first NZ Mass

Jan 9, 2013

This weekend, pilgrims from all over New Zealand will gather in the Hokianga, Northland, to mark 175 years since the first Mass celebrated in Aotearoa New Zealand.
In 1838 there were about 2000 European Settlers in New Zealand. In the fifty years from the visit of Captain Cook until then, there had been a small number of Europeans settling here. In 1828 there were estimated to be around 200 including the Catholic couple Thomas and Mary Poynton. The Poynton’s opened a store and sawmill at Hokianga. Before their arrival most of the European settlers were whalers and sealers, a number of whom would have been Catholic.

Until the arrival of Bishop Pompallier and his team, the Catholic settlers had no access to Mass or the Sacraments. It is recorded that these settlers would periodically travel to Sydney for Marriages and Baptisms.

It was Bishop Pompallier who celebrated the first New Zealand Mass on 13 January 1838. 



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