St Mary's Catholic School Tauranga

Newsletter 24th February 2021 - Term 1 Week 4

First Sunday of Lent, Cycle B

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Gospel Reading

Mark 1:12-15
Jesus is tempted in the desert by Satan.

Background on the Gospel Reading

On the first Sunday of Lent, the Gospel reading in each Lectionary cycle is about Jesus’ temptation in the desert. This event in the life of Jesus is reported in each of the Synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—but it is not found in John’s Gospel. This year we read Mark’s account of this event.

Compared to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the details throughout Mark’s narrative are sparse. This is evident in Mark’s account of Jesus’ temptation in the desert. Mark tells us only that Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit and that for 40 days he was tempted by Satan. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke explain that Jesus fasted while in the desert, that Satan presented him with three temptations, and that Jesus refused each one, quoting Scripture. Only the Gospels of Matthew and Mark report that angels ministered to Jesus at the end of his time in the desert.

In each of the Synoptic Gospels, the temptation of Jesus follows his baptism by John the Baptist. In Mark’s Gospel, we are told that Jesus went into the desert immediately after his baptism, led by the Spirit. Jesus’ public ministry in Galilee begins after his temptation in the desert. Mark’s Gospel makes a connection between the arrest of John the Baptist and the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus’ preaching about the Kingdom of God is in continuity with the preaching of John the Baptist, but it is also something new. As Jesus announces it, the Kingdom of God is beginning; the time of the fulfillment of God’s promises is here.

The fact that Jesus spent 40 days in the desert is significant. This recalls the 40 years that the Israelites wandered in the desert after being led from slavery in Egypt. The prophet Elijah also journeyed in the desert for 40days and nights, making his way to Horeb, the mountain of God, where he was also attended to by an angel of the Lord. Remembering the significance of these events, we also set aside 40 days for the season of Lent.

In Mark’s Gospel, the desert marks beginning of Jesus’ battle with Satan; the ultimate test will be in Jesus’ final hours on the cross. In a similar way, our Lenten observances are only a beginning, a preparation for and a reinforcement of our ongoing struggle to resist the temptations we face in our lives. During Lent, we are led by the Holy Spirit to remember the vows of Baptism in which we promised to reject sin and to follow Jesus. Just as Jesus was ministered to by the angels, God also supports us in our struggle against sin and temptation. We succeed because Jesus conquered sin once and for all in his saving death on the cross.

Principal's Message

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.

Swimming Sports

Thank you very much to all of our children, parent helpers and Rachel Parry our Sports co-ordinator for the fantastic swimming sports held last Thursday. We were blessed to have so many parent helpers who helped make sure the day ran smoothly. Congratulations to all those children that competed in the competitive and non-competitive races. It certainly brought out the wonderful house competition who were led beautifully by their house leaders.

See photos on our Facebook page.


School and home are a partnership and we want to work together for each child to reach their potential. If there are any concerns throughout the year with your child, please contact your child's classroom teacher first. If you are not satisfied, then you should make contact with the Team Leader. If you are still not satisfied with this, then make a time to come in and see Lisa Broadmore and then the Principal. It is imperative to follow this process and the teacher should always be the first port of call. There are many things that happen for children in their day and if you are concerned it is best to come in and see the teacher or email them with a time to meet to discuss your concern. We need to make sure we have all the information before we discuss the concern. We need to work in partnership to grow the capacity of our children.

School starts at 8.50 am

A reminder that school starts at 8.50 am and it is imperative that children are here on time. If for any reason your child will be late please ring 578 8066, or text 021 2969437 the office to let them know. If your child is late you must come through the school office to sign them in.

School Magazine

Last year a lot of time and effort was placed into the school magazine. We still have a significant amount of magazines left. We have only sold 90 of the 250 ordered. If you would like a magazine please purchase one from the office.

Lost property

This continues to be a frustration for all concerned. Could we please ask you to make sure everything is named so we can return it to its owner. Each Team has a container for lost property to go into and some items do turn up elsewhere. The teachers and staff are working hard to return all named items regularly.

Parent catch-ups

Every Tuesday from 9am-9.30am I will be in the staffroom for parents to catch up, ask questions, challenge us and discuss any items relating to the school. This is an opportunity to grow strong open relationships.

Learning sharing for Term 1

At the end of Term 1 parents will view information regarding goals achieved and a point on the graph to show where your child is at. We will also have face to face - Kanohi ki te kanohi meeting with parents - Term 1 Week 11 Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th April to discuss the HERO report and the spelling assessment. More information regarding booking meeting times will be shared shortly.

A-Typical parents coffee group

Coffee group for parents with special needs children, 9am to 11am last Thursday of the month in Term time. The meeting dates for the first half of the year are: Thursday 25 February, 25 March, 27 May, 24 June. For further information email: Mary-Jane:

God Bless, James Murray, Principal

Christchurch earthquake prayers

We keep in our prayers this week the memorial and 10th Anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake. A day that Aotearoa suffered a tragedy that affected so many people. Out of the darkness, the resilience of people, the hope, kindness and love that shone was inspiring.

Ash Wednesday Liturgy

Class Mass Thursday’s 9am at St Mary’s School

We look forward to our first Class Mass for this year in the Chapel.

