WelCom May 2019:
The Catholic Parish of Napier came together to celebrate St Patrick’s Day on 17 March, beginning with 10am Mass at St Patrick’s Church. The congregation was as large as on Christmas Day, and green being the colour of choice for many.
Fr Barry Scannell sm, parish priest, began by reading letters of support for the New Zealand Muslim community from Pope Francis and our Bishops. Reflections during Mass spoke about the meaning of Lent and our call to mercy.
When planning and promoting St Patrick’s Day for the parish, the organisers had no premonition of how relevant and well received this Sunday gathering would be, just two days after the tragic Christchurch shootings. Following the horror many people felt helpless and the desire to be around other people was somewhat healing.
After Mass, the Mons Tim Hannigan centre, dedicated to the late and much-loved Irish former parish priest, filled quickly with over 250 people at the tables to enjoy refreshments, a light lunch prepared by dedicated helpers, and a song sheet with favourite Irish songs. One of the two raffle prizes was a family portrait offered by our own Fr John Mori sm.
Celebrations continued with a Irish dancing by Maria, Samoan dancing by Denise, Barbara and Isla and guitarists Doug and Peter leading communal singing. With his rendition of Danny Boy Mike asked us to ponder the words and remember the Christchurch victims.