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Our Teachers Draw Near to Our Lord as the Year Begins

The teachers’ commissioning Masses are important events in the life of the Diocese. These three Masses are held in the first school term each year. In the Mass, the staff of our Catholic schools join with our Bishop and offer their intentions for the year ahead. The staff are commissioned by the Bishop, as they share in his teaching ministry. Lastly, new Catholic qualifications gained by staff are also acknowledged at these Masses.

The final of three Masses took place in the Sacred Heart Basilica, Timaru, on 21 March. Christchurch and the West Coast also celebrated these Masses on 21 February and 7 March, respectively. The liturgy, featuring prayer and music in Maori, Greek, Latin, and English, was ably assisted at each of these Masses by Sacred Music Advisor, Ken Joblin. For the Christchurch Mass, a teachers’ schola (choir) was assembled and contributed a number of beautiful pieces to the liturgy.

The Diocesan Certificate of Attainment in Religious Studies is awarded to teachers in recognition of their completion of six academic papers, from Te Kupenga Catholic Theological College. These are gained in the fields of Religious Education, Scripture and Theology:
– Religious Education Today & Spirituality for Teachers
– Understanding the Old Testament & Interpreting the New Testament
– What Catholics Believe and Catholic Social Teaching or What is Theology
In addition, teachers who complete a seventh paper (Teaching in a Catholic School) are awarded the New Zealand Certificate in Christian Studies – Religious Education.

Congratulations to all teachers who received their qualifications and who were awarded their certificates at these Masses. We know a lot of hard work, time, and commitment went into attaining these qualifications. We are thrilled that so many of our schools have received this professional development. May God continue to bless you and your work.
Rory Paterson – Religious Education Adviser