Vicar General delivers Christmas Message of hope

Father Andrew Doohan, Vicar General of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, delivered the Christmas Message during a liturgy at St Dominic’s Centre, Mayfield.

The liturgy was attended by Dominican Sisters Sr Pat Bendeich and Sr Joan; Gerard Mowbray, Acting Director of Schools; John Tobin, Assistant Director of Schools; Ms Helene O’Neill, Parish Liaison Officer and members of the Executive team from San Clemente High School, Mayfield including Scott Donohue, Nathan Beckett and Rose McAllister.

During the ceremony Principal of St Dominic’s, Veronica McLoughlin, took a moment to reflect on the year that has been and things to be grateful for.

“I look at the families the Holy Spirit sends to us each year and I am filled with awe and admiration at their stoicism, their relentlessness to fight for the best for their child and the deep gratitude they show for the smallest of victories,” said Veronica.

“I hear our team talk about their families, reminding me of the many facets of their lives and their stories beyond our school walls. And then I think of the strong women who shape families and their intricate tapestries.

“Through teaching, I have met some of the finest individuals you could hope to meet, many of these being the young people with whom we work. The students come to learn but, more often than not, end up being the best teachers of all.

“It is rare that through your chosen career path you are empowered every day to live the values that define you.”

Following on from this, five of St Dominic’s senior students performed a creative piece around the story of St Dominic’s journey so far.  Fr Andrew then delivered the Christmas message.

“We are not the same people we were this time last year, either individually or corporately. That constant change in us allows us to recognise the deficits of the past. That constant change in us also allows us to look ahead to the opportunities that lay beyond the yet unexplored horizon,” said Fr Andrew.

“God’s choice to dwell with us, as ‘one like us’, changes the dynamic of human existence once and for all. For believers, we know that the world, in which we live, with all its negativity, is not the sum total of the story of humanity. There is so much more, a ‘more’ that is rooted firmly in the hope engendered by the Incarnation.

“The ‘more’ allows believers to see things through a different lens. Where others see despair, we see hope. Where others are cynical, we are optimistic. Where others see difficulties and obstacles, we see opportunities for change.

“On behalf of Bishop Bill, I wish you a happy and holy Christmas as we celebrate the coming of God among us, the source of all our hope.”

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