Tag Archives: CardinalJohn

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 23 March 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends
The last two Saturdays have been spent in two different parishes, Ohariu and Marlborough. Along with other diocesan staff I have been in those parishes for Stewardship Workshops. They were both very well attended and there was wonderful participation by those present. Both times we have used the Gospel for the Sunday, one week the Transfiguration and then last Sunday’s Gospel story of the Woman at the Well. Using those Lenten Gospels started me thinking about other parts of the Gospel and Stewardship, and particularly about Lent and the lead up to Easter.

In trying to understand the true power of Stewardship I don’t think we need to look any further than the cross. The cross serves as a powerful example of giving everything away freely for God and for the people of God. The example of course is Jesus, Jesus who an-swered the call, regardless of the cost, the cost being life itself.

Most of us will never have to sacrifice our lives in response to God’s call. There are however Christians all around the world who do that every day. Missionaries in many places have faced violence and lost their lives, or have succumbed to fatal diseases. People standing up for the basic rights of others have lost their own right to live. Men and women who have sworn to keep the peace or to rescue others from disasters have given up time with family and friends for the sake of the vulnerable. Everywhere there are people who respond to the call of God with courage and commitment.

Our sacrifice may not be as great, but it does not diminish the power of our response. Maybe through our small everyday actions, God will touch someone else and their life will be transformed. It is not the size of the sacrifice that counts but the complete willingness to give that sacrifice. Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient for the salvation of all humanity. What we are asked to do is to translate that reality into our own somewhat simple lives.

On those days when being a good steward seems too difficult, we look to the cross and find strength in a God who knows how hard life can be at times. We also look to fellow stewards and find empa-thy and companionship. We reflect on the lives of the saints and those who gave their lives because of their love for God. We give thanks and go out to the world around us which needs the presence of Jesus – and we acknowledge how hard the day would be without him.

With every blessing.
+ John

The Cathedral Connection 12 March 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

THE GIFT OF YOU

Mark your calendar for the afternoon of
Saturday 29 April.

That’s the day Cardinal John will be with Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish to lead us towards a deeper appreciation of the principle shaping the future of our Archdiocese:  Stewardship.

From 1.30 – 4.30pm, all parishioners are invited to Connolly Hall to hear Cardinal John explain Stewardship as a way of life. You will hear him speak of it as “a disciple’s response” – the reaction of anyone who realises that their life is held in being by gifts poured out by a generous, ever-loving God.

There will be an opportunity for those present to share ideas as to why and how we might embrace this principle. Gifting yourself back to God as a helper and friend, especially through the gift that makes you uniquely you, and with your “time and treasure”. What could our parish look like if we took the Stewardship principle seriously?

Then, between 4.30 and 8.30pm, the parish “Leadership Team”, including the principals and Board reps from Cathedral School and St Mary’s College, will meet to prepare a pastoral plan, based on your afternoon input.

There will be further reminders as Stewardship Day approaches. The first thing is the mark it on your calendar. Commit now to be a part of it. In the meantime, when you think of Stewardship think of Gratitude, and these words of St Peter:
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.

Homily – Cardinal John Dew – Sunday 5th March 2017

Homily Sunday 5th March 2017

“Do you renounce Satan? And all his works, and all his empty promises?’

Those words are asked at every Baptism. They are asked of everyone, not just the person being baptized or his or her parents.

“Do you renounce Satan? And all his works, and all his empty promises?’

Those words are also asked every Easter when we renew our Baptism promises…they are asked of everyone.

Those words are asked at every Confirmation ceremony, they are asked of everyone, not just those being confirmed.

We need to be reminded to renounce evil and bad things.

We don’t talk much about the Devil, Satan, the Tempter, Lucifer; but we do need to face reality and admit that the devil is real. I am not talking about some figure with horns and a pitchfork – but an eveil spirit.

Jesus faced the devil in the desert, and had to make a choice , Jesus had to choose His path… If Jesus faced evil it is clear that we too have to face evil and make good choices.

It is a fact that we are tempted or lured by a power beyond ourselves that tries to lead as away from God, away from Jesus and His Gospel.

In the first homily he delivered as Bishop of Rome Pope Francis spoke of the devil, he has continued to do so and regularly reminds us that we need to be on guard.

In that first homily he said, “ The devil is real and doesn’t want our holiness.” Then he went on to say:  “It is enough to open a newspaper and see that around us there is a presence of evil, the devil is at work. And then I would say in a loud voice “God is stronger,” do you believe that, “God is stronger?”

There is a presence of evil in our world, in our lives who tries to lure us away from God. In another homily later in the same year the Pope said “Please let us not do business with the devil – be always with Jesus, be always with Jesus.”

This Lent is the time for us to choose, to choose to be always with Jesus, to choose our own path, and to know that our path makes no sense without Jesus…so we to Tell his Truth, to Live his Life and to Walk his Way.

