Sacred Heart Timaru 100 years

Oct 29, 2011

This weekend the parish of Sacred Heart Timaru celebrates the centenary of their parish church. This magnificent temple has housed the faith, prayer and worship of the Catholic community of Timaru for one hundred years.

The people of Timaru gave generously to build this church in the early years of last century. A doctoral student recently researched the building of the duomo in Milan, Italy. She titled her work: “They lived in hovels, and built Cathedrals.” In the early twentieth century the Catholics of Timaru did not have a lot of money. But they made sure that God had a worthy dwelling place in their midst.

The builders, under the pastoral leadership of Dean Tubman, were guided by the artistic competence of the great NZ-born architect Francis Petre.

Yesterday I was in Sacred Heart for a funeral. While this was not my parish church, it was the church I prayed in often, both at Mass, and when I thought the day’s exam could only be passed with the help of God.

My prayers were not always answered in the way that I had hoped. I now thank God for that! 

Yesterday, during the funeral, I was mindful of the thousands of people who have sought God in this sacred place. So many people have been baptised and buried, married and ordained here.

This weekend, hundreds of people, with priests and bishops, will gather to celebrate and to give thanks to God. Sacred Heart Church Timaru, reminds us of the importance of the Church as a sacred place. A beautiful building. A worthy temple. A church that serves to raise the mind and heart to God.

the lesser-known side door

St. Joseph’s Altar

This Altar of Our Lady was the Altar for all week-day
Masses through my growing-up years.


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