Thursday, 27 November 2014

1. Principal News - Week, Term 4

Teaching and Learning Classes for 2015
Those of you who were able to attend our family learning huis will know that we have been sharing the way that we are engaging our children in deep learning for success. We have just finished gathering our assessments for our children and their excellent results reflect our focus on engagement in learning. Adaptations to classroom environments and digital resources are tools that are being used innovatively and effectively to support the outstanding quality of teaching that we provide at St Joseph's.
I wish to reiterate this. It is the way the teachers are utilising these resources that makes the difference.  We have spent the last 5 years focusing on effective teaching skills in relation to engaging every student in their learning. Our research and practice has led us to a collaborative teaching model supported by technology. This means that teachers and classes will no longer be operating individually in single celled classrooms. Teachers will be planning together, sharing this planning with you and the children online and teaching together. Your children will have the benefit of learning from 2 to 4 highly skilled teachers all working together to provide the optimal learning environments for your child across the school. I have been a teacher for almost 35 years and truly believe that learning has never been as engaging or productive for the children as it is now. 
We are pleased to be supported by your overwhelmingly positive response to our teaching and learning practices in our recent survey. We encourage you to continue to ask questions, attend our learning huis and embrace and engage with learning to find out how you can continue to support your child. We invite you to learn with your children as we come together for more of these opportunities in 2015.
In 2015 the children will be based in home rooms with their home teacher and will also benefit from learning from multiple teachers across a learning hub of rooms. These will be:
Kauri NE - Mrs Brookes & Kawakawa Yr 1/2  - Miss Clouston (in the existing Kauri & Kawakawa classes). The existing Rimu classroom will become an extra junior classroom when needed.

Rimu Yr 2 - Mrs Burke & Tawa Yr 3 - Miss Huls (in the existing Koru and Library spaces)

Totara Yr 4 - Mrs Dooley & Pohutukawa Yr 5 - Mr Cartlidge (in the existing Pohutukawa & Kahikatea classes)

Kahikatea Yr 6 - Miss Tangney, Manuka Yr 7 - Mrs Frances-Rees & Matai Yr 8 - Mr Moore 
(the whole top floor - 4 rooms of the upstairs learning space with Kahikatea based in the existing Kowhai classroom). This provides a better transition for our Year 6's into our Intermediate Department and helps to prepare them for learning, leadership and independence in Year 7 & 8.

Next year's Year 8's will use their experience from growing their independent learning skills in 2014 and act as learning mentors for the new Year 7's and 6's.  This will give the Year 6's three years of intense support and growth as they transition towards becoming  learning mentors in their own right in preparation for St Kevin's. Our staff will be continuing to develop the learning relationships begun this year with our St Kevin's teaching colleagues, with further meetings being arranged for 2015. Ultimately we believe our children will leave us in Year 8, fully prepared to succeed in Year 9 and beyond.

In order to create these new learning environments, the library will be relocated to the existing Tawa class in the junior school. The Koru community & staff room will be relocated to the existing Totara classroom beside the office. 

If you have any questions about this information, then I encourage you to ask me to answer them for you. I would be delighted to help you understand and learn more about how we truly engage our children in deep learning for success at St Joseph's and remain committed to our Catholic faith.

Family Learning hui 2014
Multicutural Day
Monday was a very special day. Thanks so much to Jan Plieger for coordinating the day and to all of the parents who contributed with activities, food and performances. Miss Huls took some stunning photos that captured the day very well. You can see them on our school Facebook page and further down in this blog. We are fortunate that our Pasifika  and Filipino communities have taken the initiative to run their own after school cultural clubs. There is certainly room for anyone passionate about the Kiwi culture to step forward and do the same. Please let me know if you are keen.

Pasifika Presentation
Last Friday, our Board Chairperson, Tua  Misiloi and I were privileged to be invited to present to a Pasifika Advisory Group and guests on behalf of our Oamaru cluster of schools. We were proud to represent the good work that all of our staff do in ensuring that every learner engages in their learning. You can read more by going to this link here.

Tua and I at University of Canterbury
Thank you email
Our children have continued to receive cards and letters of thanks for the cards that they made for visitors to Oamaru recently. Here is the latest email:
The Executive of Energy Trusts of NZ would like to thank all the pupils of St Joseph’s School for the absolutely lovely cards of welcome to all the delegates to our conference we held in Oamaru recently.
It was a lovely gesture on the part of the pupils and all of us really enjoyed reading your cards of welcome and your wonderful colourful drawings. It was a lovely surprise.
We all especially enjoyed seeing the penguins come in from the bay and to shelter for the night. There were so many of them and great to be able to see their real blue colours.
Thanks again for making our stay in Oamaru so enjoyable.
With Kind regards
from the Energy Trusts of NZ Executive Team.

