MORE than 2300 students, staff and parents gathered at Sacred Heart Cathedral for the Catholic College Bendigo opening mass on Friday.
Bishop Leslie Tomlinson led the the celebratory mass, along with Monsignor Frank Marriott, chaplains from the college and priests from Sandhurst parishes.
Year 12 and 7 students experienced the mass from inside the cathedral while the rest of the school watched from the grounds via a live feed.
Principal Michael Chalkley said the mass was one of the rare occasions when the entire college came together.
"There aren't a lot of days where we get our whole college together, probably only five or six (each year)," he said.
"This (was) certainly significant and (was) an opportunity for us to stop and ask for God's blessing on the year ahead."
There aren't a lot of days where we get our whole college together.
Students and staff choirs and wind ensembles performed, while other students recited readings, prayers and reflections.
Mr Chalkley said the mass marked the launch of the college's theme and this year it was Shine the Light of Mercy.
"Our thinking behind this is allowing people to use their gifts and talents to shine and enabling other people to share their gifts and talents so they can shine too.
"Over the course of the rest of the year we will continue to refer back to this theme and hopefully celebrate the gifts and talents of people within our school community."
Mr Chalkley said the college tried to create an environment where individuals were acknowledged, supported and encouraged to be the best they can be.
For more photos from the opening mass visit the Bendigo Advertiser website.