The Cathedral Connection 27 January 2019

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Dear Parishioners…

Following on is a situation in the game of cricket when a team is required to immediately bat its second innings because it lags far behind the opposition’s first innings total. But this front page effort is not about cricket, nor has it anything to do with lagging behind!!

This weekend closes my 11 years with you. Following on, is Fr Doug Shepherd. He takes up residence during this week and will be presiding at parish Masses from 1 February. You will be greatly blessed by his presence and ministry among you, and you are fortunate to actually have a priest to “follow on”.

It is apparent to most that priests are in short supply. New Zealand born candidates for priesthood are all but non-existent. There are many reasons suggested as to why our Catholic men are not making a life-choice for priesthood and you have voiced most of them to me. I am not listing or debating them here, but want to make some personal observations:

Over my years with Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, I have not been aware of any parent placing the priesthood before their son as a viable option; I have shared many family prayer times but have never heard a prayer for the family to be blessed with a religious vocation. It is easy to get the impression that being a priest is the last thing anyone wants for one of their own.

I am far from perfect and my imperfections may contribute to those negative reactions. But I wish I could let you all see how wonderful priesthood really is. Your support, your affection, the welcome place you make for me in your homes and in your lives, brings joy to my spirit and fulfills my own life. Fr Doug Shepherd and I share this same beautiful priesthood. It is not a wasted life but a treasure waiting to be found. Who will follow on…?

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.