by BRIGID CONROY
“To engage, inspire and empower through Christ”: this vision, the motto of Suzanne Aubert Catholic School (Papamoa), was inspired by the work of Venerable Suzanne Aubert, and is what will guide the foundation board of trustees, staff and students in the creation of this new community of learning.
After only six months of planning, praying and preparing, the school was blessed and opened by Bishop Stephen Lowe on February 2, in the presence of students, staff and board members, governance facilitator Jeremy Kedian, All Saints by the Sea parish community, tangata whenua, manuhiri and sisters from the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion.
“The Sisters of Compassion were founded by Suzanne Aubert. She was a woman of great faith and inspired many people. For the sisters today we hope that Meri Hōhepa/Suzanne Aubert will be an inspiration for all the school community here,” said Sr Margaret Anne Mills, DOLC.
Welcomed in a whakatau by local iwi, and with inspiring opening remarks from establishment board chair, Ron Scott, foundation principal Anthony Mills, Bishop Lowe, and Sister Margaret-Anne, Bishop Lowe blessed not only the buildings, but all the new learners and those present as well. Mr Scott put it this way: “Like the Church itself, Suzanne Aubert Catholic School is not these buildings, as wonderful as they are. At the centre of the school, the beating heart, are the learners.”
Eighty-two students in years 1 to 6 are enrolled this year, with the ability to grow to 150 by 2022 and 250 by 2024.
“We are blessed to be opening a Catholic school in one of the most beautiful places in Aotearoa. To parents, caregivers and whānau, we feel incredibly privileged to be sharing this journey with you as we partner together in the education of your tamariki,” said Mr Mills.
The diocese and school would like to thank all involved in making the opening of the school possible, in particular the Ministry of Education; Graeme Roil, the diocesan schools property manager; Establishment Board members; Mr Kedian, Mr Mills and his team of staff; the Sisters of Compassion; tangata whenua.
Thanks also to Mike McClennan, the IDS Project Manager, Boffa Miskiel, Waiotahi, Watts and Hughes, and all the subcontractors who have worked right up to the opening of the school. Finally thank you to the parish and school community at All Saints by the Sea parish, and all those families sending their children to this new school.
To learn more about the new school and keep up to date with how this learning community grows, visit their website www.suzanneaubert.school.nz or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ SuzanneAubertSchool.
This article was originally published on the Kete Korero blog on the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton website. www.cdh.org.nz It is republished here with permission.