Helene Province

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9 September 2019

Helene Province

Following its opening by Deputy Premier James Merlino in June, the Helene Province at Ave Maria College, Aberfeldie, has been blessed by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli. Georgia, a Year 12 student and budding journalist, reflects on this significant moment in the history of the college.

The spirit of Ave Maria College was truly alive at the opening of Helene Province on Thursday 5 September 2019. Guests, students and staff gathered for the official blessing of the College’s newest addition to campus.

His Grace Archbishop of Melbourne Peter A Comensoli officially blessed the new facility while Aboriginal Catholic Ministry’s Sherry Balcombe led guests through a smoking ceremony.

Current Moonee Valley Mayor (and Ave Maria College alumna) Councillor Narelle Sharpe deemed the new building ‘amazing’, while Canonical Administrator and Franciscan Missionaries of Mary representative Sister Heather Weedon was ‘astounded at the contemporary design’ which is ‘so comfortable for the students’. The ceremony’s magical atmosphere was heightened by the college Vocal Ensemble’s mesmerising hymns and captivating solo performances.

Named after the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Founder, Helene de Chappotin, the new Helene Province embodies her energy, intellect and engagement with others. College Academic Captains Madeline Saxton and Chloe Dalla-Fontana shared an inspirational dedication to Helene, encapsulating her mission in four definitive words: passion, Francis, Mary and mission.

Adorned by comfortable couches and booths, open-plan classrooms and an abundance of flora, Helene Province brings life to the learning facilities of Ave Maria College. The new facility houses Food and Technology design spaces, a new library, and the student support and services team.

Archbishop Comensoli described Helene Province as a ‘marvellous facility’ that would ‘build the community of education and faith’.