Wednesday, August 29, 2007
A Saintly Glow ... #97
St Gerard's: The church sits on the hill overlooking the city and Oriental Bay. It was built between 1907 and 1910 (architect J C Swan). The monastery was built for the Redemptorist monks in 1932 and was funded by public donations during the middle of the Great Depression. The Redemptorists first arrived in NZ in 1883 and they required a base from which they could travel the country inspiring Catholics to a greater faith. The 3 storied monastery allowed the priests to accommodate guests and hold retreats. The monastery was designed by Frederick deJersey Clere, a well known architect who also designed St Mary's in Boulcott St. It was built as an extension to the church. Increasing rates and declining numbers forced the Redemptorists to sell the building in 1988. The proposed sale caused great concern, but this was relieved when it was bought by the International Catholic Programme of Evangelisation in 1992 for use as a retreat and training centre.