By Matthew Lau
Emmanuel Catholic College is the latest bastion of Catholic Education Western Australia to exemplify the promising future that the Church holds.
To mark its 20th year, Emmanuel Catholic College officially opened its new English and Arts Centre on 7 September.
Past and present staff, student representatives, and other esteemed guests joined Fr Bryan Rosling, Fr Dat Vuong, and Fr Joseph Laundy in the new centre precinct.
College Captains Jaahnavi Cheyyur and Remy Lieuwes opened proceedings; Community Captain Jennifer Vu led the opening and closing prayers, while the Welcome to Country was said by fellow students Stene Stubbs and Tanar Stubbs.
Fr Rosling kept spirits high as always, humouring the audience with stories of his long affiliation with the Success-based high school.
In his address, the College Chaplain begged the question: “Why are we building when the Christian faith is in decline?”.
“The Church belongs to Christ,” he justified. “Christ says that His Church will prevail, we have in the past been in worse spots than this, it requires an active response from us.
“We can’t evangelise others if we’re not evangelised ourselves.”
The Catholic school system is the single greatest asset the Catholic Church has, he said, which we are all part of.
“The Church overall is struggling; we have an enormous potential. The faith is there, and the faith needs to be transmitted,” Fr Rosling expressed.
“I am not talking about religion, I am talking about faith. The old saying is that faith is caught, not taught.”
The former Yangebup Parish Priest then blessed specially made crucifixes and placed one in each of the new classrooms.
The Emmanuel Vocal Group provided melodious entertainment for the audience while members of the official party followed Fr Rosling as he blessed the building.
Peter Yensch, Deputy Executive Director of CEWA, unveiled the plaque for the new centre.
“The Welcome to Country was quite fitting as it was the traditional land owners who recognised that God was present here before us,” Mr Yensch explained.
“Pride doesn’t just come from one person; pride comes from a whole community of people. I think there is a good reason to be proud of this school.”
Mr Yensch acknowledged the fact that Emmanuel Catholic College was a recent recipient of a LEAD award for Discipleship.
Principal Leo Di Gregorio gave the Vote of Thanks, paying homage to the generosity of his staff “who do more than just their classroom duties”.
“You know we have got it absolutely right when kids tell you we have a wonderful learning space,” Mr Di Gregorio said.
The 20th-anniversary staff reunion soiree followed the official opening.
Last month, the Emmanuel Catholic College community made zealous efforts to raise awareness and money for people living with cancer by sacrificing their hair in a school-wide campaign.
The “Ponytail Project” initiative – organised by the Year 11 and 12 Student Leadership Team – garnered more than $4400 for Catholic Mission and Variety Australia.
Michael Rathmann, Head of Year 11, said the initiative was “a wonderful display of students upholding the college’s core values of serving others and modelling Christ in their behaviour”.
“We are also very proud of all the students and staff who took part – their bravery and enthusiasm are inspiring,” he added.
Emmanuel Catholic College was well-represented at the Safeguarding Child Protection Week Breakfast on 4 September as its rock band impressed those present by performing three songs in invigorating fashion.