A Catholic welcome

Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Fr Gerard Aynsley, of St Patrick's Basilica, organises flags of the six teams playing in Dunedin during the Rugby World Cup, and New Zealand, to hang outside the church, in Dunedin yesterday.

As most of the teams coming were considered "Catholic countries", he thought it appropriate to hold a special Mass on match Sundays.

"It's just a way to welcome people," he said.

The Mass on September 11 would be celebrated in English and Spanish, while on October 2 it would be heard in English and Italian.

A rugby player himself, Fr Aynsley also organised, with the Dunedin Rugby Football Club, two supporters v locals social rugby games to be played on September 11, with Argentina and England fans, and October 1, with Ireland and Italy fans.

The first match had already attracted 100 Argentinian supporters, although he wondered how many actually wanted to play.


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