Story: Catholic Church

Catholic priests, 1850s

Catholic priests, 1850s

These Catholic priests were sketched by the English immigrant John Pearse within a few years of his arrival in New Zealand in 1851. They are wearing the typical clerical clothing of the period – a black gown tied at the waist, called a cassock, and a broad-brimmed hat. Their long staffs are probably to help them negotiate rough bush tracks on foot. Priests like these covered hundreds of miles of roadless country to reach their mainly Māori congregations and try to convert non-Catholics.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: E-455-f-085-5
Ink and wash drawing by John Pearse

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Rory Sweetman, 'Catholic Church - First Catholic missionaries', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 June 2024)

Story by Rory Sweetman, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 17 Jul 2018