Br Patrick Howlett awarded Papal Honour for services to education
|From left: Marist Brother provincial, Br Jeffrey Crowe, Greg Whitby, Br Patrick Howlett and Bishop Anthony Fisher OP|
|Bishop Anthony Fisher OP nominated Br Patrick for the Croce Pro Ecclesia et Pontfice, the highest recognition for a Religious |
Marist Brother, Patrick Howlett fms, principal of Parramatta Marist High School Westmead, has been awarded the Croce Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.
At the conclusion of Catholic Education’s Silver Jubilee Education Mass on Thursday 22 March, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP presented Br Patrick with the Papal Award the Croce Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (the Cross of Honour for the Church), which is the highest recognition awarded by the Pope to a member of religious order.
Bishop Anthony Fisher OP nominated Br Patrick for the Papal honour noting his 50 years of dedicated service to Catholic education. At the ceremony, Fr Arthur Bridge, parish priest at St Oliver’s, Harris Park read Br Patrick’s citation to the congregation who gave a standing ovation.
‘Br Patrick Howlett is a most extraordinary educator and visionary held in the highest esteem by professional colleagues, students and communities,’ the citation read.
‘Br Patrick Howlett espouses a professional relationship that is underpinned by Gospel values, this has been central in his leadership and mission in Catholic Education. He demonstrates the five charisms of St Marcellin Champagnat: love of work; family spirit; presence, simplicity and love of Mary.’
‘As local principal he is distinguished by virtue of his fine leadership, deep and abiding commitment to school and student body and uniquely innovative and progressive approach to teaching and education.’
Representatives from the Marist Brothers including provincial, Br Jeffrey Crowe, and Br Patrick’s sister Anne Sloan were present for the Papal Award and Br Patrick said that he was honoured by the recognition.
‘Receiving the Papal Award from Bishop Anthony was a great honour,’ said Br Patrick. ‘I am humbled and proud to receive this prestigious award.’
Br Patrick joined the Marist Brother’s in 1961 and trained for six years before taking final profession. He has taught at schools in ACT, Queensland and NSW and has been the principal of Parramatta Marist High School, Westmead for the last 10 years. During his time at Parramatta Marist, Br Patrick has been a driving force behind empowering student learning with the school recently being recognised as the first Australian school to partner with the US based New Tech Network in Project Based Learning (see full story).
Executive director of schools, Greg Whitby, said that Br Patrick is most deserving of the Papal honour.
‘Br Patrick’s innovative approach to education has led Parramatta Marist to internationally recognised success,’ said Greg. ‘He has a passion and dedication to ensuring the best education for the young men in his care and the schools in our diocese continue to benefit from his wisdom and expertise.’
|Br Patrick's sister, Anne Sloan, was present for the ceremony|
|A mass was held at Parramatta Marist on Friday 23 March to celebrate the Papal Award (from left): Nick Puiu, Very Rev Peter Williams VG EV, Br Patrick Howlett, Deacon James Phelan and Fr Andrew Bass |
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