Mazenod College Victoria was Officially Opened and Blessed by His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Cooray OMI (Archbishop of Colombo). Students formed a guard of honour down Kernot Ave to greet the Cardinal as he arrived with the Archbishop of Melbourne with a police escort. After blessing the College, proceedings moved to the quadrangle where a large crowd including students, parents and nuns watched the official unveiling of the plaque by the Federal Minister for Immigration and local MP, Rt Hon Billy Snedden. Seated on the dais with the Federal Minister was Fr Noel Coghlan (Parish Priest of Springvale), Fr William Cagney OMI (Provincial of the Oblates in Australia), His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Cooray OMI (Archbishop of Colombo), Archbishop Knox (Archbishop of Melbourne), Fr Kevin Toomey (Parish Priest of Clayton), Bishop Cullinane (Auxilliary to Archbishop Knox) and the Rector.
Mazenod College was the first school opened in Melbourne by the religious order known as The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (Oblates). A proposal from the Archbishop of Melbourne offering the Oblate congregation in Australia responsibility for the parish of St. John Vianney, North Springvale on the condition that the Order would also operate a new secondary College based in South East Melbourne, was subsequently approved by the Oblate office in Rome. It was also agreed that the new regional college would be owned by the archdiocese.
The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate were founded by a Catholic priest named Eugene De Mazenod in France in the early 1800’s and were officially approved as a new congregation in 1826 by Pope Leo XII. Their Mission to Australia commenced in 1894 when two Oblate priests arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia.