Society of Mary sells former novitiate farm at Highden

The Society of Mary is selling Highden farm in Manawatu ending an association with the property that goes back to 1922.

The homestead was owned by the society for 67 years and for 64 of those it was the house of formation for novice priests and brothers.

The house was sold in 1990 but the society kept the farm.

The house and farm were run as separate enterprises, though the farm provided food and income to run the house.

Fr Craig Larkin, a former novice master, says at a conservative estimate an average of 10 trainee priests a year attended Highden over the 64 years.

He said the numbers peaked from the mid-1960s to the 1970s then began to drop off.

The novitiate year now  takes place in a multi-cultural community in the Philippines.

At present there is one New Zealander there.


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