Tag Archives: Connection

The Cathedral Connection 19 March 2017

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THE SOUND OF SILENCE

You may be noticing some changes in the Sunday liturgy during the season of Lent.  These are mainly to do with sound, or rather the absence of sound.  This is a season that invites reflection and an atmosphere of quiet is helpful for this.

The “Gloria” is neither said nor sung during Lent and some of the choral singing is unaccompanied.  There is no music to introduce the Gospel, and there is silence as the bread and wine is placed on the altar.  At our High Mass (10.30am) music does not accompany the incensing of the altar or the congregation.  We depart to softer, more subdued music, not to dampen our spirits but to encourage us to continue the reflection as we return to our homes and journeys.

Silence has an important place in the liturgy generally.  While we gather and pray as a community, we also need personal time to express sorrow, to petition and to give thanks.  So, there should be spaces in every Mass, such as after the readings and after Communion, to let us think about what we have heard or are experiencing and to make a personal response.

But Lent brings an extra need for silence.  We are journeying with Jesus as he makes his way to Jerusalem and Calvary.  This is a big commitment.  We need to be sure we appreciate the consequences of keeping him company.  We first made this commitment with baptism, and we renew it every Lent.  Use the silent time to firm up the connection.  Listen and respond.

Silence is not a popular commodity today.  It can feel like wasted space.  Yet it is a gift of great value.  Make the most of it.

Fr James

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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

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The Cathedral Connection 5 March 2017

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YOUR FACE, O LORD…

The 40 days of Lent are 40 single, separate days, not a hard, solid block impossible to manage. Taking Lent one day at a time is the best and most productive way of using this gifted time to check over my personal relationship with God, with the people in my life and with the world in which I live. These relationships are keys to my happiness, and Lent is the best time of the year to realise their value.

The Catholic agency for justice, peace and development, Caritas, provides resources to assist both personal and community reflection during this season.  Whether or not you are participating in a Lenten discussion group, the prayers and information in the reflection booklet are excellent material for private use. [Copies on sale in Foyer]

Your face, O Lord, do I seek, is the overall theme of the Caritas programme. Taken from Psalm 27, it voices the urgency with which someone, who realises the sterility of their inward looking existence, now wants to be rescued. God does not hide from us but is in clear view, in every person and in all of creation. It is putting yourself first, being concerned only with what affects you, that ultimately blinds you from God’s presence.

By taking Lent one day at a time, you can pace yourself more positively on the road along which the face of God comes to meet you. A more deliberate approach gives time to look in different places, to consider more possibilities. The face of God is everywhere and, just as every day is different, the variety of people, situations and experiences encountered each day with faith, will renew all your relationships and God will be “all in all”.

Have a great Lent!

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection – 12 February 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

ALL FOR LOVE AND LOVE FOR ALL

Valentine’s Day might be a ploy to sell roses, but it is also an opportunity to spotlight the institute of marriage. The long-standing definition of marriage, as a partnership between male and female, has been altered by Parliament, but the Christian ideal of this union sealing a freely given life-long commitment has not changed. Far from trivializing marriage, the focus on definition invites us to honour and celebrate the great gift of marriage and its potential to bring harmony to human society.

Our Catholic tradition holds marriage to be a Sacrament – a sacred sign of God’s presence in the love between husband and wife, and a symbol of the union between Christ and the People of God, the Church. Valentine’s Day enables us to give public recognition to faithfulness in marriage and thanksgiving for the witness of so many couples to the power of love to give, sustain and fulfil life.

At the same time this Day is an occasion to support those for whom marriage has brought heartache and betrayal, and to appreciate the demands of love which can threaten and even overwhelm the strongest union.

Jesus recognised that love is not an easy game to play. His strong words about divorce need to be heard in context with his condemnation of anything harmful to life which “the Law and Prophets” championed above all else. Jesus showed great compassion and understanding towards those unable to meet the ideal. We must do no less.

This week thank God for the joy you see in family life. Pray for couples preparing for marriage, for those struggling to keep their love alive and for those distressed, often unjustly, by separation. If married, renew your vows. If divorced, know you are never separated from God’s love. Let each of us celebrate our oneness in Christ.

Fr James Lyons

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The Cathedral Connection – 5 February 2017

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The newsletter insert can be viewed here.

WAITANGI DAY MASS

Tomorrow’s commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi is honoured by a special Mass in the cathedral at 9.00am. Cardinal John leads the Mass, with St Mary of the Angels coordinating the liturgy in association with members of the parish personal to Maori, Te Ngakau Tapu.

Whether or not you can be part of this Mass, the following prayer can link us together for the occasion:

God, ever faithful, we thank you for the land we live in, the land we call home.  Bless this land, Aotearoa-New Zealand, and all who live here.  Today, as never before, your work is in our hands.  In our diversity, our frailty and our mystery, we trust in your power to save, to draw us closer together and, in our relationships, to reflect the harmony, wonder and beauty of your creation.  You are our life and our peace, revealed through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 As this is a public holiday, there will be no 8am or 12.10pm Masses in the Cathedral.

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
The newsletter insert can be viewed here.