On Thursday 22nd September 2011, Archbishop Paul Cremona O.P. celebrated Mass and blessed the second floor of St Michael School in St Venera.

The Headmaster of the School shared the events of the evening, with the readers of this website.

September 22nd has been now for some weeks earmarked as the day when we wished to bless and inaugurate the extension on the second floor of St Michael School, a Catholic Secondary School run by the Society of Christian Doctrine, M.U.S.E.U.M.

As the day grew closer and the work intensified, we were all hoping that the ceremony will be one that brings together the extended family of our school community. Today, we can rightly say that our wish was fulfilled.

We planned this ceremony to coincide with the opening of the new scholastic year and as close as possible to the feast day of St Michael, our school patron saint. As the time was nearing to the start of the ceremony, members of our school Board of Directors, the Headmaster and the General and Regional Superiors of the Society of Christian Doctrine M.U.S.E.U.M. waited at the school entrance to greet the parents, the students, the special guests and especially H.E. Archbishop Paul Cremona O.P. who was to bless and inaugurate the new floor.

The ceremony started at 18:30 with a message delivered by Adriano Borg, one of our 5th Formers. Then Mr Ruben Pace, who heads our School Board of Directors, welcomed the Archbishop and all those present. Mr Pace spoke about the vision of the founding members, and underlined that the greatest challenge is not in building a structure made of limestone and concrete but in educating a child. If one notices a defect in a structure, one can emend but if one errs in the education given to a child, how would one correct that mistake?

The congregation prepared for the celebration of the Eucharist which was to be presided by H.E. Archbishop Paul Cremona assisted by Mons. Laurence Gatt Chancellor of the Maltese Archdiocese and by Rev Fr Charles Mallia O. Carm who was recently appointed by the Archbishop to head the Secretariat for Education within the Maltese Archdiocese.

During the homily, the Archbishop spoke about St Michael and asked his protection on all those who work and study in our school. He spoke about the importance of the family as the primary educators and urged the parents not to leave anyone to take a centre stage in the academic and religious formation of their children.

After Mass, Mr Raymond D’Amato, the School’s Headmaster gave a brief overview of the history of our school since its foundation in 1946. He spoke about the vision that Mr Anthony Agius had for our school and said that what we today enjoy was to a large extent envisioned by the late Mr Agius. Mr D’Amato went on to talk about the present challenges and spoke about some new measures that will be taken during this scholastic year so that we will comply with the vision of the new curriculum framework. Mr D’Amato took also this opportunity to thank a number of particular people who were crucial in completing this relatively big project for our school.

As the school belongs to the Society of Christian Doctrine, it was fitting that during this ceremony the guests will be also addressed by the General Superior of M.U.S.E.U.M., Mr Natalino Camilleri. Mr Camilleri shared three short thoughts. He first thanked the Archbishop because his presence among us sealed the tie that exists between the Society and the Local Church, he also said that by his presence the Archbishop was also acknowledging and was strengthening us in our proper charism. He then addressed a word to the parents. The General Superior said that parents opt to send their children to a church school only because they believe in the values that we profess. It is very unfortunate that while we strive so hard to have our sons and daughters educated in a church school, when these young men and women enter the adult world and start participating in the real world of work then some do their utmost to silence them from expressing or behaving in a real mature Christian way. His final word was addressed to all those working at our school. He quoted what H.H. Pope Benedict XVI told the young university professors during the World Youth Day in Madrid last August. The Pope urged the professors to be a point of reference to their students, not to shy from presenting in a clear way the Christian values they adhere to. It is very unfortunate that today, some educators are lacking the ability to propose to the young an alternative way to that presented by those who seem to want to alienate the young from what is true.

The ceremony then came to an end when H. E. the Archbishop read a particular prayer and blessed all those present. After the singing of the school anthem, the guests were invited to tour the new extension, especially where the new classes and the new science laboratories are.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who were involved in the completion of this project.

For more information about the school visit: www.stmichaelschool.edu.mt