Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Olive Tree Design

The building has been designed to be a low-level structure to minimise its visual impact and to ensure that the church remains paramount on the site. Sunk into the ground, glimpsed through trees and shrubs, the building is viewed primarily as a series of stone walls reminiscent of the stone structures built by the early settlers. Even the roof hovering over it will be clad in stone so that the entire structure will be read as one. 

Local parishioner and project architect Mr Fred Van Brandenburg, says “Our forefathers built to the best of their ability a church that was contemporary in their time. It would be appropriate to do the same in our time”He states that there are many successful examples where historic and contemporary buildings can co-exist harmoniously as neighbours, for example, The Louvre in Paris: the I.M. Pei Pyramid extension, and the ultra-modern George Pompidou in Paris. They all create an interesting juxtaposition between old and new such that they enhance each other and do not confuse the onlookers with what is genuinely old and proudly new. 

Mr Van Brandenburg states that: “In order to protect and enhance the primacy of the church, the roof needs to be low and flat to appear to float - to make the building as transparent as possible. The shape is such that it wants to move away from the Church to increase the distance between old and new, and from the interior, this curvilinear shape creates an image of a leaf that sheds water down the stem.” This fits in with his architectural ideology that curvilinear shapes are friendly forms like those found in nature. Hence his philosophy: “All forms in architecture should be inspired by forms found in nature.” 

The building has become known as ‘The Olive Leaf’. But this is only noted if one sees it from above eye level – like flying over it in a helicopter, or a drone. But in reality, this is not how one will see the building. Instead, it will just be seen as a low-level structure to be subservient to the Church building. However, from the interior – the communal hall - the ceiling’s leaf-shape will be noted, hence its nickname: “The Olive Leaf”, a symbolic roof shape that sits suspended over a light-filled communal hall. A cool, peaceful, more intimate space lies below ground level accessed via a spiral stairway ending in an enclosed crypt-like space reminiscent of churches of old. Here one will see a wall of remembrance; a glass-walled internal garden fed with water flowing from the roof ‘stem’; built-in seating alcoves; brick, wrought ironwork and colourful symbolic mosaic imagery representing life’s journey

These are just some of the delightful features to be experienced leading down towards the core - the centre of the spiral. This space offers a peaceful, quiet, spiritual place for locals and visitors alike to sit, light a candle or just pause a while.
Incorporated into the design are also features highlighting the rich cultural heritage of the early settlers in the area.

Symbolic Maori motifs in mosaics are patterned into the stone walls and gold and autumn colours so evocative of Arrowtown are magnificently highlighted on the underside of the “Leaf” roof in the communal hall. A glass Koru motif – embedded into the floor of the outdoor entrance courtyard allows natural light to filter through to the windowless sanctuary space below. 

The centre is also designed to include spaces suitable for mentoring and support, providing opportunities to rekindle the work of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, a Catholic nun who lived and worked in Arrowtown in the 1890’s. Her quaint cottage on the site (part of her original school) attracts visitors and pilgrims from around the world on a daily basis. 

“The Olive Leaf Centre” - Design Inspired by Nature



An inspirational Gem to be discovered in the heart of Arrowtown


A unique architecturally designed multipurpose building “The Olive Leaf Centre” - a gift to Parish and Community, is poised to add another dimension to the culture and beauty of historic Arrowtown.


After nearly three years of design, planning and consultation an application has been lodged with the Queenstown Lakes District Council for consent to build a Parish and Community Centre on land adjacent to the historic St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Arrowtown.


The building has been designed to be a low-level structure to minimise its visual impact and to ensure that the church remains paramount on the site. Sunk into the ground, glimpsed through trees and shrubs, the building is viewed primarily as a series of stone walls reminiscent of the stone structures built by the early settlers. Even the roof hovering over it will be clad in stone so that the entire structure will be read as one.


