Mt. St. Mary’s
29th May ’72.
Dear Mum & Dad,
Well, I hope you arrived home from your trip safe & sound. Thankyou for your letter from Sydney.
Last week we had a 3 day Seminar on Maori culture. Canon Rangiihu, an Anglican Maori priest, gave most of the talks. We covered a lot of practical points, such as what to do at a Maori funeral, how to walk onto the Marae, how to rub noses! & so on. There are quite a lot of little things that might upset Maoris, such as putting your hat on a table (because your head’s sacred & the table’s not). Anyway, we learnt a lot.
On Thursday we went to the Pakipaki meeting house, where we were welcomed onto the Marae, & then began thespeeches – in Maori. That took over an hour, but Canon Rangiihu was translating them for us. Frs. Whiting, Cleary & J. Durning, who are on the mission staff at Pakipaki, also made speeches in Maori (They are very fluent). After the speeches, we went into the meeting house & various things were explained. Then we had a hangi in the dining room before leaving in the bus. In the evening, all the chiefs & elders paid us a return visit, & we had a panel discussion.
It is definite that I am going to Varsity next year. We will be living at the SMSM Convent at Aurora Terrace. My band is only going for a year. The band after me is also going next year, but they will be staying for 2 years. Eventually, students will be going there for 3 years, but they’ve got to get the system in working order first. There will be eleven students there next year – Tub O’Connor, Tim McCann, John Owens, & Me; Terry Moffat, Tim Costello, Barry Leech, Brendan Smith (whose parents live in the house next door to the Aurora Terrace Convent), Michael Austin, Michael Pervan & Kevin Mowbray. 2 Fathers will be in charge but we don’t know who yet,
Fr. F. Durning is leaving for Rome this Wednesday. He will be working in the archives over there. Fr. Bonisch will be returning from overseas next month, & will continue to teach philosophy.
Well, I think that that’s all the news. Going to Varsity means that Ordinations will be put back a year.