Three St Joseph’s primary schools in Auckland got together for the first time to celebrate their collective feast day on March 19.

St Joseph’s, Onehunga, hosted similarly named schools from Grey Lynn and Orakei as the location was geographically central for the three schools, explained St Joseph’s, Grey Lynn, principal Regina Smuga.

“The event was extremely successful and the principals were introduced to the students as nearly being sisters, so, therefore, the students could claim themselves as being cousins, all of one family. This, in turn, prompted the children to call each other cousins,” Ms Smuga said.

She said the day started with a Mass participated in by students from the three schools.

(From left) Principals Caroline Bush (St Joseph’s, Orakei),
Carolyn Massey (St Joseph’s, Onehunga) and Regina Smuga
(St Joseph’s, Grey Lynn) with an image of St Joseph
outside the Islamic Centre in Onehunga.

After the Mass, the three principals: Ms Smuga from St Joseph’s Grey Lynn, Carolyn Massey from St Joseph’s, Onehunga, and Caroline Bush from St Joseph’s, Orakei, walked to the local Islamic Centre to lay yellow roses for friendship and an image of St Joseph at the gates.

At the school, the students had morning tea and then divided into four different houses to play organised house sports and participate in different activities.

The children came away with new friends as well as strengthened old friendships.

“Children came back buzzing with new ideas for Masses and liturgies, new ideas for sports games, new ideas for collection of cans and food for others. Some children came back saying that they loved playing with others not from their own school. The little ones said that they were a little shy at the beginning, but then they had a fabulous time. All the children interacted beautifully with each other. And [it was] a fun day out for all the children,” Ms Smuga added.

The three schools plan to make this celebration an annual event.