Our Catholic Education

According to the Integration Agreement: The school is a Roman Catholic School in which the whole school community, through the general school programme and in its religious instructions and observances, exercises the right to live and teach the values of Jesus Christ. These values are as expressed in the Scriptures and in the practices, worship, and doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, as determined from time to time by the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese.

Enrolling at John Paul II High School means understanding the commitment to supporting the Catholic character of the school.

All staff, students, and families whether Catholic or not, are part of the whole school community and are expected to use their specific strengths and skills to support the Catholic character of the school. The Religious Education programme is an integral (and compulsory) part of the curriculum. The principles, truths and ethics of this programme permeate the whole life of the school.

The Special Character of the school is evident in the daily life of the school, the daily recital of prayer, celebration of Masses and Feast Days in the Catholic calendar, the Sacramental Programme offered through the Parish, and Confirmation through the school programme.

The College offers retreats for all year levels, which are a compulsory event, to encourage students to deepen their relationship with God and understand that the risen Christ has come so we all can ‘have life to the full’. John 10.10

John Paul II High School looks to build tomorrows citizens today – we build a culture of service to the school and the community:

  • Āhurutanga: creating a safe and nurturing space for whānau and young people
  • Kaitiakitanga: guarding and enhancing people’s mana, beliefs, hopes, and dreams
  • Whānaungatanga: fostering authentic relationships with whānau and young people grounded in manaakitanga
  • Wairuatanga: honouring others’ whakapapa, worldviews and belief systems, including the unseen and unspoken energies between those past and present

Students are encouraged to participate in all aspects of school life. These include:

  • Caritas fundraisers and activities held throughout the year
  • Shrove Tuesday races
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Holy Thursday
  • Reconciliation
  • Zoom Mass
  • Eucharistic ministry
  • Non-uniform days and
  • St Vincent de Paul

Senior students attend the parish Mass and host morning tea for the community. We have an active Catholic character hub led by the Catholic character leader, a year 13 student, with representation from Whānau groups.

College Masses & Liturgies

The College celebrates Masses & Liturgies throughout the year in line with the Catholic Calendar. All students are expected to participate in these. Our Inaugural Mass is usually celebrated at the beginning of the academic year and is a whole school event, and each term a whole school Mass, culminating in the leavers Mass.

All families are welcome to attend.

The main Feast Day is May 18th, the birth date of St John Paul II.

Our foundation charisms are – St Marcellin Champagnat (6th June), Blessed Catherine McAuley (24 September). School liturgies are celebrated on these dates. Others include the Feast of the Assumption on 15th August (Marian Feast) a holy day of obligation – Mary being the patron saint of Aotearoa.

We have an active Catholic character hub led by the Catholic character leader – a year 13 student, supported by whanau representatives, parish youth worker, director of Catholic character, and tagged staff.

The crest of John Paul II High School represents the Papal emblem of St Peter’s Keys and the triangular unity of the Holy Trinity.

Through their foresight and hard work, earlier generations of Tai Poutini / West Coast Catholics, the Marist Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy established an excellent school in Greymouth for the Catholic young people of today. By any standards, John Paul II High School is a strong school with excellent teaching programmes, small classes, and energetic and professional staff.


A Catholic Character that trains young people in: