Liturgy of Transfer of College Governance
A chilly Saturday afternoon in July marked a day of great significance in the history of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan in Australia.
After years of consultation and discernment, and extraordinary zeal, wisdom and vision, hundreds gathered at St Scholastica’s, Glebe Point on 21st July to celebrate the ritual transfer of College Governance from the Sisters of the Good Samaritan to Good Samaritan Education.
Between 2009 and 2011 a process of consultation was undertaken to discern the most appropriate model of governance to meet the current and future needs of the ten remaining Good Samaritan schools. After much deliberation it was decided a diocesan collegial public juridic person was the most appropriate way forward for these schools.
With the agreement of the Archbishops of Melbourne and Brisbane and the Bishops of Wollongong and Broken Bay, Good Samaritan Education was constituted by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, in July 2011. This new ecclesial entity involves 10 schools across three states in five dioceses: St Scholastica’s College and Rosebank College in the Sydney Archdiocese; Mount St Benedict College and Stella Maris College in Broken Bay Diocese; St Patrick’s College, St Mary Star of the Sea College and Mater Dei School in Wollongong Diocese; Mater Christi College and Santa Maria College in Melbourne Archdiocese and Lourdes Hill College in Brisbane Archdiocese.
Representatives of all these school communities joined the Sisters, members of Good Samaritan Education and the wider Good Samaritan community for Evening Prayer in St Scholastica’s Chapel to mark the transfer of governance. The readings and reflections throughout the liturgy centred on the theme of “a story to enter… a face of God to see”, and Sister Clare Condon paid tribute to the significant role of Good Samaritan educators past, present and into the future.
The transfer of governance itself was ritualised by Sister Clare (Congregational Leader), handing over the official Declaration to Terry Creagh, (inaugural Chair of Good Samaritan Education). As Terry held the Declaration high and then placed it on the altar, there was a tangible sense of the import of this action throughout the gathering – Good Samaritan Education had finally come in to being! The occasion concluded with the warmth of celebration and lively conversation during supper in the Function Room afterwards.
We are indeed blessed to inherit such a rich educational tradition from the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, and privileged to witness its passage into the future.