Local parishioner and project architect Mr Fred Van Brandenburg, says “Our forefathers built to the best of their ability a church that was contemporary in their time. It would be appropriate to do the same in our time”. He states that there are many successful examples where historic and contemporary buildings can co-exist harmoniously as neighbours, for example, The Louvre in Paris: the I.M. Pei Pyramid extension, and the ultra-modern George Pompidou in Paris. They all create an interesting juxtaposition between old and new such that they enhance each other and do not confuse the onlookers with what is genuinely old and proudly new.


Mr Van Brandenburg states that: “In order to protect and enhance the primacy of the church, the roof needs to be low and flat to appear to float - to make the building as transparent as possible. The shape is such that it wants to move away from the Church to increase the distance between old and new, and from the interior, this curvilinear shape creates an image of a leaf that sheds water down the stem.” This fits in with his architectural ideology that curvilinear shapes are friendly forms like those found in nature. Hence his philosophy: “All forms in architecture should be inspired by forms found in nature.”


The building has become known as ‘The Olive Leaf’. But this is only noted if one sees it from above eye level like flying over it in a helicopter, or a drone. But in reality, this is not how one will see the building. Instead, it will just be seen as a low-level structure to be subservient to the Church building. However, from the interior the communal hall - the ceiling’s leaf-shape will be noted, hence its nickname: “The Olive Leaf”, a symbolic roof shape that sits suspended over a light-filled communal hall. A cool, peaceful, more intimate space lies below ground level accessed via a spiral stairway ending in an enclosed crypt-like space reminiscent of churches of old. Here one will see a wall of remembrance; a glass-walled internal garden fed with water flowing from the roof ‘stem’; built-in seating alcoves; brick, wrought ironwork and colourful symbolic mosaic imagery representing life’s journey


These are just some of the delightful features to be experienced leading down towards the core - the centre of the spiral. This space offers a peaceful, quiet, spiritual place for locals and visitors alike to sit, light a candle or just pause a while.
Incorporated into the design are also features highlighting the rich cultural heritage of the early settlers in the area.

Symbolic Maori motifs in mosaics are patterned into the stone walls and gold and autumn colours so evocative of Arrowtown are magnificently highlighted on the underside of the “Leaf” roof in the communal hall. A glass Koru motif embedded into the floor of the outdoor entrance courtyard allows natural light to filter through to the windowless sanctuary space below.


The centre is also designed to include spaces suitable for mentoring and support, providing opportunities to rekindle the work of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, a Catholic nun who lived and worked in Arrowtown in the 1890’s. Her quaint cottage on the site (part of her original school) attracts visitors and pilgrims from around the world on a daily basis. 


The Olive Leaf Centre is intended to form an integral part of an overall site complex and will ensure the preservation and maintenance of both the historic Mary MacKillop Cottage and St Patrick’s Church.


The inspiration for the Olive Leaf Centre came from a group of parishioners with a vision to build a place for parish gatherings and for the wider community to enjoy. Their aim was not simply to build a “Church Hallbut rather to create a work of exceptional beauty, timeless elegance and functionality. This design has it all. Like a Koru revealed by a skilled carver from within the Pounamu - a Taonga of our time.


Bishop Michael Dooley the newly ordained Bishop of the Dunedin Catholic Diocese, in a letter of endorsement, stated: “Throughout the ages, the Church has encouraged artists and builders in creating spaces that raise our spirits to God and also provide a practical benefit to the wider community. This project offers us an opportunity to create a beautiful space for prayer and reflection and a welcoming gathering space for social cohesion in our community” He continues: “This is an ambitious undertaking but the history of the Church includes many people who through vision and perseverance created beautiful buildings of which we are the beneficiaries today”.


The Centre will be administered by ‘The Olive Leaf Centre Trust’ an independent charitable body. The Trust is optimistic that it will be able to fund the project through grants and donations including those from patrons of the arts. This will be in a similar vein to the enabling of the completion of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral and raising funds for the Hundertwasser Art Centre project in Whangarei.


