by PETER GRACE
Decisions have to be made about the use of Church buildings in Napier, now that three
parishes have been combined.

Part of the congregation during the inaugural Mass.
Part of the congregation during the inaugural Mass.

The four lay staff and three priests who had worked within the three parishes of St Mary’s,
Greenmeadows; St Patrick’s, central Napier; and St Thomas More, Onekawa, are now working out
of the new unified parish’s temporary site at St Mary’s.
Parish pastoral council member David Marshall said the location for staff will eventually
be be at the more central St Patrick’s Church.
The parish house in Napier is now vacant and two options for its future were on the table. It can either be converted and refurbished up to earthquake-risk levels, or demolished to make way for a new office building.
“That is the challenge we have to take on,” Mr Marshall said.
Parish priest Fr Peter Head, SM, told NZ Catholic that questions relating to cost and the timeframe of either development were to be discussed at a special finance committee meeting near the end of June. “And then we are going to the parish pastoral council, and then to the people, about it.”
On Pentecost Sunday, almost 1000 people filled Napier’s municipal theatre as parishioners attended the inaugural Mass of the newly formed parish of Napier.
Principal celebrant Bishop Charles Drennan was assisted by parish priest Fr Head and assistant priests Frs Mike Wooller and John Mori.
The chairman of the steering committee, Mr Marshall, asked Bishop Drennan to formally promulgate Te parihi Katorika ki Ahuriri-the Catholic parish of Napier.
Mr Marshall said later that services will continue at all three parishes and a “hub” of volunteers will deal with parishioner inquiries and provide hospitality “for visitors from wherever they might come”.
He said the unification Mass on May 24 was probably the most significant event in the 165-year history of the Church in Napier.

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