As the Lord liveth…

“As the Lord liveth, the God of Israel, in whose sight I stand…” In whatever we do, if we keep always the presence of God foremost in our minds, it will sanctify all our actions and keep us aware of the goal towards which we are working to: eternal life.

The end of the school year has come for the Secondary Girls at St Dominic’s College. It has been a very compressed two weeks, with different activities that challenge the girls to apply themselves mentally, physically, emotionally… not forgetting, of course, that whatever we do, is done in conspectu Domini, in the sight of the Lord.

Exams are a necessary part of schooling.

First we had the end-of-year examinations, which were held over four days in the Hockey Hall. With two papers each day and study time in between, the Form 1 to Form 4 girls worked through their papers, knowing that after the time of testing, it would be their long-awaited summer holidays!

Throwing the Hammer, Maori Style.
Tug-Of-War, over the Taranaki.

While the Sisters scrambled to mark all their papers and key in marks and comments into the progress reports, the girls had an entertaining afternoon playing Tabloid Sports that had a Maori theme running through the activities. (We do have an interesting time marking though. Some of the responses on the examination scripts provide much mirth for stressed-out Sisters.)

A Piano Recital is Always Entertaining.

For the music pupils of the Sisters, a piano recital was also held to showcase their talents in playing the violin and piano (and also, the cello). Pieces ranged from a cute little violin piece Polly Wolly Doodle, teacher-student duets, and other familiar tunes from Kuhlau and Mendelssohn. It was fitting end to a year at the “St Dominic’s Conservatory”!

Colour-Coordinated dresses were a feature of the Thank You Party.
A Big Thank You to all who have helped us!

A Thank You get-together was also held to show our appreciation for all the kind benefactors of Signadou – who have helped with the boarding school pupils throughout the entire year, whether by ferrying them to external music lessons, sports competitions, supervising them while the Sisters were at prayers, helping with the massive (and never-ending!) laundry and kitchen jobs … etc. There was food, fun, and entertainment! Mrs McKenna even brought her piano accordion, which the boarding school pupils happily danced to, before presenting different little pieces on the bagpipes, Scottish dancing, and even a little comic piece.

The Bennett sisters present The Sword Dance – with improvised swords.
Fr Laisney preached 3 conferences for the Day of Recollection.
The girls spent the day in recollected silence.
Stations of the Cross concluded the day’s activities.

St Andrew’s Day was the Day of Recollection for all three sections of the school. The Junior School had Fr Albert with them, while the Senior girls and boys had Fr Laisney. The primary school children had two little talks, a walking rosary, and some craft activities. The secondary school pupils had conferences, the entire 15 decades of the Rosary, and also Stations of the Cross. (It was a very quiet day on the school grounds!)

Fr Albert explains what prayer is to the little children, who listen in wide-eyed wonder.
The primary school children prayed a rosary in front of the grotto of Our Lady.
Craft activities followed the two little talks and the rosary.
Clean-Up Day! Furniture is moved out, and everything is scrubbed – including the wall and floors.

December 1st saw the secondary school pupils busy with cleaning up the school. Furniture was moved onto the lawn, and brooms, dusters and scrubbing implements were wielded (to various degrees of proficiency) while the girls scrubbed, cleaned, and tidied up the classrooms that they had used for the entire year.

With the wind blowing outside at an average of 30km/h, it was impossible to hose down the exterior of the building, as is usually done. So indoor activities had to suffice instead. A little break for an impromptu Christmas-Card-making session, and then the girls were again deputed to tidy up various areas: polishing brass, sorting piles and piles (and piles) of music, and untangling embroidery thread.

Sorting out embroidery thread isn’t as easy as it looks.
Brassing “holy things” was also part of the day’s work.

We also had prize-giving on the evening of 2nd December.

Prize-giving night marks the end of the school year.

A Solemn High Mass concluded the year for the secondary school pupils.

A final school Mass (votive of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for the First Friday) was offered before we said adieu.
Ave Maria – sung by the Sisters and the girls for the Offertory of the Mass.
Here we are – Sisters, boarding school pupils, and our faithful helpers.

The Primary School children had a happy occasion to look forward to: the visit of St Nicholas! He interviewed each child in turn, and had a sack-load of presents awaiting the eager hands that reached out for the goodies. Black Peter was there to assist him (together with gobs of jelly, an iguana, and other strange surprises).

St Nicholas came to visit the primary school today, with a sackload of gifts – and also some pranks!
Who’s next on the list?
Black Peter had a surprise for little Rose. The boys are all agog as to what to expect.

So we have just one more week left of (primary) school – before looking towards Christmas, our annual retreat… and the year to come!

3 Responses to As the Lord liveth…

  1. Good to see the St. Nicolas Black-Pete tradition continues. It began in our parish as far as I am aware via Mr Jan Hos and his dear friend (RIP) Mr Jon Gabriels; whence Mr Spindler took over the role of Black-Pete for a time or two.

    God Bless our Schools.

  2. Hi Sister Mary Rose! And Sister Mary Katherine! Long time no see, Miss you! Please pray and ask the Sisters and all to pray for my Country, America, to get us all through this super hard time! And that The Supreme Court will rule that President Trump won the Election!! And please pray for me and my family esp for my health! Sister Mary Rose, please email me, I have a sensitive subject to discuss with you that needs GREAT Prayers! Thanks! God Bless and Mary Keep you all, Take Blessed Gentle Care, Miss Mary Geier

  3. Dear Dominicans of Wanganui

    What a year it has been ! Hearty congratulations to you all for all the work involved. May God reward you richly.

    From years ago I recall a conversation with the late Mr Jon Gabriels RIP.
    He commented that God had sent so many Dutch people away from the Netherlands, in the 1950s and 1960s
    even to New Zealand for a reason;
    they had been afforded the grace of keeping the Catholic Faith, when nearly all their relatives who remained
    in the Netherlands, had abandoned or given up the practice of their Catholic Faith.
    He and his late Wife would ever be grateful to God for that grace above all.

    Great to see St Nicholas still being helped by Black Peter ! Brilliant ! Happy Christmas to all

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