All posts by Frank Doherty

About Frank Doherty

Parish Secretary

The Cathedral Connection 12 March 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Mark your calendar for the afternoon of
Saturday 29 April.

That’s the day Cardinal John will be with Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish to lead us towards a deeper appreciation of the principle shaping the future of our Archdiocese:  Stewardship.

From 1.30 – 4.30pm, all parishioners are invited to Connolly Hall to hear Cardinal John explain Stewardship as a way of life. You will hear him speak of it as “a disciple’s response” – the reaction of anyone who realises that their life is held in being by gifts poured out by a generous, ever-loving God.

There will be an opportunity for those present to share ideas as to why and how we might embrace this principle. Gifting yourself back to God as a helper and friend, especially through the gift that makes you uniquely you, and with your “time and treasure”. What could our parish look like if we took the Stewardship principle seriously?

Then, between 4.30 and 8.30pm, the parish “Leadership Team”, including the principals and Board reps from Cathedral School and St Mary’s College, will meet to prepare a pastoral plan, based on your afternoon input.

There will be further reminders as Stewardship Day approaches. The first thing is the mark it on your calendar. Commit now to be a part of it. In the meantime, when you think of Stewardship think of Gratitude, and these words of St Peter:
Each one of you has received a special grace,
so, like good stewards responsible for all
these varied graces of God, put it at
the service of others. [1Peter 4:10] 

Fr James

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Homily – Cardinal John Dew – Sunday 5th March 2017

Homily Sunday 5th March 2017

“Do you renounce Satan? And all his works, and all his empty promises?’

Those words are asked at every Baptism. They are asked of everyone, not just the person being baptized or his or her parents.

“Do you renounce Satan? And all his works, and all his empty promises?’

Those words are also asked every Easter when we renew our Baptism promises…they are asked of everyone.

Those words are asked at every Confirmation ceremony, they are asked of everyone, not just those being confirmed.

We need to be reminded to renounce evil and bad things.

We don’t talk much about the Devil, Satan, the Tempter, Lucifer; but we do need to face reality and admit that the devil is real. I am not talking about some figure with horns and a pitchfork – but an eveil spirit.

Jesus faced the devil in the desert, and had to make a choice , Jesus had to choose His path… If Jesus faced evil it is clear that we too have to face evil and make good choices.

It is a fact that we are tempted or lured by a power beyond ourselves that tries to lead as away from God, away from Jesus and His Gospel.

In the first homily he delivered as Bishop of Rome Pope Francis spoke of the devil, he has continued to do so and regularly reminds us that we need to be on guard.

In that first homily he said, “ The devil is real and doesn’t want our holiness.” Then he went on to say:  “It is enough to open a newspaper and see that around us there is a presence of evil, the devil is at work. And then I would say in a loud voice “God is stronger,” do you believe that, “God is stronger?”

There is a presence of evil in our world, in our lives who tries to lure us away from God. In another homily later in the same year the Pope said “Please let us not do business with the devil – be always with Jesus, be always with Jesus.”

This Lent is the time for us to choose, to choose to be always with Jesus, to choose our own path, and to know that our path makes no sense without Jesus…so we to Tell his Truth, to Live his Life and to Walk his Way.

Jesus was lead into the wilderness by the Spirit of God, where he fasted and prayed for forty days and forty nights…… the tempter, the Devil came to him. We can be sure that if he tried Jesus out then he will also try us out too. He tempted Jesus to live a quick and easy lifestyle, tried to get Jesus to turn away from who he really was.

It happens to us all the time…something says to us:

“this will be the easy way…it doesn’t matter if I don’t help someone else today”

 “it wont really matter if I tell this lie and someone else gets blamed”

 “will it really hurt if I spread some gossip about someone else when I know it’s not true.”

 The quick and easy way is not the path to choose, because it empty and meaningless.

This happened to Jesus in the desert just after he was baptized. When he was baptized he found his real identity, his true self….He and everyone else heard the words “This is my Son, the Beloved.”

The same is said to us at our Baptism; “This is my daughter, my son the Beloved”……but the spirit of evil tries to get us to forget that and to choose another – a quick and easy path.

Lent is a time to remember who we are – the Beloved daughters and sons of God….and to be grateful for God’s choice of us.

Lent is a time – with the Spirit’s help to choose our path.

To go back to Pope Francis, in another homily in 2013 he said:
The presence of evil is on the first page of the Bible (tonight’s first reading) and the Bible ends well with the presence of the devil – with the victory of God over the devil.”

