Special Character Message

Following our ‘value’ focus for the year, the Special Character Team have started with different activities highlighting the importance of each other, and that we are all united in love.

  1. Caritas – the group has been active in making the students aware of the different needs of the community.  They have the Move It, Sweat It, Stop It and Live It activitiesMove It – is making the staff and students see the importance of God’s creation and making a call to reduce carbon emission by looking at different options for transportation.  Sweat It is a call for staff and students to work in different service opportunities such as cleaning the butterfly garden and preparing goodies that they will be given on Christmas to the people in the hospice.  Stop It is a reminder for people to abstain from eating goodies such as meat in the season of Lent as their little sacrifice and having the people who are suffering around the world in mind.  And Live It is an opportunity for students to understand and experience the hardships of the people around the world.  This is an event that they will be doing in the Special Character Week.
    In addition to this, our Special Character Prefects represented the school and took part in the Caritas Social Justice Chat where they were made aware of the different people struggling to survive – refugees, homeless, people affected by floods and other natural calamities, etc.  They were asked to make plans on how to use the blessings that they have to help other people in need.
  2. Young Vinnies – the group has started different activities to help people in the community that are in most need of help.  They have identified people who are struggling and have prepared food parcels for them.  They also running a scarf raffle to raise funds and help more people.  The Year 10 Maths teachers have also come up with an activity in math to help with the project of Young Vinnies.  They have asked their students to have a budget and prepare food parcels for people in need.
  3. Caring Group – the teachers-in-charge have already started with a plan to help all the students from the school.  They have prepared activities to allow students to engage and be heard.  Their intention is to provide a space for students where they will feel welcomed and heard.
  4. Retreats – The Years 7, 8, 9 and 13 have finished their retreats.  It is with hope that they have learned the values highlighted in each of the retreats and that they carry their learning in their everyday lives.  The remaining Years will enjoy their retreats throughout the coming year, each with their own focus and theme.
  5. Lenten Liturgy – The Lenten Liturgy will be held on Holy Thursday (14 April).  The school, led by the Prefects and Year 13’s will be doing stations of the cross around the campus.  This will be livestreamed in the different classrooms.  The Head Prefects will be carrying the cross to the different stations and the assigned prefects will lead a prayer reflection on the values of Mary who is the school’s patron saint.
  6. Fr. Craig has visited the Year 13 classes this term to answer the different questions that the students had regarding faith, their RE lessons and how the Catholic Church views different things.  This was a very interesting activity as the students raised different questions that helped them understand their faith better.  The students felt that they are really part of the worldwide Church, and this has made them realise their responsibility in the school and the community.
  7. Eucharistic Ministers – Fr. Craig will be training the new Eucharistic Ministers for the school and the local parishes on the 6 and 13 April.  The new Eucharistic Ministers will be commissioned by Bishop Michael Gielen on the school’s Feast Day – 1 June, in the presence of their parish priests.  They are expected to serve both in school masses and in the different services within their parishes.
  8. Filipino Parents’ support group – There is a support group that was recently made to help Filipino parents understand better cultural differences and migration in general.  The aim of the group is to provide a safe space for parents to know how to strengthen the family and the relationships of parents and their children.  This is done on Mondays (fortnightly) in St. Luke’s Parish lounge from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.
  9. Local parish activities during Easter – as the school goes on term break, the local parishes will be busy with the Holy Week services.  It is expected that the students and their families attend these services to help them grow in their faith.  Please see a list of parish activities below (in and around our community):

    St Luke’s Parish timetable of Easter activities

    Tuesday’s (throughout Lent) – Lenten video series in Parish Lounge: 7.30pm
    Wednesday, 13 April – Reconciliation: 6.3o-7pm.  Stations of the Cross: 7-7.30pm
    Thursday, 14 April – Holy Thursday Mass (The Last Supper): 7pm
    Good Friday, 15 April – Stations of the Cross: 10am.  Veneration of the Cross: 3pm
    Holy Saturday, 16 April – Easter Vigil: 7pm
    Easter Sunday, 17 April – Service: 8.30am and 10.30am
    Click this link for St Luke’s Parish full schedule of activities.

    St Mark’s Parish (Pakuranga)
    Every Wednesday (during Lent) – Park and Pray: 7.30 – 10.30pm (outside in the carpark on the Pakuranga side) and Light is on for You: 7.30 – 8.30pm (outdoor individual Confessions)
    Every Friday (during Lent) – Stations of the Cross: 6pm (open/undisclosed Mass at 7pm)
    A special request: Lenten Almsgiving – the SVDP Foodbank is running low, so please consider giving a little support by donating food items.  Contact the ‘SVDP food bank’ team for items in urgent need.
    Click this link for St Mark’s Parish full schedule of activities.

    Our Lady Star of the Sea (Howick & Beachlands)
    Holy Saturday, 16 April – Reconciliation (Howick): 8.30am. Mass: 5pm (Howick). Mass: 6.30pm (Beachlands)
    Easter Sunday, 17 April – Mass: 8am & 9.30am (Howick). Mandarin Mass: 2.30pm (Howick).  Mass: 5.30pm (Howick)
    Click this link for Star of the Sea (Howick and Beachlands) full schedule of activities.