St Mary's Catholic School 17 November - Term 4 Week 5

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Gospel Reading

Mark 13:24-32

Jesus teaches about the signs of the coming of the Son of Man.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Last Sunday is the second to last Sunday of our liturgical year. As we approach the end of the Church year, our Gospel invites us to consider Jesus’ predictions and teaching about the end of the world. In the context of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus’ words about this are spoken to his disciples as he prepares them for his passion and death.

Before we consider Jesus’ words, it is important to note the political backdrop against which many think Mark’s Gospel was written. Most scholars concur that Mark wrote his Gospel for Christians living in or near Rome about 30 to 40 years after the death of Jesus. This was a time of political turmoil in Rome. Some Christians experienced persecution by the Romans during the reign of the emperor Nero (about 64 A.D.). Jewish revolutionaries rebelled against the Romans, which led the Romans to destroy the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. In this time of political turmoil and persecution, many in Mark’s community might have wondered if the end times predicted by Jesus were in fact quite near.

Last Sunday we heard Jesus’ observation about the contributions being made to the temple treasury and the example of sacrificial giving that he saw in the poor widow’s offering. If we had been reading Mark’s Gospel continuously, we would have heard Jesus predict the destruction of the Temple, his teaching about the costs of discipleship, and the woes that will accompany the end times. Finally, we would have heard Jesus instruct his disciples about the need for watchfulness so that they will not be caught unprepared for this final day of judgment.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus continues this teaching by offering his disciples signs to look for that will indicate that the coming of the Son of Man is near. His words and images draw upon Old Testament imagery, especially images found in the Book of Daniel. Next, Jesus offers the lesson of the fig tree, a parable that teaches that if one knows how to read the signs, one can be prepared for the end times. Jesus also teaches, however, that no one knows when the end time will come, except the Father. In the verses that follow this reading in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus continues to warn his disciples to be on watch for this end time.

Jesus’ words are not spoken to frighten his disciples, nor should they frighten us. Rather, they are offered to prepare us for the changes we will experience during our lifetimes and at the end times. Our consolation and hope is found in the lasting nature of Jesus’ words and God’s never-ending love for us.


Tēnā koutou kātoa e te whānau,

Tihei mauri ora, nau mai, haere mai, tena koutou katoa, E nga whanau, e nga kaiako, e nga tamariki, e nga manuhiri, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

I want to once again thank all our volunteers throughout our school who support all the activities our children are in as well as sending us your vaccination record. These are very strange and unprecedented times and we are faced with decisions we never thought we would be making. This newsletter is a follow-up reminder about our Alert Level 2 protocols and the vaccination requirements. I just want to highlight the mask wearing and if you need to come into the classrooms could you please wear a face mask. At the end of the school day we have noticed a number of children playing in and around the estuary, mainly unsupervised. We ask that children are picked up promptly and you follow the requirements of Alert Level 2 by not staying too long at the end of the day.

Thank-you in advance for your cooperation.

Staffing for 2022

Staffing for 2022 is currently:

Tika - Whanau Fraser(NE), Whanau Strange (NE), Whanau Mayall (Yr 1), Whanau Goldsmith (Yr 1).

Maramatanga: (Yr 2) Whanau Oates, Whanau King, Whanau Piceno.

Whakapono: (Yr 3) Whanau Cochrane, Whanau Yorke/Kenny, Whanau Meehan, (Yr 4), Whanau Tanner, Whanau Walter, Whanau Wood.

Aroha: (Yr 5/6)Whanau Akkerman, Whanau Robbie, Whanau McCabe, Whanau Laban, Mrs. Kelliher and Mrs. McIntosh will share the other class. Please note this is subject to change

Mrs Tania Yorke has been granted study leave and will start the year off and Mrs Kenny will take over from week 9.

Vaccination Information

At 11.59pm on Monday 25 October the COVID-19 Public Health Response Order for Mandatory Vaccinations for Education came into effect.

Everyone who works or volunteers for a school who may have contact with children or students or will be present at a time when children and students are also present must have had a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 15 November and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

The vaccination requirements apply wherever in person schooling occurs, such as on the school site, but also at school camps, swimming pools, museums, or where other education outside the classroom (EOTC) programmes take place.

This means that we are only allowed to allow people to help at school events with children if they have had at least their first dose by 16 November, and are fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

We already have a school requirement that adults who wish to help on trips, camps or in class must have a police vet through the school within the last three years. This order is now included with that requirement for us. If you wish to be involved as a helper in any events after 16 November, please email through or pop by school with evidence of your vaccination/s before that date. When school starts next year, we will need evidence of full vaccination by 1 January for any school helpers. We will store your information privately in our school database.

