Challenge 2000 – New base for youth and family development agency

challenge 2000

The purchase of a property in Johnsonville to be used as a base and outreach centre for Challenge 2000, has been announced by Fr David Kennerley sm, Provincial of the Society of Mary, and Steve O’Connor, Challenge 2000 Director.

Kennerley said, ‘As part of our ongoing support of Challenge 2000 and commitment to working with youth, the Society of Mary has purchased the old Brigidine convent at 1 Wanaka St, Johnsonville, Wellington. This centre will provide a base from which Challenge 2000 can continue to offer a wide range of services and also develop other ministries, including an alternative education college and youth development and youth ministry programmes’.

Sr Anne Phibbs along with other Brigidine Sisters who previously lived at the convent said they are delighted their old home will be used by Challenge 2000.

‘After the Sisters left, two more owners made vast improvements to the building and it is very pleasing the ‘old Convent’ should come back to life within the Church and in such good condition.’

“We congratulate the Society of Mary on their generosity and their concern for our young people; and we wish Challenge 2000 every blessing on their work and their time in the ‘old Convent’. May you all be richly blessed by God – and by St Brigid!”

The Archbishop of Wellington Cardinal John Dew said, “This is great news for Challenge 2000 and is a significant move and moment in your history. It will enable you to do a lot more of the wonderful work you do, serving young people and their families.”

“The staff, volunteers, Board and Challenge whānau are absolutely delighted about the Society of Mary’s purchase of a base for Challenge 2000”, said Steve O’Connor.

“For us, it is a dream come true and something we have been hoping and praying for. It will enable us to work more effectively and better serve our young people and families.”

“It is an excellent example of a collaborative gospel partnership in action. We look forward to the official opening and shift mid-year and thank the Society of Mary for this huge commitment.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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