St Mary’s Parish is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington. Our parish is a mixture of suburban and rural lifestyles centred around the city of Nelson where it nestles itself into its own bay at the north of the South Island of New Zealand. As well as the central city area of Nelson the parish includes the suburbs of Tahunuanui, and extends eastward through Rai Valley extending partway to Kenepuru Sound. On this eastern border it is flanked by St Joseph’s Parish Picton and St Mary’s Parish Blenheim. It is bordered in the south and west by St Francis of Assisi Parish in Stoke.
While there has been a Catholic presence the area since earliest times, St Mary’s Parish in Nelson was established along with the Diocese of Wellington in 1850. St Mary’s Parish as it was established stretched a long way and included what is now Marlborough (including Kaikoura) Tasman, Motueka, Golden Bay, the northern part of the West Coast taking in Murchison, Reefton and Westport.
St Mary’s Parish is part of the Kahurangi Pastoral Area comprising ourselves, St Francis of Assisi Parish Stoke, our Lady of Perpetual Help Richmond, St Peter Chanel Parish Motueka, and Sacred Heart Parish Takaka.
Nowadays, our parish is a conglomerate of many peoples from different cultures, backgrounds and nationalities. Under Christ our Saviour and through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit we strive to be united in faith and good works.
We are helped in all this through the organisations and ministries listed in this booklet. Many people give willingly and lovingly of their time, talent and love. You may be one of them. If not, you may consider becoming one of the many.
Let us always pray for one another. With God’s blessing and every good wish.
Yours respectfully in Christ,
Father Tony Kearns