Cardinal John’s Newsletter 28 November 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

For 164 years the Church of Wellington has every year consecrated the Archdiocese to Our Lady under the title of the Immaculate Conception. On 23 January 1855 Wellington experienced a disastrous earthquake, later studies estimated that it was over eight on the Richter scale. Overall the damage was severe and extensive, however there was only one death recorded. Aftershocks were intense for many months and people became very uneasy and many quit the new settlement for good. In a Pastoral Letter in Lent of that year Bishop Viard urged that special prayers be said “to ask God through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, the protectress and patroness of this diocese, for the cessation of the earthquakes that afflict us”. Those prayers were said for the rest of that year and then on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Bishop Viard formally consecrated the Diocese to Mary under the tile of the Immaculate Conception. Just one year before that Pope Pius IX had proclaimed the Immaculate Conception to be an integral part of formal Catholic teaching.

What does this Feast mean for us today? It reminds us that God chose Mary to be our model of holiness (Preface for the Mass), and to be the perfect Mother of Jesus. When Mary was conceived God was already preparing the world for the birth of his son. Mary’s goodness, Mary’s inner perfection, makes her closer to us than anyone else…because she is “full of grace” – that grace through her unites and heals. Grace does that, but sin divides. God began the work of salvation in Mary, and this makes Mary, in a new and special way “the mother of all the living.”
It is right than that we continue to consecrate our Diocese to her, she who is “the mother of all the living.”

Mary full of grace, pray for us.

With thanks and every blessing

Naku noa

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The prayer consecrating the Archdiocese to the Immaculate Conception is available here.