Last century, hope of a better life drew many Irish, among them a strong contingent of Catholics, to New Zealand, and the religion they brought has taken root and flourished here, becoming a pillar of New Zealand society. Catholics are the second most numerous Christian group in this country, and if present trends continue, before long they will be the major group. Despite their abundance, Catholics have often been at odds with the establishment, and religious icons have not been the only aspect of Catholic belief and practice to perplex outsiders.
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