“Let us have nothing so much as to work for the good of all”
“Kia haere rawa kore ana tātou, koia, ka manaakihia te katoa”
– Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert
Kia whakapaingia koutou e Meri Hōhepa.
May you be blessed by Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert.
Welcome to the resource pack from the Sisters of Compassion for Celebration Sunday 2023!
Celebration Sunday is a day when parishes and communities in Aotearoa New Zealand are invited to pause, reflect, pray and remember Venerable Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert. We especially remember on this day, her spirituality, good works and compassionate love for those in need.
The Sisters of Compassion are once again grateful that the National Day celebrating the spirituality and good works of Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert, has become part of the National Liturgy Calendar. This enables people to learn about this amazing women of our time, and why we continue to pray for her beatification.
The theme of ‘United in compassionate love – Kua kotahi i roto i te Pūaroha’, has been chosen based on the readings for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time year A. This year also marks the 100-Year Anniversary of the founding of the Nurses Training School by Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert. The missal readings for Sunday 1st October speak of the ‘holiness’ of the disadvantaged, of the need for discipleship, and in trusting God to show the way. These ideas relate well to Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert’s life, work and the compassionate love shown by the Sisters of Compassion.
This year too we are guided by Suzanne’s own words:
“Let us have nothing so much as to work for the good of all”
Kia haere rawa kore ana tātou, koia, ka manaakihia te katoa
Parishes are invited to mark the day of celebration for Venerable Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert, on Sunday 1st October by including a special Prayer of the Faithful at Masses, publishing a notice in their newsletters and making resources and prayer materials available to their community.
PRAYER OF THE FAITHFULL
E te Atua o te Pūaroha – God of Compassion
As we unite in prayer across Aotearoa New Zealand on this Celebration Day, we pray in thanksgiving for the life of Venerable Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert. We pray that her faith, her courage, and compassionate love will live on in us all.
E te Ariki: Whakarongo mai rā ki a mātou
PRAYER FOR THE BEATIFICATION OF SUZANNE AUBERT
Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us that as often as we show compassion
to the least of your brothers and sisters, we show it to you.
Hear our prayers that Venerable Suzanne Aubert, who loved the
Maori people and devoted her life to the poor, the sick and the
underprivileged, and whom the Church has declared to be one of your
true and humble followers, may soon be recognised as a saint.
Kia īnoi tatou, Let us pray:
God of Compassion, may we be lead by you, and the example of the life of Venerable Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert,
Take us to the ones who hurt,
May we see you in every face,
May we hear you in every voice,
May we welcome you in each relationship,
May we give freely with true generosity,
May we look upon ourselves with love and with a belief that we too need tending and care. Loving God, move through us, that we may know the strength that comes from living united in your compassionate love.
We ask this prayer through Christ our Lord,
Download: Closing Prayer
Celebration Sunday, 1 October 2023, is celebrated in parishes and communities across Aotearoa New Zealand this weekend. It is a day to remember the life, spirituality and good works of Venerable Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert. While we wait and pray for Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert to be beatified, we continue to unite to promote her message of compassion and love throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.
Celebration Sunday, 1 October 2023, is celebrated in parishes and communities across Aotearoa New Zealand this weekend. It is a day to remember the life, spirituality and good works of Venerable Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert. The theme of ‘United in compassionate love – Kua kotahi i rota i te Pūaroha’, has been chosen for this year’s Celebration Sunday. While we wait and pray for Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert to be beatified, we continue to unite to promote her message of compassion and love throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.
This year the Sisters of Compassion highlight the 100-Year Anniversary of Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert setting up a Nurses Training School at Our Lady’s Home of Compassion, Island Bay, Wellington. In doing so, they highlight Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert’s great love and care of Māori and all people, especially the most vulnerable and those on the peripheries of society. Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert gathered people into her arms and homes and loved them. She loved them back to health and into life, she accompanied them and saw Christ in each one.
This Sunday, let us be encouraged by her example as we pray for courage to act as she did. To sit by the bedside of the infirmed and dying, to include in our lives and families those who need our love, and to celebrate each person for who they are. As we celebrate her good works and life today, we hold in our own hearts her words ‘Let us have nothing so much as to work for the good of all’. The Sisters of Compassion thank you for your support and prayer. Kia whakapaingia koutou e Meri Hōhepa. May you be blessed by Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert.
Download: Newsletter Notice
In 1923, in the last years of her life, Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert established a Nurses Training School at Our Lady1s Home of Compassion, Island Bay, Wellington. Prior to this Suzanne and the sisters had completed a course with the newly formed St John Ambulance Association. Suzanne was determined that her sisters receive the best possible training to care for those in need. It was important to her that the training was recognised by the State. In that year, 12 sisters passed, two with honours. This year we celebrate the 100-Year Anniversary of the first nurses training class.
The following are excerpts from ‘The Story of Suzanne Aubert’ by Jesse Munro:
From Chapter 20, page 385:
“She had the backing of lay and medical officialdom. On 11 April 1922, Suzanne had written a long letter to the Minister of Health, CJ Parr, asking for the Home of Compassion to be recognised as a training hospital:
In order to ensure the efficiency and permanence of the Institution, it is absolutely necessary to train its Sisters for the present and the future. We therefore, humbly beg you, Sir for your benevolent consideration of our petition to be allowed to give our own Sisters only (that is to say, only the members of our Institute) the hospital training without which it is impossible to carry on efficiently or extend our own special work’. 68
(Footnote 68: 13 April 1921, Hospital Training School Correspondence, 1910-59 HOC A)
And from Chapter 20, page 386:
“Sister Clotilde as matron began giving regular lectures. Doctors came free of charge to give lectures more formally than before. There was now an ‘Honorary Medical Staff: Drs Whyte, Corkill, Lynch, Hardwick-Smith, Shirer, Roche-Kelly, Rhind, and several others. Unofficial exams, similar to the national ones were set and marked on a volunteer basis by Edith Sealy, former matron of Otaki hospital, helped by Cecilia McKenny. Like the working bees, it was once more a case of people wanting something and making it happen.
Dr Thomas Valintine, the Director- General of Health, supported the experiment and helped work out the details.”
Download: Historical Story
Download: Intercessory Prayer
THE LORD’S PRAYER FOR EVERYONE
TA ĪNOI A TE ARIKI MĀ TE KATOA
As we celebrate the 100-year Anniversary of Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert setting up the Nurses Training School, our hearts and minds are drawn to those currently in the nursing and medical professions.
To support nurses and medical professionals in their work, we wish to highlight two prayers from Father James Lyon’s new book, ‘The Lord’s Prayer for Everyone – Ta īnoi A Te Ariki Mā Te Katoa’.
It is our hope that those currently serving and ministering to the sick, elderly and infirmed in our communities will gain strength from these prayers.
Fr James’ publication ‘The Lord’s Prayer for Everyone – Ta īnoi A Te Ariki Mā Te Katoa’ is available to be ordered from the Sisters of Compassion online store: