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ketekorero August - October 2018

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The official publication of the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton August - October 2018

Grateful stewards

Catholic Education Conference inspiring Pa Yvan - sun shines on funeral Jesuit priest delivering retreats Catholics and Anglicans on path to unity Sister's long journey to find a life with Jesus

Immigrant poem


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ketekorero August - October 2018

bishop’s message A Catholic Formation for Life

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t Peter’s School at Kororāreka (Russell), was New Zealand’s first Catholic school. It was opened in 1840, the same year the relationship between Māori and the Crown was formalised in the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi). The Treaty signalled ideal of partnership, an ideal we still continue to work towards. The first Catholic schools in our land were staffed and ran by lay teachers with all schools receiving some financial assistance from provincial governments. The Education Act of 1877 changed this. While the Act made free education compulsory for all children between 7 and 13 years of age, it also ushered in a secular education. As a result, the Catholic Church, along with other Churches, established their own private school systems, which were entirely privately funded. The Catholic community wanted a Catholic education for their children and so massive fundraising began around the country for the building and upkeep of Catholic schools. The Act also ushered in the arrival of large numbers of religious sisters and brothers to staff the schools – having a staff of religious on a small stipend was a lot cheaper option for bishops than employing lay teachers. By the early 1970s the Catholic school system was in serious debt and was about to collapse, so in 1975 the Government passed the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act and our Catholic schools became “state integrated schools”. This partnership between the State and the Church allows our schools to keep their “Catholic character”. The State provides for the day to day running of Catholic and other state-integrated schools, while the Proprietor (the bishop or religious order) has the responsibility for and owns the land and buildings. Unlike state schools, parents pay "attendance dues" for the upkeep of our Catholic schools. Last year the Integration Act was moved into the Education Act. The existence of both Catholic and State schools gives parents a choice as to what school they will send their children to. But that choice will only exist if Catholic parents support the Catholic school system our forebears sought to build. Our Catholic schools have a point of distinctiveness. They are faith-based schools and the Act insists we "preserve" and "safeguard" the special character of our schools. Every principal, teacher and board member of a Catholic school has an obligation to preserve and safeguard the Catholic character, not only of their own school but also for all Catholic schools. The point of distinctiveness of our Catholic schools is not just values – State schools have values as well. Our schools are based on the person of Jesus Christ and his teaching as conveyed through and in the Catholic Church. Our schools give a spiritual perspective to life, based on the life and teaching of Jesus and his Church. They aim to prepare our children not only for excellence in life but also for the times when the students might experience failure, struggle or suffering in their life and death in those around them. They want to prepare our children for fullness of this life and eternal life in the world to come. Beyond delivering all the curriculum subjects, our Catholic schools are in essence tasked with leading the students to an encounter with Jesus Christ and so as to want to become his disciples and share his vision for humanity. I am heartened by the growing trend of students in our schools choosing such a faith for themselves. In some ways it is not surprising. Last year, Pope Francis asked for a survey of young people be taken throughout the world in preparation for the Youth Synod to be held later in October 2018. Seven of the ten top challenges, for the 2000 young people in New Zealand who responded, included mental health issues. Australia and other Western countries reported similar results. Despite having so many opportunities in our modern world, our young people are afraid. This trend seems to have grown the more we have lost our spiritual heritage. Faced with a world that seems to have lost its way, our students are looking for a spiritual vision that offers direction and hope. So, for you parents, your choice of your children’s school is incredibly important. Choose carefully. For our schools, it is important that you buck the societal trends and insist on the authenticity of being a truly Catholic school. For the wider Catholic community, it is important that we all see and support the opportunities our Catholic schools offer to make a difference to our future generations. It’s a work the whole Catholic community does together to ensure our Catholic schools continue to form amazing young people for the life of the Church and the world.

In this issue... Read it online!

www.proudtobecatholic.org.nz Bishop’s Message A Catholic Formation for Life

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Features Grateful stewards Pa Yvan Sergy - the priest on whom the sun shone Brother's sad farewell in a beautiful place

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Education Catholic Education Conference inspiring and rewarding experience 4 Ilija Jankovic: Immigrant poem a peace prize winner 5 Identity 5 Students bring rural mental health to the fore 5 Campion projects highlight students' environment commitment 6 Aylish follows in footsteps of Jacinda Ardern with speech prize 7 Parish News Jesuit priest delivering retreats to the diocese Ecumenical Service brings Christians together Passionist Cross on St Mary's Chapel gateway The Religious Life Catholic and Anglican leaders finding a way to greater unity Parish celebrates Monsignors Clergy shifts, new priests Priests more visible during confession Give us this day our daily bread Sister Remedii's long journey to find a life with Jesus Papua New Guinea – a visit in the jungle

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Advertorial 16

The Kete Korero is an official publication of the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton. Deadline for contributions to the next issue is 9 October 2018 Kete Korero Magazine Chnel Centre, 51 Grey St, P.O. Box 4353, Hamilton East 3247 Editor: Michael R. Smith, 5 High Street, Rotorua 3010; P.O. Box 6215, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3010 At: 07 349 4107, 0272096861, kete@cdh.org.nz Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/KeteFb Videos: http://tinyurl.com/ketekorero Sponsorship and advertising: David Barrowclough, C-/ Chanel Centre 0800 843 233 Fax 07 8567035 or email: cdf@cdh.org.nz Layout: Business Media Services Ltd, 5 High Street, Rotorua 3010 Design: Sandy Thompson, Advocate Print Ltd, 248 Fenton Street, Rotorua 3010. Printing: Beacon Print Ltd, 207 Wilson Road, Hastings 4153 ISSN: (print) 2357-2221 & (online) 2357-223X Cover Photos (Top left) Sister Maria Mater Boni Remedii with her parents, Norah and Lindsay Riddick; (top right) Luc Sergy; (below from left) Aylish Waldron; Catholic Education Conference attendees. Bottom right: Poetry award winner Ilija Jankovic.


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feature Grateful stewards needs a regular income. Seventy per cent of the Sunday collection or regular planned giving is allocated for the works of your local parish, a portion of which is allocated for the running of the diocesan agencies. An allocation is made from the remaining 30 per cent for the support of the priests of the diocese to cover their stipend, their upkeep and provision of health care and retirement. A portion is also allocated for the works and responsibilities of the Bishop.

Fred Ralaimihoatra Fundraising Coordinator Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)

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n recent years we have noticed a growing number of groups and organisations seeking funding through donations. Our parish and diocese cannot survive without the generosity of the Catholic community. Along with this change we are increasingly living in a cashless society, providing another challenge for parishes and the diocese and diocesan agencies. The fundraising team at the Chanel Centre in Hamilton is tasked with helping Bishop Steve Lowe fund the mission of the Church in our diocese. At the moment, the team is looking at new ways so people can give and at the same teach people how to want to give. Some new features on the diocesan website will facilitate such giving, while we are also looking at improving the way we reach out to those of us not using technology. The challenge of the fundraising team is to be interactive, to keep everyone informed of what’s happening throughout the diocese by sharing the beautiful stories out there, the projects taken across the line, the people we have helped and supported, the evangelisation made possible due to our generosity. The Church needs a team effort and commitment. Just as our families can’t survive with an occasional cash injection, nor can our parishes and the diocese. In launching the With Hearts Burning reflection process last year, Bishop Steve placed before the diocese his vision to renew parishes,

Fred Ralaimihoatra schools, Diocesan agencies and all the people in the diocese so that we might commit more fully to being disciples of Jesus, sharing in His mission, developing our spiritual lives and growing our pastoral outreach. Bishop’s Steve’s vision for our diocese is not only for us - it is also for our children and our grandchildren. However, each person has a part to play for our diocese and parishes to grow. We do this as faithful stewards, using the gifts God has given us – our energy, our time, our prayer, our talent and our generosity – in this work to which God has called us. There are four main ways of financially supporting the work of the parish and diocese in the diocese: Regular Parish Giving, Bishop’s Appeal, Seminary Appeal, or through a bequest or legacy giving. Regular Parish Giving For the support of your local parish community, the priests of your parish and the diocese, the Bishop and his Diocesan Agencies. Like your families, your parish family

