Parish Ministries, Groups & Activities

Adult Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA)

For adults considering the possibility of becoming a Catholic. This is a gentle, non-obligating, non-threatening way to join with others to find out more about the Catholic experience, faith and life. It is a reflective process called RCIA that leaves you free to respond and choose. For more information and discussion about RCIA, come to the enquiry meeting at St Mary of the Angels Parish Hall, Boulcott Street (across lawn from the Church). Feel free to bring a friend. Read more details here on your introduction to Becoming a Catholic.

Altar Servers

Young people and adults volunteer as altar servers to assist at Mass. Servers are on a duty roster for a Mass time that suits them.

Bereavement Group

This group is currently inactive.

This group sends a card to acknowledge the grief and loss experienced by parishioners when a loved one dies, and again on the first anniversary of the death. They invite parishioners to join in an annual bereavement Mass in November. New members are welcome.

Care of Sacramental Linen

Every week a volunteer collects, washes and irons about 50 small items of sacramental linen at home. Each volunteer does one month on duty at a time. Laundering and ironing skills are necessary.

Children’s Sacramental Preparation Programme

Parents register children for the Sacramental Preparation Programme in February of each year. Enrolment forms are available at the Parish Office. Children baptised as infants and who have reached Year 4 of school are eligible for the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion. The programme begins in February to prepare them for:

  • Reconciliation during Lent
  • Confirmation mid-year
  • First Holy Communion in Spring

Church Decorations & Flowers

The flower arrangements in our Church are done by a volunteer who refreshes them regularly and sets up seasonal decorations as required e.g. at Easter and for Christmas.

Church Guardians

The Guardians’ mission statement is to maintain a welcoming, watchful and tranquil presence in the Church enabling St Mary of the Angels to be kept open each day. They are mindful that the Church can be a place for:

  • quiet prayer
  • welcoming visitors
  • beauty
  • refuge
  • a place where God has a special presence in the heart of Wellington

They meet regularly for support and discussion and welcome new members. Guardians are on a roster and commit to being present for one hour per week in the Church outside the times of public worship: between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday, or between 12 noon and 4pm on Sundays.

Church Working Bees

In addition to the work done by the regular cleaner, volunteers assist at working bees to spring clean the Church 2 to 3 times a year usually before Christmas and Easter. An appeal for volunteers is placed in the Angelus a few weeks before a working bee.

Collectors – Offertory

People are invited to assist as collectors at each Mass on Sundays. They distribute the collection baskets and gather them in so the offerings can be carried to the altar as part of the Offertory Procession.


Volunteers count the money offered in the Sunday Mass collections. There are always two people on duty. The people involved have a turn every 5 to 6 weeks.

Extra-ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Extraordinary ministers assist the priest to distribute Communion. The Pastoral Team invites people to join this ministry. Ministers are rostered for duty about once or twice a month at Sunday Mass and find replacements if they are unable to attend. Two ministers are scheduled to clear away, wash and store the sacred vessels after Mass.

Finance Committee

The Parish Finance Committee is primarily concerned with helping the Parish Priest fulfil the Mission Statement of the Church in accordance with the Archdiocesan Norms as approved by the Archbishop in terms of:

  • Resourcing, i.e. ensuring that the parish has the financial capacity both for the provision of assets and facilities and for the financial support of those involved in pastoral works
  • Planning and budgetary management
  • Accounting for, administrating and safeguarding parish income, expenditure and assets

Hospitality – Morning teas

Parishioners are invited to join together for morning tea in the crypt after the 9am Mass every Sunday, and on special occasions such as Waitangi Day and Anzac Day. Hospitality volunteers set up the room; prepare the tea, coffee and food; welcome attendees and clean up afterwards.

Korean Community

The Catholic Korean Community meets most Sundays after the 11am Mass for community prayer in Korean, companionship and shared food. Members also meet in their homes twice a month for bible and scripture sharing. Some of the community are members of the Korean choir who sing on Korean feast days and at the 11am Mass when the St Mary of the Angels choir is in summer recess.

Maintenance Committee

This Committee is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the Church and Presbytery buildings and surrounding grounds. Its role is advisory to the Parish Priest and its membership comprises those with expertise in building maintenance and ground care.