Parent Survey
We received 63 responses to our recent survey. This has provided us with some valuable feedback to inform our future planning. The board will be looking at the responses and comments at our final board meeting on Tuesday. I will display the graphs from the online survey on the planning wall outside the office and publish the board feedback to the survey responses next week. Thanks to all of you who took the time to participate in the survey.

Reconciliation and Advent
Fr Wayne has invited all of us to attend reconciliation after Mass this weekend as we prepare for Christmas. We pray for all of the children preparing to make their First Reconciliation on Sunday as part of their commitment to our Catholic Faith. You can read more about the season of Advent in the Special Character blog post from Mrs Frances-Rees below.

2. Special Character News Term 4, Week 7

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent.

Advent is a time of waiting and getting ready for Christmas. It is a time when we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus coming into our lives, our families and our world.

We make an Advent Wreath to remind us what this waiting  time is all about. The wreath is in a circle because a circle has no beginning and no end. The circle reminds us that God’s love for us just keeps on going without ending.

Green is a symbol of everlasting life which gives hope to all Christians. Just as the green leaves stay green, so God’s love for us never changes.

In Aotearoa, New Zealand, Advent and Christmas are celebrated in early summer when the sun shines for long hours and all the trees and flowers are in full bloom. The days are getting warmer and brightness outside reminds us of Jesus coming to bring warmth and light to all the world. The sunshine becomes brighter and hotter. This reminds us of the presence of Jesus being born and bringing hope and life into the world.

The first candle which we will light at church on the weekend is a symbol of HOPE, as we begin the waiting time.

Please remember that Father Wayne has invited us all to join in the Sacrament of Reconciliation after Saturday evening or Sunday morning masses this weekend.

3. School Notices - Week 7, Term 4

(a)  Altar Servers
Saturday 29th November - Seth Sinclair, Ben Cullimore, Antonio Frances-Rees and Halalova Asi
Sunday 30th November - Mekeisha Hurley, Emily Hayman and Joel Kunnethedan

(b)  Birthday Greetings to:
Cassidy Rawson, Annalise Kilgour and Ben Sew Hoy

(c)  Library Reminder
All library books are due back by tomorrow (Friday 28th November) as we need them for stock taking before the end of the year.

(d)  Lost Property
There is still a big collection of clothing, shoes, lunch boxes, drink bottles etc. in the lost property area.  These will be given away at the end of term if they are not claimed.

(e)  End of Year Gymnastic Performance
On Friday 5th December children who have been practising gymnastics on Friday afternoons will be performing in a gymnastic show at 3.15 pm.  All family and friends are welcome to attend.

(f)  Community Notices - Please check the notice board for full details

  • Christmas in the Park - Sunday 21st December at Takaro Park from 3.00 to 6.00 pm

  • OSCAR Holiday Programmes - Monday 12th January to Friday 30th January 2015.  From 7.30 am to 5.45 weekdays at the Fenwick School Hall.  Age appropriate activities.  Further information contact Jenny on 434 8797 or 021 156 5871 or email

4. Congratulations - Week 7, Term 4

We warmly welcome Taisia Asi who started school this week to Ruma Koru.


To our Yr 7 student Maria Wallace who was a winner of the Blue Cross Veterinary pet writing competition.

My Horse Copper-Rose
By Maria Wallace

The early morning sun shines upon her glossy mane,
She looks up and whinnies as I call out her name,
She canters down from upon the hill,
There is a breeze on her face though the air is still.
I hold out my hand which she sniffs straight away,
She looks at me and wonders if there’s any treats today,
She smells the scent of carrot and yearns for the taste,
I give it to her willingly but she dribbles half of it in her haste.
I lead her through a few paddocks up to the hitching rail,
I start to comb her gently, her forelock, mane, then tail,
I brush her whole body head to hock,
Then I clean out her hooves which contain grass and rock.

