On December 7 last year, exactly 92 years after it was formed, St Mary’s parish, Papakura, launched its official history book title Living Stones Building a Spiritual House. The parish was established by Bishop Patrick Cleary on December 7, 1927.
Living Stones begins with “Papakura Chronicles”, an initial history written by the late Fr Ernie Simmons. To this is added a short story of the local Māori people and their involvement in the very early pioneering days. Then, as with every parish history, the priests and religious who served in the parish are recorded, as are the priests and religious who came from the parish.
To quote Bishop Patrick Dunn in his foreword, “no stone has been left unturned” as the history goes on to relate events and happenings with various committees and councils; parishioner involvement in the many groups and sodalities, both pre- and post-Vatican II; plus those people who worked behind the scenes of parish life, as well as those caught in the spotlight. Also told are the memories and stories of older parishioners.
The book then moves on to tell of the two parish primary schools, parish
finances and parish properties, as well as a variety of other statistics.
Ararimu and Ramarama Catholics are also included in this history as are
the Papakura Army Camp chaplains. Interestingly, there’s also a short story
of the very first church in the district, the story of St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Drury, opened and blessed by Bishop Croke in 1872, but which sadly now no longer exists.
Living Stones Building a Spiritual House, was compiled by the St Mary’s
Parish History Team: Fr James Mulligan, Jovita Parker, Jacky Whitham and Margaret Paton.
It’s available from St Mary’s Parish Papakura (office@stmaryspapakura.
co.nz) and costs $40.00.