Cardinal John’s Newsletter 27 September 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

E te iwi whakapono, te na koutou, te na ta tou katoa,

Every Diocese and Archdiocese must have a “Mother Church,” a Cathedral Church, which is the official seat of the Bishop or Archbishop. As people are aware, the very word “Cathedral” comes from the Latin word, “cathedra,” which means “chair.” The Bishop’s Chair is a symbol of his teaching office and pastoral authority in the Diocese and is also intended to be a sign of the unity of believers in the faith that the Bishop proclaims as the one appointed as the shepherd of the People of God. Wherever the Bishop locates his chair becomes the most important Church in the Archdiocese.

If a Cathedral is under construction, or is being renovated, repaired or seismically strengthened (as is our situation), then the Bishop usually proclaims another Church to be the pro-Cathedral of the diocese for a period of time.

Last week I consulted the Archdiocesan Council of Priests about the possibility of a pro-Cathedral. I had considered a few options and thinking of space and the opportunity for car parking for Archdioce-san occasions, I asked the Council of Priests if they would agree with me naming the parish church of St Teresa’s, Karori, as the pro-Cathedral of the Archdiocese. The Council agreed with this, and Fr Ron Bennett, the Parish Priest of Otari Parish also readily agreed with this request. Therefore, I will be naming St Teresa’s Church as the pro-Cathedral of the Archdiocese. I am now at a meeting in Rome. When I return, there will be an appropriate ceremony to install my “cathedra” in St Teresa’s, and the Church will then be used for Archdiocesan ceremonies.

Our Cathedral Church can make us more aware of our unity, and of God’s presence in our everyday lives. That awareness, together with hearing God’s transforming Word, has the power to truly change our lives and send us forth to live out that Word. Our Cathedral Church is a visible reminder of what it means for us as a people to be built up, stone by stone, into that spiritual house, the living temple of the Lord.

A Cathedral achieves its purpose when the mystery of the Church is fully lived out in the gathering of God’s People, and in the celebration of the Eucharist and the sacramental life of the Church. Every Eucharist is both a gathering and a sending, and both are only possi-ble by the prior action of God.

We thought a great deal last year about the words “Go, you are sent.” Our going out of our Cathedral, or any of our churches, is as important as going into it to pray. As we journey out from the Cathedral, having heard the words “The Mass is ended, go in peace,” we are sent forth to be a leaven and a light to the people around us. The Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ, impels us, doing more in and through us than we could ever ask or imagine.

Kia tau ngā manaakitanga o te Ariki ki runga i a koutou

+John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.