Nau mai haere mai
Brendan Terry (Director of Religious Studies) and I have been fortunate this week to attend the triennial Catholic Education Convention with the theme ‘Horizons of Hope’. Being part of a big delegation from Gore and a bigger community of over 800 delegates from Catholic schools around New Zealand, brings home the reality of being part of something much bigger than ourselves. Faith based schools have a very important part to play in New Zealand education. They provide a faith based curriculum where the founding principle of Catholic character is first and foremost in our planning, programming and, most importantly, our relationships. These principles underpin our College Vision—’Preparation for Life’. One of the keynote speakers stated that, as parents, teachers and other members of our wider school community, “sometime we are the only Gospel our children will every read”. In this secular world, it is more important than ever to ‘be the Gospel’ and model to our young people the life that Jesus would live today in the world. Is is hard to live in a secular world and therefore it is important that we pass on our faith to the students in our care and allow them to know and practice their faith in that world. Three of our students—Ciara Doncaster (Leader of Special Character), Breanna Reed (Year 12) and Katie Wilson (Year 11) attended the conference with us and we enjoyed their company. It was a great opportunity for them to see that they are part of a very large Catholic community throughout New Zealand. They have offered some comments they wished to share will all of you—”It has been a very spiritually enriching experience” (Katie); “It was a very moving experience which became a great opportunity for us as students” (Breanna), and Ciara stated "The 2015 Catholic Convention was an incredibly eye opening experience. I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to go, not just to see Wellington for the first time, but to be part of the teaching process. To see how much effort these people put into making sure we have the best education, to see how much they care about our future, so thank you”.