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Bishop’s Appeal An annual appeal to support spiritual and pastoral projects close to the Bishop’s heart. Your support of the annual Bishop’s Appeal provides additional funding to the Bishop for new and expanding Diocesan initiatives that help the spiritual life and pastoral outreach in the diocese. Funding for the appeal this year has supported: • Marriage and Family Life, by introducing “Teams”, new marriage enrichment groups for couples and expanding and supporting “Lovers for Life” engaged couples courses. • Formation - the development of a soon to be released video series on “Praying the Mass”. • Youth Team - inspiring our youth through the “Regeneration” and “Set Free” youth events and supporting youth groups and high schools throughout the diocese. • Spiritual direction and retreats with the arrival of a Jesuit priest, regular retreats and spiritual direction is being offered throughout the diocese. • Launching With Hearts Burning as a pattern of forming disciples and reshaping the life of our parishes. • Other pastoral programmes and

speakers appearing throughout the diocese. Many lives are changed due to your generosity. That’s the vision! The Bishop’s Appeal collection is on the third Sunday in September. Seminary Appeal For the formation of our future priests. Our future priests are in the formation process for six-and-ahalf years at Holy Cross Seminary in Auckland. Your support of the annual Seminary Appeal ensures seminary formation remains in New Zealand and provides for the upkeep and staffing of both Holy Cross Seminary and Good Shepherd College, as well as providing the living and formation expenses of our future priests. The Seminary Appeal collection is on the third Sunday after Easter on Good Shepherd Sunday. Bequest and Legacy Appeal For the future works of the Church Your support of this appeal leaves a legacy to the Church, for those who will come after you. As you are seated in your local church, worshipping Our Lord and growing in your relationship with Him, you are doing so in the knowledge that you are the beneficiary of the legacy of others. Have you considered what legacy you would like to leave behind to your parish and/or the diocese? A gift in your will is an expression of thanksgiving for your life of faith and a desire for the mission of Jesus to continue in the Church for your children and grandchildren. For more information, please contact Fred Ralaimihoatra, Fundraising Coordinator, 0800843233; fredr@cdh.org.nz


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ketekorero August - October 2018

feature Catholic Education Conference inspiring and rewarding experience Kath Joblin, Principal, St Thomas More Catholic School n the flight to Wellington our teachers were speculating about the value of attending 2018 Catholic Education Convention, after all most of us had attended two Conventions and some of us had been fortunate to attend every convention since 2006. We were speculating whether any of the workshops would be worthwhile, because none of the topics seemed to have any relevance to our classroom teaching, not like the 2015 convention which was very curriculum-based. I could hear the odd comment that shopping might be a better option and plans were in the making to escape to tempting places like LUSH and David Jones. Due to bad weather our flight left an hour late from Tauranga and landing in the dark was a challenge in itself. I had my rosary beads in my pocket and all around me a few prayers were said before we made it to the terminal. The pilot was a hero and we made sure that we let him know as we passed by the cockpit. The mood changed as soon as we got to the baggage carousel because we could see familiar faces from other schools in the Hamilton Catholic Diocese waiting for their luggage. There were a few hugs exchanged, big grins of reconnection and amongst the crowd Bishop Steve Lowe was excited to be surrounded by so many friends and parishioners. Father Stuart Young was travelling with us and we were quick to point out that he was one of the few priests from our diocese who was part of the convention. We were proud to have him on our team. In the dark squally weather, taxi vans took us to the Home of Compassion in Island Bay and it was a scramble to get luggage out of the rain. We were met by Linda at reception who explained that she was staying to help the sisters with visitors and arrivals. Linda had been placed at the Home of Compassion as a baby and was part of the Compassion family. It was our second opportunity to stay with the sisters, because we had made the Home of Compassion our base in 2015 for the last convention. We were impressed with the changes that had been made in three years. Mother Aubert’s remains had been shifted from the gardens to a new annex attached to the chapel. The heritage centre had expanded with the addition of a café. The reception area was bright and airy with a wonderful photographic exhibition of James K Baxter’s tangihanga lining one wall, and beautiful landscaping at the entrance reminded us of Mother Aubert’s affinity to the bush and the river. I am the river and the river is me Ko au te awa, Ko te awa ko au. (Whanganui iwi) Our shared bathrooms had been remodelled so that each of us had a bedroom with our own bathrooms across the hall. We felt very much at home. Each morning we shared breakfast with teachers from Te Awamutu and Rotorua before catching taxis into the TSB arena on the Wellington waterfront. On arrival, we quickly snatched conversations with people from all parts of New Zealand before

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Deanna Morgan, Anthony Mills, Elicia Pirini, Himself, Bishop Steve Lowe, Maree Thomas and Leanne Dragovich. the Pasifika drums beat out a strong message to gather for our keynote speakers, presenters and organisers with the latest news items. During the three days, the 800 participants were lifted up by the inspiring, humorous, touching words of Catholics from all walks of life - Bishops, deacons, principals, chief executives, Franciscan friars, colleagues, students, educationalists, orators and international guests. Prayers, thoughts and sentiments were communicated in Te Reo Māori and English communicated in a comfortable mix, making the experience very Aotearoa - New Zealand. We take for granted that speakers are acknowledged through waiata, that we greet each other with hongi and we respond to the beauty of the language of the Gospels shared in te reo. It is when you look around and realise that there are international visitors who are appreciating our way of being, that you truly feel grateful to be part of our church in Aotearoa- New Zealand. I could feel Suzanne Aubert walking with us throughout the convention. Her sayings were sprinkled throughout the visual presentations and on the convention hall walls. The bus tours, which visited the places where the Sisters lived, worked and sheltered the homeless and disadvantaged, were oversubscribed by people wanting to know more about the influence and mission of Aubert. Mother Aubert’s practical approach to reaching out included learning Te Reo Māori on the boat travelling over to New Zealand with Pompallier. The French/Māori connection was very strong in the early days of the Church as missionaries left France to minister to the peoples of the Pacific. It could be said that the work of the French missionaries became the catalyst for the writing of the Treaty of Waitangi, because the British were concerned that New Zealand was being influenced by the French presence in both islands. One of the statements Aubert wrote in a letter really stood out for me. She emphasised to her companions the importance of respecting the culture of the Māori people that they served and reiterated that the actions of their nursing group needed to support their patients to be Māori rather than trying to change their customs and perspectives. One of the workshops I attended was titled “Why did the whole of Wellington stop on the

day of Suzanne’s funeral?”. One of the Sisters who was archivist of the order showed us photos and read letters to explain the influence Suzanne Aubert had on all levels of society and within Parliament’s corridors of power. Another workshop of significance was focussed on establishing relationships with iwi. This was a particularly useful session, because we left with practical advice and also with people who could support us in the development of tikanga which reflected the thoughts and traditions of mana whenua in our schools. The last workshop I attended was a potted history of the establishment of the church in Hokianga through the work of Pompallier. This workshop was particularly effective in filling the gaps of history which were missed on our Diocesan principals’ pilgrimage to Motuti in 2016. A convention is many things to many people. Other members of staff will have had difference experiences and gained a wider understanding of topics which weren’t on my radar. However, on the flight back there was a unanimous response to the question of whether we would go again. The Saint Thomas More community has supported our whole staff to attend the last three Catholic Education Conventions which means closing the school for three days in the middle of term 3 and setting aside $1,200 per person to cover the costs. We have managed this by splitting the financial commitment over three years and by booking accommodation outside the CBD. We count ourselves very lucky to be able to participate as a team and we all feel valued as Catholic educators. The rewards from having full staff participation are significant and long lasting. Our school team is stronger from our shared experiences. This year we have had the advantage of getting to know our parish priest on a day to day basis, over the dinner table. He has also seen us in a different context. There have been many opportunities to share personal reflections and to learn more about each other’s faith during the three days. This recount is one person’s experience of the 2018 convention. I’m sure that there are 799 other recounts of the experience which highlight 799 different aspects of our three days. For me, I have affirmed the decision to push for all of our team to be there now and into the future.


