February 6 marked a very special day for Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School in Takanini, south Auckland, as it prepared to open its doors to the community and the 54 foundation students starting school. 

As all the families gathered in the school grounds for the blessing beremony to be led by Bishop Patrick Dunn, there was a sense of excitement and awe.

Principal Peta Lindstrom warmly welcomed all those gathered, the school families, community and especially the children.

A special welcome was extended to Bishop Dunn and other special guests including Linda McQuade, Auckland diocese vicar for education, Michael Stride, property manager for the Auckland diocese and other members of the Catholic Schools’ Office.

Also in attendance were Papakura parish priest Fr Peter Murphy and Manurewa parish priest Fr Michael Wooller, SM. St Mary’s, Papakura and St Anne’s, Manurewa are the two parishes working with the new school.

Miss Lindstrom said that through this blessing today, the school community opens itself to God’s grace and strength as they aspire to live out the school’s vision: “Ka Ako — Learn, Ka Aroha — Love, Ka Manaaki — Serve in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”. It is through this vision that the school would be given its life.

In his welcome, Philip Cortesi, the Establishment Board of Trustees chairperson, said that the past year in particular has been one of excitement, joy and anticipation as people have seen the school physically unfold before their eyes. It was a six month build, which is an amazing accomplishment.

“Through the wonderful work and support of many people, we have been blessed with an outstanding Catholic educational facility,” he said.

On behalf of the board, Mr Cortesi expressed sincere appreciation to the Catholic Diocese of Auckland for having the vision to establish a Catholic primary school in Takanini, to the Diocesan Property Team, Ignite Architects and to Scarbro Construction for achieving
such a milestone.

Bishop Dunn talked about the importance of appreciating the value and wonder of personal faith journeys and, as a new faith community, the school shares this with others on new paths together.

Bishop Dunn blessed the buildings, the staff and the families with their children.

As he blessed the building, Bishop Dunn said: “May our school be a place of great discovery, adventure and creativity. May it be a place where Christ is at the centre of the Holy Trinity family — a place where we love to learn and live to serve.”

As the blessing ceremony drew to a close, each family/ whanau was presented with a family/whanau kete to be taken home. This included the school karakia, the school values based on Gospel teachings, a school candle, rosary beads and a family prayer.

Miss Lindstrom then thanked Bishop Dunn for leading the school community in this special ceremony and to everyone present for the special part they had played in making this a wonderful community celebration.

The afternoon continued with a time of fellowship and sharing, with a family picnic time and sausage sizzle organised by the Establishment Board.