St Joseph's Newsletter T1 Wk 2

09 February 2022

Principal’s Piece

Kia Ora Koutou

Kei aku nui, kei aku rahi, tēnā koutou katoa i roto i ngā āhuatanga o te wā.

Welcome back after what we hope has been a wonderful summer for your whānau.

Welcome back to school! I hope everyone had a restful break with their families and enjoyed the amazing summer weather. It has been wonderful to see how well our students have settled back into school. A very special welcome to those families who are new to our school community.

Our team is feeling refreshed and ready to go for the 2022 year - whatever it shall bring! We are excited to welcome three new staff to the school:

Mrs Nicole Jones - Kohuri Teacher and Team Leader of Year 1-3

Mrs Liz Wills - Kohuri 9 Teacher

Mrs Cushla Jackson - Office Assistant

It was great to see so many parents join us onsite or via Zoom for the Team Information Sessions yesterday. Hopefully the different sessions give you an insight into how the different parts of the school work. If you were unable to attend these sessions a link is below to the presentations. In two weeks time you will have the opportunity to meet one on one with the teachers. Please see below for the link.

As a country we were lucky to be able to enjoy a summer break at the Orange Traffic Light Setting while many countries battled with Omicron. Unfortunately at the end of January we moved to the Red Traffic Light Setting. This means that the risk of getting Covid in the community has greatly increased. From media reports we know that a number of schools in Hamilton have been affected by Covid cases already.

As a school we are following the guidance from the Ministry of Education and are encouraging good hygiene practices with students. If your child is unwell they must stay at home. Unfortunately we have already had to send a number of children home who come to school unwell. If your child has cold or flu symptoms, please take them to be Covid tested and follow public health advice. Children with coughs and runny noses cannot be at school in our current Omicron environment.

Thank you for your patience and understanding for our Red Light settings. If you do need to come onsite, there are QR codes at the entrances, and you must sign in with a staff member at the gate or at the school office.

There is more information about Covid19 and what will happen if the school gets a case below. Please take the time to read it. Please note that over the coming weeks or months, there could be times that we need to move learning from onsite learning to home learning if we are unable to provide a safe environment at school due to Covid. It is essential that you stay up to date with our school communications, as these decisions will need to be made and communicated quickly. Important communications will go on Hero, Facebook, School App and Seesaw.

Thank you for your ongoing support as we again have to navigate around Covid 19 and keep our students safe.

Kia manaaki te Atua koutou katoa

Grant Stuart

Tumuaki / Principal

Gospel Reflection

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Sunday, February 6, 202

Gospel Reading

Luke 5:1-11

The fishermen (Simon, James, and John) leave their fishing boats and follow Jesus.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Last Sunday, we heard how Jesus was rejected in his hometown of Nazareth. In the verses that follow, Jesus travels to the town of Capernaum and begins his ministry of teaching and healing. While in Capernaum, Jesus cures a man possessed with a demon and heals Simon's mother-in-law. After spending some time there, Jesus prepares to preach in other places. The fact that Jesus had previously been in Simon's home and healed his mother-in-law suggests that this encounter is not the first between Jesus and Simon Peter. We can read today's Gospel, therefore, as a description of the developing relationship between Jesus and Simon Peter.

In today's Gospel, Jesus teaches from Simon's boat. Jesus turns to Simon and instructs him about where to lower the fishing nets. Simon and others have been fishing throughout the night and have not caught anything. Simon protests, claiming that such an effort would be futile. Simon ultimately obeys Jesus and lowers his nets into the deeper water as directed. Notice here that Peter calls Jesus by the title “master.” He already recognizes Jesus as a person of authority. They catch so many fish that the nets begin to tear; Jesus' presence has created abundance out of scarcity, just as it did at the wedding feast at Cana, which we heard at Mass just a few weeks ago.

Simon Peter becomes a follower of Jesus immediately. He calls Jesus “Lord”—the title given to Jesus after his Resurrection—and protests his worthiness to be in Jesus' presence. Today's Gospel, therefore, marks a turning point in the relationship between Jesus and Peter.

Two of Simon's partners are also named as witnesses to the event described in today's Gospel: Zebedee's sons, James and John. Yet Jesus' words are addressed only to Simon. Jesus gives Simon a new job, telling him that he will become a different kind of fisherman. No longer will he catch fish; instead he will catch people. In these words, we hear the beginning of the leadership role that Peter will have within the community of disciples. Peter was chosen for this role. His task will be to bring others to Jesus. Already he is doing so; the Gospel tells us that all the fishermen with Peter also left their nets and followed Jesus.

