As part of a faith-based community, we develop high achieving, well-rounded students who are confident and open to the challenges of the future.
- St Anthony's School's Mission Statement
Our Special Character
Our school exists to provide Catholic Education. We will ensure that the programmes, activities, and life of the school reflect the teachings and values of Jesus Christ as expressed in the Scriptures and in the practices, worship and doctrines of the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Cardinal Archbishop of Wellington.
Further guided by the traditions and teachings of the Sisters of Mercy (our founding Order): “it is not sufficient that Jesus Christ be formed in us, He must be recognised in our conduct." Also guided by the qualities modelled by St Anthony: service to others, love of scripture, contemplation of the Holy Spirit and listening to and being guided by God.
The centre of our Mission, Vision and Values are our students. We value all our students, embrace their diversity, and develop their full potential.
The St Anthony's School Crest
St Anthony of Padua was born in Lisbon, Portugal. Anthony lived only a short life, dying at the age of 36 and yet he was to become one of the most loved saints of all time. Why? Because of his great love for God and his wonderful ability to preach. Anthony is the patron saint for many things and our school crest reminds us of some of these things.
The crest is divided into four by the cross. The cross signifies the selflessness of Christ, perhaps described in the scripture passage, "Greater love hath no person than to lay down his life for his neighbour."
St Anthony's School House System
St Anthony's School runs a House system. The five Houses are named after Sisters of Mercy who taught in the school over five decades. All students are placed in one of our five Houses upon starting at St Anthony’s: McAuley, Theodore, Eymard, Veronica and Ligouri. Family members are kept in the same house. Houses foster pride, teamwork, cooperation and, for our Year 8 students who are the House Leaders, develop their leadership skills.
The foundress of the Sisters of Mercy who founded St Anthony’s
Catherine’s full name was Catherine Elizabeth McAuley and she was born on the 29th of September 1778, in Ireland. In 1831 she founded the order of the Sisters of Mercy. Catherine McAuley never intended to found a community of religious women. Her initial intention was to assemble a lay corps of Catholic social workers.
Catherine built the House of Mercy on Baggot Street, Dublin and today Ireland remains the international “home” of the Sisters of Mercy. At the time of her death there were 150 sisters of Mercy but now there are 10,000 Mercy sisters worldwide.
Even though she founded the Sisters of Mercy, she was only one for 10 years as she died on 11 November 1841 from the tuberculosis that was plaguing Baggot Street.
She was a loved Irish nun whose good deeds were honoured by her photo being printed on the Irish 5 pound note from 1994 to 2000.
Sister Mary Theodore Harrington, originally Eileen Harrington, was born in 1913 in Brooklyn. Eileen Harrington was the third of eight children of Agnes and Patrick Harrington who had migrated from Australia to make their family home in Wellington. Her schooling life started in the Sisters of Mercy School in Boulcott Street, which six months later became St Joseph’s School in Buckle St. Her later education included shorthand, typing and bookkeeping. In 1929 when her loved father died she took an office position in a home supplies company later working for Woolworths and the Hereford Printing Company. The faith-filled nature of the Harrington home prompted daughter Catherine and six months later Eileen to consider becoming religious sisters. They decided upon this because the Sisters of Mercy had been inspirational in their lives.
When Eileen made her first Profession of Religious Vows in 1938 she took the name, Sister Mary Theodore. The motto she then chose was 'God Alone' which definitely became the focus of her life. Sister Theodore taught in several Catholic primary schools in Wellington as well as in Upper Hutt, Picton, Reefton and Blenheim. She had a great love of teaching and delighted when she saw her students improving in their work. She was here at St Anthony’s School, 1970 – 1977, holding the position of Principal from 1973 – 1975. While living at Star of the Sea Convent on the hill, she taught the boys at the boarding school there to play soccer. Imagine her out on the field, veil flying, whistleblowing, a woman in full flight!
The O’Connor Home in Westport was her next home. Not residential but responsible for the washing. After five years there she then moved to Blenheim to visit the elderly and sick in the area, followed by residence in Villa Joseph Upper Hutt and Home of Compassion in Silverstream. After many years Sister Theodore finally retired and died at the age of 99.
During her extraordinary life, Theodore kept in touch with many friends. She also loved music, reading, sewing, knitting and bird watching. The extraordinarily gentle woman gave us her time, prayers, thoughts, knowledge and love and was extremely missed by her family, her Sisters in Community and by all who knew her. Her entire work had been an inspiration to all.
Sister Mary Eymard (Mary Rea) was born in Greymouth. She joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1952 and made her religious vows in 1955. Her motto was “Be it done unto me.”
As a young woman she was very skilled at using her hands for craft work, cooking and handyman projects although she was unable to do this for long as she soon began to suffer from severe arthritis. However, right until the end of her life she used her intellectual and professional skills to the full. Sister had her teaching qualifications and was appointed as Principal at St Anthony’s School (which had opened in 1923) in 1965 where she stayed until the end of 1970.
Sister Mary Eymard was an intelligent, resourceful, level headed and competent teacher. She was noted for being hardworking and well organised. She provided an example of courage and cheerful endurance and was a most prayerful woman.
In 1978, following a newly introduced custom, Sister reverted to her own name, being known as Sister Mary Rea. She died in 2002 and is buried in the Sisters of Mercy plot in Akatarawa Cemetery, Upper Hutt.
A pupil’s thoughts:
Sister Eymard was a principal at St Anthony's. She was strict but well liked. Everyone thought she was in her fifties, but years later they would find out that in fact, she was only in her thirties when she taught them. The reason they thought she was so old was that her habit covered all her hair and she walked like an old woman. We later found out that she suffered from really bad arthritis and it was constant pain that aged her.
Sister Mary Veronica, Mary O’Brien, was born in Wellington. She joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1929 and made a profession of religious vows in 1932.
Sister was a small woman who was most energetic. She was very particular about getting details correct and ensuring all was well done. One of her talents was sewing in which she was really accomplished. She had a deep faith and could often be found at prayer in the chapel. Her faith overflowed in her practice of the Works of Mercy, particularly in visiting the sick or distressed. The focus of her life was mercy and compassion.
Sister Mary Veronica was appointed Principal at St Anthony’s School, Seatoun, in 1950 - 1952. She had a very firm sense of discipline which was tempered by her keen sense of humour. She always worked to get her students to achieve excellence in all they did.
Sister died in 1997 and is buried in the Sisters of Mercy plot in Karori Cemetery.
Sister Mary Ligouri was Principal at St Anthony’s School, Seatoun, from 1954 – 1961 and was Acting Principal in 1978 after the Sisters withdrew from the school in 1977. Sister loved her students even while she kept firm discipline with them. They achieved very high standards under her care. For eight successive years, one of the students in her class won a scholarship to secondary school.
Sister was born Mary MacRae in Wellington and joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1938. She professed her religious vows in 1941. Her motto is “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” Sister Mary has reverted to her own name and is still alive now in 2016.
Amongst Sister Mary’s many accomplishments is her musical talent. She was amazing at getting all her students involved in choral singing, both for concerts and for Mass, and was always encouraging them. Each year that she was at St Anthony’s, she helped produce an operetta which was enjoyed by the pupils and their parents.