Tuesday, October 4, 2011

September 2011

The month of September passed quickly with many important events taking place. At the beginning of the month, there was a quick visit to Australia for Mother and two professed sisters. The goal: To have a look at St Thomas Aquinas School in Tynong and a piece of land called "the green wedge," where our future Motherhouse is hoped to be established. All in all, it seemed to be a very happy and positive trip. Father Delsorte, the local prior, was in high spirits as he showed the sisters all the facilities the school had to offer and the newly decorated church. The only drawback to the trip was that there were no encounters with a kangaroo or two!




Meeting with Fr Delsorte, Australia




Outside the Church, Tynong, Australia





Next year will mark an important step in the history of our congregation as Mother heads a brigade over to Australia to begin work on the establishment of a Motherhouse, hoping to have the patronage of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary; leaving a community of sisters to continue running our first foundation, aptly named after our Holy Father, Saint Dominic. Please pray that our community may continue to grow under the loving mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that we may bear much fruit for Holy Mother the Church.



After a netball game with our senior students


Sister Mary Margaret, OP and postulant, Miss Juliana Maddeford



Netball in Action





At the end of the month, we celebrated the Feast of St Michael the Archangel, which was also the feast day of our Mother Prioress. The sisters rallied around to prepare a celebration worthy of mention. It began with sisters smoking out the kitchen, trying to make pancakes for 17 people before the start of school. Mother was overjoyed to find that 'some delightful person' had ordered the book she had secretly desired for her feast day, along with a few other goodies. In the evening we prepared a bit of, what one might call, an amateur musical recital. We were very fortunate to have the presence of a visiting flautist from the USA, who was able to play sweetly amidst the reverberations of two booming cellists, a one-handed organist (Sister had broken her arm in a recent roll-a-thon fundraiser), a few conductors equipped with wooden glockenspiels, two confident recorder players, and a group of choral singers. There was much delight when all managed to end in harmony at the last bar and the audience, with Mother at the head, gave out a thunderous applause to the voice of an overly confident recorder player, who insisted that we could take requests.













After the September holidays, it was 'all hand on deck' as the seniors underwent a week of mock exams and are now preparing for the upcoming Cambridge examinations. As part of our ongoing professional development as teachers, Sister Mary Catherine, OP gave a lecture to the staff on student motivation, high expectations, and the link they have to academic success. It was certainly an inspiring talk and encouraging to review our school statistics. Although only a small school, St Dominic's College has been awarded four Top Centre Awards since 2007. To gain the award, the students must come in the top few percent in NZ and/or in the world. Sister Mary Catherine pointed out that although our students may not be like the great St Thomas Aquinas, yet with high expectations and hard work, all have the ability to achieve.


Senior girls out on a glass-festival expedition




Sister Mary Catherine motivating the sisters to give their best
in our annual 'Teachers vs. Students' netball game



The month of the Holy Rosary commenced with a Sunday of contemplation to prepare the sisters for the upcoming Feast of the Holy Rosary. On this day (1st Class for Dominicans) our Cappas are hung up until the Feast of our Holy Mother Saint Catherine of Siena, and one of our most powerful weapons unveiled - the rosary - which we always wear by our side. With a true Dominican spirit, we expect to redouble our prayers for the Rosary Crusade, for more postulants, for our new foundation, for our school children, for the salvation of souls, and...... for more gigantic carrots like this one. Deo Gratias.


Postulant, Miss Klingers, with giant carrot