We continue to speak of Peter's leadership and influence in the Church today when we call the pope the “successor of Peter.” We participate in the mission of the Church when we bring people to Christ through the example and positive influence of our lives.

Value Focus

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Bishop Stephen Lowe appointed Catholic Bishop of Auckland

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop of Hamilton Stephen Lowe as the new Catholic Bishop of Auckland.

The appointment was announced in Rome at midnight New Zealand time.

Bishop Lowe replaces Bishop Pat Dunn, who has served since 1994.

The Diocese of Auckland has almost 40 per cent of New Zealand’s 471,000 Catholics.

"I am humbled at being asked by the Holy Father to be the Bishop of Auckland and the successor of Bishop Pat Dunn, a much loved Bishop,” says Bishop Lowe.

“Auckland is our largest Diocese and our first Diocese. When I look at the bishops who have served Auckland, starting with Bishop Pompallier, they all had the challenges of their time and circumstances. But they also had their own unique gifts and talents and the gifts and talents of the people of God. So I'm looking forward to becoming part of the Diocese of Auckland as we work together for the building of God's kingdom."

Bishop Lowe was ordained as Bishop of Hamilton in February 2015. Born in Hokitika, he was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Christchurch in his home town at Hokitika in 1996. He served as the assistant priest in the Mairehau, Ashburton and Greymouth parishes before being appointed parish priest of Timaru North and Chaplain of Roncalli College in 2000. From 2005-2007 he completed a Licence in Spiritual Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was appointed to Holy Cross Seminary in Auckland in 2008 where he served as Formation Director until the end of 2014. While based there, he served for a time as Parish Priest of Ponsonby.

Bishop Lowe is the Vice President and Secretary of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference, and the bishops’ representative on Te Rūnanga o te Hāhi Katorika ō Aotearoa, the Church’s national Māori advisory group. He is also a member of several other bodies including the National Safeguarding and Professional Standards Committee.

Parish Mass Time

Parish Mass Time changes effective from 8 February

St Peter Chanel

Tuesday 9am - No Vaccine Pass Required

Thursday 9am - No Vaccine Pass Required Liturgy with Communion

Saturday Vigil 5pm - Vaccine Pass Required Booking in for the Vigil Mass is required

St Joseph

Wednesday 9am - Vaccine Pass Required Liturgy with Communion

Friday 9am - Vaccine Pass Required

Sunday 9am - Vaccine Pass Required Booking in for the Sunday Mass is required

Bookings required for Mass please fill in the form below or click here.


COVID 19 - Update

When we have a confirmed infectious case of COVID within our school, the children and adults connected to that case will all isolate for the first 24 hours to allow contact tracing to take place.

When COVID finds its way into our school what happens next?

The most important message is that if/when your child receives a positive test result, please make contact with the school as soon as you are able. We can then determine if the child was infectious while at school.

Please email the Principal directly:

The Ministry of Education will work with us through a dedicated unit that is working directly with the Ministry of Health. When we have a confirmed infectious case of COVID within our school we will follow their lead to determine who is needing to stay home for a longer period of time.

We have made the decision that we are best to err on the side of safety by sending people home rather than hope things will be ok. Hope is not a strategy and we would hate to see an escalation within our school because we were not acting in a proactive manner.

Due to this, when we find that a case was at school while infectious, all children and adults from the class will remain away from school for at least the next day while contact tracing takes place. (Note - if the child was not infectious at school the children in the class will be unaffected.)

If children are at school when we find out this information we will be ringing families directly to ask that children be collected as soon as possible. Our goal during this immediate phase is to err on the side of caution to avoid any escalation and possible longer-term disruption.

This will give us 24 hours to determine which children/adults are close contacts, and who are casual contacts, without risking other children becoming infected. Casual contacts will be able to return to school the subsequent day. Further support will then be given to those close contact children who will be required to isolate for longer.

We are preparing a new set of online learning activities for when children need to be at home. We are working on the assumption that all children will need to be at home for multiple days at some point in the coming weeks/months. This will not be as comprehensive as Distance Learning during the lockdowns, because teachers will still be onsite teaching whenever possible. If your child is a close contact and needs to isolate, their class teacher will be in touch with you.

We have a huge amount of protocols that we will be able to follow, and letters that we will send to close and casual contacts to provide clarity and instruction on what to do next when there are cases within our school. However, at this stage, our aim is to provide clarity on the immediate steps we will take when there is a case, so our parents, teachers and children can know what to expect from us.

