The Catholic Parish of Otaki and  Levin

Faith Communities of Otaki, Levin and Kuku

Otaki newsletter
18 February 2018.docx (320.69KB)
Otaki newsletter
18 February 2018.docx (320.69KB)

Levin newsletter
18 February 2018 - Levin.docx (294.17KB)
Levin newsletter
18 February 2018 - Levin.docx (294.17KB)













General Question:

What would a parish that had fully embraced “Go you are sent” look like?


Specific Topics for discernment:


1.     Go, you are sent…. to find leaders.

-       What can we do to respond to the challenge to lay people “to apply the Gospel  

         to the transformation of society”?

-       What can we do to encourage new initiatives and leadership in our faith   



2.     Go, you are sent…. to the peripheries of society.

-       Who are the poor, the marginalised, the struggling, the homeless in our society?

-       As a parish/school/community, what can we do to serve those in need better,

        both in terms of their needs and in advocating for them?


3.     Go, you are sent…. to deepen our bicultural relationship.

-       What do recognition of Maori and commitment to biculturalism in the life and

        mission of the Church mean for today?

-       How can the whole Archdiocese deepen its relationship with Maori today?


4.     Go, you are sent…. as members of the one Body of Christ.

-       What would help new immigrants to feel at home in the parish and encourage

        them to participate in shaping the parish’s identity?

-       What should be the role of ethnic chaplaincies in the Archdiocese?


5.     Go, you are sent…. to your own peripheries.

-       Who is missing from our communities?

-       What implications does the law of gradualness (the recognition that conversion is

        an ongoing process of healing, growth and change) have for our understanding

        of community, and for pastoral care?


6.     Go, you are sent…. to refugees and migrants.

-       What involvement have parishes and schools in your area had with refugees?

-       How can we grow Pope Francis’ “merciful hearts”?

-       How can we further assist refugees, both those who come here and those who

        are waiting for a country to accept them?


7.     Go, you are sent…. to care for creation.

-       What distinguishes a Catholic approach to care for creation from that of other


-       What can we do to promote a culture of care for the earth among ourselves and

        in our society?

-      Who should we seek to influence and how should we do it?


8.     Go, you are sent…. to fellow Christians.

-       How could we expand joint prayer and worship with other Christian   


-       What opportunities already exist to work with other denominations in the service

        of those who are disadvantaged in our community?

-       What new actions could we initiate with one or more other denominations to

        assist those in need?


9.     Go, you are sent…. to accompany one another.

-       To what initiatives taken to accompany young people in your family, parish, or

         the archdiocese have those young people responded well or poorly?

-       What can be done by, with and for young people to assist them to “discover their

        life plan and achieve it joyfully”?

-       What would help young people to be “drawn to the overwhelmingly attractive

        figure of Jesus, and stirred by the challenge of the Gospel’s sublime ideals?

-      What forms of accompaniment and support (not just spiritual) do you and your

        friends use, or would use if they were available?


10.  Go, you are sent…. to support marriage and families.

-      How can marriage be made easier and more desirable for young Catholics?

-      What initiatives would help families which are in difficulty, in the catholic

        community and in the wider community?

-       What do those who are divorced, who have remarried or not remarried, and

        blended families need from their Church community, and how can the community



Local Contact:     Kilian de Lacy:  06-367-0474


Submitting a response:


Email: Download the Word document “Synod Participation Response” from the Archdiocese website (  The link to the file is on the website under the Synod ’17 heading. Put in your response and email to


Online: Follow the link on the Archdiocese website homepage ( under Synod ’17) to answer the questions online.


Postal response: Handwrite or type your response into the document “Synod Participation Response”. This can be obtained from the Archdiocese website ( or it can be posted to you if you ring Anne Dickinson 04 496 1793. Post your response to: Anne Dickinson, Archdiocese of Wellington, P O Box 1937, Wellington 6140


Verbal response: If there are reasons why you find it difficult to make a written response, you are welcome to ring Anne Dickinson, 04 496 1793 to see if it is possible to provide a verbal response.

Parish Pastoral Council

SS Mary and Joseph

Parish of Otaki and Levin

Hãto Mere me Hohepa




MEETING DATE:                Tuesday 7 February 2017 in the SVDP Centre, Levin,  7.00 pm.


 REFLECTION:                    Fr David and Committee.


PRESENT:                             Fr David Gruschow, Rhonda & Harry Bennik, Marie Vaney, Debbie McAsey,     

                                            Greg Gilpin, Phil McIntyre & Pat Blewman


APOLOGIES:                        None




                Agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of that meeting




The following matters were discussed (other matters were covered in the Agenda):


·         Updating/renewal of Notice-boards outside our churches -  St Stephen's is being progressed.