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education Ilija Jankovic: Immigrant poem a peace prize winner

Identity A world of tastes, an atmosphere of smells Separated by pride, but linked by meaning A sea of ideas, the waves of discussion Walled by critics, but connected by interest Far from the world, oceans from home An island finds a way Its outstretched arms embrace All, none forgotten

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poem on immigrant challenges has won St John’s College student Ilija Jankovic a $2500 prize in the inaugural Peace Competition, Waikato Secondary Schools. Ilija won the prize with a subtle yet powerful poem called “Identity”. Ilija (pictured), who is in Year 13 at the Hamilton college, entered the competition after being told about it by a teacher. The topic for the competition was on respecting views in New Zealand. The poem highlights how in New Zealand the identity of immigrants is challenged, and how they have to be strong to be able to show their identity to other people. Ilija was born in Serbia and came to New Zealand 12 years ago with his parents, Bojan and Tamara Jankovic and his brother Alexander. Because he came here at aged four, he said he did not draw on his own experience for the concepts in the poem, but he learned a lot through his father’s work as an immigration advisor. In the poem, Ilija has fused the feelings expressed with the facts. He said that he had focussed on creative writing in the past, but this was his first attempt at a poem. He did not go into the writing with a preplanned structure in mind as he believed the content was much more important. “I wanted to express the idea that immigrants find it harder to connect, so we need to make an extra effort to help them out.” The use of words helps to provide both pictures and feelings underlying the concepts in the poem – “a silent roar grows” and “waves of whispers”, for example. He said he drew the words for the line “the subtle gifts of diversity” from understanding how “everyone is different, but it is not always obvious what their strengths are, so you have to connect with them to find out what they can offer.” With “A revolution of wisdom”, the suggestion to New Zealanders was that it would be wise of us to connect to each other. The first prize of $2,500 sees half going to Ilija and half to the school. Ilija said winning the poetry prize had made him rethink his plans to do tertiary studies in engineering and instead to take a potentially new career path.

Flooded with opportunity Motivated by community They stride forward, shoulders back But a silent roar grows Swimming in freedom, floating on acceptance Ripples spread Eyes lock, waves of whispers The few are too many, there from the beginning Drowning in silence, tied to stereotypes Thoughts of escape, of home Was there ever acceptance? Are the few the many? Paradise under the long white cloud But at what cost? Identity, the tragic barrier But a fickle one, constructed by mindset Social tags conceal reality The subtle gifts of diversity Inviting to share in one another’s stories The key to prosperity Boundless power unlocked through openness Through willingness Through respect A revolution of wisdom So far from the world, yet the world is here A world of tastes, then let us taste A sea of ideas, then let us consider A community of perspectives, then let us learn New Zealand, the unity of cultures A land carved by differences Where our views will determine everything

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Students bring rural mental health to the fore

Rural mental health issues have been brought to the fore by two Campion College students as part of the Impact Projects at the Gisborne Catholic college. An impact project is a project where each student has the opportunity to decide on what they will learn and then design their course of study accordingly. The students’ teachers map this learning against the New Zealand Curriculum or NCEA and help them take their learning to a deep level. Nathan Proctor (Year 11) and Luke Hurlstone (Year 10) have been running a project called ‘Fishing for a Solution: supporting mental health in the rural community’. Nathan and Luke organised a fishing competition in April in support of rural mental health. The students coordinated the competition, and the fish auction that followed (from the fish donated after the competition). They also invited Sir John Kirwan to speak to an audience of about 230 people at the fishing club on the night after the competition. The students raised nearly $13,000. Some of this has gone into a current regional initiative to support mental health in the Gisborne rural community. The rest will be put towards the next phase of their project - to develop and promote an education programme on mental health for implementation in secondary schools throughout New Zealand. Pictured above: Campion College students Luke Hurlstone (Year 10) and Nathan Proctor (Year 11) with Sir John Kirwan.


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education Campion projects highlight students' environment commitment

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ampion College student Pearl Ruston received a youth delegate scholarship to attend the NZ Association of Environmental Education (NZAEE) conference in Wellington between 18-20 April. Her report follows: By Pearl Ruston “Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” ― Pope Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ On Care For Our Common Home The theme of this year’s three-day NZ Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE) conference was ‘An Ecosystem for Environmental Education’. I had the privilege to listen to many inspirational people working on projects to help create a sustainable future for New Zealand. Projects such as those by Zealandia and Forest and Bird, which focuses on pest control; NZ Merino Limited, sustainable clothing; and Generation Zero, reducing carbon emissions. One of the projects of special interest to me was Sam Judd’s speech on his journey with Sustainable Coastlines. Sustainable Coastlines started off small with only a handful of people who organised rubbish clean ups along New Zealand coastlines and riparian planting (planting along the river) with local school communities. While doing this, they educated the students on sustainability, how these plants would provide food for the marine and forest wildlife and keep the waterways healthy. Sustainable Coastlines became larger and more established over the years as they worked with people in their

Students work on clearing areas to plant native trees (left and above).

local community. As more people became involved, Sustainable Coastlines, enabled them to expand and spread their work throughout New Zealand, and overseas to Port Moresby and Vanuatu. To find out more check out their website at http://sustainablecoastlines.org/ This project and others shared during the conference started with an idea, then the collaboration of the people in the community working together to achieve greater sustainable outcomes; “More people working on stuff that matters”. Campion College became an Enviro school in 2015. The Catholic social teaching principle of Stewardship – kaitiakitanga – is about being responsible guardians. We are called to be kaitiaki guardians of the earth. Being an enviro school allows us to exercise stewardship by caring for the gifts of creation that God has gifted to us. Our group goal is to make Campion College an environmentally sustainable school.

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About 30 students have regular meetings where we collaborate, plan and discuss what we are going to do to achieve our goal. We have recently been working on redeveloping the area between our school and the Taruheru River. This area was full of blackberry and eucalyptus trees. We have been weeding and clearing away the area and have planted over 200 native plants, kindly donated by ‘The Women’s Native Tree Project Trust’. We have continued to mulch and weed these plants regularly to ensure their survival. We have organised Year 7 and 8 working bees, (with the amazing help of Kauri Forno, Tairawhiti Gisborne Enviroschool facilitator), where we bring the students down into the native area to help plant, weed, and mulch around these plants. I believe this project brings a strong sense of community into our school and allows our students to work together, build relationships with each other and the Environment while learning new things. Waste Audit Campion College held first ever Waste Audit earlier this year, in which we collected all the rubbish from the previous day and sorted it into groups. We found that over half of our waste that was heading to the landfill was food scraps (67%, 51.2kg). This was a shock to us as food scraps should go into a garden or compost pile to decompose into the soil and provide nutrients for our earth and mulch for our plants. Campion Enviroschools decided to make a change. We implemented a system around the school with recycled paint buckets for food scraps. We collect the buckets and place them into our school compost bin in our native plant area. Since

putting this system in place, the waste leaving our school has reduced greatly. Our Waste Audit results also showed we wasted 4.2kg of GOOS (Good On One Side) paper every day. Campion Enviro schools have placed GOOS paper bins in our classrooms, next to our paper recycling bins, where the students can place paper able to be used on one side. Students and teachers can then use this paper for drawings, notes, and other school activities. Students sort rubbish during the audit (below).