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew:18, 1-5)

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.


This is a Sacrament instituted by Jesus in his love and mercy to offer us forgiveness for the times we have sinned and turned away from God. At the same time, we are reconciled with the Church because it is also wounded by our sins.

Every time we sin, we hurt ourselves, other people and God. In Reconciliation, we acknowledge our sins before God and the Church. We express our sorrow in a meaningful way, receive the forgiveness of Christ and his Church, make reparation for what we have done, and resolve to do better in the future.

New Families Liturgy Tuesday 2nd March 10 am

Next Tuesday we look forward to welcoming our new students, staff and whanau to St Mary’s School in the BAMJC (Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey Centre).


All ages and year levels. If you are considering your child/children being Baptised into the Catholic faith, we are now beginning preparation for Baptism of school-aged children at the school.

As a parish school, we are able to offer students classes during the school day. The required parent preparation for your child’s Baptism will be done through the parish.

If you would like to find out more information about the lessons and preparation please contact Mrs Teresa Rush.

Parish dates for 2021 Parent Baptism courses:

3rd March, 5th May, 7th July, 1st September, 3rd November from 7pm to 9pm at St Mary Immaculate Church. Please contact the Parish office to enrol.

Parish School Mass Saturday 13th March at 5 pm

Our first Parish School Mass for the year at St Mary Immaculate Church. This year we thought we would try something a bit different, so, after Mass, we invite the parish and school community to join us for a picnic - 6:30 pm - 8 pm on the school grounds. Bring your picnic dinner, blanket, chairs etc and spend time together.

Sacramental Programme

Reconciliation, Confirmation, Eucharist: Year 5 and 6 Students

2021 Sacramental Programme

  • for children who are in Year 5 or above, in the year they are enrolling in the programme

  • all lessons (Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist) are held mainly on MONDAY afternoons, 4 pm to 5.30 pm at St Mary Immaculate Church

  • The online enrolment form will be available from12th February 2021 using the below link.

  • The full Sacramental Programme timetable will also be made available from this link in due course.

  • The first lesson will begin on Monday 8th March 2021.

  • Confirmation will be held on Sunday 23rd May 2021 (Pentecost Sunday), 2pm at St Mary Immaculate Church with Bishop Steve.

Enrol here now:

Celebration Hui

Last weeks celebration Hui was led by Aroha. Aroha shared their swimming sports day, watch their video on our Facebook page here. Whakapono, Maramatanga and Tika shared their learning for the last few weeks. The Communication Ambassadors, Liturgical Leaders, Peer Mediators, STEM Leaders, Environmental Leaders, Dynamos and Librarians were also introduced to the school.

Estuary Day

Whanau Robbie had their estuary day today exploring the plant and animal life that lives in that environment. They used robust scientific methods to record all the animal and plant species they found. The purpose of the day is to identify the health of our estuary and report the findings to local scientists and inform stakeholders of the condition of our natural environment. View photos on our Facebook page here.

Fuse Drumming

We are taking Junior Fuse enrollments now. Class to start in March. Get in quick before our spaces fill up. For more info, please check out our website: or jump on facebook to check out our videos. Fuse on Facebook or call Carl Homersham 020 4000 5008

The Great Tauranga Duck Race Aroha Fundraiser

The Great Tauranga Duck Race is on Sunday 11 April held on The Strand Waterfront, Tauranga.

This week Aroha students will be asked to sell a book of 5 tickets at $5.00 each. All proceeds from the sale of the tickets will come directly back to the school. There is no pressure to sell tickets. This is a fun event run by Rotary Tauranga Te Papa and raises money for Combined Tauranga Surf Life Saving by way of corporate sponsorship of the event and corporate duck sales. Corporate ducks are $200 + gst and can be purchased by contacting Brett Bell-Booth (pictured) 021 825504. Imagine watching 5000 yellow ducks being dropped into the Tauranga Harbour. Each duck is numbered with a ticket number. If your duck comes first, second or third you could win; First Prize: $1,000. Second Prize: $500. Third Prize: $250.

Tickets are also available to purchase from the school office - cash only please.

Whole School & Team Upcoming Events

  • PTA Outdoor Adventure Day - Friday 26 February
  • New children and new family liturgy - Tuesday 2 March - 10am
  • Parent Meeting - KOS - Wednesday 3 March - 2pm
  • PTA Outdoor Adventure Day pp date - Friday 5 March
  • Sacramental programme begins - Monday 8 March
  • Whakapono camp - Thursday 11 March to Friday 12 March
  • Newsletters - Every 2nd Wednesday starting from 10th February

Term Dates

Term 1 - Ends Friday 16 April

Friday 2 April, Monday 5 April, Tuesday 6 April - Easter holidays

Term 2 - Monday 3 May - Thursday 8 July

Monday 7 June - Queens Birthday

Friday 9 July - Kahui Ako Teacher Only Day

Term 3 - Monday 26 July - Friday 1 October

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

Monday 25 October - Labour Day

From the Parish

Parish Youth Choir

An invitation to students years 5 and 6 who would like to sing in the Parish Youth Choir. Please register/enrol online go to the parish website - Youth portal. Practise are Wednesday’s 5 pm at St Mary Immaculate Church.

Please support our Gold Group Sponsors