Aotearoa-New Zealand Celebrations

On June 17, the Unit of Aotearoa-New Zealand  gathered in the Mt Albert community chapel for a special Jubilee Mass celebrated by the local Parish priest, Fr Carlos. Celebrating their jubilees were Sr Shirley, 70 years, and Srs Patricia Sarju, Margaret Cross, and Marie Therese Ranum, 60 years.  Mass was followed by a very fine lunch.  Margaret was not able to take part in the celebration on the day but she was prayed for her!
The next day the sisters gathered again for “Matariki” – the time when we begin again, plant again, pray for our deceased members, forgive again and share a feast together.  This occasion is inspired by the Maori New Year which is indicated by the constellation called “Matariki” .  It also coincided   with Laudato Si and Goal 6 featuring “ecological spirituality”.

Celebrating Waitangi Day in New Zealand

On 6th February sixteen Marist Sisters in New Zealand travelled to Whangaparoa for a lunch to celebrate Waitangi Day, a special national day in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This day celebrates who we are – as a people, as a country and as a nation. Waitangi Day 2020 marks 180 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand. It signaled the beginning of a long relationship between the Maori people (the first people of the land) and other cultures.

Several photos were taken during the celebration. One was a photo of the youngest Sister and the oldest Sister in the Marist Sisters Unit of Aotearoa New Zealand.





Sr Margarita Burke sm

Sr Margarita Burke sm was called to eternal life on Sunday 8th April 2018.

Eternal rest grant to her, O Lord.
May perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.

We extend our prayerful sympathy to the Marist Sisters in Aotearoa-New Zealand and to Sr Margarita’s family.

Sr Noreen Kerins sm

Sr Noreen Kerins sm was called to eternal life on Tuesday 26th September 2017.

Eternal Rest grant to her, OLord.
May perpetual Light Shine upon her.
May she rest in Peace.

We extend our prayerful sympathy to the Marist Sisters in Aotearoa-New Zealand and to Sr Noreen’s family. At Noreen’s funeral the following eulogy was delivered by Sr Margaret Cross sm:

Sister Noreen was born in Masterton just 90 years ago on 10th September 1927. The Kerins family farmed a property on the border of the town, and they were much involved with the parish and town activities. Noreen, who was the third child, attended the local primary school, and received catechism instruction on a weekly basis, as did most of the families in that time. Then followed three years at St Bride’s College, and from then on she busied herself on the farm.

Having wider family members living in Karori whom she often visited, she came to know our Sisters, and in 1947 entered the Marist Sisters, being professed on the19th May 1949. Her first appointment was to Waitaruke in North Auckland, and it was there that she laboured strongly in all aspects of community and boarding school life, and it was from there too, that her love and understanding of our Maori people went ahead by leaps and bounds.

In the period to 1973, she gave loving, and sometimes correcting service to the youngsters in her care, and over a number of years she fed the sisters, children and constant visitors extremely well with next to nothing in the purse and cupboards! There was generally work available (or waiting) for any visitors to the kitchen, but also refreshments, and tales of humour to liven any day!

1973 saw her move to our Woolwich community in Sydney, and there she cared and cooked and gardened in the same generous way for our Aussie companions and their young people. Her ability to contribute to local pastoral life, and at the same time, to the daily movements of community life, was always inspiring.

After this in 1979 she returned to NZ to the north again and worked among the people of Kaikohe, KeriKeri, and the wider areas. Her accompaniment of the elderly, with visiting and taking Holy Communion to housebound people was a joy for her, and, a precious time for those she visited.

In 2009 she transferred to Mount Albert visiting the elderly, taking enjoyment in helping with the gardening, and enjoying the community around her. This was followed by her movement here to Mary McKillop Care. She deeply appreciated being at this home away from home, and the care of all the staff surrounding her. I am sure that she will call down blessings on all who live here, and those of us who visit.

Noreen, rest in peace with your loving God, under the mantle of Mary our loving Mother.

Golden Jubilee of Sr Jane Frances sm

Easter holidays saw the Marist Sisters of Aotearoa-New Zealand gathered for three days of assembly in Mt. Albert which concluded with the celebration of Sr Jane Frances O’Carroll’s golden jubilee of profession. Mass was celebrated in our recently renovated chapel by Bishop Patrick Dunn, for whom Jane works.

Sr Analulu Tanuvasa sm

Analulu 2Sr Analulu Tanuvasa sm died peacefully in Auckland, New Zealand, on Sunday 25th January 2015.  We give thanks for the wonderful Marist woman that Ana has been. What a valiant woman – so apostolic, generous and faithful.  May she enjoy the wonderful rewards of eternal life. We pray for Analulu’s family and for the Marist Sisters of the Sector of Aotearoa-New Zealand.

