Some of us can still remember the time of our HSC exams. The nerves, the preparation, and the surrender to just do the best we can.
For our younger family, friends and parish community members in Year 12, this is the time to gather in prayer, support and gratitude.
Catholic Youth Parramatta, the youth office of the Diocese of Parramatta, has been in contact with parishes asking them about their preparation to cheer on Year 12 students for the special HSC Pray over Masses that occurred on the weekends of 1-2 and 8-9 October before the first HSC exam.
Some parishes were excited to organise local initiatives for the HSC Masses. St Michael’s Church, Baulkham Hills, St Aidan’s Parish, Rooty Hill, St Bernadette’s Parish, Castle Hill, St Andrew the Apostle Parish, Marayong and St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook, all celebrated with food ranging from pizza, BBQ, cake, sausage sizzles and soup after Mass. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Seven Hills had pre-mass hymns before Mass for praise and worship before the 6pm Mass, followed by HSC students and their families invited to the Parish Hall with our Lourdes Young Adults Group, university students studying a health discipline and early career health professionals for food fellowship and networking.
Mary Queen of the Family Parish Blacktown celebrated the HSC Mass weekend with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 4:30pm, ending with a BBQ & Grad Party after the Mass and World Youth Day 2023 Fundraiser. These parishes and more included a special blessing for HSC students and ‘HSC survival kits’ including prayer cards and stress balls by Catholic Youth Parramatta, and sugar-goodies to keep students energised amidst all the revision hours.
At St Paul the Apostle Parish, Winston Hills, parish priest Fr Raning in his homily spoke about the healed lepers and how we are all called to be grateful to the Father. It was not only a miracle but Jesus brought them back to life – physically and socially back in to community.
Catholic Outlook spoke to John from Parramatta Marist High, Westmead, who attended Mass in his Year 12 varsity jacket and stood with other Year 12 students to receive a special blessing. John, a very calm-natured person, said he was feeling okay about his HSC exams and that it was good knowing people were praying for him.
Join us in praying for all HSC students across the diocese and beyond as we take this opportunity to be a strong and encouraging support for all young people.
A Parish HSC Prayer
We bring before You our HSC students. Give them the gifts of wisdom, right judgment, knowledge and courage. Bless them with calm hearts and clarity of mind as they sit for their exams.
May they be affirmed in their efforts and may they know that You are there with them. We pray that they will stay calm under pressure and work to the best of their ability.
May they feel Your loving presence in their lives, now and always, and may they be strengthened by the prayerful support of us, their parish community.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen
You can download this Parish HSC Prayer and a Student HSC Prayer on the CYP website: https://parracatholic.org/annual-hsc-masses/
Be sure to like and follow @catholicyouthparramatta on Facebook and Instagram for more info and events for all young people across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.