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Our Charism

Our Charism

Inspired by the gospel of Jesus and the example of Catherine McAuley and St Francis of Assisi, St Peter's Catholic School aims to be a place of welcome, respect, learning and justice. 

Established in 1927 by the Sisters of Mercy whose foundress is Catherine McAuley, the school was named after St Peter in 1969 to align with the name of its Parish. St Peter's Church continues to be a centre for worship and Catholic life under the auspices of the Ingham Region Catholic Parishes. 

The Mercy Sisters follow the call of Catherine McCauley in promoting the use of our gifts and talents to assist others to “have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)  Catherine McAuley encouraged her sisters to be compassionate and courageous in their service for others. McAuley stressed the importance of making others feel welcome, and St Peter’s Catholic School continues this tradition by nurturing a welcoming learning environment in which members of the school community feel like family. Key values in the Mercy tradition form the four core principles of St Peter’s Catholic School - welcome, respect, learning and justice.

The Capuchin Friars arrived in St Peter’s Parish in 1947, beginning their connection with the school. The Capuchin Friars are a Franciscan Order, inspired by St Francis of Assisi. The Order aspires to the way of life modelled by St Francis, a way characterised by simplicity, humility and joy. Their mission to serve especially those most on the margins led the Capuchins to assume responsibility of the parish in Halifax as a base for their work in support of Italian immigrants in the area. The Franciscan values of hospitality, compassion, the dignity of work, and peace are aligned with the school’s core principles of welcome, respect, learning and justice.

Patron Saint - St Peter

Saint Peter, the first Pope and Prince of the Apostles, was a simple fisherman, when Jesus invited him to follow Him, saying, "I will make you a Fisher of Men".

He was originally called Simon, but Jesus changed his name to ‘Peter' which means ‘Rock'. Peter was to become the rock on which Jesus would build His Church, in that way becoming the first leader of the Church.

Peter, like us, was not perfect. He cowardly denied knowing Jesus at Jesus' arrest but he repented and was forgiven. Design elements in the statue of St Peter in the church make reference to this story, and his story is shared and celebrated often. His Feast Day is celebrated on 29 June with St Paul. St Peter's School also celebrates The Chair of St Peter Feast Day on the 22 February where Peter is recognised as the first Bishop of our Church. During this celebration, the school inducts the new school leaders for each year.

What is Charism?

A charism is a divine spiritual gift given to an individual or group for the good of the community. Each religious order has a specific charism, a gift to be put to the service of the Church and the world.

Pope Paul VI was the first to label "charism" specifically in relation to religious institutes. He explained that the charism of the religious life is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, who is always at work within the Church.

A charism touches the very core of our existence and colours everything that we do as human beings. It allows us to see things in new ways, and to understand them even more wonderfully. We absorb a charism as we absorb sunshine, and we radiate a charism as a light pierces the darkness.