On 1st February 2016, the new Parish of Star of the Sea Marlborough came to birth, with the amalgamation of the three former Parishes of Blenheim, Kaikoura and Picton. Like many parishes today, we are growing into our new reality, adjusting to new relationships across a wide expanse of the top of the South Island of New Zealand.
2017 started with three priests assigned to Star of the Sea, with Frs John Pearce CP & Pat McIndoe CP residing in Blenheim, and Fr Julian Wagg (Diocesan) residing in Kaikoura. The earthquake of 14 November 2016 has temporarily cut our connection on State Highway 1 for at least a year, but has not cut our parish. Using new technologies, flights on Sounds Air, and the long drive on the inland highway, connections are still open as we grow together. Now we are into being Quake Busters at a number of levels.
We are One Mission, One Parish, Seven Communities. We stretch from the Marlborough Sounds to the Pacific Ocean of Kaikoura, the High Country of Molesworth down across the Wairau and Awatere Plains. We are a mix of towns and villages, cattle & sheep, fishing & wineries, and supportive industries. While the parish administrative centre is in Blenheim, our life is in the field, broad as it is.
Through the pooling of our assets, both human, physical & financial, we are growing in our new sense of being a missionary parish, celebrating our belonging together in Christ in our liturgies, and reaching out into the society we live in.
We have significant Maori Communities and Maraes across the parish, as well as a mix of peoples from Pacific Islands, Europe, Asia, Africa and the America’s and even and Australian or two.
Since 2013, we have been served by the Passionists from Holy Spirit Province, mostly priests from New Zealand and Australia. This Province also includes members from Papua New Guinea and Vietnam. Some of them may serve us in the future. We are also grateful for the continuing presence of the Sisters of Mercy, a community that began Catholic Education in our region.
The many men and women who form the various parish committees, councils and ministry groups ensure that our parish is still growing into a bright future. We welcome the participation of many into our Mission as a Church. Again, Good Stewardship happens the more we share of our God given Gifts and Talents.