Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection 19 November 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

As last year’s Year of Mercy drew to a close, Pope Francis had “an intuition” to call the whole Church to a “World Day of the Poor”. This would be on the Sunday prior to the festival of Christ the King “who identified Himself with the little ones and who will judge us on the works of mercy.”

The Pope explained it would be a day for each baptised person to reflect on “the way in which poverty is at the heart of the Gospel (leading each to) a pastoral conversion to be a witness of mercy.”

On this first World Day of the Poor, Cardinal John offers a reflection on the theme which will be screened at each Mass. He reminds us we do not live in the dark but in the light of Jesus Christ, “so we cannot claim ignorance of the struggles that people face in coping with daily life.”

Called to be stewards of the gifts with which we have been blessed, we can each help to overcome the difficulties of one another. There is generally good support for our weekly “Food Bank”, but the poor are not only those lacking food or shelter.  Pope Francis illustrates the broader sweep of poverty:

Blessed are the open hands that embrace the poor, bringing hope.
Blessed are the hands that reach beyond every barrier of culture, religion and nationality, and pour the balm of consolation over the wounds of humanity.
Blessed are the open hands that ask nothing in exchange –
These are hands that call down blessings on their brothers and sisters.

All this is showing us that the witness of mercy is only truly given in deeds and action and rarely in words alone.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 12 November 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Have you ever wondered why the bridesmaids in today’s parable, didn’t share their oil with the bridesmaids who didn’t have enough? Perhaps they missed the memo to do to others what you would want done to you.

Is there is a deeper meaning here?  Maybe the oil is representing not something to share but something that is already ours.

I remember saying to my children you can’t have my faith. You need a faith of your own. What if the oil represents our faith?  Understanding the Gospel in this way turns it on its head. Just as I cannot give my maths ability (which has taken years of study to achieve), to someone else, so too, I cannot give my faith to someone else.

Each one of us needs to cultivate our own faith and we do this by being prepared, staying awake and with an awareness of the importance of remaining connected to God and present to all that is around us – God’s love shown in so many different ways.

So when the lamp (us) is full of oil (God’s love) we can be light (love) to those we meet. And to do this we choose (free will) whether to fill our lamps with oil or not. How we fill our lamps is unique to each one of us but no one else can do the filling for us. We cannot live a life of faith by proxy, but by being fully aware and part of the process.

We are responsible for our own oil which then will keep our light burning brightly in anticipation of the great feast that we are already part of and one day will share with everyone.

The practice of Lectio Divina which we experienced a few weeks ago was one way of keeping oil in our lamps. What other ways do you ensure you have enough “oil” in your “lamp” so you can burn brightly with love to all those you meet?

Fiona Rammell,
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 5 November 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

FAREWELL TO A PRIEST

Fr John Berry was parish priest of our Cathedral Parish from 1997 to 2004. He died last week, 26 October, after some years of ill health and care in the Home of Compassion, Silverstream. His Requiem Mass was in the Cathedral he served and loved so faithfully, on Friday 3 November.

It is difficult to summarise the life of a priest. His ministry is among people and within the circumstances, concerns and even contradictions of their lives. He meets their sorrows and their joys, and holds confidences which he can never share. His own personality can be interpreted or experienced according to the variety of roles in which he is placed. He is a public figure for whom privacy can be elusive. He is an individual who lives for the common good.

From the tributes given Fr John, it is apparent that he lived his priesthood with great generosity, touching the lives of people with compassion and empathy. I knew him as priest eager to give his best. He placed his communication and music skills at the service of God’s people with humour and delightful energy and brought dignity and grace to the liturgy. He lived a life of stewardship.

For all this, he offered his priesthood without favour, meaning that each person could perhaps have a different appreciation of his work. That is why an accurate summary is so difficult. What is most important now, is to thank God for the priestly ministry that meant so much to John Berry and to those he served, to pray for him as he enters the reign of God he lived for, and to encourage others to take his place in our crazy, difficult to define but extraordinarily wonderful priesthood!

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 22 October 2017

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LISTENING AND HEARING

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) provides clear teaching about the ways in which Jesus is present to us through the Liturgy – our formal, public worship.  Jesus is present: 1. In the gathering of the people; 2. In the proclamation of the Word; 3. In the person of the Presider (who leads in the name of Jesus); 4. When the Church prays and sings; 5. And, especially, in the Eucharist.

While it is the Eucharistic presence that is given most emphasis, each of the other four has great value for our faith journey.  Pope Francis, as part of his thrust to reawaken the messages and teachings of the Council, has called us to give more attention to the Sacred Scriptures, to the living word of God, and to appreciate the “presence” of Jesus in the Liturgy of the Word.

That is why next Sunday the focus will be on that part of the Mass, and we will be helped to fully listen and truly hear the sacred reading.  There will be only one reading, the Gospel [Matthew 22: 34-40].  The process that will take us through the reading is known as Lectio Divina, requiring only a willingness to listen prayerfully to the reading, remaining open to hear the Word of God speaking to your heart.

The presence of Jesus as the Word is proclaimed, is real, dynamic, and an effective guide for daily living.  While we will use this approach on only one Sunday, it is a technique you can use personally at any time.  Come prepared next Sunday for this experience.  Read the chapter [Matthew 22] early in the week.  As suggested earlier, you may like to bring a copy of the text in your first language as it could assist concentration and help provide insight.

May we all fully listen and truly hear.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 15 October 2017

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The Parish Delegates Synod 17 Reflection insert can be viewed here.

HOME AGAIN

My time away from the parish over these past six weeks could not have been possible without the cheerful assistance of several people willing to share themselves and their time. Fr Ron and Fr Soane from Otari Parish and Fr Jim Dooley from Marist Centre enabled the schedule of Masses to continue and stepped in to cover emergencies. Our parish secretary, Frank Doherty, supported by music director, Michael Fletcher, kept the office humming beautifully and our newly appointed Lay Pastoral Leader, Fiona Rammell, gave wonderful service.

This combination of talent and commitment gave me the security to relax and enjoy a great holiday, and I am very grateful for the opportunity. I’m also grateful that you, dear parishioners, kept turning up! That speaks so positively for the leadership you experienced. Thank you, everyone!

So much of significance occurred during my absence and I shall reflect a little on that in my homily today. But, looking ahead, I want to encourage you to prepare for our response to Pope Francis’ invitation to spend time with Sacred Scripture – specifically in the Masses of 28-29 October.

There will be only one Reading in that Sunday Mass, the Gospel [Matthew 22:34-40] and we will spend time together listening to it and uncovering its message for each of us. The technique is known as Lectio Divina, with emphasis on truly hearing the Word of God, letting that Word settle within me, drawing me to realise its relevance for my life as a follower of Christ.

Remember that Scripture is the living Word of God and as such is pulsating, dynamic, energising. By opening heart and mind to its influence, it can guide, challenge, comfort and renew both personal and community life. Prepare by reading the whole chapter [Matthew 22]. Using a Bible in your first language might be even more profitable. More on this next week.

Thank you for your love and support. It is good to be back home.

Fr James