St Mary's Catholic School 16 December - Term 4 Week 9

Third Sunday of Advent, Cycle C

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Gospel Reading
Luke 3:10-18

John the Baptist teaches the path of repentance and announces Christ.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Sunday's Gospel continues last week's focus on John the Baptist and his role in preparing the way for Christ. Recall that last week's reading described John's appearance in the desert and established his connection with the prophetic tradition of Israel. If we were to read Luke's Gospel continuously, we would learn about John the Baptist challenging the crowds who came to him and calling upon them to show evidence of their repentance. John tells his listeners that they cannot rely on their lineage as Israelites because children of Abraham can be raised up from stones. Repentance, rather, must be observable in one's actions. Here, Luke is continuing to set up two important themes of his Gospel message: the Christian faith is expressed in one's actions, and the call to salvation is extended to everyone, Jews and Gentiles.

In the Gospel reading, the crowds ask John the Baptist for specifics. What evidence of repentance is required? John replies by naming concrete actions: crowds should share their food and cloaks; tax collectors should be just; soldiers should act fairly. The concern for justice is a hallmark of Luke's Gospel.

When the crowd begins to wonder if John the Baptist might be the Messiah, John interprets his baptism and makes it clear that his ministry is in preparation for the Messiah. John the Baptist knows his place and role in God's plan of salvation. By encouraging the crowd to act similarly in accordance with their stations in life, John's teaching suggests that each person has a role to play in God's salvation. It is the great mystery of our salvation that God permits and even asks for human cooperation in his divine plans.

The third Sunday of Advent is also called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word that means “rejoice.” This name is taken from the entrance antiphon for Sunday's Mass, which is also echoed in today's second reading from Paul's letter to the Philippians. Some people mark this Sunday by lighting a pink candle instead of a purple one on their Advent wreath. It is a reminder that the Advent season is a season of joy because our salvation is already at hand.


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

Despite the challenges that 2021 posed, I am again immensely proud of how our staff, whānau, & students 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 2022.

Even though it has been tough, 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.

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

To those whose children are finishing at St Marys, we wish you all the best for the future, and to those returning in 2022, we look forward to seeing you next year. We also want to thank all those families that are leaving us as it is their last sibling through St Marys. Your contribution has been immense and we are so thankful for your support.


You will have seen all the notifications about your child's learning through the week, we hope you enjoy reading and seeing the progress.

You will also have been notified of your child's teacher for 2022. We do this for the child so they can begin to build a connection with the teacher and get themselves ready for 2022. As always there may be a period of unsettledness and we want to make sure that we are working in partnership with you. Please make sure your first point of contact is the classroom teacher.

Break time alterations for 2022

Break times for 2022. We are going to go on a 1x 20 min break for morning tea, 1x30 min break for lunch. We are wanting to maximize our learning times so we will trial this for 2022.

8:50am - 11am first block brain food in the middle

11:00am - 11:20am morning tea play

11:20am - 11:30am eat

11:30am - 1:00pm second block

1:00pm - 1:30pm lunchtime play

1:30pm - 1:45pm eating

1:45pm - 2:55pm afternoon block

After School and Before School Care

There will be NO AFTER SCHOOL CARE on the last day of school Friday 17th December.

Before School Care and After school care will start officially on Friday 4th February 2022.

January Holiday Programme

The January Holiday Programme will run from January 17th-21st and January 24th -28th, 2022.

We will not have the holiday programme running the first week of February for cleaning purposes and we will be holding Teacher Only days during this week.

To download a copy of the enrolment forms click here...

School Magazine $25

There are two ways to buy the school magazine this year. Purchase from the school office using Eftpos only, or by depositing $25 directly to your child's school account using the reference 'magazine'.

School Photos

Due to the lateness of our photos this year there has been some delay in receiving and confirming proofs. After speaking with Photolife Studios yesterday they confirmed communication with whānau will happen shortly. Photos will be posted home for a small delivery fee.

School will close this Friday at 12 noon!

A reminder that school will finish at 12 noon on Friday 17th of December.

Pastoral Care

Please do pop in and see us before school finishes if we can be of help in anyway over the Christmas period - we have some very generous people in our community who would like us to reach out and support our whānau in any way we can.

Also, just because school is closed doesn't mean we are not here for our families and whanau - please do email us during this Christmas and holiday period if we can be of any assistance at all.

James Murray -

Theresa Dunston -

Lisa Broadmore -

Donna Vincent -

Thank you

Finally I just want to thank-you for your support around our end of year events, having not been able to attend these. 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.

