Pā Karaitiana Kingi celebrates 50 years of priesthood


Pā Karaitiana Kingi, Marist priest, celebrated his 50th jubilee at Takitimu Marae Wairoa on Saturday 16th November.

The venue was appropriate as Kingi was ordained at this marae by Bishop Snedden.

It was the first time a Māori priest had been ordained on a marae.

Various priests, religious Sisters and Brothers joined Fr Karaitiana and his family for the day. Bishop Peter Cullinane made a special effort to come.

Fr Jack Smith, a Māori priest from Gisborne, was also present. He too had been ordained on the Takitimu Marae.

While there were representatives from the Māori Catholic Colleges, Hato Paora and Hato Hohepa, Kingi said it was more convenient for him to go to the Colleges to celebrate with them there rather than lots of pupils travelling to Wairoa.

Kingi said, “I give thanks to God, to my late parents and all my family and each one present.”

Holding a tewhatewha, he said “This is a symbolic weapon which I use to combat evil in myself, in you and in the world. One side captures my Māori cultural life; one side is my spiritual journey”.

The marae was graced by photos of various deceased who have been part of Karaitiana’s life.

They were surrounded by roses. These came from his garden. This was linked with Kingi’s favourite saint, Thérèse of Lisieux who is known as St Theresa of the roses. “I have learnt a simple approach to life from her”, he said.

All then went into the whare tupuna for Eucharist.

The Gospel was read by Kingi’s Marist community leader, Fr Arthur Toothill.

The liturgy was led by Richard Puanaki and Malissa Paul.

A highlight of the liturgy was Cullinane presenting  Kingi with a blessing from Pope Francis.

The hākari was coordinated by two of Kingi’s nephews who are training as chefs! The wider whānau rallied around them to help.

After the meal, various speakers covered different periods of Fr Kingi’s life.

This included his family and college life, his Marist life and his life of ministry.

Pa Karaitiana was the final speaker. He expressed full gratitude for his 50 years of ministry. He then concluded the celebration with a blessing for each person present.


Supplied: Pa Piripi

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