National Mass to celebrate the bicentenary of Catholic education in Australia

22 May 2021
Image: National Catholic Education Commission/Supplied


Celebrations are continuing for 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia, marking the bicentenary of the first ‘official’ Catholic school opened in Parramatta in October 1820.

A National Mass will be celebrated simultaneously across Australia on the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians on Monday 24 May 2021 to mark the occasion.

National Catholic Education executive director Jacinta Collins said the National Mass would be a highlight of the bicentenary year.

“As a faith community, our National Mass to celebrate 200 years of Catholic education holds significant meaning, particularly on the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians – the Patroness of Australia,” Ms Collins said.

“The scale of Catholic education in Australia is unique in the world, serving over 777,000 students and employing over 100,000 staff.

“We are blessed to have the support of governments and our families that ensures we can make a Catholic education accessible to families in every major town and city, and in many regional, rural and remote parts of Australia,” she said.

Masses will be held with school representation in most Cathedrals across Australia, as well as a number of individual parishes and schools. In the Diocese of Parramatta, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, will be celebrating Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, at 10am. The Mass will be livestreamed on the Diocese of Parramatta’s YouTube Channel.

“While the current COVID environment prohibits a large-scale Mass like World Youth Day in Sydney, we hope that all members of our school communities and families will join together in the joyous liturgical celebration at a Cathedral or parish Mass, or via the live streaming options available,” Ms Collins said.

The Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison has provided a written message and video message of congratulations to the Catholic education community for the occasion, which will be made available on 24 May 2021.

Information on the live streaming of other Masses will be available via

With thanks to the National Catholic Education Commission.


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