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Early Wellington

St. Mary's, Hill Street, 1850

St. Mary's, Hill Street, 1850.

The “Australian and New Zealand Gazette,” London, March 22, 1851, in its columns announced that: “The Catholic faithful of Port Nicholson will be glad to hear that the blessing of the first stone of St. Mary's Cathedral Church is fixed for Sunday, September 8, 1850. The ceremony will be announced by the ringing of the bell; at 2 o'clock the bishop and his clergy will proceed to the blessing of the foundation stone.”

On the 7th December, 1851, St. Mary's, the Roman Catholic Church at Thorndon was consecrated by the Bishop, attended by the priests. Of the acolytes, five were Maoris (one of them bore the train of the Bishop). A Maori hymn was sung by the natives, of whom there were about 80 converts to the Roman Catholic faith.—(“A. and N.Z. Gazette,” 15/5/52).
Fig. 235.—The Right Rev. Bishop P. Viard, 1842.

Fig. 235.—The Right Rev. Bishop P. Viard, 1842.

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St. Mary's Hill Street. Wellington, was founded by the Very Rev. Father Petitjean in 1851. Bishop Viard, the first Bishop of Wellington, ministered to his flock until his death in 1872, and was succeeded by His Grace Archbishop Redwood in 1873.