Category Archives: Cardinal John’s News

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 7 December 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends
There are only two words for me to use in this last newsletter of 2017.
They are, Thank you! However it will take me more than two words to say
a sincere thanks to so many of you.

Throughout the year we have been working on topics to firmly establish
Stewardship in the Archdiocese. This has involved a number of very well
attended Stewardship Days and wonderful participation by many.  On these
days I have reminded all participants of these words:

Gratitude – we receive the gift of God (and everything is God’s gift)
with gratitude.
Responsibility – we cultivate the gifts of God with responsibility.
Generosity we share these gifts with others and share them generously.
Return— we return the gifts with increase to God.

We have had our Archdiocesan Synod with the theme of “Go, you are
sent”.  The opportunity to participate in the Synod process in the months
preceding the Synod weekend was taken up by hundreds, if not thousands
of people. The prayerful engagement in the Synod process led to a weekend
of listening and dialogue, which in turn led to 96 proposals being presented
to me. This has already given a new sense of purpose – Mission
to the diocese and the desire to go to the peripheries, to accompany and
support those who are struggling in life.

Pope Francis prayer for our Synod was that “the Synod will encourage all
the faithful to face the opportunities and challenges of the present moment
through a renewed encounter with Christ and the saving message of the
Gospel.” I believe his prayer for us continues as we prepare for the Christmas
season “when the kindness and love of God our Saviours for humankind
were revealed …..” (Titus 3 4-7).

This has been a very busy year, a very full year, and it is all because of
“the kindness and love of God” gifted to us in the birth of Jesus.
This Christmas my prayer for all who read this newsletter is that,

• we all receive Jesus, the Gift of God, with gratitude in our lives;
• we look for ways to use with responsibility the gift of Jesus in our
• we share Jesus generously with others, share his love, share his words,
share his presence;
• we realise that all is gift, and in return all gifts to God in love.

I pray too that as we prepare for Christmas we will all live it in such a way
that it is a renewed encounter with Christ and with the saving message of
His Gospel.

With prayers and sincere thanks to you all for your wonderful support
throughout this year.

Every blessing and Happy Christmas

+ John

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 23 November 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

From +John…

Dear Friends
On the Solemnity of Christ the King last year I was priv-ileged to be at a Mass in St Peter’s Square, the closing Mass for the Year of Mercy. At the end of the Mass Pope Francis signed his Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera. In that letter, he told us that while the Year of Mercy might have finished “Now it is time to look to the future and to understand how best to continue, with joy, fidelity and enthusiasm, experiencing the richness of God’s mercy, Let us not sadden the Spirit, who con-stantly points out new paths to take in bringing to eve-ryone the Gospel of salvation.” (MM5) This is a won-derful Letter and it is worth reflecting on, praying with and then acting on. It can easily be found by going online and searching for Misericordia et Misera.

The Holy Father reminded the world that “the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open. We have learned that God bends down to us (cf. Hos 11:4) so that we may imitate him in bending down to our brothers and sisters.” (MM 16) He then went on to tell us that he had the idea that the Church might celebrate, on the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, the World Day of the Poor. That of course was last Sunday for us. All parishes were sent a video to be played which encouraged us to create a “culture of encounter” with the poor in our society. Just as the Year of Mercy continues by our living MERCY, so last Sunday was not just one day to give a little thought to the poor and then to be forgotten about. There are homeless on our streets, there are people who struggle to make ends meet, there are families who cannot afford medical care, who cannot educate their children; there are endless opportunities for us to encounter the poor and reach out a helping hand. “We are called to promote a culture of mercy based on the rediscovery of encounter with others, a culture in which no one looks at another with indifference or turns away from the suffering of our brothers and sis-ters.” (MM 20)

Last Sunday was the first World Day of the Poor and this coming Sunday it is a year since Pope Francis wrote this powerful letter and released it in the Solemnity of Christ the King. This Sunday we will hear the words in the Mass about Jesus presenting to God the Father “A kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.” We help build that Kingdom by the way we care for the poor.

With every blessing

+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 9 November 2017

Dear Friends,

It is almost a year ago since the Year of Mercy ended. I was privileged to be at the Final Mass for the Year of Mercy celebrated in St Peter’s Square by Pope Francis. At the end of the Mass he officially released a document called Misericordia et Misera. In that document, he implored us to continue being merciful and wrote: “Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the Church; it constitutes her very exist-ence, through which the profound truths of the Gospel are made manifest and tangible. Everything is revealed in mercy; everything is resolved in the mer-ciful love of the Father.”

