Category Archives: Posts

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 that to suffice instead. A little break was for an impromptu Christmas-Card-making, 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 sackload 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!
Perhaps this boy was very naughty – because Black Peter obviously thinks he should stay up there.

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

Highlights from the Guild Dinner

Thank you for sharing the evening with us. We will be uploading the recordings of the evening for those who were unable to make it there soon, after the flurry of examination-correcting and report-writing is over! But for the moment, here are some photographs and an audio-recording of the crowd-pleasing music number by Sister Mary… Continue Reading

The Reality of Purgatory

Purgatory is a supernatural reality that exceeds our reason. We know about it because God has revealed it to us, but it remains very mysterious. We will only understand what Purgatory really is after we die. Nevertheless, the Church asks us to look upon this mystery with the eye of faith and understanding. St Paul… Continue Reading

Devotion to the Holy Souls

Mother Francis Raphael Drane, in her celebrated book The Spirit of the Dominican Order Illustrated from the Lives of its Saints, begins the chapter on Dominican devotion to the Souls in Purgatory as such: There is an Italian proverb which says, “Be a Dominican when you die,” referring partly perhaps to the wonderfully happy deaths… Continue Reading

Christ is King, Now and Forever

Almighty and everlasting God, Who in Thy beloved Son, the King of the whole world, hast willed to restore all things, mercifully grant that all the families of nations now kept apart by the wound of sin, may be brought under the sweet yoke of His rule: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth. V. Dicite in… Continue Reading

A Spring in our Steps

Actiones nostras, quaesumus Domine, aspirando praeveni et adiuvando prosequere: ut cuncta nostra oratio et operatio a te semper incipiat, et per te coepta finiatur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. So goes the prayer that is prayed everyday at Pretiosa during the Office for the Sisters, and in the “Prayers Before School” for the girls in… Continue Reading

Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

Excerpts from the Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII: IUCUNDA SEMPER EXPECTATIONE, September 8, 1894 The recourse we have to Mary in prayer follows upon the office she continuously fills by the side of the throne of God as Mediatrix of Divine grace; being by worthiness and by merit most acceptable to Him, and, therefore, surpassing… Continue Reading

Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Graces

Jesus Christ alone is the necessary and principal intercessor but it is no insult to Him when we present Him with our request through Our Lady or the saints who reign with Him in Heaven. Since all merit depends upon His merits and every expiation upon His infinite satisfactions, there is consequently no intercession that… Continue Reading


In this poor room, now lavishly decorated by grateful pilgrims and devout Catholics, we recall to mind the great mystery of the Incarnation. “Hic Verbum caro factum est.” Thus are the words inscribed upon the altar: Here, the Word became flesh. These bare and naked walls heard the “yes” of Mary, that mysterious assent which… Continue Reading


King St Louis has the distinction of being the only French King to be canonised (he was also a personal friend of St Thomas Aquinas!). His memory will no doubt be more dear to us, however, because that was the day that the new building was approved by the Council for occupancy. Two days later,… Continue Reading