St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Rotorua Pastoral Area

Welcome!

" Love one another, bear with one another, and let charity guide you all your life. "
- Mary MacKillop

Churches

St Marys Catholic Church 40 Seddon Street, Glenholme, Rotorua

Holy MassTime
Sunday10am & 5pm
Monday9am
Wednesday12:05pm
Friday9am
ReconciliationTime
Wednesday11:15 - 11:45am
Friday8 - 8:30am
Saturday9:30 - 10:15am

St Michaels Catholic Church Lake Road, Ohinemutu, Rotorua

Holy MassTime
Sunday8am
Tuesday5:30pm
Thursday9am
Saturday Vigil5pm
ReconciliationTime
Tuesday5:05 – 5:20pm
ThursdayAfter 9am Mass
Saturday4:20 - 4:45pm

Updates

© 2024 St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop. All rights reserved.

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Rotorua Pastoral Area

St. Mary's Church

St Marys Catholic Church 40 Seddon Street, Glenholme, Rotorua

St. Mary's Catholic Church, located at 40 Seddon Street in the Glenholme area of Rotorua, is a notable place of worship and community gathering. This church stands as a symbol of faith and tradition in the region, serving the local Catholic community with regular services and religious ceremonies. Known for its welcoming atmosphere and vibrant community involvement, St. Mary's offers various spiritual and social activities catering to diverse age groups and backgrounds. The architecture of the church, blending traditional design with local cultural influences, reflects the unique character of Rotorua, making it not just a place for religious observance but also a point of interest for visitors and locals alike. As a pillar of the Glenholme community, St. Mary's Catholic Church continues to play an integral role in the spiritual and social fabric of Rotorua.

Holy MassTime
Sunday10am & 5pm
Monday9am
Wednesday12:05pm
Friday9am
ReconciliationTime
Wednesday11:15 - 11:45am
Friday8 - 8:30am
Saturday9:30 - 10:15am

© 2024 St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop. All rights reserved.

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Rotorua Pastoral Area

St. Michael's Church

St Michaels Catholic Church Lake Road, Ohinemutu, Rotorua

St. Michael's Catholic Church, situated on Lake Road in the Ohinemutu area of Rotorua, is a distinctive and cherished landmark. This church is renowned not only for its spiritual significance but also for its unique incorporation of Māori cultural elements into its architecture and design. It serves as a beautiful representation of the fusion of Māori and Christian traditions. St. Michael's offers a serene and spiritually enriching environment for worship, attracting both the local Catholic community and visitors intrigued by its cultural significance. The church's location in Ohinemutu, a place rich in Māori history, adds to its allure, making it a must-visit site for those interested in the intersection of faith and local heritage. As a hub for religious activities and community events, St. Michael's Catholic Church plays a vital role in the cultural and spiritual life of Rotorua.

Holy MassTime
Sunday8am
Tuesday5:30pm
Thursday9am
Saturday Vigil5pm
ReconciliationTime
Tuesday5:05 – 5:20pm
ThursdayAfter 9am Mass
Saturday4:20 - 4:45pm

© 2024 St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop. All rights reserved.

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Rotorua Pastoral Area

Background History

Catholicism in Rotorua started in the Maori lakeside village of Ohinemutu and was, from the beginning, seen as a Maorimission. Consequently we were blessed with Marist and Mill Hill priests, followed by four orders of nuns and one of brothers. There was a time, however, when the mission nearly ground to a halt.

1830s to 1840s

The Marist priests who were living at Maketu visited Rotorua as part of their mission. After Father Michel Borjon of Maketu drowned in a shipping accident, Father EulogeReignier was sent to Rotorua to open a mission station.In 1843 this was established at Ohinemutu, where Bishop Pompallier paid for 3.5 acres on Pukeroa Hill at a cost of £10/10 shillings. Father Reignier built a wooden church, dedicated to St Joachim, on this land, and was therefore the first parish priest of Rotorua

1850s to 1890s

After Father Reignier’s departure in 1851, the church in Rotorua continued to be staffed by Marist priests. The Marists’ departure from the Auckland diocese in 1850 led indirectly to an uncertainty in the mission, and after Father Moreau left in 1867 there appears to have been no resident priest in Rotorua until the arrival of the Mill Hill Mission Fathers from Matata in 1888, led by Father John Becker.In that same year a piece of land, that had been set aside by Maori for the Church and which had subsequently been taken by the government for a recreational reserve, was returned to the Church. St Michael’s Church was opened the following year at a cost of £260 and was officially dedicated by Bishop Luck on 27 July 1890.

Father Becker was soon joined by Father Adrian Holierhook, and then Father (later Dean) Lightheart, and so Catholicism in Rotorua was established on a permanent basis.Father Becker was soon joined by Father Adrian Holierhook, and then Father (later Dean) Lightheart, and so Catholicism in Rotorua was established on a permanent basis.Father Becker lived in a raupo hut until a presbytery was built.Conversion of the Maori was difficult for two reasons. Firstly, the Protestants had been there first – a fact that seemed much resented by the Fathers and, secondly, the locals had reached a level of materialism as a consequence of the tourism industry.

