18 August 2011
The Catholic Enquiry Centre is marking 50 years since its inception this year with a number of celebrations around the country.
Wellington supporters gathered in the foyer of Sacred Heart Cathedral on July 24 to celebrate the occasion and to see a display of paintings from a competition the centre has been running for its jubilee.
Leonie Fitzgerald of Karori (right) won the Wellington parishes section of the contest with her painting entitled ‘Butterfly Effect’.
Barnaby McBryde was the national and Auckland parishes winner and Rhonwen Grace won the national Years 12 and 13 student section.
Current director Alan Jones sm said he was only the third director of the centre since it opened in 1961.
The second director, Paul Shannahan sm, who retired five years ago, said Bishop Brian Ashby bought the centre’s house in Mt Victoria in 1961 for £15,000 – today it is worth $1.4 million.
One supporter from 50 years ago, Eleanore Matheson of Newtown said her mother took her to the first Catholic Enquiry Centre meeting in St Francis Hall. In the early days the catchcry was, ‘If you can just give the price of a postage stamp.’
Cassie Devlin of Karori who has been a supporter since the start said she used to do odd jobs for the centre including shorthand typing.
Right: Leonie Fitzgerald of Karori with the winning painting for the Wellington Archdiocese parishes section titled ‘Butterfly Effect’.
Left: Ninety-four-year-old Cassie Devlin with Catholic Enquiry Centre director Fr Alan Jones. Cassie has been a supporter since the centre opened in 1961.