On Sunday 29 May, 70 young people from our St Thomas Aquinas Parish received the Sacrament of Confirmation and Holy Communion for the first time. Many of those children were from St Mary’s School. Bishop Steve led us in the most beautiful Mass along with Father Mark, Father Edwin and Father Brian
and we were so proud of our children. We were proud of how they had prepared for the day and how they conducted themselves at this most special celebration. They looked absolutely gorgeous as well!! We hope and pray that this is the beginning of a lifelong commitment to them meeting and receiving Jesus in the precious gift of the Eucharist. The children all took away from the day many things including
an onion. Here is a beautiful summary from one of our children about the significance of the onion “ The onions were a sign to symbolize faith. Onions bring flavour to food, but faith brings flavour to life. You must never forget about the flavour of faith. The flavour of faith is the Holy Spirit, it brings the flavour to life of all who have received it.”
A huge thank you to all those staff and members
of our parish community involved with the teaching, administration and running of the programme, for the Mass itself and for the Communion Breakfast – an outstanding team effort which resulted in the most wonderful and memorable day.
Photos can be viewed at http://snaphappy.co.nz/fhcpage.html and will be online from Friday 24 June.
2 December 2016
Kia ora koutou katoa
It is hard to imagine that this time last week we were immersed in the warm but consistent drizzle that descended on day two of the Tauranga Moana Ra Whakangahau Kapa Haka Festival. (see photos here)
As you are aware, this is the first time St Mary's has hosted this festival and I certainly hope it is not the last. I realise we now have a responsibility to hand over the Mauri and present a new school with the challenge of hosting this fantastic event. In doing so we are able to provide who ever picks up the rakau in 2017 with a fantastic framework for success.
The spirit of the Ra Whakangahau is providing all children with the opportunity to participate in a quality Kapa Haka festival. In doing so we create memories for these children and grow them as people. I want to thank you all for the part you had in making this happen for the children of Tauranga Moana in 2016.
At St Mary's we set very high standards for ourselves and many aspects of our organisation were ambitious. However, in true style, we pulled it off providing our wider community something to be extremely proud of. Comments from other kura include.
A huge thank you to you and your crew from us at Pillans Point School. What a fantastic event - so well run, especially in some challenging conditions.
We loved being a part of it and please pass on to Ben, that we appreciate it hugely what you have done for our community, culture and schools in the area.
On behalf of all the students, staff and parents at Matahui School our thanks for the way in which you hosted us at the festival. Whilst we were unable to stay long, the time we were there your student mentors and support team gave us every assistance possible.
The task of hosting such an event is immense and we do appreciate the lengths the school went to in hosting us all.
Lastly....thank you for the koha. It was a kind and generous thought. We shall display it with a photo of our roopu as a tangible memory of the day.
Congratulations for hosting a tremendous Ra Whakangahau 2017 festival.
Greenpark performed yesterday and were extremely impressed with the organisation, venue and general vibe of the festival.
We are aware it is a huge under taking to host an event of this magnitude and would like to express our gratitude to you personally as well as the organising committee, staff and pupils of St Mary's school.
From this office I am extremely fortunate to be in a position to receive such feedback but am grateful that I can also pass it to all those who made this possible.
To the many volunteers within our community who made it possible, my heartfelt thanks to you all.
Nga mihi kia koutou
18 November 2016
The festival will start with a Powhiri at 8.30am, this will be closely followed with our school performance at 9.15am. Both St Thomas More and Aquinas College Kapahaka Students will be present at the powhiri and will follow on from the performance of our school. The first day will conclude at approximately 2.30pm. Performances start again at 9am Friday morning, with the final performance again at approximately 2.30pm.
School Based Organisation
Classes will run as normal during this time but teachers have been encouraged to spend as much time as possible taking in the unique opportunity the festival presents. There are a number of food stalls that will be in operation during the day and children will be able to purchase items at interval and lunchtime should they wish to. More information in regard to this is again available on our school website.
Key Messages for Parents
With over 5000 people expected to visit our school site over the two days there will firstly be a lot of extra people around our school site and surrounding area. To help manage the traffic in around our school we are operating a park and ride service from Memorial Park however, it would be advisable to take extra care when collecting and dropping off students. The eastern end of Harvey Street will also be closed to traffic from 8am until 3pm so please make sure you allow plenty of time to park appropriately and accompany students to and from your cars.
As parents we would like to, of course, encourage you to take the time to come down and enjoy the festival. There is no charge to enter and morning tea and lunch times would present opportunities for you to watch the festival with your children. As mentioned, food stalls are operating with many options for you to enjoy.
Food available at the Food Stalls
Hangi - $10
Raw Fish - $4
Mussel Fritter with Bread - $4
St Mary’s Maori Burger - $4
Pies - including the famous ‘Boil Up’ Pie - $4
Sausages Rolls & Savouries - $2
Sausage Sizzle - $2
Smoothies - $4
Ice Blocks & Ice Cream - $2 - $4
Fruit Cups - $3
Juice, Bottled Water - $2 - $3
Cakes, slices, muffins - various prices
10 May 2016
This year Hato Maria (St Mary’s) will be hosting the 2016 Tauranga Moana Kapa Haka Festival on the 24th and 25th of November. As a Kura we have participated in the festival in the last three years and we now have the privilege to host it. This is an event that provides primary age school children with the opportunity to participate in Kapa Haka performance in a non competitive atmosphere. As the first Catholic School to host this event we will be looking to work with our other Catholic Schools and wider Whanau to impart Kaupau o Katorika (aspects Catholic) throughout the festival.
We anticipate over 40 schools participating, with up to 5000 spectators and performers visiting our school over the two days of the festival. How can we help I hear you say? Stand by for information from our Whanau group regarding invitations to attend related meetings and to be a part of working parties.
May I first convey my thanks for the contribution all made towards the success of our Trek to the Top musical production. In reflecting on the week of performances there is possibly no better way to bring a school community together in celebration of student achievement.
The focus of education in New Zealand is very much centred on academic achievement and in the primary sector, achievement specifically in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. You will not hear me say that this is not important. However, after witnessing the artistic expression portrayed by our amazing students during Trek to the Top journey, I will definitely continue to advocate for the incorporation of a range of opportunities for children to experience success.
A special mention must go to the outstanding husband and wife Gobsmacked team of Patrice and Dion Williamson. Congratulations to you both. My heartfelt thanks to my staff for your passion and support of the production. In particular a special thank you to Pip Berquist for your fantastic leadership in our Trek to the Top.
Check out the Gobsmacked photos here....https://gobsmacked.smugmug.com