St Francis de Sales Church confirmed as not earthquake prone

St Francis de Sales Church confirmed as not earthquake prone following a review As part of its ongoing strategic review of parish properties the Parish Finance Committee commissioned a review of the extent to which our buildings met, or did not meet the New Building Standard (NBS).

Following an extensive review, including ground testing and a peer review, the Wellington City Council now confirms that the St Francis de Sales church is no longer considered earthquake prone. The ‘yellow stickers’ may now be removed, and the building open to full public use, including by the St Francis de Sales school.

This is indeed good news, and we are grateful to the Finance Committee, the Parish Council, the St Francis de Sales school and the wider parish for their patience in what we know has been a trying time.

The parish is appreciative of the work put in by consultants John McNaughton of Spencer Holmes and Peter Johnstone of New Zealand Consulting Engineers.

A special School Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday 25th July to welcome St Francis de Sales School children and staff back into the Church, starting with a Powhiri (welcome ceremony) outside at 9:15am.
All parishioners are most welcome.
Pastoral Leadership Team.

Sunday 8th July – Sea Sunday



“I was a stranger and you welcomed me…”

Today the Catholic Church with all other Churches in New Zealand and around the world remembers and prays for all seafarers. Seafarers are far from family, they endure unsafe working conditions and are paid low wages because of isolation from authorities. Lonely, unloved and badly treated, they are for us the suffering Christ.

Apostleship of the Sea is one of the great works of the Church. We take seriously the call of Christ himself to welcome strangers and support those in need. We do this by welcoming and supporting seafarers, port workers and fishers to Aotearoa New Zealand when they come ashore for rest and recuperation. As over 80% of them are Catholic, most are keen to go to Mass.

Will you help us welcome the seafarer stranger in New Zealand? Would you agree to please pray for the seafarers, their families who struggle without Dad at home, and the Apostleship team who seek to be that warm friendly face on land? And would you consider making a donation to help fund our work?

Pick up a donation brochure from the church foyer, or contact:
Fr Jeff Drane on 027 492 0250   or  email:

Suzanne Aubert’s Commemorative Birthday Mass 2018

Cardinal John Dew led the celebration of Suzanne Aubert’s birthday Mass at St Anne’s Church, on Tuesday 19 June.  The Sisters of Compassion’s Album of photos taken can be viewed on their Facebook page by clicking on the photo below.

Ngā mihi nui all those who were part of preparing for and leading this joyous Eucharistic celebration.







Sunday 10th June, at the 10:30am Mass at St Francis de Sales,
54 young people from our parish will be confirmed by
Cardinal John Dew.
Please keep our parish children in your prayers, that they may always be open to the action of the Holy Spirit in their lives.


The recommendations from the recent Archdiocesan Synod and the consequent Parish Stewardship Day have helped us set priorities in our pastoral ministry.
Our energy is drawn into formulating plans and actions in the parish enlightened by these recommendations.

While it is good to give our whole attention to this, we also need to be reminded as to who we are. The Stewardship Day recommendation has highlighted the difference between a do-gooder and a disciple eloquently.
“A do-gooder is driven; a disciple is drawn”. We need to have the spiritual eyes to see our role in building the kingdom of God in this world.

That is why we enlist the ICPE Mission to accompany us in our spiritual renewal this year. During the third week of June, there will be a “Parish Mission Week” with the theme: “AWAKEN”. The ICPE mission team will organise three evening sessions drawing on our Christian identity and our role in the mission of Christ in the world. With the same focus, the ICPE missionaries will also visit our three Parish Schools and selected rest homes within our parish.

During this week the ICPE Mission will also help us to reach out to those in our parish who are on the ‘peripheries”, that they too may have a spiritual renewal in Christ. This will also give us an opportunity to understand who are the disadvantaged in our communities, where they are, how and why they find themselves there. This will eventually help us create an “infrastructure of pastoral care” for them.

How can you take part?

  • Come and attend the three evening seminars lead by the ICPE team on 20, 21, 22 June. These will be held at St Anne’s Hall, Newtown.
  • Please let the Parish Office know of anyone in your community who might appreciate a house visit.
  • Help us to accompany the ICPE team on the house visitations and/or help with transport.
  • Help provide lunch and dinner for the ICPE team during the Parish Mission week.
  • If you can help, please contact the Parish office.
  • Watch this space for more information

Summary of feedback on Parish Plan

Catholic Parish of Wellington South

Response to parish plan survey 2018

Parishioners were surveyed as part of the parish planning process. 73 parishioners responded to the survey monkey, 4 sent in e mails, 1 put in a handwritten submission. 90% thought the plan was either ‘somewhat realistic’ or ‘very realistic’. In summary – there was overwhelming support for the plan to progress.

