Apr 26, 2015

By the late 1940’s the NZ government was finding it impossible to provide adequate medical care for the people of the Chatham Islands. The government made a request of the bishop who knew that the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (SMSM) were founded for just this kind of missionary work and these sisters responded generously and courageously to the need taking over the staffing of the Chatham Islands hospital for fifty years from 1949.

While the presence of the “Catholic Nuns” on the Island was initially viewed by some with apprehension and even suspicion, within weeks these remarkable women became the heart and soul of life on the Island.

This week two of those who served as sisters here 30 and 40 years ago have returned, and this morning the community celebrated Mass together before processing to the hospital to unveil a “story-board” as a lasting tribute to the presence of the sisters. It has been a delight to witness the heart-felt welcomes that these sisters are receiving since arriving back on Thursday.

Bishop Barry Jones sent his own tribute asking me to pass on the message that the sisters were “legend in our diocese, and especially for the priests who served on the Chathams.”

The images below, and the snaps from the story-board tell the story.




the guests of honour, Sr Aidan & Mary-Ann




















I didn’t realise this, but the smsm’s were not the only sisters who served here.






Below:  Sr. “Ig” in the kitchen.







Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

the adventure

the adventure

It’s easy to make the mistake of seeing life as a treadmill, day after day ups and downs, a movement through time from youth to old age, then death and beyond.
Too often if feels as if we are helplessly captive carried along by the momentum of all that is expected of us and demanded from us, and we risk falling into an existence mode, a daily rhythm of survival, enduring, coping and so the treadmill rolls on.

the bigger picture

the bigger picture

Over the years, and even in recent months, weeks and days, I’ve prayed many prayers which have not been answered as I had hoped.
You’ve probably had the same experience: praying and wondering if and when or how your prayer will be answered.

moving waters

moving waters

Bible questions still pop up regularly in quiz shows and they often cost otherwise sharp players much needed points.
I’m ready for a question asking for the two names for the last book of the Bible. The book often known as Apocalypse is perhaps more often referred to as the Book of Revelation.
It’s common (thanks to movies) to think of an apocalypse as a devastating and unwelcome time of destruction.

to dream

to dream

The pics I use on these daily posts are sometimes snapped by me, and often borrowed from free-use websites. I thought it might be interesting to move towards using only my own snaps, and then only those taken in the past 24 hours. We’ll see how I go.
I took the pic above yesterday morning on an early walk.

to really see

to really see

Perhaps we find the miracles of Jesus too difficult to understand. How can we cope with what we may not have seen with our own eyes?
Many people cope with the miraculous by reducing it to what they can understand. They say Jesus just increased the blind man’s psychological vision, or opened his eyes of faith rather than actually giving him physical sight.