All posts by Frank Doherty

About Frank Doherty

Parish Secretary

The Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter 24-25 March 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Today, Palm Sunday, begins Holy Week.  This is the most sacred time of the year for Christians, climaxing in the Resurrection of Jesus, the kernel of our faith.

The contradictory behaviour of those who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with “Alleluias” fit for a king, condemning him to death a few days later, is reflected in the liturgies of this week.  We find ourselves caught up in a cycle of joy-sorrow-joy-sorrow-joy, as the drama takes us through Palm Sunday to Holy Thursday to Good Friday and on to the great Easter Vigil and the Day of Resurrection.

The starting point is made special with 40 children celebrating their First Reconciliation this afternoon (2pm at St Thomas More Church, Wilton).  This Sacrament combines the themes of sorrow and joy powerfully and beautifully, easing and lifting burdens with the loving mercy of forgiveness.

There is an open invitation to join the families gathering this afternoon, and our parish timetable lists several opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this special week.  We should all consider completing Lent and honouring the gift of Jesus, by formally expressing sorrow for what we have done or failed to do and experience that sorrow turning to joy.

Please try to participate in some, if not all, the Easter ceremonies.  The Chrism Mass (Tuesday), the Last Supper (Thursday), the Friday commemoration of the Lord’s Passion, and the Easter Vigil.  They celebrate the essence of our faith and the purpose of parish life.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cathedral Holy Week Timetable 2018

Holy Week & Easter Timetable 2018

Sunday 25th March – Palm Sunday
Mass: 5:30pm Saturday Vigil
10:30am Sunday
7:00pm Sunday

Monday 26th March – Holy Week
Mass: 8:00am & 12:10pm                       Reconciliation: 11:45am – 12:05pm

Tuesday 27th March
Mass: 8:00am & 7:30pm CHRISM MASS (No 12:10pm Mass)

Wednesday 28th March
Mass: 8:00am & 12:10pm                       Reconciliation: 11:45am – 12.05pm & 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Thursday 29th March
Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 7:30pm
(No 8:00am or 12:10pm Masses)

Friday 30th March
Stations of the Cross: 10:00am
Reconciliation: 11.00am to 12noon
Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion: 3:00pm

Saturday 31st March                              Reconciliation: 10.00am to 11.00am
Easter Vigil & Mass of the Resurrection: 7:30pm
(No 8.30am Mass)

Sunday 1st April – Easter Sunday Mass of the Resurrection
10:30am & 7.00pm

Monday 2nd & Tuesday 3rd April
Mass: 8:30am (No 12:10pm Mass)

The Cathedral Connection 18 March 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Last week everyone in New Zealand participated in the 34th national census which sought to gather a “snapshot” of the country. This weekend we ask you to please participate in our own Parish Census. The information gathered will support our pastoral leadership teams, in their role of acknowledging, guiding and empowering our parish community.

Over the last two months they have been exploring how to encourage a parish life that will honour our Christian understanding of stewardship and the wisdom garnered from the 2017 Diocesan Synod.

The outcomes from the Synod theme ‘Go you are sent…’ have common threads underpinning them, the call to holiness and to be responsible stewards of our community and environment. As our leadership teams strive to model responsible stewardship, to be consultative, collaborative and accountable, they need an informed understanding of who we are as a parish and who is in our wider communities.

You are encouraged to complete our parish census, so that together as a community we are equipped to ‘Go…’ – to our own peripheries; to society’s peripheries; to develop a spirituality of service; as members of the one Body of Christ… As you fill out your census card let St Teresa of Avila’s words ring in your heart:

‘Christ has no body, no hands, no feet now but yours’.

Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 11 March 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Last Sunday, seven adults and two children were welcomed into our community in preparation for their baptism at Easter. The adults have been meeting regularly with a small group of parishioners since last September, praying, studying and discussing about all things relating to Christianity and our Catholic tradition. The process is known as the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).

Their formal introduction to the community included an anointing with the Oil of Catechumens, consecrating them to the Lord and commending them to the prayerful support of the whole parish. This happened at the 5.30pm Vigil and 10.30am Masses and in the context of Chapter Four of St John’s Gospel – the account of Jesus’ meeting with the woman at the well.

The theme of Water calls attention to baptism; the “spring of living water” offered by Jesus sparking a transformation in the woman. She becomes the first “missionary”, eager to tell others what she has found in Jesus. This Sunday (11th) and the next, our “Catechumens” will deepen their connection with Jesus through the themes of Light (John, Chapter Eight) and Life (John, 11). They will affirm their commitment to the Creed and will be presented with The Lord’s Prayer as their anthem and link with the Christian family.

Water, Light and Life are images most closely associated with the message of Jesus Christ. As they help pilot the journey of those soon to be baptised they offer refreshment and renewal to those ahead on the road. Pause and take stock of your response to the call to have “life in its fullness”.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 4 March 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Last Sunday we said goodbye to Fiona Rammell, our Lay Pastoral Leader over the past year. Fortunately, all is not lost. The parish is blessed to gain a replacement LPL, Debbie Matheson, who formally began her service last Thursday, 1 March. She will be commissioned by Cardinal John at the 5.30pm Vigil Mass on Saturday 7 April.

Letting Fiona go was not easy for me, or for the many people she had served during her time with us. Her pastoral skills are very rich and reflect her commitment through several years of study and formation. Others will surely benefit from her ministry as new opportunities arise for her. So, we bid Fiona farewell, with grateful hearts.

Our gratitude must also extend to the Archdiocese and the vision of Cardinal Tom Williams who, following our 1998 Synod, devised the “Launch Out” programme to bring lay people into pastoral leadership positions.

The Lay Pastoral Leader is qualified to lead a parish in the absence of a priest, and to work alongside a priest as an equal in pastoral responsibilities. Debbie will assume that role as I prepare to step aside as parish priest.  From now to July, she will “discover” the Cathedral Parish, get alongside the various committees and become familiar with the school programme. Families preparing for the sacraments will also be her territory and we will work together as the parish seeks to help implement the decisions of last year’s Archdiocesan Synod.

Lay Pastoral Leaders are integral to the life of our Archdiocese. While currently serving in only a few parishes, their ministry is encouraging parishioners generally to take more responsibility for parish growth. This is Stewardship in action. The more you accept a stake in your parish, the sense of ownership will expand and God will be able to do marvellous things through us.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.