What are we planning to do? Campion Enviroschools has been working on getting recycling bins into our school for cans, glass, and cardboard. We found that on average Campion is throwing out 174 aluminium cans and glass bottles every day. We also plan to reduce the amount of cling film used to wrap food in students’ lunch boxes. About 113 single pieces of cling film are used and thrown away every day at our school. We plan on selling beeswax wraps at the school office and educating students about this more sustainable alternative for wrapping their lunches. I hope to see our school become a more sustainable, a zero-waste school with a native area and an Ecosystem for Environmental Education. Pope Francis asks the question, What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? (Laudato Si #160). At Campion College, the answer is; a better world. For more information about this group, email Pearl at pr13079@ campioncollege.school.nz


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education Aylish follows in footsteps of Jacinda Ardern with speech prize

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acred Heart College student Aylish Waldron invoked New Zealand’s past willingness to stand in the biggest battles in winning a regional United Nations student speech competition. The Year 13 student won the Waikato regional competition in May, winning that and then going to Wellington for the national finals. She followed in the footsteps of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who twice won the Waikato finals, in 1997 and 1998. Aylish says that, although she was not a winner in the national finals on 18 May, gathering with the other finalists, visiting Parliament and meeting people with similar interests was a highlight. She had contacted Jacinda Ardern’s office to tell them of her local win in the hope of meeting her, but she was out that day. However, she was invited to visit the office on the ninth floor of the Beehive. Aylish says she initially heard about the competition through the school’s Social Science Leader of Learning Brian Kendrick. “I thought: I can write speeches, it’s an interesting topic and I study economics at school.” Although she had done debating with some success, she had not been in school speech competitions previously. “I do enjoy public speaking but have not had a such a large opportunity previously. She was also aware of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’, the call to help humanity understand the global impact of the destruction to the environment. The topic of Aylish’s prize-winning speech was “How should we balance climate change

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The trophy with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's name inscribed for her two winning efforts.

Aylish Waldron

issues versus economic growth in New Zealand. Are they mutually exclusive?” In her speech, she highlighted how the growth of economies was “choking our planet, and if we do nothing about it, we will destroy ourselves.” She then discussed how economic growth conflicted with issues of climate change; in what ways they could work together; and how these issues could be balanced in New Zealand. New Zealand was a member of international accords which meant it was obligated and had vowed to reduce carbon emissions. The conflict came about because economic growth allowed New Zealand to be globally competitive and improved the standard of living for its citizens. The cost of this was the impact on our climate. “Taking a stand against climate change has a cost, and this is what makes it so difficult to balance with the economic growth of New Zealand.” Part of the struggle to reach a balance was how economic growth was defined. New Zealand had a reputation for coming up with innovative andcreative solutions, and this “Kiwi ingenuity” could be applied to an issue as big as climate change. Regardless of whether the country or individuals had caused climate change, it is

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up to us to be part of the solution. “Because if not us, then who? Especially in New Zealand, a country which despite its small size, has always been willing to stand in the biggest battles.” The government played an important role in ensuring accurate cost-benefit analysis was carried out before involving change, however. “We do not want to hinder the current state of our economy, but rather building a sustainable future.” Producers also needed to take responsibility, or the government may have to use methods such as high carbon emission taxes or penalties. However, while economic growth and climate change issues could conflict, they could also combine to improve the future – if the country was willing to adjust and work creatively to find ways to operate and reduce carbon emissions. Aylish works part-time in the Te Awamutu Public Library and is planning to study for degrees in law and arts at university.


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ketekorero August - October 2018

feature Pa Yvan Sergy - the priest on whom the sun shone

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he sun was determined to shine on the day of the funeral for Father Yvan Alain Sergy. Rightly so, for he was a man who brought not only the sun but also the light to many people. As Bishop Steve Lowe noted in his Homily, while his family and friends in Switzerland may have considered Fr (or Pa as he was widely known) Yvan had come to the end of the earth, he had come to the place where the sun shines first on the earth each day.

Born on 12 August 1958, Pa Yvan was ordained on 19 June 1988 and died at the Atawhai Assisi Resthome on 25 May from motor neuron disease (MND). His Requiem Mass was held at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 29 May, with about 300 people coming from throughout the Hamilton diocese, but none further than his brother Luc who travelled from Switzerland, and Marie-Claire Tamarii, representing the Diocese of Taiohae o Tefenuaenata, the Marquesas Islands. The Mass also saw priests and deacons from throughout the Hamilton Diocese assisting. Born under the Cross Bishop Steve related the central role the Cross plays in the Catholic Church to his own experience to seeking out the Southern Cross in our sky at night to Pa Yvan’s relationship with our world and that which he was born into. The son of the late Pierre-Daniel and Helene Sergy, Bishop Steve said, would be remembered by many as a fit, young priest who arrived from Switzerland. He came with a flourish, particularly when tossing his flag. While it looked easy, this national sport from his home country took intensive training. The flag he would toss regularly where ever he went had at its centre the white cross of Switzerland. “He was born then under the cross.” Born in Lucerne, he grew up in Bern and did his initial ministry in the canton of Jura. Pa Yvan first came to New Zealand as a seminarian in 1987 when he joined the Holy Cross seminarians when they were on their pastoral placement in Auckland. In 2001, Pa Yvan was appointed a “Fidei Donum” priest, a gift of faith priest or, as Bishop Steve described it: A priest called to be part of the universal mission of the church to the ends of the earth. “As a Fidei Donum priest he did indeed come to the ends of the earth, or rather the beginning as he knew so well that Gisborne, New Zealand, is the one that leads the rest of the world into a new

Bishop Steve Lowe (left);Pa Yvan Sergy's selfmade coffin with his family and friends (top); Bishop Denis Browne blessing the coffin (above); Priests and deacons leaving the church (top right); Fr Yvan's pall bearers (right); and MarieClaire Tamarii, from the Diocese of Taiohae o Tefenuaenata, the Marquesas Islands.

day,” Bishop Steve said. After serving firstly in the Cathedral in Hamilton and then in Tauranga, he had two stints totalling 10 years in Gisborne. Kete Korero earlier reported how Pa Yvan stayed in Tauranga with Monsignor Trevor Murray, who helped him acquire his understanding of Māori and Te Reo. In Gisborne, he met Kuia Peggy Kaura and Kaumatua Jack Taitua and embraced the culture to the extent he was given the honorific “pa”. Bishop Steve told the congregation that one of the most famous images of Pa Yvan was of him celebrating New Year’s Day Mass on the beach in Gisborne with the rising sun behind him. He had recently told the bishop how one year he got the timing wrong and was caught by a wave just as he celebrated the eucharistic prayer. While in New Zealand, Pa Yvan had two stints as the chaplain at Scott Base in Antarctica, ministering to those who lived on the frozen continent – taking the mission of the Church to the ends of the earth. Bishop Steve had also discussed with Pa Yvan how his coming to New Zealand had followed in the footsteps of the first Catholic missionaries – those who came to this part of the world with French Bishop Jean Baptiste François Pompallier in 1838. The ship Bishop Pompallier came out on was called Delphine – the same name as the eldest daughter of his brother, Luc, who attended the funeral. The ship passed through French Polynesia, a reminder that Pa Yvan had also spent three years in a part of that wider region, the Marquesas Islands. Between January 2016 and July 2017,

he was the Diocesan Chancellor for the Diocese de Taiohae, responsible to help and validate all official documents of the diocese and Bishop Mgr Pascal Chang Soi, while undertaking his duties as Parish Priest of the Pastoral Unit Kamiano Peato (Islands of Ua Pou and Ua Huka). A man of great heart Bishop Steve noted that the Hamilton Diocese patron saint was Peter Chanel, who was described as a man of great heart.


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feature Brother's sad farewell in a beautiful place

Pa Yvan is laid to rest at the Catholic Cemetery near Ōhaupo.

