St Mary's Catholic School 8 September 2021 - Term 3 Week 7

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Gospel Reading

Mark 7:31-37

Jesus restores a man’s hearing and speech.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today we continue to hear the Gospel of Mark proclaimed. In today’s reading, Jesus heals a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment. This is a story about Jesus’ healing power, and in it we find clues about our understanding of sacrament. We are struck by the physical means used to heal the man, the use of spittle and touch. The Church continues to celebrate the sacraments using physical means. In the Sacrament of Baptism, water and oil are used to show the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, we are anointed with holy oil on the forehead and the hands. In the Eucharist, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ. We are a sacramental people who believe that God’s grace is given to us through these physical signs.

Some, however, see in this Gospel an image of the proclamation of the good news of Jesus to the Gentiles. The geographic references tell us that Jesus is journeying through Gentile territory. Jesus had previously visited this region and healed a person possessed by a demon. Jesus was already famous there, which explains why people brought the deaf man to him.The story that precedes this reading in Mark’s Gospel sets the stage. Jesus encounters a Gentile, a Syrophoenician woman who asks him to heal her demon-possessed daughter. Jesus engages her in a dialogue about not feeding to dogs the food intended for children. Jesus is struck by the woman’s great faith when she replies that even dogs eat the food that falls from the table, and he heals her daughter immediately. The faith of this Greek woman compels Jesus to respond to her plea.

Mark shows that Jesus’ own mission affirms the early Church’s mission to the Gentiles. This was a significant issue to the early Christian community, which found that the good news of Jesus took root and spread quickly among the Gentiles. Yet there is an irony in the story of healing that Mark tells. Jesus gives the man the gift of speech, but then tells him not to use it. Jesus asks that the news of his healing power, which is evidence of his identity as the Messiah, not be spread. This is a recurring motif in Mark’s Gospel and is sometimes called the “messianic secret.”


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

Welcome back!

Thursday 9th September we welcome our wonderful children back to school.

I want to begin this newsletter by thanking you and our community for the way in which you have supported and communicated with us about your child's learning. As we know COVID has changed many things over its time and we are blessed to have a community that has been supportive, patient and willing to work alongside us as we navigate our children's learning. Next week we will share with you any changes or alterations to the HERO reporting schedule that was planned for the end of Term 3.

Returning school devices

If your child was loaned a school-owned Chromebook or iPad this needs to be returned to school with the charger on Thursday. Please return these devices to Mr. Murray or Mr. Turner at the school office.


This week we had planned the Art day and Community Potluck dinner. Under the current Alert Level restrictions we will not be able to hold the Potluck dinner. The Art day will not take place this Thursday, however over the coming days we will discuss what this could look like under Alert Level 2 restrictions. We will keep you updated. We will also let you know by Friday if we will still go ahead with our Roald Dahl day, which was scheduled for Wednesday.

Unfortunately our Parish/School Mass has been cancelled for this weekend and school Masses in our chapel are on hold for 8 more days.


Please know that as a school we are here to support the needs of our community. If there is anything you require as a result of the current lockdown that we could do to assist then please make contact with us.

New PE Uniform

Effective immediately we have a new PE uniform that can be purchased from the school office. You are welcome to continue to wear the previous version of our PE uniform, however moving forward you will purchase the new PE uniform from the office. Over time the older style will go through the phasing out process.

The price for a shirt and shorts are $35 each. They can be used for most sports and inter-school sports. See the pictures below of Harry wearing our new PE uniform.

Holiday programme

If you are interested in our Holiday programme for 1 or 2 weeks could you please email Shelley:

Ngā mihi nui

James Murray

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Class Masses

At this stage, we will not be resuming any Thursday Class Masses until notified by the Bishop.

Caring for Creation

Thank you for the many photos of students and whānau caring for creation (see below). If you have any more to send in please email to:

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Season of Creation

The Season of Creation is the annual Christian celebration of prayer and action for our common home. Together, the ecumenical family around the world unites to pray, protect, and advocate for God’s creation.

During the 2021 Season of Creation, from 1 September through 4 October, hundreds of thousands of Christians will be united around the theme, “A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God.”

Ecumenical: representing a number of different Christian Churches.

Oikos of God: home of God

Pope Francis states that the Season of Creation is a “season of increased prayer and effort on behalf of our common home.” Below are some resources to support Catholic communities in celebrating this important time in communion with our Christian brothers and sisters.

To find out more visit:

God Bless,

Teresa Rush


Tonga Language Week

Mālō e Lelei

This year’s theme for Tonga Language Week is "Fakakoloa 'o Aotearoa 'aki 'a e Ako Lelei", which means 'enriching Aotearoa with holistic education'. The theme serves as a conversation starter on the importance of holistic education, diverse forms of learning and how Aotearoa can benefit from it.

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Tika and Māramatanga children have been busy at home over the last few weeks! We created lots of special things for our Dads to celebrate Father's Day on Sunday. We hope that all of the Dads and Father figures had a wonderful day in their bubbles.
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The Day the Seal Came To Bubble School

Now I know what you’re thinking, a baby seal on a primary school deck, I must be joking!! But I am not. It’s not surprising because we learn near an estuary. Many people ask why, but here’s my theory.

Now one of the neighbours was having a picnic and left some tuna behind. A baby seal comes out of the estuary wanting to eat the tuna. When the seal tries to take a bite, a seagull steals it and takes it to the Maramatanga deck. Being hungry the seal follows the seagull. When the seal gets to the deck the tuna has gone, so being tired it fell asleep.

The End

By Ollie Reid


We are delighted to share with you a smorgasbord of the amazing lockdown learning in Aroha's bubbles last week here.

Jake’s Epro8 lockdown challenge

Jake’s challenge was to make a bridge out of paper that could hold 1 can of baked beans but theirs held 2 which was 840g altogether, in the end the span of the bridge was 3.13 meters. Check it out here.

Great White Shark drawing

Elliot's drawing lessons during lockdown has produced some amazing results. Check out her Great White Shark!

Dress Up Day

We had a dress up day on Tuesday and everyone was asked to come dressed as something beginning with the letter T. Here is Tom the toilet paper mummy and Holly the toilet paper Queen!
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Saint Vincent de Paul

SVDP The SVDP Support Services are still up and running and can provide support throughout this lockdown as they did last year. Please feel free to contact them: Office phone:07-578 3814, option 1, or contact: Lorna Edlin, Area Manager WBOP, DD: 07 579 6453, Cell: 021 047 7144, or visit:

Interested in finding out more about becoming a Catholic

RCIA Interested in learning more about the Catholic Church and its teachings? The next RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) programme will commence 30th September 2021, 7pm at St Mary Immaculate Church. For further information, or complete the online form go to the Parish website: or contact the Parish office: phone 07 578 6209.


Term 3 - Monday 26 July - Friday 1 October

Wednesday 11 August - Accord Day Teacher Only Day

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.

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