John Porteus recounts the history of the Eucharistic Conventions in New Zealand.

The Beginnings

1993 - Conference Call

I was telephoned in 1993 by Mr Kevin Morley of Melbourne, Australia. I had never met the man before. Kevin told me that he was planning to bring an International Marian Conference through Australia the following year and asked if I would be interested in assisting him by organising the Auckland programme. I told Kevin that provided such a venture was acceptable to our Bishop then I would happily assist in the organisation of the Auckland event. Having agreed in principle to working together if the event was to happen, I waited until Kevin confirmed that the Conference was to become a reality.

Late January 1994 - Followup & Ecclesial Permission

Bishop Denis Browne

Bishop Denis Browne, DD

Kevin phoned me with the news that it was all on and asked again if I was prepared to help as earlier promised. I reminded him that I was happy to do the work provided our Bishop had no objection to the event. I duly wrote to Bishop Denis Browne seeking permission for the event which was granted. Monsignor Pat Dunn offered to assist us where required. And so away we went.

Auckland Eucharistic Convention

1995 - First Convention

Under the leadership of Msgr Cronin the first Kiwi organised event took place in 1995. It was an overwhelming success. Since that time annual events have been staged each year. The people have continued to come, the event has evolved year after year and continues to blossom. The longer we are involved in this work the more we come to realise that it is not our work but that of the Holy Spirit.

1995 - Bishop Pat Dunn Appointed

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Bishop Patrick Dunn, DD

In 1995, following the transfer of Bishop Browne to the Diocese of Hamilton, Bishop Pat Dunn was appointed as Bishop of Auckland. In 1994, as I mentioned earlier, Monsignor Pat Dunn was advisor to the organisers for that first conference. Since taking Office, Bishop Pat has actively encouraged us in this work, and he takes a keen interest in it. The Convention is indebted to the Bishop of Auckland for his on-going encouragement and support.

Bishop Leamy

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Bishop Robin Leamy, SM

Bishop Robin Leamy SM, assistant Bishop of Auckland, visited the Convention some four or five years ago and said to me “this must continue, it must carry on”.

Bishop John Mackey

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Bishop John Mackey, DD

Retired Bishop of Auckland Bishop John Mackey has been a speaker at the Convention. He patronises the Convention and encourages our efforts.

Eucharistic Conventions in New Zealand

Christchurch Eucharistic Convention

Bishop John Cunneen, DD

Bishop John Cunneen, DD

Christchurch organisers Frank and Maureen Williams worked with us for three years before deciding not to continue with the event. Bishop John Cunneen the Bishop of Christchurch, spoke at the Christchurch Convention and gave his full support to the organisers.

March 2001 - Wellington Eucharistic Convention

Ted and Eileen Jordan of Wellington worked with the Auckland organisers for four years before deciding to take charge of their own affairs and to organise the Wellington event on their own account.

Bishop John Atcherly Dew, DD

Bishop John Atcherly Dew, DD

Bishop John Dew the Auxiliary Bishop of Wellington spoke on the opening night of the second Convention we took to Wellington. Bishop Dew had encouraging words for the locals who had worked so hard to bring the event together.

The first ‘stand-alone’ Wellington Convention took place on Sunday 4th March 2001. It was very successful. The Auckland organisers are thrilled that our Wellington cousins are now ‘paddling their own canoe’ and we support their efforts without reservation.

Cardinal Thomas Williams

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Cardinal Thomas S. Williams, DD

In 1999 Cardinal Thomas Williams spoke at the Wellington Eucharistic Convention. Perhaps a fitting way to conclude this historical overview of these events would be to consider his words to the people attending the Convention that year:

Dear Friends, there is no way we can sufficiently honour the Blessed Eucharist. But every effort to do so, such as at this Convention, must be wholeheartedly commended.
The Holy Father, in his letter to priests for Holy Thursday this year, speaks of the Eucharistic liturgy as a “pre-eminent school of Christian prayer for the community. The Mass opens up a wide variety of possibilities for a sound pedagogy of the spirit. One of these is Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which is a natural prolongation of the Eucharistic celebration. Through Adoration, the faithfull can enjoy a particular experience of ‘abiding’ in the love of Christ (cf. Jn 15:9), entering ever more deeply into His filial relationship with the Father.”
May the Convention lead to a deeper commitment of all participants to Eucharistic Adoration. Yours sincerely in Christ.
+ Thomas Cardinal Williams

Today

In Gratitude


Rev Msgr Paul Cronin


Rev Msgr Paul Cronin

We, the organisers of the Auckland Eucharistic Convention, are at the service of the Church with this apostolate for as long as it is required. We are indebted to our Bishop, Pat Dunn, for his ongoing encouragement and support of this work, and our Spiritual Director, Monsignor Paul Cronin for his guidance and direction during the planning and execution of these events each year.

In closing it is fitting to remember the many people who have been involved in this work over the last decade who God has called from this life. Let us say a prayer for them often for their generosity in assisting us with this apostolate. Let us also ask them to pray for us as we continue on in their absence.