• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017 19:17

Celebrations as St Patrick's church reopens in Wainuiomata, NZ

NZ Church reopening altar 350“Finally we got a real church, not a barn!” the faithful of the St Patrick’s church community in Wainuiomata, New Zealand, exclaimed when the church reopened after extensive earthquake repairs.

Cardinal John Dew, the Archbishop of Wellington, blessed and reopened the newly renovated and strengthened building last month. Local Maori leaders, Anglican pastors and community members and parishioners from right across the Parish of the Holy Spirit were also present.

St Patrick’s Church was built in 1959, almost 60 years ago, says Fr John Quang SVD.

“It was meant to be a makeshift hall while the local faithful were looking for a more suitable site to build the new church,” he says. “Unfortunately, the dream of a brand new church was never actualised due to the difficult circumstances of the local people.

“Yet, St Patrick’s remains a young and vibrant community, diverse also in ethnicity among our four church communities of Sacred Heart in Petone, Our Lady of the Rosary in Waiwhetu, and San Antonio in Eastbourne,” Fr John says. “These four former parishes now form one new Parish called The Holy Spirit Parish – Te Wairua Tapu in Maori language.”

The SVD presence at St Patrick’s started in 2005 with Father Joseph Vu as the first SVD parish priest, with Fr Sunil Paul Nagothu and Fr Ben Macjes working as assistants to the parish. They were followed by Fr Elmer Ibarra, Fr Linh Nguyen, Fr Albano da Costa, Fr Marlon Maylon, Fr John Quang, and Fr Bernard Espiritu who works as coordinator for the Pontifical Mission Society in New Zealand, not to mention confreres who have travelled to NZ to help out from time to time.

NZ Church reopening 350“A series of earthquakes weakened the structure and foundation of the St Patrick’s church over the years,” says Fr John.

“The condition of the ‘church barn’ was badly deteriorated, cold in winter and earthquake prone. Fr Marlon as parish priest called a parish assembly and it was finally decided that the renovation and the strengthening of the ‘barn’ had to be done for the safety of the church and people.”

The project took 10 months, but Fr John says while this produced hardship, it also brought many blessings.

“In every crisis, there is opportunity,” he says.

“During the 10 months of struggling with human and financial resources, there were good things happened too.

“The neighbouring Anglican community with its pastor, Rev. Rosalind Sims and her assistant pastors, welcomed the Catholic people with wide open arms of hospitality.

NZ Church reopening crowd 350“We were able to foster a spirit of brother/sisterhood with each other. An ecumenical spirit bonded us together in some of our liturgical celebrations, and we hope this spirit will continue to move beyond the project of our St Patrick’s church.

“We were so grateful to the Holy Trinity Anglican community for their charity and hospitality shown to us and were so happy the Anglican faithful and their pastors could be present at our opening.”

The project of renovation and strengthening the church building relied almost entirely on volunteers’ efforts in order to keep the cost as minimum as possible, Fr John says.

Fundraising, building, financial committees all worked together. Community members and ethnic groups with whatever skill they have also came together and contributed as much as they could.

“There were moments of frustration of course, but the community of building God’s house for the common good of all people finally prevailed.

“This project, though difficult and challenging, has managed to bring people together, it strengthens not only the church building but also the sense of community, its ownership and stewardship.”

The church is now fully functioning, but the second stage, which is the extension to be used as a foyer, is anticipated to happen sometime in the near future.