Family Mass Music: 9am Sunday Mass

A Family Mass with Hymns, sung responsorial psalm and the Mass sung in English is led by a small informal singing group which meets 15 minutes before Mass. Anyone is welcome to join.

Choir: 11am Sunday Mass

The choir of St Mary of the Angels, leads the congregation in singing the Latin Ordinary of the Mass and additional psalms and hymns. The word of the Mass is in English. Anyone with a strong wish to sing is welcome to join the choir, there is no audition. The choir practises at St Mary of the Angels, every Thursday for two hours from 7:30pm. There is an extra voluntary session on Friday nights at 7:30pm, for those who would like extra vocal tuition and help with reading music.

5pm Mass Music Group

At the 5pm mass, a small group of musicians and singers provide music and support the congregation to sing hymns and the parts of the mass. (Noting, the young adults mass on the last Sunday of each month - see below.) We are always on the lookout for more people to join us. If you are interested, please introduce yourself. We pactice before mass at 4pm.

Music Group: Choir for Youth Mass

We are part of the Young Adults group in the parish (SMAYACs). We sing at the monthly Youth Mass held every last Sunday of the month accompanied by the church organ. We practice upstairs at the choir loft at around 3.30pm before the Youth Mass at 5pm, open to all, and especially youth and young adults.

Schola Cantorum: Youth Choir

The youth choir of St Mary of the Angels meets on Fridays from 5:30pm till 7:00pm in the Choir Room, St Mary of the Angels. Students and school-leavers are welcome to come along and have fun singing all sorts of songs and learn vocal technique. There is no audition. They sing a range from Bach to Leonard Cohen, Gregorian chant to Gospel, renaissance polyphony to jazz standards. They occasionally sing at the 5pm Sunday Mass, do a couple of concerts a year and sometimes go busking.

Music is a central part of the tradition of St Mary of the Angels Church. See more details in the music section of this website, or contact William McElwee at

Offertory Procession

At each Mass people are invited to carry up the bread and wine at the Offertory. Families are especially encouraged to participate at the 9 am Mass.

Overhead Projector Operators

Volunteers operate a computer to project prepared prayers and hymns onto a large screen during at the 9am and 5pm Sunday Masses, and on some other special occasions. Volunteers are trained and are rostered to take turns on duty.

Parish Pastoral Council

Vision: St Mary of the Angels, a diverse community, seeks to praise and thank God in a place of calm and beauty and strives to be Christ alive in central Wellington.

Mission: To live and communicate the love and values of Christ in the world around us.

Our Pastoral Council shares in the responsibility of leadership for the ongoing life and development of our parish community, working together with the Pastoral Team and parishioners to live as followers of Christ alive in central Wellington.

Our Parish Pastoral Council seeks to:

  • Be open to the signs of the times and the prophetic voice, while carrying the hopes of our parish in a practical way
  • Communicate in a clear, open and transparent way with our communities
  • Listen and respond to the hopes, ideas, needs and concerns of parishioners
  • Encourage and support the work of Ministries within our parish to put our vision into action
  • Provide opportunities for parishioners to grow in their relationship with God and with each other
  • Support and encourage parishioners in their continuing efforts to be a Christian influence in the wider community
  • Work collaboratively with the parish to set realistic and achievable pastoral goals for our parish community within the framework of our vision and diocesan priorities
  • Contribute towards making parish decisions that reflect the values of the Gospel and the teachings of the Church
  • Work collaboratively with the Parish Priest, the Pastoral Team, the Finance Committee, and other parish ministries and communities.
  • There will be up to ten members on the Pastoral Council nominated by parishioners, and decided by a process of discernment. In addition, ex-officio members are the Parish Pastoral Team, and a member of the Finance Committee
  • The Council will have as broad a membership as possible reflecting our diverse parish community. Each Pastoral Councilor is a representative of the whole parish community and not a representative of a specific parish group only.

Term of Membership: The term of membership is three years with a maximum of two terms.

