Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection 18 June 2017

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Dear Parishioners

My adult children returned recently from walking the Camino through Spain. When I asked them the highlight of the pilgrimage they all agreed: meeting the people! It was the relationships established with the people they met that gave their walk meaning.

But as special as relationships can be, they can also bring us face to face with angst, discord and disharmony.

With all relationships there is an ebb and flow. They are never static. They are alive and so they grow and change.  Relationships are the means by which each of us grows. When I am on my own I can get along with everyone! But when I venture into relationship then I leave myself open not just for great joy but also great pain.

Relationships are never perfect. But they are the heartbeat of our lives.  Without them we are just beings that keep busy doing stuff rather than being. The hint is in the name: we are human beings, not human doings.

And so I come to “be” with you, to walk alongside you as we journey together. I look forward to all I can learn from you and to get to know your stories, your hopes and your desires.

As the Maori proverb says in reply to “what is the most important thing in the world?”…Te Tangata, Te tangata, Te tangata…it is the people, the people, the people.

My sincere thanks to you, the parishioners of Sacred Heart Cathedral, for being open to this opportunity for me to walk amongst you and alongside you. I look forward to getting to know you all.

With every blessing

Fiona Rammell – Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection – 11 June 2017

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All life is relational. Nothing and no one stays alive long without the means to live – whether that’s air to breathe or sun to warm or rain for growing or people to learn from or friends to hold. Relationships are the building blocks of every life form. This is especially so for human life in which love is crucial. Made in the image of God, each of us is a walking, jumping, thinking and talking expression of the Trinity. Drawn into relationship with one another, we can witness God’s presence simply by being true to ourselves and our nature.

God as Parent is creative, bringing into being and sustaining life. God as Son is the healer and reconciler, mending the brokenness in creation caused by the misuse of the gift of freedom. God as Holy Spirit is the encourager, the enabler, the one who breathes wisdom and joy into our efforts, unites and harmonises the variety of gifts, these aspects of our one God are highlighted in today’s readings: the Book of Exodus announcing the special relationship between God and humanity as the God of tenderness and compassion; the beautiful passage from 1 Corinthians, urging our faithfulness to this relation-ship by growing in unity and peace; and the Gospel, proclaiming God’s love for the world – so great that this God chose to experience life as a human person!

Those who attended the Lutheran/Roman Catholic service in our cathedral last Sunday, were moved by the sheer emotion of coming together after 500 years of separateness. Honesty and humility stood out starkly as Bishop Mark and Cardinal John led the nearly full cathedral in prayers of confession, hope and thanksgiving. A new relationship has been formed and the path to unity has become much clearer. Our Triune God, the model of unity, is worshipped and honoured in this open commitment to healing and renewal.

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 4 June 2011

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Dear Parishioners,

When a priest turns 75, he can either offer to retire or continue in pastoral ministry, perhaps with less responsibility. When my turn came late last year I informed Cardinal John that I was happy to carry on but I felt the need of some pastoral assistance. Because we now have fewer priests I did not anticipate this happening and was delighted to learn that a Lay Pastoral Leader would be joining our parish team.

Fiona Rammell began a 15 hours per week contract last Monday and will serve you, with me, the parish and school of Sacred Heart Cathedral. This time can only increase as she meets the pastoral opportunities and challenges here. Cardinal John will formally commission Fiona at the 10.30am Mass next Sunday, 11 June.

In welcoming Fiona, I present her as a partner with me in all things relating to our faith community. Soon she will take my place on our school’s Board of Trustees and her experience also makes her an ideal assistant to Angela Helbano in coordinating the Confirmation/First Communion programme. She will be a valued addition to our Pastoral Council and will be one of our delegates at the Archdiocesan Synod in September.

Fiona’s formation as Lay Pastoral Leader has meant a study and practical programme spread over eight years. She has already assisted the Archdiocese with re-writing the sacramental syllabus used in parishes and schools. As a wife and mother of four, Fiona brings a wealth of personal skills as nurturer and caregiver that will greatly benefit Sacred Heart Parish and school.

I have no doubt you will also welcome Fiona and give her every assistance.  Pray God’s blessing on her as she begins her commitment among us. She comes with Pentecost as a gift of the Spirit, a practical expression of the joy of the Gospel!

Fr James

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Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter

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A special moment in the journey from conflict to reunion between Lutherans and Catholics will be witnessed next Sunday afternoon (4 June) in Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Lutheran Bishop, Mark Whitfield, and Cardinal John Dew will lead the two communities in a service commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Year of Reformation.  Themes of thanksgiving, repentance, common witness and commitment will draw on traditions we hold in common.

A highlight will be the introduction of a formal dialogue between Lutherans and Roman Catholics in New Zealand.

It is wonderful to note that the journey towards each other has grown in momentum these past 50 years through what is obviously a Holy Spirit-driven ecumenical season.  We have come to appreciate that what unites us is far greater than what divides us.  With greater understanding, trust has blossomed while old prejudices have faded.

Two weeks ago I spoke at St Paul’s Lutheran Church about the relationship between Luther and Rome.  In my preparation I was surprised to discover Luther’s “Theology of Joy” which he expressed in his pastoral letters and preaching.  It sits easily with Pope Francis’ emphasis on joy, as he encourages everyone to open themselves to the “Joy of the Gospel” and the “Joy of Love”.

Our times are witnessing a definite climate shift from intolerance to an atmosphere of friendly contact and participation in everything we can share together.  The unity for which Jesus Christ prayed is surely within our grasp.

Next Sunday’s service at the cathedral is at 3.00pm.  Please come and support this timely initiative.  Be part of an historic moment in New Zealand inter-church relationships.

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 21 May 2017

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Priests engaged in ministry in our archdiocese gathered this week in Wellington for two days’ reflection and renewal. Two critical aspects of their pastoral work, the Homily and the Eucharistic Prayer, were given special attention.

Pope Francis, in his Evangelii Gaudium – the Joy of the Gospel – has given priests some strong reminders of what the homily is and is not. It is the touchstone for judging a pastor’s closeness and ability to communicate to his people…and should be a consoling encounter with God’s word. It is not entertainment…and the preacher’s words must not become more important than the celebration of faith.

The preacher has the wonderful but difficult task of joining loving hearts, the hearts of the Lord and his people. This cannot be done by presenting “detached ideas” which say nothing of what lies in the heart of the preacher.

The Pope is himself a good model for preachers. His skill in helping people feel they are deeply loved by God, is matched by his ability to appeal to imagery with simple, clear language. In a recent interview he spoke about the misuse of power with an image that has immediate impact: Power without humility, he said, is like drinking gin on an empty stomach – you feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance, and you end up hurting yourself and everyone around you!

In a beautiful, affirming passage (para. 151) he says the priest is not asked to be flawless, but to keep growing and wanting to grow along the path of the Gospel. I am never to forget that God loves me, that Jesus Christ has saved me, and that his love has always the last word.

My own preaching is also greatly helped by your loving support which has given me honest appraisal and a true sense of purpose and belonging.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.