Tag Archives: Synod ’17

The Cathedral Connection 15 October 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
The Parish Delegates Synod 17 Reflection insert can be viewed here.

HOME AGAIN

My time away from the parish over these past six weeks could not have been possible without the cheerful assistance of several people willing to share themselves and their time. Fr Ron and Fr Soane from Otari Parish and Fr Jim Dooley from Marist Centre enabled the schedule of Masses to continue and stepped in to cover emergencies. Our parish secretary, Frank Doherty, supported by music director, Michael Fletcher, kept the office humming beautifully and our newly appointed Lay Pastoral Leader, Fiona Rammell, gave wonderful service.

This combination of talent and commitment gave me the security to relax and enjoy a great holiday, and I am very grateful for the opportunity. I’m also grateful that you, dear parishioners, kept turning up! That speaks so positively for the leadership you experienced. Thank you, everyone!

So much of significance occurred during my absence and I shall reflect a little on that in my homily today. But, looking ahead, I want to encourage you to prepare for our response to Pope Francis’ invitation to spend time with Sacred Scripture – specifically in the Masses of 28-29 October.

There will be only one Reading in that Sunday Mass, the Gospel [Matthew 22:34-40] and we will spend time together listening to it and uncovering its message for each of us. The technique is known as Lectio Divina, with emphasis on truly hearing the Word of God, letting that Word settle within me, drawing me to realise its relevance for my life as a follower of Christ.

Remember that Scripture is the living Word of God and as such is pulsating, dynamic, energising. By opening heart and mind to its influence, it can guide, challenge, comfort and renew both personal and community life. Prepare by reading the whole chapter [Matthew 22]. Using a Bible in your first language might be even more profitable. More on this next week.

Thank you for your love and support. It is good to be back home.

Fr James

Cardinal John’s Newsletter – 12 October 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends,
At the Closing Mass of our Synod on 17 September people were given a prayer card as they left the Cathedral. On the card was a photo of the stained glass window of the Josephite Convent in Mission Bay, Auckland. The window has the following words on it, words attributed to Nano Nagle, the Foundress of the Presentation Sisters.

“Go out, you may not rest secure for need calls loudly. You must seek God there. Loving shall be your flame.”

Need does call loudly. That need is in our homes, work-places, factories, offices, schools, on the streets; it is the needs of young children, teenagers, young marrieds and their families, the mid-dle aged ad the elderly. Various proposals out of the 96 I received spoke of all those age groups and the multi-faceted needs that are “out there.”

All of the proposals and the practical actions that came out of the Synod will be published in the next edition of WelCom on Sunday 5 November. The synod Outcomes booklet containing all the outcomes of the Synod will also be available at that time. That is also the day that I will formally promulgate the work of the Synod at the monthly Young Church Mass at the Cathedral at 7pm. I will ask every parish to read out my Promulgation Letter, and to draw attention to the Synod outcomes in WelCom.

Need does call loudly. Nano Nagle has reminded us that we find God in these needs. The Archdiocese, its parishes and schools, organizations and departments will all begin to plan as to how these needs identified at the synod can be met. To assist parishes there is a section in the Outcomes Booklet on developing a pastoral plan which provides guidance on how to move ahead with implementing the Synod directions and priorities. This section will be sent directly to Parish Leadership teams and Chairs of Pastoral Councils in the next week.

Since the Synod I have been thrilled at how many people have commented about how much they appreciated the discernment process we used. They have said they are applying it to their own personal lives, their families and in some cases their work.
Please continue to reflect on and use this process, it will help us all to discern

-where we are to go out to
-what the needs are that are calling loudly
-where will find God
-how loving will be our flame.

With all good wishes and blessings

+ 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

THANK YOU ALL

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.

Homily from Synod ’17 Closing Mass

 Final Synod Mass- 17th September 2017

I have never been to the Convent of the Sisters of St Joseph in Mission Bay, Auckland.  I have seen a photo of the stained glass window in their chapel. As you leave Mass today-  as you are sent out from this Synod you will be given a card with a photo of that window, what is more important are the words inscribed on the window. They are words attributed to Nano Nagle the Foundress of the Presentation Sisters.

“Go Out …you may not rest secure for need calls loudly.

You must seek God there.

Loving shall be your flame. “

120 recommendations have been made to me from this Synod, some of them are directly related to the life of the Church. Many of them are to do with where our mission is – out there!

As Nano Nagle says

“need calls loudly, you may not rest……seek God there…..

We will find God in the sick, the lonely, poor and homeless, the stranger…….we will find God out there….!!!

We are sent out because our Eucharist is supposed to pass over into concrete acts of love!

St Paul told us today that “The life and death of each of us has its influence on others.  It we live, we live for the Lord and if we die, we die for the Lord.”

When we live our whole lives through, with and in Jesus we are able to influence others.  That is what we are sent to do. Not to manipulate, never to control, but to influence with goodness, kindness, mercy, forgiveness and love. “Loving shall be your flame. “

Reflect on today’s Gospel, the servant who was forgiven much by his master, missed the whole point.  If he had deeply known the mercy of God he would have shown the same to his fellow servant.  It is only when we experience the power of the Gospel, that we can show it to others and influence others with it. The Gospel invites us to take forgiveness into the world we are sent to, rather than a desire for revenge – our world needs love and forgiveness.

We can bring a different value into the world. Today’s Gospel shows us that the face of the world can be transformed by forgiveness. By offering ourselves – you are the Church’s greatest resources – by offering ourselves – including our capacity to forgive, our Christian communities become – in the very midst of the world- the sacrament of God’s mercy. We don’t just offer ourselves – we offer who we are because of who we are in Jesus Christ …………. “I have neither silver nor Gold but I will give you what I have, in the name of Jesus the Nazarene……”

“Go Out …you may not rest secure for need calls loudly.

You must seek God there.

Loving shall be your flame.”

The Cathedral Connection 17 September 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

We have a friend who we just can’t outgive. Her generosity is second to none. There is no sense of her keeping an account of what she has given, she just simply gives. Somehow she does accounting like Jesus does. He is not into balancing the books. His account is one of giving.

In today’s Gospel Peter thinks he is being totally generous when he asks Jesus how many times should I forgive? Don’t you just love how Peter is so human. He knows the law requires him to forgive three times so he goes to ask Jesus how many times but suggests the number seven. He has doubled what the law tells him and has added one on. So he is feeling pretty stoked thinking Jesus is going to say, “Well done faithful servant. You’re amazing. I’ve taught you well.” Instead Jesus says something so ridiculous that Peter must have thought Jesus had lost his marbles.

What Jesus is trying to say is that there is no limit to how many times we should forgive. Why? Because Jesus knows we are punished by our sin way more than we are punished for our sin.

Jesus’ teachings are not random commands that we must obey ‘or else’, but they are observations for how life actually works. Jesus advises us not to gossip because in so doing it will wreck relationships. Jesus advises us not to be greedy because greed will wither our hearts and suck the joy out of our life. Jesus advises us to keep on forgiving because unforgiveness will cut us off from the flow of grace and make us miserable.

It’s for no reason that Jesus taught us a prayer that says, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Forgiveness…..often the hardest thing to do but also the most liberating.

Who is someone in my life who I need to forgive?

  Fiona Rammell,
  Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.