The challenge of much of what I am learning in these weeks directs me in thought back to parish life at Our Lady of Victories and Chatham Islands. The Chatham Islands has been especially in my thoughts this week. It is a challenge to be the pastor of a parish where I am not resident. For this reason I was delighted when the Holy Faith sisters in Christchurch expressed an interest in visiting the Chathams.
So last week Sr. Deirdre and Sr Cora (who live in Mairehau) made the journey down to the Chathams. They will be there for two weeks. I called them yesterday and spent some time chatting about how they have found their first days in this wonderful and unique part of the country. They were full of gratitude for the welcome that the locals have given them. Many of the conversations they have had in their first days have revealed that the Catholic faith is alive and well on the island.
As I write this note the sisters will be leading the Sunday morning Service of the Word with communion at St Therese of Lisieux Church in Waitangi. Our prayers are with them.
Te Whanga Lagoon – near the airport