“I love the Cathedral. It’s where I found a home away from home, and where Frank and I have found a community to share our lives and our faith.”
Ruth Doherty, Parishioner

As members of the Parish for a little
over 10 years now, Frank Doherty, Cathedral Office Administrator and Ruth Doherty, Parish Liturgy Committee Member, found a spiritual home at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Here they have a community where
they feel their relationship with God is
nourished and their faith matured and
where they can actively respond to the
missionary call of the Church.

Ruth and Frank.JPG


Dan and Colleen Kelly are celebrated as being parishioners of Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish for the longest time and among the most faithful. They describe their long association with the Cathedral as “life-giving” and regard it as “acoustically brilliant and prayerfully inviting”. “It’s a simple building,” says Dan. “Architecturally sound, but also open and plain, and attractive because of that. It’s our place.”


Dan, born in Greymouth, came to Thorndon at the age of six, living in the Guildford Terrace home of his mother’s Milligan family. Now in his 93rd year, he describes his long association with the Cathedral as “something I just grew in to.” Living “less than a stone’s throw” from the church, it was “hard to escape”, and being an altar server and later joining the choir anchored him very easily.

Dan and Colleen.jpg

The whole family had a connection. His aunt, Josephine, was organist for the Basilica (as the Cathedral was then called), a service she gave for many decades. Married to Colleen, who had attended St Mary’s College, in 1961, they will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary next year. They consider the decision to strengthen and refurbish the Cathedral as the only way forward. “It is a beautiful building that has touched the lives of thousands and stands as a beacon of faith for the city.”


In retirement, after careers in Public Service and Teaching, Dan, supported by Colleen, spent two years researching and writing the history of Thorndon Parish, marking its 150th anniversary in 2000 with the publication of On Golder’s Hill. Cardinal Thomas Williams described his contribution as “outstanding”, writing that both “Parish and Archdiocese are deeply indebted to Dan for his painstaking research and writing.”


Though now living in the Village on the Park retirement complex, Dan and Colleen have continued to be regular members and supporters of Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish. The Parish salutes and thanks them for the gift of themselves in the building up of Sacred Heart community