In a joyous and spiritually uplifting ceremony, the John XXIII College Mt Claremont community have last week, witnessed the commissioning of its new principal, Daniel Mahon, alongside the blessing of the College’s new buildings and playground by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB.
“On behalf of the members of the clergy and staff at the Archdiocese of Perth, it is with great pleasure that I welcome Daniel Mahon to our Catholic community,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“Mr Mahon brings with him a wealth of experience and a profound commitment to Catholic co-educational excellence and his appointment follows an extensive national recruitment process that I had the privilege of being a part of, in consultation with various stakeholders, including Loreto Ministries Ltd., Jesuit Education Australia Ltd., Catholic Education Western Australia, and the John XXIII College Council.”
Prior to his new appointment, Mr Mahon has served as Deputy Principal K-12 at Loreto Kirribilli, a prestigious Catholic independent all-girls’ K-12 school in Sydney, for the past six years.
Mr Mahon’s commitment to Catholic education is unwavering, and he has a deep affinity for Ignatian spirituality, which echoes the school’s faith focus on bringing each student to an awareness of God’s presence in all things.
“It is particularly important to me to provide education in a faith that seeks justice,” said Mr Mahon in an interview for the College’s Heritage Alumni newsletter.
“Most important for me, though, is my deep respect for the dignity of all people and the importance of seeing God in all things.”
“I am driven to ensure that my students graduate as faith-filled passionate contributors to their communities who, when confronted with the need to answer difficult questions and face life’s inevitable challenges, do so well-informed by the Catholic values they have learnt during their excellent Catholic education.”
Celebration of the Eucharist and commissioning of Mr Mahon
The day commenced with a moving Celebration of the Eucharist in John XXIII’s St Louis Sports Centre at 9am.
Archbishop Costelloe presided over the Mass, and during the Eucharist, the Archbishop commissioned Mr Mahon as the new principal of John XXIII College.
As a symbol of leadership in faith, Mr Mahon was presented with a Bible by Archbishop Costelloe, followed by a prayer for God’s blessings as Mr Mahon commences his journey in enhancing Catholic co-educational excellence at the College.
The Eucharistic celebration also featured an acknowledgement of the special guests in attendance who play vital roles in supporting the College community.
Archbishop blessings upon new College facilities
Following the Eucharist, the Archbishop conducted an official blessing and opening of the College’s new facilities, which included a primary playground.
The ceremony began outside with a Welcome to Country, conducted by Professor Simon Forrest.
Mr Forrest is a Wadjuk Ballardong Nyoongar and his presence made the day even more special, as he was a former educator who taught primary school students in several different settings in Western Australia, including remote Aboriginal communities, small rural towns, and regional cities.
Archbishop Costelloe then blessed the new administration building, dedicating it to all those who contribute to the education of the College’s young students.
He also blessed the areas where staff would gather for meals and meetings, recognising the importance of fostering a positive, collaborative and caring work environment, which in turn supports the College’s vision of supporting students to strive for excellence for themselves, their peers and their community.
“It gives me great pleasure to bless these new spaces today; they have been borne out of creativity, thought, planning – and much waiting!” commented Archbishop Costelloe as he conducted his blessing.
“Let’s ask our loving God to bless these special places, which will support our young people with new, positive challenges and provide opportunities for sharing friendships and kind, joyful memories throughout their educational journey.”
“Let us also give thanks to all the parents and teachers here who continually show their love for our young people by supporting a valued education across all facets of life – including in the arts, in academia, in sport and importantly, in faith.”
As the ceremony continued, Archbishop Costelloe moved outdoors to bless the newly constructed primary playground, a space designed for students’ recreation and enjoyment.
Children and staff joined in the blessing, coming together to acknowledge the importance of play, growth, and friendships within the college community.
Celebrating commitment for students’ spiritual and educational journeys
The ceremony reached its culmination with the blessing of crosses crafted from an ancient Tuart tree, a meaningful symbol of faith and transformation.
These crosses, which were integrated into the newly refurbished classrooms and college building, were blessed by Archbishop Costelloe as a reminder of God’s love and a source of inspiration for both students and staff.
After a spiritually enriching morning, attendees gathered for morning tea, celebrating the joyous occasion and the future ahead for John XXIII College’s students, staff and community under the faith-focused leadership of Mr Mahon.
“Thank you to Archbishop Timothy Costelloe for setting aside time to celebrate the Eucharist with our College community. I would also like to express my own personal thanks to the Archbishop for the commissioning of my tenure as Principal at John XXIII College,” said Mr Mahon.
“This special celebration at our school was a testament to the deep faith and commitment of the John XXIII College community and the Archdiocese of Perth in nurturing the spiritual and educational growth of our students and future leaders.”