The responses and comments were grouped into ‘themes’. This note summarises those themes (and includes those who thought the plan was not realistic). These in turn have been included within the redraft of the plan which is now with the Parish Council.

Major themes

The major themes to emerge can be grouped under the heading ‘connecting school and parish’, ‘cultural and ethnic diversity’, ‘biculturalism/Maori’ and ‘Catholic Social Teaching’.

Secondary themes

The next major themes were ‘Mass times’, ‘property’ and ‘collaborative ministry – lay/ordained’.

Other themes

The following broadly outlines the other themes to emerge:

‘Who is responsible for what?’; St Bernard’s rosters – too few people’; ‘developing prayer and contemplative life’; ‘aging parishioner demographic – energy to do anything?’; ‘building community – might be building a stronger community or belonging to a community’; ‘move the plan beyond one year’; ‘change “peripheries” to responding to need’; ‘change faith formation to faith and spiritual formation’; ‘youth, young people and families’.


The effort parishioners went to make a response is very much appreciated by the Parish Council and the Parish Finance Committee. Please be assured that ‘nothing has been lost’.

Use of Te Reo in our Parish – from the Newsletter 15 April

One of the recommendations from last year’s Synod was that the “Archdiocese deepens its understanding of Te Ao Māori and embraces biculturalism as an integral part of all its activities and decisions.”
As a Parish, we are seeking to do this by improving the use of Te Reo in our Masses. This article by Msgr Gerard Burns will give us a better understanding of the reasons why we use Te Reo Māori in our liturgies.

The Use Of Te Reo In The Mass 

by Msgr Gerard Burns

New Zealand society is changing in ways we don’t always notice when we are amidst them. I recently heard a Kiwi who had lived in England for 10 years saying she needed a dictionary now if she read a New Zealand newspaper. Why? Because there were so many Māori words that had entered the vocabulary no longer being translated.

What are some examples of these words? Tangi, kaumātua, mokopuna, hui, rangatira, kai, whānau, mahi, wharenui, etc. Attitudes are changing and language knowledge is changing.

Our own observations tell us New Zealand is becoming more ethnically diverse. The last 30 years have also seen a fuller development of what was begun with the Treaty of Waitangi. New Zealand’s system of government was established on a recognition of the Māori as the first peoples of the country.

Although the Treaty was ignored for more than 100 years by parliaments, government departments and judiciary its consequences have gradually been unfolding. Part of this has been the recognition of te reo Māori as an official language of New Zealand.

So the new official publication of the revised English translation of the Mass contains the Mass prayers in Māori and English. Priests are encouraged to make use of both. All this is different from the 1980s when there was an uproar over a telephone operator greeting callers with a simple ‘Kia ora’.

‘Kia ora’ is also a beautiful phrase. I like to translate it as ‘May you have life’, a wonderful thing to wish anyone. Using the Māori translations of Mass prayers acknowledges the first language of this land, recognises those with Māori whakapapa, and signals a respect for other languages than the dominant English.

It also picks up the encouragement of our country’s bishops over the last 30 years. The anthropological studies of Fr Gerald Arbuckle SM in the 1970s (such as The Church in a Multicultural Society, 1976) showed the need for recognition of Maori especially and of new migrants. The Bishops’ statement for the 150th anniversary of the Treaty, ‘1990 A Commemoration Year – He Tau Whakamaharatanga mō Aotearoa’ outlines their response.

The Bishops remind us of our heritage from the original Catholic mission to Aotearoa. Bishop Pompallier and his early companions came to work among Maori. Pompallier also made a significant contribution at Waitangi when the Treaty was signed. To use Maori language, songs and symbols appropriately in liturgy is to pick up that heritage.

These matters can spark questions. One senior parishioner used to chide me when I did the final blessing of the Mass in Māori. She said: ‘Why are you doing that when we don’t have any Māori in our congregation?’ My response was twofold: ‘How do you know? We don’t necessarily know everyone’s lineage here! Besides, as Māori is an official language in the country we can use it in public.’

Of course this is not to exclude other languages or cultures. The recognition and participation of all is important, not just in terms of language and song but also through participation in the ministries and life of the parish generally.

This is not always easy but there are several examples of good practice around the Archdiocese that can help us in the process.