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 rural children were failed by the education system of the day and how others knew so little of their faith and he set about remedying the situation as best he could.

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

The following 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 2019 is Simplicity.


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 a Wednesday, in the College library.

Weekly mass is open to all students and we expect every student to attend at least once each term.

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

These are 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, along with their team, represent the school in many religious events, such as attending Mass with our contributing and sister schools.


Marcellin Champagnat Day

Marcellin Champagnat Day, 6 June, commemorates the death of our Marist founder. 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.

The rest of the day revolves around a concert back at school. Students perform items of music or drama, including both official school groups and more informal ones like the student rock bands, and other house activities are  organised for the enjoyment of the students. The house quiz has become a firm favourite.

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 are 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