‘On we march with a midnight song, we will light our way with our lanterns on’ sang the graduating class of 2016 as they processed into the Polding Centre on Tuesday 18 October to begin their final Eucharistic celebration within the Santa Maria community.  Surrounded by family and friends, staff and students, they eloquently and prayerfully articulated the many ways in which their journey here at Santa over the last six years has shaped and formed them.  They considered what underlying values, gifts and beliefs will remain with them to guide them in the days and years ahead, what ‘lanterns’ will light their way.  ‘Courage.   Justice.  Learning.  Hope.  Prayer.  Compassion.’  These were the things the girls claimed as their inspiration as they embark on the next stage of their lives.

Enriched by bold scripture texts that encouraged all of us to ‘live in the light’ (Ephesians) and to ‘love our enemies’ (Luke) and by prayerful songs that called us to action and to hope (‘Who will speak if we don’t?; ‘Dare to Dream’), the Mass was a joyful, reflective celebration of the faith and values at the heart of our Santa community.

As the Year 12 girls of 2016 journey forward into the broader context of work and study, may they carry with them rich memories and strong friendships.  May they pursue lives that are worthy of them, and may they find balance as they live out this year’s College theme: ‘stillness, healing, peace’.

The love and best wishes of the whole Santa Maria community goes with them, embodied in the words of the Solemn Blessing which was offered on their behalf as the concluding words of the Mass.

May God who gives without condition, shower the Class of 2016 with insight to discern what is right, to be open to receiving God’s gift of peace in their lives and to never forget God’s unconditional love for them.

May the class of 2016 be energized in life, live out their faith as young women privileged by their Good Samaritan / Benedictine tradition and always know throughout life’s journey, Hope will be their guide.

We bless these young women and send them forth in the name of the Creator, Redeemer and Spirit.  Amen.