New co-chief executive for Compassion group

Published on 28th Mar, 2024
Deacon Rebecca Packer, newly appointed Tumu Whakarae | co-Chief Executive, with Deacon Danny Karatea-Goddard, Māori Tumu Whakarae | co-Chief Executive of the Sisters of Compassion Group. Photo: Supplied

WelCom April 2024

Deacon Rebecca Packer (née Elvin) has been appointed as Tumu Whakarae | co-Chief Executive for the Sisters of Compassion Group, the religious order founded by Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert. Rebecca joins Deacon Danny Karatea-Goddard, appointed in April 2022, as Māori Tumu Whakarae | co-Chief Executive of the group. 

Rebecca previously worked at Crown Law, specialising in public law. She is very familiar with the Sisters of Compassion mission, having served on the Mother Aubert Home of Compassion Trust Board and the Sisters of Compassion Group Board for several years.

Rebecca and her husband Matthew were recently ordained as Deacons in the Anglican Church. Rebecca has remained committed to advocacy on behalf of the marginalised and to the pursuit of justice and reconciliation in her work in the justice sector, her governance responsibilities, academic study, and voluntary activities. 

A morning pōwhiri was held at Our Lady’s Home of Compassion in Island Bay to welcome Rebecca and other new staff who have joined the Sisters of Compassion Group.

Rebecca says, ‘It is a privilege to step into the role of Tumu Whakarae | co-Chief Executive of the Sisters of Compassion Group at this time.

‘I look forward to partnering with Compassion whānau to build on the strong foundation of prayerful and practical service established by Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert and faithfully embodied by the Sisters of Compassion and by supporters and volunteers over many years.

‘I am very pleased to take up this opportunity and to help ensure the transformational work of Compassion continues to flourish in Aotearoa New Zealand, for the benefit of our communities and to the glory of God.’

The Venerable Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert (1835–1926) founded the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion (the Sisters of Compassion) in 1892. Suzanne Aubert was a friend and advocate for Māori, children, the poor and the sick, with the Sisters continuing her work to this day. Among her many achievements Meri Hōhepa founded the Compassion Soup Kitchen in Wellington, which is still run by the Sisters. The Sisters are considering their next step in Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert’s path to sainthood, which has been delayed by a Vatican committee ruling that a possible miracle attributed to her could be explained by medical science.

Source: Sisters of Compassion Group

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