Tag Archives: Archdiocese

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 18 May 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,

Last weekend the annual O’Shea Shield Competition was held at St Bernard’s College, Lower Hutt. Seven-teen Catholic Colleges from the Wellington and Palmerston North dioceses participated in this wonderful event of Debating, Oratory, Scripture Reading in both Te Reo and English, Impromptu Speech, Religious Drama, and Religious Questions. Congratulations to St Bernard’s, who won the 2017 O’Shea Shield Compe-tition, and congratulations to them also for their very generous hospitality to us all, as hosts of this year’s event.

The theme of the weekend was “Living in Harmony with God’s Creation”, inspired by the Encyclical of Pope Francis, “Laudato Si” (On the Care of our Common Home).
The Religious Questions topic was based on “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love), the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis from the two Synods on the Family. Having sat through those two very long Synods in Rome, where thousands and thousands of words were spoken, I have often wondered how many would read the re-sulting document. It was therefore a real honour to sit and listen to students of our Colleges respond so con-vincingly and with such understanding to questions about Amoris Laetitia. They had reflected deeply on the writings of Pope Francis, were very aware that this spoke about married love, and time and time again spoke of how moved they were by his writings!

As they responded to the Holy Father’s reflection on St Paul’s Hymn to Love in First Corinthians they spoke about how they were trying to apply this to their lives today. This was so gratifying and edifying to all present. Well done and congratulations.

Amoris Laetitia is worth reading, so rich in teaching, with much to reflect on for all of us. It is about love, and all of us are called to love.

With every blessing

+John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 4 May 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,

This newsletter comes to you from Christchurch where I am attending the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference for the week.

This coming Sunday is an important one for the Archdiocese because it is one of the major steps in preparing for our Synod in September. It is also important for the Church throughout the world as it is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, with the theme “Led by the Spirit for Mission.” Our Synod theme fits in perfectly with that chosen by Pope Francis for this Good Shepherd Sun-day, the day on which we pray for vocations.

I have asked that a Pastoral Letter be read out at all Masses in the Archdiocese this Sunday. This pastoral letter informs people of what the Synod is all about and encourages people to participate. Everyone can participate, through prayer and by being actively engages in the Synod process, whether or not they are actually attending the Synod.

In his message the Holy Father wrote: “In the last few years, we have considered two aspects of the Christian vocation: the sum-mons to “go out from ourselves” to hear the Lord’s voice, and the importance of the ecclesial community as the privileged place where God’s call is born, nourished and expressed.”

Please think very seriously about these words, We are all asked by our Baptism “to go out from ourselves,” to be “sent out,” and we hear God’s word in our communities of faith, our families, schools, colleges and parishes. The Pope’s message focuses on “the missionary dimension of our Christian calling.” It is that very focus that we want the synod to reflect on and prepare us for our missionary work “to follow Jesus and discover within ourselves an irrepressible desire to bring the Good News to our brothers and sisters through proclamation and the service of charity.”

This coming Sunday, please highlight prayer for vocations, and please link the Pastoral Letter about the Synod to the Holy Father’s theme. This is a great opportunity for us all to reflect on what we are called to, and on the fact that we are all “sent,” but in various ways. This is the one Sunday of the year when we think particularly and pray about the call to priesthood and religious life and the absolute necessity for those vocations to grow if the Church is to flourish and bear fruit. We are all “Led by the Spirit for Mission,” we are all “sent out” to the world around us.

Please know that in all we do to respond to our missionary call, whatever that may be, we are at all times accompanied by Jesus the Good Shepherd. He is always with us and His mercy and goodness follow us all the days of our lives.

With every blessing

+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Synod ’17 – Update 1

The full update including Synod Calendar, can be viewed here.

Dear Friends

Work is going on in earnest in preparation for the Synod in
September. The Synod Committee has been making good progress in dealing with the many decisions and actions needed. With the new year well underway and parishes making plans for the year, we are sending you the first Synod Update so that you can factor the Synod timeline into your plans.
I said in the Decree of Convocation for the Synod:
“In convoking a Synod I am mindful of Pope Francis’ desire that we advance along the path of “a pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are”. He explains what he means by “pastoral and missionary conversion” when he writes: “Pastoral ministry in a missionary key seeks to abandon the complacent action which says ‘We have always done it this way’”. It means being bold and creative in rethinking the goals,
structures, style and methods of evangelization and service to the world in our Archdiocese with its diverse communities. In particu-lar, it means taking on board his message to “go out” to the wider world.”
The topics for the Synod are primarily drawn from the directions Pope Francis has been putting before us. The topics are:
the peripheries of society; our own peripheries; refugees and mi-grants; care for creation; ecumenism; accompanying the young; marriage and family. In addition there are two topics which reflect particular needs in the Archdiocese: leadership; bicultural and eth-nic diversity. These topics will be the subject of the diocese-wide consultation process which begins on 7 May.
Prayer and discernment will be critical factors in the Synod
process, and I have asked Fr Alan Roberts to look at how we can provide formation in discernment prior to the Synod. He will be talking about this at the Ministry Formation Day on 28 February.
As we journey together towards the Synod, we pray for one anoth-er and for the Archdiocese.
With prayerful best wishes
+John