Vale Fr Peter Daly OMI
On Wednesday, the College held the funeral Mass for the repose of the soul of Fr Peter Daly OMI. As you would be aware through the communication I sent, Fr Peter passed away at the beginning of the holiday break, experiencing a significant haemorrhaging on the brain from which he did not regain consciousness in hospital.
The College Gym was at capacity with Fr Peter’s family, friends, the Mazenod community of all generations, staff from other Catholic schools including Mazenod Victoria and Mazenod staff and students. Provincial, Fr Christian Fini OMI, celebrated the Mass and concelebrating were brother Oblates and Diocesan priests. We also welcomed Bishop Don Sproxton, the Auxiliary Bishop of Perth. The far-reaching impact of Fr Peter’s ministry, leadership and friendship was witnessed in the congregation and the many messages and cards of condolences sent to the school and Oblates by friends of the College.
In his homily, Fr Fini drew from the Gospel reading of the Mass where Matthew talks of Jesus’ teaching to the crowd what we know as the Beatitudes. Fr Peter, in modelling his teaching and witness on Jesus, ministered as an Oblate and servant of the Church with the vision to make the Beatitudes come alive in his relationships with others, and his work as an Oblate educator and leader. Blessed with a mischievous sense of humour and the ability to relate with such warmth to all, the stories Fr Fini recounted and the many stories relayed by others over lunch, spoke of a man of deep faith who truly responded joyfully to his call to evangelise. The legacy of Fr Peter Daly is etched in the three Oblate Colleges he had a significant hand in shaping, the Oblate parishes he led, the overseas missionary work undertaken, the leadership as the Rector of Mazenod, Lesmurdie and Iona College, Brisbane and as Provincial of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (Australia).
At Mazenod College, we give thanks for the visionary work he undertook to develop our school in areas such as the expansion of the Arts, the shaping of an aesthetically beautiful campus with thoroughfares, courtyards and an undercover area, the growth of Boarding, the creation of our immersion program and the capital development of our school. The ultimate mark of heartfelt respect was given to Fr Peter, the young men of Mazenod College formed a 800-strong guard of honour to farewell him one last time as he left the gates of Mazenod College. He would have been extremely proud of these gentlemen and the generations of Old Boys and Mazenodian families who bear the Mazenod spirit. We give thanks for the life of Fr Peter Daly OMI and pray that he rests in the peace of Christ.
In welcoming you all back to Term 4, I also extend a warm welcome to Mrs Joanne Hennessy who will be taking Mr Nick Allen’s classes while he enjoys long service leave. Ms Renee Vassiliou joins the Art team to replace Mrs Jane Gilbert who is also on long service leave. Mrs Heather Garlett also joins the College this term as an Aboriginal Education Assistant working between Boarding and the school.
Mr John Payne
On Monday, I announced that Mr John Payne will be standing down as Deputy Principal at the end of this year. John has spent some time determining that this is the right moment to move away from senior leadership and continue his work at Mazenod in a part-time capacity. As with Mr Peter Douthie who retired from leadership at the end of Semester One, John has been an outstanding leader in the College for over 32 years. Working alongside three Rectors as their deputy, he has shaped the culture, growth and direction of Mazenod through dedicated leadership and a vision for what can be in boys' and young men’s education. Generations of students have been assisted by Mr Payne’s care and direction. Many of you will know John in his role as Principal following Fr Peter’s election to the position of Oblate Provincial in 2015.
Along with many other initiatives in stints as Acting Principal, John undertook to implement the College Strategic Plan, the 10-Year Capital Development Plan, the celebration of the 50th anniversary of our College, the building and refurbishment of the Year 7-8 block, the undercroft, the planning for the Provence Design and Technology Centre, the continuation of Fr Peter’s St Eugene iconology/iconography and the foundation of the immersion experiences to China, India and Sri Lanka. Personally, John made my transition to Mazenod so smooth and has continued to assist me and provide outstanding counsel over the past three years. We are sad to see him move from senior leadership but extremely glad he will remain with us, using his unique talents and skills in driving other projects into the future. We will look to an appropriate time later in the year to fully acknowledge Mr John Payne as there is much to be grateful for.
The College Leadership Team will continue to evolve in preparation for next year and beyond, and I will keep you informed of the changes to the team.
With so much happening at Mazenod, I would not want the recent China Immersion to go unnoticed. Eleven outstanding Year 11 young men accompanied Mr John Payne, Mr Damian Wallis and Mr John Keogh on the immersion to the Oblate mission in Beijing. Spending 12 days in the Oblate community, the group came to understand the critical work the Oblates play in that part of the world. This is our first return to China in 3 years and the experience was very rewarding for all students and staff. Thank you to the group of staff and students who gave their holiday time to the immersion.
Enjoy your week ahead.
“The Priceless Value of the Grace of God has given us.” – St Eugene de Mazenod