“Surely that is an apt description of Pa Yvan – a man of great heart; a man of energy, enthusiasm and an unshakeable faith in the Lord who had called him into priesthood, and the Lord who continued to call him through death to eternal life.” Pa Yvan was clearly captivated by the Southern Cross in this part of the world. The Southern Cross was on the priestly stole on the coffin he had built himself. He had also made Advent wreaths, which announce the coming of the redeemer. “The fascinating thing about the Advent crosses that Yvan built is that as the coming of the redeemer draws nearer, it grows brighter and brighter. That’s surely his story, as he approached death he was transformed, and a radiant peace and beauty came upon him. “He was always a man of faith but in those last days The Lord himself changed him into someone even more beautiful.” Christ’s last words on the cross “Trust in Christ; the crucified Christ” were at the heart of Pa Yvan’s call to priesthood. Pa Yvan’s mother Helene had been at his ordination day and, like Mary at the foot of the Cross, after he had blessed she leaned across to him and he whispered one word “courage”. “Courage for the exercise of the priesthood but perhaps also courage for that last journey that he was to undertake.” Pa Yvan had used the Stations of the Cross in relation to his journey through MND. Bishop Steve noted how the disease had stripped him of so much and he honoured those few faithful friends who had gathered, like those who had gather below the cross, to journeyed with Pa Yvan to the Cross and surrounded him with love, care and patience. Pa Yvan was buried at the Catholic Cemetery near Ōhaupo. Although not in mountainous Switzerland or the rocky volcanic outcrop islands of the Marquesas, the cemetery commands a fine view of the Waikato west of Hamilton and the bush-covered flanks of Mount Pirongia and the surrounding forest park.

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Farm succession Property transactions

Luc Sergy looks over the land in which his brother Pa Yvan is laid to rest (left). Pa Yvan celebrating New Year's Day on the beach in Gisborne (above).

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uc Sergy has expressed his thanks to the bishop, priests and people of the Hamilton Catholic Diocese for the way they looked after his brother Yvan. Father (or Pa) Yvan Sergy died on 25 May while Luc was on his way from Switzerland to see him for the last time. Luc told Kete Korero he was just 50 minutes away as he was being driven to the Atawhai Assisi Resthome near Hamilton. However, Luc said he was happy for Pa Yvan, because he had been waiting for a long time. “I had, of course, learned to accept that he wanted to stay here. I did accept it, but it is not easy because he is my brother and he is now in the cemetery here it is not a one-day journey. “But I am sure there are a lot of people who will take care of him here, so I am in peace, because he got to go where he wanted to go for a long time and I am happy for him that he did not have to suffer for too long.” In January this year, Pa Yvan was made a priest of the Hamilton Diocese, so was no longer a Fidei Donum priest of the Diocese of Basel, allowing him to work in other dioceses. Luc said that when your brother is a priest, you understand that there are two families involved. With his parents the late Pierre-Daniel and Helene Sergy no longer alive, Pa Yvan’s remaining family members were Luc and Iris and their children Delphine, Sophie and Charles. “We never had the opportunity to come to New Zealand before he was sick, so we couldn’t really see his work, but I feel today that with all the people who came to talk to me that he has left something that is very strong, and it is impressive. “When you have a brother living at the end of the world, you always say you will go when they are a bit

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bigger. It is a shame that it never happened.” Luc, 57, and Yvan 59, had talked about the priestly life Yvan decided to live very long ago. “I think it was not really a decision to become a priest – it was really a calling. It was a surprise, because when you are brothers and you grow up together and do things, and all of a sudden he is going in a completely opposite way. “But I always had a lot of respect for what he did. I don’t think I could do it. It is a very difficult life, to give everything to others.” Luc says there are “too many” memories of his brother. “You remember a lot of things from the time you were kids. When he called me to say he had motor neuron disease, it was not easy to accept this. I thought how is it possible for God to give such a disease to someone who has given everything away for the rest of the world? “Then, of course, I visited him twice in the Marquesas and the last time I saw him it was here (in Hamilton at Atawhai Assisi Resthome). “We got out and I drove him around with his wheelchair and we saw things. And this time, I got here 50 minutes too late.” Regarding the people in the diocese, Luc said he would like to thank Bishop Steve Lowe and all the priests who organised the “beautiful” Requiem Mass. “It showed me that people loved him.” He thanked Bishop Steve for the words he said during the Homily, describing them as beautiful, and he was grateful the Mass was live-streamed so that his wife Iris could see it back home in Switzerland. He also thanked the diocese for what they did for Pa Yvan during his last months when he was made a transition from the Diocese of Basel to the Diocese of Hamilton, because he realised it was not easy.

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ketekorero August - October 2018

parish news Jesuit priest delivering retreats to the diocese

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esuit Priest Father Richard Shortall (pictured) is becoming a familiar face to parishioners in the Hamilton Catholic Diocese as he offers opportunities for spiritual direction and a greater focus on their relationship with God. Fr Richard’s journey of faith has been long and devoted to God. Although having spent most of his life as a Jesuit based in Australia, he grew up on a sheep farm near Colyton, a small farming community 8 kilometres east of Feilding and 25 km from the Manawatu city of Palmerston North. The family attended Mass depending on the farming schedule at either Feilding or Ashhurst, which was nearer and part of St Mary’s Parish, Palmerston North. Regulations at that time meant it was not possible to travel on the school bus to St Joseph’s convent school at Feilding, so the children attended the two-classroom school at Colyton where “we received a wonderful education”. His parents’ desire to have the children receive a Catholic secondary education saw him attend Francis Douglas Memorial College in New Plymouth. Joining the Jesuits After a year with farm supplies company NMA Wrightson, he left to join the Jesuit novitiate in

became known as the “retreat house on wheels”, as he went throughout the diocese conducting prayer days, providing spiritual direction and offering parishioners access to an Ignatian retreat that could be conducted at home or work which he calls the Retreat in Everyday Life. This is the retreat which he has been offering in the Hamilton diocese, with the first at Whakatane which began on 17 June.

Melbourne, Australia. “I was drawn to the Jesuits because I fell in love with Saint Ignatius Loyola.” Fr Richard worked for about 15 years in the Jesuit parishes in Australia after his ordination. During a sabbatical break, he attended Creighton University, a Jesuit college in the United States at Omaha, Nebraska. He describes it as a small university with a wonderful post-graduate programme in Christian spirituality. Although planning to do some initial study, he ended up completing the Masters programme. Returning to Australia, he responded to a request from a bishop in Victoria to help parishioners pray with Scripture. Fr Richard did so well at the task he

The Relic of St Francis Xavier In 2012, he was asked to accompany the Relic of St Francis Xavier – the right forearm – on a journey that was only the fifth time the then 460-year-old relic had left Rome. During that journey, he came to the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, north of Sydney, where Fr Richard said he “felt very drawn to offer myself to the bishop. He accepted the offer, and I continued to do similar work to what I had been doing in Victoria.” When the then new Pope Francis announced the Jubilee Year of Mercy, saying he would send out “missionaries of mercy”, Fr Richard was appointed the missionary for that diocese as a “missionary of mercy” during the Pope's Year of Mercy. Although unsure of how to carry out the task, the solution became apparent when it was suggested the diocese buy a motorhome to travel throughout the diocese. He was able to spend a week at a time visiting often small and isolated communities, where there may not have been a resident priest for many years. Apart from providing the daily Eucharist, the key thing he did was to sit in the church each day and listen to people’s stories. “I listened to many, many stories of great suffering,” he said. “Often

these were stories that were being told for the very first time.” He says it was a very special and unique way of carrying out the desires of Pope Francis for the Year of Mercy. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the Italian prelate charged with implementing the Missionaries of Mercy programme, was responsible for the 1,000 Catholic priests involved. It was Archbishop Fisichella who coined the term “the missionary of mercy on wheels” in describing Fr Richard. He continued this work until the end of 2017. A year ago, Bishop Steve asked the Jesuits in Australia if someone might come to offer spiritual direction and some retreats in the Hamilton Diocese. Fr Richard then came to visit the diocese and, provided with a car, he drove throughout the diocese and did about 600 km talking to priests and ensuring they felt comfortable with what might be possible. The Jesuits then put a proposal to Bishop Steve, which was accepted, with the Jesuit Provincial appointing him to carry out the task. During each visit he made to the diocese, Fr Richard’s plan was to offer the “Retreat in Everyday Life”, as had taken place at Whakatane, one Ignatian silent directed retreat and ongoing spiritual direction to the priests and deacons, and those parishioners who requested it. Further visits were being planned for August and November 2018 as this article was being prepared. Depending on a review of Fr Richard’s work at the end of the year, the Jesuits have undertaken that he will continue with this work for another four years. “So, it’s a long-term investment by us in the diocese, particularly the offering of ongoing spiritual direction.” Fr Richard said.


