When your school gives you lemons …

Reception students at Blackfriars Priory School have been presented with lemon trees to mark the start of their education journeys.

The 25 Reception students, seven of whom started school in Term 3 last year, were given the trees during a Rite of Welcome liturgy in Blackfriars’ Chapel of St Albert the Great.

The school’s Assistant Principal Religious Identity and Mission (APRIM), Angela Collins, hoped the boys would grow and flourish during their time at Blackfriars – just like the lemon trees.

The trees were blessed by school Chaplain Father Peter Nguyen OP, before being presented to the boys and their families by Principal David Ruggiero.

“It is our joy to formally welcome you to our community as we embark upon a 13-year journey together; as we witness the growth of your beautiful boys into wonderful young men who will shape the world in decades to come,” Ms Collins told the gathering.

Families were also given pop sticks – which could be “planted” with the lemon trees – and invited to write down words encapsulating their hopes and dreams for their sons.

Blackfriars Principal David Ruggiero addressed the boys and their families during the Rite of Welcome.

“You’ve got your family with you today. Your family will be there for you for the next 13 years of your life as a student, and many years after,” said Mr Ruggiero, who is a Blackfriars old scholar.

“And your teachers and your friends and us, as a school, are here to support you in becoming who you’re called to be. And whatever you’re called to be in this world, you do it in a way that gives honour to God and gives honour to who you are.

“And that’s what being a Dominican is all about; being the best person that you can be.”

The 18 new Receptions are among 38 boys who have joined Blackfriars’ Primary School this year. The school’s Early Learning Centre (ELC) has welcomed 26 new boys and girls.

In 2023, Blackfriars is celebrating its 70th anniversary, with a series of events, including a Platinum Jubilee Ball, planned throughout the year.


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