Last night we were delighted to welcome His Grace, Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, to the College, both as our Visitor and as our Archbishop. His Grace presided over Mass and delivered a memorable speech to our students, College Fellows and invited guests at dinner.
In his opening remarks the Rector of St John’s College Mr Adrian Diethelm said, “It is fortuitous that this Annual Dinner is being held on the great feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, which has given us the opportunity to have the Archbishop offer Mass tonight in honour of the Mother of God”.
Mr Diethelm went on to say, “Institutionally, the College’s connection with the Church has several manifestations. One is the requirement that the College’s governing body have a number of Catholic priests as members – these are the clerical Fellows, some of whom are present here tonight. Another is the provision that the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney is ex officio the Visitor of the College”.
The College was established in 1858 to be a beacon of Catholic intellectual life in the colony of NSW, a living demonstration of the commitment of the Catholic Church to the pursuit of truth, to high standards of inquiry and debate, and support for the establishment of the new University of Sydney.
The College is proud of its Catholic foundation and strives to foster the intellectual and spiritual growth of its students.
At the completion of Mass the congregation processed out of the Chapel with the singing of Salve Regina, special tradition at St John’s, honouring Mary, the Mother God in an ancient hymn.