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Bishop Sproxton prays spirit of Salvado will live on at new college


State Member for Darling Range Tony Simpson, Catholic Education WA Executive Director Tim McDonald, Abbot of New Norcia Fr John Herbert OSB, Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, Federal Member for Canning Andrew Hastie and Armadale Parish Priest Fr Kaz Stuglik (back) with Salvado Catholic College Principal Santino Giancono and students (front). Photo: Rachel Curry.

By Rachel Curry

Archdiocese of Perth Auxiliary Bishop, Don Sproxton, has encouraged students to live according to the principles and ideals of their patron, namely love, faith and care for others, at the blessing and opening of Salvado Catholic College in Byford.

The college welcomed just over 100 students from Kindergarten to Year 2 in January and will eventually grow to accommodate about 1,200 students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Held last Friday at the college’s impressive covered assembly area, the blessing and opening ceremony was attended by several special guests, including Bishop Sproxton; Catholic Education WA Executive Director; Tim McDonald; and Abbot of New Norcia, Father John Herbert OSB.

Also present were Federal Member for Canning, Andrew Hastie; State Member for Darling Range, Tony Simpson; Noongar Elder, Marie Taylor; Armadale Parish Priest Fr Kaz Stuglik; and Foundation Principal, Santino Giancono.


Archdiocese of Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton shares a joke with Salvado Catholic College students during his speech at the blessing and opening ceremony. Photo: Rachel Curry.

During the ceremony, Bishop Sproxton gave a special blessing to the college buildings and grounds, praying, “May the angels of light ever dwell within them and in all who frequent them”. He also blessed the crucifixes that would be hung in the college’s classrooms.

During his speech, Bishop Sproxton recalled his visit 11 years ago to Tuy, Spain – the home town of college Patron Bishop, Dom Rosendo Salvado OSB.

He said he was touched by the town’s remembrance of Bishop Salvado, who left his homeland at the age of 31 to travel to Western Australia as a missionary, arriving in 1846 and founding the New Norcia Benedictine Community a year later.

“They’re very, very proud of this man who’s made such a difference to people on the other side of the earth as far as they’re concerned. He came a long, long way in order to help the people here whom he felt needed to hear about Jesus,” he said.

Bishop Sproxton added that, although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at that time had already experienced God’s love through His creation, and through their spiritual connection to the country, they only came to know Jesus through missionaries like Bishop Salvado.

He said Bishop Salvado was known for his incredible devotion to the New Norcia Aboriginal community, including establishing a school and encouraging education.

“So, today, as we remember him, we ask that, in taking on his name for this college, we will try and live according to those principles and those ideals that he had, and we pray that his spirit will really be part of the spirit of this school, and that we will see in you some of those wonderful qualities of love, of faith and of care for others,” he said.


Catholic Education WA Executive Director Tim McDonald helps Salvado Catholic College students unveil the commemorative plaque during the blessing and opening ceremony. Photo: Rachel Curry.

In an interview with The eRecord journalist, Rachel Curry, Mr Giancono said he was looking forward to continuing the college’s close association with the New Norcia Benedictine Community.

He also paid tribute to the Interim College Board, parents and staff for helping make the school’s first few months such a success.

“We’ve only been open for 14 weeks but it looks like we’ve been open a lot longer, so it’s a credit to everyone involved,” he said.

Mr Giancono was appointed as the college’s Foundation Principal in 2014 after previously serving as Principal of St Paul’s Primary School in Karratha.

He said Byford was a fast-growing, multicultural community with a large number of young families and he was approaching the role “with lots of enthusiasm”.

“Every week is a new week and a new challenge. But it won’t just be about what I want, it will be about what the community wants and what’s best for the kids,” he said.

Salvado Catholic College was constructed with the assistance of funding from the Federal and State Governments. For more information about the college, visit