All posts by Frank Doherty

About Frank Doherty

Parish Secretary

Cathedral Connection Extra – 12/13 January 2019


St Thomas More Church Building

We are on the move again, pursuing the best ways of serving one another while our parish church (Sacred Heart Cathedral) is out of commission.

As advised prior to Christmas, our Saturday Vigil Mass (5.30pm) and the Sunday 10.30am Mass will transfer to St Thomas More’s church, Wilton, commencing the weekend of 2-3 February. The 7.00pm Sunday evening Mass will be celebrated in the cathedral’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

St Thomas More is part of the Otari Parish, located at 36 Worcester St, Wilton, off Wilton Rd and one street to the north of Cardinal McKeefry School.

The move is occasioned by the need to have a more “permanent” location for Sunday Mass.  Having to set up for Mass each Saturday at St Mary’s College Hall, and then re-set the hall for college use each Sunday evening, did not foster a sense of belonging.  Doing this weekly for the past six months also asked a huge commitment of a small group of volunteers.

St Thomas More will also allow us to use an organ again at our Choral Eucharist to accompany and encourage our singing; with the Cathedral Choir better placed to enrich our worship and thanksgiving.

The Parish is very grateful to St Mary’s College community for the generous use of the hall.  The College, no less than the Parish, has had to make considerable adjustments since July to enable our presence.

An Archdiocesan Funding Committee is to meet on 24 January to initiate the process for the cathedral strengthening and maintenance.  Details will be shared when available.  Please keep this vital project in your prayer.

With thanks for your patience and loyalty as we proceed.

Debbie Matheson                                                  James Lyons
Lay Pastoral Leader                                              Priest in Sacramental Ministry

Worshipping at St Thomas More Church,
36 Worcester Street, Wilton

Please use street parking around the church and keep parking in the northern carpark available for those who are mobility impaired.  Please use the area to the southern side of the church as a drop off zone.  The driveway beside the church is a private driveway and not available for parking.

Parish Transport
A shuttle bus to St Thomas More church will depart from in front of the Cathedral doors half an hour before each Mass, (5.00pm Saturday and 10.00am Sunday).  It will return directly after the Vigil Mass and at 12.00noon on Sunday.  If you would like to avail yourself of this service can you please advise the parish office to confirm your seat.  The need for this service will be re-evaluated at the end of February.  If you can offer to transport a fellow parishioner, please contact the parish office.

Morning tea will be available after the 10.30am Mass as usual.  On the first weekend of each month you are invited to join with St Thomas More parishioners for a koha breakfast from 9.30-10.15am.

Weekend Mass timetable
5.30pm Saturday Vigil – St Thomas More Church, Wilton
10.30am Sunday Choral Eucharist – St Thomas More Church, Wilton
7.00pm Sunday Eucharist – Cathedral Blessed Sacrament Chapel

Weekday Eucharist will be held in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel 8.00am & 12.10pm daily from 1 February.  Reconciliation available 11.50-12.10 weekdays.

The Cathedral Connection Christmas 2018 – January 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here and the insert can be viewed here.

Memories are made of…

Every experience creates a memory.  And the memory remains long after the experience.  Some memories bring joy, some are painful, some are entirely neutral.  This year, as in every year, our world, our Church and our parish have lived through numerous experiences; the memories are important leftovers.

Globally, the Church reeled from the revelations of the abuse of children and young adults by some of her priests and religious charged with their care.  The memory of this stains the Body of Christ, for when one member suffers, all suffer.  The year has brought strong condemnation of all forms of abuse, offering hope that this evil can be overcome and a new memory formed.

Locally, the Church learned that the Cathedral of the Archdiocese, our parish church, was unsafe and had to be closed.  The full effect of this was felt by our parishioners.  Shock and disappointment loom large as memories.  But there was also an awakening of affection for the parish, a determination to stay and work together to keep the parish intact.  Wonderful support from St Mary’s College and St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral and our sister parish of Otari, made relocation an easy transition, creating memories of unity and togetherness, despite disruption and uncertainty.

Our first Lay Pastoral Leader, Fiona Rammell, left us in March and memories of her short but highly valued service coloured our concern about how we would manage.  The appointment of Debbie Matheson came at the right time, steading nerves and helping us confidently adapt to our new circumstances.

