All posts by Frank Doherty

About Frank Doherty

Parish Secretary

The Cathedral Connection 17 September 2017

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We have a friend who we just can’t outgive. Her generosity is second to none. There is no sense of her keeping an account of what she has given, she just simply gives. Somehow she does accounting like Jesus does. He is not into balancing the books. His account is one of giving.

In today’s Gospel Peter thinks he is being totally generous when he asks Jesus how many times should I forgive? Don’t you just love how Peter is so human. He knows the law requires him to forgive three times so he goes to ask Jesus how many times but suggests the number seven. He has doubled what the law tells him and has added one on. So he is feeling pretty stoked thinking Jesus is going to say, “Well done faithful servant. You’re amazing. I’ve taught you well.” Instead Jesus says something so ridiculous that Peter must have thought Jesus had lost his marbles.

What Jesus is trying to say is that there is no limit to how many times we should forgive. Why? Because Jesus knows we are punished by our sin way more than we are punished for our sin.

Jesus’ teachings are not random commands that we must obey ‘or else’, but they are observations for how life actually works. Jesus advises us not to gossip because in so doing it will wreck relationships. Jesus advises us not to be greedy because greed will wither our hearts and suck the joy out of our life. Jesus advises us to keep on forgiving because unforgiveness will cut us off from the flow of grace and make us miserable.

It’s for no reason that Jesus taught us a prayer that says, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Forgiveness…..often the hardest thing to do but also the most liberating.

Who is someone in my life who I need to forgive?

  Fiona Rammell,
  Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection 10 September 2017

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We have a situation! A few of my boys have gone into business together and are struggling with someone whom they have to deal with on a daily basis. They got this feeling that things were not right and instead of going to speak to her they just allowed every little thing that she does to confirm for them their thoughts around this situation.

Sound familiar? We often do this. Instead of going and seeing the person we are upset with, we talk to others about it.

In today’s Gospel Jesus clearly tells us that if we feel like this we should always in the first instance go and speak to that person. But what stops us from doing this?

Pope Francis reflects in his letter Laudato Si ’ the importance of social cohesion that can enable all people to participate in society and to cultivate meaningful relationships with each other. We are born into family, whānau, neighbourhoods and communities. They are not always perfect but God intended that we grow through our interaction with others.

But it is these interactions with others that can cause us deep concern and heartache and so we often choose to do nothing. The second reading today reminds us that “love does no evil to the neighbour.” We are called into community to be beacons of love. The kind of love that at times hurts, consumes and doesn’t ‘feel’ great. But the kind of love that helps transform not just others but ourselves in the process.

And even when these neighbours refuse to listen we are called to treat them as a Gentile or a tax collector. On first reading this we may think that means to exclude them but what Jesus is trying to tell us here is to continue loving others despite their faults. Our challenge is to always think of ways in which we can add value to the lives of others. Social Justice Week gives us just that opportunity.

Fiona Rammell
Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection 3 September 2017

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When Father James asked me to write some words on “what it means to be a dad” I had to reflect deeply on the question. Being a dad is hard work and on occasion my two children have even told me that I’m the worst dad in the world! Frankly, I often wonder whether I’m a good enough dad. Am I engaging, supportive, helpful, or spending enough time with my children? Moreover, being a dad means acting as a role model to your children – and that’s a big responsibility. Part of that includes demonstrating enough love, respect, and support toward their mum so when they grow up they will value the important role that women play in their lives and society. Sometimes it’s a matter of checking myself to ensure I’m doing the right thing by them!

Traditional Catholic moral authority says that we can’t or shouldn’t judge good or bad. These are subjective or conscience matters. We can, however, judge whether our actions are right or wrong. Being a dad means teaching our children right from wrong. Having integrity means doing what you know is right, and showing the virtues that are important to you. This includes being responsible so that children know that they can count on you as a dad. It’s about being honest, kind, respectful, grateful or thankful, co-operating with others, and being friendly. It also means showing a wider regard for our communities.

On Father’s Day we shouldn’t forget our own dads. It’s good to identify the qualities in the dad that you know, even those who have died, and cultivate them in yourself; that way, you keep them alive.

As a dad, there are eight letters and three words I tell my children before they go to sleep each night …… I love you.

Nigel Ingram

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