He asked us to do something special at some time throughout the year and to be creative with Scripture so that it could engage us in a different and vibrant way. On Sunday 29th October, all our parishes were invited to use Lectio Divina to help people to engage with the Gospel in a different way. I have received many emails and heard many comments from people who very much appreciated this opportunity. They loved and appreciated the silence, the chance to focus more deeply on the Gospel, and the fact that there was time to pay closer attention to the Word of God. Thank you for doing that, it has helped so many people to reflect more deeply on the Gospel.

Pope Francis also asked the world to observe the 33rd Sunday of the Year as the World Day of the Poor, which this year is. 19th November. I am sure that parishes, schools, colleges and families will think of many initiatives that can be taken to help one another become aware of the situations of poverty in our own towns and cities. I am sure that will also flow over into practical actions to assist those find it a struggle on a daily basis to make ends meet. For the World Day of the Poor we have provided a short video with some of the messages of the Holy Father about pov-erty throughout the world. This short video has been created with the help of Caritas, the St Vincent de Paul Society and Fr James Lyons. I am most grateful to them. Parishes are invited to show this video at Masses on the World Day of the Poor (19th November) and all are asked to reflect on how we might do something to help those people who do struggle.

Please remember that Mercy cannot become a parenthesis in the life of the Church. We are called to respond in mercy every day. What special effort will you make for the first World Day of the Poor?

With every blessing


Cardinal John’s Newsletter 26 October 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,
“Thanks be to God for all he has done and is doing for us.” These words were one of the most used phrases of the Venerable Suzanne Aubert. I believe that here in New Zealand we can genuinely say those words with her. We can say them in gratitude for all that she was and is for the Church in Aotearoa New Zealand.

On Saturday 14th October we had a wonderful day with the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion as they celebrated 125 years since the Congregation was founded by Suzanne Aubert. It was a great day as we joined the Sisters in giving thanks with them and for them. The day began at 6am with a solemn and beautiful celebration led by the Mana Whenua as every-one was welcomed and processed up the pathway through newly landscaped gardens to the chapel where Suzanne has been laid to rest. There was a solemn blessing of the crypt and of the Resurrection window by Iwi leaders and me, a Powhiri followed, and then blessing of the other new buildings includ-ing the Visitor Center. The whole day was a truly bi-cultural celebration which honored Suzanne and her legacy, the Sisters of Compassion. Miha Maori (Maori Mass) concluded the celebration during which the sisters renewed their vows and we all gave thanks with them. Included in all of this was, of course, very generous hospitality which included breakfast and lunch.

The magnificent resting place of Suzanne, the Resurrection window, (and the other windows in the crypt area), the Visitor Center, the gardens outside are all worth visiting. The Home of Compassion at Island Bay has always been a holy place, a place where all have been welcomed warmly and with gracious generosity. Go and visit. Go and pray at the tomb of Mother Meri Hohepa. Go to the Visitor Center and learn more about this incredible woman whom we are waiting to be de-clared New Zealand’s first canonized Saint. We are still able to learn so much from her. Go and visit and learn with her how to say “Thanks be to God for all he has done and is do-ing for us.”

With every blessing

+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter – 12 October 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,
At the Closing Mass of our Synod on 17 September people were given a prayer card as they left the Cathedral. On the card was a photo of the stained glass window of the Josephite Convent in Mission Bay, Auckland. The window has the following words on it, words attributed to Nano Nagle, the Foundress of the Presentation Sisters.

“Go out, you may not rest secure for need calls loudly. You must seek God there. Loving shall be your flame.”

Need does call loudly. That need is in our homes, work-places, factories, offices, schools, on the streets; it is the needs of young children, teenagers, young marrieds and their families, the mid-dle aged ad the elderly. Various proposals out of the 96 I received spoke of all those age groups and the multi-faceted needs that are “out there.”

All of the proposals and the practical actions that came out of the Synod will be published in the next edition of WelCom on Sunday 5 November. The synod Outcomes booklet containing all the outcomes of the Synod will also be available at that time. That is also the day that I will formally promulgate the work of the Synod at the monthly Young Church Mass at the Cathedral at 7pm. I will ask every parish to read out my Promulgation Letter, and to draw attention to the Synod outcomes in WelCom.

Need does call loudly. Nano Nagle has reminded us that we find God in these needs. The Archdiocese, its parishes and schools, organizations and departments will all begin to plan as to how these needs identified at the synod can be met. To assist parishes there is a section in the Outcomes Booklet on developing a pastoral plan which provides guidance on how to move ahead with implementing the Synod directions and priorities. This section will be sent directly to Parish Leadership teams and Chairs of Pastoral Councils in the next week.

Since the Synod I have been thrilled at how many people have commented about how much they appreciated the discernment process we used. They have said they are applying it to their own personal lives, their families and in some cases their work.
Please continue to reflect on and use this process, it will help us all to discern

-where we are to go out to
-what the needs are that are calling loudly
-where will find God
-how loving will be our flame.

With all good wishes and blessings

+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.