Parish Pastoral Council
Our PPC continues to meet monthly with a focus on liturgy, formation and outreach. Late 2017 we appointed Kath Petrie as our new Chair, and Pippa Grant as our Secretary. David Williamson resigned April 18. A youth group has started in the parish led by Felicity Meijer who also joins our PPC meetings. The youth group have been meeting in the hall fortnightly. We continue to focus on being a welcoming parish and have introduced the practice of the person reading the prayers of the faithful welcoming people at the beginning of Mass. We are making an effort to include more Te reo in the liturgy eg “E Te AriKi” response, more music and tikanga. The Contemplative Prayer group continues to meet on a Monday evening at 6.30 in the parish meeting room.
Fr Larry started a Catholic Initiation programme in September. We had 4 catechumens who were baptised at Easter, and 3 parents confirmed with their children as part of the Sacramental programme in June at the School/Family Mass.
We have trialed and purchased a new music system designed to be a back-up for when we do not have an organist to play at Mass. We are fortunate to now have 6 organists but we will continue to load music into the system and set up the cataloguing system so that it is available when needed.
We have had two Formation training events this year. In October we had Sr Bernie Cheyne work with the readers to improve their skills. Also, the Parish Council had a formation session with Pat Lythe in October.
In February we carried out a parish survey to give feedback regarding the PPC – our role and what else we could be doing for the parish. Overall the response was positive and we continue to discuss feedback from talking to the parishioners who put their names and contact details on the survey.
Over the past year Fr Larry has worked more closely with the other church groups in Devonport and we have shared some memorable services. They have included Christmas Carols at Holy Trinity Church, the World Day of Prayer at Holy Trinity Church in March, and a joint Ash Wednesday service which was hosted by our parish.
For the third year, our outreach activity for Fit for Mission was organising and running the Christmas party for the local office of Ministry for Vulnerable Children for young people in care and their families. The venue was Inflatable World in Glenfield. This year Helen Doyle was the project coordinator supported by Nicky Sumicz. We are considering broadening our Fit for Mission scope, and as a start organised a parish visit to De Paul house earlier in the year.
We introduced the “Courageous Conversation” event this year starting with Talking about the End of Life Choice Bill in March. The evening was facilitated by David Williamson, who is a member of the St Leo’s School Board of Trustees and also the Parish Council. The two speakers were Mary Panko, spokesperson from End-of-Life Choice Society of New Zealand Inc., and Maggie Barry, Northshore MP. About 70 people attended, and was considered a successful night. We will repeat this type of event.
On Saturday July 28 we held our winter social with the theme “Celebrating Our Heritage”, a historic theme based on the 1890s when the school was founded. It was attended by about 65 people and most probably the last event in the hall before we install the new kitchen.
Fundraising to renovate the hall continues as we try to strike the balance of having social events and applying for funding. It is a key project to have completed for the St Leo’s 125th anniversary in 2018. The work completed so far with the new decking and access from the school side has already provided a wonderful link between the school and parish. The music concert “Hallelujah” which was held in our church in May was very successful.
Thanks to all those who supported us and the Parish in so many different ways.
Contact: Kath Petrie or Liz McMaster (contact the parish)
Children’s Liturgy of The Word
Children’s Liturgy of the Word is provided at each Sunday 9am Mass during school terms. Since our last report, we have had one new member join the team so we now have ten volunteers. Thank you for giving your time to this ministry. Online resources are provided by the Catholic Liturgy Centre and the Religious Education Centre of the Auckland Diocese. Ideally there is one leader plus one adult helper each Sunday.
At times, the number of children in attendance can mean the meeting room becomes cramped. We may need to consider splitting the group into two groups (younger and older children).
Contact: Jody McGivern (contact the parish)
Church Flower Ministry
For Christmas 2017, Sue Story and Anne Gibson took charge of the decorations and as always did a splendid job!
The Easter 2018 floral display was a little different from previous years. With vast amounts of varying foliage and 3 metal frames, a garden-like concept for the altar was achieved.
On 25 May 2018, we had Hall-eluia – The first concert held in our church. Our ministry was involved in the lighting and décor for this event. The abundant soft lighting and huge floral displays on the altar and arch, created a perfect ambient atmosphere for this beautiful night of music.
After the inaugural parish social of 2016, a second parish social called Historic Hoopla was held on 28 July 2018. Our ministry was invited to take charge of the décor and theme. A week prior to the event, a working bee had the huge task of cleaning and prepping the hall. Leading up to our 125th anniversary of the St Leo’s hall, the 1890s’theme was set with illuminated museum furniture sitting on the stage , with many parishioners dressed in Victorian era costume in attendance. The windows were dressed with luxurious green foliage and a massive floral chandelier hung from the ceiling. Our parish facebook page has photos of this event.
The next event we are looking forward to be involved in, is the 125th anniversary of St Leo’s parish hall, on 11 November 2018.
Our appreciation goes out to all the ladies of the Ministry who give their time and flowers every week to make our church so welcoming.
