Tag Archives: Archdiocese

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 7 December 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends
There are only two words for me to use in this last newsletter of 2017.
They are, Thank you! However it will take me more than two words to say
a sincere thanks to so many of you.

Throughout the year we have been working on topics to firmly establish
Stewardship in the Archdiocese. This has involved a number of very well
attended Stewardship Days and wonderful participation by many.  On these
days I have reminded all participants of these words:

Gratitude – we receive the gift of God (and everything is God’s gift)
with gratitude.
Responsibility – we cultivate the gifts of God with responsibility.
Generosity we share these gifts with others and share them generously.
Return— we return the gifts with increase to God.

We have had our Archdiocesan Synod with the theme of “Go, you are
sent”.  The opportunity to participate in the Synod process in the months
preceding the Synod weekend was taken up by hundreds, if not thousands
of people. The prayerful engagement in the Synod process led to a weekend
of listening and dialogue, which in turn led to 96 proposals being presented
to me. This has already given a new sense of purpose – Mission
to the diocese and the desire to go to the peripheries, to accompany and
support those who are struggling in life.

Pope Francis prayer for our Synod was that “the Synod will encourage all
the faithful to face the opportunities and challenges of the present moment
through a renewed encounter with Christ and the saving message of the
Gospel.” I believe his prayer for us continues as we prepare for the Christmas
season “when the kindness and love of God our Saviours for humankind
were revealed …..” (Titus 3 4-7).

This has been a very busy year, a very full year, and it is all because of
“the kindness and love of God” gifted to us in the birth of Jesus.
This Christmas my prayer for all who read this newsletter is that,

• we all receive Jesus, the Gift of God, with gratitude in our lives;
• we look for ways to use with responsibility the gift of Jesus in our
• we share Jesus generously with others, share his love, share his words,
share his presence;
• we realise that all is gift, and in return all gifts to God in love.

I pray too that as we prepare for Christmas we will all live it in such a way
that it is a renewed encounter with Christ and with the saving message of
His Gospel.

With prayers and sincere thanks to you all for your wonderful support
throughout this year.

Every blessing and Happy Christmas

+ John

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 23 November 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

From +John…

Dear Friends
On the Solemnity of Christ the King last year I was priv-ileged to be at a Mass in St Peter’s Square, the closing Mass for the Year of Mercy. At the end of the Mass Pope Francis signed his Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera. In that letter, he told us that while the Year of Mercy might have finished “Now it is time to look to the future and to understand how best to continue, with joy, fidelity and enthusiasm, experiencing the richness of God’s mercy, Let us not sadden the Spirit, who con-stantly points out new paths to take in bringing to eve-ryone the Gospel of salvation.” (MM5) This is a won-derful Letter and it is worth reflecting on, praying with and then acting on. It can easily be found by going online and searching for Misericordia et Misera.

The Holy Father reminded the world that “the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open. We have learned that God bends down to us (cf. Hos 11:4) so that we may imitate him in bending down to our brothers and sisters.” (MM 16) He then went on to tell us that he had the idea that the Church might celebrate, on the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, the World Day of the Poor. That of course was last Sunday for us. All parishes were sent a video to be played which encouraged us to create a “culture of encounter” with the poor in our society. Just as the Year of Mercy continues by our living MERCY, so last Sunday was not just one day to give a little thought to the poor and then to be forgotten about. There are homeless on our streets, there are people who struggle to make ends meet, there are families who cannot afford medical care, who cannot educate their children; there are endless opportunities for us to encounter the poor and reach out a helping hand. “We are called to promote a culture of mercy based on the rediscovery of encounter with others, a culture in which no one looks at another with indifference or turns away from the suffering of our brothers and sis-ters.” (MM 20)

Last Sunday was the first World Day of the Poor and this coming Sunday it is a year since Pope Francis wrote this powerful letter and released it in the Solemnity of Christ the King. This Sunday we will hear the words in the Mass about Jesus presenting to God the Father “A kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.” We help build that Kingdom by the way we care for the poor.

With every blessing

+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 26 October 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,
“Thanks be to God for all he has done and is doing for us.” These words were one of the most used phrases of the Venerable Suzanne Aubert. I believe that here in New Zealand we can genuinely say those words with her. We can say them in gratitude for all that she was and is for the Church in Aotearoa New Zealand.

