Living Among the Northland Māori: Diary of Father Antoine Garin, 1844–1846.


  • Jim McAloon



If Antoine-Marie Garin is remembered today, it’s likely to be in Nelson, where he was Roman Catholic parish priest for very nearly forty years (1850-89). Born in eastern France, near Lyon, in 1810 to a comfortable middle-class family, Garin trained as a priest for his local diocese but after ordination and three years of parish work he joined the new missionary order, the Society of Mary. Marist priests and brothers had already accompanied Bishop Jean-Baptiste Pompallier to Aotearoa in 1838; Garin was one of a number who arrived early in 1841. In late 1843 Garin went to Mangakāhia, to run the Kaipara mission, and it is his time there which is the subject of this book. It is worth noting here that Garin is one of a significant number of Frenchmen and Frenchwomen from around Lyon who were influential in New Zealand Catholicism, from Pompallier himself to Suzanne Aubert, and, indirectly, the founder of the Society of Mary, Jean-Claude Colin. Garin, therefore, dedicated his Mangakāhia mission to St Irenaeus, Hato Irene, as well as to the Holy Rosary, for St Ireneaus was an early second-century bishop of Lyon.


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