On December 16th the students of ELSPM gathered at Holy Cross, Templestowe for the end of Year Mass and Graduation. A number of special guests, including the Passionists Provincial Fr Tom McDonough, Pastor Brett Kennet, representatives of various Religious Congregations and current volunteers were present for the Thanksgiving Eucharist and Graduation Ceremony. The students led the music in a combination of Advent hymns and songs of thanksgiving. In a moment of reflection the 7 students who were finishing their courses were presented with a candle as the Choir sang ‘Go Light your World’. Earlier Sr Margaret, the Academic Manager had reflected on the significance of the Advent candles lighting the darkness as Christians waited for the birth of Christ. The ‘Our Father’ was prayed in Vietnamese highlighting the culture and prayer of this significant group of students.

At the end of Mass the students then took part in a simple Graduation ceremony which they began with a beautiful rendition of the traditional hymn “O Holy Night’. Each student was presented with a certificate of Participation as well as a Course Certificate for their studies.

Board Member Stephen Cougle commented “When I think about the graduation day at Holy Cross, foremost in my mind is that the high quality English spoken by our students is so reaffirming of the success of the school. It was an emotional and inspiring day.”

Several students publically expressed their thanks to the Staff and volunteers who had worked with them over the semester. Individual help has enabled students to make significant progress with their studies as well as complete special projects such as the School Bulletins.

After the Graduation Ceremony, students and visitors enjoyed a BBQ lunch in the grounds of Holy Cross. The day concluded with a great game of soccer, showing off some athletic talent as well as the student’s academic talents.