 I do up the buckles upon her tack,

Then we go out together for our morning hack.
Well done to Yneke Edzes for writing a great poem about her experiences in the recent Year 6 Education Outside the Classroom camp.
The wind swirled around,
My heart began to pound.
The excitement was near,
But so was my fear.
My harness was tightened,
No burden was lightened.
But with a nervous smile,
I climbed the steep mile.
Right down the large rock,
Recovered from shock
And with my feet on the ground
The wind swirled around.

Congratulations to Neighton & Mannix Fraser and Danny and Charlie Gilbert who competed in the Kiwi Challenge Swim Meet in Dunedin last Sunday.  They swam incredibly well, beating their personal bests and winning medals and ribbons in their events.  This was Neighton's first swimming competition and he was ranked in the top eight for his age group, a huge achievement for a beginner swimmer.
Mannix, Danny and Charlie all achieved bronze, silver and gold in their events.

5. Cultural Day

On Monday we celebrated the many different cultures that make up St Joseph's school with activities, costumes, dancing and food.

6. St Joseph's Timaru Interschool

On Tuesday our Yr 7 & 8 students travelled to Timaru to an interschool with St Joseph's Timaru.  The sports played were:  Touch Rugby, Footsall (soccer), Fastnet (netball) and cricket.
-  3 Touch teams who played 3 games each and we won 5 and lost 4
-  2 Footsall games and we won one and lost 1
-  2 Fastnet games in which we won both
-  Cricket was called off because of the rain

We won the shield and we would like to thank all the Yr 7 & 8 students who participated and supported especially those students who played unfamiliar sports and thank to our photographer of the day, Aarran.

7. Cricket Tournament

Yesterday there were eight Yr 5/6 boys competing in a cricket festival against 7 other North Otago schools at Whitestone Contracting Stadium.  They won against Pembroke and North school and played in the final against Weston where they won by 4 runs. They displayed good sportsmanship on and off the field.  Thank you to Rachel Fowler for her help with the transport.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

1. Principal News - Week 6, Term 4

Engagement in Learning, Surveys and Strategic Planning wall
So far we have received 40/150 possible responses to our online and hard copy surveys. Thank you to those of you who have responded. We encourage the rest of you to take this opportunity to have your say about our learning, uniform, technology, communication and anything else you are passionate about. We will be making decisions based on your feedback so please take this opportunity to contribute.
Please pick up a hard copy of the survey from the office or go to the link emailed to you. I can also send the link directly to you if you can't access it through your own email system.

I have also set up a new display outside the office. This will keep you up to date with future progress and decisions that we make. I have put up a map showing where classrooms will be based for 2015. We are making a few changes to accommodate our roll growth and our teaching and learning plans. 
There is also a chance to look at how we action our goal: To engage every student in deep learning for success. We will be looking at Why? How? and What? as part of our vision for learning and why we are doing what we are doing at St Joseph's.

Multicultural day
We are looking forward to celebrating our many school cultures during a special day of activities on Monday. Children are to dress in their own cultural costume or can choose another culture and reflect this in their clothing. Thanks to Mrs Plieger for coordinating this special day for us.

Classes for 2015
Next week we will share classes and plans for 2015. We are pleased to say that all of our existing full time teaching staff apart from Miss Jackson (moving to teach at Holy Family school in Melbourne) will be staying with us for next year. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic team of teachers and leaders here at St Joseph's.

It is important to return your raffles cards even if they are unsold. We still have 55 cards that need to be returned by tomorrow. Thanks again for your support with the cake stall and to all of the helpers who made this such a success.

Year 7 Camp

Special thanks to Mrs Frances-Rees and the team of dedicated parents and helpers who organised and supported the Year 7 camp this week. I visited on Monday and Tuesday nights and especially enjoyed listening to the talented performances by our Year 7's and Mrs Frances- Rees during the family entertainment evening. You can view more photos of the camp activities on our blog and school Facebook page.

Junior Sports Celebrations
Thanks to Mrs Souness and the junior team for organising a fun sporting session for our juniors on Tuesday morning. You can see some photos of the juniors and Fr Wayne in action on our blog and Facebook page.

Decile rating and WiFi networks
Some of you will have read about the decile rating changes across the country. We are decile 6 and this has remain unchanged. The Ministry have provided some information about this and about WiFi safety in schools and at home.

