by THERESE ROUGHAN
St Valentine’s Day, 2015, in Christchurch, was again an opportunity to celebrate God’s
gift of love in marriage.

Paul and Carmel O’Neill-Gregory, who recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, help a couple anoint each other’s hands during the St Valentine’s Day Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland on February 14.
Paul and Carmel O’Neill-Gregory, who recently celebrated their 25th wedding
anniversary, help a couple anoint each other’s hands during the St Valentine’s
Day Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland on February 14.

Christchurch has been celebrating St Valentine’s Day with a liturgy, or a Mass, since 2002.
Since the earthquakes, our liturgies have moved from our majestic cathedral to St Mary’s Pro-
Cathedral. With St Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, Mass was celebrated on Friday February 13.
A regular feature of our Mass in recent years has been “The Anointing of Hands with Oil” ceremony. This ceremony gives couples a unique opportunity to convey their love for each other.
The Mass was followed by a celebratory glass of bubbly and “wedding” cake.

by SUE DEVEREUX

Valentine’s Day Mass in Wellington focused on the vocation to love. As it was also the day that Archbishop John Dew became a cardinal, the two vocations to love — marriage and priesthood — were strong parts of the theme.

Simone and Shane Olsen, and Simone’s parents, Jackie and Amy Jansen, stand by the “I Love You” tree in Sacred Heart Basilica in Wellington.
Simone and Shane Olsen,
and Simone’s parents, Jackie and
Amy Jansen, stand by the “I Love
You” tree in Sacred Heart Basilica
in Wellington.

Fr James Lyons celebrated the Mass, encouraging our love to go deeper — touching the untouchable in each of us and being prepared to become what we touch, which is true compassion.
Archbishop Dew on video sent his love and blessings from Rome and promised to respond to
his call as cardinal by loving more deeply.
A tree with “I Love You” written in 30 different languages was on display, representing the
many different ways we express our love.

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