Chapel Handover - Oct 2006

Sacred Heart Convent was sold to Ryman Healthcare in March 2004, and now, two years later the Jane Winstone Retirement Village is almost completed on the site. Sacred Heart Chapel still stands - a testament to the former use of the land.

On Sunday 8th October, Ryman Healthcare and the Sisters of St Joseph jointly hosted a gathering for the symbolic handing over of the Chapel, te pataka o te oranga pumau, from the Sisters to Jane Winstone Village. The Chapel was filled with the Village residents and staff, and the Sisters with many of their former pupils and friends.

Mrs Barbara Reynen, Operations Manager for Ryman Healthcare, officially welcomed all present, and spoke of a feeling of being instantly ‘at home’ when she first came into the Chapel. Hopefully, her experience, and that of many Sisters of St Joseph over the past 88 years of its existence, will be felt by all those who use the building in the future.

Sr Barbara Cowan gave a brief historical account of the Chapel and its importance in the life of the Sisters, students, staff, and members of the wider community. She acknowledged the gesture of Ryman’s in allowing the Chapel to live on amongst the people of Whanganui. In noting its tasteful refurbishment, she said it would enhance it as a place of prayer, of song, of ceremony, an ecumenical sacred space.
This was followed by a Power Point display prepared by Sr Catherine Shelton of photos and paintings showing the use of the Chapel over the years.

Photo courtesy of Wanganui Midweek 18/10/06

The booklet shown being presented to Mrs Barbara Reynen by Sr Helen Doyle contains the images of the Power Point display. This will provide an on-going account of the Chapel’s history for the residents and staff of Jane Winstone Village.

Mr Morvin Simon, kaumatua of the Kaiwhaiki people of the Whanganui River, spoke of the many occasions of the Sisters that he and his people had attended in the Chapel. He called to mind one of the first founding sisters, Teresa, who had traveled up the Whanganui River in the early 1880’s. His wish was that the Chapel continue to be a place of prayer, of thought, of community.

The Kaiwhaiki people are shown in one of their several waiata. Some of those performing were former pupils of the College.

The afternoon concluded with afternoon tea in the atrium of the main Jane Winstone Village building.

“Kia tau te rangimarie o ratou katoa, kua uru mai ki roto ki te whare karakia nei, a, kia tautoko hoki i te wahi tapu nei mo ake tonu atu.
May we receive the blessing of all who have passed through this Chapel, this Whare Karakia, and continue the tradition of this sacred space.”

The full text of Sr Barbara Cowan’s speech can be found under
SACRED HEART CLOSURE section of the website.

Gallery / Whakaahua

Members Login