·         Standardising Mass Preparation Support -  it is improving and continues to receive the attention of the Liturgy Committee.


·         Proposal to let rooms in the SVDP Centre, Levin. - Finance Committee to review at their next meeting.




   The following letters were received:


·         Letter from Marianne Luketina about the danger posed with the loose carpet and wires in St Mary's new church - Referred to the Finance Committee.


·         Letter from Irene& Ray Mackle seeking approval to change the 10.00am Friday service to 9.00am. - Approved and requested this change be co-ordinated with Fr David.

            They also proposed the Parish hold a register of parishioners wishes with regard to funeral arrangements. This was against the background that some relatives are not aware of the deceased wishes. - It is understood that the Parish Priest cannot over-rule the deceased family's wishes. However, the Parish Priest endeavours to present to the family the deceased wishes as regards a Catholic requiem mass or funeral service insofar as he is aware of these wishes. but in the last analysis, the decision rests with the next-of-kin. This highlights the importance of ensuring our family is aware of our wishes.  


·         Letter from Jim McSoriley - Discussed and decided to address again at our next meeting.  




                Next stage is Confirmation on 28 May 2017, then  First Holy Communion late in 2017




                Agreed the new Parish Liturgy Committee structure was too cumbersome and best be changed to have four representatives from Levin and Otaki.  These local representatives to then work with their local communities on local requirements.  (Otaki representatives are already appointed.)


                Levin appointments have been made.




                 Greg tabled an update proposal which was discussed and agreed.   


                 The Policy is to be displayed on the notice-boards of each of our churches.




                The Social Justice Committee for the Parish has now been formed. They have had their first meeting and have agreed a challenging programme.


                Marie is progressing.



                 Whilst some progress has been made on this matter, further work is required.                    Action Debbie.




                No further progress had been made on this proposal.  Phil offered to assist. (This proposal is to consider the development of an outreach programme to parishioners via email which would complement the weekly Bulletin and Website, was discussed. It was recognised some parishioners do not have email andt it would not replace the weekly Bulletin. )         

Pat and Phil to progress the investigation of the proposal.


              Whilst the responses were good, apparently, some parishioners would appreciate some education about making these responses.                    

Debbie to investigate how this might be done.  


               To be given by Dr Chris Duthie-Jung on 22 March 2017 at Tatum Park at 7-9pm. The topic: Life after death - what do we believe as Catholics?  


Discuss proposal and agreed the following:  

Ash Wednesday Mass & distribution of ashes;

Levin - Tuesday 28 February 7.00pm & Wednesday 1 March at 11.30 am

Otaki - Wednesday 1 March 9.30 am.

Holy Thursday; Levin Thursday 7.30 pm

Good Friday Ceremonies; Levin Friday 11.00 am. Otaki Friday 3.00pm

Easter Vigil; Levin Saturday 5.30 pm. Otaki Saturday 7.30 pm.

Easter Sunday; Kuku 8.30 am. Levin 9.15 am. Otaki 11.00 am.


Discuss the issue of how to best to communicate news and happenings to different cultural groups and agreed to seek the views of the community groups most affected.                  Action: Harry.




 It was moved that the PPC go in committee to consider matters - motion carried. It was moved that the PPC confirmed those matters discussed in committee - motion carried.     

THE MEETING CLOSED AT 9.20 pm.                            



 The next meeting will be in the Faith Room, Otaki,  at 7:00 pm on Tuesday 4 April 2017. 

Report on the Third World Meeting of Popular Movements

Rome, November 2016

“The world’s future depends not solely on world leaders. It is fundamentally in the hands of peoples who are working for change.” So said Pope Francis to the 2 nd World Meeting in Bolivia, 2015.

What is a ‘popular movement’? It is people gathered around an issue, working for change; those who see (or experience) suffering, and organise to prevent it, to improve the lives of the poor, and the environment. So, the meeting in Rome, 2016, was made up of a rich diversity who work with and for: ‘waste pickers’ (recyclers), prisoners, street vendors, refugees, campesinos (peasant farmers), slum dwellers, seed-savers, and the unemployed – to name but a few.  These are the people – along with the uncounted movements not at the meeting – whom Pope Francis upholds as examples of the people on whom the future of humanity rests.


With this daunting responsibility, I was among three New Zealand delegates at the meeting. Te Ao Pritchard of the Auckland Pacific Panthers (a Polynesian activist group), Taneora Ryall of the CTU, and myself (and my 14-year-old daughter Maia) as Catholic Workers.


