05 Sep 2022

On Friday, we enjoyed a whole-school celebration of Feast Day, which comes at the conclusion of Happy Week. This year, we were able to celebrate this important week together at school, in-person, for the first time since 2019. 

We started the morning with our Feast Day Mass, held at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Feast Day Mass is a significant occasion in the life of our School. In the month of September, we acknowledge both the opening date of our School on this site in Toorak in 1924, and, on 8 September, the birthday of Our Lady, who gives the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary its name. During this year’s Feast Day Mass, we also celebrated the commissioning of our Principal Ms Angela O’Dwyer and asked for a blessing on her leadership of our School community. It was a wonderful morning filled with song and prayer.

Feast Day 2022, Commissioning of Principal Angela O\

In keeping with tradition, there was an in-school fête following the morning Mass. Each class from Years 5-12 organised a stall; this year consisting of anything from scones to a “yucky dip”. Students and staff have missed the festivities of this fête – it is the one day of the year where treats and games are encouraged for some Friday afternoon fun!

Our much-loved tradition on Feast Day is that, whilst celebrating the many gifts of our Loreto Toorak School community, we also work to financially support another Loreto community, through partnering with the work of Mary Ward International Australia (MWIA).

The Captains of School, Elena Chiam and Isabel Duggan, recently wrote on this topic: 

“During Happy Week, and on Feast Day, all funds we raise from numerous student-led activities go towards a project managed by Mary Ward International Australia (MWIA). MWIA aims to make a difference in community development, education, and health in disadvantaged and remote communities globally. It is our great privilege to announce that this year’s Feast Day funds will support the work of the Brickfields Schools Project in Kolkata, India. 

The open-air Brickfields Schools are run by the Kolkata Mary Ward Social Centre, and provide basic literacy and numeracy education for the children of parents working in the Brickfields who otherwise could not access formal schooling. Many of the families working here are migrants from Bangladesh who are extremely vulnerable. Over the course of the pandemic the schools, which have grown to 10 in number, have also become a hub for community support, health care and emergency food supplies for these families. MWIA is aiming to use our funds to help train and employ more teachers, provide school resources, and enhance access to local health care facilities for the families in these communities.”

We are pleased to announce that this year’s Feast Day celebrations raised over $40,000.

Sincere thanks to all our school families for their amazing generosity and to our wonderful students for their energy and enthusiasm. Happy Week and Feast Day were full of felicity, freedom, and fun, and we were so grateful to have these important school traditions back onsite and in-person once again.

More information about the Brickfields Schools Project and its impact can be found here.