In 2000, the development of a parish at Carnes Hill was announced by Cardinal Clancy, and Fr. Danny Meagher was appointed as Assistant Priest at Hoxton Park with the role of establishing of this new parish in a developing area. Fr. Meagher was announced as Parish Priest of Holy Spirit Parish Carnes Hill in March 2001. In 2004, our new Priest, Brother Pat Hurley, arrived at Carnes Hill after the departure of Fr Danny Meagher.
In 2000, after a planning committee was formed to work with the Catholic Education Office to establish a Catholic primary school.This new school when fully completed would consist of three streams from K-6 with an anticipated enrolment of 630.
The school commenced in 2002 with Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 with a total enrolment of 42 children. There was a Kindergarten class and a K/1/2 composite class.
Holy Spirit now consists of approximately 620 children in 21 class groups comprising of three streams.
We moved into permanent classrooms in 2007, occupied our new administration building in 2008 and the Years 5 and 6 classrooms and hall were completed in October 2010. The building program was completed with the occupation of the hall.
Holy Spirit children come from over 46 different cultural backgrounds. Approximately 89 percent of our students come from a language background other than English. The majority of the population is drawn from Greenway Park, West Hoxton, Horningsea Park and Carnes Hill. Children from other areas also currently attend Holy Spirit School.
The sacramental program is embedded in family and parish life. The parish and school work in partnership in the mission of the Church, coming together as a worshipping, eucharistic community. Currently, all children attend a Friday morning Mass over the term together with a large number of parents. Masses are planned to be meaningful to children and parents. Brother Pat takes a great interest in the children, teachers and parents, and is a positive and natural partner in our mission. The school has an active and outward prayer life with regular communal morning prayer. The school community prays the Angelus at 12 noon regularly and Christian meditation is conducted each day.
Sacraments are sacred signs God uses to greatly help members of Christ’s Church. Some are ‘once-in-a-lifetime’, like Baptism and Confirmation, whereas Communion should be received often and Reconciliation is recommended regularly. Sacraments are Church events, not school events. Children receive them because their parents want them to grow as members of the Church, like the parents promised when they brought their children to the Church to be baptised.
It is important for Catholic parents to be actively involved in the Church so children see the importance of faith in parents’ lives and the importance they want it to have in their children’s lives. Parents will receive detailed information regarding sacraments through the Parish, not in the school. The parish preparation blends all Catholic children from the parish, who attend a number of Catholic, state, and private schools: children from Year 2 and up for Reconciliation, Year 3 and up for Communion and Year 6 and up for Confirmation. Holy Spirit Church will advertise well in advance in the Church bulletin at Masses each weekend (Saturday 5:30pm, Sunday 8:00am, 10:00am and 5:30pm) when parents can enrol children who belong to this parish in the essential parish preparation for the various sacraments.
Parents and parish get very good support from Religion lessons that are taught every weekday in school terms. Also, Holy Spirit School congratulates children who receive sacraments by acknowledging them at assemblies and in class, whether they received in Holy Spirit Church or in another parish or community.
The harmonious partnership between school, parish and community promotes the mission of education as a work of love and service within the ministry of the Church. We aim to be a learning community where learning outcomes, the learning process, school organisation, staffing and partnership with other agencies are fully identified and unified. Learning will be a naturally occurring self-motivating and life-long phenomenon when strong partnerships exist.
The Catholic School
As partners in Catholic education, we commit ourselves to developing authentic Catholic schools which:
- are founded on the person of Jesus Christ and enlivened by the Gospel
- highlight the relevance of our faith to life and contemporary culture
- are embedded within the community of believers, and share in the evangelizing mission of the Church
- are committed to the development of the whole person.
A System of Catholic Schools
Holy Spirit is part of a school system that operates under the leadership and coordination of the Sydney Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Board and the Catholic Education Office. These organisations operate on behalf of Cardinal George Pell.
The school leadership team consists of the Principal, Assistant Principal, Religious Education Co-ordinator and Co-ordinators. Class teachers are assigned immediate responsibility for the teaching and learning programs in each class and the pastoral care of the pupils in their class. As a community, we all accept responsibility for the welfare and learning of all the children.
The student leadership team is elected at the end of Year 5 to identify 12 leaders who will meet to plan and implement school improvements or initiatives. School Captains and Vice-captains are selected from these 12.