WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Working for the common good – being salt and light

Social Justice hui through the eyes of those who came

Mary-Ann Greaney
6 April 2011

The Social Justice Hui at the end of February drew around 300 people – from Kaikoura in the south to Levin and Masterton in the north – to Bishop Viard College, Porirua, to reflect on what it means to ‘Work for the common good [to] be salt and light’.

Forty-two of the 47 parishes in the archdiocese were represented as well as six of the nine Catholic colleges and there were nine people from Catholic primary schools. Add to this the many religious congregations, St Vincent de Paul, Knights of the Southern Cross, Catholic Women’s League members, chaplaincy groups and other organisations which made the gathering a snapshot of the Archdiocese of Wellington. The youngest registered participant was just 12.

The following snippets of feedback give an overview of the hui from people who participated.

alt… the greeting at the beginning was amazing followed by the hongi – it made you feel so very welcome.
Patsy Buttle, Kaikoura.

This is the first time that I as a participant have been welcomed in such a manner. The powhiri is definitely a new experience. So, too, is the bicultural Mass celebrated at the end. From the eyes and ears of a neophyte in the diocese, hearing that social justice is given prominent place in the life of the Church and the faithful is truly refreshing and edifying.
Mel Bernardo, Filipino chaplaincy.

alt…the whole endeavour of this hui was wonderful! The calibre of workshop presenters was awesome – I would have liked to attend many more of the workshops. The Friday introductory session was thought-provoking and challenging. Archbishop John spoke inspiringly. The Sunday liturgy and music throughout the hui were ‘spot on’. All the technical things worked well – audio was loud enough and projections clear.’
Jane Langham, Tawa.

I have not had a great deal of involvement in the more formal social justice areas.
I found the sessions on new voices, Challenge 2000, the Caritas video, Archbishop Dew’s address, and the JPD (justice peace and development) presentations a good update on what was going on in the archdiocese from the social justice perspective.The food for the weekend was great; I enjoyed it while meeting new people.
Patrick Horan, Tawa.

altI went to Elizabeth Julian’s [workshop] Scripture and Justice: it was great, and I could see it linking in with the Caritas lenten reflection programme. The bus tour as a model for understanding the social needs in one’s own area was thought-provoking too. Well done to Challenge: it would be great for more parishes to have 24-hour emergency call centres and hubs for the vulnerable.
Helen Fisher, Wilton.

Thank you for a wonderful experience. The speakers and workshop that I attended were of a high quality. I really enjoyed the speakers on the Friday night. The strength of prayer for the people of Christchurch was also present!
Mary Kleinsman Powell, Brooklyn.

altThe workshop on walking in someone else’s shoes was very well presented and was exactly right for me. I had to try hard to see another’s point of view. I would love to have one of the presenters run a workshop here.
Sheila Fergusson, Paraparaumu.

The one workshop that really spoke to me was the one on homelessness. I have already asked Karen Holland about using the material in our parish, and it would be great to have the workshop done here with the presenters.
Margaret Butterfield, Waikanae.

What a wonderful hui! Great weekend. Programmes presented very well, feedback from parishioners at my parish is surely evident! The Spirit of the Lord is moving and inspiring people.
Celia Mata’eliga, Porirua.

…a big thank you and congratulations to you and the team who organised the hui. It was an unmitigated success. I came away tired but filled. The people from our community who attended are all filled with wonder at the possibilities and we are all gathering along with the Island Bay attendees to talk about the hui…and plan our where-to-next. Wow!’
Karen Holland, lay pastoral leader, Newtown.

Thank you for such an eye, heart and mind opening experience. I enjoyed talking through ideas, dreams and possibilities with the other hui attendees. Looks like a prosperous future in social justice!
Catherine Rowe-Penny, Carterton

Congratulations on the weekend. It was enjoyable, inspiring and informative.
Peter Mellor, Garin College.

We gate-crashed from St Mary’s, Whanganui, and are now inspired to get our Justice and Peace group active again. We were most excited by hearing what groups were doing in the various parishes … an excellent weekend all around.
David Scoullar and Juliet Kojis, Whanganui.

I loved the hui … the new voices… the workshops, the variety and expertise… the bus tour and the enthusiasm of Sr Anne and Kay Smith. Loved the mix… the setting… the Eucharist… got some new enthusiasm. Many thanks.
Barbara Henley rndm, Waikanae