4 February 2013
Sacred Heart Parish Petone farewelled Cushla Quigan, the first lay pastoral leader in the archdiocese, at a multicultural Mass of thanksgiving and celebration on 27 January.
Celebrations continued after Mass with a barbecue in the school grounds where the various cultural communities sang and presented Cushla with gifts of appreciation for her many years of leadership and service.
Sharron Cole, from the leadership team, said in her speech that when Cushla took the role, she was clear that it was not as priest but that, as lay leader, she would play an important part in both the preparation and celebration of our liturgies.
‘She has always understood that good liturgy draws us nearer to God and enriches our spiritual life.
‘As parishioners of Sacred Heart, we need no persuading as to the spirituality and beauty of our liturgies, enriched by the many cultural communities that comprise the parish.
‘Cushla knows well the truth of Pope John Paul II’s message:
When the Church enters into contact with cultures, she must welcome all that is compatible with the gospel in these traditions of the peoples, in order to bring the riches of Christ to them and to be enriched herself by the manifold wisdom of the nations of the earth.
‘It has not always been easy but Cushla has never deviated from the parish’s goal of embracing cultural diversity and that each of us should respect and learn from others, even when it causes us discomfort.’
Image: Egan Bidois of Sacred Heart Petone presents Cushla with a tokotoko from the Maori community during a farewell barbecue after Mass on 27 January. On Cushla’s left is Odette Hoera, outgoing chair of the leadership team.