St Mary's Catholic School 1 December 2022 - Term 4 Week 7

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First Sunday of Advent, Cycle A

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Gospel Reading

Matthew 24:37-44

Jesus tells his disciples that the coming of the Son of Man will catch many people unprepared. Jesus tells his disciples that they are to always be ready for the day of the Lord.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Sunday 27th November is the first Sunday of Advent, which is also the first Sunday of a new liturgical year for the Church. The Advent season includes the four Sundays that precede Christmas. It is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord. In this season, we recall two central elements of our faith: the final coming of the Lord in glory and the incarnation of the Lord in the birth of Jesus. Key themes of the Advent season are watchful waiting, preparation, and justice.

In this new liturgical year, the Gospel of Matthew will be the primary Gospel proclaimed (Lectionary Cycle A). In Sunday's Gospel, we hear Jesus speak about the need for wakefulness, for watchful waiting, for the coming of the Son of Man.

Matthew's Gospel is dated by most scholars after 70 A.D. Most believe that Matthew wrote for a primarily Jewish community, but one that was no longer centered on the Temple in Jerusalem. These were Jewish Christians trying to come to terms with their relationship to Judaism in a new situation: Judaism after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. There may have been Christians who believed that the events of the world around them gave evidence of the imminent return of the Lord in glory.

The passage from Matthew we read today is rather straightforward. No one knows the precise time of the coming of the Lord in glory, so watchful waiting and vigilance are required. The passage speaks to the uselessness of looking for signs; there will be none. As a thief sneaks in during the night, so will the Lord's coming in glory be.

The question for us as members of the Christian community, then, is how do we prepare for this? Today's passage speaks more about the manner of waiting, rather than the details of the preparation. Jesus compares the vigilance required of Christians to the vigilance of a homeowner who knows the plans of the thief. If one knows that the thief's action is imminent, one remains watchful. As Christians, we know that our Lord is coming even if we cannot know the precise timing. Jesus calls us to be watchful and vigilant, like the homeowner. If we become lax in our Christian living, we may be caught unprepared.


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 attend our first Parish-school mass for 2022 on Sunday. It was a wonderful mass and we were lucky to see our children participate in the ministries. Hopefully in 2023 we will be able to have one Parish/school mass each term. We will plan for this and let you know when they are.

Parent Conferences Wednesday 7th December

Parent conferences next week will be a celebration of your child's learning for the year. They are scheduled for Wednesday 7th December, 3 pm-6 pm and Thursday 8th December 12.30 pm-6 pm. A reminder that SCHOOL will CLOSE at 12pm on Thursday 8th December. There will also be No After School Care or Afternoon buses on this day.

Please follow this link to book a time to meet your child's whānau teacher later this term.

Holiday Programme 16 - 27 January 2023

More information including the programme and booking link will be advertised early next week.

School Yearbook

The expected arrival date for the school yearbook will be Thursday 15 December. If your child is away we will keep a copy at the school office for you to pick up next year.

Class Placements

On Wednesday 14 December you will be able to see who your child's 2023 Whānau class will be in HERO. Please take the time to check that you have access to your child's profile. Please contact the school office if you need help with logging in.

Lost Property

We have an enormous amount of lost property in the office that is NOT NAMED! We are unable to return items if they are not named.

Items that are named are returned immediately to your child.

Next year we hope to see labels on all clothing including shoes, lunchboxes and drink bottles.

We are currently signing up to the Precious Labels website. Once Precious Labels have created our website we will be in touch with the link so that you can order these very affordable labels online. All sales of regular priced name labels earn St Mary's 20% commission and 5% on promotional items.

Uniforms, lunch boxes and drink bottles are expensive - please take the time to label everything.

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. Some bus services will be available for a 12 noon pickup. Once we have confirmation of what buses will be available on this day we will let you know.

2023 Enrolments

Do you have a child that turns 5 soon, or know of a family that wants to enrol at St Mary's School?

If so, please contact the school office or use this link and enrol them as soon as possible.

Ngā mihi nui

James Murray



On Sunday we entered into the Season of Advent. Advent, the season of preparation for the birth of Jesus at Christmas.

The Advent Wreath

In our classes you will notice that our prayer tables now have a purple cloth as purple is the colour of Advent. On our prayer focus we place our Advent Wreath. It is a circle with no beginning and no end. The shape of the wreath reminds us of God’s unending love for us. The greenery reminds us of the new life that Jesus brings us.

The first purple candle we light this week is the candle of Hope. The second purple candle is the candle of Faith. We remember the long journey that Mary and Joseph took to Bethlehem. We prepare for our own journey, making ourselves ready for the birth of Jesus at Christmas. The rose candle is lit in the third week of Advent. The rose candle reminds us of the joy and excitement we feel as we move closer to Christmas and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. The final purple candle is the candle of Peace. Jesus’ words to his friends were “Peace I leave you, my peace I give you.”

