Parish Pastoral Council
Monthly meetings began by praying for guidance on what is good for parish and parishioners. Our focus was in four main areas: liturgy, formation, outreach and community.
Members participated in Diocesan Regional Pastoral Council, Social Justice Days and the Diocesan Fit for Mission Workshop. We organized sessions for the Parish with Father Neil Darragh during Social Justice Week in September reflecting on the Church’s Social Justice Principles. We are looking at a specific project for the Parish towards deliberate enactment of the Fit for Mission mandate.
Good linkages with St Leo’s were maintained through having a representative attend our meetings.
New Parish Pastoral Guidelines from the Diocese have focused us less on being a consultative body (more useful when we did not have a resident priest), towards becoming more visionary.
Membership has increased with four new people coming on board. Thanks to all those who supported us and the Parish in so many different ways.
Contact: Kath Petrie (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. Currently there are seven people on the roster which means each volunteer is required to lead a session once or twice each term. Ideally there is one leader plus one adult helper each Sunday.
Contact: Jody McGivern (contact the parish)
Church Flower Ministry
We take this opportunity to thank Pat McKay for her immense contribution to our parish for the past 30 years. Her experience in floral artistry and her dedication to the ministry is exemplary.
Margaret Pereira took over from Pat early 2014. In November 2014, a tutorial in floral arrangement was conducted by Margaret for the ladies of our Ministry.
We are an enthusiastic group of volunteers who buy our own flowers and spend time decorating our church weekly. We have a roster out biannually. We are always keen to have new members on board.
Contact: Margaret Pereira (contact the parish)
Communion to the Sick And Aged Ministry
Every Monday morning three of us meet at the church for 8am Liturgy. We receive the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist for the number of people we are visiting that day, then say a few prayers before we leave the church.
Presently there are ten people to whom we take communion. This is a lovely ministry, the people look forward to seeing us and are always most grateful. Often they like to have a little chat as we may be the only one they see that day.
We have five people doing this ministry.
Contact: Pat McKay (contact the parish)
Family Group — Calvert
The Calvert Family Group has been in operation for over 25 years with a good percentage of the group active from the start. We met on a regular basis, monthly, when the children were young but in the last 5-10 years a number of the members have become grandparents and their children scattered around NZ and overseas making for more difficulty in finding suitable dates and some members have taken on new businesses making them less available or illness has precluded some attending.
We probably now meet more on a 6 week-2 month basis. Some of our activities over the last year have been the Sculpture in the Park at the Botanic Gardens, pot luck dinners, plays at the Rose Centre in Belmont, an historic walk through Bayswater for NZ Heritage Week, and of course our well attended yearly dinner prepared by Sue Story and hosted by Ian and Sue at their home. Recently, as a group, we attended a fundraiser movie for de Paul House.
Contact: Joanna Calvert (contact the parish)
Family Group — Oxford
The Oxford Family group was formed at a parishioner’s house on Oxford St Devonport in 2013 and has continued throughout 2014/15 with regular social activities and parish involvement.
The activities included pot luck lunches, a movie, fish and chips at the beach, bush walks and a champagne and dessert evening. The group led the Stations of the Cross one Friday evening during Lent and some group members participated in the Devonport Easter Procession on Good Friday.
There are currently about seventeen families/individuals of various ages who belong to the group. The aim of the group is for people in the parish to get to know each other on a social basis. New members are welcome to join.
Contact: Gerard and Mia Dobbs (contact the parish)
The group continues to meet almost every Thursday evening 7.30-9pm as it has for 15 years or so. Meetings take place in a parishioner’s home. It is now mostly a small group of 6 “old -faithfuls” with occasional “visitors” but anyone who is keen to practise Christian Meditation from any denomination is welcome. Meetings get cancelled if too many are away or cannot attend.
We usually start with a reading, then 20-30 minutes silent meditation music and then another prayer or reading. The late Ian Grant was the spiritual “leader” of the group. One Anglican member who attends has recently become a Benedictine Oblate so she often has readings and other material to contribute.
Hopefully the group will continue as it is a wonderful support and inspiration, as well as information-sharing time for those on the meditative/contemplative spiritual path
Contact: Pippa Grant (contact the parish)
Small choir convenes at Christmas and Easter, led with generosity and grace by Susan Story.
We are ever-grateful for the generosity of our regular organists: Vincent Phua, Thomas Doolin and Valeria Park (Valeria provides the accompaniment on the first Saturday evening of each month.
This past year the Sursam Corda choir (some of whom live locally) has provided music on the third Sunday morning of each month, and sometimes when there’s a fifth Sunday; they specialize in singing from the Church’s rich traditional heritage.
