From the Director of Religious Studies

Religious Education Newsletter
Term 1, 2019  

Dear Parents and Caregivers Haere mai, welcome to Term One at Our Lady of Victories School. I trust that you have had a restful and blessed Christmas break and the children and you are ready for the new year. At this time we remember in our prayers Father Graeme whose one year anniversary was on the 15th of January. It was lovely to see a number of school children and their parents attend this Anniversary Mass, officiated by Bishop Paul. His legacy is a reminder that life is precious and we must keep strong in our faith no matter what challenges we face.  

All classes begin the year learning about Prayer. This will be followed by everyone doing lessons from the Jesus Strand. The Jesus Strand links very well with the liturgical Year Lessons on Ash Wednesday, Lent, Palm Sunday and Easter, which are a major focus of Religious Education in term one.  During this term we will be integrating the Caritas Lessons into our programme. The focus of Caritas this term is Peace, Love and Life: Hope and Challenges in South Sudan.  You can check out the resources we will be using at Caritas Lent Resources.  

We are blessed at Our Lady of Victories to have a very active relationship with the Parish. An important aspect of this is our fortnightly Masses at 9.00am on Friday’s which we begin on the 8th February. Please try to have the children at school by 8.50am so we can get to Mass on time. Each term we also attend Mass as a School on a Sunday. Please mark Sunday 3rd March 10.00am, on your calendars for our Parish / School Mass. During Lent our Young Vinnies group will be organising a Social Justice Action to support those in need in our area. In Holy Week we will be re-enacting the Stations of the Cross and the Last Supper. Please keep an eye out in the weekly newsletter for more information on these events.  

Thank you for supporting your children in forming their faith.  
God Bless
Cath Shaw – Acting DRS

Dates for the calendar
29 January Room 8 – Mihi Whakatau - Welcome 9.00am
4th February Values Assembly  – Room 8. 9.00am
6th February Waitangi Day holiday  
8th February Parish Mass – Room 8 leading 9.00am
11th February Values Assembly  – Room 12 9.00am
18th February Values Assembly  – Room 7 9.00am
22ndFebruary Parish Mass - Room 9 leading 9.00am
25th February Values Assembly  – Room 1 9.00am
3rd March Parish and School Mass.  Sunday 10.00am
4th March Values Assembly  – Room 4 9.00am
6th March Ash Wednesday Parish Mass 9.00am
8th March Parish Mass Room 7 leading 9.00am
11th March Values Assembly  – Room 9 9.00am
18th March Values Assembly  – Room 6 9.00am
22nd March Parish Mass Room 10 leading 9.00am
25th March Values Assembly  – Room 11 9.00am
1 April Values Assembly  – Room 7 9.00am
5th April Parish Mass Room 12 leading 9.00am
8th April Values Assembly  – Room 10 9.00am
12th April Last Supper and Stations of the Cross 1.30pm

Each term we focus on one of the Mercy Values. This term our focus is Social Justice.   Social justice is promoted through our Church doctrine. In addition to the Gospel teachings and person of Jesus Christ, we have Catholic social teaching (CST) that guides us on how to ‘see, judge and act’ on issues of social justice.   Catholic Social Teaching is based on the theme of human dignity. Each human life is considered sacred and made in the image of God. It motivates us as Catholics to seek ways to promote just societies and fair treatment of individuals in communities.   Catholic Social Teaching reflects the Gospel Values of love, peace and justice in the context of modern social problems.  
  • It enables us to make connection between the faith we practice and our daily lives.
  • It affects our actions and our reactions.
  • It leads us on a journey from God, back to God and into action.
    Pope Francis says, It is not enough to say we are Christians. We must live the faith, not only with our words, but with our actions.   Catholic Social Teaching is like a tree, rooted in scripture and growing and responding to current social needs, supported by Church documents.     The seven principles and the issues guide us in our personal mission to build the kingdom of God and continue Jesus’ work to nurture the human dignity of all.
  • Human Dignity - Made in God’s image
  • Solidarity - Walking together
  • Stewardship - Being responsible guardians
  • Common Good - The good of each and all.
  • Participation - Everyone has a part to play
  • Preferential Option for the poor and vulnerable
  • Subsidiarity - Empowering communities
  This is our commitment  as members of our church and as responsible global citizens. Catholic Social Teaching is living, growing, evolving and responsive.

         Below is an outline of learning for the Jesus Stand for each Curriculum Level
Level 1 – Year 1 &2: Level 2 – Year 3 &4:
Jesus my friend. Jesus showed his love in different ways. Jesus gives himself in the Eucharist. Jesus came to show people how to live and lead them to God.
1) How Jesus’ life as a child is similar and different from the lives of children today. 2) Jesus who became a human being – our elder brother, tuakana is the true Son of God the Father 3) Jesus’ invitations to be friends with him. 4) Jesus showed love and respect for people in different ways. 5) How Jesus showed love and respect, how people show love and respect today. 6) The Bible is the Church’s special book which includes stories of Jesus.   1) Sharing food with friends is like celebrating Jesus’ gift of the Eucharist that helps us to grow in holiness. 2) Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist in different ways especially through the changing of the bread and wine. 3) The best way of giving thanks to God the Father is with Jesus through the Holy Spirit in the Eucharist  4) Jesus invites people to grow in holiness by sharing in his life which we call grace Mana Atua. 5) By living as Jesus lived, Christians share in Jesus’ mission of worshipping God and bringing about the kingdom of God Te Rangitiratanga. 6) Jesus respected tapu in people by exercising tika justice, pono integrity and aroha love. 7) Jesus was sent to reveal the love of God, bring forgiveness of sin and healing so people can be reconciled with God Te Atua.  
Level 3 - Year 5 & 6 Level 4 – Year 7 & 8
The Life of Jesus. Jesus - the fullness of God’s revelation. Jesus Saviour and Liberator. Jesus: His values and the role of disciples today.
1) The structure of the New Testament. 2) The context in which Jesus lived. 3) The life of Jesus Hehu. 4) Jesus was fully human he tino tangata and fully divine he tino Atua. 5) Jesus is the Son of God and that he revealed to the world that God is Abba, Father, Matua.   1) Jesus is Saviour and Liberator through his life, death and Resurrection – te aranga. 2) Titles for Jesus, including Jesus is Lord, Mātāmua firstborn and Tuakana eldest brother. 3) The Beatitudes and their place in the lives of Christ’s disciples today.  4) Original, personal and social sin and people’s struggle against sin in the light of Jesus’ message of forgiveness hohou rongo. 5) Jesus is an advocate for the poor, the weak, the powerless, those without mana, and how this challenges Christ’s followers today to bring about justice tika and peace in the world. 6) Jesus as Risen Lord.  

Lent is the period of preparation for Easter – a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to the poor. During this season, we remember that Jesus Christ - Hēhu Karaiti calls us as members of a worldwide community. The call to fullness of life, the sharing in the very life of God, endows every human life with inestimable value and an innate and sacred dignity. As children of God we each have the same needs and yearnings: for food, water and shelter; for protection of family and whānau; for education and work; for the opportunity for spiritual reflection and renewal; and for a safe and peaceful environment in which to live.