Kia ora e te whanau
As we get closer to the end of the year the senior students are focussing on their external examinations and the junior students are focussing on end of year assessments and activities. Tutorial support is being offered by our teaching staff and I am very impressed by the extra time and assistance given to our students by our wonderful staff.
When we get busy, I know for me personally it becomes harder to be present for people and their needs and even just to be present in the important moments. Presence, Noho Puku, means being available to people without expecting anything in return and is a powerful way to slow down and show people you care. We are so lucky that we were not in an extended lockdown like our Auckland neighbours and that we can be at school and be present to each other. What a huge difference it makes for students to be at school and make their presence felt with their peers, their teachers, and the community as they travel to and from school. There is something more to presence and being available to others - it builds the community within St Peter’s College and outside the portals of the college too.
It is also time to reflect on spiritual presence and ask ourselves if we have sought the presence of the Lord in our lives at this time. Have we come into His presence and laid our difficulties before Him? Psalm 16:11 says “You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever”. Your presence every day has made a difference in the lives of those around you, continue to make this difference in being available to others and do this without expecting anything in return. Let us all be more of a presence in the lives of those around us as we navigate the challenges before us. We are not alone in these times and should seek assistance when needed.
Recently an external Special Catholic character review took place here at St Peter’s College and Rosmini House and one of the foci was Te Whakaatu Karaitiana - Christian Witness. We were evaluated on how effectively the school provides a hope-filled Christian witness which empowers its community members to integrate their faith and their life. I include two excerpts from the published review that we can all be very proud of:
The authenticity of St Peter’s as a place of Christian witness becomes very obvious through discussion with the various groups which comprise this Catholic community. The Principal describes families as “connected and committed” in their desire for a well-rounded education for their children. The values of the college, compassion, community and commitment are well articulated by ākonga who said that they live by the three C’s and that their classmates are there for them in times of difficulty. They feel cared for and supported and teachers are willing to give of their time. “Everyone knows who you are.” They know that adult support is always there and they have many doors to knock on for support. Ākonga also noted that there is a sense of community when they gather for Masses. Parents spoken to also described a caring and accepting environment where people look after each other. The parent community is very involved and welcome in the school and the presiding board member sees this as a strength.
From visiting the hostel common room and dining hall, meeting with the director and staff, talking to ākonga it can be seen that the impact of being a member of the hostel community is significant. Hostel residents are provided with a family atmosphere and their pastoral care is a huge priority in complete alignment with the Special Catholic Character of St Peter’s College.
The full review document can be found on our website. I wish all our students at school every opportunity of connection and presence. To our senior students, we wish you the very best for your external NCEA Examinations. May blessings be with you always.
Charity Fulfils the Law