On our Columban website for Australia there is a feature on Mary McKillop, the first officially recognised saint in that country. While Mary McKillop also came to New Zealand and established many connections here, we have our own candidate for sainthood.
Suzanne Aubert came to New Zealand from Lyon in France in 1860. She had a special desire to work with Maori people. In this aim, as in many areas of her life, she struggled with some among the clergy, who wanted to keep women religious enclosed and tightly controlled. She did get support from Bishop Redwood in Wellington who assisted her in setting up a local congregation called the Daughter of Our Lady of Compassion.
One of the things I remember from her biography was her great trust in providence. She had little by way of resources and nothing like the kind of business plan that would be required today but somehow, she successfully pushed through many major projects like at Jerusalem and Island Bay
Though she believed that providence would rain down what was needed she also said, “I always carry a watering can”. She had the gift of making it seem to people that all she was doing was providing them with an opportunity to do something they really wanted to do anyway and so she got many volunteers to assist in her work.
For more on Suzanne Aubert go to www.suzanneaubert.co.nz