DAY ONE - Raranga Wairua (Threads of the Spirit) Chapter Hui - September 2008

28 September – 3 October 2008

Sisters and friends came together on the evening of Sunday September 28th for the opening of their four yearly Chapter.  The simple Powhiri began with welcomes to Kaumatua Morvin Simon, wife Kura and whanau, to the friends of the Sisters, and particularly to Sister Judith Anne O’Sullivan OP, the facilitator.  After welcoming all, Sr Marie Roche declaring the Raranga Wairua Chapter Hui open.

In the photo, Kate Lynch of the Congregation Trust Board, Hon Tariana Turia MP, Angelal Aspinall Nazareth Rest Home Manager chat with Sisters Catherine Shelton and Margaret Hurley.

The gathering then moved out into the grounds where a poupou representing Joseph (Hohepa) patron of the Sisters was unveiled. The carvers were Kaha Mai Te Rangi Simon, and Jason Paranihi.
After a blessing from Morvin, Kaha explained the symbolism of the pou.  The carving likens Joseph to Maui Tikitiki o Taranga, who prayed and transformed himself into a kereru (native pigeon), which is shown with its head resting on Joseph’s back.  Two real-life kereru watched the proceedings from a nearby tree.
The patterns on the cloak represent the valleys and ridges of the Whanganui River and rohe (tribal area).
Scripture describes Joseph as a ‘just man’ (of great mana).  He is guardian (kaitiaki) of workers and of those who are dying.  This is symbolised by the ancient tuatara.  Mana is especially present in the creature’s tongue.  His skin is marked with the teeth of Kae (Taratara a Kae).  This reminds us that the earth is sacred and we are warned to respect all creation.

The photo shows carver Kaha Simon with Morvin Simon behind the poupou Hohepa.

Sisters and friends gathered for the unveiling of the poupou.

As the group returned to the main conference room for a meal together, many took the opportunity to visit the newly completed Archives building, where a display of photos and documents of former Chapters created much interest.

Sr Von Witton, Mrs Maureen Beard Manager Quinlan Court Retirement Complex, Srs Marie Skidmore and John Bosco examining some of the exhibits in the Archives.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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