In January 1838 Bishop Pompallier, Aotearoa New Zealand’s first bishop, dedicated New Zealand to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven. On this year’s Solemnity of the Assumption, on the 15th of August, the New Zealand Catholic community is going to renew that dedication following the numerous requests the bishops received during the lockdown asking for Mary’s protection of Aotearoa New Zealand in such troubling international times.
This Mass will launch the Catholic Church’s year-long Te Ara a Maria: Mary’s Way celebration and as part of this a new website, www.tearaamaria.nz, has gone live with full details of the related events and their historic background.
All the New Zealand Catholic bishops will attend the Assumption Day Mass next month at St Mary of the Angels in Wellington, where the distinctively Aotearoa-style artwork featuring Mary and the child Jesus will be unveiled and St Mary of the Angels church will be established as the national shrine of Mary Assumed into Heaven. The following day the artwork will commence a 12-month hīkoi around the country,.
The website includes the background to Te Ara a Maria, including how the country was dedicated to Mary Assumed into Heaven in 1838 by Bishop Jean-Baptiste Pompallier; an account of the life of Mary details of the Assumption Day on the 15th of August at St Mary of the Angels; the artwork created for Te Ara a Maria and the schedule of the associated hīkoi; and videos, prayers, hymns and other material to download.