St Patrick’s Church Arrowtown, 2015
It was a joy to celebrate Mary Anna’s second celebration of her Golden Jubilee on Sunday December 6th in
Arrowtown, her local parish. The first celebration had been the previous week in Dunedin – and that was
also a very happy occasion for Sisters from North Otago, Dunedin and Southland and for Mary Anna’s
family.On arriving at the church for the Jubilee Eucharist not only were we greeted by rose bushes richly blooming
On arriving at the church for the Jubilee Eucharist not only were we greeted by rose bushes richly blooming
in the streets, but numbers of parishioners and ecumenical friends greeted and welcomed us.
At 11am, the Eucharist began with a welcome from parishioner and friend Colin Bellett, followed by a
rousing opening Hymn and a warm welcome from Fr Jaime, the Filipino parish priest. Then, the beautiful
readings of the Second Sunday of Advent were proclaimed by our Sisters – Cecily, Helen and Raewyn.
Sandra Winton’s homily (you can enjoy it too) picked up the theme of God’s crafting each of our lives
through both the rough and smooth times. She then linked our lives with elements of Israel’s journey as the
people many centuries ago also faced hardship and yet joy, times of difficulty and also times of genuine
flourishing.With beautiful Prayers of Intercession prayed by Maureen O’Hanlon OP, a short celebratory gift of song and
With beautiful Prayers of Intercession prayed by Maureen O’Hanlon OP, a short celebratory gift of song and
light from the children of the parish, the Sisters’ singing of Stella Matutina after communion and
wholehearted parish singing throughout, the liturgy was both joyful and hope-giving. The rousing final
hymn said it all – ‘Take the Word of God with you as you go!’
Once over in the Bowling Club room, we met with local people, with our sisters from Southland, Otago, Te
Awa Rongopai and Auckland and listened to warm tributes to Mary Anna from a wide range of people –
special friends, sisters, family and locals. In between times, we feasted on a ‘pot luck’ lunch provided by
generous and welcoming parishioners and friends.
After the formalities, a number of us returned to 9 Ritchie St where we enjoyed a much needed cuppa (it was a beautifully warm day there!) We then laughed and sang with Cecily leading us on guitar with many a song
and Mary Anna’s nephew, Peter, accompanying our singing with his playing of the spoons! Philip, Mary
Anna’s brother, knew all the words of every song while the rest of us relied on books! It was a spontaneous
and happy “after match” function! The Golden jubilee was beautifully celebrated – and eventually we all
dispersed – with music alive in our souls!
Download Sandra Winton’s homily:
Contributed by Helen Bergin