2018 Sacramental Programme

The next Sacramental programme for Year 4, 5 & 6 students will run from 11 February to 1 July 2018. 

Enrolment Sunday - 11 February 2018

Classes for Reconciliation - 5, 12, 19 March 2018

Reconciliation - 23 March 2018 (SMI)

Classes for Confirmationn- 30 April, 7, 14 May 2018

Confirmation - 20 May 2018 (Bishop Steve - Pentecost Sunday)

Classes for Eucharist - 28 May, 4, 11, 18 June 2018

Eucharist - 23-24 June 2018 (SMI) or 1st July 2018 (Te Puna)

The Sacramental Programme will be based at the Parish. Classes will be on a Monday 4pm-5:30pm.  (There will be no lessons taught at the School)

Catholic Character 28 September 2017

Sacramental Programme for 2018

The next Sacramental programme for Year 4, 5 & 6 students will run from 11 February to 1 July 2018. 

Enrolment Sunday - 11 February

Classes for Reconciliation - 5, 12, 19 March

Reconciliation - 23 March (SMI)

Classes for Confirmationn- 30 April, 7, 14 May

Confirmation - 20 May (Bishop Steve - Pentecost Sunday)

Classes for Eucharist - 28 May, 4, 11, 18 June

Eucharist - 23-24 June (SMI) or 1st July (Te Puna)

The Sacramental Programme will be based at the Parish. Classes will be on a Monday 4pm-5:30pm.  (There will be no lessons taught at the School)

Thank you
We thank Father Mark, Father Danny and our Parish of St Thomas Aquinas for the gift of a stunning new stained glass window of St Joseph, patron saint of the Cluny Sisters for our cluny Chapel to mark the occasion of our 75th Jubilee. Father Mark blessed the window during Room 10’s class mass this week.

St Francis of Assisi
On Monday during our school liturgy the school focused on St Francis of Assisi. 

St Francis was a wealthy young man of privilege, he served as a soldier and was a prisoner of war. He heard Gods call and went on to be one of the most venerated catholic saints. It is said he designed one of the first nativity sets and was the first man recorded to receive the Stigmata, the wounds of Christ.

Francis was a man of action. His simplicity of life extended to ideas and deeds. If there was a way, no matter how impossible it seemed, Francis would take it. So when Francis wanted approval for his brotherhood, he went straight to Rome to see Pope Innocent III. You can imagine what the Pope thought when this beggar approached him! As a matter of fact he threw Francis out. But when he had a dream that this tiny man in rags held up the tilting Lateran Basilica, he quickly called Francis back and gave him permission to preach. He died on October 4, 1226 at the age of 45. Francis is considered the founder of all Franciscan orders and the patron saint of ecologists and merchants.

To read the full story: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=50

October: Month of the Rosary

The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary.

How to pray the Rosary as a family:

Personalize it:  Each family member should have their own Rosary.  Children may play with it.  Girls may wear it as a necklace.  Boys will try to use it as a lasso.  That’s fine.  It helps them become familiar with a Rosary.  Eventually they will learn and grow in reverence for their Rosary.

Create a habit: Set a time that is comfortable for your family and that works without adding stress.  When it doesn’t happen, don’t give up entirely, just pick it up again the next day.

Create a space:  Set the tone for prayer so young children understand this is different than other family activities.  If possible, light a candle and play some soft, background, instrumental music.

Start small:  Be patient.  Don’t try to complete an entire Rosary the first time you gather together in prayer, particularly if you have young children.  Start with a decade and build over time.

Keep it simple:  The Rosary is a great way for young children to learn the Hail Mary, Our Father and Apostle’s Creed and to learn about the lives of Jesus and his Mother Mary.

Involve all family members: If children have a role, they will participate more fully and be more attentive. Let them lead a reflection or the prayers depending on their age.

Opportunity to teach:  Use the Rosary as a starting point to teach children about other aspects of their faith.  Children are curious and will ask questions.  Pause in prayer as necessary to answer their questions.  As they get older, you can hold their questions until prayer is complete.

Just start: There’s no time like the present and no place like home.

Pope Francis’  Monthly Intention for October 
Workers and the Unemployed

That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.

Teresa Rush

From the Principal - 28 September 2017

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou

Great to write to you at this time of celebration for our school.  The planning and preparation for our Jubilee provided a time to reflect on the very special place our school holds within the wider community of Tauranga Moana.  We are not just a Catholic School, we are one of the first schools established in our area.  However, the fact that we are indeed a Catholic School, commissioned by Bishop Liston and established by our Cluny Sisters richens this.  The place we hold in Tauranga Moana is significant for the growth of our Church and our city.  It is therefore fitting that we celebrated it as we have.

A very big thank you to all those who attended our Jubilee and a special thank you to all those who worked so hard and assisted in making it such a memorable weekend.

We had many past pupils return to the school from all parts of New Zealand and from overseas. All attendees appreciated the school’s hospitality, especially the students participation in the Kapa Haka welcome, the performances on Saturday and the Sursum Corda and Pasfika Group at Sunday’s Jubilee Mass. Our Year 6 students who offered to conduct tours of the school did an amazing job.

It was great to see so many of our families and pupils taking part in the peformances and old fashioned games at the Saturday picnic. 

One of the highlights at the Saturday night dinner was having two past pupils Kevin Farrelly and Jeremy Redmore entertain us with their singing. Jeremy, a former member of the band Midnight Youth.

Michael Cooney spoke about the origins of the school paying tribute to the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny and proposed a toast of thanks to the Sisters for establishing the school.

In her reply Sister Allison said how the Sisters were delighted that the charism of their foundress Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey is still being kept alive and how all members of the school community strive to live by her motto “To do a little good each day”.

The Jubilee Mass celebrated by Bishop Steve, Fathers Mark and Danny and Father John Joliffe was a wonderful and very fitting conclusion to our weekend.

In the words of Pope John Paul the second our Jubilee did express our gratitude for the past, our enthusiasm for the present and we pray that God will continue to abundantly bless St Mary’s School community in the future.

This week I have been visiting the Cluny Mother House in Paris.  A trip I have been looking forward to and anticipating for a long time.  When I first started at St Mary’s I was introduced to the history of our school and quickly made a connection with our origins and the success of today.  One of the key ingredients of this is our Cluny Charism.  

I had initially thought of Charism as a gift, and it is, but it is a gift that we need to develop, enhance and in turn pass on to those that will follow into our community.  We have an obligation to add to the amazing work of those who have made St Mary’s what it is today.  To contribute to the many qualities our school is so proud of and for whom our students benefit. 

It is my intention to therefore better understand the Cluny Charism on which our school was built and has prospered and hopefully return with an enhanced ability to continue the work our Cluny Sisters started so passionately 75 years ago.

Start of Term 4
In starting the new term the expectation is to see a major focus on personal uniform standards. A slight transition to summer footwear and the retirement of any visible under garments should take place by Monday 16 October. 

If your child is absent from school, please notify the school office by phone or text before 9.00am on the morning of the absence. The school absentee mobile number is:  021 2969437.  When a child returns to school after an absence please give a written explanation to his/her classroom teacher.

Late arrivals to school
We have noticed a growth in the number of students who are arriving late to school.  I realise that, on occasion, this cannot be avoided but unfortunately we have a number of students who arrive regularly after 9.00am.  The start of the school day is 8.50am.  It is important that students are here before this to ensure that they are ready for learning and do not disrupt a functioning class on their arrival.  

An alarming statistic at St Mary’s is that of all students who are late or absent for more than 15% of the school year, over 50% have achievement concerns.  Something that I believe is easily addressed.  Please make a big commitment next term to be at school on time.

Ben Fuller

Sports News - 30 August 2017

Bay of Plenty Steamers Squad
Thirty students were lucky enough to have some time with the Bay of Plenty Steamers Squad at The Adams High Performance Centre this week.  A massive thank you must go to Hobec Lawyers who organised this event for us.  We were lucky enough to have a look around the gym, spend some time watching the Steamers train, talk with various staff and hear about the culture and discipline that the Steamers have bought into their training (pictured).  Unfortunately due to the weather we were unable to do any drills with the team, however being able to announce the team to play this week on Facebook was a definite highlight.

