WelCom September 2018:
Monsignor John Carde celebrated his diamond jubilee as a priest at a special gathering on 17 July this year. Ninety-eight people joined Mons John at Summerset Retirement Village, where now lives, to celebrate the occasion with a surprise afternoon tea – and it was a surprise, leaving Mons John momentarily speechless.
Mons John was raised in the Whanganui district. His early education was at the Holy Infancy Convent, Aramoho, and the Marist Brothers Whanganui then on secondary school at St Joseph’s College Masterton. At school he was a talented rugby player and was selected to captain rep teams. Aged 18, he went to Holy Cross College, Mosgiel, to study for the priesthood. He was ordained in July 1958 at Whanganui by Cardinal McKeefrey and served in many parishes in the Wellington Archdiocese.
Mons John’s priestly road led him to many places – the Māori Mission on the East Coast, army chaplaincy in New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam, and parish work in Stratford, Palmerston North, Nelson, Lower Hutt, Mt Victoria, Seatoun and Paraparaumu. Mons John was appointed Vicar General of the Wellington Archdiocese from 1991 to 2007. His final parish as parish priest was St Anthony’s Seatoun when he retired 31 January 2008.
Brigadier Roger Mortlock who knew Mons John during his time as a Chaplain in New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam, spoke of the great impact Mons John had on him and how it influenced the approach he took as commander of the successful New Zealand peace keeping mission to Bourganville. Mons John received a Vietnamese Decoration 1971 and an MBE (Military) 1974 both for services as Chaplain.
Roger Havell, a parishioner at St Joseph’s Church in Mt Victoria, presented Mons John with the words of a Special Apostolic Blessing from Pope Pius XII for his ordination on becoming a priest. Roger had found a parchment at St Joseph’s Church and, having knowing Mons John since his time as parish priest there, made a wooden frame for it and presented it to him at the afternoon tea.