CSPD Commissioning Mass 2024
Family, friends and colleagues joined Bishop Vincent Long at the 2024 Commissioning Mass for beginning teachers and new leaders

Bishop Vincent Long extends heartfelt welcome to newly appointed teachers, principals and leaders in an inspiring celebration at St Patrick's Cathedral Parramatta.

The yearly Commissioning ceremony holds a special place in the hearts of Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese (CSPD) staff, highlighting the vital task of nurturing young minds across the diocese.

In a moving homily, Bishop Vincent thanked new leaders and teachers in the Parramatta diocese for their commitment to today’s youth and to Catholic education, especially at this time of economic, political and ecological crisis.

“For many, the school is not just a centre of learning for students. It is a home and a place of stability, warmth and care. It is an indispensable part of a young person’s life, come rain, hail or shine,” Bishop Vincent said.

"You are to be commended for your commitment to future generations and specifically to Catholic education in a very unsettled time."

This year saw the commissioning of eight new school principals, alongside over 180 new teachers at Catholic schools across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Among the guests in attendance was Councillor Henry Green, on behalf of Lord Mayor Pierre Esber from Parramatta City Council and CSPD Board members Marea Nicholson, Greg Jones and Maria Pearson. Executive Director of Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese Jack de Groot thanked the new teachers and leaders for pursuing their careers in education.

“You should be extremely proud of your achievements and we are so excited to welcome you into our teaching community and our shared mission to the Catholic education of the students in our care,” Jack said.

Whether you are at the start of your teaching career, a new principal or leader, we want you to feel supported and fulfilled in your vocation as educators.

Beginning teacher Matthew Morozoff is teaching mathematics this year at Emmaus Catholic College Kemps Creek. Originally studying a Bachelor of Science, he switched his degree in 2016 to pursue a career in teaching and hasn't looked back.

“When I started teaching at Emmaus, I felt immediately accepted and welcomed by both students and teachers,” Matthew said.

I understand that not everyone will love mathematics but I want my students to know that mathematics is not scary. I enjoy seeing people having their ‘lightbulb moment’ where they understand a concept and excel.

Chisholm Catholic Primary Bligh Park welcomes a number of beginner teachers this year, among them Year 4 teacher, Caitlin Millar, who says she always wanted to be a teacher.

“I want to make an impact on young individuals' lives and create a stepping stone for the students to set a foundation for their future,” Caitlin said.

Also teaching Year 4 at Chisholm, is Rosie Walklate who says her favourite thing about teaching so far is her students.

“I love how innocent and humorous they are, their beautiful personalities fill my cup,” Rosie said.

Chisholm Principal Michael Mifsud with new teacher Rosie Walklate at the Commissioning Mass
Chisholm Principal Michael Mifsud with new teacher Rosie Walklate at the Commissioning Mass

Georgia Ashkar once attended St Patrick’s Primary Guildford as a student and has loved being able to return, this time as a Year 5 teacher.

“I hold great admiration for the culture and sense of community at St. Patrick's. It inspires excellence, fosters faith and cultivates compassionate citizenship in every student. As a former student, I am grateful to now contribute to this community as an educator,” Georgia said.

Steven Jones, Principal of St Patrick’s Dundas, with former student now teacher Georgia Ashkar
Former St Patrick’s student, now teacher, Georgia Ashkar and Principal Steven Jones

Hugely important to the early career teachers is a strong support network in their schools, as they look to their more experienced colleagues for guidance. Diana Al-Shammas is starting her career at Holy Family Primary Granville, teaching Year 3 and says the teachers there have made all the difference for her.

“I love the courage and the support I receive from the teachers around me. Being around the teachers at Holy Family makes me feel confident about my own abilities,” Diana said.

Also at Holy Family Primary, Year 2 teacher Georgia Maroun is kicking off a teaching career following on from her experience in early childhood. Georgia also recognises the positive impact her teaching colleagues have had on her first weeks in the classroom.

“I have loved being able to collaborate with teachers when planning, organising and teaching lessons to students. This has made it a much more enjoyable experience to be able to grow together, as well as reassuring that we are never alone in our own teaching journeys,’ Georgia said.

New teachers Georgia Maroun (left) and Dian Al-Shammis (right) with Holy Family Principal Cheryl Fortini
New teachers Georgia Maroun (left) and Dian Al-Shammis (right) with Holy Family Principal Cheryl Fortini

In his first weeks as a teacher, working with Year 5 at St Matthew’s Primary Windsor, Kurtis Dodds recognised the importance of taking the time to get to know his students.

“I enjoy that I get to come to a place where I can make an impact on students' lives and form positive relationships with them. I enjoy seeing them come to school each morning and learning more about them as a person,” Kurtis said.

Elizabeth Scully, who commenced her role as CSPD’s Director Communications and Engagement in 2023 was also commissioned at the service. Frances Waterford, who has recently taken up the role of CSPD’s Director Technology and Information Services was commissioned in absentia. She said she was excited by the opportunities to support the great work of the schools.

Elizabeth Scully being commissioned by Vincent Long
New director Elizabeth Scully commissioned by Bishop Vincent Long

"I am so happy to start my journey at CSPD and to be a key contributor in our important mission of educating students in Western Sydney,” Frances said.

It is such a great opportunity to work together to support learning and teaching in the Parramatta Diocese and I'm really passionate about how technology can help achieve our organisational outcomes.

Also commissioned in absentia were new CSPD board members, Michael Howard and Scott Jenkins.

View gallery View full gallery

Written By

Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese

Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese

  • 01 Feb 2024

    Catholic School Open Days
    We are enrolling now! Attend your local Catholic school's Open Day to find out more.

    01 Jun 2024

    Mount Druitt Reconciliation Walk
    Help celebrate the meaning of Reconciliation - the building of mutual and respectful relationships between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians. Free food, kids games, stall, performers and more!

Instagram | CSPD

More News

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.