Jean Forest

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Fr JEAN FOREST, aged 37 (on arrival in New Zealand in Group VI in 1842).

He came not as a missionary but as a Marist superior representing Fr Colin to inspect Marist life and intervene with Pompallier about his problems with his Marist staff. He travelled around the various stations in the first year or so, and then stayed on in Auckland where Pompallier appointed him Rector in March 1845 to minister to the Europeans. He never learned to speak Maori. Soon after his arrival in Wellington with the 1850 Viard Marist exodus, he was appointed parish priest in Lower Hutt. In October 1859 he founded Napier parish which he served faithfully for 25 years. He died on 28 September 1884, aged 79, and is buried in Napier Hill cemetery.

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