The centre of the Catholic Diocese for the past few days has been the remote Islands of Chatham and Pitt because this is where the bishop has been bishopping. We have spent time both on both islands, and in the last 24 hours have spent time in the small and distant communities of Owenga (which we visited yesterday morning) and Kaingaroa (where we were welcomed last night to the community (about an hour’s drive from Waitangi on rugged roads) and where three children were baptised by the bishop. The entire Kaingaroa community then shared a celebratory banquet together.
This morning, God’s weather willing, after an 8am Mass and a couple of visits we will return to Christchurch.
On the eve of the New Zealand release of the final movie of The Hobbit trilogy, it strikes me that priests and bishops are a bit like Bilbo Baggins. While you may not go looking for action, there’s an inner voice that tells you that now is the time for ‘a bit of an adventure’ . In travelling to the Chatham Islands you and Bishop Barry have encountered stone statues (though thankfully no trolls) had an ‘unexpected journey’ (a sleepover on Pitt Is), you’ve attended feasts and celebrations with wonderful hospitality (Hobbits LOVE feasts) , and you can both tell your stories and tales of going ‘there and back again’.
I’m sure Bilbo & Frodo would have approved of your undertaking.
Thanks Janet. I am sure Tolkien would be very satisfied seeing the connections you make linking his work with the Chathams – the “ends of the earth”. Yes, it is always “a bit of an adventure” – and seeking that adventure is a big part of the reason I became and remain a priest.