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St Francis of Assisi College site blessed by Bishop

19.03.21

The site that is becoming St Francis of Assisi College, the new Years 7 to 12 Catholic secondary school for the Riverland has been officially blessed and welcomed into the Riverland community.

As the preliminary earthworks continue, a group gathering was held on the site, with Bishop Karol Kulczycki SDS, Bishop of Port Pirie blessing the land and aboriginal elder Howard ‘Barney’ Lindsay conducting a traditional smoking ceremony. Uncle Barney has been a role model for generations of school children in the Riverland.

The blessing was also attended by Nichii Mardon, Director Catholic Education Diocese of Port Pirie, local priests Father Paul Bourke and Father Hau Le, Mayor Neil Martinson, Renmark Paringa Council and local students and family representatives.

Five native trees were blessed by Bishop Karol at the event which will be planted at each of the five Catholic schools in the region as a symbol of their shared vision and mission to support young people in their faith, life and learning journeys.  

Over 130 interested families were among the first to hear more details about the College this week at the first community information sessions, held in Renmark and Berri.

The sessions and site blessing were among numerous key milestones to be achieved for St Francis of Assisi College this week, with the development approval for Stage 1 also received from Renmark Paringa Council.

Construction is now set to begin in coming weeks. The first of three phases, Stage 1 will include a specialist Middle Years Learning Centre, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and Arts Centre, a Design and Technology Workshop, Administration Centre, and covered and outdoor learning, play and landscaped spaces.

The College is now taking enrolments for Year 7 and 8 in 2022. 

Pictured above L-R: Nichii Mardon, Bishop Karol, Nathan Hayes, Uncle Barney, Mayor Neil Martinson.