Background information about decile-linked operational funding

Three components of schools’ operational grants depend on decile ratings: targeted funding for educational disadvantage, the special education grant, and the careers information grant.
The goal of decile-linked operational grant funding is to provide additional resources to enable schools to overcome the barriers to learning facing students from socio-economically disadvantaged communities. The money is provided in cash and Boards determine how it is spent.
A school’s decile rating is based on the socio-economic status of the communities where the school’s students live. There are five indicators of socio-economic status for a community:
  • Percentage of households with income in the lowest 20 per cent nationally
  • Percentage of parents in lowest occupational groups
  • Household crowding
  • Percentage of parents with no educational qualifications
  • Percentage of parents receiving income support benefits

These are equally weighted in the calculations.


WiFi networks

WiFi (or wireless networking) is a way to connect a computer or other device to a network. It uses low-power radio signals instead of cables.
WiFi can be used for networking in the home, school or office. It can also be used for mobile internet access. You can connect through ‘wireless hot spots’ in cities, at airports and in other places.

Safety of WiFi signals

WiFi signals won’t harm your health.
Measurements in New Zealand and overseas show that exposures are tiny fractions of the public exposure limit. This limit is set out in the radiofrequency field exposure standard. The highest exposures found in two New Zealand schools were 4000 times below the limit, and generally exposures were more than 10,000 times below the limit. 
Exposures are low for three main reasons.
  1. The transmitter (or router) is low power.
  2. The signal strength quickly gets weaker as you move away from the router.
  3. A signal is only transmitted when data is being transferred (except for brief ‘beacon signals’).

If you want to reduce your exposure

You can take these simple steps to reduce your WiFi exposure.
  • Place your wireless router up on a high shelf or away from where people might sit and work.
  • When working with a WiFi-enabled laptop or tablet computer, place it on a table rather than directly on your lap.
But there’s no evidence that you need to take any precautions.

2. Special Character News Term 4 Week 6

The Feast of Christ the King

This Sunday celebrates the feast of Christ the King.  It is the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year before the start of the new year in Advent

It is only fitting that the last Sunday of the year should be a recognition of Christ the King as this is the ultimate significance of the whole New Testament story.  Jesus was born in lowly conditions and spent his life in the service of others, and ultimately paid the price for our sins.  Yet he is the "Anointed One."  The Anointed One or Messiah was the one predicted throughout the Old Testament.   The one who would save us - God.

The readings for this Sunday are triumphant, they are about Christ returning in glory.  They are also about judgement.  Jesus died to pay the price for our sins but it is up to us whether we take up the offer and live the way He showed us, or whether we have our own ideas, like Adam and Eve who wanted more knowledge so they could be like God.  We need to have the humility to accept Jesus' offer of redemption and recognise him as the King of Heaven and earth.

3. School Notices - Week 6, Term 4

(a)  Altar Servers
Saturday 22nd November - Elizabeth Plieger, Joseph Spillane, Lachlan Brookes and Mackenzie Cunningham.
Sunday 23rd November - Antonia & Francesca Black, Laura and Cameron Mather

(b)  Birthday Greetings to:
Matthew Gough and Tessa Souness

(c)  Lost Property
There is a big collection of school shoes, jerseys, jackets, shirts, socks, lunch boxes and drink bottles in the Lost Property area.  Please check this area to see if your child's items are there.

(d)  Library Books
This is the last week for library books to be issued.  All library books are to be returned by Friday 28th November as we need all books in for stock taking.  Thank you, The Library Team.

(e)  Scholastic Book Club
The last day for orders is Friday 28th November 2014.

(f)  St Joseph's School Telephone Books and Pens
We still have some pens and phone books for sale which will make good stocking fillers or gifts!! The pens are $1.00 each and the phone books cost $7.00 and are available from the office.

(g)  Rugby Survey
There is a survey which is required to be completed by all parents of children playing rugby for St Joseph's school in regard to Friday night games.  The survey will take a minute to complete and closes early next week.  Click on the link to:

(h)  Ritchie's Bus Transport
The last day for school buses this year is Friday 19th December and they will only run in the morning.  They will resume again on Monday 2nd February 2015.

(i)  Community Notices - please check the community noticeboard for further information
  • Celebrity Debate - Sticks and Stones - held at the Oamaru Opera House on Thursday 27th November at 7.30 pm.  There is a cash bar operating from 7.00 pm.  Gold coin entry.
  • "Toot for Tucker" - Monday 1st December from 6.00 pm. Please give your food donation to the collectors for the Oamaru Food Bank.  Listen to the tooting in your street.
  • Altrusa Christmas Extravaganza - Wednesday 3rd December from 7.30 pm at St Joseph's School Hall.  Tickets available from Neat Feet, Tangibles and Altrusan's  and cost $15.00.  There will be demonstrations, raffles and a wide variety of stalls.

