All posts by Frank Doherty

About Frank Doherty

Office Administrator

The Cathedral Connection 15 September 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Lost and Found

On my first Camino, I remember visiting the 12th century Lyon Cathedral in Spain. So beautiful. I remember a quote written on a wall – “they (the builders) sought to describe God (through their building). Of course, they couldn’t, but they came closer than many.’

Many have attempted to describe God, with various degrees of success. We just don’t have the words or the imagination to describe the indescribable! Perhaps that is why we resort to poetry, music, art, scripture, to describe God.

How can God describe God to us poor limited human beings?  God does it in Jesus. One of the ways Jesus does this is through the use of parables. A parable is a way of helping people understand a teaching moment through story. The word “Para” can mean “alongside of.” So a parable is an  analogy or story that goes alongside a fact, event, or teaching. It helps us to understand.

In Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel we have three marvellous parables – the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son (the priest today may read the shortened version, leaving out the third parable.) The focus on each story is the commitment of the one who has the loss – the shepherd hunts assiduously, the woman searches, and the father runs to embrace the scandalous son. The parable of the ‘prodigal son’ is really the parable of the loving and forgiving father who abandons all propriety and decorum at the return of the son who was lost and has been found.

The three parables can speak to us – the ‘lostness’ in our own lives that only God can fill. But there is also the ‘lostness’ in the lives of so many around us who have lost hope.  We can be God’s instruments in giving them hope again

Fr Ron

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 8 September 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Tirohia, Wānangatia, Mahia

 Do to others what you would have them do to you…

 The above Te Reo phrase See, Judge, Act, is the catch phrase for this year’s Social Justice Week, with Fairness the theme.  In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that to be his disciples we must take up our crosses and follow him.  Luke constantly uses vocabulary that indicates that the disciple’s cross is not a singular event, but a way of life.  Jesus implores us to be intentional disciples.

Pope Francis recently called for a ‘’revolution of tenderness’’: a love that comes close and real; a movement starting from the heart which flows to the eyes, ears, and hands.

As disciples, the source of love and peace must be at the centre of all that we do.  When we love someone, we show this by being loyal, by seeking to do the right thing for them, and giving preference to them.  Showing love comes naturally with our family and friends, those already known to us.  The real challenge comes as we seek to show love to those other around us.  The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference encourage us to use this Social Justice Week as an opportunity to reflect and take action on social justice issues in light of Catholic social teaching.

Next month Pope Francis has called an Extraordinary Month of Mission.  Over the past two months your Pastoral Council has been reflecting on practical opportunities for fostering a spirituality of service that will invite you to, as Pope Francis has asked ‘’get off the couch’’ and respond daily, taking up your cross and following Jesus.

Individually, as intentional disciples, this week may we be inspired by St Teresa of Calcutta “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love”.  How will you mark this Social Justice Week?

Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection – 1 September 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

OUR COMMON HOME

One of the important measures currently being considered by Parliament is the Zero Carbon Bill, which sets out a way forward for this country to reduce its net emissions of carbon dioxide to zero by 2050. There is no doubt of the importance, and urgency, of action to address climate change, and the Archdiocesan Commission for Ecology, Justice and Peace made a submission to the Select Committee considering the Bill, representatives appearing before the committee last Monday.

In preparing its submission, commission members were very much guided by Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’: On care for our common home. Laudato Si’ is a rich and rewarding document, readily available online.  In his usual plain language, Francis reminds us that environmental issues are ethical and spiritual issues. The whole universe ‘speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God… When we can see God reflected in all that exists, our hearts are moved to praise the Lord for all his creatures and to worship him in union with them’.

We need to remind ourselves that ‘the world is a gift which we have freely received and must share with others’, including future generations.  In urging action to deal with climate change, pollution, and the extinction of species, the pope stresses that technology alone will not be enough. He encourages politicians and diplomats to work co-operatively for a global consensus.

Francis encourages us all. ‘For all our limitations, gestures of generosity, solidarity and care cannot but well up within us, since we were made for love’. These themes have been evident in our recent parish discussions. With the coming of spring, may we continue to give thanks for the earth that sustains us and continue to care for it and for each other.

Jim McAloon
Chair, Parish Pastoral Council.

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 25 August 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

In the Sunday’s Gospel Luke tells us about the entrance into the kingdom of God and how there is no such thing as automatic entry. While Jesus is making his way to Jerusalem, someone asks him about the number who will be saved. Rather than speculate about the number who will deserve salvation, Jesus give practical advise on how you might enter: ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.’

The door is a narrow opening so believers must strive to enter it. It is a warning against presumption. Salvation depends on the favour and grace of God and the honest struggle to follow God completely in his ways.

On a personal note on St Bartholomew’s feast Day I will have been six years a priest.

Fr Stephen Rossetti in ‘The Joy of Priesthood’ wrote;
“My brothers, you are a sign of hope. In a world of darkness, your presence, which is the presence of Jesus, is a light for the world. Despite your frail humanity, or because of it, the light of Christ shines more brightly.”

That powerful statement has resided in my heart from the day I read it in the Seminary. I have also realised I would not be the priest I am if it wasn’t for the people I serve, who have allowed me into their lives so generously and genuinely as their priest.

My Prayerful thanks

Fr Doug

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 18 August 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Jesus – Bringer of Peace or Division

 At first sight, today’s Gospel is confusing. This doesn’t seem to be the Jesus we all know! Preachers and people alike find it hard to reconcile these passages with other passages of scripture.

One explanation is that the language of Jesus’ time was not as ‘robust’ as modern languages and nuances get missed. So, in those days, in order to say, ‘I like Mary more than Jane” I would have to say, “I love Mary, I hate Jane.’ Hearers and readers would understand, but we would say it differently as our languages are more developed.

There has also been unnecessary division amongst the followers of Christ, and even Christians relationships with those of other faiths. This goes against the words of Jesus in John 17/21 – ‘Father, may they all be one, as I am in you and you are in me!’ Yes, some of our divisions have been both unnecessary and unjust, and often a scandal.

But I think Jesus’ message here is really about passion. From the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we follow Jesus’ journey from his Galilean home towards his death in Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-19:27).  There is an urgency about Jesus’ message.  In numerous passages about discipleship and judgment day, Jesus warns against stocking worldly wealth, as we read a fortnight ago about the rich fool building barns for a retirement that he did not have. The decision to follow Jesus or not will separate people.

So, the real point of the gospel is the decision to follow Jesus completely now – Yes or No.  Some points for reflection —  Is there an urgency and passion in my life? If so, what is it for? What are the costs to follow it: peace, money, time, relationships, etc.? What would be the cost if I do NOT follow that passion now?

Fr Ron Bennett, Moderator.

The full newsletter can be viewed here.