Greetings of Peace from Saint Francis Retreat Centre
Winter has finally struck, the air is much colder but thankfully today the sun is casting its warmth across my desk and in other parts of the building. I know it is different in other parts of New Zealand where snow covers the land and some roads and passes are closed. It is part of everyday living, along with warm cosy fires and nourishing bowls of hot soup.
Today we have in residence a group of people attending a conference here and, in a different part of the building, the Logos team, with Liston College students. They seem to enjoy being here. We have welcomed many different people over the past months with varying needs and requirements, it is great to have been part of their journey, this place is able to expand its borders to include all.
Br. Philip is enjoying a well deserved sabbitical. At the moment he is attending a course at St. Mary’s Monastery, Kinnoull, Perth, Scotland at the Redemptorist Centre for Spirituality. He is relishing the course and his companions for the journey.
It is also good to celebrate with our wonderful Head Chef, Nive,whose daughter Edith (Edith Amituanai) has been awarded the Members (MNZM) on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to photography and community. For those of you who are familiar guests at the Friary you may remember one of her works on display in the dining room – a photo of three boys on White Sunday. Congratulations Edith – well done.
If you are looking for a place to hold your next meeting or conference or retreat and you think we may ‘fit the bill’ please contact us on 09 625 6651 or firstname.lastname@example.org. to discuss your needs with us.
Thank you for your prayerful support and encouragement.
May God bless and keep you.
In case you missed this news of our Celebration last year :
The 8oth Anniversary Celebration of the laying of the Foundation stone on the 27th October went well as many came in support of our work here and to share stories of their part in our Franciscan story. Family members of Br Francis Erni, Fr Lucian Armstrong and friends of other deceased friars, as well as previous staff members and supporters swelled our numbers. Our Auckland Bishop, Pat Dunn and our local MP, Michael Wood added their colour to our day as did the Tongan Legion of Mary, boys from St Peter’s College, and St Terese church choir. The weather was glorious in spite of the weather forcaste which meant we could celebrate at the front of the building in the open air.
The theme running through the weekend celebration was one of Thanksgiving to God for his faithfulness in the whole process from the beginning when Australian friars came to start the small community in the late 1930s until today. The Friary was opened in 1940 with the express purpose of providing a place of quietness for people to seek God in reflective prayer.
You are most welcome to have a look at Br Philip’s Annual letter to helpers and benefactors of the Friary. As well as focusing on this important day of Celebration it focuses on other aspects of our friars work. Please click on the link. http://AnnualNewsletter2018pdf
Fr Anthony Malone ofm, Michael Wood MP, Bishop Pat Dunn, Fr Anthoni Selvaraj ofm, Hayden Kingdon DRS St Peter’s College.
P. S. If you would like to contribute towards the cost of all the building changes please contact Fr Anthoni Selvaraj or Br Philip Jeffares at: email@example.com and one of them will respond to you. Thank you.