Educational facilities blessed and opened for Wellington Catholic Schools

WelCom March 2020: Te Aroha Junior Block, St Anthony’s School, Seatoun On a sunny evening last December, Cardinal John Dew officially opened, named and blessed the renovated junior classroom block at…

WelCom March 2020:

Te Aroha Junior Block, St Anthony’s School, Seatoun

On a sunny evening last December, Cardinal John Dew officially opened, named and blessed the renovated junior classroom block at St Anthony’s School, Seatoun. A karanga welcomed Cardinal John, dignitaries, Board of Trustees, staff, students, guests, and whānau. Students showcased song, poetry and music, with the theme – Tūrangawaewae: the Universe. The school band had practised hard and all were impressed with their results. 

The upgraded block, two years in planning and building, and named Te Aroha, complements the senior school’s He Atawhai classrooms’ block, focused on Love and Kindness from 1 Corinthians 13:13.

Cardinal John said ‘This newly upgraded building, Te Aroha, represents many things St Anthony’s stands for ‒ a place of faith, student learning and achievement, dedicated, experienced and able staff and a strong, generous and committed community with an enduring hope-filled spirit.

‘It takes many people to grow, develop and educate children. Families and teachers build on this foundation to create a community of believers so children can learn to ‘walk the way of Jesus Christ, live the life of Jesus Christ and tell the truth of Jesus Christ – essential for Catholic education and at the heart of the school.’ 

Guests were invited to view the rooms and experience the learning spaces. The multi-purpose classrooms and breakout spaces will be used as classroom hubs for junior students and for arts, music, cooking, and spaces for teachers and teacher aides to work with groups of children.

‘The school community is excited to see the many benefits of our new innovative learning spaces’, said Acting Principal Denise Johnson. ‘We are extremely grateful to the Archdiocese for supporting this upgrade and we look forward to the opportunities the new spaces offer our students and teachers.’

St Anthony’s School was opened in 1923 and the Sisters of Mercy taught there until 1977. It is a co-educational primary school from years 1 to 8 and serves the areas of Seatoun and nearby suburbs in Wellington. A small school with a strong spirit it provides a vibrant faith community, a caring pastoral environment and a rich cultural mix of talented students. 

Science Block for St Bernard’s College, Lower Hutt

Cardinal John Dew joins the gathering of manuhiri, students, staff and whānau outside St Bernard’s College new Science block for the early morning blessing and opening.

Simon Stack

It was with great joy we assembled at 5.30am on a Thursday morning in January this year before our school year began, to be part of the blessing and opening of our new Science block. To have our Cardinal do this for us was a particular joy. Cardinal John gave our building the name of ‘Gregor Mendel’ after the priest, teacher and scientist who gave the world its first understanding of genetics.

Explaining why he had chosen that name for our building, Cardinal John talked about Mendel as being a man ‘whose Catholic faith meant everything to him and whose scientific studies can help us to discover more and more about our faith too’. He concluded with the words: 

‘I hope that everyone who studies and teaches here will remember Mendel’s motto: “Thy will be done”. If we try to remember God’s will in all things, we will then respect one another, we will respect our world and we will know beyond any doubt that we are already standing on life-giving ground.’

Our college is going from strength to strength with 670 boys here in 2020. We have the statement ‘To Stand on Life-giving Ground’ as our whakatauki. The ‘life-giving ground’ is our Catholic Faith – a Faith we know can empower our boys to grow and ‘stand tall’ in their lives. We are immensely appreciative of the investment the Catholic Community of Wellington is putting into us over the next two years as we continue the revitalisation of our spaces with the demolition and rebuilding of our main teaching spaces.

You are welcome to come and see.

Simon Stack, Principal, St Bernard’s College, Lower Hutt.