It has been 175 years since the first Marist mission to Oceania and New Zealand.
To celebrate this and coinciding with the close of the Year of Faith and the Year of Colin, people from all branches of the Marist family in the Auckland Diocese gathered at Manurewa on Sunday 17th November.
Marist Brothers and the Champagnat Laity, Marist Sisters, Marist Priests and Brothers, Marist Laity and the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary all contributed and shared the family atmosphere of the afternoon.
Fr Ezio Blasoni gave the opening address on the history of the early Missions with stories and accounts of those early joys, struggles and realities ending with the call to continue the Marist vision to be instruments of mercy, sharing the Marian face of the church today.
Sr Marie Challecombe and Fr Chris Skinner led a time of prayer and reflection where the past voices of the early Marist missionaries and supporters, Lay and Religious, blended with prayers, waiata and hopes for today and the future.
Then there was a fun quiz with all the light-hearted competition that engenders followed by lots of buzz reconnecting over afternoon tea. As one Brother shared, “It was a happy mixture of history, prayer, fun and fellowship.”
Next August 2014, in another significant anniversary, Marists will celebrate 180 years since Pope Gregory XVI gave Papal approval to Laity in the Marist project.
Source: CathNews NZ