A process is underway to renew the parish hymnal with an expanded version including a more extensive repertoire.
For Copyright compliance around the printing of lyrics and use of music contact: Liturgy Centre, Pompallier Diocesan Centre, PH: 09 378 4380
Offers of assistance with music or singing are always welcome.
Contacts: Stephen Bell 021 0608561
Susan Story (Christmas & Easter Choir) – contact the parish
Parish Book Club
Book Club meets on the 2nd Monday of each month in the Parish Meeting Room 10am-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; Kathy Keesing; Elizabeth Light (contact the parish)
Religion and Science Discussion Group
Several sessions were held in 2014 with around 10 parishioners watching and discussing various videos to understand that science is not incompatible with religion but may be seen as supportive of religion.
The motivations for the meetings may be expressed in Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury Anselm’s motto of “faith seeking understanding”, which for him means “an active love of God seeking a deeper knowledge of God.” He wrote, “Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand.” He held that faith precedes reason, but that reason can expand upon faith. Jesuit Father Spitzer explained how we now know the universe had a beginning as the Bible held, and that the old concept of an infinite universe is no longer tenable. We learned how the philosopher Anthony Flew abandoned atheism when he realised the origins of life remain a mystery and evolution cannot explain replicating molecules. Oxford professor John Lennox pointed out that while the laws of physics may describe events they cannot create anything without a creator. It is hoped that everyone attending gained, as Archbishop Anselm reasoned, a deeper knowledge of God.
Contact: Keith Hooper (contact the parish)
Scripture Reflection Group
A group of parishioners meet at St Luke’s Church, Bayswater Avenue, Belmont weekly to study and reflect on the readings from the Mass of the previous Sunday.
These meetings have been found to be an invaluable way of understanding the fuller meaning of the Scriptural selections. Closer examination reveals the ways in which the readings apply to the daily lives of everyone involved.
Everybody is welcome; no previous study is necessary before joining the group which maintains a friendly, non-threatening atmosphere at its meetings.
They last from 4-5pm and take place almost every Monday.
Contact: Margaret; Eileen (contact the parish)
Senior Ladies Coffee Group
This group meets every second Thursday morning at a different member’s home. It is an opportunity for meeting other women of a similar age, for catching up and looking out for one another.
We also give support to John Paul II College, a co-educational school in Samoa guided by the New Zealand Sisters of Mercy, but staffed by well-qualified Samoan Sisters and lay staff. We aim to contribute $700 annually which provides three schoalrships for poor children of the village.
Contact: Ngaire Cooper; Margaret Kellett (contact the parish)
St Joseph’s Guild (aka Monday Morning Work Crew)
We meet every Monday morning (except public holidays, or if it is wet) to work on the church grounds.
It is lovely getting comments, not only from fellow parishioners, but from total strangers, on how well the church grounds look and are kept. Our numbers are small (2 to 4 each week on average), but we have been able to achieve quite a lot and have more to do. Thanks team.
Contact Ian Story (contact the parish)
St Vincent De Paul
The conference has fortnightly meetings. Our membership is nine and usually four attend meetings. We carry out delivering food parcels and occasionally give food vouchers for those who are experiencing hard times. We are grateful for all the donations of food and money that come from the parish.
The other works that we do is visiting lonely people and those in hospital, plus taking people to hospital appointments.
This year we were able to lead the Station of the Cross during Lent which we would be happy to do again next year.
There is always a need for more members. At this stage one member works in the Ellice Road Vinnies Shop, but there are non-members from the parish who generously work there too.
Contact: Kathy Lynch (contact the parish)
Sunday Morning Tea & Dishes
This roster was initiated about 18 months ago when we noted that more and more people were lingering after church as a community and we realised it as an opportunity to reach out to be more welcoming to new people and to get to know others better within our Parish.
We think the initiative has been successful in that it helps to achieve deeper Parish engagement.
With our new kitchen, the job is quick and easy. With about 12 people on our roster, we each are required for 4 Sunday mornings per year.
Thanks to all of those who have assisted. We welcome more volunteers.
Contact: Francisca Knottenbelt (contact the parish)
The parish is blessed to have Fr. Larry Rustia as our Parish Priest, and we are grateful that, having been with us for a year he was appointed to be our parish Administrator. His pastoral guidance and leadership is bearing fruit in numerous ways and hope this may continue.
Ever-grateful to all the many volunteers and all parishioners who contribute to the on-going task of being Church — gathering to celebrate Eucharist ……then going out to be Christ in the world. Breathing in and breathing out.
Contact: Stephen Bell 021 0608561