Enjoying the Deacons' Course in Wellington at the end of last year.

P.O. Box 43,

Dear Mum & Dad,

Well it’s ages since I wrote. I was surprised to receive a letter from you sent from Rotorua. I had no idea you were away!

I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday home, but could have done with another week. We had a fairly normal trip back. I was amazed as to how green everything was in the Bay. Most of the paddocks are quite lush compared with what it was like at home in January. The weather hasn’t been over hot this summer, although it still gets pretty hot.

My blister on the heel has healed perfectly.

When I got back here I went to Waimarama for a couple of days, & then came into the house with a small group for a week to keep the lawns mowed, etc. However, on the Saturday, Paul Donoghue & I went down to “Highden” in the truck to pick up some scaffolding. We stayed at Highden the night, & returned to the Mount on the Sunday. All the novices are well, including Paul Avery, Gavin Foster, & Laurie McNeill. After the weeks work at the house I went out to Camp for another 6 days.

We had to get the scaffolding because they’re renovating the chapel. The sanctuary is being slightly raised & being made roomier. Also a vestry is being made down the back of the chapel out of what used to be a private Mass oratory. But they don’t need so many private oratories now because most of the priests concelebrate Mass every morning.

The 7 new aspirants arrived last Monday. They are Peter Hyland, Peter Biggs, Peter Jansen, Aidan Murry, Patrick O’Neil, David Kennerley, & Gerard Winter. Aiden Murry is a Maori, & the brother of Stewart Murry who used to work for Tony & Rick. (I think he was welding).

Frs. Connolly & Scully arrive back tomorrow (Saturday). They have been doing a course in Canada. Tomorrow there’s a conge.

The new staff members are Frs. Pat Beasley & Kev Stewart, both of whom were ordained in my 1st year. Fr. Beasley is replacing Fr. F. Durning who is going to teach in Samoa. He will be teaching philosophy. Fr. Stewart is teaching a “new” subject at the Mount – Pastoral Theology.

This week was spent having various seminars. Fr. Coleman came up from Christchurch for 2 days to talk on modern communications – T.V. etc. Then Fr. Arbuckle & Fr. Stewart gave us some talks. The proper term’s classes start this Monday. The new Pro-Nuncio, Apostolic Delegate to N.Z., Archbishop Angelo Acerbi, is coming to say Mass for us to start off the year. He is an Italian.

Those going to Aurora Tce this year leave tomorrow. There are 12.

Well, I can’t think of any more news, so will go to bed. At the moment I’ve got a flea on me – the first one I’ve seen since Highden days. Nine bites in as many minutes. I saw it but couldn’t catch it!

Love from

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