New bishop receives warm welcome

Published on 3rd Mar, 2024
Bishop John Adams, with Karanama Peita, on his visit to St Mary’s School Foxton. Photos: Supplied

WelCom March 2024

Phil Gunn

On the Feast of St Brigid, 1 February, the students, staff and community of St Mary’s Catholic School, Foxton gathered in St Mary’s Church, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new bishop of Palmerston North. It was Bishop John Adams’ first visit to our school.

Following local Kawa-custom the visit began with Pōwhiri, and as Bishop John entered St Mary’s Church for the first time, the beautiful call of karanga from Whaea Ani Waston and Whaea Ani Rauhihi filled the air, signalling the start of this special occasion.

A heartfelt welcome unfolded as Ngāti Raukawa, Mana Whenua in Foxton, along with the school community embraced Bishop John with warm words of welcome by Te Kenehi Teira, and with song.

On behalf of Bishop Adams’ former Hato Pāora student Karanama Peita responded emphatically, reminding us of the four long years we have been without a bishop and how good it is that Bishop John is now here.

Following the Hongi, Bishop Adams spoke. The children were delighted and very proud to hear that they were the first school in the Diocese of Palmerston North to welcome Bishop John in this way.

Immediately following the Pōwhiri, another highlight of Bishop John’s visit was his saying of St Brigid’s Day Mass, a joint celebration of the school’s founding Sisters’ faith, and of the new school year. Bishop John’s homily showed his educational background, with the students enjoying his rich stories of St Brigid and her message of kindness for others. Students proudly and ably led the people in reading and singing.

Bishop John blesses the children.

Each of the children received a personal blessing from Bishop John.

‘It was pretty cool,’ said one year-six student.

At the conclusion of the Mass, the school community gathered for a shared kai and an opportunity to meet and talk with Bishop John.

A strong theme of the day was how glad the community was to finally have our own bishop to lead the diocese once again. The students at St Mary’s School can’t wait to have him visit again soon.

This year marks St Brigid’s 1,500th anniversary from her feast on 1 February.

Phil Gunn is Principal / Tumuaki, DRS, St Mary’s Catholic School, Foxton / Te Kura Katorika O Hato Maria, Te Awahou.

The post New bishop receives warm welcome first appeared on Archdiocese of Wellington.

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