Centenary of the Church in New Zealand: Letters of the Bishop of Auckland to Cardinal MacRory and Éamon de Valera (27th April, 1938)

NB: See also Centenary of the Church in New Zealand: Irish Hierarchy’s Letter of Felicitations (1937)

Your Eminence,

Our Centenary celebrations have come and gone, leaving us with the happiest memories and a lively sense of God’s blessing over them all. Bishops, priests and people alike feel that the presence of his Grace of Tuam, representing our Mother Church, and the gracious inspiring letter of the Hierarchy of Ireland gave our commemoration of thanksgiving a spiritual quality and significance all its own.

The letter, read from the Cathedral pulpit on the opening day, Sunday, February 27, was heard over the radio by all Catholic New Zealand, and a large part of non-Catholic New Zealand, and gave us all deep joy.

His Grace walked right into our hearts, and everywhere his presence and his words made us understand more than ever the privilege and greatness of our Irish inheritance. In the name of us all, New Zealanders and visitors alike, I offer, with a full heart, thanks to Your Eminence, and through you, to the Archbishops and Bishops for the joy and inspiration you have given us on this occasion.

I sent copies of our Zealandia Centenary issues to all the Bishops, and his Grace promised to give his impressions of his visit here.

Our own Catholic people entered into the celebrations with enthusiastic fervour, and non-Catholics were cordial and respectful to a degree. The daily Press was excellent in every way. We feel that as God blessed our Centenary so richly he must have some special purpose in it for us and our country.

Renewing our heart’s gratitude to Your Eminence, the Archbishops and Bishops,

I am with deep respect to Your Eminence,

Yours Sincerely in Christ,

Bishop of Auckland.


Dear Sir,

I wish to thank you from my heart in the name of all who took part in our Centenary celebrations for the message of greeting to us from yourself and the Government and people of Ireland. The message was received with joy and enthusiasm at our first public gathering of 6,000 people, and was read next day with delight throughout New Zealand.

Along with the letter from the Irish Bishops and the presence of their representative, his Grace the Archbishop of Tuam, your own letter renewed in our hearts the sense of our immense debt, past and present, in things spiritual and temporal, to Mother Ireland. We pray that we may not be unworthy of all that we have received.

I feel that you will be interested to know that the celebrations were notable for the fervour of our Catholic people, and the cordial good feeling of our non-Catholic fellow citizens.

The Archbishop and Bishops of New Zealand, along with our priests and people, join me in this expression of our heart’s gratitude to yourself and through you to the Government and people of Ireland.

Believe me, with deep respect and regard,

Yours Sincerely,

Bishop of Auckland.


Posted on March 27, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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