Category Archives: Cardinal John’s News

Cardinal John’s Newsletter – 26 Jan 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends
Already a month into 2017 it’s easy to acknowledge how quickly the weeks fly by. I am very conscious that one of the major challenges for me, and part of the work of all of us this year, is the Archdiocesan Synod to take place in September. Although it will not just be September, the Synod Planning Committee has already been hard at work. Hopefully you are already praying and imploring the Spirit of God to inspire and guide us. I have asked that every parish pray the Synod Prayer at every Sunday Mass between now and September 24th, please do so. Naturally all the other work of our parishes, schools, colleges and organizations has to continue this year, because pastoral, spiritual, sacramental, and educational needs must be attended to. However we also need to plan for the future, discern directions for the future and see how we will respond to them as the Church of Wellington.
I will be inviting ALL people of the Archdiocese to engage in the Synod preparation process, to pray, reflect, discuss and prepare for the future. This will require all of us who are in positions of leadership to be ready to encourage, support and give confidence to all people as we invite them to participate. We do this because we want the best for the Church of Wellington, we do this because we know we cannot stand still, we do this because we know what the Gospel offers us, we do this because we know who Jesus is, we do this because like Peter we too say “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6: 68).
All readers of this newsletter, please pray for the success of the Synod, please support it in every way and do all you can to encourage others to engage in the Synod process.
With all good wishes and blessings for 2017, and with my prayers in gratitude for all that you do.
+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 15 December 2016

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,
I am not a singer, but I do love music and when it comes to Christmas time the Christmas Carol I love the most is “O Holy Night.” It is not one that we sing very often as congregations, it seems to be more likely that someone with a wonderfully gifted voice sings it as a solo. This carol was composed by a French poet, Placide Cappeau, in 1847 and was known as “Cantique de Noel,” when translated into English as “O Holy Night.”
As I have thought about this carol I have realized that it is really the chorus that I like the most, the way it is sung and the words them-selves.

“Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine.”

As we come close to the end of another year, and as I look back and think of the incredible contributions you have all made to our schools and colleges, our parishes and organizations I wish to thank you all. This has been a year of great grace, with amazing efforts made to mark the Year of Mercy, and to give thanks for God’s merciful acceptance of each one of us, and sharing God’s mercy with others. During the year we received Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). This is a powerful letter about family life, family life which is so important and necessary for our Church and our society.

That’s where “O Holy Night” comes in. I was saying in my Confirmation homily this year that I wanted every family in the diocese to be a family that prays to-gether. I guess in some ways it is easy to think about “falling on our knees on the night when Christ was born” and seeing that it is indeed a holy night. Are we able to make every night a “holy night?’ Are we able to “fall on our knees” every day and night of the year?
As I give thanks to you all for your wonderfully generous ways of prayer and support for parishes, schools, organizations in the diocese my prayer and blessing for everyone is that we will all be deeply and richly blessed by the presence of Christ among us this Christmas and every day. Try to find time over Christmas to “fall on your knees” and experience the wonder and mystery of God among us, try to see every moment as a divine moment, and you will know the goodness and mercy of God.
With my thanks to everyone and with every blessing.
+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal Dew to bring message from Pope Francis to quake-affected Kaikoura

Cardinal Dew to bring message from Pope Francis to quake-affected Kaikoura

[Editor’s Note: Kaikoura is part of the Cardinal’s archdiocese of Wellington which extends from Nelson, Marlborough, Blenheim through the Wellington region and north to Otaki and Wairarapa.]

Cardinal Dew was in Rome when news broke of the first earthquake. Pope Francis and local Italians, having recently experienced large earthquakes, expressed deep concern for the people of New Zealand.

“Pope Francis spoke to me at the closing Mass for the Year of Mercy, despite speaking to many people, he came to me and said very sincerely that he was praying for New Zealand following the earthquake and expressed his concern for the welfare of people affected,”

“Kaikoura is part of my diocese and while overseas I kept up to date with news and updates about the situation. I was very concerned, and wanted to visit with people when I returned and there was access,”

“I will visit the priests based there and the local Catholic parish and Catholic primary school and Takahanga Marae which has been providing accommodation, meals and support in the days following the first earthquake. This weekend, I want to be with them personally and let them know that we are with them in their time of uncertainty and anxiety,”

[Please note Cardinal Dew will be available for media interviews while in Kaikoura, details below]

“While there is much physical repairing to do, people are also feeling unsafe, uncertain and worried for their livelihoods and their homes,”

“I plan to speak with them and hear how they’ve been affected, their fears and concerns and see what we can do to support them practically too,”

“I will be going with staff from Catholic Social Services, our Turanga Māori Adviser, and our national social justice & humanitarian agency Caritas I also plan to do a Mass in Māori – te Miha Māori and have some prayer time with them, to help bring some comfort in this difficult time.

