The Catholic people of France laid the foundations of the Faith in New Zealand.

The first Marist missionaries led by Bishop Pompallier were funded mainly by the Catholics of Lyons through the fledgling organization of Pauline Jaricot and known nowadays as the Pontifical Mission Society.

When the ship the Aube arrived in Akaroa in August 1840 with the first French settlers their number included two Marist priests Frs. Jean Pezant sm and Comte sm and Brother Florentin sm and soon to be joined by Fr Tripe sm. So began the presence a line of Parish Priests that continues to this very day.

Priests are essential to the life of faith of the Catholic community as they not only labour to preach and teach Jesus Christ and his Gospel but they enable the Last Supper and the Sacrifice of Calvary to be made present as the food of the Eucharist – the bread from Heaven.

Marist priests served Akaroa till about 1880 and made a return in 1986 and have maintained a resident Marist since. From 1880 till 1986 the Bishop of Christchurch and his Diocesan priests served the Parish.

The parish has changed a great deal from the days of the first French settlers and the Maori community. Today it is a small service town that has expanded into a charming holiday place and tourist town. The 1865 St Patrick’s Church continues to be the centre of worship and gathering place for all and sundry where the mysteries of faith continue to be celebrated.

Most visitors include the Church on their walkabout tour. All are made most welcome at the Sunday 9-30 am Mass at 29 Rue Lavaud.   (03) 308-7083

Plan to- make a visit.  Light a candle.  Say a prayer.

Early Missionary Priests

Bishop Pompallier and Marist Fathers Tripe, Comte, Séon, Bernard, Chataigner & Chervier.
Served the district from 1840 to 1870’s. The Parish was formally set-up in 1880.

The Priests who served at Akaroa

1880-2                                   Father Donovan, R.I.P.

 1883-4                                   Father Tracy, R.I.P

1884-7                                   Father O’Connor, R.I.P

1887-89                                Father Kickham, R.I.P

1889-92                                Father N.Purton, R.I.P

1892                                     Father H. Bowers, R.I.P

1892-1902                            Father R. Dunham, R.I.P

1902                                     Father J. Foley, R.I.P

1902-08                                Father J.Kennedy, R.I.P

1908-19                                Father S. Bonetto, R.I.P

1919-23                                Father F. Seward, R.I.P

1923-26                                Father O. Gallagher, R.I.P.

1926                                     Father D. Lordan, R.I.P.

1928-34                                Father T. O’Regan, R.I.P.

1934-37                                Father P. O’Doherty, R.I.P

1938                                     Father T. Browne, R.I.P

1938-44                                Father P. O’Meeghan, R.I.P

1944-48                                Father F. Kelly, R.I.P

1948-51                                Father J.McKay, R.I.P

1951-54                                Father M. Jones, R.I.P

1954-55                                Father F. Conway, R.I.P.

1955-56                                Father M. Jones, R.I.P.

1956-57                                Father H. Verhoevens, R.I.P.

1957-58                                Father F. Conway, R.I.P.

1958-59                                Father L. McDonnell, R.I.P.

1959-65                                Father T. O’Donnell, R.I.P.

1965-66                                Father John Owens

1966-69                                Father Tom Cloher, R.I.P.

1969                                     Father P. Cahill, R.I.P.

1970-74                                Father Jeremiah Murphy, R.I.P.

1975-76                                Father Kevin Burns

1976-78                                Father Brian Parish

1979-82                                Father Barry Jones – Now Bishop of the Diocese.

1982.84                                Father Denis Nolan

1985                                     Father Antony O’Reily,  R.I.P.

1986-88                                Father Frank Kennedy, SM R.I.P.

1989                                     Father Pat Abbott, SM R.I.P.

1990-94                                Father John McHale, R.I.P.

1994                                     Father John Fitzimmons, SM R.I.P.

1994-1999                            Father Phil McCormack SM R.I.P.

1999-2000                            Father Dennis Scully SM R.I.P.

2000-2001                            Father  John Weir SM

2001-2007                            Father Dennis Scully SM R.I.P.

2007-2013                            Father Vince Curtain SM & Brother High Peacock SM

2013                                     Father Paul Shannahan SM