Thirty-eight new students arrived on Monday 6 March to commence their Bachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts at Campion College Australia, based in Old Toongabbie.
Fr Piotr Kruk OP, College Chaplain, concelebrated Mass with Rev Dr Luke Holohan SM, Lecturer in Theology, to begin the Matriculation morning. Staff, students, friends and family were present. During the Mass, Bernard Kirkpatrick, Director of Music at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta conducted the Campion College Schola.
The setting for the Matriculation ceremony was picturesque, on the lush green circle before the ivy-covered façade of the main building.
New students were clothed in their academic gown, which symbolises entrance into the academic community at the College and then signed the Register of Students, or matricula, in Latin.
Dr Paul Morrissey, President of Campion College welcomed all present and addressed the new students.
“I ask of you to remember while you study here, this word: wisdom,” Dr Morrissey said.
“I can honestly say that if you enter into our program with an open mind, a sincere heart, with the desire to learn and an aptitude to study, you will be wiser than you are today.
“And by this I do not just mean that you will know more about history, literature, philosophical concepts, the Christological debates of the early centuries; of authors and ideas; but you will be able to think and contemplate that which is good and true; that you will know more about yourself (the beginning of wisdom); about society; about fundamental questions; and about God.
“And this is what a liberal education means – that you will be educated in what it means to be human and that you will have the tools to be life long learners and seekers of wisdom.”
Micah Doughty is a new student from Guildford and has played football at Wentworthville Uniting Soccer Club for years.
“Dr Morrissey’s speech was insightful – he spoke of how Campion is actually making history by providing the next generation with a more grounded knowledge of history, culture and society,” Micah said.
“I really enjoy the community that is at Campion, because unlike other universities, here at Campion there’s a real sense that students get to know each other and do life together as we learn,” he said.
“I enjoy the subjects and, because I’m not too sure yet what career I want to pursue, Campion gives me a good grounding to learn critical thinking skills and develop my knowledge.”
Emelina Phillips is a new student from Melbourne.
“It’s just amazing, I’ve wondered about doing theology for years but never seriously considered it and now it’s finally here, it’s like Oh! Wow…” she said.
The peaceful grounds of the College also appeal to Emelina.
“The course is really fitting for the environment that we’re in here.”
“It’s very peaceful. You actually need some solitude to meditate.”
Last year, Emelina worked in aged care with patients who often had dementia.
“The last year’s been really hard for me. I want to give a person time, I want to meet their physical, spiritual, emotional needs and the struggle for me was never being able to give them enough time because we were so run off our feet in high care.”
“I think I had to do this job first though in order to be prepared to come to Campion. The job taught me a very important lesson: perseverance! Life is a journey and there are always steps you must take before going through a new door.”