SPECIAL CHARACTER

The Mercy charism is an integral part of Villa Maria College. It pervades all aspects of the life the College. The College aims to offer spiritual formation and pastoral care in the tradition of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy.

 

At the heart of the College are the attributes of Mercy:

  • Education that is grounded in the Gospel
  • Respect for the dignity, worth and potential of every human being
  • Concern for the poor and the disadvantaged
  • Concern for justice

All students take part in Religious Education and the religious life of the College through prayer, Mass and community service.

 

Religious Education classes cover such topics as:

  • Discovering our identity
  • The Church’s story
  • Conscience/morality/values
  • Commitment and ministry

 

In addition, each year students participate in a Retreat in which they are encouraged to explore their relationship with themselves, others and with God.

New Director of Religious Studies

 

Dear friends and families of the College,

It is with great pleasure that I have undertaken the role of Director of Religious Studies here at Villa Maria College. Hailing from Australia and then Hastings in Hawkes Bay, I grew up among the Australian bush and the New Zealand Countryside. I came to Christchurch in 2000 where I eventually studied history, English, and art history, before pursuing teaching.

It was while studying at the University of Canterbury that I met my wife, Clare, and we have been married for eight years and have two fantastic daughters, Miriam (4) and Esther (3).

For the past ten years I have worked at St Thomas of Canterbury College where I was privileged enough to work with a great staff who I will miss greatly. I am also a member of the St Francis of Assisi Parish where I once served as a member of the Church Council in its former days as Our Lady of Fatima Parish.

I am delighted to now be working here at Villa Maria and I look forward to working with the students to not only deepen their Catholic faith and values, but also assist in ensuring that the next generation of world leaders are Villa Women with strong Mercy Values.

Please keep me in your prayers as I undertake my new responsibilities at the College. I look forward to meeting you all as I become more familiar with the school, and please feel free to come and introduce yourselves to me if you see me around the place.

God bless,

Thomas Newton

Campus Ministry at Villa: College Chaplain, April Williams

April’s role as Spiritual and Liturgical Team Leader complements the formal Religious Studies and Special Character programs at Villa Maria College. April’s focus is to support students in their personal faith journeys and seek to provide ways in which they can deepen their relationship with God and serve the Church. She will work closely with the College’s Service Captains seeking practical ways to enrich students’ faith through promoting the works of Mercy through action, prayer and reflection. April will also be involved in the running of Sacramental programs and student retreats.

I’m passionate about seeing our girls develop a personal faith that helps them value their beauty and gifts as young women so that they might live the Gospel and enrich the Church and the world.

April has lived in Christchurch in her student years and been involved in youth work in the diocese. She is also a secondary teacher for religious education and history. She has traveled widely and volunteered for the Church overseas.

Thomas Newton RE

April Williams

Mercy In Action

College students are encouraged, via their Vertical Groups and Houses, to exercise their entrepreneurial skills in fundraising for Caritas and Mercy charities. They also participate in Mercy Day every second year which is a day when Villa Maria College students welcome young people with special needs from the community to spend the day with them at the College.

Mercy Action groups provide practical ways for individual students to engage further in community service.

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