Parish of the
Happy New Year!
The Parish Offices have re-opened:
- Tuesdays in Te Aroha
- Wednesdays in Morrinsville.
Sunday 19th January
- Vigil Mass Saturday 7pm at St Mary's, Paeroa
- Sunday 9am at St Joseph's, Morrinsville
- Sunday 11am at St Joseph's, Te Aroha
St Joseph's Morrinsville
While the first Catholic church in Morrinsville was located further east, the current site on Thames Street in Morrinsville wasn’t used until 1913, where a new wooden church was built. Morrinsville became its own separate parish from Te Aroha in 1927, with Father Shore as the Parish Priest. Since then two churches have stood for many years on the current site, and in March 2014, the old church was demolished to make way for the present church, which was completed in December, ready for its consecration. Bishop Denis Browne DD officially opened and dedicated the New Church to its patron Saint Joseph on Sunday 14th December 2014. Read more here. The church and Parish Centre combined can easily seat around 350 people for the celebration of Mass.
St Mary's Paeroa
The story of the original St. Mary's Church at Paeroa goes back almost 140 years. On the 26th June 1881 it was opened by the Reverend Monsignor Fynes, who was impressed by the site on "Te Puru-o-te Rangi”. It is now 100 years since the Thames Catholic Parish began to function, Ohinemuri being regarded as part of it from 1868. Largely due to the efforts of Monsignor O'Reilly of Thames the first Church in Paeroa was built, the cost, excluding extras being £330. Prior to 1881 Mass was celebrated at the Central Theatre where all the denominations held their early services when visiting clergy came, generally from Thames. Until 1894 there was no resident Priest in Paeroa. The spiritual needs of the Catholics were looked after by the Priests of Thames and Te Aroha. In 1894 Father (afterwards Dean) Hackett was appointed resident Priest of the Ohinemuri Parish, remaining here for 23 years. Soon after his arrival Father Hackett, a man of great energy and popularity, set about raising funds for the erection of a Catholic School.
St Joseph's Te Aroha
The present Te Aroha Catholic church was officially opened on 22nd September 1957. The outside surface of the church had pink marble chips included in the concrete mix, and the church glowed in the sun. The original altar (which is now covered with wood) is made of pink marble and purchased from Italy. This was donated by Fr. Sheely’s mother as a gift to him for the new church, and to commemorate his appointment to his first Parish.