Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Children of Mary

Updates on Children of Mary, Wanganui 
After a farewell to Reverend Father Michael Fortin, who left for the Philippines, the Children of Mary received its new chaplain, Reverend Father Louis Bochkoltz.  There was an official welcome for Father on May 2nd, at which we celebrated his arrival by an afternoon tea and singing competition – girls vs Fr Bochkoltz. Each team had a limited amount of time to sing a line from a song (no repetitions allowed) and if they took too long the opposition won.  This continued to go back and forth for at least 20 minutes until finally…. (We admit defeat, Father!)

On June 29th, Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, we attended Mass as a sodality.  This was followed by a breakfast of croissants and pain au chocolat.  This was a combined celebration of our chaplain’s 3rd anniversary of his ordination as well as the 7th anniversary of the Children of Mary in Wanganui which actually fell on July 2nd, a few days later.  Our sodality president used her artistic abilities to make an amusing card for Father and we all contributed to a spiritual bouquet for him.
Masses and meetings later came our “surprise trip” (Father loves to give surprises) – a hike organised by Father Bochkoltz and Sister Madeleine.  Though planned for July 16th, Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, it was postponed to the 20th due to the inclement weather.  It had cleared by the 20th and the sky was the colour of Our Lady’s mantle.  Although some of the girls were no longer able to come, there were still a good number of us to make the hike an enjoyable event.

After Mass and breakfast, we set off for the Ruahine Ranges, a two hour drive from Wanganui.  Though some of us “almost died” (definitely not our energetic chaplain who took great delight in capturing the difficult moments on his camera), the hike was worth it. We were literally climbing to get to the top. We even encountered ice on the track and had to tread very carefully in order not to slip.

Upon reaching our destination – Rangiwahia Hut - there was a magnificent view of Mount Ruapehu covered in snow.  Our sodality chefs made us crepes while we took in the breath-taking surroundings from the hut veranda. After lunch we sang songs and played a memory game and then packed up.

After a quick descent, and a noisy drive home, we ended the day with fish ‘n’ chips and games - these were thought up by Father, of course! All in all it was a splendid day and one we will always cherish.


On August 10th, we assisted at Benediction and Rosary as a Sodality and then made our way down to the tennis club for some festivities in honour of our Patroness, St Philomena.  The Fathers and Brothers joined us for the occasion.  The room was beautifully decorated with a red and white theme – the tables were covered in white tablecloths and there were red and white balloons and serviettes. 

The menu consisted of pizzas and chips followed by dessert.  After the meal we were divided into teams of three to compete in different games prepared by two sisters on the council.  Everyone had a wonderful time and was reluctant to go home.  The next day we all assisted at the Mass in honour of St Philomena.  May we grow more in virtue like her each day!
We all agree that the Children of Mary never stops being interesting and the spiritual benefits make it even better!  We are all very excited about the prospect of a future branch of our sodality being established in Auckland by one of our former members and the possibility of another sodality in the Philippines.  May Our Lady bless these holy apostolates with many members.

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