I was part of a bittersweet celebration last Tuesday.
We farewelled the principal of Xavier college on the Tiwi Islands.
Andree was principal since 2018.
She is respected and loved by staff students and the community.
We started the celebrations with Mass.
The students were present and behaved respectfully and prayerfully.
They were reminded to make good choices and to never follow bad examples no matter who gives them.
‘Respect all but never follow bad example’.
They certainly got great modelling from Andree about respect and integrity.
The Mass was a beautiful experience of bonding in Faith.
There was a real openness in the young people. I was reminded of the words of Jesus. ‘The harvest is rich, but the labourers are few.’
The First Nations people of this country are facing big challenges. This includes health issues. Many are facing transgenerational trauma.
They are deeply spiritual and beautiful people.
Mass was followed by an assembly. Several people spoke including some of the young people. A great tribute to Andree.
The respect and good behaviour of the students continued to be excellent.
Over lunch one of the young teachers, a local man spoke to me about some things that had touched him at Mass. I encouraged him to be a good role model for young people. I believe that he is already and will continue to grow into being a great role model.
Several of the elders came asking for blessings.
I reflected on the privilege of being part of such a rich experience.
Andree will be really missed. We give thanks for her loving ministry and wish her and her husband well.
I thank God for such a great day with many blessings.
Image credit: Diocese of Darwin