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RECEPTION OF BISHOP GRIMES.

History of the Roman Catholic Church in this District. Torday thelßoman Catholics of Christchurch are to do honour to their first Bishop, the Bight Eev Dr Grimes. The programme of the^proceedings has already been published, aftd though it will be somewhat amplified. from the proportions originally anticipated, it will be to all intents and purposes the same. The principal addition to the programme is an address from the clergy and laity to the Most Eev Dr Eedwood, Archbishop of Wellington, Tvho accompanies Dr Grimes, and now pays his first visit to Christchurch since bia elevation to metropolitan dignity. A brief sketch of the new bishop's life will not be out of place here : — The Eight Eev John Joseph -Grimes was, at the time that he was selected by His Holiness the Pope to "be-the first Bishop of Christchurch, ,New Zealand, Superior of the Novitiate House of the Marists, at St Mary's Hill, Paignton,.Devonßhixe. He is now 46 years of-age,, havingrbean-born ■on Feb. 11, 1842, and is a-native pf London, where his chilhood waspaesed. His youthful years -were 'Spent among the Marist Fathers, who established themselves at St Anne's, Spitalfields, in 1855. Here he was admitted as a postulant and novice, and here, too, he lastyear -was consecrated by His '.'T I mJTiflTrc;<yv{faT<ii'nftl Manning. After completang'hispreHminary studies, he went to the college at Bar-le-Duc, on the Eiver Ornain, the^chief town of the Department of the Mouse, France. From France he went to Ireland, where in the college at Dundalk he completed his studies in philOBophy and divinity, and was ordained. For some years he remained at this college, as Professor of English Literature and ■Classics. He then removed to America, where^in Jefferson College, Lousiana, he hadaetill" wider field for his literary and 6cholastic;ability, and fulfilled the duties of Professor,JDirectar, and finally President. From America he returned to England, where in 1881 he was appointed to Paignton,.airwhich place he built a church, and did much to further the interests of religion. The new bishop thus brings to the -discharge of his New Zealand duties experience gained in many lands and amongst varied populations. THE EABIiY DATS OF THE DIOCESE, Now that the Eoman Catholics of this portion of New Zealand are placed on a level ecclesiastically with Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin, a brief retrospect may well be taken of the early days of the Christchurch Mission, from which have sprung so many of the other congregations, owing spiritual allegiance to the new bishop. For the few details about to be given, we are indebted to the courtesy of the Eev Father Chervier, who may well, in speaking of the history of the church here, repeat the saying, "Quorum pars magna f vi. ' As is well-known, the Eight Eev Dr Grimes is a Marist. It is most fitting that a member of this order should be appointed to watch over a fold of which the first shepherds were Marist Fathers. The honour of being the first parish priest oE Christchurch belongs to the Eev Father Scon, who arrived here in company wibh I a confrere, the Key Father Chataigner, in August, 1860. They had uphill work before them, being without a church, without a school, without even a habitation. They had land, ihowever, three acres given to the denomination by the Provincial Government, to which were 1 subsequently added two acres, purchased by the congregation, the whole forming the area in which are now erected the pro-cathedral, the convent, and the other buildings at the south end of Barbadoes street. For a time mass was said in a room in the Eoyal Hotel, Oxford terrace, but when the. Fathers had built their house, a mere shell of a place, its central room, which was larger than the four others, but was "a very poor, miserable room," was used as a chapel for the congregation, and it was quite large enough for the purpose. The furniture was of a primitive character ; in fact, was the handiwork of the priests themselves. Father Scon did not remain here long, but left for Wellington at the end of March, 1861. The Eev Father Chataigner followed him as parish priest, and succeeded in gathering together sufficient money to buy the timber for a church, but when the timber had been bought there remained no money to pay for carpenters, so the priests, for. the Eev Father Chervier had arrived on April 1, 1861, once more turned their hands to carpentering. The income of the two at this time averaged between 15s and 19a a week, and their fare was of the most frugal description. Of course they could not afford to keep any servant. Father Chataigner left Christchurch ■* in 1869, Father Chervier remaining as parish priest until 1871. For a few months the Eev Father Boibieau was curate, but when Otago became a separate diocese, the Marist Fathers there were dispersed, and at the request of Father Chervier, the Eev Father Ecuyer was appointed by Dr Viard, Bishop of Wellington, to Christchurch/.as parish priest, Father Boibieau gjoing to Lyttelton, and Father Chervier to Stand's Track. FatherEcuyerdid the work of the mission here without assistance until 1874, when he exchanged parishes with the Eev Father Beliard, of Greymouth. Father Beliard remained but about twelve months, when he was succeeded by the Eev Father Chareyre, who in 1875 considerably enlarged the church, wbich had been built by Father Chataigner from designs by Mr Mountfort, the builder being Mr Dethier. It was opened on Sunday, May 29, 1864, when the work was sufficiently advanced to permit of the solemnisation of Divine worship. The choir on the occasion gaye the Imperial MasE. The Eev J. Chataigner, in his address, returned his grateful acknowledgments to all classes of the inhabitants of Christchurch for the very liberal contributions which had been made towards the erection of the church. Many persons not belonging to the Catholic community had generously assisted, and the Government had made two large donations to the fund. The collection on that day amounted to .£l3. The church at Lyttelton was opened on June 29, 1865. This, too, was built from Mr Mountfort's designs at a cost of about .£I2OO, the contractors being Messrs Graham and Weyburn, and Messrs England Bros, furnishing the woodwork and interior fittings. The choir sang portions of Mozart's Twelfth and First Masses for the occasion. Father Chataigner also opened a church at Brackenfield about a year later, and subsequently a church in Akaroa. Father Chareyre was, in 1877, succeeded as parish priest of Christchurch by the Eev Father^ Ginaty, who again enlarged the Barbadoes street Church in 1878. The same energetic pastor in 1882 built the present convent, which replaced the smaller one bnilt in 186-4 by Father Chataigner, whose wisdom in introducing here the Bißters of Notre Dame des Missions has been fully proved by the results. In the convent a mixed school was opened in 1864, and the boys' school on the present site, but on a smaller scale, was opened by Father Ecuyer some years afterwards. To Father Ginaty the Catholics of this district are also indebted for the churches at Papanui, Addington, and Halswell, and for that lasting monument of his charity and zeal, the Mount Magdala Asylum. The same parish priest purchased land in Manchester street which, it is hoped, may ere long be the site of a second city church. After leaving Christchurch, Father Chataigner continued the good work at Temuka, where he built a church, at Timaru where he built a church, a boys' school, and a convent for the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, and at Waimate where he built a church. Father Chervier in like manner was busy founding churches, as may be seen by the following catalogue : — He opened on June 29, 1865, a church at Shand's Track on land given by Mr P. Henley;' a church at Leeston on Dec. 5, 1869 ; one at Eangiora on July 31, 1870 ; a church.at .Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1871 ; a church atJioburn<on May 30, 1875; a church at Ashburton on^April.6, lß76 ; one at South-bridge^on.-Sept.£,:lß7B} the new chinch at

