Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

25TH World Day of Prayer for the Sick – 11 February 2017

25TH World Day of Prayer for the Sick

11 February 2017


In his message to the Church commemorating this special Day, Pope Francis writes:

“The gaze of Mary, Comfort of the Afflicted, brightens the face of the Church in her daily commitment to the suffering and those in need…

This great wealth of humanity and faith must not be dissipated. Instead, it should inspire us to speak openly of our human weaknesses and to address the challenges of present-day healthcare and technology. On this World Day of the Sick, may we find new incentive to work for the growth of a culture of respect for life, health and the environment. May this Day also inspire renewed efforts to defend the integrity and dignity of persons, not least through a correct approach to bioethical issues, the protection of the vulnerable and the protection of the environment.”

Mary, our Mother,
in Christ you welcome each of us as a son or daughter.
Sustain the trusting expectation of our hearts,
succour us in our infirmities and sufferings,
and guide us to Christ, your Son and our brother.
Help us to entrust ourselves to the Father who accomplishes great things.



Next Saturday (11th), the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, is the Church’s day of prayer for the sick.  The Sacrament of Anointing will be offered after the 8.30am Mass and the 5.30pm Vigil Mass.  This for the aged, infirm, those facing surgery and for those in a care giving role.

The Cathedral Connection – 5 February 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
The newsletter insert can be viewed here.


Tomorrow’s commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi is honoured by a special Mass in the cathedral at 9.00am. Cardinal John leads the Mass, with St Mary of the Angels coordinating the liturgy in association with members of the parish personal to Maori, Te Ngakau Tapu.

Whether or not you can be part of this Mass, the following prayer can link us together for the occasion:

God, ever faithful, we thank you for the land we live in, the land we call home.  Bless this land, Aotearoa-New Zealand, and all who live here.  Today, as never before, your work is in our hands.  In our diversity, our frailty and our mystery, we trust in your power to save, to draw us closer together and, in our relationships, to reflect the harmony, wonder and beauty of your creation.  You are our life and our peace, revealed through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 As this is a public holiday, there will be no 8am or 12.10pm Masses in the Cathedral.

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
The newsletter insert can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 2016 Christmas – New Year 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
The newsletter insert containing the January Mass Timetable can be viewed here


“Can we have a real Christmas this year?”  The request came from a seven year-old.  Telling the tale, the mother explained that last year the family had moved to a new address and there wasn’t time to settle and unpack everything.  Christmas came and went with no decorations or the family’s traditional “Crib” scene.  That’s what the child missed most of all.

In our increasingly secular country, the loss of what Christmas really means is very palpable.  Street parades welcome “Santa” with no mention of the “Christ-child”; trees are decorated with everything from bottle tops to miniature reindeer and “Spidermen”, with scarcely an angel in view.  “Snoopy’s Christmas” and “What a Wonderful World” get a remarkable amount of airtime, and “Happy Holidays” tries to overtake “Happy Christmas”!

Welcome to Sacred Heart Cathedral in this Christmas Season, and thank you for coming.  Your presence signals your recognition that there is indeed more to this season than what appears in shopping brochures and civic promotions.

There is a reality that cannot be measured in the tug that draws us to one another, that engenders warmth and good will and that, if even for a little while, lifts the burdens of concern and fear.  The Christian belief that God is with us in Jesus, ever encouraging and ever merciful, is a powerful strength in our uncertain and struggling world.

May your visit here sharpen your focus on what makes the Christmas Season real and vital for us all.  Give thanks for the faith that lets you see the love of God in every aspect of life: the tininess of the newly born, the forces of nature, the lined weariness of aging…  All belong in the “Crib” of Christmas.

Have a real, holy and lasting Christmas.

James Lyons, Parish Priest

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
The newsletter insert containing the January Mass Timetable can be viewed here

The Cathedral Connection 11 December 2016

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Each school term one of our 10.30am Sunday Masses centres on families. The children take
a lead role in the liturgy and parents are invited to participate in the preparation. Today, the Third Sunday of Advent, the Family Mass will proclaim the purpose of the first coming of Jesus: to reveal the love of God to “little ones” – to those who know they are not independent of God; who are more likely to understand that they need one another to find fulfilment in life.

We are within the season that allows families to celebrate their identity; when the need to belong and our appreciation of one another can be expressed openly and without embarrassment. It is the season of good will, a time when we seek to be with those dear to us and feel especially close to those no longer with us.

Catholic tradition marks this day on the Advent Wreath with a pink candle to symbolise joyful expectation. Known as Gaudete Sunday, we pause in our preparations to rejoice that the Lord is near. This is the time to put aside all fear and trepidation and to reaffirm our conviction that, though we might seem at times to walk in darkness, a light has come to guide us home.

With just two weeks to Christmas, give thanks for the faith that has opened your eyes and your ears to see and hear God’s love for you. Be proud of the faith that binds you close to others in the family of the Church. And give thanks, too, for your personal family that is your foothold on earth and your springboard into life.

In the just published book on family prayer, There is a time for…, I note that having a sense of belonging, knowing that I am part of someone else’s life, brings security and identity, and enables me to live more fully my own life. [p.72] This is what our Family Mass and Christmas celebrate.

Fr James Lyons

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 4 December 2016

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


 The annual “Archbishop’s Appeal” is underway with the distribution last week of a special envelope. It is good to reflect that this one direct appeal for funding made by our Archbishop (Cardinal John) is his only means of assisting services in the Archdiocese that cannot be fully catered for in the general budget.

Social Services have expanding demands as calls for help intensify, and the training and payment of Lay Pastoral Leaders can only be maintained with the creation of a solid financial base. The appeal of Cardinal John is not going to completely fund these and other needs; notably, the average giving per parish over the last several years for this collection has not exceeded $500.

Please take this Appeal seriously and see if we can at least double the average.  There are still envelopes available in the Foyer.



Our own Parish has opportunities to benefit from two generous offers:

This afternoon at 4.30, a choral group known as The Faultline Chorus, present “Christmas in the Cathedral” to help fund our Organ restoration. Then, next Saturday (10th), a new book I have edited, and which features a great range of local writers (including some of our school children), will be launched and available for sale that weekend. All profits will go to the Parish.

See inside newsletter for details. Thank you for ALL your support.

Fr James Lyons

The full newsletter can be viewed here.