St Mary's Catholic School 14 December 2022 - Term 4 Week 9

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Fourth Sunday of Advent, Cycle A

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Gospel Reading

Matthew 1:18-24

An angel appears to Joseph, directing him to take Mary as his wife and telling him that the child she will bear will be called Emmanuel.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Finally, on this the Fourth Sunday of Advent, our Gospel Reading permits us to begin our contemplation of the mystery of the Incarnation we celebrate at Christmas: “Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about” (Matthew 1:18).

The Gospel of Matthew tells the story of the birth of Jesus from Joseph's perspective. Today's Gospel passage is the second movement in this story. In the preceding verses of the first chapter of Matthew's Gospel, the Evangelist has listed the genealogy of Jesus, tracing his lineage through King David to Abraham. In the chapter to follow, Matthew tells of the visit from the Magi, the Holy Family's flight into Egypt, and Herod's massacre of the infants in Bethlehem. (The other stories which we associate with Christmas, the Annunciation, the Visitation, the angel and the shepherds, are found in the Gospel of Luke).

We must not gloss over too quickly the difficult circumstances described in today's Gospel. The way that Joseph and Mary face these circumstances tells us much about these holy people and their faith in God. Joseph and Mary are betrothed to be married. This is sometimes described as an engagement period, but it is more than that. Betrothal in first century Jewish culture was in fact the first part of the marriage contract. A breach of this contract was considered adultery. Mary is found to be with child. If adultery is proven, the punishment might be death. Joseph has rights under Mosaic law, but chooses to act discreetly in his plans to break the marriage contract, so as to protect Mary. Then God intervenes.

The message of the angel of the Lord given to Joseph in his dream tells us much about the child that Mary bears and his role in God's plan. He is conceived by the Holy Spirit. His name will be Jesus, which in the Hebrew means “Yahweh saves.” He will be the fulfillment of the prophecy heard in today's first reading from Isaiah: “. . . The virgin shall be with child . . . and shall name him Emmanuel [God with us].”

Joseph does as the angel of the Lord directs. He takes Mary to be his wife and accepts the child in her womb as his own. Joseph and Mary are both cooperative with God's plan. They are both models for us of what it means to be faithful servants of God.


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

Thank-you to all those families that were able to make our Junior and Senior Prize Givings. They were wonderful celebrations of learning and it was fantastic to see our families attend. We will share a link to those families that would like to view our Mass and Yr 6 graduation at the Church on Thursday at 10am. This will be done through the Parish website. Details are below:

Best way is to go to the Parish website, the link is:

From there you can choose to view either via FaceBook or YouTube.

If you access FB or YouTube before we actually go live, you will need to "refresh" the page just before the Mass begins.

On Friday at 10.30am in the centre we will have some carols, the Yr 6 dance again, teacher dance and a couple of sports trophies that were not handed out during the week. Parents are welcome. Morning tea for the children will still be 11am-11.20am. Then school finishes for 2022 at 12pm.

Despite the challenges that 2022 has posed, I am again immensely proud of how our staff, whānau, students and community have supported each other during these trying times, and continued to ensure we maintain a catholic culture of togetherness and learning. We are also immensely thankful to our community who have been able to adapt to the way school has operated over the course of this year. May we rest, reflect, and get ready for 2023.

Even though we have had our challenges, I want to thank everyone for the way they approach these challenges. We should always remember that decisions are always made with love and care. There are times we may get it wrong, however it is up to us adults to guide and educate our children through these times. We should also remember to celebrate the fact children never stop learning. It is important we take stock of things and allow a moment to reflect and acknowledge what has been achieved.

HERO Reporting

I hope our families had a wonderful time sharing the reports with each other. We were pleased our community were able to read and share these with their child and teacher.

The children visited their 2023 classrooms today and families have been notified via HERO of their child's class placement. We have really tried to make sure we have done the right thing by all children. This will always never be perfect, but could I ask that you trust us, see how the first few weeks go before we make any decisions. All placements come with excellent intentions and from a place of care. We have many factors to take into account as we place our beautiful children. Thank-you for your understanding around this.

Staffing for 2023

Tika Maramatanga: Whānau Fraser (NE), Whānau Strange (NE), Nikki Turner (Yr 1), Whānau Goldsmith (Yr 1), Whānau Mayall (Yr 1/2), Whānau King (Yr 2/ 3), Whānau Piceno (Yr 2/ 3),

Whānau Cochrane (Yr 2 / 3), Whānau Kenny (Yr 2 / 3), Whānau Meehan (Yr 2 / 3).

Whakapono Aroha: Whānau Tanner (Yr 4/5), Whānau Walter (Yr 4/5), Whānau Wood (Yr 4/5), Whānau Anderson (Yr 4/5), Whānau Laban (Yr 4/5).

Whānau Akkerman (Y6), Whānau McCabe (Y6), Whānau Kelliher / McIntosh (Y6).

See our 2023 Staff here...

School Yearbook

Unfortunately due to sickness the Yearbook will not be ready until the end of next week.

The Yearbook will be available to pick up from the school office, date and time to be confirmed via a HERO message. If you can't pick the Yearbook up next week they will be distributed on the first day back at school next year.

Last day of school Friday 16th of December at 12 noon.

A reminder that school will finish on Friday 16th of December at 12 noon.

