15 May 2010
A typically brilliant sunny Nelson day shone on around 400 parishioners for the recent 50th jubilee celebrations for Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Richmond.
While 50 years is comparatively young, the parish draws on a rich history going back to 1856 when the Nelson colony was still in infancy and early settlers were bringing the Catholic faith to their adopted homeland.
Sunday, March 7, saw a splendid event unfold beginning with a jubilee Mass to which parish priest Fr David Gruschow welcoming special visitors Archbishop John Dew and past parish priests Frs Owen Sinclair and Chris Martin. Fr David thanked God for the gifts of the past 50 years and for all the priests and parishioners who, over the years, have made this a friendly and grace-filled parish.
During the offertory, long-standing parishioners, Pat and George Saville, presented an engraved chalice as a jubilee gift on behalf of the parish.
After Mass, pupils from St Paul’s School and Garin College, performed songs as guests enjoyed catching up with familiar faces and perusing the displays of vestments, photographs and records from the past.
Following grace, a sumptuous buffet lunch and then a traditional game of tug of war, Archbishop John was invited to cut the jubilee cake.
A jubilee booklet, which includes a comprehensive history of the parish, provided a fitting memento for all guests to take away. Extra copies are available; order from Colleen Best 03 544 7957.
A collection of jubilee photographs can be viewed on the parish website www.richmondcatholic.co.nz.
Images: Parishioners Margaret O’Connor and Colleen Best dressed with the 1960s in mind. Above: Pat and George Saville present the jubilee chalice to Archbishop John Dew.