WelCom March 2019:
Fr Ron Bennett
Because Wellington’s Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is closed for earthquake strengthening, St Teresa’s Church in Karori officially became the Pro-Cathedral of the Archdiocese at a special ceremony on Saturday, 8 December. Significantly the date being the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, patron of the Archdiocese of Wellington.
Cardinal John Dew officiated at the 5.30pm Vigil Mass when the Decree was promulgated.
Otari Parish Tongan Community had taken the ‘cathedra’ or bishop’s chair from the Cathedral to St Teresa’s, Karori, wrapped it in special tapa cloth for safe travelling. During the ceremony, two respected elders from the community carried the Book of the Gospels to the sanctuary where they handed it over to one of the youngest members, symbolising the passing on of God’s Word from one generation to another.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception was chosen as it is under that title the Wellington Archdiocese is entrusted to Mary’s protection. Cardinal John read that Act of Consecration of the Archdiocese to Mary – a prayer first prayed by Bishop Viard in 1845, following an earthquake in Wellington. Since then, the prayer is prayed at the Cathedral on 8 December and in parishes on the nearest Sunday.
A happy coincidence was that the first reading that night was Baruch 5/ 1-9, which includes the passage ‘Peace through integrity’ (Baruch 5/4); a reading only used in the Church lectionary every three years. It is also the motto of Cardinal John, inscribed on his ‘cathedra’ or bishop’s chair.
Cathedral and Otari parishioners came together to celebrate this wonderful occasion, joined by six priests, all of whom had connections with the Cathedral or Otari parishes. The evening concluded with a cake cutting and refreshments to celebrate.