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.
We celebrated the successes of our graduating Year 8 students at our St Therese Graduation Mass.
The Year 8 students displayed their leadership and maturity, as they read, danced and passed the St Therese candle to one of our youngest students, who will pass it to our new leaders in the Opening Mass of 2017.
It was lovely to see so many members of the St Therese community join together for this special occasion.
We congratulate Ana Otufangavalu, Gloria Akatere, Joseph Otufangavalu, Marysiana Tauiliili and Hannah Torres who received their First Holy Communion.
We pray that Jesus, the Bread of Life and Cup of Eternal Salvation, will always nourish your faith.
The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated on Sunday 14 August. The actual date of the Feast is 15 August, so the school held a special Mass on that day.
The Assumption is one of the few Feast days that the Catholic Church sets aside as a Holy Day of Obligation, on which all Catholics are expected to attend Mass. On this special feast day, as Catholics, we gather together to remember and celebrate the special place that Mary, the mother of Jesus, has in the Catholic Church. For our children at St Therese School, Mary is an ideal role model because all through her life she demonstrated 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 our 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 our celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we remember the importance of the role Mary accepted. The tradition of Church teaches that because of Mary’s faithfulness and holiness, God rewarded her in a way that no other human being has ever been rewarded. 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. The Assumption teaches that Mary was the first human being to participate in her son’s Resurrection and that she waits in heaven for us to join her in the Resurrection and in life everlasting. She is the special patron of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
St Mary MacKillop is a very important person in the history of our school. She founded the order of the Sisters of St Joseph, who founded St Therese School. The students have been studying her life and worked hard to prepare and present a Liturgy celebrating her Feast Day on 8th August.
Our students Jan Lomboy, Malaika Peters and Grace Leumuava 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 27th, 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, foodbanks, refugee, migrant and new settler support services and families in crisis for over 25 years.
To find out more about the Foundation please go to www.caringfoundation.org.nz
We celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi this year through a community mass. The students of St Therese School joined together with the parish community on Sunday 29th May at St Therese Church. It was lovely to see so many families and friends come along to celebrate this special occasion. Through participation, readings, prayers, song and dance our St Therese students displayed their amazing talents and faith. A huge thank you to Father Joe and the Holy Angels Choir and all those in the parish who played a role in the mass.
For Pink Shirt Day students were asked to wear pink to join together to raise awareness for those children who are bullied and excluded. The day promoted acceptance and diversity of all people and encouraged each and every child to appreciate what was special about themselves and those around them.
For Catholic School’s day this year we were fortunate to be invited to spend the day alongside Christ the King School, St Mary’s School and Santa Maria college to celebrate Mass together as Catholic Schools. Hosted by Christ the King, mass was then followed by a wide range of fun and energetic activities for all students. The senior students of Sancta Maria College led these activities amazingly. We left Catholic Schools Day with new learning, new friendships, an appreciation of our school and big smiles upon our faces.
We regularly have class masses at St Therese during the week, led by Father Joe. We gather together in the school library to celebrate mass and grow in our faith.
Rooms 5 and 6 shared in an emotional journey as they reenacted Jesus’ last day through the Stations of the Cross. We grew in our knowledge of the events, as well as in our faith during the sharing of these events with the students and whanau of St Therese School on Holy Thursday.
A great day was had with the whole school taking part in the ‘Move It’ challenge to raise money for Caritas. This year the focus was on Cambodia and all students first learnt how difficult life is in the villages in Cambodia. They learnt that children, their own age, had to walk for miles to collect clean water for their families to drink. With this in mind, St Therese school decided to try and empathise with these children in Cambodia and see what is was like to walk for miles, carrying a load. With help from the seniors of the school, children were sponsored for this great walk and through that St Therese School raised $1708.00. A fantastic achievement, but the most important part was that the children of St Therese have now more of an understanding of the hardships that the children of Cambodia go through.