Special Character Message

This year was different from the previous years.  The year started with some uncertainties due to the floodings but we still managed to go on with our different activities and see God’s hand working in our lives.  This years’ school Value is RESPECT.
So, God created humankind in His image; in the image of God he created them.” (Genesis 1:27).  RESPECT – We are reminded that we should think of others first, affirming and upholding the humanity and dignity of all.

We are also pleased to be guided by this year’s Special Character team, pictured in the photo above.

Staff Pilgrimage to Hokianga
The senior leadership team, teachers and the 2023 prefect team attended a pilgrimage to the Hokianga at the end of January 2023 to learn about the history of Catholicism in New Zealand, visiting Totara Point, the site of the first mass celebrated by Bishop Pompellier on 13 January 1838.  The students were left with a greater understanding of the whakapapa of the faith in Aotearoa.  This was also a great opportunity for the 2023 prefects to come together as a team and was a wonderful way to the start the year!

Staff Retreat

At the beginning of the year, the staff were inspired through the retreat that was facilitated by the Leader of Special Character Mission and Liturgy (DRS).  This has uplifted the spirits of the staff that helped them realise God’s love.  They were guided to doing different activities to help them see the importance of respect for self and others.

Dedication Mass

The Dedication Mass was done face to face after 2 years of doing it through Zoom.  The Principal together with some staff represented the school.  The mass was presided by Bishop Steve and were concelebrated by the different parish priests of Auckland.  There were some staff that were recognized for the accomplishment of the RE and Theology PD courses.

The Opening and Ash Wednesday Mass

The mass was presided by Fr. Sherwin Lapaan who inspired the school community to live a meaningful life.  He focused on the hyphen (dash) between the year of birth and the year of death encouraging the school to make this year a great one.

The Prefects were also blessed by Fr. Sherwin and the school community.

We were also reminded that we are dust and will return to dust.  Click this link for more detail.

Year 13 Retreat

The retreat began with a mass that was presided by Fr. Craig at Eastern Beach.  The students were then led to the different activities that were prepared for them held at Willow Park Christian Convention Centre.  Most of them also received the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  At the end of the retreat, the students also listened to a guest speaker who spoke about making good decisions in the light of God.  Click the following link for more detail Year 13 Retreat | Sancta Maria College

These are the remaining school Retreats and Special Character events coming up…

Date Time Activity Venue
10 March 8:00am – 3:00pm Year 7 Retreat Auditorium
17March 8:00am – 3:00pm Year 8 Retreat Auditorium
24 March 8:00am – 3:00pm Year 9 Retreat Auditorium
28 April 8:00am – 3:00pm Year 11 Retreat Auditorium
19 May 8:00am – 3:00pm Year 12 Retreat Auditorium
22 – 26 May Special Character Week
26 May 2023 Feast day Mass Auditorium
26 May 2023 4:00 – 11:00pm Caritas Challenge Auditorium and GYM


The work has already begun for Caritas.  At the start of the year, they have already made an appeal for the cyclone victims as a response to the call of the Auckland Diocese.  They had a fund-raising concert that inspired the listeners and have collected enough to share to the victims.

They have also started with these projects: Koha boxes as part of the Lenten Appeal, Singout4Justice which is different this year as this competition is focused on performance rather than the song writing and the Kaitiaki2Share, which is a creative idea competition on caring for creation based on the Catholic Social Teachings.

Lunch Time Mass

The year started right with a huge number of students wanting to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist.  Both the local and international students have attended the first masses of the year.  We continue to encourage everyone to attend and receive the sanctifying grace.

Special Character Groups

We have added and made some changes with the Special Character Group offerings for 2023 in response to the survey that was made at the end of the year.  We have also tapped several staff members who willingly said yes to sharing their time and talents with the students.

Special Character Group Objectives Tasks Teacher-in-charge
Caritas Open the eyes and ears of the school community to the needs of the world 1.      Makes the students aware of what is going on around them – the struggles of people around the world. Miss Alethea Smith
Mr. Callum MacLeod
Ms Amara KavernAssisted by:
Mr. Omar Tamayo
SMC Vinnies ·   Make the students act to the needs of the community

·   Protect the members of the school

1.      Provides opportunities for students to reach-out to poor people in the community

2.      Finds out people in school who are in need or are struggling

3.      Finds ways to reach out to these people

Mrs. Yolande Williams

Assisted by:
Miss Verna Oliver
Mr. Omar Tamayo

Breakfast Club Provide for students who are in need 1.      Helps students who are struggling with food Mrs. Prue Rehu
St. Columban Mission Society Provide opportunities for the school community to protect and serve mother nature supported by the Catholic Teachings 1.      Come up with projects/solutions to protect mother nature.

2.      Ties up with the Enviro Team

Mrs. Joanne Al-Rubaie

Assisted by:
Miss Debbie McCreath


Laudato Si Circle Promote the message of Pope Francis on Caring for the Environment 1.      Allow students to understand the Theology on the Environment

2.      Open up avenues for students to share their faith in relation to the environment

Mr. Daniel Bidwell
Caring Group Make the students feel safe in the school community 1.      Provides opportunities for students to open up

2.      Allows students to express themselves without being judged

Ms. Eleanor Purchase
Mr. Colin Didier’Serre
Mercy EdwardAssisted by:
Mr. Omar Tamayo
Marian Group Make the students know more about Jesus and the values of Mary 1.      Provides opportunities for students to break open the Word of God

2.      Allows students to learn about the scriptures and see its value in their lives

Mr. Omar Tamayo

Assisted by:
Mr. Cedric Piggin

Liturgy Committee Ensure that the Liturgical activities of the school are in place 1.      Prepares the liturgy for the school

a.      Materials

b.      Decorations

c.      Eucharistic Ministers

2.      Encourages the school community to be part of all the liturgical activities.

Mr. Omar Tamayo

Assisted by:
Miss Verna Oliver


Choir and Band Ensures that songs are prepared and are liturgically correct 1.      Prepares the musical pieces needed for masses and liturgies

2.      Rehearses the band and choir

3.      Rehearses the whole school in preparation for the mass

Mrs. Sarah Maddison
Lectors and Altar Servers Guild Ensure that the readers and altar servers are prepared and able to do their duty in masses 1.      Provides training of Lectors and Altar Servers

2.      Prepares the roster of Lectors and Altar Servers for the mass

Miss Alethea Smith
Catholic Youth Ministry International Train students to be faith-filled leaders who would inspire other students to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. 1.      Provides opportunities for students to develop their skills as leaders.

2.      Provides opportunities for students to deepen their faith.

Mr. Cedric Piggin

Assisted by:
Mr. Omar Tamayo

Pompallier Shield Ensure that the school is well-prepared for the inter-school competition 1.      Taps and rehearses students for the competition

2.      Prepares all the necessary details for the event

Miss Verna Oliver

Assisted by:
Mr. Omar Tamayo
Mrs. Sarah Maddison

Stella Maris ·  Prepare the students for Pompallier Shield

·  Give Intermediate Students a focus on the Scriptures

1.      Prepares the Contest materials and procedures

2.      Gives direction to Intermediate Staff to prepare the students.

Miss Verna Oliver

Assisted by:
Mrs. Sarah Maddison
Ms. Kate Bradley
Mr. Callum MacLeod

God Bless,
Mr. Omar Tamayo