The requirements do not apply to people who are just visiting the school, such as for a learning conference or a parent, whānau and community evening.

Sun Safety

Sun block will be available in classrooms but I would suggest applying sunblock to your child in the morning before school as an additional precaution. As I am sure you do as parents, we encourage children to manage themselves when it comes to sunscreen. Our teachers will always give reminders but are unable to apply sun block to their entire class.

A reminder also that it is compulsory for students to have a school sun hat. The NO HAT NO PLAY rule will apply immediately. If children do not have a school hat they will be asked to play in designated covered area.

If your child requires any alterations to the uniform then please write a note to your child's teacher explaining.

Gold Sponsors

At the beginning of every newsletter we will feature one of our Gold Sponsors. We value and appreciate their support in our community.

2022 Enrolments

As the end of the year draws closer and next year beckons, it is important that, we as a school are aware of any intentions to leave the area and / or our school. Also, if you have children turning 5 next year, or know of families who intend to enrol at St Mary’s at any time during 2022, then please ensure the enrolment procedures are started now and contact the school office.

Ngā mihi nui

James Murray


Praying the Rosary

A reminder that Koralee Brazendale will be leading the Rosary every Monday and Friday afternoon from 2.30pm - 2.55pm in the school chapel.

You do not need to know how to pray the Rosary, just come and listen in. You are all very welcome!

For more information please contact

Whānau Oates Mass Term 4 2021
It has been wonderful welcoming our forty new children to St Mary's this term. Please watch our new children and new families video below.
New Families Liturgy Term 4 2021

Tauranga Shoebox Christmas Appeal

This week we delivered over 80 beautifully filled and wrapped shoeboxes to the Tauranga Shoebox Christmas charity headquarters.

Thank you very much for your generous support in bringing Christmas cheer to those less fortunate than ourselves!

Hugo & Mrs Broadmore

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Te Kōpuha Hāpori - Our St Mary's Community Bach

Our library is going through an exciting change, which will transform it from just a library where children can read, to a welcoming space where our school community can meet and spend time together. This year we will see changes to the outside of the building in the way of two very special murals. Two local artists will create the murals for us. Artist Alex McLeod has been busy recreating Sister Gabrielle's beautiful stained glass artwork of our foundress, Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey. This mural is looking fantastic and has given the children an opportunity to watch a very talented artist in action. In December, another local artist, Faye Chadburn, will begin her work on the other exterior walls of the space. We look forward to sharing photos and updates with you over the coming months.

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For science this term, Aroha students are building their knowledge and investigating the water cycle. Here are a few pictures of their experiments.
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Aroha Athletics

Athletics Day Movie

Speech and Drama Lesson 2022 Forms

Last week our Speech and Drama students enjoyed performing to a small audience in the centre. Due to the current Alert Level we were not able to invite parents and whānau, however some of our wonderful Year 6 girls, Greta, Maebh and Ella, did record some of the performances. The girls did a great job videoing the performances but did face a few technical difficulties - our apologies in advance.

Our thanks again to Dee Ellwood for the incredible work she does with our Speech and Drama students!

Performance 1

Performance 2

Performance 3

Performance 4

Performance 5

Performance 6

Performance 7

Please use the links below if you would like to enrol your child into Speech and Drama lessons for 2022.

Speech and Drama Enrolment forms for 2022 are now available here

Application form for the St Mary’s Catholic School’s Whakamana Korero Scholarship is available here



Cricket - cancelled due to the weather

Summer Netball - Year 6 team had a great win against Mount in the first game of the season and their first time playing 7 aside.

Mini Polo - First games of the season. A win for the St Mary's Rockets and a loss for Shooters, Hurricanes and Boosters.

Water Polo - Win for the St Mary's Sunfish and a loss for the St Mary's Moonfish.

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Term 4 - Monday 18 October - Friday 17 December (12 noon)

Monday 25 October - Labour Day

Friday 12th November - Accord Day Teacher Only Day


Term 1 - Thursday 3 February - Thursday 14 April

Monday 7 February - Waitangi Day

Term 2 - Monday 2 May - Friday 8 July

Monday 6 June - Queen's Birthday

Friday 24 June - Matariki

Term 3 - Monday 25 July - Friday 30 September

Term 4 - Monday 17 October - Tuesday 20 December

Monday 24 October - Labour Day

There is provision for two Teacher only days and two Accord days to be added to the 2022 calendar year.

Please support our Gold Group Sponsors