30 Year Celebration Days
In 2014, Dove held seven “Celebration Days”throughout the North and South Islands. The focus of these days of celebration was to give thanks to God for the blessings Dove Ministry has brought to hundreds of women throughout New Zealand over the last 30 years. The first day was held in Auckland where former Dove National presidents and women from the original Auckland formation group, shared their experiences of meeting and praying together and receiving the vision for Dove Ministry.
Dove Ministry began with a Seminar Day in February 1984. The response was wonderful and from that day Dove has continued to meet for monthly meetings, full day seminars and weekend retreats. The women shared how from the original Dove Team other leadership teams throughout New Zealand evolved. The current Dove National President, Val Morrison, shared her vision for the future of Dove, stating that although there will be changes Dove will remain faithful to the original guidelines. These guidelines have provided Dove with the strong foundation on which it stands today.
Thirty white doves were released into the sky to symbolise sending forth the vision of Dove into the future.
A joyful day of singing, dancing, meeting old friends and making new friends was completed with the celebration of Eucharist with Bishop Pat Dunn. In his homily Bishop Pat said “I give thanks on behalf of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and from all whose lives you (Dove Fellowship) have touched and enriched”.
We were reminded by Bishop Pat that the Church is Missionary and on the feast day of “The Body and Blood of Christ” that the Eucharist changes us. We become the One we receive. We receive power and the presence of God for eternal life and for the Mission. In closing Bishop Pat said “Thanks again for the incredibly important ministry of nourishing women in the Church and for your role in keeping alive and vibrant the MARIAN DIMENSION which is indispensable for the Life and Mission of the Church in every age”.
Further days of celebration were held in Palmerston North, Kerikeri, Rotorua, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch where women shared stories and experiences of hearing the “Call of the Dove” in their region. As a Wellington team member wrote “The memories of National Presidents and team members who shared their history inspired us all, as we heard how you moulded your chosen ones – and turned shy, unequipped, reluctant women into women of power, ability and strength. Thank you God for their faithfulness and endurance – those you call, you equip – and this was very much in evidence”.