From The Principal

This week we celebrated the beginning of Lent, which is the 40 day period leading up to Easter, with Ash Wednesday.  Our senior students, supported by Ms Rosanna Fouhy and Miss Lisa Emmanuel, reminded us that during the liturgy we should use this time to examine and renew our spiritual life, and that it is a time of prayer, service, charity and fasting.  The 40 days recall the 40 years that the people of Israel wandered in the wilderness after being freed from slavery in Egypt before arriving at the Promised Land.  The 40 days of Lent also recalls the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness after being baptised, before beginning his public ministry.

On Ash Wednesday, staff and students received ashes to remind us that as human beings we are created and part of the natural world.  This practice echoes the Old Testament tradition of wearing ashes as a sign of repentance.  The ashes come from the burnt palms saved from Palm Sunday last year.   As the ash cross was made on our forehead, we heard the words that echoed John the Baptist’s call to conversion, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.”  We responded ‘Amen’ meaning ‘So be it’. 

We are all too familiar with the unrest caused by natural disasters due to flooding, tropical cyclone Gabrielle and earthquakes.  Therefore, as we enter the Lenten period, a time of prayer, fasting and charity, we will be having a mufti day on Tuesday 28 February.  Students are asked to make a monetary donation, with the funds raised being donated to the New Zealand Red Cross Disaster Fund.

In awareness that there may be some in our community who would like to make a monetary donation, potentially larger than a $2 gold coin, a donation setting has been set up on the school online shop. The link is below.[AAA]RED?itemType=1&shopGroupId=10

Although it feels like the school year has only just begun and students are settling back into their academic routines, the time has come to begin pre-enrolments for 2024.  Therefore, on Tuesday 14 March we will be holding our pre-enrolment evening.  Anyone wishing to enrol their daughter at Carmel for 2024 is strongly encouraged to attend this evening.

Details are:

  • Families of prospective students for Years 7-9 in 2024 are invited to attend the evening, to look around the school and receive information on the enrolment process.
  • The evening will be held on Tuesday 14 March in the College Hall (the presentation will start at 4.00pm followed by tours of the school from 4.30–5.30pm).
  • If you are unable to attend or would like further information please read the enrolment information posted on the website, call 486 1132 ext 704 or email
  • Enrolments close Friday 26 May. 

In closing, and as we are in the Lenten period, a time for fasting, I would like to share a piece that Mrs Katie Pidgeon, HOD Religious Education, shared at our recent curriculum leaders meeting.

Do you want to fast this Lent? 

In the words of Pope Francis;

  • Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
  • Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
  • Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
  • Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
  • Fast from worries and have trust in God.
  • Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
  • Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
  • Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
  • Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
  • Fast from grudges and be reconciled
  • Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.