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February 7, 2016 / cmfletcher

Southern Star Abbey

We were traveling from Napier to Wellington today, and planned the journey to include Mass at Southern Star Abbey, a Cistercian house between the two cities. The journey there took us off the main road and deep into the countryside.

We had an hour before Mass to contemplate the setting and just relax. There were only 3 monks, and a congregation of about 20 including some wonderful children. It felt like a very close-knit community. Coffee and cake followed Mass. I was talking to one of the monks who told me that 4 other monks were on vacation at the beach and returning tomorrow. Peter, meanwhile, was having a long conversation with one of the men who was a local dairy farmer. I found the woman who sat in front of me at Mass, and we found common ground in knitting. She came from Auckland 40 years ago, because of her husband, and now loves living in these wide open spaces.

27Madonna

Maori Madonna

It was a neat way to get out of the tourist rut and see something of the real country. Tonight we are in Wellington, the capital, which is empty. It is a Sunday of a three day weekend so everyone is out on the beach or up in the mountains. Pleasant driving.

 

New Zealand’s scenery is beautiful, the mountains, the oceans and bays- all of it combines to make one glorious picture. So glad we are here.

 

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