Order of Malta New Zealand Retreat in Timaru
The New Zealand retreat took place at the Convent of the Mercy Sisters and Sacred Heart Basilica in Timaru between Friday 10 and Sunday 12 September.
Whist COVID-19 restrictions limited international participation, Australian Association President, the Hon James Douglas KHD provided a welcome address and discussion via video link and the Grand Chancellor HE Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, provided a video presentation for retreatants. His Eminence, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Cardinal Patron of the Order, also sent a message expressing how pleased he was to learn that the Knights of Malta are having a revival in New Zealand and that the retreatants had such a good retreat experience.
Sunday Mass at the Sacred Heart basilica was broadcast to parishioners and the world due to Sunday Masses being unavailable to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions. The celebrants were Fr Christopher Friel, Order of Malta chaplain designate and Fr Do Nguyen. The retreat attendees were fortunate to be able to celebrate Mass in a side chapel on the Saturday.
Specials thanks to member of the Order, Abina Pope DMG who led the retreat and Fr Chris Friel who provided the sacramental elements. Belfiore Bologna KMG, who is also the South Island’s Italian Honorary Consul, treated the attendees to a wonderful pasta lunch. Aspirant and talented religious artist, guilder and restorer, Damien Walker, brought Sacred Heart basilica’s magnificent pipe organ to life during our Sunday Mass.
The New Zealand Regional Hospitaller, Bevan Killick KMG, was delighted the retreat proceeded, having once been postponed, noting that “The location of Timaru’s Mercy Sisters’ Convent and the magnificent Sacred Heart basilica was ideal and is likely to become a regular fixture in our calendar. The hope is that in 2022 we can hold another retreat with twice as many attendees”.