From the Principal


Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Blackfriars Priory School celebrated St Dominic’s Day on Thursday 3 August, although the official date to celebrate the feast of St Dominic in the Church calendar is Tuesday, 8 August. The reason for our change of date was a clash with the feast day of our first Australian Saint, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, also celebrated on Tuesday 8 August.

Br Brendan and Mr Paul Belton

We began our St Dominic’s Day celebration with the Eucharist officiated by Fr Matthew Boland OP (School Chaplain) and supported by our school ensemble and Choir, servers, readers and Eucharistic Ministers. Our special guest speaker was Mr Paul Belton.  Paul is a proud old scholar who was Head Prefect of his graduating year, 1975, as a new teacher graduate, he returned to Blackfriars for his first teaching placement and is currently the Principal of St Paul’s College. Paul shared with us some fond memories of being a Blackfriars student and it was very evident that the Dominican Tradition and Four Pillars have left a profound impact on the life of Paul.  We were delighted to also share this wonderful occasion with representation from our sister/sibling Dominican Schools, St Dominic’s Priory College, St Mary’s College and Cabra Dominican College. 

In Fr Matthew’s homily, he shared with us the humility, the continual search for truth in all things, and an absolute commitment to God and the salvation of people as fundamental characteristics of St Dominic’s life. The behaviour, respect and participation of our boys during liturgy, was outstanding; doing both themselves and the school community proud.

Following Mass, the students and staff celebrate this wonderful feast day in our community through engagement in intellectual activities, lunch and games culminating in a brief assembly and raffle draw. I thank all staff and students who made the day such a wonderful experience for all. Special thanks to Mr Matthew Crisanti, Acting APRIM (Assistant Principal Religious Identity and Mission) for his excellent organisation of the day.

St Dominic’s Day 1st Prize Raffle Winner and Crows Supporter, Kaden Baxter (Year 7) Proudly Displays His Signed Crows Guernsey

During the week our Dominican sister/sibling Schools , Cabra Dominican College, St Mary’s College and St Dominic’s Priory College also celebrated the life of St Dominic with Eucharist and a variety of activities. I was able to attend these events with Prefect representatives and enjoyed sharing in the cameraderie of sister-brother schools who share our Dominican heritage including the Four Pillars and the search for Truth (Veritas). I commend the following prayer to families during this time when we recall the legacy of St Dominic.

Creator God

we rejoice

in our Dominican heritage

and pray that

like the grace filled Dominicans

who walked before us,

we might come to view life

through the heart of God

and see the world as God sees it.

May we be

warmed by Dominic’s belief

in the Spirit within each person;

be scorched by his passion

for the things of God;

and be inflamed with commitment

to bring a gospel lived and proclaimed

to the challenges of our times.  Amen.


Mathematics Quiz Success

On the evening of Wednesday 16 August, Blackfriars Priory School hosted the annual Maths Quiz night as a celebration of ‘Maths Week’. Our Year 9 Team was successful in the Junior Maths Category as best Mathematics Team with members Kevin Phan, Victor Lim, Trung Nguyen and Minh-Khoi Tran. Well done to all our students who participated, Miss Valerie Frost (Curriculum Leader - Mathematics), and our Mathematics staff for the organisation and hosting of the competition. A full report is in this week’s newsletter.

Senior Soccer

Congratulations to the Senior Soccer team for winning the Minor Premiership of the Twilight Soccer League, such a wonderful effort by the students guided by their Coaches, Mr Robert Matosevic and Mr Laytham Byfield and our evergreen Manager, Mr Ernie Luongo.

Truth - Senior Drama Performance Exam

Congratulations to our senior Drama students for their outstanding performances of ‘Truth’ during this week at the Parks Community Theatre. The cast were superb and very well directed by Mr Robert Becker.  We look forward to many more performances of this calibre being presented in our own new Performing Arts Theatre over the years to come.

Annual Intercol Week

The annual sporting and cultural competitions between Christian Brothers College (CBC) and Blackfriars Priory School are scheduled for next week beginning Monday, 21 August and concluding on Saturday, 26 August. Mr Michael Parrella (Secondary Co-curricular Coordinator) will publish the schedule with further information in this week’s newletter and via email. I expect all students and families who participate or attend the competitions as spectators to represent our school in the best tradition of sportsmanship. This includes supporting all participants whilst cheering for Blackfriars students. Comments directed at umpires, referees, adjudicators, CBC students or families will not be tolerated. Let the games begin and conclude with mutual respect and humility above all else.

Parents and Friends Quiz Night

Thanks to the Parents and Friends for a wonderful Quiz Night on Friday evening. The social occasion built a strong sense of community among parents, students and staff. Special thanks to organisers, Movie Quiz Whiz, Mrs Alison Ronoastro (Acting Deputy Principal - Head of Primary), Mrs Rachel Elgar (Development Office) and the Master of Ceremonies/Quizmaster, parent Mr Chris Parsons.


The funeral of Fr John McKenna OP,  was celebrated from St Dominic’s Church, East Camberwell on Tuesday, 8 August.

Fr John was born 9 September 1932 in Camberwell. He was baptised at St Dominic’s on 25 September 1932 and grew up in St Dominic’s parish where he attended St Dominic’s Primary School.  Fr John completed his education at St Kevin’s College Toorak. 

In 1949 Fr John entered the Dominican Friars at East Camberwell as a cooperator Brother and was given the name John Massias.  After a few years, he determined that if he could master his Latin lessons he could study for the priesthood.  Following a new novitiate and eight years of study he began his first appointment as Priest in 1961 as a Grade VI teacher at Blackfriars Priory School, South Australia – he was also appointed as the bursar for the St Laurence’s/Domincan Priory and the school. 

In 1968 his wish was granted and he was sent on Mission to the Diocese of Gizo.  He ministered in Nila, Sirovanga, Moli and Wagina –  where he felt most helpful and “left his heart”.  After celebrating 50 years as a priest and due to ill health, he left the Solomons and returned to Australia.

He died peacefully at Nazareth House Camberwell after a long illness, on Thursday, 3 August 2017.

We offer our deepest sympathy to the friars and give thanks for the witness of such a dedicated life.

Mr Simon Cobiac