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The Catholic Schools Office (CSO), is responsible for the leadership, efficient operation and management of systemic schools which educate more than 18,000 students in 45 Primary schools, 10 Secondary schools and one K-12 school in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.


The CSO employs more than 1200 teachers and around 550 support staff. Our main focus is providing support for schools to ensure each student receives a quality education and has the opportunity to grow academically, spiritually, physically and emotionally.


Catholic schools seek to develop spirit, mind, body and character and to cultivate Gospel values that support lives filled with joy, endeavour and hope in the future. As a Catholic Schools Office, we model ourselves on the person of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Gospels and through the teachings of the Catholic Church. 

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There are 21 days until the end of Term 4, 2015 (18/12/2015).

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The Damascus Centre

Monday 23 November 2015

One of the distinguishing features of Catholic schools is that since their inception they have mostly taken the name of a saint or a particular phrase that reflects the Catholic nature of the school in its title. With that goes a school crest and motto that also clearly mark the school as a Catholic school.

In choosing a saint’s name for a particular school, it is hoped that the staff and students will reflect on the life of that saint and seek his or her patronage for the school.

This was brought home to me when I attended the Official Blessing and Opening of the new library and classroom block at St Paul’s High School, Booragul, last Friday. The original intention was to call this new building the St Paul’s “iCentre” reflecting the importance of information technology in student learning and in the work of a library.

Interestingly, the invitation I received was to attend the blessing and opening of “The Damascus Centre”, a name chosen by the school community for this beautifully designed and constructed learning space.

I was delighted to witness how the community has engaged with its patron, St Paul, who had set out on the road to Damascus for the purpose of persecuting the small Christian community that was developing there. Along the way a blinding light caused Paul to be thrown from his horse and he heard the words of Jesus asking him why he was persecuting Him.

This momentous event in St Paul’s life led to his undertaking so many more journeys of conversion and healing as he spread the love of Jesus throughout most of the then known world.

In his letter to the Philippians he made the statement, “To live is Christ”, in Latin Vivere Christus Est calling on all followers of Jesus to live their lives in accordance with Jesus’ teachings and example.

Vivere Christus Est is the motto of St Paul’s Booragul, giving added emphasis to the school community’s commitment to recognising St Paul as an example of hope and redemption, a disciple of Jesus who spread the message of the gospels through his teachings and life.

I congratulate those who chose the name for this building as it will be a reminder to everyone associated with the school of its fundamental purpose, to enable Christ’s teachings to be taught, experienced and lived every day.

Just as St Paul, the learner and teacher, became enriched by his experience, it is hoped that all who learn or teach in this school will bring to their learning and teaching the same passion and commitment St Paul brought to his ministry.

I am sure the Damascus Centre will stand for many years to come as a symbol of what this Catholic school will always be, a centre for conversion of heart, mind and soul to the teachings of the Gospels.

The blog item RAY COLLINS: The Damascus Centre first appeared on mnnews.today, your local source of Catholic news for Newcastle, Maitland and the Hunter Valley. Follow mnnews.today on Twitter and Instagram.

Read More
The CSO is pleased to announce that it will build two new high schools and extend two existing high schools, one of the single biggest developments to be made to Catholic education in the diocese's 180 year history. Read more.

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End of Term 4, 2015

18 December 2015



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27 January 2016



End of Term 1, 2016

08 April 2016



Start of Term 2, 2016

26 April 2016