Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Term Three At Saint Dominic's College


2012 seems to have flown by. In September we had the honour of our visiting Mother General on the eve of her Feast Day,

a Children of Mary BBQ for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin,

and a community outing which had as an aim – EXERCISE - but in reality, turned out to be a long drive through tunnels, over mountains, hills and plains; on the way passing a vast variety of wildlife on a forgotten highway, only to walk about 20 minutes to NZ’s longest waterfall then jump back in the van again so we could make it back to the convent before midnight. Luckily for us, we didn’t turn into pumpkins. 
Photos during our Community Outing
Now we are nearly at the end of yet another school year.  Our senior girls have been studying hard in preparation for their Cambridge Examinations, which they are now sitting and which, unfortunately for them, continue to run through the mid-term holiday break. They have the consolation, however, of knowing that they are candidates at an exam centre which has been passed as ‘completely satisfactory’ by the Cambridge inspector, thanks to our competent Cambridge Administrator. 
 At the same time, the Form 1 & 2 girls were full of excitement as they prepared to present scenes from "The Wind in the Willows" for their parents and some of the older girls.
Badger, Rat, Mole and Toad

Toad tells the Judge, the Policeman and the Usher, they are all 'Fat Faces!'
However, the excitement and work of performing was not left to the junior girls alone.Forms One to Seven were all involved recently in the annual inter-house music competition.As always, the competition between the three houses, Prouille, Calaroga and Bologna, was stiff; each house was required to perform a compulsory singing set-piece, and team-members could gain additional points by entering individuals or groups in singing or musical performances.While there was only one winning house in the end, the afternoon was certainly enjoyed by all, and it was very pleasing to be able to witness the wonderful musical talents that many of the girls possess.At the end of the competition, there was one final round of excitement: a pair of our more musical Sisters, who felt that the girls had not done sufficient justice to the set-piece (“Here’s a howdy-do” from the comic opera The Mikado), ventured to take the stage and give the audience a proper, lively rendition of the song.

Sister Mary Madeleine’s long-awaited sports equipment grant finally came through and was put to good use providing the school with equipment for track, badminton, table-tennis, volleyball, and basketball, among other things. The last two games have proved especially popular with the students, both during and after school hours. Among the girls who enjoyed trying out the new equipment was a guest from New Caledonia, Marie-Elisabeth, who stayed with a family in the parish and attended our school for two weeks. Her sister Genevieve had also come for a visit a few weeks previously.


In fact, we have been more than usually blessed with visitors during this year. Besides the two from New Caledonia, we also received two Americans, Miss Moats and Miss Dolphin, who offered their most enthusiastic help with school, parish and convent activities. Besides working with individual students, they have generously taken over all kinds of jobs—from baking and ironing to folding mail, supervising classes, marking, and various other duties which make up a busy day.

At the end of October, New Zealand prepared a rousing welcome for another visitor, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, with sizeable earthquakes on two consecutive nights of his visit! Although he had administered Confirmation in Auckland on Saturday morning and was to do so here in Wanganui in the evening, he kindly agreed to give a conference to the Sisters on the afternoon of his arrival, and spoke to us about Archbishop Lefebvre and the founding of the SSPX.

Among other interesting insights, he traced the foundation of the Society—a Missionary society, after all—to the generosity of Swiss Catholic families to the Missions. The Swiss Bishop who first approved the foundation of the Fribourg house would not have known anything about Archbishop Lefebvre had not his people donated so generously to the missions that he was invited to Africa to consecrate a church which had been built with their help!


The next day was the feast of Christ the King, and twelve young children received their King for the first time sacramentally, from the Bishop’s hands. After Mass, St. Anthony’s Parish braved the rain to do public honour to our Lord by a procession through the Gonville streets. The Blessed Sacrament passed over a sawdust carpet beautifully decorated by Brother Andre and his young helpers, around the block, and to the outdoor Benediction altar in front of a parishoner’s house, where a neighbour lady behind us gave her pet dog a running commentary on the proceedings! Then through the Gonville domain we marched back to the church, finishing the Rosary and singing as we went.

His Lordship, the 1st Communicants, and Rev. Fr. Cranshaw (Prior)

While deploying all the power of spiritual means to extend Christ’s kingdom, we have not been oblivious to material means. Students, staff and religious of the parish worked hard to make this year’s Bike-a-Thon fundraiser a success, and were able to raise NZ$61,610 dollars for the school.

A fierce competition mounted between the Dominican Sisters and the SSPX Priests/Brothers for the title of “Best Fundraiser” and needless to say, was won by the Sisters, with the result that we are looking forward to a delicious meal, home-cooked in the presbytery kitchen, which will be delivered to our door for the feast of All Dominican Saints on November 12!

The students also competed among themselves, and the best fundraisers—both individuals and class groups—were awarded prizes, for example a class trip to a destination chosen by the students. We thank all the generous benefactors through whom God’s providence works for the growth of His sovereignty here in St. Anthony’s parish.

As we near the end of year, a time when blood pressure levels rise as we head into examinations, reports, prizegivings, Final School Masses and this year a 10th Anniversary celebration, we were fortunate in having two well-rounded guests “drop in” one day, which provided much recreation for the Sisters. There is a funny story attached to this visit and details will be revealed at the heavenly nuptial banquet.

What we CAN tell you is this. Very exciting news will be announced soon by Mother Rose.

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