Thinking About Heaven: a history of Sacred Heart parish Timaru

I wrote this history of my home parish in Timaru to mark the centennial of its magnificent basilica in 2011.  I tried to incorporate lots of deeper background on Irish migration, sectarianism and so on – garnered from my academic work – but present it in a popular style that would be accessible to a wide audience.  The parish book committee did a fantastic job of promoting the book to local parishioners and the entire print run of 500 sold out within a month.  They offered me the option of arranging a second print on my own but I opted not to.  I was quite chuffed to have a ‘sell-out’ in such short order.  Unfortunately this did limit the book’s impact beyond Timaru and lots of people missed out on buying a copy.  So I am making a PDF of the book available here to make it accessible to those who can’t get a copy from a library.

Thinking About Heaven: A History of Sacred Heart Parish Timaru

[Note that this download is 21 MB]

Thinking About Heaven cover

Thinking About Heaven cover


4 comments on “Thinking About Heaven: a history of Sacred Heart parish Timaru

  1. gail Costa says:

    I am trying to trace my ancestors MICHAEL and Margaret Collins who came to Timaru with 4 children around 1870’s.

    • thebrosnan says:

      Hi there Gail. It’s likely that the Collins were assisted immigrants in that period and there are good records for Canterbury assisted migration at that time. I suggest you look at the New Zealand National Archives website which has a good guide to the sources and how to access them online. For their life in South Canterbury, suggest the museum in Timaru (South Canterbury Museum) which has a very good research centre attached.

  2. Ann Ward says:

    Dear Sean Brosnahan
    I would dearly love to get a copy of this ( in any state). My Ward great aunts went to the Convent in the early 1900s and my sisters, Mary and Clare, and I, Ann, were educated at Sacred Heart Girls’College, between 1971-1965. My brothers Hugh, Dunstan and Roger (Ward) went to Marist Brothers and St Pat ‘s during that same period. I am visiting Timaru in September this year for a class reunion. Please have you any idea how I might get hold of a copy of your book. I know it is online, but I would love to have “the real thing”. Best wishes,
    Ann Ward

    • thebrosnan says:

      Thanks for your enthusiasm for the book Ann but I’m afraid I have no way of providing you with a hard-copy – that’s why I made the online version available. The entire print run sold out within a month of the parish jubilee, thanks to a very effective promotional effort by the Sacred Heart book committee. There must be copies becoming available second-hand by now and these will most likely be found in Timaru. I can’t find any online. Best of luck with your hunt.

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