By Alison Romagnolo
In 2023, the Our Lady of Fatima School community has marked 100 Years of our heritage, our heart, and our home.
Our Centenary journey has been an opportunity to reflect on and reconnect to the richness of our story and to the charism and spirit of ‘The Fatima Way’.
Plans for the Our Lady of Fatima School and Parish centenary celebrations began in early 2022, in collaboration with the School Advisory Council, The P & F and the Parish Pastoral Council. Collectively, we sought to rediscover and engage with the stories, history, and charism of the 100 Years of our faith and education community.
In December of 2022, our Graduating Year Six cohort, gifted the school with the restoration of the Our Lady of Fatima Grotto. The devotional space has been artfully restored and is a centrepiece in the school playground.
The 2023, Year 6 Leavers Shirts, and the ‘Fatima:100 Years’ limited-edition Hoodie, were designed by Our Lady of Fatima students, as representations of our faith and mission. They have been proudly worn throughout the year.
In Term Two of 2023, Our Lady of Fatima staff met with teachers and leaders of our regional Catholic primary schools, to engage in professional development, centred on Marian Devotion in the Catholic tradition, facilitated by the CEWA Religious Education and Faith Formation Team.
In May, students, staff, parents, and our local Member for the Legislative Assembly, gathered on the oval in the shape of 100, for a drone photo shoot. A long-standing staff member co-ordinated a collection for our centenary Time Capsule. The capsule contained photographs, class lists, student leadership badges, a copy of The West Australian, items of the current uniform, a booklet from the Sacrament of Confirmation and the school crest. The entire school gathered at Our Lady’s Grotto, to witness the burying of the capsule.
To connect our students with our ongoing story, each year level was assigned an aspect of the life of our school, to study throughout the year.
For these ‘100 Years Projects’, Teachers were tasked with designing, implementing, and documenting a special project to be completed by their students.
The projects explored our school emblem, our motto of ‘Peace’, the story of the Children of Fatima, our student code of conduct, our school values, the history of the Parish, our school houses, and the history of the school.
Father Ted, an ex-student and past Parish Priest of Our Lady of Fatima, has given generously of his time, providing an incursion for students and a professional development afternoon for staff, sharing his intimate and extensive knowledge of the history of the Parish and School.
In the week of our Feast Day, the Our Lady of Fatima Primary School community came together for the Centenary Mass, celebrated by our Parish Priest Fr Benedict Lee.
Joining Fr Lee were two past parish priests as concelebrants, with many special guests from Catholic Education WA, past students and staff attending.
Our students had a joyful afternoon, celebrating their Feast Day with a mini-fair, where each class organised a stall and/or activity, run by our teachers and Year Six students.
All the money raised throughout the afternoon benefitted the 2023 Archbishop’s LifeLink Appeal.
Under the vision and leadership our Visual Arts teacher, a very special centenary artwork was created.
Each student from Kindy to Year Six produced a tile that highlighted an aspect of the life and story of Our Lady of Fatima Primary School.
These tiles were then arranged in a collective artwork, in the shape of a Cross, which is proudly displayed at the entrance to the school.
Our centenary journey has been blessed by our relationship with the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, who were the foundation teachers at Our Lady of Fatima School.
Through their visits, sharing of story and the planting of a commemorative tree, our community has been connected to both our charism and the legacy of the sisters, who have inspired us to follow the pillars of their faith: Communion, Contemplation and Service.
In this way, we seek opportunities each day to articulate and celebrate the Spirit of Our Lady of Fatima – The Fatima Way. Linked to our Vision, Mission and Values, teachers and students acknowledge the many ways that we can live Jesus’ message of love and peace, and in service of others.