During Lent, we engage in three spiritual practices – prayer, penance, and almsgiving.
Tēnā koutou kātoa ngā whānau o te kura
We are now in the second week of the 2021 school year, and I extend a warm welcome to all our new and returning students and staff.
Traditionally, we send out a newsletter twice a term, and this year we felt it fitting to celebrate some of the early successes that took place during the summer break. This extra bulletin is also an opportunity to share some of the key operational and policy expectations at Aquinas College with new families.
While we will provide a more detailed and disaggregated analysis of our NCEA results in the next newsletter, I want to commend our students for another set of outstanding results that our students achieved in NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship in 2020. A snapshot of this achievement is captured in this newsletter. Your role as parents in our College community is essential in supporting our teachers, and obviously, our students in achieving these incredible outcomes.
The Year 7 & 8 faculty will be hosting a barbeque for families and students at a ‘Meet the Teacher’ get-together on Monday night (February 15), and we look forward to seeing you all there.
On behalf of Bishop Steve, I invite all of our College community to attend the Diocesan Commissioning Mass next Thursday (February 18) at St Mary Immaculate Church to be held at 6:00pm. All students who attend are expected to wear school uniform. This is a celebration and commissioning of the school year.
Our first College-Parish Mass for the year is being held at St Mary Immaculate Church at 10:30am on Sunday, February 28. We come together at Mass to celebrate the Eucharist, which is the source and summit in the Life and Mission of our Church. These opportunities to celebrate together are essential in the life of our College, and I ask for your support in this regard by way of attendance. All students are expected to attend in their school uniform.
The season of Lent is upon us
Next Wednesday (February 17), the College will celebrate Ash Wednesday in a full-school liturgy. Ash Wednesday signals the start of Lent. Lent is a season of simple living. As the entire Church prepares for the great celebration of Christ’s Paschal Mystery in the Easter Triduum, Catholics make special efforts to pray, do penance, and do good works. During the six-week season of Lent, we are encouraged by the Church to engage in three spiritual practices – prayer, penance, and almsgiving. Let us each reflect on how we can prepare for our saviour’s resurrection in the season of Lent.
Throughout Lent, as a College, we pray the Angelus every day at 12:00pm. The Angelus reminds us of the Annunciation when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary with great (if somewhat startling) news! As we read in Chapter One of Luke’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38), God wished Mary, truly a model of humility, to be the mother of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus loved us enough to die for us so that we might live with Him eternally. When we pray the Angelus with humility and love, we are emulating Mary’s faith in His goodness.
It has been a busy and exciting start to the year, and I encourage you to read all about it in this newsletter. I extend best wishes to all students, staff and the wider College community for continued success in 2021.
Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa