St Peter’s Primary School Stockton hosts a special Christmas message

It has become an annual occasion for Bishop Bill to deliver his Christmas message at one of the Catholic schools in the diocese, and this year, St Peter’s Primary School at Stockton played host.

With Bishop Bill unwell, Vicar General, Fr Brian Mascord, stepped in to speak to St Peter’s 108 students about what we’re really celebrating at this special time of the year.

The morning began with a welcome from school principal, Michael Punch, followed by the students’ beautiful Christmas reflection based around a series of carols that told the story of Christ’s birth. Preceding each carol, a part of the nativity scene was revealed.

A number of children then brought to the stage different names that Jesus is called. These were arranged on the wall with Fr Brian bringing the final name forward, Emmanuel.

Fr Brian then sat with the children and told them the story of the Rabbi’s Gift. The children were captivated by the story and were keen to participate when Fr Brian asked them questions. One of the youngest members of the school immediately knew the answer when Fr Brian asked, “What does Emmanuel mean?”, as he answered confidently, “God is with us”.

“All of us are called to be a sign that God is with us. Sometimes we have to look where God is, which helps us to be a sign of God’s love for other people,” said Fr Brian.

The children loved “helping” Fr Brian back on his feet once he’d finished speaking!

Ray then sat with the children and praised them for their beautiful singing and manners.

“What you have done this morning has been absolutely beautiful. The singing here at St Peter’s is fantastic,” said Ray.

He asked the children what made St Peter’s so special and they spoke about their friends, their teachers and their learning.

“Whenever I visit a school I ask the students this question and typically they all say the same three things. That they learn a lot, make good friends and have fun. A Catholic school helps relate these things to the message that Jesus brings us,” said Ray.

A final hymn, led by Michael Punch on guitar, was sung with gusto before the school leaders presented Ray with a retirement gift that included a giant fish that was signed by the entire school.

It was a lovely morning at a wonderful school where the community spirit shone brightly and the voices sang loudly about the true meaning of Christmas.

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Joanne Isaac Image
Joanne Isaac

Joanne is a Communications Officer for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and a regular columnist for Aurora Magazine.

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