Jesus was lead into the wilderness by the Spirit of God, where he fasted and prayed for forty days and forty nights…… the tempter, the Devil came to him. We can be sure that if he tried Jesus out then he will also try us out too. He tempted Jesus to live a quick and easy lifestyle, tried to get Jesus to turn away from who he really was.

It happens to us all the time…something says to us:

“this will be the easy way…it doesn’t matter if I don’t help someone else today”

 “it wont really matter if I tell this lie and someone else gets blamed”

 “will it really hurt if I spread some gossip about someone else when I know it’s not true.”

 The quick and easy way is not the path to choose, because it empty and meaningless.

This happened to Jesus in the desert just after he was baptized. When he was baptized he found his real identity, his true self….He and everyone else heard the words “This is my Son, the Beloved.”

The same is said to us at our Baptism; “This is my daughter, my son the Beloved”……but the spirit of evil tries to get us to forget that and to choose another – a quick and easy path.

Lent is a time to remember who we are – the Beloved daughters and sons of God….and to be grateful for God’s choice of us.

Lent is a time – with the Spirit’s help to choose our path.

To go back to Pope Francis, in another homily in 2013 he said:
The presence of evil is on the first page of the Bible (tonight’s first reading) and the Bible ends well with the presence of the devil – with the victory of God over the devil.”

 In prayer this Lent choose your path and you and God will be the winners.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter – 9 March 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends
Last Friday night and Saturday the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council met for the first of the four meetings we will have during this year. As usual we had a full agenda including reflecting again on LAUD-ATO SI, the Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis on Care for Our Common Home. This Letter was published on Pentecost Sunday almost two years ago. We went back to it because we wanted to make sure that the urgent message of the Holy Father is not being forgotten, that the challenge to “care for” the world’s natural re-sources is still being heard and that we are responding to his chal-lenges. Part of our discussion was about what we might be able to do as individuals, and also what influence we might have over our schools, colleges, parishes and families in the Archdiocese to ensure that we “come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us.” (LS 244)

One of the interesting aspects of our discussion at the meeting was how a number of people said they had always known that there is an ecological crisis. They knew that we have a responsibility to care for the world which has been gifted to us, that parts of the world are in particular danger due to global warming, rising sea levels, de-forestation, lack of water and sanitation…BUT…they had never related these situations to their faith. That is the beauty and wonder of this Encyclical. Pope Francis makes it very clear that God is the Creator, the world and its resources are given to us to care for, not to plunder and abuse, we have a responsibility to make sure that there are enough natural resources for the coming genera-tions. Using the words of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Pope reminds us: “For human beings…..to destroy the biologi-cal diversity…by causing changes in its climate…; to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins.” (LS 8) Then he says the appropriate response to this is what St John Paul II had already called for ,“a global ecological conver-sion.” (LS 5)

Laudato Si is an urgent and important letter. Maybe this Penitential Season of Lent is the time for all of us (it is for me anyway) an op-portunity to examine how I use resources, how I care for “our Com-mon Home” and what I am doing about it practically.
How can you use this Lent to be more aware of the fragility of our planet and what you are doing to care for it?

Ngā mihi nui

+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter – 23 February 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,
Lent is a time to pay closer attention to the Word of God. The Second Vatican Council over 50 years ago reminded us of this in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium 109): the focus of Lent is to be a “a period of closer attention to the Word of God and more ardent prayer.”

I have no doubt that we all want to listen attentively to the Word of God and allow it to shape our lives, and that we want to be more ardent in prayer. As we approach Lent many will still be thinking of what they can “give up” for Lent. Some will be thinking of what else they can do in terms of giving to the poor, helping someone who is disadvantaged materially or because they are unemployed for one reason or another, some will be thinking of giving to our Bishops’ Lenten Appeal. They are all wonderful things to do, but unless those actions are inspired by the Word of God they may just be things to do. There are many ways to observe Lent; however the question I think we all need to ask is “what is the best thing to help me grow closer to God?” Lent is a time when we are challenged to be more prayerful and reflective, hopefully more caring, considerate and loving. I am sure that will only happen when we hear the invitation to “pay closer attention to the Word of God.”

In this fast moving world we need time to stop and reflect. I know I certainly do. The Word of God helps us in our prayer and reflection, and then in the way we live our lives. It is challenging, it is demanding, but it is also inspirational and consoling. Maybe at times we find the Word of God too rich or too lavish for our tastes. Perhaps we do not allow ourselves the time to chew on and absorb the Scriptures. It may also be that we do not wait sufficiently on the Lord, or listen for the Lord to speak. So that his Word might flow through our minds with new insights and through our hearts with love, a strong love which in turn enables us to reach out to others.

Each day during Lent the Lord invites us through the Prophet Isaiah:
“Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty;
Though you have no money, come!
Buy corn without money, and eat
and, at no cost, wine and milk” (Isaiah 55:1)

Will we accept the Lord’s invitation this Lent?
+ John