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Historic Graduation Ceremony Held at St Patrick's Basilica, Fremantle

Article provided by The Office of Communications and Media, The University of Notre Dame Australia

The Most Reverend Timothy Costelloe SDB, celebrated the University of Notre Dame Australia July Graduation Mass at the Basilica of St Patrick in Fremantle on Sunday 22 July 2012.


One of Australia’s most renowned organists, Domenic Perissinotto, lead the Choir of St Patrick’s during the historic Mass. It was the first time Notre Dame held its Graduation Mass at the Basilica.

During his homily, Archbishop Costelloe said the graduation ceremonies at Notre Dame were a significant way of recognising the University’s commitment to providing its students with the provision ‘of a university education within a context of Catholic faith and values’.

“A Catholic university will certainly be a place where the wisdom of God’s word is actively and eagerly attended to. It will be a place where everyone, whether they be students, staff or supporters, is encouraged to recognise and embrace the call to be good shepherds to each other,” Archbishop Costelloe preached.

“People will be cared for, renewed, protected and sustained. They will find their deepest needs and longings cared for.

“And in the end, a Catholic university, our University of Notre Dame, will be this kind of place because at its very heart, openly and unequivocally, Jesus Christ occupies the central place as the inspiration and the vital living source of the University’s energy, commitment and optimism.”

Concelebrating with the Archbishop were three of the University’s US Governors -  Rev Edward Malloy CSC, President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame du Lac; Rev William Beauchamp CSC, President of the University of Portland and Rev Mark Poorman CSC, Executive Vice President of the University of Portland. All three men are Holy Cross priests. The Holy Cross order and its universities have been singularly important contributors to Notre Dame since its establishment.

After the Mass, more than 400 students from the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Health Sciences, Law, Nursing and Midwifery, and Philosophy & Theology received their testamurs during the Graduation ceremony held on the Fremantle Campus.

Mature age student, Marissa Cumper, was the Farewell Speaker for the July graduating cohort. She completed the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree with the highest Grade Point Average (GPA) and is in contention for the University Medal – the highest academic honour presented to an undergraduate student.

Notre Dame also recognised two of its academic staff from the School of Education, Dr Dianne Chambers and Dr Gregory Hine, in completing their Doctorates.

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond, congratulated the July 2012 graduating cohort on successfully finishing their studies.

“As Vice Chancellor, I would like to express the congratulations from all of us here today; the governors and staff of Notre Dame and all of your friends and family. We are proud of you and you have every reason to be proud of yourselves on your graduation,” Professor Hammond said.

 “We at Notre Dame have been privileged to have played a role in this part of your life journey. Education is what we are all passionate about: it is what drives us and it is what we love. Thank you for allowing us to share our passion, our vocation, with you.”