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parish news Unity at Ecumenical Service

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Gary Parker he Church and all the world, together with all Christians, today more than ever, need the Holy Spirit. They need more than ever the Kerygma proclaimed by St Peter on the morning of Pentecost. And to do that Christians should be united. As the Lord asks (Jn 17: 2123), to give witness together to the Father’s merciful love, which does not show partiality among people, manifested to us in Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour” (Pope Francis, the Vatican, October 30, 2015) On May 20, the parish of St Mary of the Cross McKillop, Rotorua hosted the ecumenical service celebrating the charism of Pentecost with the Rotorua Association of Christian Churches. Fr Eamon Kennedy along with Rev Scott Clifford, from the local Pentecostal Church, planned the occasion inviting several ministers to present prayers and scriptural readings. Following Fr Eamon’s welcome and a Māori mihi, a six-piece band led the opening song with

“I Believe”, a sung version of the Nicene Creed. The “Our Father” was followed by a reading from John 20: 1022, presented by Pastor Matty G, from Christian United and a prayer for unity by Anglican Vicar Alex Czerwonka. Referencing the first indications of Pentecost announced by Christ to His apostles, Fr Eamon read from Acts 1: 1-11. Reverend Scott Clifford, from Ascend Church, used the words from Acts 2 v 1 “When they were all in one place, gathered with one accord.” to deliver his homily entitled “With one accord”. The evening concluded with the band singing and playing “Who Do You Say I Am”, before the newly elected chairman of the Rotorua Association of Christian Churches, J.P. Medcalf from C3, asked all priests and ministers to come to the altar for a blessing. This was believed to be the first time such a service had been held in Rotorua and possibly the first in a Catholic church. Those involved expressed a willingness to repeat the occasion with the aim of filling the church beyond capacity.

Passionist Cross on chapel gate

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“Passionist Cross” has been installed as a feature on top of the brick Memorial Gateway to the St Mary’s Chapel in Hamilton East (pictured right). The installation of the cross marks another milestone in the St Mary’s Chapel Conservation Project. The chapel is on a historic site, which will become a special Hamilton Catholic Diocese precinct, including the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A fundraising programme for the project passed the million-dollar mark in June, meaning 98 per cent of the targeted $1.10 million had been raised. The conservation project comprises earthquake strengthening of the Chapel structure, upgrading building services, re-wiring, architectural upgrading, internal repairs and heritage conservation work. Additional work includes a new east entry porch, steps and wheelchair ramp along with the brick Memorial Gateway and floodlighting. The bricks salvaged from a recently-demolished heritage brick wall, originally surround the Convent building, were cleaned and re-used to construct the

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“Memorial Gateway”. The gateway acknowledges the remarkable contribution the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions made in providing education in Hamilton and the surround regions since 1884. The Passionist Cross has its origins in a large house in Insoll Avenue, Fairfield, bought by the Catholic Church from the Mason family in 1952. In 1956, priests from the Passionist Order in England and Australia created it as a tranquil place for retreats, and the building became known as “The Monastery”. The Cross is now incorporated into the project to ensure its preservation and ongoing display. Contact Project Director Bob Peacocke for more information on 0274-858 573.

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 The publishers of the book, (Sir Brother Patrick Lynch - A life in Education and New Zealand’s Integrated schools, 19762016); are Random House – Penguin.  The Publication will be of interest to all those associated with Integrated schools, since it is largely written from a political point of view.  Two Former Prime Ministers, The Right Honourable Jim Bolger, ONZ and The Right Honourable Helen Clark, ONZ, have written the Forwards to this book.

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ketekorero August - October 2018

the religious life Catholic and Anglican leaders finding a way to greater unity

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hat unites us is greater than what divides - this is the simple phrase on which Archbishop Sir David Moxon has learned from Pope Francis and the Catholic and Anglican leaders he has mixed with during an illustrious career as a church leader. The Hamilton-based Archbishop Sir David retired in 2017 from a 50-year career as a priest and a bishop that took him as far as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. In 2016, Archbishop Sir David and the then Hamilton Catholic Diocese’s Emeritus Bishop Denis Browne were recognised for their outstanding leadership and contributions to the Waikato community at the Waikato University’s graduation ceremony. Archbishop Sir David said the occasion meant a lot to him because he and Bishop Denis had been colleagues and friends over a 20year period in the Waikato. A former head boy of Palmerston North’s Freyberg High School, where he was head boy, Archbishop Sir David is a graduate of Massey College and the University of Oxford Honours School and gained a Certificate in Maori Studies from Waikato University among other academic achievements. Appointed archbishop of New Zealand in 2006, he became a primate of the Anglican Church in 2008. As part of the Anglican Church’s tripartite model, he worked alongside William Brown (Māori) and Winston Halapua (Polynesia).

Archbishop Sir David Moxon is greeted by Pope Francis at the Vatican. His background and his eventual role as the co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) led to Archbishop Sir David’s appointment to the Holy See. It could not have come at a more important time in the recent history of both churches. Although he had visited Rome many times before beginning in his role in 2013, Archbishop Sir David said visiting the historic Holy City was very different from living there. “When you visit Rome, you are very moved and impressed by the history, the architecture and the culture and the church. Living there, it was the practical and logistical things that came home to you and could be more complicated than living in Hamilton. Planning is required to get to meetings, and it’s important to know the local contacts to get things done.” When he accepted the position,

Pope Benedict XVI was in place, but that changed when he resigned in February 2013. Archbishop Sir David said he arrived during Pope Francis’s election, so he was able to attend the new Pope’s inaugural Mass. “So, my entire time in Rome was relating to Pope Francis and the ecumenical dicastery (the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity). That was an unexpected delight and an extraordinary privilege.” 'Huge admiration' for Pope Francis Archbishop Sir David said he had huge admiration for Pope Francis and what he was trying to achieve. “I do think the agenda he is introducing and the way he is carrying out his ministry does remind me a lot of some of the greatest and fine Catholics in New Zealand.” Archbishop Sir David said he had a personal view that the Pope’s approach was very close to that of Cardinal John Dew and the other Catholic clergy he had known over the years. “It [Pope Francis’s direction] feels familiar. In that sense, I was a Kiwi in Rome who knew Kiwi Catholics. Looking at this pontificate, I felt at home and learned a huge amount from watching the Pope in Rome.” Pope Francis had put his finger on the pulse of the big issues of today and was living out a way of responding to them. As a Jesuit, the Pope was using Ignatian discernment and spirituality from St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. “That’s his (St Francis's) whole life and his vocation as a religious. He is bringing Ignation discernment, which is unique, as a way of deciding what to do when weighing up choices and mission.” Archbishop Sir David believes the

