St Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Students from St Patrick’s schools across the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle took part in a variety of fun-filled activities last week to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

St Patrick’s Primary School, Wallsend

As the school’s single biggest fundraising day of the year for Catholic Mission, St Patrick’s Primary School, Wallsend, started its day of celebrations with a school Mass. This was followed by a morning tea for parents and parishioners, before parents had the opportunity to see what students have been up to this school year as they wandered through the open classrooms.

After lunch, the students had a fun-filled afternoon participating in a variety of activities organised by Years 5 and 6, paying a gold coin  to go towards Catholic Mission for each activity. There was a range of games including goal shots, guessing competitions, dance-offs and singing (karaoke style) as well as a variety of stalls offering face painting, nail painting, a photo booth, lucky shamrocks, hair colouring, drinks, ice blocks and cakes.

Students also had the chance to spend the day out of uniform and dress up in special green clothes – and thereby raise more money, with each student paying a gold coin for mufti dress.

“Mrs Adams and all the other staff have been preparing me for this feast and day of fun celebrations,” said Daniel Ariel, Principal of St Patrick's, Wallsend.

“The feast of St Patrick’s Day has meant a lot to me long before I arrived at St Patrick’s. Growing up in a family of Irish Catholic descendants, it wasn’t hard for me to get into the swing of things on St Patrick’s Day.

“But, before we look too far ahead, it is important to remind ourselves of the great saint and evangeliser St Patrick was. He was a man who put Jesus at the heart of all he did. He also spread the good news of Jesus throughout Ireland, so much so that he is considered one of the greatest evangelisers of all time.”

The school managed to raise a total of $1,600 for Catholic Mission on the day.

St Patrick’s Primary School, Swansea

The students of St Patrick’s Primary School, Swansea, were blessed with beautiful weather for their annual St Patrick’s Day festivities. The day began with a liturgy where the school community reflected on St Patrick and the qualities that make him an ideal patron saint. The winners of the school’s annual St Patrick’s Day art competition were also announced.

“St Patrick displayed many of the qualities that we foster in our students,” said Peter Green, Principal of St Patrick’s, Swansea.

“In spite of the obstacles that he faced, he was persistent. In spite of the physical and emotional traumas that he endured, he showed remarkable resilience. Above all, Patrick had a great devotion to God and he believed strongly in the power of prayer as a means of sustaining this relationship.”

The liturgy was followed by open classrooms, where visitors had the chance to observe and participate in the student’s morning literacy lessons. Students then participated in a range of St Patrick’s Day activities including ‘Pass the blarney stone’ and ‘Shamrock Shimmy’. Students spent the day out of uniform, bringing a gold coin donation to dress up in something green.

When lunchtime beckoned, students were treated to sausage sandwiches and drinks and also had the opportunity to buy a range of green foods from the school canteen. The school concluded its celebrations with its regular Friday afternoon assembly.

In total the school managed to raise $516.10 from the mufti gold coin donations and the green food sales. All money raised will be split between Project Compassion and Nathan Ross from the Newcastle Knights who is participating in the ‘Shave for A Cure’ appeal and shaving his head to help raise money for leukaemia research.

St Patrick’s Primary School, Lochinvar

The school community at St Patrick’s Primary School, Lochinvar, joined together last Friday to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a morning liturgy.

Students, who dressed up in green mufti, were treated to a range of green-coloured foods from their school canteen including jelly cups, fresh fruit cups and green iced cupcakes.

“St Patrick is acknowledged as a humble, gentle man whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us,” said Jacqueline Wilkinson, Principal of St Patrick’s, Lochinvar.

“Every day, through word and action, we endeavour to model ourselves on his great faith. We aspire to be a community that prays and works together to be the light of Christ for others. I personally connect with his words Christ be all around me.”

St Patrick’s Primary School, Cessnock

St Patrick’s Primary School, Cessnock, celebrated St Patrick’s Day in grand style this year.

Celebrations started on Wednesday with a  liturgy hosted by Year One students. The liturgy shone a light on the life of St Patrick and how he overcame adversity through forgiveness and love. The service was brought to a close by the Year One students who sung ‘The Leprechaun Song’ while decked out in their leprechaun hats.

On Friday, the students made their way to Cessnock PCYC for their annual PCYC Day.

An important event on the school’s calendar, it gave the school the opportunity to raise money for their Learning Hub – through all students being encouraged to get sponsors as they made their way through the activities.

Students took part in a range of activities, at school and farther afield, including rock climbing, a scavenger hunt, indoor soccer, Zumba dancing, training in the boxing area, a skating park, social games and experiencing the fantastic gymnasium complete with trampolines, parallel bars and a foam pit.

With Saint Patrick’s Day falling on a Saturday, the school concluded its celebrations the following Sunday at St Joseph’s Church, Cessnock, with Mass.

Welcoming new students and families into the school community, the church was adorned with St Patrick’s-themed artwork from students.