Special Character Message

Dedication Mass 

We were blessed to gather after a couple of years with the other Auckland schools in Christ the King Parish, Owairaka to celebrate the annual dedication mass, presided by Bishop Steve and were concelebrated by the different parish priests of Auckland. Our Guidance Counsellor, Eleanor Purchase was recognised for finishing Living Life to the Full course in 2023. 

Opening Ash Wednesday Mass 

The mass was presided by Fr. Sherwin Lapaan and Fr. Larry Rustia.  Fr. Larry was introduced to the school as the new School Chaplain.  Fr. Sherwin reminded the school the meaning of fasting and sacrifice, and he emphasised the importance of giving up something for God’s greater glory. 

The school leaders were also blessed by Fr. Sherwin, Fr. Larry and the school community.  We were also reminded to repent and live out the Gospel.  Click this link for full details.


Blessing of our 2024 Prefects 

Fr. Larry, in one of the Friday Lunch Time masses, blessed our 2024 prefects that they may fulfil their roles and inspire the school community as the use their faith in God as their compass in making good decision.   


Year 13 Retreat
The retreat began with a mass that was presided by Fr. Larry at Eastern Beach.  The students were then led to the different activities that were prepared for them.  To cap the retreat, the students listened to a live interview with a special guest who experienced hardships from the time that he was a child.  He spoke about his refugee experience and the trials that he and his family went through.  He spoke about the questions he had and how he learned to love God more despite the trials in his life.  He encouraged the year 13s to stay strong and keep the faith.  He also asked them to learn more about God’s love and how to develop their relationship with God.  Click this link for a student’s reflection.

Year 12 Retreat
The theme for the retreat is Servant LeadershipThe students were immersed with different activities to let them understand the true meaning of leadershipThey were made aware of the leadership of our Patriarchs and were given situations to help them realise what they must do for our school, the community and their familiesThey also had a guest speaker who is a Catholic leader who spoke about his mission in proclaiming the good news – something that is not supposed to be said but rather seen in his actions and his words.  Click this link for a student’s reflection.

Year 7, 8 and 9 Retreats
The Junior retreats are led by NET – a group that the Diocese of Auckland has commissioned to run retreats for Catholic Schools.  NET has trained Sancta Maria College’s CSYMI and some Year 13 leaders to run sessions for the Junior Retreats.  This is an opportunity for students to grow and share their faith and love for God. Click the following link for a student’s reflection of the Year 7 retreatThe CSYMI were trained on the 29 February 2024 in school with the help of Sam Brebner and the NET team. 

Year 13 Talk on Catholicism and Religion in New Zealand – Dr Ward presented to our Year 13 cohort. Click this link for full details.    

Lenten Liturgy 

The Lenten Liturgy this year is focused on the seven last words of Jesus.  Seven students will share their reflection on the words of Jesus and challenge the school to understand how Jesus expressed his love for us.  After each reflection, the school will be led to a prayer reflection to help them see the meaning of Jesus’ words in their lives.  The liturgy ended with the blessing by our School Chaplain, Fr. Larry. 

Rosary and rosary guide for new students 

As per our tradition, we have started giving out rosaries and rosary guides to our new students.  The Year 7s will have theirs in the month of May to help them understand the month of devoted to Mary. 

MUFTI for Caring Foundation 

This term, the students geared up to help Caring Foundation.  The Akaroa prefects shared with the school what Caring Foundation does and the students were motivated to help out people in our community through their gold coin donation.

We are proud of our current and former students. 

1. Theology of the Body for Teens Course Seminar-Workshops were run by former student Adam Salomon and Year 13 student Cyprus Causer.  This is a 5-part course on St. John Paul II’s profound teachings on the meaning of human love, relationships and the beauty of life.  

2. Francesca Adams
Former Head Girl (2020) painted a modern interpretation and exploration of Mary as Mother of God and mother of all.  This was unveiled at The Logos Centre (Auckland) on 14 December 2023.  This represents her faith and her roots – Sancta Maria College. 

3. Owen Tamayo
Former Service Prefect (2020) celebrated his 21st birthday by donating goods to St. Vincent de Paul Society instead of having a party.  He said that it is better to donate his party money to those in need.  Seeing the smile on the faces of the people he has helped is similar to seeing Jesus’ smile. 

4. Hearts Aflame
Peter Brozowski is leading this summer programme for the youth, ages 18 – 35yrs.  The aim of this programme is to help the youth know more about their faith and how they could live out the Gospel.  Former students who attended this programme shared that they have been truly blessed by this experience and that they are willing to sponsor other Sancta Maria College students who wish to attend in the future. 

5. Exodus 90
Neill Kulkarni is leading Exodus 90 which is a group that focuses on the struggles and the faith connection of the Israelites with God.  They are following a module that relates to our current day to day living and how we could get close to God through our daily struggles.

Youth Ministry Leaders for the Diocese of Auckland 

Current and former Sancta Maria College students were commissioned as Youth Leaders for their different parishes (Our Lady Star of the Sea, St. Marks Pakuranga, St. Luke’s Flatbush and St. Anne’s Manurewa) earlier this month.  This goes to show that our students have imbibed in them the school’s special character supported by their parents. 

Sancta Maria College Vinnies have started their first meeting with SVDP.  This year they have decided to expand to: 

  • Food bank/cooking 
  • Visit to Retirement Homes 
  • Visit to Hospices 

Students from all year levels were excited to sign up for these different activities.  They are looking forward to delivering on their promises throughout the year.

Valentine Kisses – The prefects continued the fund-raising project this year, in coordination with the Mrs. Courtenay Kilpatrick, the funds that were raised will be added to the Caritas Lenten Collection. 

Yours in Christ,
Mr. Omar Leo Tamayo
Leader of Special Character Mission and Liturgy (DRS)