St. Patrick’s School, Kilbirnie is a Mercy School. Catherine McAuley founded the sisters of Mercy in 1831. She was a woman who dedicated her life to the Christian education of the young, especially those most in need. Her life’s work in Ireland in the early 19th century continues to inspire us today.
In 1909, Sister Rose and Sister Pascal set up a school in St Patrick’s Church. Soon there were so many children that the Parish decided to build a proper school, and the new St Patrick’s School was opened in 1925. By 1984, these buildings needed to be demolished and a new school building was opened. Our staff and students are proud to serve and continue our Mercy tradition.
Our History By Room 1
The Sisters of Mercy were the first religious sisters to come to Aotearoa New Zealand arriving in Auckland from Ireland on 9 April 1850.
In 1909 some Sisters of Mercy decided to come to Wellington to help carry on Catherine’s mission. They came on a boat from Ireland, it was a long and dangerous journey. When they arrived they set up a school in the back room of the church in Kilbirnie, it had to be cleared out on Fridays ready for Mass in the weekend. The Sisters had large numbers of students in their classes; and as well as this they had to visit the sick, visit the poor and needy, prepare people for burial and look after the Church. They worked very hard.
In 1925 enough money was saved to build a 3 storey building in the same place our school is today. It went to year 8 for girls and year 5 for boys.
In 1981 it was pulled down because it was not earthquake safe and our school was built.
Sister John Bosco was the last Mercy nun to teach here. We remember her each year when we award a cup to a student who best shows the Mercy values of our school.
Catherine McAuley was a woman of daring vision this means she saw what needed to be done and did it with courage as often she was going against values of the time.
She was very practical –which means she was clever at solving problems. She showed heartfelt compassion – which means she felt deeply for others and wanted to help them. She used humour (fun and laughter) to help her get through tough times and was very hospitable (made people feel welcome) and we remember her as a woman of deep faith in God.
At St Patrick’s Primary School, we try our hardest to carry on the values and mission of the Mercy sisters. To keep our Charism alive, we live and practise these values.
More information about Mercy Schools in New Zealand.