Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection – 23 July 2017

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Weeds and Wheat Together

During the week I found myself over reacting to something one of my children had failed to do. His brother said to me, “Mum it wasn’t just what he did that upset you. There’s more to this than what he did.” Instead of going into denial mode and telling my son how wrong he was, I took some time to reflect on the situation. It didn’t take too long before I knew what he said had a lot of truth in it. I had been struggling with how I felt about myself and I saw my son’s failure to help me as confirmation of those feelings.

Most of my life I have always strived for perfection. In today’s Gospel Jesus is telling us that our only true perfection is our honest acceptance of our imperfections. We are all a mixture of weeds and wheat and we always will be. It’s in the messiness of everyday life that we come face to face with both the good and the bad in ourselves and others. As Martin Luther says, we are “simul justus et peccator“. We are simultaneously saint and sinner. We are weeds and wheat together. Understanding this helps us to neither think too highly of ourselves nor dismiss ourselves as terrible.

The learning for us is in accepting our own weeds, rather than getting entangled with the weeds of others. Then we are in a good place to love ourselves and others despite our faults or theirs.

With every blessing

Fiona Rammell
Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection 16 July 2017

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EUTHANASIA?

The Parliamentary Select Committee that investigated into ending one’s life in New Zealand has yet to make its report, but New Zealanders have made it abundantly clear that they are not in favour of legalising euthanasia. An unprecedented number of submissions rejected the idea by 4 to 1.

Nevertheless, an “End of Life Choice Bill” has been drawn from the Ballot and will be debated in Parliament later this month. It is important that the voice of the people be heard, and a law that will not be able to avoid unintended consequences be roundly defeated.

Opening the door to a death-on-demand policy, however tightly restricted the option might be, increases the possibility of manipulation, whereby the elderly or terminally ill could be made to feel obligated to seek a medically assisted death.  Just as no one wants to see their loved one suffering, or awaiting death through a protracted illness, nobody wants to be a burden on others. A request for a medically assisted death from a patient may present as a rational and conscious decision while, in reality, because of pressure or a sense of duty is not a completely free choice. No legislation should enable such an unjust situation to arise.

Nor can our lawmakers expect the medical profession to abandon the commitment to heal and preserve life by making them collaborators in the termination of life.

Our Bishops ask us to become well-informed on this issue, and invite us to send postcards to our MPs urging them to vote “No” to this Bill. Please do so.

I was reminded recently of words of St Augustine: what’s right is right, even if no one is doing it; and what’s wrong is wrong, even if everyone’s doing it.

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 9 July 2017

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Dear Parishioners

The other day I found myself in Cuba Street alongside the water buckets. As a child my mother would take us here and we would spend time watching how one bucket would fill up and then flow into the next one and so on. We were fascinated by these buckets. But this time what fascinated me was a sudden realisation that these buckets represented the constant outpouring of God’s great love for us. It never ends. The buckets just kept flowing. Each bucket didn’t fill up and then stop. It kept giving what it was receiving and pouring all it had out to the next bucket.

As this week’s Psalm reminds us: “The Lord is good to all.” But why is it then that it doesn’t always feel like this? We turn on the news. We hear about someone’s suffering or heartbreak. Life slaps us in the face. Where we ask is this goodness, this mercy, this love?

For me I believe it’s in the hearts of each and every one of us. It’s all in us poured into us from the minute we were born. It’s in the little things like when we smile at someone, help someone, take the time to just sit and be with someone. It’s there when we hold a door open for someone, give someone a compliment, ask them how their day is going, or cook them a meal. The list is endless. It’s in the bigger things when we are passionate about a cause and we set up something to help others. We all know of groups like this.

But one we may not know too much about is called The Apostleship of the Sea. Sea Sunday, as this Sunday is called, is an opportunity for us to become aware of a cause that may strike a cord in us to be that bucket of goodness and love that someone may need. It is always an outpouring of ourselves to one another. And the wonder of it all is that because we are in the flow we also become recipients of goodness and love.

With every blessing

Fiona Rammell, Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection 2 July 2017

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KALEIDOSCOPE

The 2nd of July was a Sunday in 1967, as it is today. I was ordained a priest that day in my home town of Dannevirke by Bishop Owen Snedden. Today, 50 years later, I welcome the opportunity to give thanks for this life-time of ministry, and to share this day with some of my family and the people who have become family through my priesthood. I am grateful to God and to all of you.

I haven’t looked through a kaleidoscope for years, but I readily recall the thrill and the joy of doing so. The way the coloured shapes reconfigured as the tube was turned, sparkling and shining, always delighted me. The image returned when thinking about my life as a priest, and the experiences this life has brought me, especially among families.

The variety has been enormous, the situations a continual mix of happiness and sadness, troubled questioning and easy conversation, challenging times and wonderful companionship. These, and much more are the colours of my life, interlacing, locking for a time, expanding and suddenly reconfiguring – all the while carrying me on a journey of self-discovery and appreciating my place in the lives of others. Each of my several pastoral appointments have been like another turn of the kaleidoscope, presenting a new display of God’s wonderful creation, fascinating patterns weaving their way through real life stories.

Even though, at times, I have doubted my ability or worthiness, I realise I have never not delighted in the life I have known. Amid constantly changing circumstances, like the unexpected combinations in the kaleidoscope’s shapes and colours, being open to surprise and delighting in it all have given me roots and wings for pastoral ministry, for friendship and for personal growth.

Thank you, family of my past and present, for your part in it all.

Fr James

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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

The full newsletter can be viewed here.