The Cathedral Connection 16 September 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Parishioners,

Nearly 200 priests from around New  Zealand met in Christchurch this week reflecting on what it means to be a priest today in a time of unprecedented change.  It has been a dramatic and challenging few days.

Canadian priest, James Mallon, asked the question, “If your church closed tomorrow would anyone who doesn’t go care?”  He then reminded us that international companies, such as Kodak and Swiss Watches went out of business because they didn’t read the signs of the times and change.  The last 20 years have seen incredible change in all aspects of society, demanding new models of ministry for the church and new ways of engaging with an increasingly secular world.  We have to understand that the ”Christian world” no longer exists!

Bishop Vincent Long, a former Vietnamese refugee now Bishop of Parramatta Diocese, NSW, echoed this when he said the Church must return to the “raw canvas” of the Gospel and follow more closely the way of Jesus – the way being modelled by Pope Francis – humility, trust and courage.  Clericalism has betrayed the Gospel!  The priest can no longer act as though the people didn’t count or had nothing to offer. “We must not see ourselves as being ‘apart from’ the people, but being ‘a part of’ them!

Over the next weeks I will be inviting you to reflect with me on these wonderful presentations, and to look with honesty at how we each regard our place in the community and what God in Jesus might be calling us to become.  What really has to change, to enable survival?  If the Church as we have known it has to die, what will be its legacy, and what will remain of the old to give life to the new?

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.