On Saturday 14th October we had a wonderful day with the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion as they celebrated 125 years since the Congregation was founded by Suzanne Aubert. It was a great day as we joined the Sisters in giving thanks with them and for them. The day began at 6am with a solemn and beautiful celebration led by the Mana Whenua as every-one was welcomed and processed up the pathway through newly landscaped gardens to the chapel where Suzanne has been laid to rest. There was a solemn blessing of the crypt and of the Resurrection window by Iwi leaders and me, a Powhiri followed, and then blessing of the other new buildings includ-ing the Visitor Center. The whole day was a truly bi-cultural celebration which honored Suzanne and her legacy, the Sisters of Compassion. Miha Maori (Maori Mass) concluded the celebration during which the sisters renewed their vows and we all gave thanks with them. Included in all of this was, of course, very generous hospitality which included breakfast and lunch.

The magnificent resting place of Suzanne, the Resurrection window, (and the other windows in the crypt area), the Visitor Center, the gardens outside are all worth visiting. The Home of Compassion at Island Bay has always been a holy place, a place where all have been welcomed warmly and with gracious generosity. Go and visit. Go and pray at the tomb of Mother Meri Hohepa. Go to the Visitor Center and learn more about this incredible woman whom we are waiting to be de-clared New Zealand’s first canonized Saint. We are still able to learn so much from her. Go and visit and learn with her how to say “Thanks be to God for all he has done and is do-ing for us.”

With every blessing

+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter – 28 September 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,

Two weeks ago when I wrote this Newsletter it was the day before our Synod “Go, you are Sent” began. It was a wonderful weekend, thank you all for your prayers, which most certainly helped the Synod to run smoothly and which enabled people to participate fully in the listening and discernment process. If there was one message I heard from people over the weekend it was about how much they appreciated the prayerful discern-ment process and the wish that such processes could be used in parish life. There is absolutely no reason why that cannot happen, and indeed I hope that it will.

A huge amount of work went into the Synod:

  • the planning of the Synod Committee,
  • the training of facilitators and scribes,
  • the two pre-synod days in May,
  • the engagement in the consultation phase and the extensive feedback,
  • the actual participation over the weekend,
  • the liturgies and prayer over the weekend
  • the analysis of recommendations as they came in


In a way the work now begins. I have received a total of 96 recommendations. They are all important for the life of the Archdiocese and I will be planning, with others, as to how these recommendations can become reality. Some things are clear:

  • we all need to be involved and we all need to do some things differently,
  • theological, spiritual and liturgical formation has been identified as a major requirement,
  • it is essential that we search out, identify and go to the peripheries,
  • we are to embrace bicultural relationships as an integral part of all that we do

There are many more challenges before us. I will need the generosity and creativity of all of you to help give life and energy to the Archdiocese, its parishes, schools, colleges, organisations, families and to every individual.

Pope Francis sent us a wonderful message for the Syn-od. His challenge to us was to be “authentic missionary disciples.”

That is a challenge to us all, we can do it but we are never disciples alone.
We are always disciples together and we are always gifted with the Spirit of God.
Thank you again for the wonderful support for the Synod.

With every blessing

+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter – 27 July 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,
I can still remember the day when as a seminarian I discovered these words in the Letter of St Paul to the Philippians; “Do all that has to be done without complaining or arguing and then you will be inno-cent and genuine, perfect children of God among a deceitful and underhand brood, and you will shine in the world like bright stars because you are offering it the word of life.” (Phil 2:14-15) Those words had a powerful impact on me back in 1971. I have been conscious of them ever since and have always tried not to complain or argue, but have not always succeeded!

I was reminded of those words of St Paul when I read an article on Rome Reports a few days ago about the poster which Pope Francis had posted on his door in Casa Santa Marta.

The Rome Report read: ‘Pope hangs a sign on the door of his room: “No Whining”’ It then went on to say that the Pope put the poster on his door either because it’s the summer and the Pope is in a good mood, or because he is tired of hearing people turn complaining into a sport. Under the Italian heading VIETATO LAMENTARSI the words read:
“Offenders are subjected to syndrome of victimism that lowers the mood and the ability to solve problems.”

It says that “sanction is doubled if the offense is committed in the presence of children” and concludes with a hopeful message: “To become the best version of yourself, you must focus on your own potential and not on your own limits, so stop complaining and act to change your life for the better.”

Evidently Pope Francis was given the poster a month or so ago after one of his General Audiences in St Peter’s Square by the psychologist Salvo Noè. I believe that this is a message that summarizes Pope Francis’ thoughts, and highlights the way he runs his pontificate.
When I read this particular Rome Report I knew that this was a good lesson for me, and maybe it is a good lesson for all of us.


The full newsletter can be viewed here.