Already the project has created considerable national and international interest and offers of support. The Trust has reaffirmed its commitment to delay seeking funding until Resource Consent has been obtained.

The Trust says that work on the project to date has been totally pro bono and gratefully acknowledges the generosity of spirit this project has inspired.

For further information please contact:



Mr Colin Bellett: Trust Chair - “Olive Leaf Centre Trust”. Email: macbellett@gmail.com Ph: +64 27 6109109 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Cooking up a storm on his first trip to New Zealand!

A Priest, celebrity chef, martial arts instructor, break-dancer, award-winning author,  radio and tv show host, Father Leo Patalinghug, is a multi-talented man with a unique message. And it all centres around food and God’s love.
His ministry Plating Grace is about bringing families back to the dinner table through preparing and sharing a meal together and in doing so strengthening family bonds. Father Leo will be sharing this message, complete with a live cooking demonstration,  for the first time ever in New Zealand at the Family Banquet conference organised by the Centre for Marriage and Family (CMF) in Wellington this November.
New Zealand celebrity Chef Martin Bosley will also be presenting at the event sharing about his  ‘Gate to Plate’ voluntary culinary work mentoring prisoners.
Father Leo says, “We believe in the power of food to do good - for all people, no matter their background - as food is the common denominator that can bridge people and culture.”
“Eating around the table is so important because, in today’s fast-paced world, we need to create opportunities for togetherness, connections and communication. We need to realize that we have deep hungers, not just for food, but for companionship - a word that means “cum=with” “panis=bread”. This is what Jesus did when he ate with sinners and strangers.  He invited all to his banquet.  And when we serve one another, we show we love them. That’s what a family meal can do - share love, simply by sharing bread!”
While Father Leo says he’s always happy to show people how to cook, he’s coming to NZ to share the reason ‘Why we cook.’ “From a spiritual point of view, we recognize how all religions have ‘feast days!’  For Christians, we learn why Jesus invites us to be servants at the table and even reveals himself as bread and wine. I will share a message about how a meal can bring us closer to God and one another. That’s a message the entire world needs to hear and I’m excited to share it with the people of New Zealand.”
But that’s not all, the Black Belt Martial Arts Instructor will be engaging, especially young audiences, with his Spiritual Combat message using hand to hand combat techniques to illustrate key biblical concepts on spiritual warfare.
Father Leo, who was born in the Philippines and raised in the United States lives in a consecrated community called Voluntas Dei (The Will of God). He hosts a weekly TV show called Savouring Our Faith on the Catholic Channel EWTN.
Plating Grace is an international apostolate to help strengthen families and relationships through God’s gift of the family meal.

The Family Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 10 starting with a Mass from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. at the Our Lady of Fatima Church, 169 Main Rd., Tawa, Wellington 5028. This will be followed by Conference presentations from 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m at the St. Christopher’s Anglican Church, 167 Main Rd. Tawa. For details and how to purchase tickets, visit www.eventbrite.co.nz. ENDS

Saturday, 14 July 2018

A short History of Wellington's Cathedral


THE FIRST CATHEDRAL
On Sunday, 8 September 1850, the foundation stone of St. Mary’s Cathedral was blessed and laid, the bishop recording that more than two thousand of the townspeople attended the ceremony.

On 1 May 1851, the first anniversary of Bishop Viard’s arrival in Wellington, the cross was raised on the belfry of the Cathedral, and on Sunday, 7 December 1851, the building was blessed and opened.

THE FIRE
Shortly after 8.30 on the morning of 28 November 1898, when the Cathedral was being repainted, a fire broke out in the tower. 

Within an hour the tower had fallen, and the interior of the Cathedral was a gutted ruin.

In the short time available to helpers before the Fire Brigade ordered the closing of the doors, many of the contents of the Cathedral were salvaged. The only insurance was £2,300 on the building itself. 

The organ and other furnishings were not insured.