What immediately struck us kiwis is the difference between our context (a wealthy country with an imperfect, but still comprehensive social service) and the ‘third world’ countries that many of the delegates came from. For example, early in the meeting, tribute was paid to Berta Caceres of Honduras, who attended the first Popular Movements meeting in 2014. She was murdered last year because of her work organising the campesinos to resist land-grabbing. No one has faced trial for her murder.  Their poverty and struggle for survival is in a different order of magnitude to what we know in New Zealand.


Discussion focused around 3 key topics: Land, Labour and Lodging – how can people gain access to these? Through all the speakers and discussion (much of it in Spanish and Portuguese, thankfully translated by excellent interpreters), came the recurring consensus: the increasing poverty and environmental destruction is ultimately caused by one thing, the logic of capitalism and pursuit of wealth.  This regards people and nature as nothing but exploitable and expendable resources. Or, as Pope Francis told the meeting at the conclusion: money has become the idol which tyrannises us, and consumes the world.


Personally, I was surprised at how few Catholics were at the meeting (called by the Pope, and held in Rome!). There were times when I felt that the discussion was focussed on ‘practical solutions’, and lacked theological reflection on the bigger issues.  However, this recognition by Pope Francis of all people (of all faiths, and no faith) doing the mahi is perhaps the most important point of the meeting. His message is two-pronged: First, Catholics are not the only ones doing the work of salvation; it is the work of all peoples (and we need to get out of our religious silos and connect on our common tasks). Second, his message is to the Church: to live out the Gospel means to work with and for the poor, addressing the root causes of poverty and suffering (as an extension of the works of mercy).  It is not enough for Catholics to merely lead a life of ‘personal holiness’ without concern for our brothers and sisters suffering in poverty, and without concern for the state of the planet.


His final address beautifully summed up the issue: a world dominated by money exploits our fear. Our fear leads us to build bigger walls, armies, and pension funds – which ultimately leads to exclusion, environmental destruction, and a world in which we are all endangered, which in turn heightens our fears. It is a vicious circle.


He proposed mercy as the antidote to fear, and a ‘joyful, unselfish, and disciplined austerity’. In other words, we should not indulge in the world of wealth, and its empty promises of happiness and security.  “Your example (of how you live) is more powerful than words, Facebooking, and Tweets.”

This was to be the last World Meeting, and from now, people are encouraged to meet and work regionally.  There is still so much to be done, and clarification over what should be done, to tackle the ‘spirit of money’ which is coming to dominate human life.  The direction that Pope Francis is giving us is clear.


It was an honour and a privilege to attend the meeting, and I am inspired to continue the work back at home.


Forrest Chambers


To the Parishioners of Sts Mary & Joseph Parish of Otaki & Levin




The Situation

Hello to you all. We are half way through our financial year and as at 30th September we are running  $9,638 behind where we were at the same time last year, summarised as follows:




6 months   30/9/16

6 months   30/9/15



$   82,576

$   90,428

- $ 7,852


$ 89,753

$ 87,967

- $ 1,786

Net Profit/Loss

- $  7,177

$  2,461

- $ 9,638


As you can see income from collections is down just under $7,852 and expenditure is up

$1,786. If we carry on like this we are looking at a net loss of over $15,000 for the 12  months ending 31st March 2017. A more detailed breakdown of the above is on the notice board.


How You Can Help

To help us achieve our pastoral vision and goals we need help from you all.

As a parish we want to continue to be proactive in growing our faith with such events and programmes as the upcoming Parish Mission; the Passionist Family BBQ; and the Sacramental Programme with 23 children conducting their first reconciliation.

We would be grateful if you could review your planned giving and if within your means, increase this by a few dollars each week. Also, those who are not already on the planned giving programme, please consider joining up in order to take advantage of the donations tax rebate available. Even an extra $2 a week will make a big difference and would help the parish to turn around the deficit that it is currently facing.

Finance Committee

Sts  Mary & Joseph Parish of Otaki & Levin

Parish Pastoral Council


SS Mary and Joseph


Parish of Otaki and Levin


Hãto Mere me Hohepa




MEETING DATE:                Tuesday 11 October  2016 in the SVDP Centre, Levin,  7.00 pm.


PRESENT:                             Fr David Gruschow, Rhonda & Harry Bennik, Marie Vaney, Debbie McAsey,     

                                            Greg Gilpin, Phil McIntyre & Pat Blewman


APOLOGIES:                        None




                Agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of that meeting




The following matters were discussed (other matters were covered in the Agenda):


·         Updating/renewal of Notice-boards outside our churches - St Joseph's is completed. St Mary's due to be erected. St Stephen's is being progressed..


