Religious Education in Northland/Te Tai Tokerau

Contact details: Wiga Autet; Phone: 09-401 7420, 021 230 4059; Email:

Lord, Lead meTe Tai Tokerau is the ‘birthplace’ of the Catholic faith in New Zealand, as it was here, in Hokianga that Bishop Pompallier celebrated the very first catholic mass at Totara Point on 13 January 1838.

Our multicutural richnessCatholic faith has remained strong and present in this area enriched and deepened with Maori and multicultural heritage. Today there are seven Catholic parishes together with many local communities of faith across the mid and the far north of Northland/Te Tai Tokerau. Three diocesan priests and a team of Marist priests look after their spiritual & pastoral needs and ensure their continuous growth in faith.

PawarengaHoly Family in Kerikeri and Sacred Heart in Waitaruke (Fr Ralph Barcelo based in Kerikeri).
St Joseph in Kaitaia and communities in Mangonui, Ahipara, and Awanui (Fr Carlo Cruz based in Kaitaia).
North Hokianga: St Peter in Panguru, St Gabriel in Pawarenga, and communities in Whangape, Herekino and Mitimiti (Fr Jun Peralta SVD  based in Panguru).
Mid-North Pastoral Area: Bay of Islands (St Therese in Moerewa, the National Shrine of St Peter Chanel in Russell and the community in Paihia); South Hokianga (Rawene, Whirinaki, Waiwhatawhata); St Anthony in Kaikohe (Priests of the Society of Mary, based at the Marist Community in Okaihau). Website:

RainbowAs Religious Education Coordinator for Northland I assist and team up with priests and lay people to nurture and deepen the faith of our communities through the commitment to faith-filled, love and action centered faith-formation programmes for people of all ages.

We aim at making our Catholic faith come alive in the hearts, minds and actions of children, young people, adults and families. We seek to form a partnership with families connecting faith to people’s everyday lives.

Together we work towards vibrant, welcoming and caring parishes which worship together, share scripture, traditions, and prayers; communities that promote and encourage a deeper understanding of our faith; that support existing religious education initiatives and programmes and offer new ones.

Journeying together 1Catholicism softAdult Religious Education: short courses to investigate, fortify and extend our faith (eg “Catholicism”, “Priest, Prophet, King”); Bible study groups; prayer groups; study groups to discover holiness & ordinariness of Saints; New Evangelization outreach initiatives and promotion of life of love, mercy and service within one’s community, ‘Walk by Faith’ courses, RCIA and others.

SacramentsReligious Education for Children and Youth: within catholic schools (Waitaruke, Kaitaia, Pawarenga) or at parish-based faith formation programmes (resources for catechesis of children; training & forums for leaders); support of families to prepare candidates for Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism,  Confirmation, 1st Eucharist) and 1st Reconcilliation (training of leaders, providing of resources); workshops for children and youth (eg “Called to be Saints”, “Life of love and service”); Youth Groups, camps and events.

Never, ever give up on hope


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Te Tai Tokerau Footsteps

Was St Peter Chanel Successful. Russell, April 2016

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Celebrating St Peter Chanel’s 175th anniversary of Martyrdom, Russell, April 2016

100 years of Hato Hemi, Metihetihe, April 2016

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Centennial of Hato Hemi in Mitimiti, April 2016