Aotearoa-NZ renews dedication in ‘Te Ara a Maria: Mary’s Way’

Complex messaging surrounding the renewing of the country’s dedication to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and the creation of a National Shrine has been clarified at a special meeting of the New Zealand Bishops’ Conference.

One element of the messaging surrounds the translation of the shrine’s name which was corrected then confirmed by the bishops on advice from Manuel Beazley (pictured) who is the Auckland Diocese Vicar for Māori.

Beazley received support from other Katorika Māori in this choice.

The full name for the shrine now is: Te Ara a Maria: Mary’s Way.

“We needed a formal name for the renewal, and Manuel’s suggestion beautifully captures the role of Mary as the model of discipleship who leads us in the way of missionary discipleship,” Stephen Lowe, the Bishops Conference secretary says.

The bishops confirmed that St Mary of the Angels church in central Wellington will become a national shrine to Our Lady.

The ceremony will begin with a Mass at St Mary of the Angels in Wellington on Sunday 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption.

The bishops also spoke of hikoi that will carry the artwork around the country’s six dioceses and that the hikoi will now take place after the dedication ceremony.

Earlier this year a planned pre-dedication hikoi was cancelled until further notice after the hikoi had been approved without sufficient discussions with the wider community, including Katorika (Catholic) Māori.

Bishop Jean-Baptiste Pompallier dedicated the country to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven in 1838 when he celebrated his first Mass in this country at Totara Point in the Hokianga.

August 15 is a Holy Day of Obligation for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which falls on a Sunday this year. Parishes throughout the country will be invited to join in prayer for the renewal of the dedication.

Lowe says the bishops decided to renew the country’s dedication to Our Lady following requests from parishioners during last years nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

Rangiora artist Damien Walker has been commissioned to paint an image of Mary and Jesus that will be unveiled at St Mary of the Angels on 15 August.


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News category: New Zealand.

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