“The tender mercy of God has given us one another.” Catherine McAuley
I am reminded in these strange pandemic times of the words of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Mercy Sisters. “The tender mercy of God has given us one another.”
It was so great to celebrate Mercy Day, as a full school, with Sisters Mary-Ellen, Anne, and Teresa. These three Mercy sisters are great examples to us of Catherine McAuley’s words in action. These words remind me that the challenge to live the Gospel of Christ requires from us real care in the form of action.
This has been a very packed 10 weeks, full of great highlights and opportunities. There has been a very strong academic buzz in the school, and I have been impressed with the way our students have remained focused on their studies. We will start Term Four as we did this term with student-parent-teacher conferences. There will be the opportunity to talk with teachers and help set academic goals for the fourth term.
It was pleasing to have sports resume this term. I loved the passion and positive teamwork displayed by our students, and it was also good to work together with Grey High so that we could make up numbers for teams.
Cultural week was also a highlight. This year we had a strong community focus which led to a very positive cultural night. It was wonderful having many students show-casing what is important to them and their families.
Our Drama students staged the New Zealand classic play ‘The Pohutukawa Tree.’ These students showed great acting skills and effective stage work, and clearly enjoyed the experience. I wish to acknowledge the incredible work of Mrs. Smith, our Drama teacher, who brought everything together and spent many hours shaping the performance, organizing costumes, props, lighting, etc, to culminate in a very enjoyable two evening.
I want to acknowledge in this newsletter the wonderful way the staff and teachers work together for the benefit of the students. This year we have had Jeff Franklin away. In his absence, Mr. Ellis, Ms. Johns, and Mr. McCarthy have ensured the Social Science area has been well organized and high-quality teaching has been in place. It has been great to again be offering Geography as a subject and my hope for 2021 is that History will also be available in the senior school.
As we move into Term 4, I ask for your prayers for a group of students who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
On the 27-29th November, we are planning to celebrate our 40th anniversary as John Paul II High School. This will be a great weekend and I encourage any of our parents who are past students to come and be part of this. There is still time to take advantage of the early-bird prices.
I thank you all for the wonderful efforts of this last term. As we complete this term and look forward to the holidays, may God bless all our school community. Term 4 will be a busy term, so in addition to having a break, I encourage our senior students as they head into the holidays to take time to plan and undertake some study for their exams.
Nga mihi nui
Principal John Paul II