PLANNING FOR THE NEW CATHEDRAL
On 30 November, two days after the fire, a public meeting was held “to take steps for erecting a church to replace St. Mary’s Cathedral”. 

It was decided that as the greater population had settled in the direction of Te Aro and Newtown, the new Cathedral should be built in that part of town, and that “a serviceable church in brick should be erected on the site of the old Cathedral”.

The building of the Basilica diverted funds from the Cathedral Trust, and in 1903 a new fundraising campaign was launched with an illustration of Mr Frank Petre’s proposed Romanesque design.

The design was described by the architect as Roman, bordering on to Florentine Renaissance, treated liberally” and the, reporter commented that “the exterior view of the Cathedral indicates that the building is of noble and imposing proportions”. It was to provide accommodation for 2,100 people.

In the event, the planned laying of the foundation stone at the end of 1913 was delayed and in 1914, came the outbreak of the First World War.

The late 1930s saw an end to the economic depression and a revival of interest in the Cathedral project. 

Another plan was prepared, this time by Messrs Clere & Clere, who submitted a design for a Gothic type Cathedral to seat 2240. Cardinal Hinsley, the Archbishop of Westminster, agreed to come to New Zealand for the laying of the Foundation Stone, but the uneasy peace of 1938 was succeeded by the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.

From war’s end till the mid 1970′s more pressing needs of the Church prevented any further progress towards the new Cathedral until on Sunday 18 March 1984, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, erected on the site of the destroyed St. Mary’s Cathedral, was solemnly dedicated by Cardinal Thomas Williams as the Cathedral Church of the Archdiocese.

STRENGTHENING THE CATHEDRAL
On the 21 of February 1985, Cardinal Thomas Williams commissioned a Cathedral Project Committee to comprise the following: the Dean of the Cathedral, two members of the Parish Finance Committee, two members of the Archdiocesan Property Committee and the Financial Administrator and Property Manager of the Archdiocese.


The first task was to determine the life expectancy of the Cathedral. This involved the examination and analysis of the fabric of the building to determine the merits and demerits of its restoration. Reports were obtained from expert stonemasons, engineers, the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Building Research Institute on every component of the building.

 It was clearly established that the building was worthy of restoration, preservation and strengthening.

The next task was to design the strengthening of the Cathedral and the additional facilities to be added so as to make it a Cathedral in fact as well as in name.

 The Committee retained the professional services of Allan Morse, Architect, C A Dunning, Consulting Engineers and Knapman Clark & Co, Quantity Surveyors.

In July 1986 a contract was able to be let for the works which were scheduled for completion in September 1987. The works involved the demolition of the old wooden Presbytery at 10 Guildford Terrace and the old brick Redwood Houses in Hill Street.

The project presented the Group with many challenges which required balancing the specifications for the “new Cathedral” against the integrity of the existing building both in terms of its strength and characteristics.

The development of the Cathedral did not stop with the reopening but involved a second and exciting stage which was the Piazza and forecourt. 

This element of the Cathedral was included in the development of the neighbouring chancery for the Archdiocese and created a true Cathedral precinct for the Church and people of the Archdiocese of Wellington.

(Source: http://mcshwellington.org/

Sacred Heart Cathedral to close doors due to earthquake damage



Sacred Heart Cathedral in Thorndon closed its doors today, in the interest of safety for parishioners and the public, following a structural engineer’s report confirming it presents a significant risk to occupants in the event of an earthquake.

Following a verbal report from structural and civil engineers, Dunning and Thornton, the Parish Committee has been working through a process of due diligence regarding the structural condition of the Cathedral. 

Yesterday, it received a peer review of the detailed seismic assessment (DSA) that recently advised that the Cathedral was ‘earthquake prone’ under the Building Act 2004. Both reports have confirmed that the Cathedral currently presents a significant risk to occupants in the event of an earthquake.

The Cathedral, designed by architect Francis Petre, was opened in 1901. In contrast to most other Wellington churches, it’s classical rather than Gothic styling has made it a prominent building on the Thorndon landscape. The Cathedral is one of only a few fine examples of Petre’s work still standing today.