4. Congratulations - Week 6, Term 4

Principals Award
Congratulations to Tegan Souness, Seth Sinclair and Elizabeth Plieger for receiving the Principal's Award last week.  They received it because they were part of the Health Promoting team that won the Heart Start Award for St Joseph's School.
Veritas Award
We would like to apologise for the delay in acknowledging the Yr 8 recipients of the Veritas Award for terms 2 and 3.  Congratulations Kelsey Mills for term 1, Polly Harper for term 2 and Bethany Pope for term 3 on receiving this award.

Congratulations to the hard working team who look after the school vegetable garden each week. As you can see the vegetables are shooting away very quickly.

5. Yr 7 Camp

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the Yr 7 students went to Iona for their annual camp where they experienced things like bush walks, nature studies, kayaking, yachting and other activities. A great time was had by all.

6. Yr 8 Camp

A few more Yr 8 camp photos from their camp at Staveley.

7. Junior School Athletics

On Tuesday, the junior school had their athletics in fine sunny conditions and competed with great spirit.

8. Home & School - Week 6, Term 6

Cake Stall 
A great big thank you to all of you who donated baking for the cake stall and all who helped on the stall.  We raised $1,030.00 so well done.

Raffle Cards 
We still have 55 outstanding raffle cards which are overdue and we need to draw the raffle.  Please return them by tomorrow.

9. Summer Sports Draw - Week 6, Term 4

Cricket – Saturday 22nd November
4th Grade – St Joseph’s v Union at King George Park 2
Kiwi Cricket – every Friday at Centennial Park at 4.00 pm  

Hockey – Monday 24th November
St Joseph’s v Mixed Monkeys at 4.30 pm
Touch Rugby – Tuesday 25th November
The draw was unavailable at the time the ‘Pulse’ was printed.  Please check the notice board or go to the North Otago Touch Rugby website on (click the link) for the draw.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

1. Principal News - Week 5 Term 4

Home & School support
Thanks to our hardworking Home & School and parent support team for preparing the raffle and coordinating the cake stall for the Victorian Fete this weekend.
I have just been out to South Hill New World to take some Year 8 leaders who are helping our parents with the raffle ticket sales and representing our school with pride.
Don't forget to return your raffle cards by Friday. Any unsold raffle cards can be sent back to the office and they will be sold at the fete or next week at Countdown.
Please remember to drop your baking off at the school hall from 4.00 to 5.00 pm this Saturday 15th or 8:30 - 9:30 pm on Sunday morning. We will then take your baking to sell at the fete on Sunday.
Please come along to the fete and support the St Joseph's cake stall.

Year 8 Camp
I was privileged to be part of an extremely well organised Year 8 camp last week. It was just as well we packed our thermals, as we had four seasons during the course of the week, including snow ! A very big thank you to our Year 8 teacher Mr Moore who spent several weeks preparing the students for the tramp and for camping in the outdoors. Special thanks to Denis Browne, an ex parent and experienced search and rescue volunteer, who led the tramp and was vigilant about the weather conditions and safety. Next year, we will be celebrating 25 years since Denis attended the first camp!! Thanks to our hardworking and supportive group of helpers: Mel Hunter, Erin Pink, Richard Mabon, Ashley Pickworth and Chris Harper who gave up their time to accompany us, as well as Mr Cartlidge who introduced some new and challenging  activities to this traditional St Joseph's camp. You can view more photos from the camp further down on our newsblog or on our St Joseph's Facebook Page

Letter from Tony Brady
We have received several thank you emails from delegates who attended the recent Energy Trust Spring Conference. Tony Brady, the conference co-ordinator invited our children to make welcome cards to go into the conference goodie bags. Tony said that many of the conference delegates gave generous compliments about the wonderful array of welcome cards. We were also presented with a $200 thank you donation from the Waitaki Power Trust in recognition of the children's work. Here are a couple of samples below.

Good Morning

Last week I attended a conference in Oamaru as a delegate for the  Electricity Trusts of New Zealand.
In my goodie bag when I arrived was a beautiful card made by a Miss Hana Davies from St Joseph’s School.
It featured  a beautiful blue penguin on the front complete with octopuses and fish and a rainbow on the inside, the card welcomed me to Oamaru.
I just wanted to say a sincere thank you to Hana for the beautiful welcome and say how thrilled we all were to receive such a personalized gift. The card is now hanging on my notice board in my office back in the Bay of Islands.
Kindest Regards
Ann Court
Top Energy Consumer Trust.


