WelCom October 2022
Fr Dennis Nacorda
Levin’s Catholic Parish of St Joseph’s and St Joseph’s School had a full schedule during September to celebrate the Season of Creation 2022.
Bernie Hanaray, chair of SVdP Levin, spoke to us about our interconnectedness as part of God’s creation and highlighted SVdP’s ministry and mission patterned after its founder, Frederic Ozanam. Catherine Gibbs of the Wellington Archdiocese Ecology, Justice and Peace Commission, spoke to the parish and the school about the environment and what our faith teaches us about caring for creation.
Parishioners and school children visited three significant local sites where local iwi, Mua-Upoko, hosted preservation-conservation tours. At Waiopehu Forest Reserve we learned about ngāta – the native snail, kawakawa plants as rongoa, destruction brought about by introduced pests and how they are caught and disposed of. At Lake Papaitonga we learned about the Kakapu, the mudfish, freshwater koura, and the motu iti, a small island in the lake with historical significance. At Lake Waipunahau, as well as tree-planting and catching tuna (eel), we learned about the state of the lake, its perch, a pest fish that preys on eggs and young fish, and about how, instead of using poison, iwi use traps, constant monitoring and surveillance to control pests in the three reserves.
Hilary Sheeran, parish Social Justice Team chair, thanked the iwi led by Dean Wilson for their initiatives and praised their conservation leadership. Maria Lyne, the school principal, thanked the iwi for their knowledge imparted to parishioners and children. ‘The children want to check on their trees every year.’
Our parish initiative, which recognised local iwi leadership for the care of the taiao – environment, occurred during Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.
Later in the month, the One in Faith SJP Youth group held a workshop facilitated by youth leaders Forrest and Chrysta. Creation Sunday Masses displayed children’s artworks, children’s liturgy on helping to protect the environment, and Bridget Taumoepeau shared a Laudato si’ reflection.
The season will end with a pet blessing moved to 20 October.
Our parish has also been selling flower seeds to encourage people to participate in the Season of Creation at home. Proceeds will fund the future Social Justice team activities in the parish.