800 catholic educators gather for triennial convention


Eight hundred catholic educators are gathering in Wellington this week at the TSB Arena to celebrate Catholic education in New Zealand.

The triennial conventions are designed to ensure that catholic schools remain authentic in their commitment to Church and State, as vibrant communities of faith and learning.

The theme of the Convention is Christ’s Call: to love, to be, to do/Ko Tā Te Karaiti Karanga: kia aroha, kia tuturu, kia ora.

Paul Ferris, the CEO of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office which has organised the event, said “While managing these events is a huge task, it is important because it reminds our community of our diversity and our national coverage.”

New Zealand’s bishops are attending and virtually every catholic school has delegates attending.

Teachers from schools and catholic tertiary educators will present a range of seminars.

International speakers have come from the United States, England and Australia.

Highlights include:

  • David Wells, international presenter based in England –  Keynote address: “Shoulder my yoke and learn from me” – Catholic Education and the Art of Accompaniment
  • Franciscan priest Daniel Horan, from the United States – Keynote address: The Joy of Christian Foolishness: Responding to Christ’s Call to Discipleship in the Age of Pope Francis
  • Br David Hall, Sydney – Keynote address: Catholic Schools and the Possibility of God

Catholic schools make up 8.4% of the Government’s overall provision for education.  There are 238 schools, with 66,000 students.

Catholic schools were among the first to integrate following the 1975 integration legislation and they have a long partnership with the state, providing high-quality education across all deciles.

Minister Jenny Salesa is unwell and will not be able to present to the convention as planned. She will be represented by Iona Holsted, the Secretary for Education.

In a year when the Government is undertaking reviews of many aspects of education, it is important that catholic schools review the ways in which they play a critical part in the delivery of education and consider what works well for them.


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News category: New Zealand.

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