All posts by Frank Doherty

About Frank Doherty

Parish Secretary

Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter – 30 July 2017

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The Seed that bears Fruit

We have been reading over the past couple of weeks the parables of the seed and the sower. In these parables Jesus talks about the ground into which the seed is sown. When the soil is rich the seed bears a great harvest. Sometimes that harvest takes time but like the Word of God it never returns empty handed.

This Sunday our Parish is hosting the community of St John’s Presbyterian Church to thank them for their generosity and hospitality to us during the time the Church was closed for seismic strengthening. On the day St Mary of the Angels closed following the Seddon earthquakes in July 2013 the Rev Allister Lane from St John’s rang me to ask if there was anything they could do to help us. Each Sunday for the next 4 years we celebrated our Choral Mass there at mid-day.  During this time we were also generously hosted by the Cathedral Parish and St Joseph’s in Mount Victoria for other Sunday Masses.

The story of the connection between St Mary of the Angels and St John’s goes back to the time of the first priest in Wellington, Father Jeremiah O’Reily OFM. In 1843 when he       arrived in Wellington Father O’Reily helped the Presbyterian community with services and funerals as they awaited the arrival of their own minister from Scotland. St John’s have never forgotten that generosity.

Since that time St Mary of the Angels have enjoyed a very closed relationship with St John’s. Over the years they have hosted us many times while our Church has been closed for renovating or painting etc. At some stage in the future we will be able to repay that hospitality when St John’s own beautiful wooden Church needs upgrading and strengthened to the current seismic code.

The seed that Jesus talks about in these parables has certainly flourished because of the generosity of Father O’Reily nearly 175 years ago. May it continue to grow as we endeavour to nourish the ecumenical relationships with our Christian brothers and sisters in the inner city.

Father Barry Scannell s.m.

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The Cathedral Connection – 23 July 2017

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Weeds and Wheat Together

During the week I found myself over reacting to something one of my children had failed to do. His brother said to me, “Mum it wasn’t just what he did that upset you. There’s more to this than what he did.” Instead of going into denial mode and telling my son how wrong he was, I took some time to reflect on the situation. It didn’t take too long before I knew what he said had a lot of truth in it. I had been struggling with how I felt about myself and I saw my son’s failure to help me as confirmation of those feelings.

Most of my life I have always strived for perfection. In today’s Gospel Jesus is telling us that our only true perfection is our honest acceptance of our imperfections. We are all a mixture of weeds and wheat and we always will be. It’s in the messiness of everyday life that we come face to face with both the good and the bad in ourselves and others. As Martin Luther says, we are “simul justus et peccator“. We are simultaneously saint and sinner. We are weeds and wheat together. Understanding this helps us to neither think too highly of ourselves nor dismiss ourselves as terrible.

The learning for us is in accepting our own weeds, rather than getting entangled with the weeds of others. Then we are in a good place to love ourselves and others despite our faults or theirs.

With every blessing

Fiona Rammell
Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection 16 July 2017

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The Parliamentary Select Committee that investigated into ending one’s life in New Zealand has yet to make its report, but New Zealanders have made it abundantly clear that they are not in favour of legalising euthanasia. An unprecedented number of submissions rejected the idea by 4 to 1.

Nevertheless, an “End of Life Choice Bill” has been drawn from the Ballot and will be debated in Parliament later this month. It is important that the voice of the people be heard, and a law that will not be able to avoid unintended consequences be roundly defeated.

Opening the door to a death-on-demand policy, however tightly restricted the option might be, increases the possibility of manipulation, whereby the elderly or terminally ill could be made to feel obligated to seek a medically assisted death.  Just as no one wants to see their loved one suffering, or awaiting death through a protracted illness, nobody wants to be a burden on others. A request for a medically assisted death from a patient may present as a rational and conscious decision while, in reality, because of pressure or a sense of duty is not a completely free choice. No legislation should enable such an unjust situation to arise.

Nor can our lawmakers expect the medical profession to abandon the commitment to heal and preserve life by making them collaborators in the termination of life.

Our Bishops ask us to become well-informed on this issue, and invite us to send postcards to our MPs urging them to vote “No” to this Bill. Please do so.

I was reminded recently of words of St Augustine: what’s right is right, even if no one is doing it; and what’s wrong is wrong, even if everyone’s doing it.

Fr James

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