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Sancta Maria Story


Bishop Pompallier, who is a specially honoured pioneer of the New Zealand Catholic Church, arrived in the Hokianga from France in 1838 with a group of Marist Priests and Brothers. With this group, he sailed around New Zealand converting settlers to Catholicism in the early 1840s. Fathers Garin and Viard who accompanied Bishop Pompallier established Churches in Howick and Panmure.

Bishop Pompallier devised his own flag for the vessel – a bunting version of the Miraculous Modal, It consisted of a blue cross surmounting a large M and surrounded by twelve stars. The background was white. These twelve stars have been incorporated into the school logo along with the Sancta Maria and the school’s motto ‘FAITH IS OUR COMPASS’.

The College’s name commemorates the historic arrival and work of Bishop Pompallier. There is a comparison between the vessel Sancta Maria being used to spread the Word and our College being a vessel for furthering the Religious Education of young people in the area.