Embracing faith and community: Year 6 Masses unite students

In a series of reflective and uplifting celebrations, over 1,600 students from Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong came together for one of the highlights of the year: our annual Year 6 Masses with Bishop Brian Mascord. These meaningful gatherings featured inspiring homilies by Bishop Mascord, aimed at connecting students to their faith and to one another.

The annual Masses, a rite of passage for primary school students graduating, also mark the year when many of them receive the sacrament of Confirmation. These Masses provide a space to celebrate the Eucharist while emphasising how living the faith through acts of compassion can strengthen students' relationship with Jesus.

Spanning four regions throughout the diocese—Warrawong, Oran Park, West Wollongong, and Bowral—the Masses brought together students, staff, clergy, and guests from 30 schools, united as faith-filled communities. Organised by the Catholic Life, Education and Mission Team and co-led by Religious Education Coordinators in each setting, the Masses were concelebrated by priests from the participating schools. This sacred initiative allowed students to nurture their faith and gain a profound understanding of how to integrate it into their lives as they look toward their transition to secondary school. Moreover, these Masses, celebrated within the parish communities, remain core to who we are and define our identity.

This enriching experience aligns with the strategic focus area of Formation in the Catholic Tradition, offering students the opportunity to connect with Bishop Mascord, Parish Priests, and their peers from other Catholic schools and immerse themselves in the profound beauty of the Catholic faith.

The Masses also serve as a moment to strengthen connections within our broader faith community. This experience is greatly valued within the diocese, signifying the milestone transition from primary to secondary school.