The Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Light
In December 2019 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Light was opened by Bishop Patrick Le Gal of Lyon and Bishop Paul Martin of Christchurch. The Shrine features a replica of the Golden Statue of Mary that was placed above the Basilica at Fourvière Lyon, Not only is it a beautiful place for prayer and reflection, but it is also a wonderful place for the large events and Masses held at the Sanctuary.
A large canopy is planned to crown the Shrine so that Masses can be celebrated with some protection from the wind and rain whilst preserving the outdoor character of the shrine and its magnificent view of Mt Grey and the surrounding countryside.
Mission Heritage Trail
The Sanctuary of Fourvière connects the people of New Zealand and Oceania to their deepest Christian roots - the mission of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which was brought by the disciples of St John to Lyon, Fourvière and on to the Pacific.
We are currently developing a trail through Mary's Garden starting at the Shrine of Mary, where the various milestones of the mission are commemorated and celebrated.
This includes a replica of the "Red Shed" of the Venerable Suzanne Aubert who came to New Zealand and ministered to local Māori and the early European settlers. A Fale (Polynesian hut) in honour of St Peter Chanel, the first martyr of the Pacific is currently being constructed. It will house the beautiful icon of the Saint and 1st class relics.
Future plans include honouring the various orders that flourished out of Fourvière Lyon, a commemoration of the work of Bishop Pompallier and the establishing of the historical Churches of the Hurunui and the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament which was destroyed in the Christchurch Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.
We are a people of mission. The Mission Heritage Trail is one way to inspire us all towards a new evangelisation in our families and communities.
A Memorial for the Unborn
The Sanctuary prays for families and for a culture of Life to flourish in New Zealand. Despite this, many mothers grieve the loss of their unborn babies. Sometimes this grief is hidden or carried in shame. The Sanctuary puts itself at the service of mothers and families who have suffered the loss of unborn children.
There is a small graveyard at the Sanctuary where one of the first Kiwi Brothers of the Beatitudes Community is buried. Alongside him, are also buried several unborn children. We are embarking on developing this area into a memorial for the unborn.
The memorial for the Unborn is a place where families who have lost children can come, give their lost unborn children a burial or memorial, pray and find peace.
We are planning to have a carved statue of 'Mary with the babies' made which will watch over the area.
A New Chapel of the Transfiguration
In recent years, the numbers of Pilgrims coming to the Sanctuary for Mass and other events has increased markedly. The small Chapel of the Community of the Beatitudes has been extended but still struggles at times to cope with the numbers of pilgrims and community members.
A brand new Chapel is being planned for the Sanctuary. Already the Chapel has resource consent and the large interior dome from the demolished Christchurch Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is being cleaned and prepared for installation in the new Chapel.
We are looking for donations and benefactors to help us to raise the funds to build this very special Chapel.
A very basic fly through of how the dome might sit up in the ceiling is in the video below.