1900 to 1950s

The presbytery was enlarged by Father Charles Kreijmborg, and handed to the Sisters of St Joseph so they could operate a school.A small church, called the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception and built by Father Kreijmborg, was dedicated at WhakarewarewaMarae in 1904. Another church of the same name, built by the same priest, was dedicated in Ngongotaha in 1915.

1950s-2000

As the Catholic population grew, it became apparent that a new church was required, and on 21 February 1954 St Mary’s Church in Ranolf Street was opened by Bishop Liston, the land having been gifted by Martin Hampson (a local lawyer), and the building constructed by Hugh O’Flaherty. (Prior to this, Midnight Mass was celebrated on 25 December 1953 by the new Parish Priest, Father Daniel McKenna.) However, Father McKenna was unaware until the Bishop’s announcement at the opening that he was to be the new parish priest.

The first curate, Father Samuel Carney, was appointed on 24 March of that same year, and the two priests moved into the presbytery in January 1955. Father Anselm Wardle was in charge at St Michaels, assisted by Father Anton Timmerman and Father Adrian Geboers.In 1960 a massive undertaking began on a new St Michael’s church by building around, under andover the original structure. This project took six years.Over time, the population of St Mary’s outgrew the existing church, which was a very basic structure. Following the death of Father McKenna, which also meant the departure of the Mill Hill Fathers from St Mary’s, a new church was built and was opened by Bishop Edward Gaines on Sunday, 5 April 1987.A further church, St Joseph’s, was subsequently opened at Owhata, and Father Timmerman of the Mill Hill Mission transferred there from St Mary’s.

Religious orders

PriestsMarists 1843–1867 (approx)Mill Hill 1888–presentNunsSisters of St Jospeh 1903–presentSisters of Mercy 1958–presentMarists 1995–presentTyburn Nuns 2009–presentBrothersChristian Brothers 1962; departed Rotorua 1989 – now in MuruparaBuilt and staffed Edmund Rice College

Education

The first Catholic school was St Michael’s, which was opened at Ohinemutu in 1903. The school was made possible by the Priests vacating the presbytery so the Sisters could have a convent. The school grew to such an extent that in 1924 staff and pupils moved to Seddon Street.In 1954 St Michael’s School in Seddon Street was renamed St Mary’s, and a new St Michaels’ school in May Road was opened in October 1958. This school was staffed by an order of nuns new to Rotorua, the Sisters of Mercy. As the roll of St Mary’s became too large, the secondary department of St Mary’s was closed in 1957 and most pupils transferred to Rotorua High School.

McKillop College

Opened 14 February 1966

Edmund Rice College

Opened 12 February 1963 on land that had been partly gifted by a parishioner, Patrick Keaney.Edmund Rice College was gifted to the Christian Brothers by the Diocese, who then gifted it back when John Paul College was formed.

John Paul College

John Paul College (a merger of the above) opened 1987

Pastoral

In common with the rest of New Zealand, Rotorua formed a Commission on the Laity in 1970. This led to many changes in compliance with Vatican II, including Mass facing the congregation and the formation of a Parish Council.

Parish Finances

The parish was kept going by weekly “housie” evenings held in St Mary’s Hall (for the two parish schools), and Whakarewarewa Hall (for Edmund Rice College).Although many parishioners disapproved of this method of fund-raising, enough help was available in the form of callers, counters and tea-makers to ensure a healthy income for both parish and schools. By the late 1980s, with patronage and numbers of willing assistants declining, this method of fund‑raising was abandoned.

Parish History compiled by Angela Cameron and Adrienne Forbes


[1] Notes from Waitangi Tribunal documents pp32-35[2] Notes from “Mill Hill and Maori Mission” by W Tuerlings M.H.M. 2003.[3] Don Stafford “The New Century in Rotorua”[4] Conversation between Father Timmerman and Roy Arnerich[5] Notes from “100 Years Catholic Education in Rotorua 1903-2003”.Editor and Compiler: Bridget Anderson (Harrod). Printer: Dudfield Printing Ltd Rotorua.

© 2024 St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop. All rights reserved.

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Rotorua Pastoral Area

Schools

St. Mary's Catholic Primary School

37 Carnot Street, Glenholme, Rotorua 3010

St. Mary's, a Catholic school with a unique character, aligns its curriculum with both The New Zealand Curriculum 2007 and the official Religious Education curriculum for Catholic primary schools in Aotearoa New Zealand. Upholding the motto "With Christ As Our Centre We Strive For Excellence," the school expects staff and students to embody gospel values in their daily lives.

St. Michael's Catholic Primary School

76 Lisa Crescent, Mangakakahi, Rotorua 3015

St. Michael's Catholic Primary School, nestled at the base of Mount Ngongotaha in Rotorua's Western Heights suburb, offers a Catholic education for children aged 5-12 (years 1-6). The school boasts a rich history and is dedicated to nurturing students in this age group.