We will also be informing our entire community when we start getting cases of COVID, and in particular, the parents of any child who might be connected to a case in the class. Any stories of COVID within our school unless notified directly by us are just stories. We will keep you informed!


Meet the Teacher Appointments:

Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd February

(School closing early on Tuesday 22 Feb)

We invite you to make an appointment to meet with your child’s classroom teacher in Week 4 of this term. This is a time for you to get to know your child’s teacher, discuss how the first few weeks of school have progressed, and let us know anything we need to know about your child. The appointments will be 10 minutes long.

To enable the Meet the Teacher appointments to happen, school will close at 12.45pm on Tuesday 22 February, so that teachers can start meeting whānau in the afternoon. In previous years, the Principal and DP have looked after all the children in the Church until the end of the school day, but under Red it is not possible to have the whole school in one place together, so we need to ask you to collect your child early that day. If you need to book your child into After School Care from 12.45pm on Tuesday 22 February, information will come out soon about how to do so. On Wednesday 23 February, school finishes at the normal time. Thank you for your understanding.

To hold these Meet the Teacher Sessions under Red setting, we ask that you wear masks at all times, classrooms will be well ventilated and social distancing and contact tracing will be in place. If you would prefer to meet by Zoom, this could be arranged with the class teacher directly closer to the time.

To book a Meet the Teacher Appointment:

Meet the Teacher Appointment Booking Link

Or go to Event Code: uvkch

Before and After School Care 2022

Here is the link to find out more details:

Breakfast Club

After School Care


A reminder that students waiting to be picked up after school need to wait either by the office at Strowan Avenue, or in front of the church with the duty teacher. If they are not collected from the front of the church by 3.00pm, they will then be taken to wait at the office. Please do not tell your children to play on the playground while they wait for you, as this is not supervised; they need to wait at one of the designated spots. We remind all families to be considerate with parking around our school, and please do not drive or walk down the driveway to drop off or to collect students.

SJF ‘No Nuts’ Policy

At St Joseph’s we have a ‘No Nuts’ policy. This means that no student is allowed to bring nuts of any description to school for lunch. Children’s lunch boxes are checked regularly. For more information, ask at the school office or speak to a teacher.


Make sure you keep up to date by checking out our school app and website, in particular, the calendar, as this will have all the latest information. School App If you have not already downloaded it, download free from Google Play Store: St Joseph’s Catholic School Fairfield. The app allows you to send absentee notifications to school, receive alerts from school, gives staff email contacts, read the school newsletter and any other notices that may have gone home with the children. Simple and easy to use - download it today at

Mobile Phones

At St Joseph’s Fairfield cellphones are not permitted at school unless the parents have written a letter to the Principal outlining the purpose. If this is agreed, the cellphone will be powered off and left in the Principal’s office until the end of the day when it will be handed back as the child leaves the school grounds.

Sports News

Swimming Sports

This year, due to being in the Red Light setting, our swimming sports will be a closed event with no spectators. The event will be live streamed on our Facebook page.

Therefore, our swimming sports will be a competitive event for strong swimmers only. We will only be inviting those students that placed at the school swimming sports last year and those students that swim for a club.

We have also had to move the event to St Paul's Collegiate, which is a smaller venue. We understand the disappointment that some students will feel at this decision, however we feel this is in the community’s best interests.

A notice will come out shortly with more details.

Water Polo

Waterpolo is only for year 7&8 students who are strong swimmers.

Venue: Played in the Waterworld dive pool on Sundays.

Trainings: Practices are one morning during the week usually 7.30 - 8.30am.

Fees: approximately $90 (includes a $5 non-refundable administration charge)

Here is the link

2022 Term Dates

Term dates for 2022 are:

Term 1: Wednesday 2nd February - Thursday 15th April

Term 2: Monday 2nd May - Friday 8th July

Term 3: Monday 25th July - Friday 30th September

Term 4: Monday 17th October - Friday 16th December

The Teacher Only Days are:

Term 1: Monday 7 March

Term 2: Friday 3 June

Term 2: Monday 29 August

Term 4: Friday 11 November


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Community Notices

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2022 Term Dates

Term Dates

Term 1: Wed 2nd February – Thu 15th April

Term 2: Mon 2nd May – Fri 8th July

Term 3: Mon 25th July – Fri 30th September

Term 4: Mon 17th October – Fri 16th December

Teacher Only Days

Term 1 – Monday, 7 March

Term 2 – Friday, 3 June

Term 3 – Monday, 29 August

Term 4 – Friday, 11 November