Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny
      75 Years in New Zealand

75 Years in New Zealand

On the 20th of February, 2016 the sisters in New Zealand gathered to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Cluny Sisters arrival in New Zealand. The actual date was 24th of September, 1940 with the arrival of two sisters, followed by three others in November.

Responding to Bishop James Liston’s invitation to begin a foundation in the Diocese of Auckland, Mother Ursula McCormack, superior of the Pacific Islands, came from Fiji to establish a community in Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty. With the opening of the house in Tauranga, Fiji and the Cook Islands were joined with New Zealand to form the New Zealand province. Thus, it was fitting that the sisters gathered in Tauranga, the present Provincial House, for the celebration.

This was a day of blessing! It began with morning Mass in the Parish Church. In the afternoon, there was a ‘Liturgy of Thanksgiving’ followed by a presentation of the history of the Sisters … from the first arrival to the present day … so many shared memories!

In the early evening the sisters visited the cemetery where 19 sisters have been laid to rest, the majority of them being of Irish decent. There are also sisters from

  • Scotland,
  • England,
  • New Zealand,
  • Cook Islands,
  • Fiji Islands
  • and Vanuatu.

This was a significant moment for the sisters as they gave thanks to these great missionaries who have given their life for the mission. A short liturgy was prayed, followed by the singing of ‘Eternal Rest’, a decade of the Rosary and concluding with the Salve Regina.

Presently the sisters continue their ministries in New Zealand through:

  • the Kindergarten in Auckland,
  • the retreat center in Tauranga,
  • Parish and Hospital Ministry in Mangere East
  • and pastoral ministry in all three cities.

As they continue to follow in the footsteps of Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey, may they continue to reach out with hope and compassion ‘wherever there is a little good to be done!’

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