"You will always be ours" - Farewell Matric 2013

Like every year around the month of August, grade 12 students have their farewell celebrations at "Star of the Sea High School" (KwaNgwanase, KwaZulu-Natal). The principal had contacted me to see if I'd be available to preside the celebration of the Mass and kindly moved it one week later to allow me to be back in South Africa from Swaziland. 

The church was packed with students, teachers and parents. Fr Msweli (my delegate at the school), Fr Ntsele OSM (priest-in-charge of the parish) and Fr Toland OSM (assistant priest) concelebrated.

I decided to use the readings of the "Annunciation of the Lord" and propose Mary as a model of a young person who chooses to build her life on the solid foundation of God's Word: "Be it done to me according to your word" she answered the Angel.

I also reminded them of what Jesus would say later: ‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. (...) But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand." Some build on rock, some on sand. Some are sensible, others are not. It will be their choice.

Mass was followed by music and speeches from the head boy and head girl, a teacher, the chairperson of the School Governing Body, the principal and the Catholic Church's representative. They all encouraged them to be aware of the challenges that lie ahead.

It was Mrs Miya the School Principal who told them: "No matter where you are, you will always be ours". They all underlined that the school had been for them their second home and they will represent the school in whatever they will do.

I believe it was the first time I heard a School Principal thanking the parents not only for their support but for choosing "Star of the Sea" as the place where to send their children. "We know you choose carefully where to send your children. Thanks for choosing us".

The celebration concluded with lunch but... school is not over yet. They will start writing their Matric exams next October.


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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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