‘Jesus is Knocking on Your Door’
This year our theme for our Opening Mass was ‘Jesus is Knocking.’ On the altar up the front was a well-known image of Jesus knocking on a door.
We were reminded that we need to be awake and alert to welcome Jesus from wherever and whenever he comes. To go out and meet him when we see he’s coming. Meeting him in Sacred Scripture, meeting him in the Eucharist, meeting him in prayer, meeting him in the various disguises he takes, in the poor, in the sick, in the lonely, in the prisoners, in those we might consider our enemies, in the person sitting next to you. We’re called to be awake and alert for his presence at all times, and to open up the door when he comes and allow him to enter. We look forward to the new school year and opening our hearts to the Lord.
This year we came together as a school to take part in the Cans for Christmas Can Drive. On this day we all contributed cans in support of St Vincent de Paul and The Mercy Hospice, which are organisations who help to support people in our community. We hope that this eases some of the pressures families face over Christmas time.
On this special feast day, we gathered together to remember and celebrate the special place that Mary, the mother of Jesus, has in the Catholic Church.
At St Therese School, Mary is an ideal role model for us because all through her life she demonstrated her faith in her God and willingly accepted the role that he gave her.
She has shown us the love that we need to have for each other and the patience and tolerance that goes with that love. Without these qualities in the world we cannot bring about the Reign of God that Jesus came to tell us about.
As he was dying on the cross Jesus gave us His own mother, Mary, to be our mother too.
In this celebration; The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we remembered the importance of the role Mary accepted.
The Church teaches that Mary was taken up, body and soul, into heaven at the end of her life here on earth and was then crowned Queen of Heaven.
Now that Mary has been assumed into heaven, she can watch over us with all her motherly love. We can trust our heavenly mother with all the little petitions we have, knowing that she will speak to Jesus about them on our behalf.
On Tuesday 8th August we warmly welcomed everyone to celebrate the feast day of Saint Mary MacKillop of the Cross.
Saint Mary MacKillop was a woman whose compassion, actions, courage and faith touched the lives of so many, including the members of our St Therese School Community.
We are truly blessed that Saint Mary MacKillop’s determination for all children to be provided with an education and her steadfast faith in God along the way led to the opening of our school.
We thank God for blessing us with this amazing woman and pray to God and all the Saints to guide us on our journeys and to care for and nurture others in the same way Saint Mary MacKillop did.
The Catholic Caring Foundation’s Caring Mass and Caring Awards
Our students Paris Latu, ‘Ala Latu, Jordana Schaaf and Najeer Payne were awarded a Caring Award by Bishop Patrick Dunn at the Catholic Caring Foundation’s Caring Mass and Caring Awards at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Wednesday July 26th, for their outstanding care and commitment to caring for others in our community.
The Foundation, through donations and bequests, has been supporting communities in need with grants for emergency housing, domestic violence prevention, elderly support, growth programmes for youth, food banks, refugee, migrant and new settler support services and families in crisis for over 25 years.
Please support the annual July Appeal and help those in desperate need in our community.
St Therese students contributed to the Community Mass on Sunday 25th June at St Therese Church. The Mass was led by the students of the school, alongside the Samoan Choir. The students represented the school reverently through: the Readings, the Prayers of the Faithful, the Offertory Procession and a Liturgical Dance. A huge thank you to Father Arul for giving us the opportunity to be actively involved in Sunday Masses, which enable the school and parish to continue to have a strong relationship.
St Therese School celebrates Pink Shirt Day and takes action to stop bullying
On 26 May 2017 St Therese School celebrated Pink Shirt Day to Speak Up, Stand Together and Stop Bullying.
This is the second year St Therese School has participated in Pink Shirt Day, which aims to create schools and communities where all people feel safe, valued and respected regardless of age, sex, gender identity, ability, or cultural background.
Year 7 and 8 students led and carried out activities outside the classroom during the lunch break to promote the idea of speaking up and standing together. To mark the occasion, students of the school also wore pink shirts as a visible sign of their support for this important day.
Pink Shirt Day provides us with a platform to raise awareness and understanding of this serious issue and take action to address it, all while having a lot of fun.
Thank you for the gold coins donations on the day, which will be used by the Mental Health Foundation to continue in it’s efforts for this cause.
Regular class masses, led by Father Arul, take place in the school library throughout the term. This is a chance for us to join together in a small group and grow in our understanding of the mass, as well as in our faith.
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."
The students of Room 5 led the Ash Wednesday Liturgy this year. The school listened as they were told the story of Jesus’ baptism and what the ashes that they were about to receive represented. We placed prayers asking for forgiveness in a basket and offered those prayers to God. Each class created a Lenten chain, on which each student had written what they have chosen to do for Lent this year in order to build a better relationship with God.
The St Therese School Opening Mass was held on Friday 3rd February. The theme of this mass was ‘Journeys’.
On the church walls surrounding us were our house Saints; Saint Therese, Mother Mary, St Francis and St Mary MacKillop, all who made many journeys in their lives. These journeys were not always easy, as they faced difficulties along the way, but they were continually strengthened by their faith to carry on. We were reminded during our Opening Mass that our journey through life will be filled with many different types of experiences, some good and some bad. Some will be exciting and some will be frightening.
When we set on our journey we don't know if it will be easy or difficult but we need to have courage and strength as we journey onwards.
We know that on our own Faith journey that we are never alone, that God is always with us, helping us on our way.
We will use this year to come to know God better and to grow in His love.
We would like to thank Father Arul, Father Anthony and Brother Michael for their presence at this special occasion, as well as all the parents and whanau that joined us. Thank you to the students of Room 6 for leading this mass with confidence and reverence.
“Lent is a favourable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognising in them the face of Christ. Each of us meets people like this every day. Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love. … Lent is the favourable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbour. I encourage all the faithful to express this spiritual renewal also by sharing in the Lenten Campaigns … and thus to favour the culture of encounter in our one human family.” Pope Francis Lenten Message 2017
Many difficulties currently being faced by the peoples of the Pacific (because of climate change) involve water; either too much, or not enough! People living in parts of Tonga, Kiribati and Papua New Guinea, are having to contend with TOO MUCH sea water, causing coastal erosion and inundation of land during king tides. At the same time there is NOT ENOUGH fresh water to drink, as their ground water is becoming contaminated by salt water. Island groups such as Fiji and Vanuatu are facing TOO MUCH water in the form of rain, and sea surges following fierce storms. Cyclones also lead to contamination of fresh water supplies, caused by debris from the storm falling into wells and water tanks. In Aotearoa New Zealand, West Coasters face TOO MUCH flood water, while on the east coast and in the far north there is NOT ENOUGH water, with longer and longer droughts being experienced.
Today we welcomed Gemma Sinnot from CARITAS into our classroom to further our understanding of how the Pacific nations are struggling, due to too much or too little water. We were guided through real life stories that made a big impact on us and as we grew in awareness we set a goal to help those in need in the upcoming Liturgical Season of Lent.