Tag Archives: Synod ’17

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.

Cardinal John’s News 14 September 2017

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Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Dear Friends

Tomorrow the sixth Synod of the Archdiocese of Wellington will begin. Previous Synods were held in 1876, 1888, 1988, 1998, and 2006. Actually the Synod has already begun; it began when I convoked the Synod on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception last December. Much preparatory work has gone on over the intervening months; I thank you all sincerely for that, and especially the Synod Steering Committee. However an enormous part of the work has been done by you, laity, religious and clergy of the Archdiocese. In May there were two major gatherings, one in the South Island part of the diocese and one in the North Island. Then in May, June and July several hundred people participated in the consultation phase of the synod. This meant people gathering together, listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, listening to others, and praying and discerning before responses were sent in an analysed in preparation for this week-end. The process of discernment has been appreciated by many people and I have been told by them that they have begun to use this prayerful discernment process in various meetings and gatherings. The same process will be used over this Synod weekend.
Almost two years ago Pope Francis said “it is precisely this path of Synodality which God expects of this Church of the third millennium.” Please pray that all participants at the Synod this weekend will enter the weekend with the intention of “journeying together.”
At the second session of the Synod on the Family (October 2015), which I was privileged to be at, the Holy Father said “The world in which we live, and which we are called to love and serve, even with its contradictions, demands that the Church strengthen cooperation in all areas of her mission.” I therefore ask for your prayers again. As you know this Synod is about being “Sent Out” on mission, reminding all the baptised that we have a task to do, the task is to take Christ and His Gospel into the world around us. What I therefore ask of all the readers of this newsletter is that you pray that we find a way to ensure “that the Church strengthen cooperation in all areas of her mission.” The formal part of the Synod begins tomorrow, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. We entrust the work of the Synod therefore to Mary who was given to us as
“As a Church which journeys together with men and wom-en, sharing the travails of history, let us cherish the dream that a rediscovery of the inviolable dignity of peoples and of the function of authority as service will also be able to help civil society to be built up in justice and fraternity, and thus bring about a more beautiful and humane world for coming generations. ” Pope Francis
our Mother as Jesus was dying on the cross and said to John and to us “This is your mother.” (John 19:26)

With thanks to you all for the support and prayers for this important event in the life of the Archdiocese. Every blessing.

+ John

The Cathedral Connection 10 September 2017

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

We have a situation! A few of my boys have gone into business together and are struggling with someone whom they have to deal with on a daily basis. They got this feeling that things were not right and instead of going to speak to her they just allowed every little thing that she does to confirm for them their thoughts around this situation.

Sound familiar? We often do this. Instead of going and seeing the person we are upset with, we talk to others about it.

In today’s Gospel Jesus clearly tells us that if we feel like this we should always in the first instance go and speak to that person. But what stops us from doing this?

Pope Francis reflects in his letter Laudato Si ’ the importance of social cohesion that can enable all people to participate in society and to cultivate meaningful relationships with each other. We are born into family, whānau, neighbourhoods and communities. They are not always perfect but God intended that we grow through our interaction with others.

But it is these interactions with others that can cause us deep concern and heartache and so we often choose to do nothing. The second reading today reminds us that “love does no evil to the neighbour.” We are called into community to be beacons of love. The kind of love that at times hurts, consumes and doesn’t ‘feel’ great. But the kind of love that helps transform not just others but ourselves in the process.

And even when these neighbours refuse to listen we are called to treat them as a Gentile or a tax collector. On first reading this we may think that means to exclude them but what Jesus is trying to tell us here is to continue loving others despite their faults. Our challenge is to always think of ways in which we can add value to the lives of others. Social Justice Week gives us just that opportunity.

Fiona Rammell
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 3 September 2017

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When Father James asked me to write some words on “what it means to be a dad” I had to reflect deeply on the question. Being a dad is hard work and on occasion my two children have even told me that I’m the worst dad in the world! Frankly, I often wonder whether I’m a good enough dad. Am I engaging, supportive, helpful, or spending enough time with my children? Moreover, being a dad means acting as a role model to your children – and that’s a big responsibility. Part of that includes demonstrating enough love, respect, and support toward their mum so when they grow up they will value the important role that women play in their lives and society. Sometimes it’s a matter of checking myself to ensure I’m doing the right thing by them!

Traditional Catholic moral authority says that we can’t or shouldn’t judge good or bad. These are subjective or conscience matters. We can, however, judge whether our actions are right or wrong. Being a dad means teaching our children right from wrong. Having integrity means doing what you know is right, and showing the virtues that are important to you. This includes being responsible so that children know that they can count on you as a dad. It’s about being honest, kind, respectful, grateful or thankful, co-operating with others, and being friendly. It also means showing a wider regard for our communities.

On Father’s Day we shouldn’t forget our own dads. It’s good to identify the qualities in the dad that you know, even those who have died, and cultivate them in yourself; that way, you keep them alive.

As a dad, there are eight letters and three words I tell my children before they go to sleep each night …… I love you.

Nigel Ingram

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