Pope John Paul II Visits Aotearoa New Zealand
Pope John Paul II is the only Pope to have visited Aotearoa New Zealand so far.
As the first visit by the Bishop of Rome, successor of the Apostle Peter, it was an occasion of great significance for the Catholic people of Aotearoa New Zealand. But interest in Pope John Paul, both as chief pastor of the Catholic Church and as a recognised and honoured world figure, was intense throughout the country from the moment his visit was announced.
New Zealand’s first bishop, Jean Baptiste François Pompallier, was born in Lyon, France, on 11 December 1802.
Suzanne Aubert founded the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion, New Zealand's only surviving indigenous religious congregation.
Suzanne Aubert, also known as Mother Aubert, was born and raised in France. She was from a middle class family, but developed a great love for the poor by taking food to them. Her grandmother taught her that the face of Christ can be seen in the faces of the poor, and that it was a privilege to serve them.
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Mary MacKillop was an Australian nun who co-founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (informally known as Josephites). She is the first Australian to be beatified (1995) and having had a second miracle recognised by the Vatican in 2009 was canonised as a saint on 17 October 2010.
Bishop Max Takuira Matthew Māriu
Of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Bishop Māriu was born in Waihi and educated at Hāto Pāora College in Feilding.
After studying for the priesthood with the Society of Mary (Marist) seminary at Greenmeadows, Hawkes Bay, he was ordained to priesthood at Waihi (Lake Taupō) in 1977. In May 1988 he was ordained as Auxiliary Bishop of Hamilton, becoming the first Catholic Māori bishop in New Zealand.
Māriu spoke out on issues around Māori grievances in relation to the Treaty, and just prior to his death said how he worried particularly about young Māori, “…we’re losing them,” he said.