​​​​​​​Special Character

Ko te Whakapono

With Mary in Faith

Ko tātou ko Mere e whakapono ana

With Mary in faith, we at Marian nurture and support the encounter and relationship between Jesus and our ākonga (students), whānau and wider hāpori (community). We work together to deepen the knowledge and understanding of the Gospel teachings and values, which provide a firm foundation throughout life’s journey.

We are inspired by the example of Mary, the Mother of God, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, foundress of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and, Venerable Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. These three courageous and strong women of faith show us how to live out the Gospel teachings in an authentic and practical way.

Our Catholic Special Character is integrated into life at Marian College. This includes school Masses, liturgies, retreats and other forms of karakia. Ākonga and their whānau also have the opportunity to participate in the Sacraments of Initiation Programme which includes the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation which are significant to our Catholic faith.  Another celebration that is important to our Marian whānau is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.  We acknowledge this as our school annual ‘Feast Day’ which is a whole day of celebration beginning with Mass, followed by the tradition of the whānau singing competition and talent quest.

Working Collectively for our Faith

Mahi ngātahi mō tō tātou Whakapono

The Head of Special Character and the Head of Service are ākonga leaders who are active role models of our Catholic faith. These ākonga are appointed and serve on the Student Executive, and the Ministry Team. They also lead the Special Character group, Young Vinnies and the Rosary group. Many ākonga from all year levels are members of these groups. They participate in activities that provide outreach to our ākonga at school and the wider community such as St Vincent de Paul, Age Concern and Caritas. In addition, ākonga also participate in community events held by the Catholic Youth Team, the combined Catholic Schools’ Mass and the combined Catholic Schools’ Alpha group. Marian College also competes in the annual Bishop Lyon’s Shield, a local Catholic tradition and highly anticipated public speaking competition between seven secondary Catholic schools in our diocese. Our ākonga are also encouraged to participate fully in the liturgical life of the school. Ākonga are able to do this by becoming an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion or a reader or altar server at a school Mass. Ākonga can also become involved by using their musical gifts and talents, by being a retreat helper or leading karakia in Wā Whānau and school assemblies. These, and other opportunities, enable our ākonga to be servant leaders who foster our Catholic faith as well as living out the the Gospel teachings and values. 

The Ministry Team works collaboratively to support, promote and strengthen Special Character at Marian. The team includes the Principal, Deputy Principal of Pastoral, Deputy Principal of Curriculum, the Director of Ministry, Religious Education teachers, staff members, the Pastoral Chaplain and senior head students.


Whai Wāhi

Jesus, Mary, the Mother of God, St Mary MacKillop and Venerable Catherine McAuley are all role models of service, and our school has had a long tradition of serving our community and serving those in need. Ākonga and staff members are actively involved and contribute positively to our Marian whānau and wider community. All ākonga are required to complete at least six hours of meaningful service.

Religious Education

Kaupapa ako – Ko te Whakapono

Ākonga at all year levels participate in the Religious Education curriculum set out by the New Zealand Catholic Bishops. The purpose of the programme is to enable ākonga to grow in knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith in a way that is meaningful to each person. Religious Education is essentially learning about God – faith seeking understanding. The driving questions are, “What do we believe, and how is this belief lived out?” The diversity of faith experience that ākonga bring to Religious Education at Marian College is acknowledged. All are welcomed, included and encouraged to be curious about their own faith journey. On  graduating from Marian College, ākonga are equipped with a knowledge of the Gospel message, Catholic Social Teaching and principles for ethical decision- making which assists them to navigate the changing world and contribute positively to wider society.