We held a Liturgy in our Tutor Classes, this year, to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the patronal feast of Catholics in Aotearoa. Bishop Pompallier, who was the first Catholic bishop of New Zealand, celebrated the first Mass in Aotearoa New Zealand, on 13 January 1838, at Hokianga. At the end of the Mass, he dedicated the country to Mary under the title of her Assumption.
The New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in a pastoral letter in 1988 said:
“In dedicating New Zealand to Mary in her Assumption, Bishop Pompallier placed our country under the protection of Mary as she is now – alive, body and soul, rejoicing in the happiness of God’s kingdom.”
The Liturgy was well supported by staff and students as we came together to remember the Assumption of Mary.