All posts by Frank Doherty

About Frank Doherty

Parish Secretary

The Cathedral Connection 18 November 2018

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Are you ready?

 Mark’s account of this week’s Gospel is often called ‘The little Apocalypse’.  It is a discourse by Jesus about the end of time. Our life on earth is part of the paschal mystery, the dying and rising of Christ.

Our time here is grace.  It is a free gift.  Nothing we did or will do earned our existence, and nothing we do can guarantee our number of days here. Our time on this earth is limited.  Our life will come to an end; of that we can be sure.  ‘But of the day or hour, no one knows’.  In this Gospel Christ wants to remind us of the need to remain prepared, not in worry and fear, but in the love of God and in charity and compassion towards the needy.

Christ calls us to embrace not the things of the world but the things of God: the eternal treasures of love and mercy, the joy that comes from selfless giving, the satisfaction that comes from lifting up the hopes and dreams of others.

The Collect prayer today identifies for us where the source of “constant gladness” and “full and lasting happiness” is to be found: it is to be found in serving “with constancy the author of all that is good”.  This Collect asks that we make sure we are using all our gifts and resources to serve God well.

We love God whom we cannot see through loving our neighbour whom we can see, and we praise the Creator whom we cannot see through valuing the creation we can see.  How is God being served through your gifts and resources.

Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection 11 November 2018

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ARMISTICE

An ending, but the pain lives on.
Warring warriors weapons-fed
return to homes not seen for years
to hope-filled dreams not seen for tears
living, but with lives on lease
only warring warriors dead
can rest in peace.

Comfort us who mourn the loss
of lives in battles won or lost
war brings to life a dreadful cost
then nails it fast upon a cross.

The talks agree the fighting’s done
armistice has now become
the way ahead for all who come
to live as one without the gun.

Within the soul does love exist
And buoyed by hope cannot resist
To strengthen faith through cloud and mist
To await with joy our armistice.

– Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 4 November 2018

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Saying Yes

Last weekend I attended the Archdiocesan Stewardship Retreat. The theme was based around the Sunday’s gospel reading – the healing of the blind man, Bartimaeus. We were invited to reflect on a number of themes, including Jesus’ question to Bartimaeus, ‘what would you like me to do for you?’ We were also invited to imagine putting this question to Jesus – what would he like us to do for him?

Turning the question around in this way emphasized that we are all called – as Pope Francis has recently reminded us – to be holy, and for most of us holiness lies in the ordinary things of life rather than in heroic achievements.

I remembered reading somewhere years ago that we can be apprehensive about saying ‘yes’, because we don’t know where it will lead, what other ‘yes’ will be asked of us as a consequence.

We offer our time, our talent, and our treasure in our parish and other communities, and this willing giving is what makes our parish the community it is. We give in this way – we say ‘yes’ – because we see a need, or because we are asked to, not for prestige or status. For all of us in this parish community, we are encouraged to say ‘yes’, because we know that we are supported by each another.  So it was when I was asked, several weeks ago, to become parish pastoral council chair – and I want to thank Nicholas Burley for his capable, kind and thoughtful leadership of the council over the last two years.

As we negotiate our building issues, many of us have been, and will be, asked to say ‘yes’ to things we did not expect.  We thank you for being open to requests and your offers of help. We take heart this week in knowing that the Chapel and Connolly Hall will be re-opened later this month.

Jim McAloon, Chair, Parish Pastoral Council

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The Cathedral Connection 28 October 2018

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HONOURING HOLINESS – HONOURING LIFE

 This week the whole Church gets together!  All the Saints come to meet us on Thursday and the next day we spend time remembering our beloved dead.  All Saints Day (Nov 1) and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (Nov 2) focus on the Body of Christ in its totality: the Church on earth and the Church in heaven.  One family, under one God.

Those officially recognised as saints are models of Christian living.  They show us what faith, hope and love make possible, and urge us on to live the way of Jesus with joy and trust. The saints are not gods, but people like you and me.  They simply took Jesus at his word and followed him.  Life for them, as for us, was not easy but they persevered and put the needs of others ahead of their own.

Baptism has already sanctified us; we are members of the Body of Christ – saints in the making.

Praying with and for the faithful departed reinforces belief in the “hereafter”.  It announces that in death life is changed, not ended.  Those who say there is nothing beyond this life, that dust is all we have to look forward to, are to be most pitied.  They shut themselves off from any hope of reunion with loved ones; for them love is fleeting; consoling, but not enduring.

That Jesus truly died, was buried and truly rose from the dead, is the core belief of Christianity.  It is our buffer against disappointment and sadness, while giving life meaning and purpose.  We miss those who have died, but they are not far away.  They are with God, and God is very near. All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.  Honouring them, we honour life.

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 21 October 2018

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Mission and the RCIA

As baptised Christians, Jesus has charged us with sharing in His mission, ‘In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples’ and calls us to ‘go out into the world and make disciples of all nations.’ Matthew 28:19. The primary way that we do this is in our everyday witness.

Last week Trish McAloon (Parish RCIA Co-ordinator) and I attended the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Australia and New Zealand National Conference held in Melbourne.

We heard that in being a welcoming community, telling our stories as we accompany ‘enquirers’ of our faith, and celebrating the sacraments we co-operate with God in His mission. A phrase that resonated with me was the description of mission as ‘God’s turning towards the world in creative love’. It is in the sharing of ourselves (our time), our gifts (our talent) and our treasure (our money), that we work with God in realising his mission, in creative love.

In the RCIA programme there are several roles which assist ‘enquirers’ in learning to recognise Jesus in their daily lives and explore our catholic traditions and beliefs. These include being a sponsor or Godparent, a witness or catechist, or offering hospitality. Those involved in delivering the RCIA programme describe it as very rewarding, enriching and an opportunity to not only share their faith, but to grow their faith.

The RCIA journey begins as an invitation to come and meet Christ. Is there someone you would like to invite to join the RCIA programme or is God calling you to be part of the programme? As we celebrate Mission Sunday let us remember that, while the primary role of evangelisation is God’s, we are his vessels.

Debbie Matheson,  Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.