WelCom November 2018:
Two years on since the 2016 Marlborough earthquake, the people of Kaikōura are continuing to rebuild their lives. Further north, the parishioners in Marlborough have supported activities to help bring together the Ward and Seddon communities, while community workers from the Blenheim-based Bread of Life ecumenical agency, reached several isolated families in the Clarence area.
Many in the community continue to respond and support their neighbours’ needs including the Leadership and Stewardship committee of Sacred Heart Church and parish priest Fr John Pearce and Srs Maureen and Sr Frances rndm; St Joseph’s school where Catholic Social Services has worked in partnership to train and support people in times of change: Stormbirds – specifically developed for children following a natural disaster – and Seasons for Growth – which accompanies people through grief and loss and counselling services; Te Tai o Marokura social services; visits by Monsignor Gerard Burns and Deacon Danny Karatea-Goddard to increase Māori pastoral care in the parish; and Whakatu Rangatahi and Challenge 2000, who have run three holiday-youth programmes since January 2017. These programmes have helped young people to work through some of their issues from the quake as well as to have fun and socialise together.
The archdiocese may again face the challenge of natural disasters. When one part of our archdiocesan family suddenly faces an emergency, we continue to learn what it means to be a neighbour, to offer and receive solidarity and support, in the short and the long term.
David Olivier is Director Catholic Social Services, Archdiocese of Wellington.