Principal/Trustees & Staff of New Zealand Catholic Schools

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the 2013 School Year!!

  1. Introduction
    Hopefully, you enjoyed a restful and rejuvenating holiday period and are now able to face the New Year with energy and enthusiasm.
  2. Rapidly Growing Ethnic Diversity
    Our Catholic schools are leading the way in welcoming a growing range of students and their families from an expanding number of countries.  This phenomenon, while very pronounced in the northern part of the country, is also being experienced to some extent in most parts of the nation.  This diversity is reflective of a universal Catholic Church experience in many nations.  It clearly represents a strength of our school system.
  3. Increase in Numbers of New Entrants
    This year will further demonstrate that the markedly increased number of births, apparent since 2008, is now starting to impact on many of our primary schools.  The most significant increases are among Pacific and Asian families, but not exclusively so.
  4. The Year of Faith
    No doubt the leadership of your school will be in dialogue with you about various initiatives that will take place during 2013 to mark the Year of Faith, which commenced in October 2012.  Reaching out in a variety of ways to families who are not regular Church goers, is a challenge which many of you already are very successful at.  Could I encourage you to do whatever you can do to engage your students and their families in connecting with the God of Creation, “in whom we live and move and have our being.”
  5. Catholic Schools Day May 22nd 2013
    Resources to help you prepare for this national day will be sent to each school by the end of February.  Catholic schools educate 55.5 million young people worldwide.  We are a strong international brand which is respected by large numbers of the world’s population.
  6. Excellence and Equity
    Former President Nelson Mandela speaks in his memoirs of pursuing the goal of “glittering excellence”, yet ensuring that every student is given the hand up they need in order to develop their potential.  Both these goals are fundamental to any Catholic school’s teaching and education culture.
  7. Appreciation
    As you get started into the New Year could we encourage you in your vital role of inspiring and engaging the young people in your care.  New Zealand needs to put to work every gram of leadership, whatever its form in each student.  Educators change lives and touch eternity in the process.  What a role!!

Thank you for your goodness and generosity.  We offer you our support and good will.

Wishing you every blessing,

Patrick J. Lynch and NZCEO Board & Staff