WelCom June/July 2023
The call went out and the response was fantastic with many past parishioners travelling to Shannon to celebrate, on 23 April 2023, the 60th anniversary of the blessing and opening of Shannon’s St Joseph’s Catholic Church.
St Joseph’s was full to overflowing with over 130 people for the 10am Mass. Terrance Olsen welcomed everyone to the Mass and celebrations.
Before Mass, a Mihi Whakatau by Charles Te Peeti welcomed everyone to a blessing by Fr Joe Grayland of the new Tukituki panels made by Te Peeti whānau. The panels are beautiful colours and symbolise important attributes of our faith. Thanks to Eru Te Peeti for organising the panels around the altar.
Mons Brian Walsh Mass celebrated Mass. In his homily he spoke of the people who are the church and described St Joseph’s as one of the most beautiful churches in rural New Zealand.
The shared morning tea after Mass was plentiful and the many visitors enjoyed a great catch up with friends, family and old school mates.
St Joseph’s on Vogel St was opened and blessed on 21 April 1963 by Archbishop Peter McKeefry of Wellington. It replaced the old St Joseph’s Church built in 1900, which was located onto a site over the railway line.
John McKeefry, an architect from Wellington, designed the new St Joseph’s Church. The build would not have happened without the dedication and hard work of the people of Shannon and the surrounding district. The church build was estimated to have cost 10,000 pounds. The low cost was attributed to the huge amount of voluntary work by parishioners.
Everyone at the celebrations enjoyed a display of past and present photos of St Joseph’s. Guests included a large representation of children of returned servicemen – many of these families who were Catholic, had settled on nearby Okuku Rd farms following WWII. Several photos on display were of the St Joseph’s Shannon Convent School days.
It was a very happy and special jubilee occasion for everyone.