Responsibilities of Member: In a spirit of prayerfulness each member of the Parish Pastoral Council will:

  • Attend the regular meetings of the Parish Pastoral Council (ordinarily monthly – minimum of 10 per year)
  • Provide input to deliberations of the Council
  • Develop a spirit of enquiry and the ability to listen and understand the issues affecting the lives of parishioners
  • Provide prayerful support and encouragement for other members of the Parish Pastoral Council
  • Embrace opportunities for personal faith development and for gaining skills to assist with effective participation in the Council’s operations
  • Represent the Parish Pastoral Council when required e.g. other parish meetings or diocesan meetings

Consensus: A consensus approach will be used in the process of contributing towards the making of parish decisions, with each member offering input towards the final outcome through a process of discernment.

Parish Pastoral Team

The Parish Pastoral Team consists of:

  • Fr Kevin Mowbray SM, Parish Priest
  • Fr Joe Savesi SM, Assistant Priest
  • Fr Frank Bird SM, Assistant Priest
  • Fr Hayden Powick SM, Assistant Priest
  • Sr Frances Gibbs CSB, Parish Pastoral Worker
  • Abby Cummins, Parish Manager
  • Mary Crewdson, St Joseph’s Church Administrator

Pastoral Visiting

This Ministry attends to the needs of people in our wider parish community who are sick and/or housebound, and are unable to come to Mass. Visits are made to rest homes and individual homes.

We do weekly visits with Communion. The Sacrament of Anointing is administered monthly to the people we visit and is also available to those who request it. Many people we visit are inspiring “power houses of prayer” despite their pain, suffering and lonely hours.

In turn, we remember them in our prayers and can put their names in The Angelus parish newsletter for the whole parish community to include in their prayers.

Readers and Commentators

Readers (Ministers of the Word) and Commentators at our Masses are trained volunteers. Readers may read the first and second readings (and the psalm if it is not being sung). The Commentator greets people at Mass, outlines the theme and leads the prayers of the faithful.

Readers and Commentators need to speak clearly and sincerely. They are on a duty roster for Sunday Masses and commit to doing this at least once a month. If they are unable to attend when they are rostered, they arrange for other readers to take their place.

Weekday readers are also rostered for the midday Mass and volunteers cover reading at the 5pm weekday Mass. We always welcome more readers and commentators for all our Masses. Training sessions are held once a year.

Saint Vincent de Paul Society

The Society’s main goal is the spiritual growth of its members which, in turn, guides their work to relieve injustice and suffering in our community and beyond. The Wellington Central conference is based in our parish and supports the work of the Wellington Region to help Wellingtonians in need. For more information see:

Members provide assistance and companionship to people in spiritual and/or physical need, and to those who are isolated or lonely. Donations to the Poor Box and the Food Basket in our Church support the work of the conference.

Meetings are on the third Tuesday of the month at 6pm in the Church crypt and include prayer, reflection and work planning to help meet identified needs. Anyone interested is welcome to attend a meeting.

St Mary of the Angels Charitable Trust

This charitable trust is independent of the parish. It is established under its own constitution and is registered with the New Zealand Charities Commission. Its primary role is to act as a principal fund raiser to finance the preservation and maintenance of the iconic New Zealand Historic Places Trust category one St Mary of the Angels Church, its unique organ and stained-glass windows. It also contributes to funds required for the lawns and gardens surrounding the Church and such other projects as defined in its constitution.

The Trust’s funding comes primarily from individuals and families giving donations and bequests. For major projects, which require substantial funding, the Trust also approaches organisations, foundations and other trusts for financial support.

It is only through the generosity of individuals, families and other interested organisations that the Trust is able to contribute to the on-going restoration and maintenance of the historic St Mary of the Angels Church and other projects which, from time to time, are deemed to be appropriate by the trustees.

Vestment Maintenance and Cleaning

The priests’ vestments are checked regularly and dry cleaned or mended when necessary. The altar servers’ surplices are washed and ironed and the cassocks are checked and dry cleaned when necessary.

Young Adults Group – SMAYACs

We are an active group who organise a range of events and activities for youth and young adults such as monthly adoration evenings, theology on tap sessions, social events such as tramping and cycling trips, and retreats. We also organise the monthly youth mass at St Mary of the Angels (last Sunday of every month at 5pm). The group welcomes all who are young (18 - 30+) or young at heart. To join one of our many events, see the Angelus, or find us on facebook