The Xavier College Memorial Chapel was close to capacity for the Jesuit Dedication Mass earlier this month, which was coordinated by the Old Xaverians’ Association.
The concelebrated Mass was led by the Provincial, Fr Brian F. McCoy SJ, who is an Old Xaverian (OX 1965), and the celebration was accompanied by the Xavier College Choir conducted by the Head of Choral Music, Nick Cowall.
The choir’s reflection after Communion, a rendition of ‘Betelehemu’, a Nigerian Christmas carol, was beautifully presented and was welcomed by spontaneous applause from the congregation.
Following Mass, those in attendance gathered in the forecourt to the Memorial Chapel to witness Professor Jack Martin AO (OX 1954) unveil a Sigillum, a memorial and tribute to the Jesuits for their outstanding contribution to education at Xavier College since 1878.
After the unveiling, Fr Gerald O’Collins SJ (OX 1948) blessed the Sigillum.
Following the unveiling and blessing, there was morning tea in the College’s Great Hall, where Professor Martin gave an address acknowledging, honouring and thanking the Jesuits for their influence in Australia since 1848, including the last 138 years at Xavier College.
During his address, he referred to Fr Dan Fitzpatrick SJ, who taught at St Patrick’s College and at Xavier College from 1946 to 1972:
‘In fact I remember one much valued Jesuit teacher of ours, Dan Fitzpatrick, who taught chemistry and physics at Xavier for many years, frequently saying that he first and foremost teaches boys, not chemistry and physics.’
Fr O’Collins responded on behalf of the Jesuits and concluded by saying:
‘On behalf of our Jesuit Provincial, and all my Jesuit brothers, I want to thank President Jack Bowen and his colleagues in the Old Xaverians’ Association for today’s gathering and ceremonies. To all the wider Xavier community I say: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.’