Rugby 7’s
Our Year 6 Rugby 7’s team finished third in the Bay of Plenty Rugby 7’s tournament.  Coaches Mr Schuler and Mr. Broadmore were proud of the great team effort.  The team played 5 games, won 4 (lost in the semi-final to the eventual winners) scoring 24 tries and only let in 11.  

New Zealand Marist Colts
We recently had a visit from the New Zealand Marist Colts team (pictured).  The team spoke about the New Zealand Marist concept, individual players spoke about the importance of each of our school values and the session was finished with a small game and some drills on the field.  A particular highlight was the lineout lifting!!!  With teachers and students being hoisted high into the air by the players causing great excitement and laughter in the Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey Centre.

St Mary’s students continue to have outstanding success at gymnastics.  At a recent Midlands (Mid-North Island) Gymnastic competition in Hamilton.  In Step One Olivia Williamson (Year 4) had a fantastic competition, helping her team finish third.  Cleo Sands (Year 3) placed second on uneven bars and her team finished second overall.  Liae Yang (Year 3) had a number of placings over several apparatus and finished as the third placed individual overall.  Addison Sands (Year 2) finished first on vault, second on uneven bars, third on floor and second overall for the competition.  She had the highest overall score for the step twos, so was named the 2017 Step Two Midlands Champion!!!

So all in all, another fantastic term of sport of St Mary’s. I am looking forward to updating you all in the next newsletter, about our sports exchange with St Thomas More, which will take place before the end of the term.

Steven Finlayson
Sports Coordinator

St Mary's School Speech Finals 2017

At St Mary’s School we recognise that oral language (both listening and speaking) is vital for students to be able to communicate effectively.  In Tika and Maramatanga Teams we use poetry as a basis to recite and read aloud. We talk about voice projection, good expression, modulation and pace. With the students we identify ‘what good listeners do’ and discuss eye contact and the use of body language. 

As the students progress through to Whakapono Team, they are encouraged to take on more challenging types of public speaking with the main aim of writing a simple speech to present.  

All students in Aroha Team are supported to prepare and deliver a 3-5 minute formal speech around a topic of their choice. This process includes defining the purpose of the speech and constructing an effective introduction, body and sound conclusion. Original and thought-provoking ideas are encouraged. 

This year’s judges were Dee Ellwood (Private Speech and Drama tutor), Miss Millie Burton and Miss Abigail Speight  (students from Aquinas College). The judges used set criteria that are also used in the South Cluster Finals at the next level. This ensures consistency for all.

We are extremely proud of the standard of speeches this year.  Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists:

Tika Team
First Place - Dominic Leitch
Second Place - Maddie Mear
Third Place - Coco Jacobs
Highly Commended - Sadie Frank
Finalist - Regan Dobbs, Keegan Murphy, Vienna Vale, Arielle Duytshoff and Manaia Brazendale

Maramatanga Team - Year 2
First Place - Tommy Mason
Second Place - Milli Banbury
Third Place - Jake Swanson
Highly Commended- Lucy Greaves
Finalist - Harin Kum and Saoirse Williamson

Whakapono Team - Year 3 
First Place - Peter Chang
Second Place - George Hopkins
Third Place -  Hugo Palairet
Highly Commended - Ivy Hodgson- Barrett
Finalist - Liae Yang and Indie-Rose Scholes

Whakapono Team - Year 4 
First Place - Eva Jeffries
Second Place - Gia Dumbleton
Third Place - Sam Waylen
Highly Commended - Ciaran Manning
Finalist - Georgia Abernethy and Kate O’ Halloran

Aroha Team - Year 5 
First Place - Nathan Holmberg
Second Place - Finn Richards
Third Place - Briar Grace
Highly Commended - Tallulah Clark and Isla Wills

Aroha Team - Year 6 
First Place - Mila Laurie
Second Place - Niamh Manning
Third Equal- Henry Scholes
Third equal - Ferlyn Wijaya
Highly Commended - Jaime Lock and Jorja Smart

Good luck to Nathan Holmberg, Finn Richards, Mila Laurie and Niamh Manning who are representing St Mary’s at the South Cluster finals on Thursday 7 September.  

Anna MacKinnon
Deputy Principal

Special Character 30 August 2017

Thank You
Thank you to the families who returned the community survey for the Catholic Character review and for those who were able to make it to the parent meeting.

