Wellington’s Italian community were the beneficiaries when Cardinal John Dew celebrated Mass in their language ahead of his visit to Rome in November.
The community turned out in force at St Francis de Sales Church in Island Bay on Sunday 13 September, for Cardinal John’s first Mass in Italian since his appointment in February this year.
As well as being elevated to the consistory Cardinal John also takes up the position of cardinal-priest of Sant’ Ippolito Martire Church in Rome. He told the congregation about his trip to Rome and his plans to say Mass at his church and the need to improve his Italian. The church of Sant’ Ippolito was built and blessed in 1934.
Every cardinal priest has one of the 143 titular churches assigned to them in Rome. The cardinals do not participate in the actual management of the churches.
To mark the occasion of the Mass parishioners Nina Cuccurullo and Sal Criscillo produced commemorative bookmarks for those who attended.
A special lunch followed at Club Garibaldi, Wellington’s social and cultural organisation for Italian migrants, which has been in operation since 1882. Club President Linda De Gregorio presented Cardinal John with two copies of the book To the Ends of the Earth, a history of Italian migration to the Wellington region, one of which he can pass on to the parish of Sant’ Ippolito.