St Patrick’s College serves the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Wellington, and the Proprietors, the Society of Mary as a major provider of Catholic education for young men. The primary reason for the College’s existence is to teach its students to live the values of Jesus Christ in their daily lives. These values are found in Scripture, and in the practices, worship and teachings of the Catholic Church. They form the foundation of our education of Special Character at St Patrick’s College. We aim to help grow good Christian men who will becomes leaders of the Church and of the communities in which they live.
The Catholic and Marist character of St Patrick’s College permeates all areas of College life. It is summarised in the College Mission Statement:
Education at St Patrick’s is based on Marist tradition and philosophy in which each student is treated as a unique individual who is enabled to grow spiritually, academically, culturally, emotionally, physically and socially in a nurturing Catholic environment.
In practical terms this means a student at St Patrick’s College will be involved in up-to- date and relevant religious education classes throughout his time at the College. He will have unique opportunities for spiritual growth during retreats tailored to the needs of his age group. He will experience liturgies and Masses designed to bring faith alive for young people. For students who have not received the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, or Eucharist, there are programmes run which prepare them to receive one or all of these sacraments.
The College’s Ministry team, which includes our College Priest, Father Pat Brophy, works to promote and enhance the Special Character of our College through organising retreats, Masses, liturgies, professional development on Special Character, and many other activities. In accord with its Marist heritage the College seeks to bring Mary’s spirit to all, through gentle, wise, and patient guidance.
In all areas the College’s resources are available to parents to assist them as the “first educators” of their children. This partnership with parents is a fundamental part of the Marist approach to education, and is realised in many practical ways – regular communications from the College, easy access to teachers, support for families experiencing difficulties, and a welcoming environment for parents who wish to participate in any College activities or groups associated with the College. The belief that each individual has his own unique range of talents given by God underpins the continual encouragement students receive to do their very best in everything they do. It is also the reason why St Patrick’s College ensures that a wide range of courses and activities is always available to students:
Throughout their time at St Patrick’s students share many experiences which develop a camaraderie and sense of belonging which leads to life-long friendships. At the same time as they are developing the skills needed for the 21st century they come to know themselves as part of the unbroken line of St Patrick’s College Old Boys who have left the College throughout the last 131 years. Pride in the achievements of those who have gone before them is an integral part of pride in themselves and in their College. This sense of belonging is a powerful motivation to do one’s best in all things.
It is very important to us that parents and students feel part of the College. The Parents of Patricians programme in Year 9 is a time for parents and students to work together on matters of belonging to St Patrick’s and addressing matters of faith. Parents are expected to attend a session each term to look at the issues to be covered with their son. They then work through a booklet with their son. This brings parents together and provides a forum for them to talk with their sons about what it means to be Catholic, Marist and Patrician.