Lincoln on Sept. 19,1880; and a church at Darfield on Dec. 31, 1880. The convent at ABhburfcon, where a branch of the Sisters of Notre Dame des Missions is, was built by the Eev Father Coffey in 1885. Father Chervier opened schools in Lyttelton, Ashburton, Leeston, and Lincoln. It will be seen from the above that the Catholic Church here has made great progress under Bishop Redwood, who succeeded Bishop Viard in 1875. MONEY STATISTICS. Of the cost of the earlier works referred to above, only slight information can be obtained, but the following figures, showing the expenditure incurred by the parish priest of Christchurch since 1877, are given on authority :— The iron fence round the convent cost £300 ; the enlargement of the church, and alterations soon afterwards, cost iJISCO ; the organ cost .£700 ; candelabra vestments, sacred vessels, &c, cost JESOO; the new presbytery, with its furniture, cost upwards of J22500; St Joseph's Church, with the land, at Papanui, cost over J5700 j the Church of The Sacred Heart, Addinerton, with over two acres of land, cost in- m than .£BSO ; St Agnes's, at Halswell, cost close on .£3OO j the enlargement oE St Patrick's School cost over £500 ; tha new convent cost over In addition to these sums, amounting to more than .£17,000, there have been the cost of the Mount Magdala Estate and building, of alterations necessary to fit up the old presbytery for St Leo's High School, of the Junior School in Tuam street, of an Infants' School, of tho land in Manchester street^ &c THE MARIST BROTHERS. The Roman Catholic Boys' Schools in Chrißtchurch are about to be taken charge of by members of the Society known as the Marist Brothers. Already one of the Brothers is in the city, and several others are expected to arrive within a few days. As the confraternity is new to many, even of the Catholics, here, the following information as to its status and work will be appropriate to the present time. The religious congregation of the Little Brothers of Mary, usually called the Marist Brothers, was tonnded in 1817 by the Abbe Champagnat, and introduced into the British Isles in 1852, and into the Colonies in 1866. The congregation was formally approved by the Holy See on Jan. 9, 1863. Its object is twofold — the sanctification of its own members and the Christian education of youth. The Brothers conduct parish schools, middle-class schools (day and evening), and boarding schools. The Society last year comprised 3600 Brothers, 524 schools, with an average attendance of about 80,000 children, who, under their fostering care, receive the blessing of a sound Christian education. The British Province, besides the establishments in the British Isles, has also houses in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Canada, and the United States. The Brothers have a Novitiate in Sydney for the Australian Colonies.

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RECEPTION OF BISHOP GRIMES. Star, Issue 6151, 2 February 1888

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