It’s been one week since our 2023 Commissioning Ceremony at Sacred Heart Church, Croydon; one week since we celebrated and congratulated our graduands and formation staff on another year of study, companionship and learning together.

The congregation at Heart of Life Graduation Ceremony 2023.

The congregation of family, friends and supporters gathered as the light changed in the church, from day to night.

It was an evening of many firsts for Heart of Life – the first time at the Croydon parish, which will become a home-base for us as we move into Croydon. The theme of fire carried throughout the ceremony and paraliturgy reminded us of our individual light of wisdom, reflection, authenticity, courage, and how in coming together, we shine brighter for the world. The internationality and multicultural diversity was evident as students, staff and their families and friends from all over the world were represented. There was a good mix of ecumenism too, with members of the congregation hailing from religious orders, diocesan clergy, laity, Christian and non-Christian alike – something that Heart of Life embraces, as a ministry that welcomes all and includes all.

Students process in with candles lit.

Students processed into the church, each with a candle.We were delighted by a representative from our main formation programs: Siloam, Damascus and Emmaus, who each spoke from the heart when sharing their journey in their respective courses. Peter Hay led us into a time of reflection and imagination as we remembered former faculty member, Robyn Reynolds olsh, who passed away suddenly this year, to the musical interpretation of Camille Saint-Saëns’ The Swan by YTU registrar, Adam Couchman.

As traditional, a well-catered spread followed, along with lively conversation and more celebration.

Congratulations again, to the Heart of Life Class of 2023 – and to all the staff and formation team who made the year possible! Thank you to the parish community at Sacred Heart, Croydon, the University of Divinity and of course, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.