by NZ CATHOLIC staff
AUCKLAND — A stone sculpture of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop created by artist Michael Pervan has been unveiled and blessed at a Mangere Catholic school named for her.
In a special liturgy held at St Mary
MacKillop Catholic School on June 1, Bishop Patrick Dunn reminded students of how much their patron saint had loved children during her lifetime, so much so that she dedicated her life to educating them.

Pupils from St Mary MacKillop Catholic School, Mangere, beside their school's new sculpture of tgheir patron saint. (Beth Kubala photo)

Bishop Dunn encouraged students not to forget their dreams, as these could be God’s calling for them.
“I may well be looking at the future Prime Minister of New Zealand, or even the next Bishop of Auckland,” Bishop Dunn said.
The sculpture, made from Portugese stone and sitting on a three tonne rock sourced from a Mangere quarry, is in a garden setting at the school, which will encourage student reflection. Several students, staff and guests felt compelled to touch the artwork after it was unveiled and blessed.
Mr Pervan, from the Studio of John the Baptist in Takapuna, said his work was “looking exactly as she should”.
The ceremony was attended by parents, Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and diocesan officials.
Principal Glen Ryan emphasised the school’s values, which are inspired by the life of St Mary: that God is present in everyone and in all situations; that every person is equal and is to be treated with respect; that in working to improve education, opportunities are there for all people; that all are called to serve and love others.
The school has fostered a culture whereby Pasifika students can overcome their natural shyness and stand tall and proud in all their achievements.
Several students recorded the occasion using iPads owned by the school. A plasma TV at the school’s reception showcases a loop of different movies and photos taken by students.