Wellington celebrates 200th birthday of Bishop Viard

Saturday 10 October marks the 200th Birthday of the Archdiocese of Wellington’s first bishop, Philippe Viard.

There will be a Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart at 5.30pm on Saturday to honour Bishop Viard.

At St Mary’s Parish in Otaki celebrations will begin at 10am with a Powhiri and Mass with Cardinal Tom Williams and Archbishop John Dew. Following Mass a Kowhai tree will be planted outside the old church to mark the occasion and the 150th anniversary of the church, which was completed in 1859.

On Sunday 11 October at 5.15pm, Viard College in Porirua will hold a Mass in Bishop Viard’s honour. Students of the college will perform a drama about the bishop’s life, and others will receive the sacrament of confirmation.

Other events throughout the week have included a guided bus tour of historic Catholic Wellington, lectures, and a fun debate with the topic, “It was easier to be a Catholic in Viard’s day than today".

Booklets have been prepared called “In the footsteps of Viard”. They contain a map with places of Catholic significance to visit in Wellington, and also photos, prayers and reflections. They can be collected from the Archdiocesan Catholic Centre