We are always happy for more volunteers to join our vibrant team so if you’d like to give it a go, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Contact: Margaret Pereira (contact the parish)
Communion to the Sick And Aged Ministry
Every Monday morning we give Communion to the sick and home-bound. At the moment we have 14 members of the parish to whom we administer Holy Communion.
As co-ordinator I am pleased to report we have 5 members now as part of this ministry to the beloved sick.
I am sorry to say I am leaving after 23 years in this beautiful ministry which has given me great joy, but I feel it is time to step down and give others the privilege to do this wonderful work. I have looked forward to every Monday but age has caught up with me. God bless.
Contact: Ann Gilfoyle (contact the parish)
Family Group — Calvert
The Calvert Family Group has been in operation for many years with a good percentage of the group active from the start. We try to meet monthly but it is more probably on a 6 week-2 month basis.
Some of our activities over the last year have included a BBQ to plan our year, an Irish dinner and evening for St Patrick’s Day cooked by Sue, pot luck dinners, a movie night at The Vic and dinner after at Corelli’s a games evening (ie scrabble and 500) with a takeaway and of course our well attended yearly dinner prepared by Sue Story and hosted by Ian and Sue at their home.
Contact: Joanna and Neil Calvert (contact the parish)
Fundraising Committee (Parish Hall)
Since completing the new stairs and entrance doors in November 2017, we have enjoyed the improved link between hall and the school. The next stage is to install a new kitchen area and storage rooms. We have a deadline of 11 November 2018 when we celebrate St Leo’s 125th anniversary.
Our approach to raising funds has been a combination of events and applying for funding, supported by parish funds. So far, we have raised $93, 000, made up of i) fundraising events $31,500; ii) parish funds $42,000; and iii) Pub Charity fund $20,000. These funds have all been used for renovations done so far, and purchasing the equipment for the kitchen.
We have a target of $10,000 to complete the kitchen. Our plan is to run further fundraising events — another ‘guess who’s coming to dinner’, food & wine evening, and an evening at Repertoire. We will also be selling 500 posters at the Devonport market and other sites in Devonport.
We expect feedback mid-Sep for our current application to the Lottery Fund for $20,000.
The next and final stage will be a substantial project which includes the new meeting room, flooring and final finishes to the internal ceiling and walls. To meet our next target of over $100,000 we are going to have to review our approach to raising funds. We will need to go outside the parish which will require developing a “fundraising story” and identifying sponsors.
We currently have a small fundraising team – Karen Rawlinson, Jody Gill, Yem Braid, Kim Byrne, myself and recently Jacqui Scott. We have had such a positive response from the parish to the social events as people have got to know each other better which helps to build a stronger community.
Report prepared by Liz McMaster, Fundraising Committee
Contemplative Prayer Group
This group meets at the presbytery on Monday nights 6.30pm to 7.15pm
and is part of the World Community for Christian Meditation. Our usual format at present starts with a 10-15 minute talk by Fr Laurence Freeman followed by a 20 minute silent meditation and a closing prayer. Hopefully the group will provide encouragement and support to everyone and anyone interested in Christian meditative practice.
The Monday afternoon group meets at 3.00pm at St Luke’s Church in Bayswater.
Contact: Pippa Grant (contact the parish)
Small choir convenes for Christmas Midnight Mass and for Holy Week and the Easter Vigil, led with generosity and grace by Susan Story.
The Christmas Vigil Mass was again led by the Children’s Choir, accompanied by Hayley Law with guitar and some of the children with violin and keyboard.
The Children’s Choir has been in hiatus for much of this current year, but, with help from Hayley Law, the plan is to revitalize this resource with the view to have the children lead the singing at Sunday Mass a couple of times each term during the year.
We are grateful as always for the generosity of our organists: thanks to Vincent Phua, Valeria Park, Susan McSweeney, Charles Choi and Mia Dobbs; also, Greg Park and Thomas Doolin, when available. We are always on the lookout for others who have keyboard skills and might be willing to give the organ a go. Other instruments can also be a welcome addition, eg violin, flute …
The parish council is placing a priority on the musical accompaniment of the singing at the weekend Masses. To this end a MIDI sequencing device was purchased which is capable of recording the electronic keystrokes of a compatible organ and replay these on the occasions that an organist is not available. This system has been used successfully a number of times to date. However the number of hymns recorded so far is quite small, but this should improve with time.
Offers of assistance with music or singing are always welcome.
Contacts: Stephen Bell 021 0608561 and Olivia Webb 022 3435460 (contact the parish)
Parish Book Club
Book Club meets on the 2nd Monday of each month in the Parish Meeting Room 10.30am-noon. Six to eight members regularly attend, plus one long distance by email from Ireland.
Books we have read form the basis of discussions. These range from personal faith journeys through to works on Church teaching and sharing of impressions and inspiration which all enjoy and appreciate, together with coffee and nibbles. We conclude at noon with the Angelus.
Contacts: Anne Gilfoyle and Elizabeth Light (contact the parish)
Altar Server Roster
We have approximately 24 Altar Servers who serve at both Saturday Vigil and Sunday Mass.
Altar Servers play a most important part in assisting the priest. This is a positive way to be involved and learn about the Eucharist. A wonderful learning experience for our young members of the parish as they learn about their faith and take on responsibility.