·         Talk by Dr Chris Duthie-Jung - There was a good turnout to the  4 October talk at Tatum Park. About the same numbers as the previous two talks. Next talk to be scheduled for Lent 2017.                          


·         LAUDATO SI follow-up day - Support was not at the same level as the initial day last year. Nonetheless, positive action programmes were developed and will be progressed by our new Social Justice Committee.


·         Presentations to the Parish Groups - Invitation was extended via the Bulletin but no Group has come forward. Pat has directly approached SVDP. Otaki have agreed to progress and are seeking Levin to join them. Other groups to be directly approached.


·         Replacement Cross for St Joseph's - Agreed to proceed with the "free" Cross and passed to Finance Committee to progress.


·         Levin Ministers of the Eucharist for the Sick -Implementation of changes being progressed slowly. 







            Updated draft Time & Talent Survey Schedule was agreed. Implementation to be effected over the two weekends of 8/9 Nov and 15/16 Nov.  The schedules will then be processed.


                 Phil to manage the programme.



                22 registrations (18 from Otaki and 4 from Levin) have been received for the First Reconciliation Programme and preparation continues.   



                Agreed the new Parish Liturgy Committee structure was too cumbersome and best be changed to have four representatives from Levin and Otaki.  These local representatives to then work with their local communities on local requirements. (Otaki representatives are already appointed.)


               Fr David & Marie to progress for Levin.




                 Being progressed in liaison with the Wellington Catholic Centre who are updating the Archdiocesan policy.


                Greg to draft a policy for consideration by the Council which when agreed, would be communicated to the parishioners.




                A Sub-Committee of Sara-Lee Smith and Marie Vaney has been formed to prepared for the Parish Mission.  The Mission will commence on Saturday 19 Nov at the 5.30pm Mass at Levin. Fr Ray Sanchez will speak at all the Masses over the weekend. There will be a introductory session on Sunday evening at 7.30pm at Levin. Then Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and Friday there will be Mass at Levin at 9.00am with presentations at 10-12.00am and 7-9.00pm, at Levin and Otaki respectively. The Mission will conclude on Friday evening at the final session in Otaki. Car pooling to be arranged for Otaki parishioners wishing to attend the morning sessions in Levin and Levin parishioners who may wish to attend the evening sessions in Otaki.




                Work is continuing on forming a Social Justice Committee for the Parish. The objective is to have a Committee operating by February 2017.


                Marie is progressing.



                On 25th July this year the Marist family worldwide marked the 200th anniversary of the founding event of the Society of Mary. This has particular significance to Otaki where the Society of Mary has had a presence since 1844. Discussion was held around whether we should marked this anniversary in some way locally.  

               Debbie to consult with Fr Phil Cody.



                 The annual Mass counts to be undertaken in the weekends of November.  Rhonda & Harry to arrange for Levin, Greg for Kuku and Pat for Otaki.                   Action Rhonda & Harry, Greg and Pat. 


                 Agreed Christmas Eve 5.30pm in Levin and 7.30pm in Otaki. Christmas Day 8.00am in Kuku,  9.15 am in Levin and 11.00am in Otaki. Christmas Eve Masses to be Family Masses with children especially in mind.                   Marie to action with the Liturgy Committee. 


                  Numbers attending the 5.00pm Mass on Sundays in Otaki would suggest maintaining this Mass should be reviewed. However, numbers do fluctuate. Additionally, there is a fatigue factor with the Mass being at the end of a heavy weekend workload for Fr David.  It was highlighted that more support for preparations for the Mass would reduce the current workload of Fr David. Agreed support for Mass preparation should be consistent across all Masses.   On balance, decided to continue with the %.00pm Sunday Mass in Otaki until the end of summer and then review again. Meantime, more support to be arranged for Mass preparation.  

                 Marie to arrange with the Liturgy Committee to standardise Mass preparation support for all Masses at Levin & Otaki.  




                - Availability of HIne, St Mary's - Debbie reported that the upgrading of Hine and the supporting  facilities is taking longer than hoped.


               - Memorial Mass - the Liturgy Committee has arranged a Memorial Mass for loved ones who have died in the last twelve months to be celebrated on All Souls Day 2 November at 7.00pm at St Joseph's, Levin.


                - Planning for the Future - Some discussion was held around the issue of how would the Parish function in the future having regard to the reducing numbers of priests. Decided to put this aside for future discussion when preparing a Parish Plan.     





                The meeting closed at 8.45 pm.


                The next meeting will be at 4 Te Rauparaha Street, Otaki, (Presbytery) at 7:00 pm on Tuesday 13 December.

 Bibleworld Museum & Discovery Centre

Bibleworld.docx (345.79KB)
Bibleworld.docx (345.79KB)

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