The Next Stage of the Journey

After the departure of our Australian cohort, another school year has taken off. From January 23 – 27 we had our annual teachers’ week with all members of staff attending departmental meetings and planning their lessons for the year ahead. We also received the Cambridge examination results during the week. A few surprises, but those aside, there were some very pleasing results for the students. What a joy to hand over the results to a nervous student, reluctant to look at the paper before them and then after some very gentle coaxing to take a peek, to see a beautiful smile light up the face! Hard work pays off and I am sure that each and every student can vouch for that.

On Monday, January 30th, we officially started school with a Solemn High Mass of the Holy Ghost with Fr Fortin as celebrant, Fr Lavin as deacon and Fr Bochkoltz as subdeacon. Fr Fortin preached a very inspiring sermon on truth and charity to all present. All of the staff took the anti-modernist oath and were decked in academic regalia for the special occasion. Fr Bochkoltz came to spend a fortnight in Wanganui before flying off to Singapore to await his visa for New Zealand as he will be replacing Fr Anderson in the parish. Fr Laisney, our former principal, has returned to fill in for him during this time. We are all very grateful for Father’s help in the school.

The past weeks have been quite eventful. We welcomed our new form one students as well as three new pupils to the school. Our prefects have been very busy organising exciting games for the girls during the lunch break and are already organising their houses for the upcoming inter-house music and choral speaking competitions – what initiative considering that these competitions are not until April and August!

On Thursday, February 2nd, the feast of the Purification, we had our first inter-house competition for the year – tabloid sports. Even though certain students had prayed unceasingly for rain in order to delay the event due to complaints of unfitness from lack of exercises over the holidays, the weather held out until the last event. After a session of stretches the girls competed in sprints, ball games, egg and spoon and three-legged races and a relay on the croquet lawn. By the end, it was obvious that each and every girl really enjoyed themselves, not to mention the staff! Prouille won with 480 points, followed by Calaroga with 430 points and not far behind was Bologna with 410 points.

While on the topic of sport, we are encouraging the girls to register netball teams for the inter-school competitions which will begin in May. At present we will have an intermediate team but we still need a few more players for the senior team. Let’s hope that we can keep up the tradition of having teams representing our college. On Thursday evening as our bursar sister was looking over the accounts she noticed that a substantial sum of money had been deposited by the Pub Charity. After summoning a couple of sisters to show them, she discovered that it was the outcome of a grant applied for during the holidays for new computers. We extend our heartfelt
gratitude to Pub Charity for this money which will be very beneficial to the school.

The senior girls ended the week with their first home economics lesson. They cooked up some scrumptious caramel dumplings and returned to school very content. Over the weekend, the Sisters and some of our pupils and former pupils had the honour of singing at the wedding of two former pupils of our school. What a joy to see the fruits of our labour. It was quite a tender and moving occasion.

We have just had the wonderful blessing of a Redemptorist visiting the parish to preach a mission over the past week, and the students were very grateful as no homework was issued during this time in order to allow them to attend. We hope that this remarkable parish mission bears much fruit in the souls of our students, and in the whole parish!

Now with Lent around the corner, we pray that the spiritual seeds planted during the mission may grow during this holy season of penance and fast – and when Easter finally arrives – that our souls may bloom with the radiant purity that is gained only by the purifying way of the Cross and union with our Crucified Saviour. May His sorrowful Mother lead us on the way to Calvary and finally to the joys of Easter!