Saturday 17 November,
1pm St Anne’s Hall, Newtown
Theme: Welcoming Communities

A recent story of welcome – A young man turned up at Sunday Mass in one of our Wellington South churches and sat towards the back. He’s not Catholic but wants to know more about what we believe and how we live as Catholics. He is open to becoming Catholic and joining a community. Some parishioners noticed him and invited him to stay for morning tea and introduced him to the priest.
Another recent story of welcome – Two gay men sought baptism for their child during Sunday Mass recently. The community welcomed them and enjoyed a shared morning tea after Mass.
Those are simple stories of welcome. Do you have a welcoming story to share? Come to St Anne’s Hall, Emmett St Newtown on Saturday 17 November at 1pm. Help us explore opportunities and ideas to enhance Wellington South Parish as a ‘welcoming community’. There’s a lot of ‘welcoming’ that already goes on in a wide range of forms and situations. How can we build on this?

For Personal Reflection

  • What talents and abilities has God given me?
  • Do I use them in service of others?
  • How can I become a more effective steward of the gifts I have received?

Congratulations to Linda Swayn

Cardinal John Dew presented the Papal Benemerenti Medal to Linda Swayn at St Francis de Sales on Sunday 7 October during a special Mass held during Compassion Fest. The award acknowledged her work for the church and in particular working with and supporting children.

Compassion Festival Events

What is Compassion Fest?

Celebrating the life and work of Suzanne Aubert, social and religious pioneer and champion of children and the poor.
During her life, Mother Aubert, as well as founding a religious congregation, greatly influenced progress in such areas as health, education, women’s rights and social welfare. Her work in the fields of medicine, Maori language and an evolving New Zealand spirituality was pioneering and far-reaching.
The first event in the Festival is For Compassion’s Sake: an art exhibition. This will be running the week leading up to the festival in the Island Bay Presbyterian Church lounge, contributors have been invited to submit work illustrating either the life of Suzanne Aubert or the virtue of compassion. Some work will be for sale, it will be open for viewing each day. The formal exhibition opening will be 4-6pm next Sunday, refreshments provided, all welcome.
The first formal event of the Festival weekend is a Taize service as CompassionFest opens in reflection and with prayer. This is at the Home of Compassion chapel, 7-8pm Friday Oct 5th. The Heritage Center will also be open that evening from 6:30pm if people wish to immerse themselves in Suzanne Aubert’s life.

Compassion Fest Events

  • “For Compassion’s Sake” Art exhibition: Showcasing the artistic vision of Compassion in 2D and 3D media. Presbyterian lounge, 88 The Parade. Opening: Sun 30 Sept 4pm. Until 7th Oct.
  • Taize service: Reflective service at Home of Compassion Fri 5 Oct, 7-8pm
  • Kids Fest: Fun, craft, cooking, food art & learning activities Presbyterian Church, Sat 6 Oct, 10am-2pm
  • “Small steps in big shoes” – Children’s tour of Home of Compassion. Walk up with trolleys and food donations to the Home; be guided through a Mother Aubert ‘experience’. Sat 6 Oct. Leaves the church 2.10pm; tour 2.45-4pm.
  • “Suzanne’s Island Bay” Mother Aubert knew her local community inside out. Take a 1900’s trip with the Historical Society. Baptist church, Sat 6 Oct 5pm followed by soup for all ($2 per cup).
  • Splendid Drop A beer tasting event featuring six styles of homebrew beer, one brewed by Tuatara! It will weave a narrative through Suzanne Aubert’s life with the tasting notes of the beers. R18. St Hilda’s, Sat 6 Oct 7:30-9.30pm. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at
  • Combined Church Service: Contemporary combined worship service, celebrating the life and legacy of Suzanne Aubert at Presbyterian church. Sun 7 Oct, 10am.
  • Compassion Mass with Cardinal John Dew at St Francis de Sales Church, Sunday 7 Oct, 10:30am
  • Native Tonics Workshop: Make curatives from local flora, as found in M. Aubert’s kete! Join our fun field experience and learn how to identify, harvest, prepare and use native plants. Limited spaces. Email to register. Tapu Te Ranga Marae Sun 7 Oct 2-4pm
  • What’s Compassion got to do with running a Country? A symposium with politicians and theologians – feat. Hon. Paul Eagle, Hon. Chris Finlayson, Prof Chris Marshall, Janna Dennison and Sister Catherine Hannan at H.O.C. Sun 7 Oct, 7:30pm.

SOCIAL JUSTICE WEEK 9 – 15 September

This year the Social Justice Week focus is on disability and participation. How can we encourage more enabling communities, affirming that everyone has a part to play in our society?
Disability is not about individual impairment, but about society. The New Zealand Disability Strategy says: “Disability is something that happens when people with impairments face barriers in society; it is society that disables us, not our impairments… It is something that happens when the world we live in has been designed by people who assume that everyone is the same.”
We are all valuable before God, and we all have the same desire to experience life more abundantly, as Jesus promised us. God has called us together as one body – in fact, it is our diverse gifts and abilities that make us the Body of Christ. As St Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “if one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it” (1 Cor 12:26).
It is the duty and responsibility of each of us to play our own part to the fullest and remove every barrier that stands in the way of our brothers and sisters from doing the same.

“Every child, every person needs to know that they are a source of joy; every child, every person, needs to be celebrated.  Only when all of our weaknesses are accepted as part of our humanity can our negative, broken self-images be transformed.”   Jean Vanier, Becoming Human, 1998



St Francis De Sales Church Tour

Haven’t visited St Francis de Sales Church for a while? Or just curious about church history, theology, liturgy, as it is expressed through the structure of our church. Joe Green, lay pastoral leader, Fr Dennis and Fr David will be leading a 40 minute tour of St Francis de Sales Church, Island Bay on Tuesday 7 August at 5:30pm – Just turn up if you’re interested! 

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: