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Visit to Hiruharama (Jerusalem) - Feb 2004

On Saturday 7th February, two groups of sisters - Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion and Sisters of St Joseph gathered for an historic meeting at Jerusalem. The hui came about after desires expressed by sisters from both congregations that we come together to acknowledge common aspects of our founding history.

In 1883, three sisters of St Joseph accompanied Suzanne Aubert to revive the Maori Mission on the Whanganui River. Sisters Teresa and Aloysius were to set up a school, and they were accompanied by their superior Sister Hyacinth, who returned to Wanganui.

“Teresa and Aloysius had spent fourteen months at Hiruharama. Officially they had returned because the hardships and privations of the mission “soon began to tell heavily on the health of one of them. Conditions were too severe for the sick sister and the isolation of the place resulted in their withdrawal.” Officially they had returned because the hardships and privations…….However letters from Father Soulas, Sister Hyacinth and Archbishop Redwood indicate that the reasons for the Josephite’s withdrawal were not quite so straight forward.”
IN STEP WITH TIME – a History of the Sisters of St Joseph of Nazareth- Diane Strevens.

A bus load of Sisters from both Congregations travelled the River Road and were welcomed on arrival by the people of Patiarero Marae. After lunch the gathering was an opportunity for our stories to be shared and honoured. Mrs Jessie Munro, author of THE STORY OF SUZANNE AUBERT, Mother Aubert’s biography, also joined the group. All too soon it was time to board the bus once more to travel down river to Wanganui, but with plans to gather in 2005.

 Sisters Sheila McGrath dolc, Paula Brettkelly rsj, Catherine Hannan dolc, and Catherine Shelton rsj admire a centre piece symbolising the Whanganui River. Mrs Jessie Munro is in background

Gallery / Whakaahua

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