by SUE SECONI
The Associates of Suzanne Aubert-Te Hunga Whai i nga Akoranga a Suzanne visited her grave in Wellington at their new year gathering.
Mother Aubert rests at the adminstration centre of the Sisters of Compassion in Island Bay and at the foot of the steep windblown hills where she built a reservoir to supply water for the hospital there in 1907.
But this wasn’t the first place where Mother Aubert was buried.
When she died on October 1, 1926, aged 91, she was buried in the congregational plot in Karori in a lead-lined coffin.
In 1950 she was exhumed from this historical cemetery and reburied nearer the convent,
which was on the same property as the hospital. This was in response to the ever-growing
awareness of Mother Aubert’s extraordinary life’s work, and that the case for her canonisation could be put forward to Rome.
In January 1987, a decade of redevelopment got underway with the buildings, including the hospital, being pulled down. Hence Mother Aubert’s remains had to be dug up and reburied where she lies now.
The Associates of Suzanne Aubert started in January 2012. It is open to people of all creeds and none. The group is responding to a spirit that has seen a worldwide surge among laypeople to have a “certain” relationship to a particular founder of a religious congregation without making a religious commitment to vowed community life.
Simultaneously the group is getting to know more about Mother Aubert.
A successful heritage trail in Hawke’s Bay was held in 2013, visiting places of significance
to Mother Aubert, and another heritage trail is planned in Central Hawke’s Bay for July this year.
by SUE SECONI