten. It was a tonic no doctor could excel. I am so personally grateful that a group of people, who did not live the history are so dedicated to preserving it,” Br McGrath said.
Current Principal Jon Franzin acknowledged the work of the Christian Brothers in his welcome saying, “Today we give thanks to those who have contributed to the story and history of St Gabriel’s School. We stand on the shoulders of giants, people rich in their generosity of spirit, their shared faith, their pursuit of excellence and their sheer joy of giving”.
The Mass concluded with a morning tea and a chance for past students to enjoy a selection of photographs and documents from the school archives.
We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia as the traditional owners and custodians of the land of our schools. We are inspired and nurtured by their wisdom, spirituality and experience. We commit ourselves to actively work alongside them for reconciliation and justice. We pay our respects to the Elders; past, present and future. As we take our next step we remember the first footsteps taken on this sacred land.