Penola Catholic College is a co-educational secondary school with a mission to cater for the spiritual, educational and formative needs of young men and women who seek the Catholic values of the College.

The College's traditions, values and educational philosophy and inspired by the example of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, who inspired by her readings of Jesus of the Gospels, ministered through education and social services to those in need.

Guiding Quotation 2023

“Trust in God” - St Mary MacKillop, 1874

“Trust in God.”
(St Mary Of the Cross MacKillop, 1874)

This year, our College theme, “Trust in God”, is a phrase St Mary often incorporated within a number of her most famous quotes, and she first utilised in 1874. It is linked closely to our College Value of Faith. Guided by St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, all of us, as members of the Penola Catholic College community, are encouraged to personally journey in Faith, being inspired to act for good in the world.

Our College vision to encourage a sense of faith is so closely connected to our theme, Trust in God, because it is simply impossible to develop faith without believing that there is a God within whom we can place our trust. It ensures us that we are not alone, that each of us are truly loved by God, nurtured by God and that God will always supports us, even in the most challenging and difficult times in our life. Our faith is deepened, the more and more we openly place our trust in God, and it is this faith and trust that gives us hope. Hope is a beautiful feeling because it gives us confidence, security, courage and strength.

St Mary’s amazing faith centered upon the strength and support found in her unwavering trust in God. So much so, this phrase is in scripted on her tomb in St Mary’s Place in Sydney, her resting place. It was such a deep trust that St Mary placed in God that it was considered radical. It was radical because she truly believed that God would always provide and that if she set her heart on loyal service to carrying out God’s work and bringing to life the vision of Jesus, then any material needs would be taken care of.

St Mary actioned her immense sense of trust by dedicating her life to God and the Church, even when she may not have known or was not able to see how things may turn out for her. Some examples of this were:

St Mary took her vows in 1867 and established The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, not knowing whether others would follow her and join her in her work. A second example was when she was rejected by leaders of the Church and ex-communicated, she travelled to Rome to meet with the Pope in order to gain true leadership of her Religious Order. Before leaving, she would not have known what the outcome was going to be or what dangers she may entail along the way. Another example was the fact she set up schools and places of refuge, such as the Babies Home here on our Broadmeadows Campus, with limited money and resources, not knowing if she would succeed, in order to educate those who otherwise could not afford an education. St Mary was a living and very active example of her beautiful words to us all.

College Banner 2023
Our 2023 College Banner, which has been inspired by the words of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, captures a person gazing into the beauty of the horizon. The sunlight in the distance depicts the warmth, love and hope that we sense when we place our true trust in God. Morphed into the College Crest is St Mary, gazing jointly upon the highlighted value of Faith and into the hope-filled horizon that God provides. This signals to us that not only is the Charism of St Mary and the Sisters of St Joseph central in shaping our understanding of faith as a College community but that the value of faith and her trust in God are also a central focus of her Charism.

As such, we hope our 2023 Theme banner will remind us daily of the challenge that St Mary has set for us this year. To act as St Mary did and not be afraid to place our complete trust in God and to know that all will work out okay when we are uncertain, face difficulty or are challenged in our lives. To trust in our faith that God is our horizon of hope.