Pope’s Jesuit approach to a range of areas, such discernment around consultation, a measured approach and experimentation, taking risks, trusting God, was working. His time in Rome—and the influence of Pope Francis—changed him. “I had been a leader in New Zealand, but I saw a new take on leadership close up, and I had the privilege of watching how it worked in very challenging and complicated circumstances. I learned a great deal from seeing that leadership face the challenges in a way that I wished I had learned some of that earlier. “I often thought to myself ‘this is a great opportunity to learn from a global leader who is a very saintly, humble and courageous person. I pinched myself each day, saying ‘my goodness, I can see the Gospel being presented in fresh ways and Christian leadership coming through in courageous choices’. It was a great inspiration and refreshment for me, having been involved in leadership for so long.” Archbishop Sir David said the commission (ARCIS) is finding that the Anglican and Catholic churches are getting more agreements on combined practical mission and slow, incremental agreement on doctrine. This has seen new cooperation in areas such as human trafficking and refugee support. Movement on doctrine was much slower – the churches agreed on about 80 per cent, with the remaining 20 per cent including some challenging the complex areas. He quotes a colleague on the commission, Ireland’s Comac Murphy-O’Connor as saying, “A climber ascending a mountain finds the slowest, hardest bit near the top”. Archbishop Sir David is married to Tureiti, the director of Hamilton primary health provider Te Kohao Health, who has Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Tahu Māori links. They have four children. When his time to return to New Zealand came, Sir David was quoted as saying that he was going back home “to be a hobbit”, a reference to the book he wrote two decades earlier A Once and Future Myth: An applied theology of J.R.R. Tolkien’s theology of The Lord of the Rings. Although he had been able to focus on hearth and home once more, which was nice given they had commuted when he was overseas, the church had called on him to help in a range of ministry areas.


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the religious life Parish celebrates Monsignors

Clergy shifts, new priests Bishop Steve Lowe has posted out the clergy shifts for this current year. The timing of the shifts, as indicated, is staggered to take into account the arrival of overseas priests and a priest on leave. The following priests are involved in the changes: Fr Robert Sharplin Chaplain, Tyburn Monastery, Ngakuru 24 Jun 2018 Fr Rico Enriquez Assistant Priest, Tauranga Moana 30 Jul 2018 Fr Danny Fraser-Jones Parish Priest, Melville 30 Jul 2018 Fr Jobin Vanniamparambil Assistant Priest, Melville 30 Jul 2018

Fr Fernando Alombro Parochial Vicar South Waikato Collegial Area Resident in Matamata/Tokoroa 1 Sep 2018 Fr Darren McFarlane Administrator, Cathedral, PP Hillcrest; and priestly care of Hui Te Rangiora 1 Sep 2018 Fr Jaya Prakash Assistant Priest, Papamoa Coast 1 Sep 2018. Resident in Mount Maunganui Fr Thomas Thanniyanickal Parochial Vicar Kaimai Collegial Area. Resident in Morrinsville 1 Sep 2018 Fr Stuart Young Parish Priest, Papamoa Coast 1 Sep 2018. Resident in Mount Maunganui Fr Gerard Boyce Parish Priest, Whakatane/ Matata 3 Nov 2018

Priests to be more visible during confession

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he parishioners of St Pater’s Parish, Cambridge held a celebration dinner on 7 July for the two much loved and respected former parish priests. Monsignor David Bennett was celebrating 50 years as a priest and Monsignor Des McCarthy his forthcoming 90th birthday. Msgr David was ordained in Auckland on 29 June 1988. He served in a number of Auckland and Waikato parishes, Hui Te Rangiora Marae in Hamilton, Holy Cross College, Dunedin, was a police chaplain, Vocations Director, Chancellor and Vicar General for the Hamilton Diocese. Msgr David’s last parish was St Peter’s, Cambridge, where he now lives in retirement. Monsignor Des was ordained in 1954 and like Msgr David served in a number of Auckland and Hamilton parishes. He was a Diocesan Consultor, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy, Domestic Prelate, prison and military chaplain, and Vicar General for the Hamilton Diocese. Msgr Des turns 90 on 23 August 2018. Msgr Des retired in Cambridge in 2001. Pictured above left to right: Monsignors David Bennett and Des McCarthy.

riests will be more visible during confession as a result of new norms introduced in the Hamilton Catholic Diocese. The Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation (Confession) is one of the Church’s seven sacraments and one of the sacraments of healing. Historically, confessions were heard in private in a confessional with the priest in one “box” and the penitent in another with a screen between which allowed for the anonymity of the penitent. Over the years confessions and the “confessional box” have often been the subject of much discussion and humour. The revision of the Sacrament of Penance introduced the communal Second Rite of Reconciliation and led to confessionals being replaced by reconciliation rooms where the penitent had the option of going to confession behind the screen or face to face. More recently, however, the reconciliation rooms have been subjected to intense scrutiny around concerns about personal safety, particularly of children. As a response to this Bishop Steve Lowe has prepared norms for the arrangement of confessionals in churches throughout the diocese. Bishop Steve is asking that the priest be clearly visible in the reconciliation room by other people in the church while he is hearing confessions by the provision of a suitably placed window. Bishop Steve said “The priest being clearly visible aims to keep people safe, both the penitent and the priest.” In the same way, norms have

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been issued for the sacristies where altar servers vest. “Such norms are increasingly common throughout society as we as a community move to ensure the safeguarding of children and the vulnerable,” the bishop said.

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ketekorero August - October 2018

the religious life Sister Remedii's long journey to find a life with Jesus

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eonie Riddick could be just another young Kiwi home for a spell with the folks after a rather long OE. However, Leonie’s overseas experience reads quite differently to the many who scrimp and save to enjoy the pleasures of visiting ancient cities, partying with new friends and forging careers. Leonie’s OE culminated on 12 May when, as Sister Maria Mater Boni Remedii, she professed her perpetual vows at St Peter Chanel Church, Whakatane. The short version of her trip was provided by her parents, Lindsay and Norah, as follows: “Sr Remedii was raised in Whakatane, trained as a doctor and worked at Whakatane Hospital before following her religious calling in 2010. She joined the Institute of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara. “Her religious formation was initially in Washington DC, USA and later in Italy. For the past four years she has been based in Vanimo, Papua New Guinea working as a missionary doctor and involved in pastoral work for the Diocese.” To some extent, however, her journey to become Sr Remedii was not entirely dissimilar to others who have gone before in seeking to find something in their lives that was not attainable in their home country. Early Years She was born in Waipukurau, Central Hawke’s Bay, in 1984 before her family moved to Tauranga when she was four years old. She attended St Mary’s Catholic School in Tauranga and, after the family moved to Whakatane when she was nine, she attended St Joseph’s Catholic School, then Whakatane High School. Sr Remedii describes her early life as typically Kiwi, with bush walks and camping during the holidays. Lindsay was from Taranaki, so the Join our regular giving programme today

Sister Maria Mater Boni Remedii with her parents in Whakatane, Norah and Lindsay Riddick. family trips there included milking in cow sheds on a family farm. She was a keen hockey player, playing right through her school years until she reached university. She did take it up again on returning to work at Whakatane Hospital. Sr Remedii recalls going through the convent garden at St Mary’s and into the sisters’ chapel as a very young pupil, although she doesn’t remember learning specifically about God in those early years. “God was always there and was a normal part of life - you believe in God. It’s a no brainer for kids, because it’s logical. It’s when we become slightly stupid adults that we think we are too smart and we forget about God. Kids know it instinctively.” Like many people, Sr Remedii knew that she was Catholic but she did not understand the depth of what that meant. She became involved in a Baptist youth group, as nothing was available at the Catholic church at that time. She describes it as a good experience, because they taught her something about God that had in some way been missed or forgotten. “But all that time I knew I was Catholic and there was, somehow, something different.” She started to travel to Tauranga to attend the Life Team events held for teens. During one of the events, the organisers started talking about the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. “I thought ‘oh, that’s why we’re different’.” When she told her mum of this “revelation”, Norah said she had been taught that, but Sr Remedii says that while she may have heard about it in the lead up to the First Communion,

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she had not heard anything more since. That realisation was necessary, she says, because it changes everything. “Because if Jesus is really present in the eucharist, how can you go somewhere else? You actually receive Jesus, it’s not symbolic, it’s not just a piece of bread or the sharing of a meal. It is actually Jesus giving himself for us feeding us with his own Body and Blood.” This realisation helped to deepen her understanding and awareness that there was something more – things that had been not necessarily hidden but may have been dropped or not understood. In common with many other people, she says, once she had discovered the depth there is to Catholicism, she wanted to know more. Coming to Vocation The self-described “Science geek” had always wanted to be a vet as a child but turned out to be allergic to cats which, coupled with her desire to help people, led Sr Remedii into medicine. A post-school gap year saw her teaching English in Poland, before returning to study health science at Otago University and “scraping” into medicine. Three years in Dunedin was followed by a further three in Wellington for the clinical part of her study. Throughout this period, St Remedii had a vocation, in so far as she knew that God wanted her to be a nun and a missionary, although she did not know how, when, where or why. “Because I didn’t know (those things) it just scared me, and I just ignored it for a while.” Whereas most people come slowly to the awareness that they have a vocation, Sr Remedii says that a week before her Bursary exams she could not sleep or think of anything else but missionary life. Thinking she might be going insane, she asked God that if this was Him wanting her to be a nun, then she would do it, but He had to make the dreams and thoughts stop– they stopped immediately. During her gap year in Poland, she was at a school run by nuns and she saw young nuns in habits who also played sports, as opposed to the older nuns she had seen in NZ. She had not been aware that this was something nuns could do, and she had never heard anybody talking about Continued on Page 15

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the religious life Papua New Guinea – a visit in the jungle

Sr Remedii entering St Peter Chanel Church, Whakatane, to profess her perpetual vows. the possibility of growing up to be a religious. “They were there because they wanted to be, and they were happy.” It was in Poland that she gained a more realistic idea of the life of a nun, where they had their faults but how most of them were very joyful. Attending university was the first time she had been around young Catholics who had a strong faith and some of them remain friends today. At one stage they were talking about how many children they would have, and Sr Remedii said she wasn’t going to have any because she was going to be nun. “Once I said it, that I was discerning and looking for a community, it became something to be discussed within the group of strong Catholic friends.” Talking about it helped her not forget that was what God wanted for her and made it more real and possible.” While some people were against her discerning, others saw it as a gift and a grace. Finding Her Place Wanting to become a nun turned out to be quite a complicated process. It involved her writing to virtually every congregation in the country. In spite of this, she struggled to find one that fitted her. “Some of them do great work but you don’t just marry the boy next door because he is there and nor do you join the congregation closest to you just because it is close. You have to find the community you have been called to join, the community God has planned for you from all eternity.” She was at the Hearts Aflame Catholic summer school for young people and talked to the Sisters of Life. They suggested a group of sisters that included a lot of doctors but, after visiting them in the United States, she decided to look elsewhere. She was in the Basilica in Washington D.C. and saw some young sisters wearing blue who looked joyful, and so she decided to talk to them. Within five minutes of the quick synopsis she received, she said: “Right, how do I enter?” Among the places given as those in which the sisters undertook their mission, were Iraq and Gaza which she specifically had in mind. “I love the Middle East – I would love to work in a war zone.” She had been travelling the next day to New York and so made her way to the sisters' convent there and spent two nights with them. Knowing that this was what she wanted, Sr Remedii flew back to New Zealand to sort out her affairs, the

S

r Sponsa Verbi and Sr Boni Remedii left Vanimo, Papua New Guinea (PNG) for a short visit to Moi Idam, in the bush. The purpose of the trip was to have a catechetical conference for teachers and to run a medical clinic. It took a full day to arrive: six hours driving and five hours in a motorized canoe. The trip also included a siesta on one of PNG’s notorious crocodile-infested rivers - where we saw a total of zero crocodiles. The first Catholic evangelization of the area was less than 20 years ago, and the sisters were told they were the first foreign women ever to go there. This was also the first catechetical

most difficult of which was the need to quit her sizeable student loan. However, she was helped by an American-based charity that helps provide funds to pay off student loans for people with vocations. Sr Remedii was 26-years-old when she entered–eight years before professing her vows in Whakatane–and was older than many others. She says the reality of religious life is different to romanticised idea that most have before entering it, somewhat like marriage. However, four years of study and living with the SSVM order included studies of philosophy and theology, which helped her better understand the faith and the beauty of a religious vocation. Although her initial desire early on had been to serve in the Middle East, she came to realise that, as a New Zealander, she would probably be sent to this part of the world. The decision may also have been influenced by the fact her parents had lived in Papua New Guinea some years ago. In Papua New Guinea Sr Remedii is now based in Papua New Guinea, at the SSVM order’s Maria Kwin Bilong Paradais community – which looks after the Pastoral Centre in Vanimo, about 995 kilometres from the capital Port Moresby. Located on the northern coast, Vanimo is close to Papua, the province administered by Indonesia. She works three days a week as a doctor in a medical centre there and two days in the centre as well as helping at the nearby parish. Some of the people who come to the centre in Vanimo must travel three days to see their parish priest, often moving from areas where there are no roads or vehicle access. Many have Mass only once a year, while others might have it more often but rarely on a Sunday. This distance from formalised Catholicism makes the work of catechists and prayer leaders more critical. The nuns organise formation courses to give them the knowledge and strength to persevere in faith and provide the tools to strengthen the faith of others in isolated areas. Limited education opportunities mean some

conference for Moi Idam. The conference, originally planned for teachers, soon extended to teachers from three schools, the school board, catechists, and various other people. Since it was the first time for Moi Idam, the people wanted to take advantage of it. As for the medical clinic, in about four days, Sr Boni Remedii saw more than 300 patients. The patients all received complete check-ups. There was a diversity of infirmities: worms, malaria, paediatric cataracts, elephantiasis, etc. There was always a good attendance for daily Mass, Rosary, weekly adoration and benediction. This was a pleasant surprise! Each night we went to bed exhausted, but very content; pleased to be serving God’s children. It was refreshing to see an example of true Christianity in its beginnings. Their poverty seems to be a spiritual protection from the sins brought on by money and exposure to the developed world. Moi Idam is poor...but they are poor with dignity! Article source: www.servidorasdelsenor.org Source: http://www.servidorasdelsenor.org/ en/news/papua-new-guinea-–-visit-jungle only finish Grade 3, which is at a much lower level than Year 3 in New Zealand. The SSVM order also set up the “Lujan Home for Girls” in Vanimo, effectively a long-term refuge home for young girls who have had lives, purity or education put at risk by abuse, violence, forced marriage, neglect, abandonment, poverty or poor health. On her return to PNG, Sr Remedii continued her work teaching and serving the sick at the medical centre. This includes trips out into the bush to provide medical services to village people when the sisters run religious retreats. Although nurses do work in isolated areas, most people have never seen a doctor. Similarly, priests are scarce, with one area not having had a priest visit for seven years. Sr Remedii says she is grateful for the support she has always received from the parish in Whakatane. It was a blessing to be able to come back and profess her vows among people who had supported her and the work the order was doing in PNG. It was also good for the parish as it reinforced the idea that a vocation doesn’t belong to one person but belongs to the parish and the Church as a whole. For more information, go to: http://www.servidorasdelsenor.org/en/ convents/asia/papua-new-guinea

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The latest edition of the Hamilton Catholic Diocese magazine Kete Kōrero is now available from the back of the church or school and parish o...

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The latest edition of the Hamilton Catholic Diocese magazine Kete Kōrero is now available from the back of the church or school and parish o...

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