As part of our St Monica’s Feast Day celebrations for 2017, the St Monica’s School and Parish Communities came together to mark two very significant occasions; 40 years since the school opened its doors to children in the local areas and in 1987 the church was built to accommodate the growing Catholic Community.
St Monica’s Primary School, Evatt was the first Catholic Primary School in Belconnen to be founded by lay staff. Classes from Kinder to Year 4 commenced at the beginning of the 1977 in facilities at St Francis Xavier High School, with an opening enrolment of 242 students. The classes moved into the St Monica’s school building at the beginning of Term 3. The school was officially opened on November 12 1977 by Senator Carrick, Minister of Education and blessed by Archbishop Thomas Cahill.
St Monica’s grew rapidly, requiring the addition of 3 portable classrooms in 1981 and the conversion of a small enclosed courtyard and adjacent classroom into two classrooms. The portable classrooms were blessed by Fr Cork on March 31, 1982. The school grew to 650 students by 1985. St Monica’s has a current enrolment of 455. The internal layout of the school has been redesigned with major refurbishments occurring in the last 10 years creating innovative, state of the art learning facilities.
The 40th anniversary occasion was marked by several key events: a school celebration that commenced with a school Mass followed by the sharing of an extra-large birthday celebration, an enjoyable night at QT for past and present staff and families, and a community morning tea and picnic lunch on the Sunday 27 August to mark St Monica’s Feast Day that followed the Parish Mass celebrated by Archbishop Christopher Prowse. The feast day events were made particularly memorable as the early sunshine turned to rain, hail then snow. Despite the weather it did not dampen the community efforts to celebrate this special day in style.