Te Whetu O te Moana, the Star of the Sea Parish, was inaugurated on 1st February 2016, combining the former parishes of Blenheim, Kaikoura and Picton. Added to those are the Mass centres of Havelock, Renwick, Seddon & Ward. The parish is an extensive geographical area across the NE of the South Island, consisting of the Districts of Marlborough and Kaikoura. Several centres are still growing out of the devastation of the November 2016 earthquakes. The parish has four Stewardship Areas, where the partnership between local Stewardship Teams and the Parish Pastoral Team gives leadership in response to the pastoral and spiritual needs of their communities.
Since 1 Feb 2017, Fr John Pearce CP is the Parish Priest with Fr Pat McIndoe CP as assistant PP and Community Leader. They live in Blenheim but exercise their ministry across all seven communities of the parish. Their house offers hospitality to priests who are travelling through and Diocesan Staff who are in the parish for consultations and workshops.
On 1 December 2017, Sisters Maureen Connor SMSM & Frances Anna Remnant SMSM joined us in sharing the mission with the parish. They are located in Kaikoura. At the same time, a new Parish Pastoral Team was appointed consisting of Frs John & Pat, Srs Maureen & Frances Anna, Mrs Ginetta Petersen the Parish Manager, Mr Paddy Dowling Principal of St Mary’s School Blenheim, and Mrs Judith Ford Principal of St Joseph’s School Kaikoura.
They also enjoy the presence of two Sisters of Mercy in Blenheim, who are a great support to people, Sisters Elizabeth Mary Fulton RSM and Susanna Kraus RSM. These three religious communities are pleased to serve with the many lay leaders who are the face of the church in mission today.
Our mission is to build this new parish within the diocesan focus on Stewardship. In 2018 our focus is on building up the inner relationships that make us communities today, so that we can be more welcoming to all, especially those on the peripheries of church. Each Stewardship Team is organising a quarterly event to help people gather socially and spiritually.
In Auckland, Bro John McGeachie CP lives in retirement after a long mission in Port Moresby PNG. Fr Brian Traynor CP from Melbourne also serves in mission in New Zealand, as an animator of Passionist Family Groups.