WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Message from a Principal

WelCom April 2017


Following comments by some Wellington students about women, made very public through social media postings last month, principal of Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Napier, Steve Bryan, addressed his school assembly on Wednesday 15 March and in a newsletter to homes with this message.

Dear Parents, Guardians and Whānau

I enclose my message to all students at assembly this Wednesday, 15 March.

Last week there were a number of Wellington schools in the news spotlight because of ugly things that happened in their school environments.

I listened to an interview between a RNZ reporter and the headmaster of one of the schools. He was asked how the school had responded to some disgusting things that had been posted on Facebook by students.

He described what had happened at the school assembly, what they highlighted to the students, what examples they had put to the school and the headmaster described the anger and disappointment some of the students felt about the behaviour of a small number.

The interviewer then asked, “but where were those students when these comments were on-line and were read and ‘liked’ by others, where were they?”

What he was asking was; where were the UPSTANDERS?

It was a very good question and highlights what we have promoted and encouraged here at SHC; to be proactive when you see, hear, or read something that is not appropriate, ‘Hey take that down, stop doing that, don’t write that…’. This is the course of action we all have a responsibility to take.

Many years ago, this was reportedly said by an Irish political reformer, Edmund Burke, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [women and] men to do nothing’. When we sit back and do nothing we are partly responsible for the growth of what is wrong, bad, and evil.

‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good women and men to do nothing’.

My favourite quote is from St Francis of Assisi, an Italian saint whom Pope Francis has taken his name from. St Francis was a man of peace, a man of poverty, a man who loved and protected creation. He said, ‘Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.’

‘Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.’

St Francis meant that doing is the most important thing. Making a difference in the life of someone else is when we are stirred into action. My call for you all is to be young women who have the courage and spirit to always do the right thing.

Let us at home and school work together, modelling the types of behaviour to our children and students so that they may always do what is right.