St. Gerard’s church and monastery in Wellington had an open day to the public last weekend, so my friend and I decided we should definitely head along. When I’m travelling overseas I love to see inside of old historic buildings and churches, so with the opportunity to get inside a local one not normally open to the public, I was quite excited!
The monastery sits on Mt. Victoria hill, looking out over Wellington harbour and the city. The church part was built in 1908 (that’s early/historic here in NZ!) for the redemptorists, a congregation of the Catholic Church dedicated to missionary work for the poor and labourers. The monastery was then built later in 1932.
The monastery is named after St. Gerard Majella of Italy, who is a patron saint of children, childbirth, mothers and expectant mothers, and falsely accused people (among others…).
The church seats about 250 people, with beautiful stained glass windows lining the sides and rear of the church. The sun shone through the brilliant blues, greens and purples, lighting up the church so beautifully as we were given a brief history of the site. The church used to hold a large oil canvas of St Gerard Majella, however this was returned to his home city of Naples in the early ’90s. A small picture showing the painting is displayed inside the church.
The monastery building itself is beautiful, in its simple and scrubbed clean manner, with the most incredible views out over the harbour. The photo through the window below was taken from the library, what an inspirational reading spot that must be!