To be an altar server, you need to have made your first Holy Communion and be between 7 and 99 years old! We encourage our altar servers to continue serving beyond primary school years.
Any boy or girl wishing to become an altar server would be required to serve Mass on a roster basis on Saturday evenings or Sundays usually only once a month. Supervised training will be provided.
Contact: Yem Braid (contact the parish)
St. Leo’s Catholic School
There have been big changes at St Leo’s, with 3 new teachers starting this year and a new Principal. The school is in fine form with a dedicated staff and enthusiastic children.
The school roll is currently sitting at 83 students and has been steadily growing lately, with 20 Year 1 students this year. We hope to grow the school over the next few years in order to keep a stable staff. We will continue to strive to have a family atmosphere with small classes and strong Catholic values.
This term we have 14 International Students who are attending the school for a period of 2 – 6 weeks.
This year we are having an external review by the Education Review Office (ERO). This will take place in week 8 this term. We will also conduct an internal Catholic Character Review.
We have reintroduced class buddy Masses on a Friday this term. The children have enjoyed taking an active part in the celebration of the Mass. Reconciliation has been scheduled for Term 3 and again in Term 4.
Sunday Family Masses are also celebrated each term. We had 9 students taking part in the sacramental programme. We were able to join with them and other members of the community during the Confirmation and First Holy Communion Mass.
Father Larry and I have been working closely together to enable the school to continue to demonstrate the Catholic Character in the absence of a DRS. I would also like to acknowledge the Parish Community for welcoming me and supporting this wonderful Catholic School of St Leo’s.
Contact: Maureen Harris, Principal (contact the parish)
Senior Ladies Coffee Group
This group meets every second Thursday morning at a different member’s home. It is a social group which gives us the opportunity to meet other women of a similar age. We also contribute annually to McAuley High School in Otahuhu, a low decile girl’s school, to help with school expenses, such as stationery, school trips and uniform needs for one of the pupils. We would welcome more members.
Contact: Nola Hendry (contact the parish)
St Joseph’s Guild (aka Monday Morning Work Crew)
The clivia along the side & back fence line of the cemetery are doing very well since moving them there a few years back. A few more were divided early winter & planted in the gaps. Eventually we would like to see them virtually right along the fence lines. Nola Hendry very kindly gave us a few Clivia that she had surplus of, which we were able to divide & plant. In total got around 30 extra plants by doing so. The established plants will be flowering very shortly, so will add colour for a few weeks. Also, the bank behind the garage & carport has been planted in grass. Again, divided from the ones established above Our Lady’s Icon. Well over 1/2 have taken, so in a couple of years the bank should be covered, as it has been quite hard weeding wise over the years.
Both entrances to the church have been repainted. Also the white strips on both set of steps.
A large branch of one of the trees overhanging the agapanthus came down during a winter storm, causing very little damage. It was removed by an arborist along with the rest of the tree still standing. A Kowhai has been planted in its place, but just a bit further up. The Tui’s will love that for years to come.
We monitor the 11 (rat) bait stations in the 3 cemeteries regularly. There been a lot in the media about the rodent problem in Devonport, but haven’t sighted any for many months now, but they are about as we have to rebait most of them each time they are checked.
My thanks to Harry Dennis, John Kellett, John Clark & Arthur Whelan for their dedication in helping to keep looking good.
We are always looking for new people to help out, so if you have time on a Monday morning, please get in touch. Thanks.
Contact Ian Story (contact the parish)
St Vincent De Paul – Devonport Conference
This has been a year of change for the members of Devonport conference of St Vincent de Paul. Anne Campbell, after many years of active service, has stepped down along with Peter Andrews who fortunately is still involved with the food parcels generously donated from New World supermarket. We have 7 active members and several associates and new of course members are welcomed with open arms.
We would also like to thank the exceptional generosity of our parishioners in their donations of money, food and/or their time. Without these we would not be able to help the families and individuals who have been in need this past year. Every food parcel or donation has been greatly received as are the volunteers who help at the Vinnies shops of Ellice Road and Beach Haven.
A big thank you to new members Adrienne Ramskill and Linda Lampen-Smith who have been very efficient in organising the collating and distributing of food parcels.
As well as food parcels our members have made many visits to those who are lonely, incapacitated, in hospitals and rest homes as well as helping with transportation where needed. There are many who just want a listening ear and we are happy to help wherever we are needed. With Christmas so close please, please contact us if you know of anyone who may be in need – whether it be financial or food parcels or company.
“No work of charity is foreign to the society.”
Contact: Patricia Hinchey (contact the parish)
Sunday Morning Tea & Dishes
Our Morning Tea and dishes roster has been operating for nearly 5 years now. Our community enjoys meeting after Mass on a Sunday morning to catch up with other parishioners and to provide a warm welcome for anyone new. One person is rostered each week to provide some nourishment and a warm drink + tidy away the dishes afterwards.
Thanks to all of our generous volunteers. New volunteers are always welcome.
Contact: Francisca Knottenbelt (contact the parish)