Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection 22 April 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


So lately sprung from glory,
A shepherd seeks his sheep,
Across a desert country,
Through lonely rocks and steep.

This verse from an ancient hymn sounds a cry of victory. The lost need fear no more. Our Easter Sundays are rich with positive messages assuring us that, through the resurrection of Jesus, life has nothing to be afraid of. Despite persecution, rejection, disbelief, and yes, even our own betrayals, God will not give up on us. In the resurrection life has come to stay.

The Good Shepherd theme in today’s Mass puts the focus on the companionship of Jesus and our own vocation to follow his call to seek, to serve and to save. In company with Jesus and one another, nothing can stop us proclaiming the gospel news that happiness comes with being a peace with yourself. And this inner peace comes with the realisation that I am in tune with the needs around me and playing my part to meet them. It is in giving that we receive.

Last week, Debbie, our Lay Pastoral Leader, invited all to the Gift-Discernment afternoon on 5 May from 3 to 5 pm. This gathering is one of the responses to what our Archdiocesan Synod identified as an issue crucial to the health of our Church: the necessity to leave the comfort of our routine and move out, pooling our individual gifts to reach those who have misplaced their faith or fallen behind and lost touch with the caravan. Coming together we will understand the need. Only together will we meet the need. Our time for shepherding has come.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 1 April 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Parishioners and visitors to our Cathedral,

The first Easter dawned under a cloud of betrayal and great loss.  During the week we now call “Holy Week”, nerves cracked and courage failed and, in moments of great fear and panic, friendship was forgotten.  Those closest to Jesus found their loyalty strained to the limit.  At his arrest they abandoned him and fled.

None of us is free of guilt when we consider our personal faithfulness to the way of Jesus.  Not one of us is perfect enough to cast the first stone.  How come, then, that those same cowardly and unreliable followers of Jesus became the strong, dependable foundation stones of the Christian community?  Because the death of Jesus was not the end of Jesus!  The discovery of the empty tomb was the beginning of an undying hope – and you and I have inherited that same hope.  The memory of his love linked the hope of life with the hope of forgiveness, making renewal possible.

May you know in your heart that Easter is the realisation that every act of love {and every loving action, word or gesture} is a further and constant witness TO love and to the life love brings.  We are never more alive than when we are loving.  It’s love that heals relationships, forgives hurts and enables personal growth.  It’s also love that lets us die to ourselves so that others might feel life in themselves – and this kind of dying actually enhances your own life.

The resurrection of Jesus tells us we can never be so lost, or so afraid, so disappointed or disillusioned, so alone or so troubled, that we are beyond the reach of God – or that we are beyond discovering, or re-discovering, the wonderful peace that is not only in the name of Jesus but in every word that comes from his lips: life-giving words from a self-giving love – given, for the life of the world.

Happy Easter – everyone. Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 18 March 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Last week everyone in New Zealand participated in the 34th national census which sought to gather a “snapshot” of the country. This weekend we ask you to please participate in our own Parish Census. The information gathered will support our pastoral leadership teams, in their role of acknowledging, guiding and empowering our parish community.

Over the last two months they have been exploring how to encourage a parish life that will honour our Christian understanding of stewardship and the wisdom garnered from the 2017 Diocesan Synod.

The outcomes from the Synod theme ‘Go you are sent…’ have common threads underpinning them, the call to holiness and to be responsible stewards of our community and environment. As our leadership teams strive to model responsible stewardship, to be consultative, collaborative and accountable, they need an informed understanding of who we are as a parish and who is in our wider communities.

You are encouraged to complete our parish census, so that together as a community we are equipped to ‘Go…’ – to our own peripheries; to society’s peripheries; to develop a spirituality of service; as members of the one Body of Christ… As you fill out your census card let St Teresa of Avila’s words ring in your heart:

‘Christ has no body, no hands, no feet now but yours’.

Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 11 March 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Last Sunday, seven adults and two children were welcomed into our community in preparation for their baptism at Easter. The adults have been meeting regularly with a small group of parishioners since last September, praying, studying and discussing about all things relating to Christianity and our Catholic tradition. The process is known as the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).

Their formal introduction to the community included an anointing with the Oil of Catechumens, consecrating them to the Lord and commending them to the prayerful support of the whole parish. This happened at the 5.30pm Vigil and 10.30am Masses and in the context of Chapter Four of St John’s Gospel – the account of Jesus’ meeting with the woman at the well.

The theme of Water calls attention to baptism; the “spring of living water” offered by Jesus sparking a transformation in the woman. She becomes the first “missionary”, eager to tell others what she has found in Jesus. This Sunday (11th) and the next, our “Catechumens” will deepen their connection with Jesus through the themes of Light (John, Chapter Eight) and Life (John, 11). They will affirm their commitment to the Creed and will be presented with The Lord’s Prayer as their anthem and link with the Christian family.

Water, Light and Life are images most closely associated with the message of Jesus Christ. As they help pilot the journey of those soon to be baptised they offer refreshment and renewal to those ahead on the road. Pause and take stock of your response to the call to have “life in its fullness”.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 4 March 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Last Sunday we said goodbye to Fiona Rammell, our Lay Pastoral Leader over the past year. Fortunately, all is not lost. The parish is blessed to gain a replacement LPL, Debbie Matheson, who formally began her service last Thursday, 1 March. She will be commissioned by Cardinal John at the 5.30pm Vigil Mass on Saturday 7 April.

Letting Fiona go was not easy for me, or for the many people she had served during her time with us. Her pastoral skills are very rich and reflect her commitment through several years of study and formation. Others will surely benefit from her ministry as new opportunities arise for her. So, we bid Fiona farewell, with grateful hearts.

Our gratitude must also extend to the Archdiocese and the vision of Cardinal Tom Williams who, following our 1998 Synod, devised the “Launch Out” programme to bring lay people into pastoral leadership positions.

The Lay Pastoral Leader is qualified to lead a parish in the absence of a priest, and to work alongside a priest as an equal in pastoral responsibilities. Debbie will assume that role as I prepare to step aside as parish priest.  From now to July, she will “discover” the Cathedral Parish, get alongside the various committees and become familiar with the school programme. Families preparing for the sacraments will also be her territory and we will work together as the parish seeks to help implement the decisions of last year’s Archdiocesan Synod.

Lay Pastoral Leaders are integral to the life of our Archdiocese. While currently serving in only a few parishes, their ministry is encouraging parishioners generally to take more responsibility for parish growth. This is Stewardship in action. The more you accept a stake in your parish, the sense of ownership will expand and God will be able to do marvellous things through us.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.