St Mary's Catholic School 24 March - Term 1 Week 8

First Sunday of Lent, Cycle C

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Gospel Reading

Luke 13:1-9

Jesus preaches a lesson on repentance.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Now into the third week of the Season of Lent, our Sunday Gospel prepares us to hear Lent's call to conversion and repentance. Today's reading is found in the chapters of Luke's Gospel that describe Jesus' journey to Jerusalem. During this journey, Jesus teaches and heals. He must also respond to those who question and challenge his authority and actions. There is no parallel in Mark's or Matthew's Gospels for today's reading from Luke. While Mark and Matthew describe an incident in which Jesus curses the fig tree, today's reading makes the barren fig tree the subject of a parable.

Luke tells us that some among the crowds report to Jesus a massacre of Galileans by Pilate. The intention of the crowd seems to be to ask Jesus to explain why these people suffered. It was commonplace to render people's suffering as evidence of their sinfulness. Jesus challenges this interpretation. Those who were massacred were no more or less sinful than the ones who report the situation to Jesus. Jesus replies that even a fatal accident, a natural disaster, ought not to be interpreted as punishment for sin.

Jesus' words at first appear to have a fire-and-brimstone quality. Jesus says in essence, “Repent or perish as these people did; all are sinful before God and deserving of God's punishment.” The tone changes, however, in the parable that follows. The parable of the barren fig tree contrasts the patience and hopefulness of the gardener with the practicality of the property owner. When told to cut down the fig tree because it is not producing fruit, the gardener counsels patience. If properly tended, the barren fig tree may yet bear fruit.

Throughout his journey to Jerusalem, Jesus has been teaching about the Kingdom of God. In this parable, we find an image of God's patience and hopefulness as he prepares his Kingdom. God calls us to repent, and it is within his power to punish us for our failure to turn from our sinfulness. And yet God is merciful. He delays punishment and tends to us so that we may yet bear the fruit he desires from us.

This, then, is our reason for hope: Not only does God refuse to abandon us, he chooses to attend to us even when we show no evidence of his efforts. Next week's Gospel will give an even clearer picture of the kind of mercy that God shows to 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

As I write this newsletter I am very grateful for my staff, the children and this community who continue to support each other and care for our families through these very long and challenging times. I know there are many things in a school that frustrate families and I ask that if you have any queries please talk with your child's teacher first and then the team leader. We are always wanting to work in partnership with families to continue our support for the children.

Parent-teacher conferences

As you will have read in the first newsletter this Year we are holding 3 parent-teacher conferences to share your child's learning with you.

The conferences are scheduled for Wednesday 6th April from 3pm-6pm, and Thursday 7th from 12.30pm-6pm.

SCHOOL FINISHES AT 12PM THURSDAY 7TH APRIL. There will be no after school care that day.

Please make sure your child is picked up at 12pm on Thursday the 7th of April to support our families in sharing and discussing Term 1 learning. We are also aware that we may have to approach this with the opportunity for families to connect via Google meet or telephone if people are isolating. We are wanting to connect with all families so please make sure you book your time.

Booking a Parent-Teacher conference

Parents can book a conference time by going to School Interviews and using the event code 9unjz.

Or use this booking link to go directly to the booking page.


You will notice that the graph is off currently. This is because we have changed the points on the graph from 4 to 2 as it didn't really work that well last year. The teachers and children are currently adding learning stories into HERO to share with you. During the parent conferences if you need any clarification, have questions about HERO please come to the staffroom to see Lisa Broadmore or myself.

Holiday Programme

We are still a long way from the end of term 1 and Easter falls in the holidays. With all that has been going on with the pandemic and the school needing to have some thorough cleaning taking place over the holidays, we have decided not to run a Holiday programme for these holidays. Our apologies for this but we will certainly be operating one next holidays.

Keeping safe on our skateboards and scooters

Skateboards and scooters have become a very important part of our children's playtimes lately. This is wonderful to see and we are allowing this to flourish. We do need to begin to put some safety measure in place. Children will now need to wear their helmets as we have had some accidents already. Thank-you in advance for making sure your child is safe. The skateboard sign is really for the weekend when we can't control what happens so we are allowing children to bring these items to utilize in a particular area that is coned. They must not be ridden into and around school, they are only to be used in the area where Gaga Ball is played.
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Covid Care

As families isolate please be aware of our St Mary's School Covid Care Plan: Supporting and Caring for our School Community. If you need us to help we are here and would love to support you in any way we can.

How can we help?

We have a great support network in place to help pick up your click and collect shopping and deliver it to you, or we can shop for you. We have had many donations of vouchers for supermarkets to support families during these times, so please do let us know. We also have a number of meals and home baking in our school freezer that we can deliver. If you are in a position to help out please do not hesitate to drop meals, baking or vouchers into the school office.

Check out our Covid Care Plan Information and keep in touch.

A HUGE THANK YOU to the many families who have provided transport, meals, baking and vouchers. We could not do this without you. Your support and generosity have been much appreciated by the school and by families that need it. Thank you!


We are still very much in the middle of our Omicron wave and we have a number of children isolating and that are sick. We continue to ask for your patience and understanding as we navigate this until the end of the Term.

COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms can include one or more of the following:

  • a new or worsening cough

  • sneezing and runny nose

  • a fever

  • temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste

  • sore throat

  • shortness of breath.

Less common symptoms may include:

  • diarrhoea

  • headache

  • muscle pain or body aches

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • malaise — a general feeling of discomfort, illness or unease

  • chest pain

  • abdominal pain

  • joint pain

  • confusion or irritability.

Make sure you keep up to date by checking out our school app and website as they will have all the latest information. We will also be sharing information and learning through HERO and Seesaw.

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In the event of your child being unwell or presenting with cold/flu symptoms, we ask that you please keep them home and contact the school to advise. If your child presents with these symptoms while at school, you will be contacted to come and collect them immediately.

Thank you for your support with this.

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Ngā mihi nui

James Murray



We are now half way through the season of Lent. Our school online Liturgies and Masses continue to focus on how we can grow closer to God and to know that we are never alone. God is always with us, loving us and calling us to follow Him.

You will have seen on Hero images and video clips of our St Joseph Day celebrations. We were especially delighted to receive a video message marking St Joseph’s Day from Sister Emeli who is at present, studying in Rome. If you haven’t watched it yet I encourage you to do so.

St Joseph's Day Mass

St Joseph's Day Fun

St Joseph, Patron of Refugees

Joseph, Mary and Jesus became refugees, fleeing violence and seeking safety in another country.

“When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child and to kill him.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod.

Matthew 2 :13-15

“We call upon Saint Joseph to accompany all those who are fleeing the current situation in Ukraine. We think too of those other parts of the world where people are forced from their homeland under the threat of war or persecution. These people have become refugees just like Joseph, Mary and the child Jesus fleeing the terror and the regime of Herod. Joseph travels a perilous journey to provide safety for them. His guiding and protecting hand leads Mary and the child to Egypt.”

Sr Monica Cavanagh RSJ 17 March 2022

Special Day of Prayer for Ukraine

Pope Francis has asked that this next Friday March 25th be a world day of prayer for peace in the Ukraine. Friday is the feast day of the Annunciation of the Lord - and on Friday Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the care of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

We are asked to pray the Rosary but all prayers will be appreciated as we join with people all over New Zealand and throughout the world in praying for an end to this appalling war, and the restoration of just and lasting peace.

Below is a picture of Pope Francis who went to the @bambinogesu hospital on Saturday afternoon to visit a group of Ukrainian children who are receiving treatment after fleeing the war in their home country.

With kind regards and God bless

Sally Washer

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Room 4 has been learning about the annunciation and how Mary said 'yes' to God. We have been thinking about how we can say 'yes' to God and follow Jesus' teachings. Here are Room 4's Mary puppets:
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My Cricket Experience

On the 11th of March I was filled with excitement, as we were going to one of the Women’s Cricket World Cup games. Finally after what had seemed like hours we arrived at the Bay Oval. The first thing we did was split into groups. I was one of the flag bearers which was fun but also nerve racking. Next we were given two t-shirts, one purple and one white. After that, it was the moment of truth. Suddenly we heard a loud ka-boom which was our cue.

Outside of the arena the oval seemed small but when you're inside it seems a lot bigger. Suddenly the music switched into the South African anthem which gave me the courage to just do my best. I smiled for all I was worth but then I realised I was wearing a mask. I frowned, annoyed but really deep down I was smiling.

Once both anthems had finished we headed out back to our seats. Just around the corner there were the food stalls and pretty much everyone bought chips, so we were stuffed. Afterwards some of the cricket volunteers started to hand out merchandise including caps, cricket balls, a poster and even tattoos! Just kidding! They were fake.

At the drinks break we all showed the camera our best cricket moves, and then we went back onto the oval to play cricket. When the clock struck five some people started to head home but Conner, Baxter, Elliot and I were partying for all we were worth.

When it started to get dark we switched sides and then the camera videoed us having a mini dance party! When it was time to go home, I smiled at Bay Oval and whispered to myself, “This would be an experience never ever to forget.”

By Vanessa


It's hard to beat a Hot Cross Bun from Bakers Delight and this Easter we have a fundraiser with them!

Place your orders before Wed, 6 April through MyKindo.

The house with the most orders will receive an egg-xtra special treat.

See the flyer attached for all the details.

New MyKindo users – see how to register HERE

Existing MyKindo users – important – update your child/ren's teacher under 'my details' before ordering.

If you have any questions, email

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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

Tuesday 7 June- TEACHER ONLY DAY, Kahui Ako

Friday 24 June - Matariki

Term 3 - Monday 25 July - Friday 30 September

Term 4 - Monday 17 October - Friday 16 December

Monday 24 October - Labour Day

Friday 18th November- TEACHER ONLY DAY


Term 1- Wednesday 6th April, 3 pm-6 pm, Thursday 7th April 12.30 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 7th April.


Term 3- Wednesday 27th July, 3 pm-6 pm, Thursday 28th July 12.30 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 28th July.


Term 4- Wednesday 7th December, 3 pm-6 pm, Thursday 8th December 12.30 pm-6 pm. SCHOOL CLOSES AT 12PM Thursday 8th December.


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