Aotearoa New Zealand

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The first Marist Community in Aotearoa New Zealand (1927)

Mother Bernard (Mary Gorman) born in Country Sligo, Ireland, was educated by the Marist Sisters at Carrick-on-Shannon. She left the new mission at Lautoka, Fiji to come to New Zealand to begin a new foundation.

Sister Austin (Veronica Pearl Woodbury) came from Spencer in the Hawkesbury area of New South Wales, Australia, made her First Profession at Woolwich and then went with Mother Bernard in 1924 to the new mission of Lautoka, Fiji.

Fr Gondringer SM, the new parish priest from Luxembourg, wrote to Mother Marie Joseph inviting the Marist Sisters to come to the new parish of Mt Albert and to staff the new parish school.

On the afternoon of January 24th, 1927, the first Marist Sisters berthed at Princes Wharf and went to begin a new foundation in New Zealand. They arrived from Fiji on the “Tofua”. The two Sisters were met by the Marist Fathers – Fr Gondringer, Marist Brothers, Brother Borgia, the Mercy Sisters who initially took them to St Mary’s until their cottage was habitable, and some parishioners waving blue and white ribbons!

30-01-1927: Fr. Gondringer, Bishop Cleary,
Sr. Austin, Mother Bernard

Read more about the beginnings of the Marist Sisters in Aotearoa New Zealand …

Our Current Ministries

  • Teaching in schools
  • parish pastoral work,
  • administration in the Diocese,
  • Charism formation for our schools,
  • care of the elderly at home