Special Character

The philosophy of St John's College is based on that of the Founder of the Marist Brothers of the Schools, Saint Marcellin Champagnat.

Marcellin was born in 1789, the year of the Revolution in France.

He saw how some children were failed by the education system of the day, and he set about remedying the situation as best he could.

From him rose the Marist teaching order, which has spread throughout the world.

These five points (called the pillars) give a brief basis of his philosophy:

  • Presence
  • Simplicity
  • Family Spirit
  • Love of  Work
  • In the Way of Mary

Each year the college focuses on one of the above pillars and tries to incorporate it into all facets of school life.

The aspect of the Marist Charism that we are focusing on for 2017 is In the Way of Mary.


Religious Education

Every boy at every level studies Religious Education, with NCEA credits being on offer in Years 11, 12 and 13. For more information, see Academic.



Mass is held weekly on the school grounds, usually in the library.

Weekly mass is open to all students and we expect every student to attend at least once during the year.

There are also whole school Masses to celebrate the start the school year, Easter, Marcellin Champagnat Day and prizegiving at the end of the year.

These are usually celebrated in the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Special Character Leaders

In order to further the spiritual growth of the boys we appoint a pair of Year 13 boys as Special Character Leaders.

They represent the school in many religious events, such as attending Mass with our contributing and sister schools.

Each House also has a prefect in charge of Special Character.


Marcellin Champagnat Day

Saint Marcellin Champagnat Day, 6 June, commemorates the death of our patron saint. It is typically one of the highlights of our school's calendar.

There is a celebratory mass in the cathedral, with its fair share of upbeat singing and joy.

That is usually followed by a concert back at school where students perform items of music or drama, including both official school groups and more informal ones, such as the student rock bands.

The afternoon often has something on, such as a rugby match to watch, or various activities offered by staff including games, art and cultural events.


Chanel Shield

The Chanel Shield is a competition between the secondary schools of our Diocese: St John's College, Aquinas College in Tauranga, Campion College in Gisborne, John Paul College in Rotorua and Sacred Heart Girls' College in Hamilton.

The competition is in honour of Saint Peter Chanel who was a Missionary in the Pacific and is the patron saint of the Diocese.

Each school takes it in turn to host the others.

After a Powhiri there is a range of cultural events.

The Junior section includes poetry, public speaking and Bible reading.

The Senior Section includes a Maori perspective speech, debating, poetry, Bible reading, drama and a Bible quiz.


Useful Links

Daily Bible Reading

Catholic Diocese of Hamilton Aotearoa New Zealand 

New Advent Catholic Encyclopaedia 

The Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand 

Catechism of the Catholic Church 

The Vatican website 

NCRS FaithCentral website