WelCom June/July 2022
Deacon Danny Karatea-Goddard has been appointed Co-Chief Executive Māori-Tumu Whakarae of the Sisters of Compassion Group, the Wellington-based religious order founded by Meri Hōhepa Mother Suzanne Aubert. Danny joins Dr Chris Gallavin, appointed in March 2021, as Co-Chief Executive-Tumu Whakarae.
Danny takes up his new his role after having been Māori Adviser to the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and Vicar for Māori with the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington.
Danny says his appointment is particularly personal. ‘A number of my aunties, my children and I have been recipients of the mission of Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert. To be able to serve the Sisters of Compassion whānau is a privilege. I am excited to join them as we explore deepening our commitment to biculturalism as we move into a new future in these uncertain times.’
Danny was welcomed with a pōwhiri at Our Lady’s Home of Compassion on May 23. Around 200 people attended including the Sisters, other new and existing HoC staff members, clergy and religious, civic leaders, friends, whānau and family members.
Sr Margaret Anne Mills of the Sisters of Compassion said, ‘the welcome of Danny and our six other new staff members today reflects our multicultural reality. Working together under the shelter of Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert will be successful as we come to understand our bicultural foundation.
‘The inspiration and legacy of Meri Hōhepa is a fundamental part towards a true partnership with Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand. Today is an expression of our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.’
Chris Gallavin highlighted the appointment of Danny ‘as an affirmation of our relationship with Māori. It is tremendously important’.
‘Danny’s appointment is an incredible step for us to show Aotearoa New Zealand what the association at a management level can do for our enduring values, which is to stand up for people who have found themselves caught in the gap, and there are many communities facing that in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2022.’
Monsignor Gerard Burns, Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Wellington, affirmed what the speakers in Māori had said of Danny’s qualities as builder of communities, family man, leader of prayer, man of faith – all together with Maru his wife.
Danny highlighted the addition of the other new staff members and said their various national backgrounds reflects what is happening in Aotearoa. He mused if the move to have a Māori Co-CE, ‘is all part of the Church in Aotearoa as returning to its roots? It was founded for and with Māori (1838) but with a French flavour (Pompallier, Aubert, etc). Maybe we are re-discovering our origins.
‘We will work as best we can to uphold the mission of Meri Hōhepa, her intention to feed the poor, house those who have no homes to go to, and care for those who are lonely at heart or in need.
‘I believe our job is to be the pieces that help the community lift up those most in need.’