The year led me closer to retirement from active pastoral ministry and triggered memories of my 11 years with you.  I have met nothing but kindness.  Your homes and your hearts have been open to me and, when I depart in March, I will carry memories of affection and acceptance that will ease the moment of our separation.

Christmas carries the memory of a love so profound that there was no room for its birth.  This shouldn’t surprise, because even our own human love cannot be contained but must be poured out and shared.  The gift of Jesus is God’s Christmas present to the world every day.  Open up this gift in your own life.  Enjoy the experience of being wanted and loved for yourself and create memories of joy and gladness that will carry you through 2019.

A truly blessed Christmas, everyone.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here and the insert can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 23 December 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Displayed on the street front of a church not far from here, this poster reflects the growing concern among individuals and nations that all is not well with our world. Domestic violence and abuse of

trust, homelessness, mental illness, an alarming suicide rate, charges of people trafficking and slavery in our own country, reportedly taking New Zealand “to a new low”, present images of frightening instability.

Yet, each Christmas, we are offered an image of enormous hope. From within a rustic, weather-beaten and neglected shelter, scarcely suitable for animals let alone people, a mother gives birth and another child is born. It’s been said that every new-born shows God’s trust in the world. Why else would God continue to gift new life?

The Christmas stable is our starting point towards a future that recognises and welcomes life in all its forms, that respects the dignity of every person, especially the most vulnerable, and rejoices in the wonder, the grace and the beauty that shines around us, even when what we have or see appears to be of little value.

We each have the power to be “a stable influence” in life. Imagine the difference for good if we did just that! God’s trust would certainly be vindicated.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 16 December 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


The third Sunday of Advent is upon us.  Gaudete Sunday! Named from the first word of the Introit at Mass: Gaudete in Domino semper (Rejoice in the Lord always).  The readings today again speak of preparation; remind us that ‘The Lord is near’; and that joyfully we await His coming.

Experience tells us that whenever a special guest is expected to visit, we can get over excited, tense and often restless (parents can too, as they await the birth of their child). We can become anxious in preparing the best for our guest.  Our preparation can be exhausting and sometimes we can lose focus.

Today, on Gaudete Sunday, I encourage you to take a moment from your preparations and busyness in expectation of the Christmas feast.  Slow down, pause.  Give thanks for, and rejoice in, the beauty that surrounds us in nature; the people that surround you; the memories that you carry.  Rejoice knowing that you are ‘infinitely loved and infinitely lovable’.

Joy is a blend of laughter and tears.
It is looking for the happiness that comes in small packages, knowing that big packages are few and far between.
It is making the most of the present,
enjoying what is at hand right now.
Joy is love bubbling over into life.
Joy is the flag we fly when Christ, the Prince of Peace,
resides in our heart.
(author unknown)

As we continue our preparation, our aim is not only to do good but to do good with joy and love. With peace in our heart we are will be able, to walk humbly, justly and mercifully bearing witness to all we meet. Rejoice!

Debbie Matheson (Lay Pastoral Leader)

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 9 December 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Farewell From Our Parish School

On Tuesday the students and staff of Sacred Heart Cathedral School will gather to celebrate Eucharist and mark the end of their school year. They will also acknowledge and farewell Fr James who has spent many hours in the past 11 years walking alongside, ministering to, and supporting its students, families and teaching staff.  Below are just a few sentiments written by some Year 8 students who are also beginning a new chapter in their life journey.

“Whenever I go to Mass on a Sunday I always feel that the message Father James is giving is directed at me and helping me become a better person. Thank you Father James for helping me to think deeply and reflect about myself.”  – Annabelle Stirling

“Even though Father James is incredibly busy, visiting our school and people in the Parish he always has time to stop and listen to the students. Thank you Father James for the care and compassion you show towards us.”  – Sam Wells

“Father James spends a lot of time at Sacred Heart Cathedral School. He visits classes each week. He shares readings and prayers with us and helps us to understand the meaning so we can all become better people. Thank you Father James for always sharing your stories and jokes with us.” –  Elizabeth Whitaker.

“Father James shares personal stories to get his message across. Thank you Father James for encouraging us all to have faith during difficult times.” – Luc Boeschenstein

The full newsletter can be viewed here.