WelCom April 2023
Hundreds of teachers and staff from the Archdiocese of Wellington’s Catholic schools travelled from all over the lower North Island to gather for their annual Commissioning Mass, held on 14 March at St Mary of the Angels Church.
Presided by Cardinal John Dew, with Archbishop Paul Martin sm and priests from Wellington and Lower Hutt, the teachers were commissioned for the year ahead. Many were also congratulated for completing annual qualifications and certificates in Catholic Education.
In his homily Cardinal John said, ‘The task, the call, the mission, the privilege of any teacher in a Catholic school, primary or secondary, is to enlighten the minds and hearts of their students by helping them to meet, to encounter Jesus Christ.
‘Our mission is to bring students to life by knowing Jesus who is the Light of the world. We want them to see His light, we want them to Walk his Way, to Tell his Truth to Live his Life.
‘It is God’s call to you to give life and light and hope to those entrusted to your care. Let God enlighten your hearts and you will enlighten the hearts, the lives of others.’
At the end of Mass, Cardinal John addressed several teachers who have recently gained further qualifications. ‘To help teachers in their mission in Catholic schools and as faith educators, the Bishops of New Zealand, over many years have strongly encouraged teachers to work towards qualifications in religious education and Catholic character,’ Cardinal John said.
‘I am very grateful for the large number of our teachers in our schools who have responded generously this call. Over the last few years a significant number have annually completed qualifications and gained certificates. Thank you for your willingness to do this, and for your hard work and commitment. We all congratulate you.’
A Commissioning Mass was held for archdiocesan teachers at the top of the South Island, at St Peter Chanel Church, Motueka, on 17 February. Also in February, Commissioning Masses were held in the Diocese of Palmerston North for teachers in Taranaki at St Joseph’s Church, New Plymouth, celebrated by Fr Simon Story; and for teachers in Manawatu at St Brigid’s Church, Pahiatua, celebrated by Fr Marcus Francis. The Mass for Hawkes Bay teachers, scheduled for 16 February, was cancelled due to Cyclone Gabrielle.