The Catholic Social Teachings of kaitiakitanga and whakawhanaungatanga alongside our school value of ‘hospitality for all people’, guided our plans to acknowledge and celebrate God’s gift of fathers, grandfathers, godfathers and father-figures, for Fathers’ Day at St Matthew’s School in Marton, at a special day in September.
Our celebrations started with a delicious morning tea of savouries, pagipopo (coconut buns), muffins, doughnuts and fresh fruit; served by the students and shared with parents. We were blessed to have Fr Peter Brockhill with us, as well as mothers who attended on behalf of fathers who could not be with us due to work commitments.
The students organised the entertainment for the day, which started with karakia/tatalo and a hymn, heartwarming tributes to fathers, Samoan siva (dances) and beautifully sung songs in Samoan and English. Our students joyfully shared their gifts and talents and every father was gifted a special bookmark with a blessing for fathers and a Bible verse. Bookmarks were also distributed to fathers and grandfathers after Sunday Mass at
St Francis Xavier Parish Church in Marton.
Faiao Ieru, parent representative on our Board of Trustees, thanked the students on behalf of all mātua/parents present and all of the fathers unable to join us. The Holy Spirit dwelt among us. Thanks be to our Father God for His gift of godly fathers, the faith leaders in āiga/families.