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Friday, May 31, 2013

Come to Reign over us!

Today is the Feast of the Queenship of Our Blessed Lady
- before that it was the Feast of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces - 
and the Processional Copy of Our Lady of Christchurch
 was enthroned before the holy altar in 
St Teresa's Church, Riccarton, Christchurch
 during the traditional sung Holy Mass. 
 Afterwards roses
 (which one can see arranged before Our Lady)
 were blessed and distributed in honour of
 Our Blessed Lady's Queenship
 of this City and the Universe.
 Providentially a faithful soul
 had also brought a single snapdragon flower to Mass
 - it is winter in Christchurch
 and the flowers are not common now - 
recalling that the medieval name for this flower was
 "Our Lady's Slipper".
 Most appropriately for today
 she showed us how they as children
 had been taught to open the flower
 and behold inside "Our Lady's Sceptre". 
May her sweet reign never cease!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Maryfest and Grand Procession in Honour of Our Lady of Christchurch

Christchurch Knights of the Southern Cross act as 
Our Lady's Sediarii
- taking their place at the front of the bier
carrying our replica of the statue of
Our Lady of Christchurch.

This Sunday our confreres in Christchurch, New Zealand,
participated in the annual Procession,
Consecration of the City and Diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
and Pontifical Benediction
which they had been asked to organise by the local ordinary,
His Lordship the Most Reverend Barry Jones, D.D.,
Bishop of Christchurch.

For the last few weeks we have been planning and advertising
this wonderful event throughout the Diocese,
primarily using this poster -
translated for other local communities into
Polish, Korean, Tagalog, Arabic and Greek.

Thanks be to God and Our Lady,
St Mary's pro-Cathedral was filled to capacity
as Bishop Jones, accompanied by
Bishop Emeritus Basil Meeking
with the Administrator of the pro-Cathedral, Fr Friel,
as well as more than a dozen priests
led around 500 faithful from the Diocese
in an Act of Homage
to our
Heavenly Queen.

Many of the faithful had made banners in the last weeks
and these were evident in the lateral isle on the Gospel side.
Representatives of the Legion of Mary,
the Catholic Women's League,
the Knights of the Southern Cross,
as well the Keralite, Filipino, Korean,
Polish, Vietnamese,
Maori, Coptic, Ethiopian and Samoan communities,
members of the Marist, the Marist Brothers,
the Community of St John
the Marist Sisters
the Sisters of Nazareth and of the Beatitudes
many schools and parishes
joined in with the Bishop
the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer
and of course our own traditional Catholics who had come from
all over South Island to be there.

The City of Christchurch Highland Pipe Band accompanied us
as we processed around the pro-Cathedral
and along Manchester Street.

The beautiful replica of Our Lady of Christchurch
which we carried in the procession.
The Queen of this City
crushes the old serpent
and extends her benign reign
over New Zealand!

At the end of the procession as the trumpet rang out
Our Lady of Christchurch
was crowned before His Lordship the Bishop
by little Esther
who had received Our Lord for the
first time that morning
in Our Mother of Perpetual Succour Oratory.

What a great grace to be able to see
the City and Diocese Consecrated again to
the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

Our very great thanks to all those who helped
in many and varied ways
to make the day most memorable
no less for its bright sunshine on a day
predicted to be overcast and awaiting snow!

To read more about the protecting image
of Our Lady of Christchurch
and to see more images please visit
Our Lady of Christchurch Facebook page.

The splendid photographs
for this blog were provided
Abi Wiseman Photography.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Repair works at the Pier

Over the past few months of winter
a small hole under the bridge of the pier
grew bigger and bigger.

We are doing some extensive work to repair the hole
and build up the sea bed to protect the wall's foundation.

 Six inch concrete blocks are brought to the place of operations

 One by one the blocks weighing 15kg are passed along a chain of brothers
to the centre of the damage

In cave like conditions our young strong postulant lays the blocks in a stable pattern

 This is not easy work!

 The JCB digger is used to gather together stones from the sea bed at low tide.

The gathered stones are piled up to cover the work done
and protect the pier from further attack by the sea.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Rogation Day Procession

With Spring upon us,
 and Our Lady's garden taking on new life,
 we had the joy to bless the fields and plants
 and call down God's blessing on the future harvest.

The Litany of the Saints begins at the foot of the altar.

After the invocation, "Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis", the procession heads towards the green house.

Once inside a triple invocation is made
"to bless, conserve and keep these fields
 from every infestation of the devil".

 Holy Water is sprinkled towards the four points of the compass.

After the blessings are done, the procession returns to the Chapel,
 where further prayers are said and the Sung Mass begun.

A rather keen thurifer kept the smoke of incense rising heavenward

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