Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection 14 May 2017

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THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY

Photographic technology, as we all know, is developing at exponential leaps and bounds.  In recent years the phenomenon of “selfies” is now legion, even Pope Francis being swept along in this photographic avalanche.

Little known though, is that “selfies” are not a modern invention.  They were anticipated some 2000 years ago with the purported burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth.  This relic, with manifold converging evidence pointing to its authenticity, replicates the frontal and dorsal aspects of a naked, scourged and crucified corpse, in all probability that of Jesus.

As technology breathlessly tries to catch up with history we find, encoded in the Shroud image, an intricate 3-D imprint of a bearded, handsome and pony-tailed man of impressive physique, though bruised, tortured and impaled!  The Shroud has been called the fifth gospel and its gift and emphasis is to underscore and highlight the bodily Resurrection of Jesus.  Ray Downing, a 3-D CGI artist, has birthed from the ancient linen cloth the most accurate likeness of Jesus ever created.

The bodily Resurrection of Jesus, what we celebrate with Easter, is an affirmation of his claims about himself, that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  The bodily Resurrection of Jesus is the affirmation of the claims the Church itself makes, as his risen presence in the world today and the sacrament of salvation.  It is also an affirmation of the goodness, truth, beauty and unity of our own identity as en-fleshed spirits, souls emanating physicality, and our destiny to continue to be that way, with a resurrected body on the last day and forever.  The season of Easter opens and proclaims Christ as the only way to the Father.

Fr Tony Dunn (Auckland)

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The Cathedral Connection 7 May 2017

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The Synod Participation Process insert can be viewed here.

ORDINATION – A CALL TO SERVE

Yesterday’s ordination to priesthood of Cirilo Barliss was a rare privilege for our archdiocese. Considering priesthood as a way of life has not been a popular option for several decades, particularly in more affluent countries such as our own. So the celebration for Cirilo was particularly important. The Parish congratulates him and wishes him every blessing as he formally begins his pastoral journey.

Let’s take a moment to ask why there has been such a fall-off in “Vocations” to priesthood and religious life? The question invites much speculation. Is it because the Catholic priesthood is a male-only priesthood? Is it the rule of celibacy and/or the fact that our priesthood expects a life-long commitment? Is it that there are now fewer children per family? Is the Holy Spirit trying to guide us to a new form of ministry?

There will be many more questions, and answers will not be easily or quickly found.  Personally, I endorse the significance of on-going prayer to see more clearly the way ahead and for each of us to be open to whatever service God might call us to offer.

The Stewardship principle we explored last week with Cardinal John is very timely for parish life. As we each take ownership of the gift of faith and give the best of ourselves to the body of Christ, some will recognise the joy in sacramental ministry and gift themselves to claim it. Use the quote from the Letter of Peter as your “Vocation Prayer” and follow the call, wherever it leads.

Each one of you has received a special grace,

so, like good stewards responsible for all

these varied graces of God, put it at

the service of others. [1Peter 4:10] 

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
The Synod Participation Process insert can be viewed here.

Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter 30 April 2017

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Meeting Jesus on the Way to Emmaus

Today’s Gospel (Luke 24/ 13-35) gives us insights as to how we can meet the Lord in our everyday lives, and how we can best lead others to him.

Sharing the Gospel is essentially about relationship. Jesus joins the 2 followers, acts dumb, listens, and then gradually contributes, until ‘their hearts burn within them.’  What a wonderful way to evangelize!  The men contribute also. They show hospitality and invite Jesus to stay with them.  Only then is their sight restored as they recognise Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus shares food with the disciples to signify that the Kingdom has come, because       previously he has said, “I shall not eat again until there is fulfilment in the Kingdom of God” (Lk 22:16,18).

The disciples had all the “facts”: They saw Jesus’ wonderful words and deeds, and they were told about the empty tomb. Yet they give up, leave Jerusalem, and cannot even    recognise Jesus. Why? Because they hold on to their own and erroneous hope, namely that Jesus would “set Israel free” politically.  Jesus was able to teach them pretty quickly because they already know the Jewish Scripture.

The main point for us in this beautiful story is that Discipleship is a story of journey, including coming and leaving (Jerusalem), walking along, staying together, and returning.  Our Discipleship journey will have the same characteristics – meeting, recognising, sharing, and listening.

Some things we might like to think about in our own lives:

Do I show hospitality to Jesus so that he will stay with me and open my eyes?

Do I have false hopes that blind me from seeing Jesus?

In what direction am I walking on the journey

toward discipleship?

God Bless,

 Fr Ron

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The Cathedral Connection 23 April 2017

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BRING MERCY TO LIFE

The formula for absolution in the Sacrament of Reconciliation begins with the words, God, the Father of mercy…. Such a powerful identification of God with mercy, points to the confidence that Jesus asks of everyone in their approach to the Giver of life and the Judge of all.

This, the second Sunday of Easter, is known as Divine Mercy Sunday. The gospel reading tells of the reunion of Jesus with his disciples, following their desertion and denial of him when he most needed a friend. His greeting of peace cuts through their shame and anxiety and unites them with Jesus as never before. Mercy releases their burden of guilt and they experience resurrection.

At the end of last year’s Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis wrote with great sensitivity of the continual flow of mercy from God who loves the world so much… His words help reflection on this special “mercy day”:

The love of God is capable of looking into the heart of each person and seeing the deepest desire hidden there.
Forgiveness is the most visible sign of the Father’s love, which Jesus sought to reveal by his entire life.
Love is the first act by which God makes himself known to us and comes to meet us. (God’s) love always precedes us, accompanies us and remains with us, despite our sin.
How sad it is when hearts are closed and unable to forgive!  Resentment, anger and revenge gain the upper hand, making our lives miserable and blocking a joyful commitment to mercy.
It is the time of mercy because those who are weak and vulnerable, distant and alone, ought to feel the presence of brothers and sisters who can help them in their need.

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 16 April 2017

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FROM SIGNS TO REALITY

Signs and symbols!  Where would life be without them?  Road signs, weather signs, danger signs, a flower, a thoughtful gift – these and so much more help us to connect with life and one another.  In the life of faith, we rely heavily on signs and symbols, and Easter is packed full of them.

The images of light and darkness embrace the Easter Vigil, leading to the Mass of Resurrection.  The Easter Candle, lit from the fire of new birth, breaks through the darkness of the night and heralds the dawn of Christ’s triumph.  As the flame is passed through the gathering, many lights signal the spread of the faith, rekindling hope after the sombre season of Lent.

Our scripture readings draw images with words, telling the creation story and placing water alongside fire, not to quench it but to complement its creative and purifying qualities.  This guides the Vigil towards the celebration of Baptism.  Then follows the pouring of oil for Confirmation, signalling healing and strength; oil seals a commitment, and consecrates a person for service.

Easter Day brings colour and light to the fore and celebration is the purpose of our ritual.  The story continues to unfold with an empty tomb and its aftermath.  It is a day to welcome everyone, for the death and resurrection of Jesus is for all people.  Death has been defeated.  Life is the champion.  What greater “good news” could there be?

Signs and symbols help us cope with mystery, and the Easter mystery is as big as it gets.  Just as we can never see the inside of an onion – peel it layer by layer, but it still remains an onion – we can never fully grasp a mystery.  The only way to “see” the mystery (and the onion) is to experience it.  So, plunge into this season.  Hear, see, smell, taste, feel the mystery that is Christ risen and among us, and enjoy a truly blessed Easter.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.