Cardinal John will be visiting from Saturday afternoon until Monday lunchtime and is available for media interviews during this time. To arrange media interviews please contact Julianne Hickey, Caritas Director, who will be travelling with the Cardinal, on 021 909 656

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 1 December 2016

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Prayer of Consecration of the Archdiocese to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

The Archdiocese of Wellington has close links with Lyon, France. Many will remember, at the Archdiocesan celebrations of the year 2000, the dramatic presentation of our whakapapa that links us with the long history of this city of saints and martyrs: Saints Polycarp, Pothin and Blandine, the martyrs of the French Revolution, as well as many religious congregations here in Wellington: Marists, Cenacle Sisters, Mission Sisters, Sisters of Compassion, Sisters of Jesus and Mary (formerly in Wainuiomata).
When I visited the diocesan centre at the time of our pilgrimage to Lyon marking 200 years since the birth of Bishop Viard, I felt a bit overwhelmed by the larger-than-life sized portraits of previous Arch-bishops of Lyon that lined the corridors. Many of them were “larger than life” in their holiness, pastoral concern and missionary dyna-mism. One continued his former ministry with homeless men who roamed the streets of Lyon at night.
Lyon is the home of many of the early Marist Missionaries who served in New Zealand, including Bishop Philip Viard, the first bishop of Wellington. As a young boy, he would look up to the Hill of Fourviere on 8 December each year, towards the Festival of Lights and candle-lit rosary procession that continues to this day. Each year the people of Lyon renewed their prayer for the protection of their city against both natural disasters and invasion by foreign armies. Bishop Viard remembered this custom, when, following the 1855 earthquake in Wellington, he consecrated the people of the Archdio-cese to Mary, asking for her protection in time of earthquakes.
A copy of this prayer is included with this newsletter. I invite you to pray it in your parishes, schools, and communities on 8 December, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the patronal feast of the Archdiocese, and at the following weekend Masses, 10-11 Decem-ber. We know that Pope Francis is also praying for us at this time. When I was in Rome last month for the consistory, the Pope greeted all the Cardinals, took my hands in his and said: “I am praying for all the people of New Zealand at this time of the earthquakes.”
We pray not only for ourselves but for all those who suffer from all natural disasters, often more intense in our day because of the effects of climate change. The poor, already on the fringes of society, are those who suffer the most. Advent calls us to pay special attention to the poor and the lonely in our midst, and especially those most af-fected by the recent earthquakes and flooding.
As this year comes to an end, I thank all of you for your prayerful support over the past year, and for the joy you lived in your commit-ment to the life and mission of the church during this Year of Mercy .
With every blessing this Advent Season as we welcome the Lord who comes into our life each day
With every blessing
+John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 17 November 2016

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,
From the other side of the world I want you all to know that you are very much being held in prayer at this time of great anxiety with the earthquakes. I had already sent home something for this week’s newsletter, but I could not ignore the fact that you have all been subjected to the constant earthquakes and the worry and anxiety they bring. It is very difficult being this far away and knowing what everyone is going through. Where I am at the Focolare Centre in Loppiano is not too far from where there have been recent devas-tating earthquakes here in Italy, is has meant that many, many people have been asking me what is happen-ing in New Zealand and there have been prayers offered several times a day.
Naturally I feel very concerned for the people in Kaikoura and the Marlborough area and am wondering how we can help them, I have managed to be in touch with some of them. Wellington too, of course, must be a place of tension and anxiety as the aftershocks continue. With the help of the internet I have been able to follow much of what has been happening and continue to think of you all.
The next part of this newsletter is about the end of the Year of Mercy which I had sent home in the evening a few hours before the earthquake struck. I knew I could not send that out without letting you know that you have all been very much in my thoughts and prayers.
While here in Rome I have been attending the Plenary meeting of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. I have had a few days retreat at the Focolare House “Vinea Mea” in Loppiano. I will attend the Consistory for new Cardinals on Saturday, the Mass for the Closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy on Sunday and then return home.
The meeting on Christian Unity was a wonderful experience, if there was one thing that was stressed it was that the working towards the unity of all Christian Churches is the responsibility of ALL of us; it not just for a few who are interested. As one of the participants said, “Ecumenism is not an elite sport,” and as Pope Fran-cis said it is the obligation of all to overcome the scandal of division amongst Christian Churches.
I will be privileged to be at the closing of the Doors of Mercy in a couple of days time. I believe that this has been a year of great graces and a year when we have had the opportunity to pray and reflect on what it means for us to receive the mercy of God, to see and experience the face of Jesus looking at us with the eyes of the Father’s mercy. Which of course challenges us to reflect on how we show mercy to others. We can do that only when we know God’s mercy ourselves. Many things have been written, many homilies giv-en, many cards and reflections printed on what MERCY really means. Now is the time for us to pause and ask ourselves how the doors of our own hearts have been opened to God, and how we keep those doors open so that we can show mercy to one another and to those who most need it in our world. It is easy to think about the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the sick, the aged, the lonely, the grieving, those who are out of work, those facing financial difficulties, and those who have no one to pray for them. This year has challenged us not just to think about MERCY, but to live it.
My prayer is that the picture above of a painting given to me last year and which I used at the opening of the Year of Mercy in our Cathedral on 8th December last year will continue to speak to our hearts as we know Jesus as the Face of the Father’s mercy. With every blessing,
+John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.