A small group of parishioners gathered on a recent Saturday morning in the garden of St Patrick's with Fathers Gregory and Philip for a commemorative and thanksgiving prayer service before the Kilbirnie presbytery building is finally demolished.
They recalled and prayed for all those priests, religious and lay people who have lived, worked and been ministered to in the area over the years from 1929 - 2012.
They remembered the service given by the presbytery building.
The land the building is on was bought in 1881 by Archbishop Redwood as a seaside lot, (the seashore being just across the road) big enough for a presbytery and church. He realised that Wellington would grow and in the future there would be a large population living in this area. The purchase of this land would help ensure that their spiritual needs would be met.
From 1908, Mass was said regularly in a hall in Kilbirnie Cres and parishioners began to fundraise for their Church. In 1910 the first St Patrick’s Church was built. In 1919 St Patrick’s Parish was formally established with Fr Connolly as parish priest and Fr Michael Griffin as assistant. The scope of this “new parish” was Kilbirnie, Miramar and Seatoun! The presbytery in Childers Tce was built, then opened and blessed by Archbishop O’Shea in 1929.
Many Diocesan priests lived and ministered in the parish until 1996. Then the Capuchin Friars were invited to come in from the Northland/Wilton area.
In 2012 The Archdiocese informed us that the building was deemed unsafe for living, meeting and working in. After many lengthy consultations and processes it is to be demolished, but the land retained for possible future use. It is planned that the area where the building currently is will become a parking space for people using the Church and that the garden area be retained and developed further to become a restful and reflective space.
The Capuchin Friars have fortunately remained with the merger and development of our Holy Trinity Parish and are now living in Miramar. And speaking of Miramar….
…AND SPEAKING OF MIRAMAR
Two great and faithful parishioners were sitting after Mass talking about property issues in the parish.
They noted that some parishoners were concerned that a decision has been made on the Miramar Church.
Andrew Gunn, Chair of the Parish Council and Nick Crang, Chair of the Finance Committee, advise all parishoners that no decisions on the future of the Holy Cross Church have been made. They say that the Finance Committee has engaged an engineer to report on the steps that would need to be taken to improve the earthquake rating of the church. That will then be costed. After that, the options for the future development of the parish properties will be developed and then consulted on with parishioners.
Parishioners will recall that they were initially consulted at the end of 2016 on initial options following the work of the property sub-committee (which operated under the Finance Committee and Parish Council). At the time, it was signaled that further consultation on the options would occur, after the results of the initial consultation had been digested.
Nick says the consultation raised many issues and made the Finance Committee realise how complex the issues are. The other thing that came through was the strong connections that many people have to our buildings
One of the other things that we realised after the initial consultation was the need for the Parish Council to develop parish objectives, to help us through the property planning process, Nick comments.
Andrew Gunn said that those objectives were developed in 2017. “The Pastoral Council, outlined that from a pastoral perspective we see both St Patrick’s and Holy Cross sites as both holding strong but diverse strategic value. However, we acknowledge that the Holy Cross building has many unknown cost, planning, space re-development and structural issues, not the least it’s current 21% NBS or earthquake rating. We asked the Finance Committee, as a matter of urgency, to start the investigation required to establish the cost of strengthening of the Holy Cross Church to a compliance level whereby the whole Parish including Holy Cross School can once again enjoy this church. Nick Crang and his Committee have been working hard to secure a firm to commence these costing works. Given the recent earthquakes in the region and wider, the reality is that structural consultants have long waiting lists of clients. This work will commence in April.”
Nick acknowledges concerns about lack of information. He says that this had come about through delays in the anticipated process, rather than from information being withheld. “We have been working as hard as we can on property issues, but we ask Parishioners to recognise that they are complex issues to work through”.
Nick notes that “We have heard parishioners requests to receive full information on the Holy Cross Church. We will ensure that happens as part of the consultation process. We have always intended for the property planning process to involve the whole parish and for parishioners to feel, at the end of the day, that they have been involved in the process. It is important that all voices are heard”.
WITH SIGNIFICANT PROPERTY ISSUES AHEAD, LET US PRAY
Let us pray for wisdom
Proverbs 24:3-4 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Let us pray for provision
Exodus 25:1-2,8 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the
children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering...and let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.
Exodus 36:2-7 So Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and all the
others who were specially gifted by the Lord and were eager to get to
work. Moses gave them the materials donated by the people of Israel as
sacred offerings for the completion of the sanctuary. But the people
continued to bring additional gifts each morning. Finally, the craftsmen
who were working on the sanctuary left their work. They went to Moses
and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” So, Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So, the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.
What does the Catechism say about prayer?
We learn to pray at certain moments by hearing the Word of the Lord and sharing in his Paschal mystery, but his Spirit is offered us at all times, in the events of each day, to make prayer spring up from us. Jesus' teaching about praying to our Father is in the same vein as his teaching about providence: time is in the Father's hands; it is in the present that we encounter him, not yesterday nor tomorrow, but today: "O that today you would hearken to his voice! Harden not your hearts."
Prayer in the events of each day and each moment is one of the secrets of the kingdom revealed to "little children," to the servants of Christ, to the poor of the Beatitudes. It is right and good to pray so that the coming of the kingdom of justice and peace may influence the march of history, but it is just as important to bring the help of prayer into humble, everyday situations; all forms of prayer can be the leaven to which the Lord compares the kingdom.
As Easter approaches we will be thinking about whether we will be here or away on holiday. For those of us that will be around over Easter there will be many great opportunities to join in worship.
To start our worship with a clean slate be sure to join the parish Lenten reconciliation on Wednesday 28th March at St Patrick’s at 7pm. Be rid of all those things that have been cluttering your mind and activities.
The following day is Holy Thursday there will be no morning Mass at any of the churches, at 7pm at St Patrick’s there will be Mass of the Lord’s Supper. This Mass began in late fourth-century Jerusalem, where it became customary to celebrate the events of the Passion of Jesus in the places where they took place. In Rome at that time a Mass was celebrated at which penitents were reconciled with a view to participation in the Easter celebrations. The washing of feet that is now part of the Mass of the Lord's Supper was in use at an early stage without relation to this particular day, and was first prescribed for use on Holy Thursday by the 694 Council of Toledo.
When Good Friday comes we follow the Stations of the Cross or the key elements leading up to Christ’s crucifixion in procession. There will be three processions in the parish. We will be joined by sister churches in the processions.
Solemn Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion will then take place at all three parish churches at 3pm.
After solemn reflection of Christ dying on a cross and what it means for us we come to Easter Day. This is a day to enjoy Easter eggs. The egg is an ancient symbol of new life and rebirth. In Christianity it became associated with Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. The custom of the Easter egg originated in the early Christian community of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion. As such, for Christians, the Easter egg is a symbol of the empty tomb. The oldest tradition is to use dyed chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate!
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