The annual commemoration of Suzanne Aubert’s birth was celebrated on 19th June by the Sisters of Compassion who were joined by ever-growing numbers of people who are inspired by the life and work of Suzanne and her legacy of compassion.
The evening was mild and the atmosphere warm and cheerful inside St Anne’s Newtown, in the parish of Wellington South. The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal John Dew along with Fathers David Dowling, Dennis Nacorda and James Lyons. Cardinal John commented on how the readings of the day (2 COR 9:6-11, PS 112:1BC-2, 3-4, 9, MT 6:1-6, 16-18) seemed almost chosen for the occasion. “They all focused so obviously on the opportunity that Suzanne had and that we all have to generously share God’s abundance!”
Students from local primary schools and colleges, and members of the Suzanne Aubert Scout Group played a large part in the Mass. Colourful footsteps made by young people from around the country adorned the walls of the church. At the end of the Mass students joined Sr Alisi to read messages, explaining how young people are inspired to walk in Suzanne’s footsteps today.
Afterwards in the Hall, Lifeteen ran the hospitality with hot chocolate being the order of the night. The birthday cake was made by talented baker, Sr Rachel, iced by Sr Josefa, and enjoyed by all.
Earlier in the day student representatives from five local Colleges had come together for a Birthday Mass held in the Chapel at the Home of Compassion. Following lunch, the afternoon was spent learning more about Suzanne Aubert and the Compassion Soup Kitchen. Students shared social actions they had participated in to support the Soup Kitchen. A highlight of the day was hearing from whānau from the Soup Kitchen who shared their stories with the students.