WelCom December 2023
In a spirit of joy, parishioners, religious and clergy with connections to St Joseph’s parish in Dannevirke, gathered over the weekend of 14–15 October to salute 125 years since early settlers established Catholic faith practice in the area in 1898.
Bishop John Adams presided over Eucharist on Saturday morning, assisted by Emeritus Bishop Peter Cullinane (his childhood parish), parish priest Fr Marcus Francis, Mons Brian Walsh, Fr Chris Martin sm and Fr Vince Onesi.
Lunch in the parish hall was followed with Sr Annette Young rndm and Bishop John jointly cutting the jubilee cake. It featured an edible image of the church prepared by Sr Carmel Cole rndm. The young voices of St Joseph’s School students sang a delightful bracket of songs and parishioner Sela Byrne performed a traditional Tongan song and dance at the conclusion. Then, led by Fr Marcus Francis, it was on to the historical cemetery to bless the graves and acknowledge the parish’s forebears.
On Sunday, everyone gathered around the altar for Eucharist. Mass was followed by morning tea where another special cake was presented – it was made by Gemma Barrow a direct fifth-generation descendent from early settlers, and cut by Eleanor Roberts, chairperson of the pastoral council.
Marie Streeter of the organising committee said, ‘It was a wonderful weekend; and the first official occasion of Bishop John since his ordination.’
Prior to the jubilee weekend, other celebrations held in June this year included a concert, quiz and movie night. A final jubilee celebration will be an ecumenical blessing of Advent wreaths on 2 December.