WelCom June 2017: Every year, the Sisters of Compassion at Island Bay celebrate the birthday of their founder, Suzanne Aubert, with a ‘birthday’ Mass. Suzanne was born in Saint-Symphorien-de-Lay, near Lyon in France, on 19 June 1835.
Marking Suzanne’s ‘182nd birthday’ this year’s Mass will be celebrated at 6pm, Monday 19 June, at St Anne’s Church, 22 Emmett Street, Newtown, Wellington. Cardinal John Dew will celebrate the Mass, hosted by the Sisters of Compassion and the Parish of Wellington South.
Other activities planned to mark the Suzanne’s birthday include a day with Aubert biographer, Jessie Munro.
On Sunday 18 June at Our Lady’s Home of Compassion in Island Bay, Jessie Munro, the author of an award-winning biography on Suzanne Aubert, will explore aspects of Suzanne’s personality and her practical approach to her mission. The event, entitled ‘Personality and purpose: Suzanne Aubert as an atom of instrumentality’ is from 10.30am to 2.30pm.
Schools, church and community groups throughout New Zealand have been invited to create ‘birthday bunting’ garlands and cards to mark the occasion and to send in flags to represent them at the celebration Mass. (Visit the Sisters website at tinyurl.com/Suzanne-birthday-bunting for information.)
Suzanne Aubert’s response to the Gospel brought her to Aotearoa-New Zealand in 1860. She devoted her life to supporting Māori, and to helping the suffering and those most in need. Suzanne is
New Zealand’s first saint in the making and was declared Venerable in 2016.
Upon her beatification the Parish of Wellington South is to take on Suzanne Aubert’s name. All are invited to attend the Mass and to refreshments and hospitality afterwards.
Deirdre Halon is Visitor Experience Manager, Our Lady’s Home of Compassion, Island Bay.