Here are some of our recent recordings;

Prize Giving

Year 6 Leavers Performance

Choir Performance
Christmas Carols 1

Christmas Carols 2

Christmas Carols 3

Year 6 Leavers Mass

Enjoy a peace filled and happy Christmas holiday!

Ngā mihi nui

James Murray

A message to our graduating students

It is with a certain sadness that we farewell our young students from our School, St Marys’ Tauranga.

It has been a privilege to share in your responsibility of providing a holistic education for your child and hope that their experience has provided them with the necessary Christian and academic “tools” to continue their journey into adulthood.

Our dream, and I am sure it is the same dream as the staff of St Mary's, is that each child in our care has mastered enough skill to begin their journey into mature adulthood. We return them to you, their first and most important “educator”. We wish you all the best as these vibrant young girls and boys venture onward into the future. The world is before them and their being is rich and mature for whatever you provide for them along the journey.

May this season of Christmas, where we remember another very special family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, be one where these young people continue to bring joy, hope, faith and peace to you, your family and the world in which they will eventually become young adults of whom you are proud.

As someone once said : “ Encourage and support your child because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them” Being a Catholic Christian School we would end this message with the words Jesus spoke about children:

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” PS 8:2.”

A very blest and happy Christmas and may the Lord be with you always. God bless and may what lies ahead for your child always be a source of joy and happiness for you.

Sister Allison Macalister, on behalf of the Cluny Sisters

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Prizegiving award recipients

Athletics: Maxine Yu & Harry Grosso

Basketball: Matthew Rogers

Cricket: Henry Hopkins

Gymnastics: Addison Sands

Hockey: Janelle Tustin

Netball: Ava Morell, Maebh Manning & Maxine Yu

Waterpolo: Carys Parry & Henry Hopkins

Liturgical Service Cup: Francis Markham & Sienna Smart

Special Character Cup: Liam Ho & Georgia McFarlane

Maths Cup: Henry Hopkins

Performing Arts Cup: Kiana Schoeser

Visual Arts Cup: Maxine Yu

Literature Cup: Cora Barrett-Hodgson

Music Cup: Jessica Cha

Sportsperson of the Year Cup: Lachlan Murray

Kapa Haka Award: Matthew Rogers & Erena Coffin

Maori Achievement Award: Erena Coffin & Matthew Robinson

Pasifika Award: Nelson Santos

Principal Cup: Maebh Manning

Board of Trustee Cup: Milli Banbury

Cluny Sisters Leadership Cup: Milli Banbury & Maebh Manning

Christmas Carols

On Monday night, the St Mary's Church choir performed Christmas Carols to parents and friends. Guided by the wonderful Sally Washer and accompanied on piano by Mrs Alison Fitzpatrick.

These Christmas Carols were rehearsed to perform at a local rest home. Unfortunately the rest home visit couldn't happen because of Covid restrictions but the intentions and efforts of these students have been commendable.


Tēnā Koutou whānau,

I’m privileged and honoured to be taking on the role of PTA Chairperson next year and I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in. However, I realise that I have big shoes to fill following our current Chairperson, Tracey who is sadly leaving St Mary’s this year, along with other vital members of the PTA including Alice . Tracey and the other executives, Rebecca and Kelly, who are stepping down from their roles, have been integral in making the PTA the success it is today.

The pandemic has definitely put a different spin on things and Tracey led the way through these challenging times with encouragement and mindfulness. Tracey has gone above and beyond for the PTA and she will be considerably missed. I know I speak for all of us on the PTA when I say that we wish you all the best Tracey, and we thank you tremendously for all your efforts with PTA over the years, especially as Chairperson.

As we welcome a new year – and hopefully a much smoother one – we welcome a brand new PTA executive committee as well. Joining my side at the helm is Sarah Neeley (Secretary) and Lisa Chan (Treasurer). We’re looking forward to welcoming new parents and caregivers to the PTA to continue the successful fundraising opportunities that Tracey, Rebecca and Kelly have proudly led over the past couple of years. The three of us have children in Year 1 so we’re around for a while and can’t wait to see new faces join the PTA too!

We wish you all a very safe, healthy, merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the new school year.

Katie Radley, PTA Chairperson

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Blazing Batters

Congratulations to the Blazing Batters for a great win over the weekend! This resulted in a second place in their division.

St Marys Golden Eagles

St Marys Golden Eagles - won their final! Undefeated all season

St Mary's Moonfish

Great first season for the St Mary's Moonfish!

St Mary's Sunfish

St Mary's Sunfish bet Papamoa B 10-4 in the final on Friday night.

New Zealand Catholic


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

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