John Paul College

Whitworth Road, Utuhina, Rotorua 3015

John Paul College, established in 1987 through the merger of MacKillop and Edmund Rice Colleges, continues a proud Lasallian Catholic tradition in secondary education in our region. Recognized as one of New Zealand's premier secondary schools, it has earned a notable reputation for excellence since becoming a co-educational high school.

© 2024 St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop. All rights reserved.

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Rotorua Pastoral Area

Programs

Becoming a Catholic

Our Parish runs a programme for adults who wish to become a Catholic or explore the possibilities of joining the Catholic Church.Our programme for adults is continuous and people are welcome to join at any time. We meet every Wednesday at 7.00 pm at St Mary’s.The programme takes at least 18 months and is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or the RCIA.Those who begin the RCIA may also do Alpha, which is a good introduction to Jesus, prayer and community.It takes time for adults to be formed in the traditions and practices of the Catholic Church.The RCIA is a gradual process of conversion.An essential part of the RCIA is to attend Sunday Mass weekly which is the source and summit of the Catholic Church, and creating a personal relationship with Jesus through daily prayer.Adults normally enter the Church at the Easter Vigil Mass.For further enquires please email the Parish: catholicrotorua@xtra.co.nzYou are very welcome and we would love to see you.

Catholics Returning Home

This is a refresher course for Catholics who wish to return to the practice of their Catholic faith or for Catholics who wish to renew their Catholic faith.The programme presents the treasures of the Church over four weeks by text and video.We look at ways of praying and creating the habit of prayer.The next programme runs weekly at 7.00 pm on Thursday nights commencing 11th March 2021 for four weeks until 1st April at St. Mary's, corner of Seddon and Ranolf Street. The July programme runs weekly on Tuesday nights starting Tuesday 6th July 2021 for four weeks until 27th July.The programme gives people an opportunity to ask questions and have a discussion in an informal setting and to make new friends as everyone who returns to the practice of their faith needs support.After the Catholics Returning Home programme those who attended are welcome to start the Alpha Programme which begins on 2nd March 2021 at 10.30 am with morning tea or the 2nd September 2021 at 6.30 with dinner also at St Mary's.An important part of returning to the practice of one’s faith is getting into the habit of attending Sunday Mass weekly and having a personal relationship with Jesus by praying daily.Confession is also essential before receiving Holy Communion if you have been away from the Church. We look at how to go to Confession and how to make it more approachable.For any enquires please email the Parish: catholicrotorua@xtra.co.nzYou are very welcome to attend and we would love to see you.

Alpha at Saint Mary's

Alpha is an 11-week programme which looks at the meaning of life and faith through a Christian perspective.The next Alpha programme is a day-time Alpha which starts on 2nd March 2021, beginning at 10.30 am with morning tea. The second programme is an evening-time Alpha starting on 2nd September 2021, beginning with dinner at 6.30 pm.After morning tea/dinner, we will have a short video presentation followed by small group discussions in a friendly environment.Please fill in your registration form here. For further enquiries, please email alpha.stmarys.church@gmail.comWe look forward to seeing you.Kind regards,St Mary’s Alpha Team

Alpha at Saint Mary's Registration Form

© 2024 St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop. All rights reserved.

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Rotorua Pastoral Area

Team

Fr. Thomas Thanniyanickal cmf

“I have called you by name, you are mine.” Is43:1b

Fr. Thomas Thanniyanickal Ouseph cmf. (Thomas T O), Claretian Missionary Priest.
Qualification: BA, B.Ph., B.Th. MA, Bed.
Date of birth: 20-04-1967 in Kerala, India.
Date of Ordination: 09-04-1994.
Came to New Zealand in September 2018 and worked as the Parochial Vicar of Kaimai Collegial Area assisting the parishes of Morrinsville and Waihi and later in the cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary Hamilton.Happy and proud to serve the people of the Pastoral Area of Saint St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Rotorua comprising the Catholic Churches of St Michael’s, St Mary’s and Sacred Heart, Murupara. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Bishop Steve.Request everyone’s prayers and support.


Fr. Prakash Somu

Assistant Priest


Andrea Tuki

Parish Secretary

Religious Orders

Society of Mary (Marist Fathers)


Mill Hill Missionaries


Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre (The Tyburn Nuns)

74 Dods Rd, Ngakuru, RD1, Rotorua 3077
(07) 333 2378


Christian Brothers

Ngatimanawa Rd, PO Box 173, Murupara 3062
(07) 366 5824


Marist Sisters

28 Scott Ave, Owhata, Rotorua 3010
(07) 345 7325


Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart

67A Elizabeth St, Rotorua 3010
(07) 348 8978

© 2024 St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop. All rights reserved.

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Rotorua Pastoral Area

Resources

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Newsletters

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Events

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Quotes

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Links

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© 2024 St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop. All rights reserved.

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Rotorua Pastoral Area

Contact Us

✉ catholicrotorua@xtra.co.nz
✆ (07) 348 0289

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© 2024 St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop. All rights reserved.

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We will be in touch. God Bless!