Church Strand - Religious Education Program

Currently in Religious Education the learning focus is on the Church. 

Year 0-1 learning:
Belonging. We belong to and participate and celebrate in communities such as our family-wha¯nau, our school and our parish. The Church is a community of Christ’s followers or disciples called together by the Holy Spirit to carry on Christ’s mission in life today.

Home learning ideas:

  • attend a parish function as a family
  • draw children’s attention to other people who belong to your parish

Year 2 learning:
Gathering, Celebrating, Living God’s Presence. Our local parish as it gathers, celebrates, lives and prays as a community, is a part of the Church which Jesus founded and is a sign which brings about God’s presence and love in the world. Belonging to a parish is both a privilege and a responsibility.

Home learning ideas:

  • identify the people who live nearby who belong to your parish and introduce your children to them
  • praise each other for responsible behaviour

Year 3 and 4 learning:
Called to be like Jesus.  The Scriptures record how Jesus called his disciples and apostles to follow him. Those who have been initiated into the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are also called to carry on the mission of Jesus. They do this by worshipping God and serving and loving others and always acting with tika and pono.

Called to Service. Through Baptism all are called to holiness, lived out through various vocations; single life, marriage, religious life or priesthood. As members of the Church, they are called to carry out its mission of service. 

Home learning ideas:

  • discuss the ways the Church carries on the mission of Jesus in the world today – caring, loving, helping, being with people in their times of need, showing respect for everyone especially those whose tapu has been violated or hurt
  •  have a box for family members to collect clothing, toys, etc which can be passed on to the St Vincent de Paul outlet


Year 5 and 6 learning:
The Church Celebrates.  Central to the life of the Church is worship of God through prayer, proclamation of the Word and celebration of sacraments. Central to this worship is the weekly celebration of the Eucharist on the Lord’s Day.

The Church as a Pilgrim People.  The Church is a Pilgrim People on a life journey – Te Wa towards God. Since the time of the early Church, Christians have used their different gifts to spread the Good News. Within the Church people follow different vocations such as the Religious Life, the Single Life or Marriage.

Home learning ideas:

  • pray together that each member of your family will recognise and respond to God’s call 
  • include single people in your family or parish in your family celebrations

Father’s Day Prayer
God of Abraham, Moses and Aaron;
of Zachary, father of John the Baptist,
of Joseph, foster-father of Jesus,
listen to our prayer:
Bless all who ‘father’ and protect new life in any way,
these ‘fathers’ who teach and guide,
who encourage and lead.

Invite them to the table of your eternal feast,
these ‘fathers’ who work hard to provide for the life
that has been entrusted to them.

Embrace them warmly in the intimacy of your love,
these ‘fathers’ who lift up with strength
those who are helpless and dependent.

Bless them today with all good things:
with health, with laughter, with joy and with love,
with pride in their ‘children’
and with the support of many friends.

May all ‘fathers’ who have protected and guided the life of others be themselves held securely one day in your strong embrace, there, for all eternity, to rejoice with their families and friends.

Playgroup at St Mary Immaculate 
Thursdays, 9am to 11am. Contact Anna 027 427 9921 or Pam 027 238 3092. 

Bishop Denis’ Jubilee
Bishop Steve Lowe and the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton invite you to join us for the celebration of Mass on Friday, 8 September 2017 at 6.00 pm for the Most Rev Denis Browne, Bishop Emeritus of Hamilton as he reaches the combined milestones of his 80th birthday, 55 years ordained a priest and 40 years as Bishop to be held at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Hamilton East. A light supper will be served in the church foyer after the Mass. 

Maori Spirituality – He Rau Toroa Workshop 
Tauranga 29 - 30 September & 13 - 14 October (2 Friday evenings and 2 Saturdays).  For more information, phone Cynthia Piper: 07 856 6989, or 0800 217 411. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Teresa Rush 

Sister Gabrielle Innovative Learning Environment

We are truly blessed in every sense of the word. We are all happily moved into our new innovative learning environment and settling into life in our Maramatanga hub. We wrote some awesome letters to thank Bishop Steve for our new classroom and the children have also been reflecting on our new space.

