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'Illuminations' concert lights up St Mary’s Cathedral

The end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy was celebrated with a spectacular concert conducted by Jangoo Chapkhana at St Mary’s Cathedral.

Attendees enjoyed an uplifting performance of music by American composer, Morten Lauridsen.

The programme featured Lauridsen’s Ave Maria, O Magnum Mysterium and Lux Aeterna performed by orchestra Camerata 1685 and chorale Lux et Veritas.

Conductor Jangoo Chapkhana said he hoped the music inspired and delighted audience members.

“The compositions were written in a style which connects emotionally and spiritually with the audience, regardless of their musical tastes,” he said.

The Illuminations concert was not simply about the beautiful music but also aimed to shine a light on acts of mercy in our community.

Four Catholic schools of Mercy, Aranmore Catholic College, Mercedes College, Santa Maria College and St Brigid’s College joined with MercyCare to present the concert. The schools highlighted mercy in action by displaying picture boards illustrating the way they incorporate acts of mercy within their schools and daily lives.

Before the performance began Ayuol Manyok, former head girl of Aranmore Catholic College (2015), captivated the audience with an emotional reflection of what Mercy means to her and how she incorporates it into her daily life.

Part proceeds from the concert went to Aranmore College in Leederville, which is the only Catholic school in WA to have a New Arrivals Learning Centre.

The Centre assists students from overseas, including refugees and asylum seekers, who need preparation lessons before they can enter mainstream schooling.

It also offers lessons in English and academic writing to ensure students can adapt to Australian schooling and culture.

MercyCare Chief Executive Officer Chris Hall said the organisation wanted to support the Centre because its programs closely aligned with MercyCare’s work with asylum seekers in the community.

“MercyCare operates services which help more than 650 refugees and asylum seekers living in WA,” he said.

 “MercyCare and the collaborating schools recognise that making sure asylum seeker and refugee children have access to education when they first arrive in WA is critical to their development.

“We believe refugees and asylum seekers have valuable contributions to make to our society, and we want to offer our support to help them reach their potential.”

The concert ended on a high note to a very satisfied crowd, with people eager to discuss their experience.

Thank you to everyone who joined and supported this wonderful event. A special thanks to our event partners Catholic Education, St John of God, Bowra & O’Dea and the University of Notre Dame and the four schools involved; Aranmore Catholic College, Mercedes College, St. Brigid’s College and Santa Maria College.