Jerusalem, New Zealand

Jerusalem (named for Jerusalem, Israel) was once an important kainga (fishing village) on the Whanganui River in New Zealand where a Roman Catholic mission was first established in 1854.

Known to Māori as Hiruharama, Jerusalem was the isolated site where, in 1892, Suzanne Aubert (better known as Mother Mary Joseph) established the congregation of the Sisters of Compassion. They became a highly respected charitable nursing/religious order.

A convent remains on the mission property, as well as the church which replaced the original building destroyed by fire in 1888, and Sisters of Compassion still care for them.

New Zealand poet James K. Baxter and many of his followers formed a community at Jerusalem in 1970 and Baxter is buried there.

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