In the 1980s the Cathedral was strengthened and the complex enlarged to include the foyer, Blessed Sacrament Chapel, and Connolly Hall. This work was done well and the building elements that were strengthened remained rated well above the 33% minimum of NBS. 

However, at roof level, ceiling diaphragms are insufficient to carry loads under the current building codes. This has resulted in their lower earthquake rating being applied to the building.

The closure will come as a shock not only to the parishioners, but also the wider community. Many have found the Cathedral a place of spiritual enrichment, a place of beauty, and a place to take time out from busy city life. Its fine acoustics and organ have also provided a home to musicians and community groups who have used it for concerts and recordings.

While the detailed planning for remediation work has not started yet, it is likely that the building will be closed for several years and the work will cost several million.

Raising the funds for this essential work is now the priority. The Cathedral Parish will be enlisting the help of the people of Wellington and others to preserve this Wellington landmark.

While the Cathedral is closed, weekday masses will take place at Sacred Heart Cathedral school in the short term and Sunday masses will be celebrated at St Mary’s College Hall, Guildford Terrace. Further information can be found at https://mcshwellington.org/

ENDS

13 July 2018

Amanda Gregan
Communications Advisor - NZ Catholic Bishops
Te Huinga o ngā Pīhopa Katorika o Aotearoa
Ph: 04 496 1725
Fax: 04 496 1770
Mobile: 021 611 052
agregan@nzcbc.org.nz
T: @catholicnz



For further information please contact the Parish Office 04 496 1700 



Timeline
  • November 2016 following the Kaikoura earthquake a rapid assessment by Dunning Thornton confirmed that no significant damage was observed.
  • 2017 Dunning Thornton commissioned by the Parish to undertake DSA (Detailed Seismic Assessment) in two stages. Stage 1 completed September 2017 confirmed building rating to be around 40% of NBS and identified areas for further investigation as part of Stage 2.
  • 8 May 2018 Stage 2 Interim report identified potential earthquake-prone risk. Sacred Heart Cathedral School advised and stopped using Cathedral complex and Connolly Hall due to possible fall.
  • 25 May DSA Results Summary received. Confirming that due to deficiencies in detailing of ceiling diaphragms the Cathedral rating was less than 33% of NBS. (confirming earthquake-prone rating). Peer review of the Dunning Thornton work commissioned.
  • 3 July 2018 Dunning Thornton full report received, and earthquake-prone notification displayed.
  • 11 July 2018 peer review received confirming earthquake status as less than 15% of NBS.
  • 12 July 2018 Cathedral Finance committee met and recommended immediate closure until
    remedial work to bring the structure up to at least 33% of NBS can be undertaken.
  • 13 July 2018 Cathedral complex closed. 


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

On tour the the Dunedin diocese with Fr Chris Skinner



Fr Chris Skinner delighted school children teachers and parishioners as he toured through the Dunedin Diocese earlier this month. Travelling in mid-winter was an opportunity to see beautiful scenery and even a bit of snow. 

God was with us, and no roads were closed.

St Joseph's School Queenstown warmed up the church for us on Monday afternoon as the children sang, listened and learned the actions to Fr Chris's uplifting music. 

His sense of fun and real joy was contagious, and all were smiles during his concert. Later in the afternoon, our Catholic School teachers from all over Central Otago gathered to be delighted by his music and inspired by his spiritually as he spoke about the liturgy of the mass. 

After Queenstown a journey through the snow-covered Ida Valley to Ranfurly for a school concert to an excited, group of children who knew Fr Chris's music and sang along beautifully. 

Then to Oamaru for another concert and Parish Teacher session in the late afternoon.  Fr Chris had spent many hours preparing for the Teacher and Parish sessions, and this showed as he was able to adapt to each different group as he responded to their questions.

Next stop was Dunedin, where parish musicians gathered at Holy Name on Wednesday night to enjoy Fr. Chris’s musical gifts and liturgical wisdom.  
He spoke to us of how we all bring our own lived experience of the liturgy to our parish music ministry.   It was really refreshing to hear someone speaking to us who is fully immersed in our own kiwi context.
The following day was a wonderful afternoon was spent with Fr Chris in the St Peter Chanel Church in Green Island where Fr Chris was able to share his Marist story as well as his music and, wisdom on the liturgy, with the teachers who had gathered from Dunedin and the surrounding districts. 

In Balclutha family seemed to come from everywhere for the school concert. Cousins of all ages appeared and enjoyed with the children and teachers at St Joseph's school. 

Onto Invercargill where teachers travelled from all over Southland, Winton, Bluff and Gore to join the Invercargill teachers at St Patrick's Church. 

The recent video clips created by the Christchurch Diocese of Bishop Peter Cullinane, presenting on the mass, were of great benefit to the sessions and enhanced Fr Chris's wonderful input.  

Fr. Chris finished his marathon tour of nearly two weeks in Gore, the geographical heart of our Diocese.  Here he did a school concert at St. Mary’s in the morning and an evening session at Blessed Sacrament Church for parish musicians.
One of the gifts of Chris’s tour was how he went around to so many places in our diocese.  
It was a nice follow up to his tour 2016 tour of the Dunedin Diocese where he taught us all his Hopetoun Mass, which is being sung in many parishes. 
 Touring and teaching in all parts of our Diocese has brought a liturgical cohesiveness which helps us feel more as one.  We also like to claim Fr. Chris as one of our own as he has some strong roots in the Balclutha/Tuapeka Mouth areas of Otago.  
We all felt utterly blessed by Fr. Chris Skinner’s prayerful spirit, which came through each concert and workshop he offered to us here in the Dunedin Diocese.

What a trip.

Katrina van der Water/Amy Armstrong

For further information on Fr Chris’ latest music and a list of categories suitable for parish and school settings see his website www.chrisskinner.org.nz. Photos of the tour can be viewed on www.cdd.org.nz







Wednesday, 20 June 2018

New look for Catholic Discovery


The Catholic Enquiry Centre (CEC) has unveiled new Catholic Discovery branding, as it seeks increased engagement with different audiences, including those with and those without Christian Faith, those active in the Church and those who have left, inviting them all to discover more about our community and the Church today.

Last year, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) set out a new mandate for the CEC, updating their core work for a new era, to become better connected with the Bishops’ work in dialogue with society and actively developing leaders and faith communities to assist in this work.

The CEC has been charged with finding ways of reaching out through social media and digital marketing, as well as through the individual and collective leadership present in our parish and school communities.

CEC Director, Fr Neil Vaney says, “Catholic Discovery involves the process of learning about our faith. Our approach with teaching is to utilise online platforms. We know our audiences use these channels. We want to share faith-based messages that people potentially cannot access elsewhere.”

“As part of this we have built Catholic Discovery and established branding that is more visual and vibrant. This fresh look better reflects our commitment to today’s missionary challenges. The new logo offers a modernised presentation and will be used on our digital platforms.

The icon, he says, is purposefully ambiguous. When looking at it, you may see a flame, a path or even a dove. These are all traditional symbols of Catholicism. The new logo is a metaphor that shows one can find many things within our faith.

The colour purple has been used to represent Christ’s suffering on the cross.
The logo will be used across our social media platforms. 

Please do visit www.facebook.com/catholicdiscoverynz to follow our page and share our content and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CathDiscovery

We’re currently reviewing the website and creating an Instagram account.
We are always looking for good stories. If you have done something special or noteworthy within our community, please do let the Catholic Enquiry Centre know.

Tel. 04 385 8518
Email:
info@catholicenquiry.nz 

Amanda Gregan
Communications Advisor - NZ Catholic Bishops
Te Huinga o ngā Pīhopa Katorika o Aotearoa

20 June 2018