Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

What a great Mass we had on Sunday. It was great to see so many of our families there but it was also a very special day for the Baxter and Still families as Piper, William and Connor Baxter and Mya Still were all baptised.

Baptism is of course the first Sacrament of initiation and is the beginning of a persons life as a member of the Church. It is a beginning but to get the most possible from our life as Christians we need to be fully involved in all aspects.

Much the same is true of education. Now days parents put a lot of time and effort in to researching and finding what they see as being the best school for their child. This is an important first step. But it is only a first step. Being involved in your child’s learning on all levels is hugely important. This doesn’t mean doing things for them but rather role modelling that education and school is important. Attending school functions and interviews and ensuring that the pupils see school as a positive and important part of their lives.

I think that it was the great American golfer Ray Floyd who said "If you love your job then you never work a day in your life". To make the most of life we need to enjoy what we do. For children, parents set the tone. So as the saying goes accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative and life will be fun.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan


Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

The sun is finally shining after two weeks of almost non stop rain.

The Otago Championships have been postponed three times (not really sure why, for yesterday). I was down in Gore on Sunday watching Emily (my daughter) play cricket and the weather went from a freezing cold southerly, where some spectators were in sleeping bags, heavy rain through to burning sun.

Hopefully we will enjoy more settled weather through to the end of the year.

Over the next two weeks trips for Beach Education and the Art Gallery continue and the senior classes will be enjoying their swimming lessons.

As we move into the season of Advent, it is important to remember that Advent like lent is a season of preparation. As we prepare for Christmas it is, I feel, important to live each day and not focus too much on the future. There is a danger as the years seem to do faster to be always looking for the next big event; Christmas, birthdays, holidays etc, without enjoying the moment.

A wise man, once equated our trip through life like a train journey. He stressed that we need to enjoy the journey because if we totally focus only on getting to our destination we will reach the terminus soon enough!

So enjoy and make the most of each and every day.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

As I look out the window the rain continues to drizzle down which means: no athletics today and a damp day at the beach (luckily the beach education programme has a wet day component), obviously the advice was taken and the students will not go in the water.

Over the past two weeks we have enjoyed two of the occasions that bring our school community together: The school fair was a monumental success with excellent numbers of people attending, great support from all of our school community. A large amount of money raised to further support our school and a great time had by all. Once again a huge thanks to all of the helpers and organisers and especially Jacqui Hyde and Keisha Gorton.

The second major event of course was our school major production. The time and effort put in by all of the staff but especially the Room Seven group was obvious for all to see. The amount of work that was done in evenings and weekends really highlights the enthusiasm and commitment of the group.

A special thanks also to Mr Andrew Baines for entertaining us all with his creativity and excellent sense of humour.

Today is the final day of the term for Mrs Stevens who is going on leave to have an operation of her foot. We wish her well and pray for a speedy and complete recovery.

Finally remember in your thoughts and prayers the people who live at the top of the South Island and the bottom of the North Island who are still suffering through this catastrophic earthquake.

Have a great week, Mike Brosnahan


Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

2016 has become well known as the year of the sporting upset.

The upsets range from the Hurricanes winning the Super Rugby competition– not really an upset but it was the first time that they had won, to such unheard of results as Iceland beating England at football and Eire beating New Zealand at rugby (the first time in 111 years).

Some of the upset results were again the first time something had happened like Leicester City winning the English Premier league after 118 years of trying or the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA after 46 years of trying or even the Cronulla Sharks (Cronulla Sutherland) winning the NRL after 108 years.

But in many ways the biggest upset was the Chicago Bulls winning Major league basketball after a drought of 108 years. In the early years of last century the Cubs were one of the strongest teams in the competition, in fact they were the first team to win two championships and to be in three final series. Over the years they had many great teams and many winning years but they lost close matches and then came the "curse of the Billy goat".

It sounds a little strange to us but the curse seriously got inside the Cubs and their supporters minds. Just when they should win, something would happen that would lead to a loss. This culminated when a life long Cubs supporter (Steve Bartman) reached out to catch a fly ball from the stands touching the ball and denying a game winning catch to the Cubs fielder. The team then choked and lost! So incensed where the local fans that Bartman needed Police protection and had to try to live beneath the radar for a decade.

But all of that is ended now, the "curse" is lifted and 108 years is now no longer the longest non winning stretch in major sport.

Sport is looked upon as being a metaphor for life, why did these teams lose for so long, or why were they not able to win. They had the same or in some cases better teams and support than their opposition.

The answer would be that they, at crucial stages, lost track of what is important and why we play the game.

Sport is when all is said and done, entertainment. At the most basic level it entertains the participants and maybe their parents. At the top level it entertains billions worldwide. I remember a recent interview with a famous footballer who said when we asked about his immense salary "that he didn’t cure or teach people, he only kicked a ball but if someone wants to pay him millions then what was he to do?" What indeed!

To have a happy and fulfilled life we need to constantly remember what is important to us and to not become fixated on how things are "always going wrong" or not working out. Winners set their own goals and targets and don’t worry about what others say. Have a great week, Mike Brosnahan

School Fair

What a