50th Anniversary Celebration

St. Augustine’s High School Gathers to Mark Annual Feast

Friday 18th October 2019 saw the whole community of St. Augustine’s High School gather in praise and thanksgiving for the annual Feast Day celebration, with Mass celebrated by the school’s chaplain, Monsignor Tony Duffy. This yearly event gained new emphasis on this occasion, as 2019 also marks the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of St. Augustine’s in 1969.

The school community were delighted to welcome special guests including former headteachers Mrs. Eileen Dunning OBE FRSE, and Mr. Andy Gray, presently the Head of Schools and Lifelong Learning at City of Edinburgh Council. Among the invited guests were also retired staff who have served the school community at various times throughout the past fifty years, and prominent TV weather forecaster, Judith Ralston, who is a former pupil of St. Augustine’s.

Within the context of the celebration of Mass, there were fitting opportunities to celebrate the successes of the pupils of St. Augustine’s. The gifts and talents of the school’s art pupils were on show for all to see. The school’s values were emblazoned behind the Altar, noting the centrality of Potential, Respect, Achievement, Inclusion, Support and Equality (PRAISE) which are at the heart of everything done at St. Augustine’s.

Delivering the homily, Rev. Ian Wilson OSA emphasised the importance of these values, and he spoke of the conversion of St. Augustine who moved from a wayward life to a life of holiness, dedicated to God. Father Wilson proposed that the example of St. Augustine could be taken to heart – that it was not necessary to be ruled by the past, but rather that it was more important to consider how we can become the best we can be as we move forward.

The school motto of St. Augustine’s reads, “With respect for one another, let’s make a difference,” and this was manifest in the charitable presentation which took place at the conclusion of the Feast Day celebrations. Mrs. McGrath of the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) was invited to receive a cheque for £2,000 following the magnificent charitable efforts of the young people at St. Augustine’s over the past year.

Also keen to embrace the school’s motto were the fifty sixth-year pupils who were enrolled in the Pope Benedict XVI Caritas Award. They committed to demonstrating loving service to others within their school and faith communities. They will, over the coming year, volunteer in these capacities while also reflecting on the impact of this upon their faith. Monsignor Duffy received them into the Award scheme on behalf of the Church and wished them well on their journeys of faith.

This was a fitting celebration of the school’s values fifty years after its establishment, and the celebrations of this anniversary will continue in the coming months. This liturgical gathering was a very visible means of making clear the centrality of faith and the person of Jesus in all that is done within St. Augustine’s.

Eileen Dunning and Andy Gray presented Mrs McGrath with the cheque for SCIAF alongside Head Teacher Michael McGee.