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Relics of Saints tour Auckland NZ

The Golden Jubilee Reliquary – with the relics of St Maroun, St Charbel, St Rafqa, St Nehmetallah and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop – made its way to Auckland, New Zealand, where it joined the relics of St Peter Chanel, Patron Saint of New Zealand, and the relics of Saints from the Church of Ukraine, and the Melkite, Chaldean and Syro-Malabar rites, part of a tour that unites the Catholic community of Auckland, spanning Western and Eastern Catholic traditions.

This historic relics tour was an opportunity to honour faith and tradition and importantly, connect Eastern Catholics with their rich spiritual heritage and provide a unique opportunity for the Church in Auckland to engage with the Eastern communities in the region – which continue to grow – and experience their faith traditions.

Following a warm welcome at St Anne’s in Manurewa (26 April) and a Maronite Divine Liturgy, the relics of eleven saints journeyed to the Cathedral of St Patrick and St Joseph in Auckland for a welcome and mass the following day (27 April) before continuing on a tour to the following parishes until 5 May 2024:

  • Sunday, April 28th: Saint Elias Melkite Catholic Church Auckland (Melkite)
  • Sunday, April 28th: Mother of Perpetual Help, Church of Ukraine Glendowie (Church of Ukraine)
  • Sunday, April 28th: St Addai Chaldean Catholic Church Papatoetoe (Chaldean)
  • Friday, May 3rd: Immaculate Conception Church Ellerslie (Syro-Malabar)

Bishop Tarabay said, “The idea of bringing these relics to Auckland was inspired by the graces received through the intercession of the saints during the celebration of our Golden Jubilee Year 2023.  It also aligns with Pope Francis’s call for prayer in preparation for the Pilgrimage of Hope Jubilee 2025.

“My gratitude to Bishop Steve Lowe, Bishop of Auckland, and Father Tony O’Connor at St Anne’s for their warm welcome. My thanks also to my brother Bishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches in Australia and New Zealand for their part in this historic convergence of the Universal Catholic Church. May the seeds planted during our visit yield abundant fruit for our communities in Auckland.

“Let us pray for the establishment of a Maronite parish and the presence of a dedicated Maronite priest here. With the intercession of St Maroun and St Peter Chanel, may our endeavours bear witness to the Gospel and ignite a flame of faith that reaches the ends of the earth.”

*Photo selection of parishes visited in Auckland (NZ) courtesy of Catholic Diocese of Auckland

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