Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection 10 September 2017

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We have a situation! A few of my boys have gone into business together and are struggling with someone whom they have to deal with on a daily basis. They got this feeling that things were not right and instead of going to speak to her they just allowed every little thing that she does to confirm for them their thoughts around this situation.

Sound familiar? We often do this. Instead of going and seeing the person we are upset with, we talk to others about it.

In today’s Gospel Jesus clearly tells us that if we feel like this we should always in the first instance go and speak to that person. But what stops us from doing this?

Pope Francis reflects in his letter Laudato Si ’ the importance of social cohesion that can enable all people to participate in society and to cultivate meaningful relationships with each other. We are born into family, whānau, neighbourhoods and communities. They are not always perfect but God intended that we grow through our interaction with others.

But it is these interactions with others that can cause us deep concern and heartache and so we often choose to do nothing. The second reading today reminds us that “love does no evil to the neighbour.” We are called into community to be beacons of love. The kind of love that at times hurts, consumes and doesn’t ‘feel’ great. But the kind of love that helps transform not just others but ourselves in the process.

And even when these neighbours refuse to listen we are called to treat them as a Gentile or a tax collector. On first reading this we may think that means to exclude them but what Jesus is trying to tell us here is to continue loving others despite their faults. Our challenge is to always think of ways in which we can add value to the lives of others. Social Justice Week gives us just that opportunity.

Fiona Rammell
Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection 3 September 2017

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When Father James asked me to write some words on “what it means to be a dad” I had to reflect deeply on the question. Being a dad is hard work and on occasion my two children have even told me that I’m the worst dad in the world! Frankly, I often wonder whether I’m a good enough dad. Am I engaging, supportive, helpful, or spending enough time with my children? Moreover, being a dad means acting as a role model to your children – and that’s a big responsibility. Part of that includes demonstrating enough love, respect, and support toward their mum so when they grow up they will value the important role that women play in their lives and society. Sometimes it’s a matter of checking myself to ensure I’m doing the right thing by them!

Traditional Catholic moral authority says that we can’t or shouldn’t judge good or bad. These are subjective or conscience matters. We can, however, judge whether our actions are right or wrong. Being a dad means teaching our children right from wrong. Having integrity means doing what you know is right, and showing the virtues that are important to you. This includes being responsible so that children know that they can count on you as a dad. It’s about being honest, kind, respectful, grateful or thankful, co-operating with others, and being friendly. It also means showing a wider regard for our communities.

On Father’s Day we shouldn’t forget our own dads. It’s good to identify the qualities in the dad that you know, even those who have died, and cultivate them in yourself; that way, you keep them alive.

As a dad, there are eight letters and three words I tell my children before they go to sleep each night …… I love you.

Nigel Ingram

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The Cathedral Connection 20 August 2017

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At home we have a golden retriever called Kobe.  He is nearly two years old and his favourite place to sit at dinner time is under the table. The rule in the house is to not feed him but somehow this seems to be a rule in name only as those around the table all seem to find something on their plates that they are willing to give him.

In today’s Gospel Jesus says, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” In Jesus’ time the word “dogs” was a common colloquial expression among Jews for Gentiles. In this story, Jesus is on one of his few visits outside Jewish territory. The woman who speaks to him is non-Jewish. Her reply to Jesus is, “Even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their master.” Jesus responds by telling her she has great faith.  Why?

Because even though she is an outsider, someone who on the face of it did not qualify to be in Jesus’ company, let alone hear anything he had to say, through her great suffering she is determined to access the power of this person she has heard about. She will take whatever scraps she can get. Her first thought was not am I deserving of this. She was just persistently determined to be open to receive whatever this man Jesus could give her.

Just like Kobe sits under the table and is open to anything we give him, we too are invited to be open to receiving God’s grace and mercy, totally unearned and complete gift. We don’t receive it because we are good but because God is good. What’s more, the underlying theme running through all the readings today reminds us that this is freely available to everyone, all peoples, all nations, the world.

With every blessing
Fiona Rammell, Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection 13 August 2017

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The parish committees responsible for pastoral care and development, liturgy and finance, reported to our annual meeting last Sunday. I also gave an account of my ministry with you over the past year.  The meeting had been promoted as an opportunity for you, the parishioners, to hear what’s been going on and what lies ahead in the life of the parish. It was also an occasion for meeting participants from across the range of Masses celebrated at the cathedral each week. About 40 participated.

What stood out for me from the various reports, was the fact that we have a great number of people involved in the life of the parish.  Apart from the three committees (totalling 25 members), we have a senior and boys’ choirs, musicians, a music group, servers, ministers of the Word and Communion, sacristans, welcomers and guardians, collectors, hospitality teams, Food Bank coordinators, Prayer and Scripture groups, Rosary and Divine Mercy devotions. All this in addition to a Secretary, a Lay Pastoral Leader, a Director of Music and a Parish Priest!

A few weeks ago I wrote that a parish is nothing without people. Well, we have close to 250 people involved in a variety of services and activities and this speaks well for the health of the parish. Priests come and go. They might stimulate growth and encourage participation, but it is you, the people, who are the beating heart of the community. Thank you for “beating” so well.

I concluded my report, in this my 10th year among you, “with deep gratitude for the faith that richly endowers this parish, for you, the people, who bring the parish to life, for the rock solid commitment that keeps us assembling in worship, and for your love that anchors me here. Thank you, everyone.”

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection – 6 August 2017

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We all have those moments. We look around us and are in awe of what we are seeing. Something that springs to mind is when we see a wonderful sunset. There is something about it that captivates us.

When a group of friends headed to the mountains with Jesus, they too were captivated by what they were seeing.

Often words are not enough to describe these moments. There is a deeper sense of knowing that something big is happening but we can’t quite explain it. And to try and explain it to someone who has not experienced it almost becomes nonsensical. In these moments we are transfigured.

The dictionary describes transfiguration as a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state.”

It’s in moments like these that the junk in our lives suddenly looks different. We catch a glimpse of something impossible to put into words.

Jesus wanted to draw his friends into this experience sharing with them a reality that they would later come to understand and would enable them to get them through the tough times he knew were ahead.

Our story is the same as the Apostles. It is about getting through the tough times rather than being rescued from them. The disciples came to see Jesus as someone who could take away their fear. From expecting Jesus to be a revolutionary leader in the political sense their understanding was transfigured to see the “Kingdom” as a spiritual reality. Jesus travels with us, inviting us in the words of the liturgy to offer everything “through him, with him and in him.”

This gives us the hope and faith to continue being disciples of Jesus. Without that it would be too easy to give up.

With every blessing
Fiona Rammell
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.