THE BISHOP OF AUCKLAND.
New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXI, Issue 3, 4 November 1892, Page 18
THE BISHOP OF AUCKLAND.
(New York Freeman, September 10.) Eight Rev Bishop Luck, of Auckland, New Zealand, has been travelling around the world to raise fandßfor the support of missions among the Maoris, a pagan tribe which constitutes a large part of the population of the extensive diocese over which be presides. Last week the Bishop was in New York, and daring bis stay here was the guest of Mr John Whalen, a prominent lawyer of West 155 th street. Tbe following entertaining sketch of his work among the New Zeeland pagans was published a few daya ago io the New York Herald Among the travellers from tbe ends of tbe world whose storiea rind interested ears here, the Rev John Edmund Luck, D.D., 0.8. 8., Catholic Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand, who has been in New, York for 10 days, is one who was in a position to tell an engaging tale of life there, as seen by an observant and intelligent resident. Bishop Luck presides over the spiritual destinies of a large diocese in New Zealand. He baa been in charge uf the Catholic in* terests in Auckland and its vicinity for the last 10 years. la accord* anoe with tbe regulations of the Church, directing bishops to visit and make persooal report to his Holiness tbe Pope once every 10 years of affairs under their charge, Bishop Luck left Auckland last I year (or Borne, where he had an audience with Pope Leo. Tben,
combining business with pleasure, he set out with the Pope's sanction on a tour of Europe anJ America, his mission being to collect funds to assist in the work of tha Church among the pagan tribes in New Zealand. He has visited during the past 16 months many of the countries of Europe, and has been successful in bis mission. He reached this country a week ago (Wednesday), and left this city on Friday laßt, after having seen a great deal here to in'erest him, and after having raised a satisfactory amount from the faithful for Church work at home. Bishop Luck came over in the Bame steamer with Lawyer John Whalen, of 155 th Rtreer, and has been the guest of Mr Whalen during his stay in New York. He was seen at the lawyer's house during the week and he told many entertaining things of his work in New Zealand. He is particularly engaged in the effjrt to reach the pagan Maori tribe and bring them within the Church, and it was principally about them that he talked. In his diocese, which is about the sizg of Ireland, Bishop Luck said that there are 36,000 Maoris; a majority of those still living on the island of New Zealand. Of these perhaps 4000 are members of tbe Catholic faith, while the others have been so largely influenced by the education they have received from the whites that the Government no longer has trouble in controlling them. This is particularly true since the revolution of 1860, which was suppressed after a long period of lawlessness on the part of the tribesmen, who then hoped to throw eff the English yoke. Do you find satisfactory progress in your work among the Maoris Bishop Luck wa9 asfced. 41 Considering the material with which we have to deal there is no question of it,"' he replied. There have been Catholic missions among them now for 50 years, tlthough the field was temporarily abandoned yeara ago. Thirty years ago there were 20,000 converts among the different tribes, while al the prssent time we have only about 4000. While this is a numerical loss the people are better educated and more reaiy to accept the doctrines nf the faith than before the war, which estranged many from us." "We have in New Zealand four Catholic dioceses. la my diocese there are only three brick courches, while there are 36 frame buildings. We have 26 churches for the Maoris. Many of these can scarcely be regarded as edifies, as they are, more pr perly speaking, sheds yet they have roafa under which tho converts gather for earnest prayers. We have clergy constantly among them, anl at all times there are in each parish catechists, with whom the converted Maoris meet three times every day far prayer. "Without desiring to make any invidious distinction," went on the Bishop, "I ein siy that tbe Maoris louk to the Catholics with more favour than to the mission tries of any other faith. We make noiffjrt to impose upon them or to grow rich out of their possessions, while about tbe first thing a minister of the Church of England does is to make provision for a fine house for himself and his family. So strictly true is this that the Maoris have a habit of saying, The English teach us to raise our hands in prayer so they may pull the the ground from under our feet.' It will interest you to know that the Mormons are at work amon? this people. Tne task for them is noc a severe one, either, as the Maolis readily embrace tbe doctrine of polygamy, it already being one of their tribal customs. I remember that when I once
engaged a publisher to print our Bible in the Maori languagejthere was delay, owing to a prior order from the Mormon missionaries. There are many vowels and k'a in the language, and the printer had such a limited supply of typa that he could not undertake my work until he had completed the ether. Tbe Maoris make good chnrch people," Bishop Luck said in conclusion, but I fear the raca is dying out, as tbe Tasmanians hava before them. Recent census figures reveal the fact that there Are fewer now than when last they were numbered, and it cannot be many years before they will exist only in memory." Tbe Bishop spoke very enthusiastically of the climate and products of New Zealand. Ha i 9 an Englishman, but said he wai entirely satisfied with hie adopted country. He went from thii city to Boston, where he will be for a few days the guest of Archbishop Williams, ani he expects to sail next month from San Francisco for Auckland.