Instead of Sunday Mass Greytown Catholics pray

No Sunday Mass

Wairarapa parishioners in Greytown have announced a Sunday Morning prayer service to replace what was their regular Sunday Mass.

The group establishing the service say while Sunday Mass is available in Masterton or Featherston, these options do not always work for everyone.

“It also does not support the local community,” Gerard McGreevy of the Establishment Group wrote in a letter to parishioners.

“The cessation of Sunday Mass in Martinborough, Greytown and Carterton and the closure of two of those buildings and partial closure of Greytown has meant that there is no longer an opportunity for those faith communities to meet on Sunday as they have for more than one hundred years.”

The group describes the situation as “a great loss”.

The Sunday Morning Prayer organisers say they are experimenting with the format. Early reports from other parishioners, however, are that Sunday Morning Prayer is proving quite popular.

Initial indications are the new service will have a traditional look and feel, an opening prayer, readings of the day, a reflection, some discussion followed by prayers of the faithful, a song or two, a concluding prayer with morning tea to follow.

Organisers say there is no shortage of leaders.

“The format will evolve with the intention of encouraging participation and leadership of as many as want that role,” the Establishment Group says.

The first official Sunday Morning Prayer will begin at 8:30 am on 13 June in Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Greytown.

The organisers say the time does not conflict with the Mass times in Featherston or Masterton, so those who want to do both will have the time to do so.

In June 2020, and after many months of deliberation Cardinal Dew announced that the Martinborough, Greytown and Carterton churches would be closed and the properties sold.

Local parishioners lobbied to retain all five churches; however, Archdiocesan authorities applied what some locals are calling a ‘city model for a rural setting,’ and decided to keep just two churches, one at either end of the vast Wairarapa parish.

Instead of one car with the priest, travelling to parts of the parish on Sunday, now parishioners report they are travelling in every which way, or they just do not bother going to church.

The Wairarapa Times-Age reports several reasons for selling the three Wairarapa churches. These include there being not having enough priests to go around, high maintenance costs, declining congregations, and the directive from Pope Francis to focus more on missionary work.

A recent report by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment put a ‘spanner in the works’ by unexpectedly listing St Patrick’s Church in Masterton at only 26% New Building Standard and in urgent need of attention. Initially engineers had rated the building at a much safer 49%.


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News category: New Zealand, Palmerston.

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