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Parish Celebration 25 August 2013

The usual Parish Mass for St Mary’s Church in Whanganui on Sunday 25th August had a bigger congregation than usual, as many visiting Sisters of St Joseph joined parishioners in thanksgiving.  The day before, 24th August, the formal celebration of the Fusion of the Sisters of St Joseph, Whanganui with the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart had been held in the church, but due to the constraints of numbers many parishioners had been unable to attend.  

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Parish priest Fr Brian Carmine celebrated the Sunday Mass with Bishop Charles Drennan assisting, and both Parishioners and Sisters shared in the various ministries.  Parish musicians were joined by Sister musicians, and some of the same hymns used for the Mass of Fusion were sung with energy and joy.  Participating in the Presentation of Gifts were representatives from the Parish Schools which all had former links to the Sisters.

Welcoming all to Mass, Anne Burke rsj, said
“Today in this Mass we give thanks for all that those parishioners, parents, pupils, teachers, and priests have been for us here, and in the many foundations of the Sisters in this and other NZ Dioceses.  Those connections have helped make us who we are, and will never be lost.
We hope today we can personally thank you.”

The homily was given by Catherine Shelton rsj, explaining the Sisters’ history and path to Fusion.  A full Power Point presentation helped tell the story in detail.

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Before the last blessing, Catherine Shelton rsj and Colleen Woodcock rsj presented the Parish with a photograph of the founders of the Sisters of St Joseph, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison Woods.   This will eventually be placed in the foyer, together with pictures of the founders of the other religious orders associated with the Whanganui parishes.  Children present had fun unwrapping the picture with Fr Brian.

On view in the foyer was a wall hanging made by women in Peru associated with the Sisters of St Joseph who have a fair trade organization Ethic Accessories.  The beautiful hanging had earlier been presented to the Whanganui Sisters on the women’s behalf by Clare Conaglen rsj of Peru.

Parishioners, Sisters and friends all gathered in St Joseph’s hall for a shared morning tea.  Soon after,  one busload of Sisters set out for home in Auckland, and two other buses began a brief tour of sites in the city of historical interest to the Sisters before they travelled to Kaiwhaiki Marae for an afternoon with Nga Paerangi  and people of the awa/river.

More photos in Gallery – Parish Mass

Gallery / Whakaahua

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