 In prayer this Lent choose your path and you and God will be the winners.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter – 9 March 2017

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Dear Friends
Last Friday night and Saturday the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council met for the first of the four meetings we will have during this year. As usual we had a full agenda including reflecting again on LAUD-ATO SI, the Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis on Care for Our Common Home. This Letter was published on Pentecost Sunday almost two years ago. We went back to it because we wanted to make sure that the urgent message of the Holy Father is not being forgotten, that the challenge to “care for” the world’s natural re-sources is still being heard and that we are responding to his chal-lenges. Part of our discussion was about what we might be able to do as individuals, and also what influence we might have over our schools, colleges, parishes and families in the Archdiocese to ensure that we “come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us.” (LS 244)

One of the interesting aspects of our discussion at the meeting was how a number of people said they had always known that there is an ecological crisis. They knew that we have a responsibility to care for the world which has been gifted to us, that parts of the world are in particular danger due to global warming, rising sea levels, de-forestation, lack of water and sanitation…BUT…they had never related these situations to their faith. That is the beauty and wonder of this Encyclical. Pope Francis makes it very clear that God is the Creator, the world and its resources are given to us to care for, not to plunder and abuse, we have a responsibility to make sure that there are enough natural resources for the coming genera-tions. Using the words of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Pope reminds us: “For human beings… destroy the biologi-cal diversity…by causing changes in its climate…; to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins.” (LS 8) Then he says the appropriate response to this is what St John Paul II had already called for ,“a global ecological conver-sion.” (LS 5)

Laudato Si is an urgent and important letter. Maybe this Penitential Season of Lent is the time for all of us (it is for me anyway) an op-portunity to examine how I use resources, how I care for “our Com-mon Home” and what I am doing about it practically.
How can you use this Lent to be more aware of the fragility of our planet and what you are doing to care for it?

Ngā mihi nui

+ John

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The Cathedral Connection 5 March 2017

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The 40 days of Lent are 40 single, separate days, not a hard, solid block impossible to manage. Taking Lent one day at a time is the best and most productive way of using this gifted time to check over my personal relationship with God, with the people in my life and with the world in which I live. These relationships are keys to my happiness, and Lent is the best time of the year to realise their value.

The Catholic agency for justice, peace and development, Caritas, provides resources to assist both personal and community reflection during this season.  Whether or not you are participating in a Lenten discussion group, the prayers and information in the reflection booklet are excellent material for private use. [Copies on sale in Foyer]

Your face, O Lord, do I seek, is the overall theme of the Caritas programme. Taken from Psalm 27, it voices the urgency with which someone, who realises the sterility of their inward looking existence, now wants to be rescued. God does not hide from us but is in clear view, in every person and in all of creation. It is putting yourself first, being concerned only with what affects you, that ultimately blinds you from God’s presence.

By taking Lent one day at a time, you can pace yourself more positively on the road along which the face of God comes to meet you. A more deliberate approach gives time to look in different places, to consider more possibilities. The face of God is everywhere and, just as every day is different, the variety of people, situations and experiences encountered each day with faith, will renew all your relationships and God will be “all in all”.

Have a great Lent!

Fr James

The full newsletter can be downloaded here.

The Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter 26 February 2017

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Lent opens this week with the opportunity of being anointed with ash. Submitting to the action that spells out our mortality, we acknowledge our nothingness before God, but also our great hope, gifted by faith, that the love by which we were created will bring us victory over death, in all its forms.

Lent sends us into 40 days of deepening self-awareness, of realising how greatly we are individually loved by the God revealed in Jesus, and leading us to the point where thanksgiving can be our only response. To help the process, Caritas provides a great reflection programme, “Your face, Lord, do I seek”, encouraging discussion on topics that will expand understanding on where God is to be found. Thanksgiving shows itself in the support we offer the Caritas appeal to ensure the quality of life everywhere.

For next Friday (3 March), Pope Francis has called for prayer for the victims of abuse and violence. Too many innocent lives have been destroyed, too many trusted people have misused their position, and too many years have allowed abuse and violence to become commonplace. This day of prayer puts a focus on the responsibility of individuals and nations to stand with the weak and vulnerable. It’s an ideal way to begin Lent.

To see the face of God in the face of every person is a first step in overcoming abuse and violence. Identifying with one another as brother and sister, each a member of God’s family, brings a sense of solidarity and dignity. The ash marked as a cross on the forehead, reminds us that while there is still a way to travel on the path to perfection, the cross of Jesus has paved the way and love is carrying us along.

As a community we abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday – a collective offering that says we are all in this together. Be blessed this Lent.

Fr James Lyons

The full newsletter can be viewed here.