‘A gathering was held recently for the graduating class of the first English Language School for Pastoral Ministry (ELSPM). In attendance were Fr Kevin Hennessy CP, Principal Executive Officer, Br Peter Downs cfc, Academic Manager, the first class of graduating students, and eight Christian Brothers and a number of Passionists from the Glen Osmond monastery.
The Passionists turned to the Christian Brothers to help them establish the school last year. Now all were delighted to celebrate the conclusion of the 20-week program. The ELSPM program was established to help non-English speakers to prepare for ministry studies in English. The program has been an outstanding success. Now the students from this first class will proceed to the novitiate or further studies in ministry. This has been part of a collaborative ministry between the Passionists, Christian Brothers, Dominicans, the Melbourne Archdiocese, and even the one Cannossian Sister.
Two priests from Melbourne, Fr Martin IVD, and Fr Shymon IVD joined the class these last six weeks and celebrated Mass at the graduating ceremony. The other students were Dominican aspirants: Bernard, Benedict, Samson and Carter while the Passionist aspirants were: Vincent, Mike, Joseph, Emmanuel, Willie and Francis.
The Mass was celebrated at Christian Brothers Thebarton, and the students prepared the music, the readings, homily and the hymns. The whole Mass was celebrated beautifully, and reverently. The staff were thanked by Fr Kevin and Br Peter, to the applause of the students. Photo (right) was among the many photos taken of this historical occasion.
Then followed a celebratory lunch in which the staff said goodbye to the Dominican students, and the Melbourne priests, while the Passionists now have to prepare for the IELTS (International English Testing Service). Best wishes to all the students from this inaugural class.’