Category Archives: General

Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
Our Advent, Christmas & New Year Pastoral Area Mass Calendar can be viewed here.

Advent – a Time of Waiting

To me, Advent is one of the most beautiful times of the year.   It is time of waiting.
We wait with the People of Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures – with Abraham, Moses, David, Sarah, Rebecca, and thousands of others as they waited, yearned, wondered, prayed for the coming of the Messiah.  ‘Will he come in my time’ they asked.

We wait with John the Baptist, as he is called to ‘Prepare a way for the Lord.’

We wait with Mary, as she asks herself, ‘What will this child in my womb become?’

We relate to all these waiting people, as we also set aside this time, quietly, prayerfully, asking ourselves, what does it mean that Christ has come into the world, my world.

We need to be counter-cultural.  With so much ‘going-on’ it is important to step back, and reflected on the real meaning of Christmas.  Advent enables us to do that.

There are many ways of doing this. Here a just a few. Daily Mass is a great way, especially if we prepare the scriptures beforehand.  If we cannot get to Mass, to reflect on and pray the scriptures for each day. They are wonderful resources. For families especially, there are many resources, such as the Jesse Tree or Advent Wreath.  The Internet has some great resources. Advent also has many opportunities to help others, e.g. the Catholic Social Services ‘Giving Tree’ Appeal.

Back in 1968, James K Baxter wrote a poem, ‘The Infant of Biafra.’  It is about giving and not giving, being selfless or selfish.

The final 2 lines seem appropriate for Christmas:let-every-heart-prepare

The dead child of Biafra
Will lie on Christmas Day
In the cribs of all the churches
Upon the rotting hay
For those who did not feed Him
But threw His Life away.
 

But those who showed Him mercy
Will find a Live Child there
To smile at them and give them grace
And hope beyond despair
And sins as old as mountains
Will melt into the air.
 

May we recognise anew this Christmas Day, God’s Christmas gift to you and me – His only Son, Jesus Christ.

Fr Ron

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
Our Advent, Christmas & New Year Pastoral Area Mass Calendar can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 24 July 2016

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On Sunday 13 March the 10.30am Parish Mass included a requiem liturgy for a James Grant who had died in a nearby apartment alone and unknown. As one of the “Works of Mercy” it seemed appropriate for us to provide for his burial. Resulting publicity revealed he was Catholic and had family members. A letter received last Monday indicates the far-reaching effects of our parish’s concern and practical assistance.   Fr James

Gareth Carlin Letter

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The Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter 26 June 2016

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

On Reflection

Today we hear how Elisha is called by the Lord to be the helper and successor of the prophet Elijah. Elisha really wants to follow the prophet but he wants to kiss his mother and father goodbye first. A not unreasonable request I would think. However, Elijah responds rather negatively to Elisha’s request and says “go back!” basically saying “I’ll find someone else who is willing” Why does Elijah take such a stern attitude?

Well, it is God calling Elisha, isn’t it? Pausing before going indicates you don’t really understand or don’t really care who it is that is calling you. And then too, if you don’t care very much who is calling you, you might in the end fail to answer the call. It is undeniably easier to stay at home in the midst of all that is familiar and small rather than to hazard the perils that come with answering a great call.

The result of Elisha’s dismissive response really puts the fire into Elisha. He kills all the oxen he was plowing and uses their yokes for firewood to roasts the meat and gives it to his servants. He’s making sure he can’t go home after killing the oxen and burning their yokes.

The moral of the story is that there is no room for hanging back when the Lord calls. If you hesitate or postpone answering the call, you aren’t really hearing the Lord calling; and so you aren’t really going to follow him either, not now, not later. That is why in the Gospel reading Jesus says that no one who sets his or hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of heaven.

We are all called to follow the Lord, to turn our backs on our sins and live a life of love and holiness. Answering that call cannot wait for later, after whatever else a person thinks needs to happen first. The Lord’s call has to be answered now.

God Bless

Mary-Anne

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The Cathedral Connection 19 June 2016

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Newsletter Insert:  Day of Prayer for Refugees and Migrants

Hands UpWE CAN’T ABANDON THE ABANDONED

There are people sleeping on Lambton Quay with nowhere else to go. Cars and garages are home to many who can’t afford more suitable shelter. Homelessness is a real issue for Aotearoa-New Zealand in 2016.

But however bad that may be, it cannot be compared to the plight of many millions of people made homeless and stateless by terrorism, war and poverty. Internationally, the refugee situation has reached epidemic proportions. People do not abandon their homes or risk their lives fleeing, without good cause. The deaths of thousands through drowning, exhaustion and starvation, highlight the desperation of those forced to find a new place to call home.

Today we pray for refugees and migrants. But prayer, like faith, is useless without action. So let our prayer rise as a call to action, personally and as a community. There has already been a most generous response to appeals to assist recent newcomers but, like the Foodbank, the need remains and the blessing of your ongoing assistance will assure those still to arrive that we welcome them.

We also have to guard against negative reactions suggesting we have done enough already. We might be far from the heart of the problem but we are still part of the body where what happens to one happens to all. We may not be able to open our homes but we can open ourselves and gift from who we are and from what we have.

     Fr James Lyons

The full newsletter can be viewed here.