Catholic Education Week 2024 is going to be celebrated from 29-3 May.
Catholic Education Week is an annual opportunity for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Ballarat to celebrate their distinctive ethos and mission with their school and wider communities.
In 2024, 52 primary schools and 11 secondary Colleges educate more than 18,000 students and employ over 2,200 teachers and staff across the diocese from Mildura in the north, Portland in the south, and west to Edenhope and Nhill.
Catholic Education Week takes on special significance this year as our community of schools recognises the 150th Anniversary of the formation of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat with the theme:
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
Bishop Paul Bird reflects on the theme:
When we celebrate a birthday, we often reflect on the years that have passed, as well as wishing the person happiness in the present and blessings for the time ahead. Celebrating the anniversary of a diocese is something like that. A community anniversary provides an occasion to reflect on the past, affirm people in the present and look hopefully to the future. We can see these elements in the themes for the 150th anniversary of our Diocese of Ballarat.
The word “Community” highlights the fact that a diocese is essentially a community drawn together by Christ. The word “Remember” refers us to the history of the diocese. In this remembering, we acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of that history, celebrating the achievements and recognising the failures to live our Christian faith to the full. The word “Revitalise” calls us to invest ourselves in bringing new life to the community today. The word “Hope” encourages us to look forward to the future with confidence in God.
The Scripture verse chosen for our 150th anniversary year reflects various aspects of our vocation as a Christian community. The words are drawn from a passage in St Paul’s letter to the Romans in which the apostle lists qualities appropriate for a community inspired by Christ. As the years go by, the community will experience times of trial as well as times of gladness. Through it all, their trust in Christ will make them joyful in hope and patient in affliction. They will recognise that they need God’s help constantly and so they will be faithful in prayer day by day.
May this anniversary year be a season of renewal for our diocese, a community of communities from the Murray to the sea. I pray that the rich ministry of Catholic Education will continue to play an integral role in this time of renewal.
Visit the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat website for timeline of Diocesan events to mark the 150th anniversary.
Events and activities
Message Stick journey across the Diocese
To mark the 150th anniversary of the Diocese, and in recognition of and sensitivity to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters and brothers, four Message Sticks will simultaneously journey to each school across the four education zones in the Diocese.
The Message Sticks will be welcomed and remain at each school for around one week.
The Message Sticks will be commissioned by Vicki Clark OAM as part of the Catholic Education Week Mass to be held at Damascus College, Ballarat on Friday 3 May.
Vicki is a Mutthi Mutthi Wemba Wamba woman who has worked tirelessly to embody Aboriginal culture within the Catholic Church and education system, and to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal children and youth.
At the conclusion of the journey, the four Message Sticks be brought back together to be placed at a special location in the Catholic Education Office, Ballarat.
A specially commissioned candle in recognition of the 150 year anniversary of the Diocese has been presented to each school to be displayed in their foyer with a supporting display representing each community story.
Spirit of Catholic Education Awards
DOBCEL is proud to sponsor an awards program aimed at continuing to recognise the outstanding service and leadership within Catholic education throughout our Diocesan school communities and Catholic Education Office.
All DOBCEL employees are encouraged to nominate an individual or team who consistently performs in an exemplary way. Nominees can be from a school in the Diocese of Ballarat or the Catholic Education Ballarat office.
To find out more about the Spirit of Catholic Education Awards and/or to make a nomination, go here.
Nominations close on Friday 1 March 2024. The awards will be presented as part of the Catholic Education Week and Awards Dinner on Friday 3 May.
30 Years of Service Awards
30 Years of Service Awards will be presented to recognise our long-serving teachers and staff at the Catholic Education Week and Awards Dinner on Friday 3rd May.
Catholic Education Week Mass
Representatives of our Catholic education communities will gather for a celebratory Mass on Friday 3rd May at Damascus College, Ballarat.
Liturgical Resources for Schools