Congregational Leader Sr Katrina Fabish rsm, started the Kawa (protocol) at 7:30am on a wet Christchurch morning on Friday the 25th of November last year. Sr Katrina addressed those gathered with a Mihi and waiata, making connections between sisters and their history on the site. The site for the new Gathering Space is adjacent to Villia Maria College and next to the new accommodations for Sisters. Sr Tui Cadigan explained that the reason for the gathering was to cover the site with a blessing for all who will work there over the next several months. The process for the blessing, the prayers of direction from nga hau e wha, the four winds, were next. One person carried the wai tapu and as each person in turn prayed the wai was sprinkled by Sr Teresa Anderson. The four winds began first from the West (Auckland) with Sr Ake Nun Toon with a blessing in Samoan. The North (Wellington) was Sr Judith Moroney with a blessing in English. The South (Dunedin) was Sr Josie Dolan with a blessing in Te Reo and English. Finally, te hau kainga, the home people, was blessed by Sr Laumanu Maafu in Tongan. After each sprinkling a waiata tautoko, was sung. Sr Ake’s prayer in Samoan highlighted the Samoan whakapapa of over 40 years and Sr Laumanu, praying in Tongan, acknowledged our Tongan whakapapa of over 50 years.
Below is a slideshow of the Kawa and the emerging new Te Manawa Atawhai Catherine McAuley Centre and adjacent new housing for Sisters.