The new ministry at 78 Hobson Street has chosen to be called Pa Maria.
- provides opportunities for individuals and groups associated in any way with the Society of Mary to develop the practice of the spirit and spirituality of the Society,
- builds up self-sustaining networks and groups inspired by the Colinian spirit and spirituality
- provides a place imbued with the Marian spirit for individuals and groups to meet, reflect, pray and make retreats
Denis O’Hagan asked Richard Puanaki to suggest a name. After consulting his family he suggested Pa Maria and provided the following explanation:
Maria, is of course a Maori transliteration of Mary. In addition to its well known meaning of stronghold or fortress Pa also means to be touched or to come close to, be near; e.g. Ka pa te mamae ki ahau (the sorrow touched me/the sorrow was felt by me).
Richard added that he thought this name would be easy to pronounce and spell and that it would “trip off the tongue”.
So Pa Maria denotes a secure place where people can come close to and be touched by Mary.