Donna Vincent
Maramatanga Team Leader 

On Friday Bishop Steve came to bless our new Sister Gabrielle learning environment. We gathered up in  the centre for a liturgy first. Then the Bishop and the rest of the school came down to our classroom. Maramatanga team got to sit in front of the classroom. The rest of the school sat on the tennis courts.

After that Bishop Steve blessed the water and it turned into holy water and it turned it into holy water. Then he sprinkled holy water all over the classroom so God can be with us. I felt really happy because it was a special day.  
Maebh Manning

Dear Bishop Steve

Thank you for our new classroom and also thank you for the oven. And lastly thank you for the shiny blue trays. I am also grateful for our blue and orange chairs, Last I love that we have got three teachers.
Love from Nelson Santos

From the Principal - 30 August 2017

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou

Greetings St Mary’s community, at an extremely busy and exciting time for our school.  A very warm welcome to our new students Declan Finlay, Claire Ma and Tomas Hooper. There is always a reason to be excited and this term we have not been without reason!  

As I write we are counting down to our school’s 75th Jubilee Reunion event.  Enclosed in this news letter is some specific information regarding the reunion weekend later this month.  Please take some time to look over this information as it is going to be a great event for our school and one that we all should be looking to take part in.  I would definitely encourage all to look at putting a table together for the dinner on Saturday night as a follow up to the family day of fun we have planned at School during the day.

Last week was an extremely proud moment for our school and particularly for myself as Principal.  We opened what is the first purpose build Innovative Learning Environment on our school site.  The Sister Gabrielle O’Neill Learning Environment.  The suggestion to name our new building after our special Cluny Sister was a great one and one that I am extremely pleased our Board approved.  

Being able to honour Sr Gabrielle as we did on Friday was one of the most rewarding moments of my time as Principal of this great school.  For those who were not able to be present below is a small excerpt from the dedication I made on behalf of our school community past and present.

Everyone who enters into our school community brings with them skills, commitment and a love for St Mary’s.  This is what leads people to contribute in the many ways that makes what happens at St Mary’s great.  You have heard me describe this in many ways, I talk about all of us combining to create the fabric of St Mary’s.  However, Sr Gabrielle as a Cluny Sister and as a Principal has not just been a part of the fabric or contributed to it, she helped weave it and though our school today may be very different to the one you led Sr it is still very much connected to your work and the work of your order.

In keeping with a focus on how lucky we are to be a Cluny School, earlier this term we host 18, yes 18! Cluny Sisters from around the Pacific region.  They all attended Mass on the Thursday and treated us with some of their singing.  An amazing treat for us all and a reminder of the amazing gift the Catholic Community of Tauranga has received from these awesome ladies.

New Gold Group Sponsor - First National

As a father and daughter team, Rod Sampson and Tammy Francis have blended their love of family with their passion for property - combining their strengths for a fresh approach to benefit all their clients.  

Rod, and his wife Lyn raised their family in the Bay of Plenty and as such, has a real passion for the region and a broad knowledge of what it has to offer.  

Tammy with her tenacity and determination has made real estate a natural transition for her, one that she is enjoying very much. With her son, Mason, at St Marys she is actively involved in the school and loves the sense of community that comes with being a part of that. 

They both understand that for vendors and buyers alike, property sales can be a stressful and emotional time. They do their utmost to make things as smooth and enjoyable as possible for all their clients by providing exceptional service, feedback and communication. To them, success is matching the right buyer to the right property, resulting in both a happy vendor and purchaser. 

We look forward to working with you and discussing the special offer we have for our St Marys families.

Nga Mihi Nui Kia Koutou

Ben Fuller

2018 Term Dates and Holidays

Term 1  

Wednesday 7 February to Friday 13 April (date change)

* Good Friday - Friday 30 March (school closed)

* Easter Monday - Monday 2 April (school closed)

* Easter Tuesday - Tuesday 3 April (school closed)


Term 2

Monday 30 April to Friday 6 July

* Queens Birthday - Monday 4 June (school closed)


Term 3

Monday 23 July to Friday 28 September


Term 4

Monday 15 October to Thursday 20 December (date change)

* Labour Day - Monday 22 October (school closed)