St Patrick’s Primary School annual food fair Friday 17 November, 5.30 - 7.30pm. Bring your whole family for a great evening
The parish pastoral council has released a draft of the Pastoral Objectives for our church communities. These Objectives set the framework for the property review and the outcomes required to meet the pastoral, spiritual, cultural and social needs of the parish now and into the future.
We are a Parish of Mission, committing to:
BUILDING A FUTURE
With the Parish Council having set the path for our future the Finance Committee is now in a position to work with the terrific response received earlier this year on how our buildings might develop. The submissions received can be viewed on the parish website under “Property”.
The programme is broken into two, dealing with the immediate and building for the future based on the Parish Council’s work.
The Wellington City Council under its unreinforced masonry programme has given us to 31 March next year to strengthen or remove the St Patrick’s presbytery. This is an immediate priority. The Finance Committee has not identified a clear pastoral need for the building and the costs of securing it would be large. The Committee is investigating demolition options as well as immediate uses for the land as it is demolished.
Using the Parish Council’s visionary work and parishioner submissions to consider the path for our property will take longer to consider. In the main the submissions received suggested that people are comfortable with what they have become used to. The Parish Council is challenging us to be more imaginative about what our future may look like. While change can be unwelcome and upsetting it can also be liberating and bring renewal.
The stained-glass window from the St Catherine’s convent was gifted to St Patrick’s by the Sisters of Mercy to be included in the current church as it was built. This window features in the side chapel of the current church.
100 years of Mercy education in Kilbirnie
The area known as the Eastern suburbs was first owned by James Coutts Crawford after the city of Wellington was established. He drained the lagoon in what is now known as the Polo Ground in Miramar by digging a trench and then a tunnel through the hill into Evans Bay. The route to get to this area was a track round the bays then along the foreshore on Kilbirnie Crescent, turning into Childers Tce then Queens Drive to reach Lyall Bay. Here many of the Wellington settlers holidayed. In 1868 James and Alice Bourke bought land from Mr Crawford and built the first house on the hill above Childers Tce in 1869. Mr Bourke established a wool scouring business on the flat land. The Patent Slip Company commenced in Evans Bay that year too and so made it easier for Mr Bourke to get his completed product to the harbour for shipping overseas. Mrs Bourke died in 1913 and Mr Bourke in 1915. They are buried in Mount Street Cemetery in the city.
Mr Crawford sold sections from 1877 and people lived in the area because it was easy to get into the city by the road round the bays and there were jobs available with Mr Crawford and Mr Bourke. Archbishop Redwood bought a seaside lot big enough for a presbytery and church in 1881. This is the present St Patrick’s Church and former presbytery site on Childers Tce and Kilbirnie Crescent corner.
Catholic education at St Catherine’s School began in 1917. However, the Sisters of Mercy had begun teaching in the Kilbirnie area before that. This area was part of the Newtown Parish and had a church, St Patrick’s, as a Mass centre in Kilbirnie. The Church had a wing built on the north side and here two Sisters began a small school for the local children. The Sisters, Sister Mary Rose Foran, Superior and Sister Mary Paschal Hayes, travelled from Newtown daily. The wing had folding doors to separate the school from the church and every Monday morning the big boys from St Anne’s came over to put out the desks and chairs and stack up the forms used for seating at Mass. On Friday afternoons they reversed the procedure, stacking the desks at the back and putting out the forms before folding back the big doors.
In 1912 the rooms at the back of the church were remodelled to form a convent. This was known as Uncle Tom’s Cabin as it was done at the suggestion of Tom Bourke. The first four Sisters to live there were Sr Mary Chanel Burton, Superior, Sr Mary Paschal Hayes, Sr Mary Imelda Aisher and Sr Mary Evangelist Herring. The school outgrew the space and in 1925 St Patrick’s School was opened on its present site.
The Sisters of Mercy bought the Bourke House at Childers Tce in late 1916 from Mr MF Bourke. They established the St Catherine’s Convent, buying the property at a generous price. When St Catherine’s School opened in 1917 there were six pupils: five girls, Margaret and Wyn Collins, Patricia Jackson, Hazel and Amy Lucas , and one boy, Bernard Griffiths, all of whom lived locally. The children were taught in the convent’s Community room by Sister Mary Angela Butler. In the mornings they were taught Religious Studies, English, hand-writing , arithmetic and reading. In the afternoons the girls were taught Home Science such as cooking, embroidering and hand-sewing. Bernard went to the Basin Reserve where he was tutored in sporting skills particularly cricket. He became a successful cricketer, playing 12 first class games for Wellington between 1931 and 1938.
In 1918 the group of children increased. St Catherine’s was a Catholic school for children, both boys and girls, and was fee-paying.
The Spanish Flu epidemic broke out in early October. On 12 November the school was closed, along with all schools, offices, exhibitions and movie theatres as a precaution against spreading the disease. The Sisters became volunteer nurses, going into the homes of local people who caught the flu to nurse the patients and care for the families.
If people in a house were ill they hung a white cloth, usually a towel, at the front door or at the gate as the sign that help was needed. Some of the Sisters also nursed patients in the temporary hospital set up at St Patrick’s College in Cambridge Tce. In November, while nursing flu victims there, Sr Mary Chanel Burton caught the flu. She died on 13 December. In October and November the death rate in Kilbirnie and Lyall Bay was 15.6% with a population of just 2,237 people, the highest death rate in the Wellington area.
Honouring lives well lived
Attending a person’s funeral is a way of honouring that person’s life and their achievements. It is also an acknowledgment that they have died, and we are called to pray for the dead. It gives support to the mourners, family members and friends. We don’t have to speak to them; our presence at Mass is a tangible sign of that support. We are there as part of that person’s Faith Community to support the family. We also know when to sit and stand and move forward to Communion. This is a practical sign for those people attending who perhaps are not regular Mass attendees or who belong to different Faiths and so don’t know what to do. The Celebrant gives explanations, but it is useful for newcomers to see what is done and to follow suit. It is also an opportunity for us to attend Mass. So, the next time you see a parishioner’s death notice, note the time of the funeral and attend as part of our Parish Family.
Sunday 5 November - Matthew 23:1-12 We can have good intentions but lose the big picture. We don’t want to put restrictions on others to the point that it is hard for them to find their way to God. Worst still would be to place others in special regard only to knock them down. The greatest amongst us will be our servants. We seek to deal with all people with gentleness and compassion.
Sunday 12 November - Matthew 25:1-13 Sadly, not everyone will come to be with Christ. Some will be disowned. Keep awake in all that you do. Show in your everyday actions that you understand good from bad and how to stay on the side of good. It is easy for us in fatigue and become absent minded, getting sloppy in how we honor and care for others.
Sunday 19 November - Matthew 25:14-30 God gives us everything we have. We can choose to use all we have to the full or hide away. Hiding our talents is not being humble, it is shrinking away from what is good. The time will come and we will be measured. Will we be able to say that we made full use of our talents?
Sunday 26 November - Matthew 25:31-46 Our actions in our everyday life sort us. We are not all good or all bad. There will be bits of our being that is good and other bits that aren’t. We need to encourage ourselves to be generous, to reach out to others and be help to them.
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