St Mary’s College has a strong and vibrant House system.
Each student is placed into one of the six school Houses, each wearing different House colours at sporting and arts events.
The Houses provide for healthy competition within the school. Points are awarded for academic, sporting and cultural successes as well as for service and citizenship. A Cup at the end of the year is fiercely contested. Each House is associated with a saint and a colour, and has a House banner depicting these associations.
House Borders on the Banners
This border was created to show that, although the Saints and heritage of Europe are revered, this College is a product of New Zealand and its heritage.
The Maori sun, moon and wind, the rafter patterns and the Marae acknowledge the presence of Maori culture in our lives. The pohutukawa and clematis flowers show just two of our many beautiful plants, while the mountains, sea and sky; stream running through bush and punga groves remind us of our wonderful countryside. Twelve pairs of New Zealand native birds are depicted; the tui; shining cuckoo; fernbird; saddleback; bellbird; stitchbird; yellowhead; whitehead; bushwren; kingfisher; South Island robin; and fantail.
The Celtic Cross recognises that Catholic education in New Zealand owes its existence to Irish Orders who came to this country to educate Catholic students. The Mercy Cross acknowledges that St Mary’s College owes its continuing existence to the Sisters of Mercy.
The current House banners were created by the late Sylvia Wells in 2001.
“What I like about St Mary’s houses, is how we can all be friends with different year groups at this school and learn from each other.” Korey, Year 11 student
The Houses also provide leadership opportunities for the senior girls and a mentoring system where juniors are buddied up with an older student and nurtured through their school life and beyond. The sisterhood of St Mary’s College goes well beyond the school gate.
Saint: St Anne
St Anne is the Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the House banner she is depicted teaching the young Mary.
Saint: St Joan of Arc
St Joan of Arc is the heroine of France as she helped the King of France reconquer his country. She rallied an army behind her and, one by one, freed the cities of France. She was betrayed by the Duke of Burgundy and sold to the Bishop of Beauvais, a servant of the English, for ten thousand gold francs. The Bishop put her on trial for treason and heresy, and his court condemned her to be burned at the stake.
Saint: St Bernadette
Bernadette was born in Lourdes, France in 1844, to a very poor family. Bernadette was out collecting sticks for firewood when Our Lady first appeared to her. Over the next year she appeared 18 times to Bernadette. The great shrine of Lourdes which was built where Mary appeared has been a place of many miracles and cures of the sick.
Saint: St Maria Goretti
St. Maria Goretti is unique in that she is the youngest canonized saint in the Church. She died tragically on July 6, 1902, at the age of eleven. Her last words were of forgiveness for the attacker.
Saint: St Catherine of Sienna
St Catherine of Sienna, Virgin and Doctor (Teacher) of the Church is one of the great figures of Christianity. She worked for the poor and sick, and especially sought to bring sinners back to their religion. She laboured to bring the Popes back to Rome from Avignon and had great influence on the affairs of the Church. Her writings still inspire today. Pope Pius XII made her protectress of nurses. In the banner she is depicted tending the sick.
Saint: St Teresa
St Teresa was born in France in 1873. She was only acknowledged after her death when her diary, “The Story of a Soul” was published. This book showed her spiritual greatness and the suffering she had endured. Because she prayed for missioners she has been named the Patroness of the Missions. She was declared a Doctor of the Church (Teacher) in 1997.