1993 - Conference Call
Late January 1994 - Followup & Ecclesial Permission
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.
April 1994 - Marian Conference, from Sydney to Auckland
For us at Auckland it was a particularly ambitious undertaking. Having been involved in promotions of one sort or another prior to this ’94 event I had a database of very willing volunteers to assist with the work ahead. To name particular people at the risk of excluding others would not be wise. Suffice to say we are indebted to the many hundreds of groups and individuals who love the Church and serve it time and again. Many of the people who assisted this event in 1994 are still enthusiastically helping us to organise this event to this day. Therein lies the blessing.
Time was short for the promotion of the ’94 Conference. We never got started until late February, only two months out from the event. However, the Holy Spirit was definitely in charge. We got about 900 people to that weekend in ’94. Many of the people who attended were so thrilled with their weekend experience that they put pen to paper and wrote to Bishop Browne asking him if more such events could be organised.
July 1994 - Birth of the Convention
1995 - First Convention
1995 - Bishop Pat Dunn Appointed
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 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
Retired Bishop of Auckland Bishop John Mackey has been a speaker at the Convention. He patronises the Convention and encourages our efforts.
Eucharistic Convention, New Zealand Wide
Christchurch Eucharistic Convention
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
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
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
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.