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Fr Joachim met with the Auckland Parish Co-ordinators and Regional team over lunch on November 8th 2008 after arriving in Auckland for his first visit to New Zealand the previous evening. He was keen to meet the people, and hear how things were going for family groups in the area. It was an informal gathering with people keen to share and listen, and with prompting from Fr Brian Traynor, Fr Joachim shared his personal story with everyone – his arrival in Australia as an immigrant and his journey to becoming Provincial. This included much hilarity as we all recalled terms used frequently in the Australian and New Zealand language that could make understanding very difficult for any migrant. This continued as a theme throughout the week of his visit and has made us all more conscious and careful about the language we do speak.

On Saturday afternoon Fathers Brian and Joachim traveled to Hamilton to meet with the Hamilton Parish Co-ordinators and Regional team over a pot-luck dinner (one of the terms that could need interpreting). A very relaxing evening was had by all.

On Sunday 9th, Fr Joachim led the Auckland Passionist Companions group meeting at the Tyburn Monastery in the Bombay Hills in a day of prayer and reflection. The day finished with mass, before Fathers were whisked away for a flight to Christchurch.

Frances & Clive Bleaken.

Father Joachim Rego and Fr Brian Traynor arrived in Christchurch Sunday 9 November and then immediately went to liturgy at the Bryndwr parish for the late Robin Corcoran.

Father Joachim was asked to be present on the altar at the requiem mass and Father Brian was invited to give the homily. It was fitting that a Passionist presence be at the funeral as both Ursula and Robin Corcoran were original Passionist Family group members at St Mathews Bryndwr.

Fr Joachim Rego and Monsignor Tom Power St Peters

In the evening we went to St Peters Beckenham, where Father Joachim met with parish co-ordinators from Christchurch and Ashburton parishes who are involved in Passionist Family Groups in the diocese. Passionist Companions from the Christchurch area were also there and it was great to meet as a combined group. It was a lovely informal gathering with the people having the opportunity to talk with Fr Joachim. His warm, friendly and gentle nature was a good example to us, and he encouraged us to be ourselves and live the gospel in our daily lives. Joachim shared some of his story and how his family came to Australia from Burma (Mayanmar)

We were thrilled to have Fr Joachim stay with us as part of our family. The next day Fr Joachim and Fr Brian were off to Wellington.

Aileen & Murray Straight South Island Directors

Fr Joachim travelled with Fr Brian Traynor by car from Wellington to Palmerston North on Tuesday 11th November.

The evening was delightfully warm, with clear skies, a treat for this time of year and ideal for us all to feel relaxed, enjoy good food and each others company. Fr Joachim shared with those present this family’s story. With gratitude he expressed thanks to those in lay ministry, working in PFGM and Passionist Companions. For each of us there was something Fr Joachim expressed that we needed to hear…………

For starters we felt extremely blest in having Joachim and Brian stay overnight in our abode. However the privilege of listening to his simple message of ‘Trust in the Lord’ and to conduct yourself by ‘listening to your heart’ delivered in an understanding and relaxed manner was extremely encouraging, even inspirational, to us both. We are enamoured with the Passionist charism and pray for the priests and religious of the Passionist Order in the Province under the care of Fr Joachim. Rose & Terry

Significant was Joachim’s message of hopefulness……….. not to ever loose this. Always to trust in God that each person, and experience will reach fruitfulness. To remember we are doing God’s work in God’s time…not ours… Paul & Linda

I found Joachim’s talk very interesting. To hear that to leave Burma they had to leave everything and come to an unknown country with nothing. It must have taken a great deal of courage and faith that the Lord would provide. Our challenges seem so much less daunting in the light of the challenge they accepted. Barbara

Joachim returned to Australia the next day as his next appointment was in Rome.

Linda & Paul Darbyshire Wellington & Palmerston North Directors