WelCom February 2020
It has become a tradition at St Mary of the Angels Church in Wellington to celebrate Waitangi Day with a Mass in which the Choir joins with the parishioners of Te Ngākau Tapu in music from both ancient traditions. I had always been very affected by the way Māori spirituality is so richly expressed in their traditions – oratory, haka, waiāta, and more recently, taonga puoro (Māori musical instruments). I also felt something similar with the ancient chant of the Catholic Church, and I felt the urge to bring them together.
With my old friend, the late Allan Thomas, we came up with the idea of having a Mass on Waitangi Day; and as I got to know Fr Colin Durning and the parishioners at Te Ngākau Tapu, and more to the point they got to know me, it became possible to celebrate our first Waitangi Day Mass in 2003. Since then it has become an annual event, a fixture in the life of the Archdiocese.
This year will be my last as director, as I am retiring from my position at St Mary of the Angels. It is a time to recall those people who have been so much part of this unique Mass over the years, and who are with us still in spirit, on that day. I am very grateful to them, and to the present parishioners, that this urge I had nearly 20 years ago, became a profoundly inspiring event, an annual highlight for me personally, and for our diocese.
The Mass on Waitangi Day, 6 February 2020, at St Mary of the Angels Church, Boulcott St, Wellington, will be celebrated at 9am. All are welcome.
CARDINAL JOHN TO GIVE HOMILY AT WAITANGI
Bishop Te Kitohi Pikaahu, Vicar-General of the Māori Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Co-ordinator of the Ecumenical Worship, has invited Cardinal John Dew to attend the 180th Anniversary of the Signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, at the Treaty Grounds in the Far North, on 6 February 2020, and to deliver the sermon at the 10am Ecumenical Service. Cardinal John has also been invited to give a blessing at the 5am Dawn Service at which the Prime Minister and other senior ministers will be present.
Cardinal John will be the first senior Catholic representative to attend the anniversary of the Signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the Far North for some years now. Fr Tony Brown was the last priest to be there.
The Most Reverend Philip Richardson, the Bishop of Waikato and Taranaki and Archbishop of the New Zealand Anglican Dioceses attends each year.