Story: Communes and communities

Sisters of Mercy in the community (3rd of 3)

Sisters of Mercy in the community

Catholic nuns Helen Goggin (right), Teresa O'Connor (second from right) and Pauline O'Regan (third from right) of the Sisters of Mercy socialise in their garden with friends, in the 1970s. The three women left their convent in 1973, and set up a small community in a state house in the low-income Christchurch suburb of Aranui. They remained nuns, but dressed in ordinary clothes instead of traditional nuns' habits, and worked to support the Aranui community, particularly women. It was a time when some elements in the Catholic Church were changing, in response to the Second Vatican Council's call to become more relevant to the modern world.

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How to cite this page:

Caren Wilton, 'Communes and communities - Religious and spiritual communities', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 April 2024)

Story by Caren Wilton, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 Apr 2018