Opening of the FCJ College Benalla Multi-Purpose Hall

FCJ College Benalla new multi-purpose hall

Twelve FCJ Sisters attended the official opening of the new Multi-Purpose Hall at FCJ College Benalla on the 24th March 2021. The hall was formerly blessed the previous week by the Bishop of Sandhurst, Most Reverend Shane MacKinlay.

The project was made possible by the generous donation from the FCJ Sisters to mark the Bicentenary of the Society’s foundation in by the Venerable Marie Madeleine d’Houët in France in 1820.

The hall is state-of- the-art incorporating the newest technology, ideas and features. It also has retractable seating, enabling it to be used for a variety of events: school assemblies and liturgies, physical education, sports, and concerts. It will also be available to members of the Benalla community for various functions.

The ceremony commenced with an inspiring ‘Welcome to Country’ by the traditional owners, the Yorta Yorta Nation, and was recited by Troy Firebrace who is the Aboriginal Education Officer at the Catholic Education Office in the Sandhurst Diocese.

Guests were warmly welcomed by the FCJ College Vice Captains and a beautiful liturgy was led by the Student Leadership Team and Student Representative Council. At various times, images of FCJ Sisters who have been part of the Benalla story were visible on a large screen.

FCJ College Benalla new multi-purpose hall

The Principal, Mrs Joanne Rock spoke warmly of the contribution the FCJ Sisters have made to the College for over 121 years. The former Chair of Council, Mr Robert Barber also thanked the Sisters and all those responsible for the building of this magnificent hall.

Sr Barbara Brown-Graham fcJ, Area Leader in Australia, congratulated all who had played a significant role in ‘dreaming big’ and producing such a wonderful asset for the College community to enjoy. Sr Barbara also explained to the students the reason behind the Society’s large financial gift and the values of an FCJ Education characterized by hope and faithfulness.

The ceremony concluded with the College Captains presenting each FCJ Sister present with a replica of the beautiful glass window depicting the first FCJ Sisters’ arrival in Benalla in 1900.

All guests were then treated to a delicious lunch served by the students.

In the recently published book: The Characteristics of Catholic Education in the FCJ Tradition, we read:

 “An FCJ college aims to be an environment where students grow in the self-knowledge that leads to an attitude of gentle strength and wisdom, i.e. gentle with oneself at all times, able to forgive oneself and others and to move on with hope thus leading to a calm and respectful attitude towards others. Loving and forgiving are tangible and visible signs that faith has transformed our hearts.”

We pray the FCJ College Benalla community will always strive to live out these values.


Read more about bicentenary of the foundation of the Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus (1820-2020). Follow our bicentenary celebrations on the Bicentenary News page and on social media #FCJ200.