A Mass of Dedication of St Mary of the Angels Wellington as the National Shrine to Mary, Mother of God, Assumed into Heaven will be held at the landmark church on Sunday 14 August 2022 at 2pm.
Everyone from anywhere in the country is welcome to attend.
The Mass follows a year of celebrating the rededication of Aotearoa New Zealand to Mary Assumed into Heaven. The bishops held a special mass of rededication at St Mary of the Angels on Sunday 15 August last year, followed by the year-long hīkoi (journey) of the specially commissioned artwork, Ko Hāta Maria, te Matua Wahine o te Atua – Holy Mary, Mother of God around the country’s six dioceses.
The artwork will arrive back at St Mary of the Angel’s Church just before the Mass this Sunday 14 August and proceed into the Church with an offering of flowers from school children at 1.40 pm.
Fr Chris Skinner SM will share his song, Hata Maria, in celebration. Mass will then commence at 2pm.
The church is being dedicated as the National Shrine to Mary, Mother of God, Assumed into Heaven. Communities are welcomed to wear traditional cultural attire. NZSL interpreters will be available, with reserved seating for the deaf community at the front left. The Mass will be livestreamed, with the link available here.
Aotearoa-NZ’s first Catholic Bishop, Jean-Baptiste Pompallier, dedicated the country to Mary Assumed into Heaven when he celebrated the first Mass on our soil at Totara Point in the Hokianga in January 1838.
During the first nationwide Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, many Catholic parishioners urged the bishops to dedicate the country to Mary to seek her protection. As Bishop Pompallier had already made such a dedication, the bishops decided to celebrate a rededication, followed by the hikoi (Te Ara a Maria or Mary’s Way), culminating in the dedication of St Mary of the Angels as the national shrine.
The bishops commissioned Rangiora artist Damien Walker of the Studio of St Philomena to create the striking work of Mary and the child Jesus, which will go on permanent display at the shrine.