The following eulogy was written by Sr Gemma Wilson, Sector Leader of Aotearoa-New Zealand.

“Analulu was born in Apia, Samoa, on the 18th February 1949. She was not always a Catholic but was baptised at the age of 13 on the 17th December 1962. Her primary schooling took place at St Joan of Arc, Apia from 1955 to 1964 and her secondary at St Mary’s SMSM College in Apia from 1968-1970. In 1979 already a Marist Sister, she completed her secondary education at Marist College, Mt Albert. She also studied at Corpus Christi in Suva, Fiji, from 1989-82

Ana made her novitiate in Australia and was professed in 1977.  From then on she served in several countries: New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, The Gambia and the Philippines. Ana’s ministries were wide-ranging: she worked as a Primary School teacher in New Zealand, as Chaplain to the Samoan people in Auckland; she worked in a Night Shelter and also a Woman’s refuge in Auckland and in a soup kitchen in Wellington. She was chaplain at the Davao City Jail in The Philippines. In 2008 she did a C.P.E prior to working as a hospital chaplain in Wellington.

Ana at Chapter 2Ana was also active in several Congregational ministries. She worked as Vocations’ Directress in New Zealand and also in The Gambia and the Philippines.  She was part of the Pastoral Planning team in NZ in 2002 and was sector assistant in New Zealand from 2008 till her death at the beginning of 2015. She was formater for our candidates in Mount Albert in 1994. She was coordinator of JPIC for the New Zealand Sector from 2008 till 2012.

These resumés of Ana’s ministries do not adequately reveal just how passionate Ana was both for the poor and marginalized and for her Congregation.  She worked very hard for both right up till a few weeks before her death when her disease became a handicap.  She was very sad when ill health obliged her to leave the Gambia. Several years later she volunteered again for a missionary country – this time offering to go to the Philippines. Sadly after 2 years there sickness once again obliged her to withdraw. In both these missions Ana is still remembered for the love and the energy with which she worked for the poor and at the same time for the growth of her beloved Congregation.

Ana was diagnosed with lung cancer in2005.  No one could have foreseen that she would live nearly 10 years more. Though diet and exercise contributed to this it was above all through her faith in God’s power to heal her that she was able to live a remarkably full life for so long. Though her health slowly deteriorated in 2013 and 2014 she continued with her ministries and her faith in God’s healing love remained as strong as ever. She was a delegate to the Asia Pacific Regional Chapter just 3 months before her death.  Finally however it became clear to her and to all of us that Ana was getting worse. She was hospitalized several times. During her last days in Auckland hospital she made a conscious decision to let go and announced that she would wait until her brother Sepu, a Presbyterian minister, arrived from the USA, before dying!   Her sisters, nephews and nieces and cousins were constantly with her as well as her Marist Sisters. During these 4 days Ana prepared the liturgies for the two Masses she wanted celebrated after her death. She wrote in great detail her instructions for both Masses and said several times that she wanted a “simple Marist funeral” and didn’t want anyone wearing black!  On the eve of her death many of her relations gathered in her room for a Mass celebrated by her nephew Fr. Etuale from Fiji.  At midnight her brother Sepulogo arrived. Ana and Sepu talked for a little while and then he said a prayer for her to which she answered AMEN quite strongly before her breathing slowed down and she surrendered to the God who had always been the centre of her life.

Ana at ChapterAna’s send-off was exactly as she had planned it! Father Iosefa, parish priest of Papatoetoe where she had lived and worked for several years, celebrated the Vigil Mass together with several others in a packed Church. The following day her friend Father Carl Telford SM officiated at the Requiem Mass at which 12 other priests concelebrated and later at the graveside at Panmure where she was buried with the many other Marist Sisters who are buried there.    Pray for us all Ana!”

Aotearoa New Zealand Celebrations

Jubilee2014 047Marist Sisters from the Sector of Aotearoa New Zealand held their Assembly at Mt Albert from July 11th- 13th.  Sister Julie Brand, Regional Superior, facilitated the election of Sector Assistants Catherine Lawson and Marie Challacombe.  Unfortunately the four sisters from the North of New Zealand were prevented from coming because their route was flooded.Jubilee2014 030

On the Sunday, to acknowledge the Diamond Jubilee of Srs Marie Challacombe and Rose Harris,  a Mass was celebrated by Fr David Kennerley, sm  in the Mt Albert community chapel and followed by a special meal and the cutting of the Jubilee cake.  Unfortunately Sr Rose Harris was prevented from attending the celebration because of the floods in the north.  However her jubilee candle and her photo were placed in the chapel during the Mass.