Thanksgiving Mass for the 125th anniversary
of the arrival of the Little Sisters in Auckland.
Sacred Heart Parish Church, Ponsonby.
On the morning of 31st August, a crowded church greeted the Little Sisters as they joined the entrance procession for this joyful Mass of Thanksgiving for 125 years of service.
Twenty two priests concelebrated with Bishops Patrick Dunn, Robin Leamy of Auckland, Bishop Denis Browne of Hamilton and Bishop Emeritus Stuart O’Connell SM of the Cook Islands.
The Master of Ceremonies was Mr Maurice Boland, Papal Knight.
Robert Loretz and the Sursum Corda Choir led the people in song.
Bishop Dunn then spoke of how appropriate it was to celebrate 125 years within the local Parish. He recounted the story of how the Little Sisters were asked to come to New Zealand (see history page)
Bishop Dunn went on to say that Jeanne had a great trust in St Joseph and Divine Providence. Her love for the poor was her joy. She told her companions:
“Our old folk do not like long faces” and
“Making our old people happy, that is what counts”
The Bishop concluded by praying that the Sisters would continue their charism in the Auckland diocese for another 125 years. After the final prayer Mother Provincial Ann Marie James thanked everyone for their presence and read a letter received from Mother General Celine de la Visitation from La Tour St. Joseph, France.
“In recognition of the dedication
of our Little Sisters who began this work in
Auckland 125 years ago we give thanks to God.
Following in the footsteps and the charism of our Mother St. Jeanne Jugan we wish to renew our commitment to serve the elderly in this land.
We are grateful for the gracious support of our Association Jeanne Jugan Members,
Volunteers, Benefactors and all who are essential in accompanying us on this journey. With the Spirit’s gift, empower us for the work of ministry. Amen.”