New Zealand Catholics re-dedicate the country to Mary

A packed congregation, on the feast of the Assumption, joined most of the country’s bishops at St Mary of the Angels, Wellington to rededicate New Zealand to Mary.

Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier and the early Marist fathers and brothers first dedicated the mission to New Zealand before they left France.

Then, after arriving, in 1938 they dedicated the country to Mary.

However, during the 2020 COVID lockdowns, many New Zealanders wrote to the Catholic bishops asking for them to dedicate the country to Our Lady.

The bishops’ responded by commissioning an artwork of Mary and the child Jesus and agreed to re-dedicate New Zealand to Mary’s care.

“There was a strong hint in many of these requests that if we had done this early enough the pandemic would not have even started!’ said Cardinal John Dew.

“But, we know that Mary is not a magician!” Dew said on Sunday at the re-dedication Mass.

However, Dew told the standing-room-only St Mary of the Angels congregation, that renewing the country’s dedication to Our Lady is about each of us.

“It concerns our future,” he said.

“This is a day of hope for humanity.

“Even as we think of many sad situations, we can live in hope and hold out hope to others.

“Think today especially of women overwhelmed by the weight of life and the drama of violence; women who are slaves to the arrogance of the powerful; girls forced into inhumane work; women forced to surrender in both body and spirit to the greed of men.

“Our prayer today is for a life of peace, justice and love to reach these women in expectation of the day in which they finally feel gripped by hands that do not humiliate them, but lead them with tenderness into the presence of God.”

At the Mass, a substantial Aotearoa-themed artwork depicting Mary and the child Jesus was unveiled.

Created by Rangiora artist Damien Walke, the artwork has left for Invercargill; the start of a hīkoi around the country.’

The hīkoi will end with the artwork’s return and permanent placement in St Mary of the Angels, which will become a national shrine.

Auckland’s Bishop, Patrick Dunn was not well enough to travel.


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News category: New Zealand.

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