Rā Whānau Mai

In 2023 our Rā Whānau Mai Day (Family Day) will be Thursday 2nd February. More information around this day will come in the New Year.

Friday 3rd February will be the official start date for 2023 and this will also be the first day for Before School and After School Care.

2023 Term Dates

Term 1 - Thursday 2 February - Thursday 6 April

Monday 6 February - Waitangi Day

Term 2 - Wednesday 26 April - Friday 30 June

Monday 24 April - TEACHER ONLY DAY

Tuesday 25 April - Anzac Day

Monday 5 June - King’s Birthday


Term 3 - Monday 17 July - Friday 22 September

Term 4 - Monday 9 October - Wednesday 20 December

Monday 23 October - Labour Day

Friday 10 November-TEACHER ONLY DAY

Finally I just want to thank-you for your support around our end of year events. This has been hard for us as well as it is always nicer to have families involved. I hope you are able to enjoy the recordings that we send to you for your viewing.

I wish you and your whānau a safe and happy holiday, and hopefully a chance to relax and rejuvenate.

To those whose children and families are leaving St Mary's, we wish you all the best for the future, we thank-you for your immense contributions to our school community. To those families returning in 2023, we look forward to seeing you next year.

Ngā mihi nui

James Murray



This week we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent. It is the Sunday of JOY as we become closer to the celebration of Christmas. The third candle on our Advent wreath is pink to celebrate the joy of waiting.

The Advent wreath is a symbol of growth and of life. The candles remind us of Jesus - the light of the world and a guide for us to follow. As we light the third candle - the candle of JOY - let us put our words into action to bring hope, peace, joy and love to others.

Christmas Tree

Thank you to Clover and Olivia for putting up our wonderful Christmas tree in the office foyer at the beginning of Advent - it looks beautiful!

Reverse Advent Calendar

Thank you to everyone for your contributions to our Reverse Advent Calendar. Your generosity is greatly appreciated by the school and the Saint Vincent De Paul Food bank. The food will be boxed and collected by the Food bank on Thursday morning and their coordinator, Lauren, has expressed her sincere gratitude for all the food and household items. When we all give a little it goes a long way.

As we finish our school year I would like to say thank you for your support during our Liturgical celebrations. It is wonderful to be back in the St Mary’s community and meeting so many of you. I look forward to working with your children and getting to know you more next year. I feel it is a real privilege to be leading in the role of DRS and I feel very blessed to be given this opportunity.

Heavenly Father

At the end of this school year we give thanks for all the teaching and learning that has taken place in our school, both inside and outside of the classroom.

We give thanks for the talents and gifts that have been shared and the challenges that have been overcome.

We give thanks for the friendships that have been made and those that have grown.

We give thanks for our community, and we ask you, Lord, to bless our families as we take our holidays - may our time together create memories to cherish.

We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.


I hope you all have a Blessed Christmas season. Enjoy your precious family time and I wish you safe travels on your summer adventures.

God Bless

Fay Warnock

DRS/Deputy Principal


Youth Choir

The Parish Youth Choir will be singing at the Saturday Vigil Mass 5pm next Saturday at St Mary Immaculate, 17th December. Please come along to enjoy the beautiful singing and support our young people.

Christmas Eve Mass Times

5pm, 7pm & 10pm at St Mary Immaculate.

Midnight Mass at St Joseph’s, Te Puna.

Christmas Day Mass Times

9am at St Therese, Bethlehem, and 9am at St Mary Immaculate. Matakana 12 noon.

No morning Mass on Saturday 24th December at Omokoroa.


Lost Property

We hope to see many families using labels to name clothing next year. Please check out these affordable labels by using this link

See our St Mary's link towards the bottom of the page. Ordering through the link is also a mini fundraiser for the school.

Prize Givings

Thank you to friends and whānau who joined us today to celebrate all of our children at our Junior and Senior Prize Givings this week. The prize givings were certainly a wonderful opportunity to come together with our community before the end of the year.

Congratulations again to all children for their hard work and perseverance this year, and well done to those who received special recognition.

Brain Injured Children Trust Event

Recently Shirley Wilson and Katie Ryall from the Brain Injured Children Trust presented a cheque for $1,000 to our school as we were drawn out of all the schools who participated in the recent Pedal and Spokes event on Saturday 5th November. We are very grateful to the trust for this money as it will be put to use when purchasing new plants for our Maramatanga gardens. Thank you to Lucy, Mollie and Maddy for driving this wonderful initiative at school.

Holiday Programme 16 - 27 January 2023

2023 Stationery

Stationery can be ordered from Bay Office Products using this link ;

Your pack will be delivered to your home from Monday 9th January 2023.

Packs will also be available from our showroom at 20 Christopher Street, Tauranga from Monday 9th January.


Term 1 - Thursday 2 February - Thursday 6 April

Monday 6 February - Waitangi Day

Term 2 - Wednesday 26 April - Friday 30 June

Monday 24 April - TEACHER ONLY DAY

Tuesday 25 April - Anzac Day

Monday 5 June - King’s Birthday


Term 3 - Monday 17 July - Friday 22 September

Term 4 - Monday 9 October - Wednesday 20 December

Monday 23 October - Labour Day

Friday 10 November-TEACHER ONLY DAY

Please support our Gold Group Sponsors

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