Category Archives: Cardinal John’s News

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

John

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.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter – 28 September 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,

Two weeks ago when I wrote this Newsletter it was the day before our Synod “Go, you are Sent” began. It was a wonderful weekend, thank you all for your prayers, which most certainly helped the Synod to run smoothly and which enabled people to participate fully in the listening and discernment process. If there was one message I heard from people over the weekend it was about how much they appreciated the prayerful discern-ment process and the wish that such processes could be used in parish life. There is absolutely no reason why that cannot happen, and indeed I hope that it will.

A huge amount of work went into the Synod:

  • the planning of the Synod Committee,
  • the training of facilitators and scribes,
  • the two pre-synod days in May,
  • the engagement in the consultation phase and the extensive feedback,
  • the actual participation over the weekend,
  • the liturgies and prayer over the weekend
  • the analysis of recommendations as they came in

THANK YOU ALL

In a way the work now begins. I have received a total of 96 recommendations. They are all important for the life of the Archdiocese and I will be planning, with others, as to how these recommendations can become reality. Some things are clear:

  • we all need to be involved and we all need to do some things differently,
  • theological, spiritual and liturgical formation has been identified as a major requirement,
  • it is essential that we search out, identify and go to the peripheries,
  • we are to embrace bicultural relationships as an integral part of all that we do

There are many more challenges before us. I will need the generosity and creativity of all of you to help give life and energy to the Archdiocese, its parishes, schools, colleges, organisations, families and to every individual.

Pope Francis sent us a wonderful message for the Syn-od. His challenge to us was to be “authentic missionary disciples.”

That is a challenge to us all, we can do it but we are never disciples alone.
We are always disciples together and we are always gifted with the Spirit of God.
Thank you again for the wonderful support for the Synod.

With every blessing

+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s News 14 September 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Dear Friends

Tomorrow the sixth Synod of the Archdiocese of Wellington will begin. Previous Synods were held in 1876, 1888, 1988, 1998, and 2006. Actually the Synod has already begun; it began when I convoked the Synod on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception last December. Much preparatory work has gone on over the intervening months; I thank you all sincerely for that, and especially the Synod Steering Committee. However an enormous part of the work has been done by you, laity, religious and clergy of the Archdiocese. In May there were two major gatherings, one in the South Island part of the diocese and one in the North Island. Then in May, June and July several hundred people participated in the consultation phase of the synod. This meant people gathering together, listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, listening to others, and praying and discerning before responses were sent in an analysed in preparation for this week-end. The process of discernment has been appreciated by many people and I have been told by them that they have begun to use this prayerful discernment process in various meetings and gatherings. The same process will be used over this Synod weekend.
Almost two years ago Pope Francis said “it is precisely this path of Synodality which God expects of this Church of the third millennium.” Please pray that all participants at the Synod this weekend will enter the weekend with the intention of “journeying together.”
At the second session of the Synod on the Family (October 2015), which I was privileged to be at, the Holy Father said “The world in which we live, and which we are called to love and serve, even with its contradictions, demands that the Church strengthen cooperation in all areas of her mission.” I therefore ask for your prayers again. As you know this Synod is about being “Sent Out” on mission, reminding all the baptised that we have a task to do, the task is to take Christ and His Gospel into the world around us. What I therefore ask of all the readers of this newsletter is that you pray that we find a way to ensure “that the Church strengthen cooperation in all areas of her mission.” The formal part of the Synod begins tomorrow, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. We entrust the work of the Synod therefore to Mary who was given to us as
“As a Church which journeys together with men and wom-en, sharing the travails of history, let us cherish the dream that a rediscovery of the inviolable dignity of peoples and of the function of authority as service will also be able to help civil society to be built up in justice and fraternity, and thus bring about a more beautiful and humane world for coming generations. ” Pope Francis
our Mother as Jesus was dying on the cross and said to John and to us “This is your mother.” (John 19:26)

With thanks to you all for the support and prayers for this important event in the life of the Archdiocese. Every blessing.

+ John