Hello Jenny
I attach two scans. One of a lovely "Welcome to Oamaru" card done by one of your pupils, Mia and another that was done by my Great Granddaughter Ebony.
I was delighted to get Mia's welcome to Oamaru card in my kit when I attended your lovely town last week for the Energy Trusts of NZ Conference as a Trustee of Waitomo Energy Services Consumer Trust.
When I returned home my two Great grandchildren came to stay for the weekend and I showed the card to seven year old Ebony as she (and Archie, her 5 yo brother) attend St Joseph's School in Te Kuiti and I thought it was a coincidence that the two attended a school of the same name. She decided (at my instigation) to do a card in return and so the second scan is of that card.
It was a delight to get the card from Mia and I want to thank you and her for the warm welcome which was reiterated throughout Oamaru during my stay. I enjoyed my stay and this was helped by Mia's lovely card.
Would you please pass on to Mia my thanks for her efforts and welcome and also give her the card from Ebony
Kind regards Murray

Preparations for 2015
The teachers have been working hard putting plans in place for engaging our children in learning for 2015. I will be setting up a display outside our office for you to view and contribute to next week. This interactive display will help us to reconnect with our special Catholic Character vision, as well as inform further strategic developments for next year.

Parent Survey
A brief board survey will be available online or as a hard copy for you to access on Monday. Please look out for the email link to the survey and we look forward to receiving your responses. These will also contribute to our strategic plans and future directions for our school.

Speech Exams
Congratulations to all of our children who participated in the recent speech exams in town. Thanks to Bridget McNally and Anna Keno for their hard work with our children here at school. 
Thanks to all of our children who continually strive hard and use their talents to Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic faith.  Please see a photo of all the children in the blog.

2. Special Character News Term 4, Week 5


Father Wayne has invited everyone to attend the second rite of Reconciliation after mass on Sunday 30th November.  It would be great to see a good turnout for this as we prepare for the season of Advent.

Purgatory – what is it?

As we are teaching and learning about the Community of Saints, some concepts come up which can be difficult.  One of these is purgatory.  I want to say a few words about this, hopefully without the going getting to heavy:

The concept of purgatory is one that has been part of Church teaching since the time of Jesus and has its roots in Biblical Judaism.

At its very beginning, Church teaching could be described as the disciples’ response to the teaching of Jesus.  Jesus told the apostles to go and, “Preach the Gospel to all creation,” (Mark 16:15).  At that time of course there was no written Gospel to preach – they were preaching the Good News which Jesus had taught them directly.  In the telling of any story, there is interpretation – decisions had to be made about which bits were the important bits – the parts they should choose to focus on.  So there has always been an active interpretation of the Good News by the disciples.  

How does the Church make decisions?  Through Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to the Church and we believe that throughout the ages the Church has been guided in its teaching by the Holy Spirit.   The interpretation is not one made by individuals and never has been, it is one made by the Church in communion.

Jesus also told the disciples, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,” (Matthew 18:18).  So the authority of the Church was given by Jesus.  It is not something the Church takes lightly.  No Church teachings suddenly come into being, there is a long tradition, stemming back to those first apostolic interpretations guided continuously by the Spirit.   By the same token, no Church teachings suddenly change or disappear.

There’s evidence that the idea of purgatory, a purification period where souls are prepared for heaven (and can be prayed for) stems from Jewish teaching prior to Christianity and continued as a belief into Christianity.  Biblical references which support the teaching on purgatory are: 2 Maccabees 12: 41-46, 2 Timothy 1:18, Matthew 12:32, Luke 16:19-26, Luke 23:43, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, and Hebrews 12:29.  The exact nature of what purgatory might be like has been subject to change over time but the belief in purification for souls who are in God’s grace but have some conditions of sin, has been constant over time, as has the idea that our prayers can help them.

The New Testament was compiled by the church at the Synod of Carthage in AD397 – nearly 400 years after the events.  The books chosen to be in the New Testament at that time were chosen from a variety of possible books.  So the church, inspired and led by the Holy Spirit, could be said to have defined the New Testament.  That is why Catholics believe that Church teaching and biblical sources have equal authority.

If this subject interests you, you can find out more at: