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Exploring Faith

Catherine Fry-Walker (RE Teacher)

The Year 11 ATAR Religion and Life classes embarked on a remarkable journey, visiting four places of worship in Perth to deepen their understanding of the early Christian Church, Jesus’s vision for Christianity, and the diverse Divisions and Denominations of Christianity. This practical exploration allowed students to bridge theory with real-world experiences, enriching their learning in profound ways.

The day began at the Temple David Progressive Synagogue, where Choir Director Gina Davidson warmly welcomed the students. In a captivating 40-minute session, Gina delved into the history of Judaism, offered a tour of the sanctuary, and drew insightful comparisons between Catholicism and Judaism. The highlight was the unveiling of the Torah, accompanied by Gina’s soulful singing in Hebrew—a deeply moving and spiritual moment for all.

The next stop was St Mary’s Cathedral, the central church of the Perth Archdiocese. Here, students admired the cathedral’s magnificent architecture and had the privilege of participating in Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament. They also had the opportunity to meet Fr Jason Yeap, a newly ordained priest, who graciously offered a special blessing and posed for a photo with the group.

At St George’s Cathedral, the principal cathedral of the Anglican Province of Western Australia, students were welcomed by Assistant Curate, the Reverend Dr Noah Mbano. Dr Noah provided a captivating tour of the gothic revival space, sharing its history with the group. Students were honoured to participate in a mass, experiencing a service similar yet distinct from a Catholic Mass.

After a delightful lunch in Northbridge, the final destination was the Cathedral of Saints Constantine and Helene, a stunning Greek Orthodox Church. Here, students marvelled at the intricate icons, paintings, and altar dressings, while Parish Priest Fr Terry Gerovasilis shared the rich history of the Orthodox Denomination. His detailed explanation of The Great Schism, a key topic of study, left a lasting impression on the students, who expressed a desire to return in their own time.

The students are immensely grateful to Gina Davidson, Dr Noah Mbano, and Fr Terry Gerovasilis for guiding them on this spiritual, theological, and aesthetic journey. Their generosity in welcoming the students into these sacred spaces of worship has left a profound impact, enriching the students’ understanding of faith and fostering a deep sense of gratitude for these diverse traditions.

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