The white candle is a sign that Jesus’ light has come into our world. We light this on Christmas Day.

Preparing for Christmas

Christmas should be a time to slow down and prepare for the coming of Christ. We should aim to choose just a few things to focus on and try to build intentional family time together at home. Christmas bedtime stories are perfect reminders of the story and blessing of Christmas for both the young and the young-at-heart. Reading stories with children is a precious time and has huge benefits for both the children and parents.

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Reverse Advent calendar

A reminder of our Reverse Advent Calendar. Thank you for your generosity - our Christmas tree is already becoming laden with food items that will be donated to the St Vincent de Paul Food Bank.

A big thank you to students who have spent their own pocket money to buy items for our Reverse Advent Calendar - such thoughtful acts of kindness.

Advent Liturgy

This morning our Year 1 students enjoyed a beautiful Advent Liturgy. Thank you to all the parents who were able to join us for this special end of year celebration.
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Dear Lord, as we enter this season of Advent

May Christ’s light be with us.

May he go behind us, to encourage us.

Beside us, to be our friend.

Above us, to watch over us.

Within us to give you the gifts of Hope, Faith, Joy and Peace.

And always before us to light the way.


God Bless

Fay Warnock

DRS/Deputy Principal



This term our big learning idea for Religious Education has been 'Who is Jesus?' in the Junior School. Tika celebrated their learning about Jesus' time on Earth by dressing up in clothes that Jesus would have worn and having a meal of food Jesus would have eaten. We enjoyed trying the bread, grapes, figs and dates!

Return school journals and readers

The Library is now closed for the rest of the year for stocktaking. It would be appreciated if you make sure your child/ren return all library books. Can you also please return any school journals and readers too.
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South Cluster Reps

Congratulations to the followings students who represented St Mary's at the South Cluster Athletics held recently at the domain.

Thu Vu, Luke Swanson, Zainab Syed, Kaitlin Cope, Mina Aaifou-Olive, Flynn Gardiner, Toby Williams, Isabel Nelis, Tilly Martin, Coco Jacobs, Coen Bint, Kale Bint, Bella Ferguson, Ethan Lowe, George McKinnon, Zara Willers, Salesa Aaifou-Olive, Emily Sowerby, Delilah Smith, Solomon Smith, Holly McElroy, Eirene Jaswil, Isaiah Deo, Jono Dalton, Mila-Rian Soutar, Annie Van Zyl, Max Page, Henoa Lolohea, Kora Wills, Elliot Olsen, Baxter Carlin, Jackson Davies, Rico Ryan, Charlie Williams, James Hartman

WBOP Championships

Congratulations to the following students who are represented St Mary's School and the South Cluster at the WBoP Athletics Championships today.

Coen Bint, Salesa Aaifou-Olive, Caleb Lim, Zainab Syed, Flynn Gardiner, Kale Bint, Holly McElroy, Kaitlin Cope, Jono Dalton, Rufus Rejthar, Ethan Lowe, Isabel Nelis, Bella Ferguson

Coen Bint

Congratulations to Coen Bint who was 1st Overall Year 6 Boy at the WBOP Athletics held today at Tauranga Domain.

Congratulations to all our competitors today. You did St Mary’s proud.

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Western Bay Spartans U9 champions.

A handful of St Mary's students were selected for a rep team to play in the first Rotorua Youth 10’s Rugby tournament and won undefeated!
They beat a tough known Rotorua team twice who had not lost a game in 4 years, which was a highlight on their way to the title. Congratulations to Luca Hopoi, Conor Amanu, Faith Santos (girls can play back a year) and Korbyn Bird.
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Weetbix Kiwi Kids TRYathlon

Congratulations to the 26 St Mary's students that took part in the Weetbix Kiwi Kids TRYathlon recently.
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Wednesday 7th December 3 - 6pm

Kanohi ki te Kanohi Whānau Conferences

Thursday 8th December 9:30am

Mass - Immaculate Conception

Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey Centre

Thursday 8th December 12 - 6pm

Kanohi ki te Kanohi Whānau Conferences

School closes at 12pm

Tuesday 13th December

Prize Giving

Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey Centre

  • Senior Year 4 - 6 9:30 - 11am

  • Junior Year 0 - 3 12 - 1pm

Wednesday 14th of December

Year 6 Celebrations

  • Family Celebration - 8:30 - 9:30am Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey Centre
  • Pool Party - 3:15 - 4:15pm
  • Yr 6 breakfast and coffee, 8.30am-9.30am

Thursday 15th December

End of Year School Mass 10 - 11am

St Mary’s Immaculate Church

Friday 16th December

School Finishes for the year 12pm

All dates can be found on our school calendar.


Term 1 - Thursday 2 February - Thursday 6 April

Monday 6 February - Waitangi Day

Term 2 - Monday 24 April - Friday 30 June

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

Please support our Gold Group Sponsors

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