All posts by Frank Doherty

About Frank Doherty

Parish Secretary

500th Anniversary Year of the Reformation

Dear friends

2017 is the 500th Anniversary Year of the Reformation, and to commemorate we are re-examining the message of Reformation and the music of the Reformation.

You are invited to the third of our presentations, and you are encouraged to share this invitation with your church:

Sunday 14 May, 2.00-4.00pm in St Paul’s Church, 12 King St, Mount Cook is:

Topic          Luther and Rome: Pastor, Pamphleteer, Prophet

Speaker    Father James Lyons, Priest, Metropolitan Cathedral of Sacred Heart

Organist    Bishop Mark Whitfield

Hymn         Awake my heart (Paul Gerhardt)

Organ        Partita on Auf, auf, mein Herz (Stamm / Burkhardt)

Dietrich Buxtehude: Praeludium and Fugue in G minor (Bux WV 148)

Poster display: by the Federal Foreign Office, Germany

Discussion and afternoon tea to follow
Entry by koha

I also take this opportunity to pass on an invitation to another Reformation commemoration event:

Professor Dr Wolfgang Huber, theologian and  former bishop in the Evangelical Church of Germany.

  • Public Lecture: Thursday 11 May, 6pm for 6.30 at St John’s Centre, Willis/Dixon St.
    The Spirit of the Reformation and the Future of the Market Economy
  • Panel Discussion: Wednesday 10 May, 5.00-6.00pm Ramsey House, 8 Kelburn Parade.

And thirdly, you are invited to join in From Conflict to Communion: Ecumenical Worship Commemorating the Reformation.

Sunday 4 June, 3.00pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Hill St, Thorndon.
The service will led by Cardinal John Dew and Bishop Mark Whitfield.
Fellowship and afternoon tea to follow the service.

This service marks a renewed relationship between the Catholic and Lutheran Churches in NZ, and members and clergy from all churches are invited to participate. If you are leader of a Wellington church, please pass this invitation to your people.

Blessings in Christ

Jim Pietsch
St Paul’s Lutheran Church



Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter 30 April 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Meeting Jesus on the Way to Emmaus

Today’s Gospel (Luke 24/ 13-35) gives us insights as to how we can meet the Lord in our everyday lives, and how we can best lead others to him.

Sharing the Gospel is essentially about relationship. Jesus joins the 2 followers, acts dumb, listens, and then gradually contributes, until ‘their hearts burn within them.’  What a wonderful way to evangelize!  The men contribute also. They show hospitality and invite Jesus to stay with them.  Only then is their sight restored as they recognise Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus shares food with the disciples to signify that the Kingdom has come, because       previously he has said, “I shall not eat again until there is fulfilment in the Kingdom of God” (Lk 22:16,18).

The disciples had all the “facts”: They saw Jesus’ wonderful words and deeds, and they were told about the empty tomb. Yet they give up, leave Jerusalem, and cannot even    recognise Jesus. Why? Because they hold on to their own and erroneous hope, namely that Jesus would “set Israel free” politically.  Jesus was able to teach them pretty quickly because they already know the Jewish Scripture.

The main point for us in this beautiful story is that Discipleship is a story of journey, including coming and leaving (Jerusalem), walking along, staying together, and returning.  Our Discipleship journey will have the same characteristics – meeting, recognising, sharing, and listening.

Some things we might like to think about in our own lives:

Do I show hospitality to Jesus so that he will stay with me and open my eyes?

Do I have false hopes that blind me from seeing Jesus?

In what direction am I walking on the journey

toward discipleship?

God Bless,

 Fr Ron

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 23 April 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


The formula for absolution in the Sacrament of Reconciliation begins with the words, God, the Father of mercy…. Such a powerful identification of God with mercy, points to the confidence that Jesus asks of everyone in their approach to the Giver of life and the Judge of all.

This, the second Sunday of Easter, is known as Divine Mercy Sunday. The gospel reading tells of the reunion of Jesus with his disciples, following their desertion and denial of him when he most needed a friend. His greeting of peace cuts through their shame and anxiety and unites them with Jesus as never before. Mercy releases their burden of guilt and they experience resurrection.

At the end of last year’s Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis wrote with great sensitivity of the continual flow of mercy from God who loves the world so much… His words help reflection on this special “mercy day”:

The love of God is capable of looking into the heart of each person and seeing the deepest desire hidden there.
Forgiveness is the most visible sign of the Father’s love, which Jesus sought to reveal by his entire life.
Love is the first act by which God makes himself known to us and comes to meet us. (God’s) love always precedes us, accompanies us and remains with us, despite our sin.
How sad it is when hearts are closed and unable to forgive!  Resentment, anger and revenge gain the upper hand, making our lives miserable and blocking a joyful commitment to mercy.
It is the time of mercy because those who are weak and vulnerable, distant and alone, ought to feel the presence of brothers and sisters who can help them in their need.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 16 April 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Signs and symbols!  Where would life be without them?  Road signs, weather signs, danger signs, a flower, a thoughtful gift – these and so much more help us to connect with life and one another.  In the life of faith, we rely heavily on signs and symbols, and Easter is packed full of them.

The images of light and darkness embrace the Easter Vigil, leading to the Mass of Resurrection.  The Easter Candle, lit from the fire of new birth, breaks through the darkness of the night and heralds the dawn of Christ’s triumph.  As the flame is passed through the gathering, many lights signal the spread of the faith, rekindling hope after the sombre season of Lent.

Our scripture readings draw images with words, telling the creation story and placing water alongside fire, not to quench it but to complement its creative and purifying qualities.  This guides the Vigil towards the celebration of Baptism.  Then follows the pouring of oil for Confirmation, signalling healing and strength; oil seals a commitment, and consecrates a person for service.

Easter Day brings colour and light to the fore and celebration is the purpose of our ritual.  The story continues to unfold with an empty tomb and its aftermath.  It is a day to welcome everyone, for the death and resurrection of Jesus is for all people.  Death has been defeated.  Life is the champion.  What greater “good news” could there be?

Signs and symbols help us cope with mystery, and the Easter mystery is as big as it gets.  Just as we can never see the inside of an onion – peel it layer by layer, but it still remains an onion – we can never fully grasp a mystery.  The only way to “see” the mystery (and the onion) is to experience it.  So, plunge into this season.  Hear, see, smell, taste, feel the mystery that is Christ risen and among us, and enjoy a truly blessed Easter.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.