All posts by Frank Doherty

About Frank Doherty

Parish Secretary

The Cathedral Connection 27 May 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Feast of the Holy Trinity

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity, a celebration of the mystery of God as a community of love. The community consists of three distinct persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who want to share their love with us. Their loving, relational, collaborative, sharing community witnesses equality, full participation and outreach in love to all creation (mission). The Father initiates, the Son implements, and the Spirit empowers.

Relationship is God’s nature.  We are made in the image and likeness of God, so the need and ability to relate is in our nature too. The abundant and generous love flowing from one to another in the Trinity and throughout creation is what we are called to imitate. Our love of, and for one another is how we meet God.

Today’s feast invites us to respond to the love of God, poured into our hearts by Christ and the Holy Spirit, and to look forward to the day when we shall share in the glory of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  It is also an occasion to consider our personal relationships, how they might be strengthened or healed. The culmination of our Offertory Giving Programme today makes it timely to affirm our relationship to the Parish.

Love of neighbour and God is intentional in nature.  It doesn’t just happen. The gift
you make of yourself, whether to family, friend or parish community, is something only you can do. It is in giving that you find completion, fulfilment. Are you ready?


Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 20 May 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
Offertory Giving Programme 2018 – Week Two information can be viewed here.


While today’s celebration of Pentecost marks the birthday of the Church and the formal beginning of the missionary thrust of the community of believers, Pope Francis asks that we give attention to the one whose “Yes” brought Jesus into the world and made the Church possible: Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the Church.

Her role in being with the disciples as they awaited the gift of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus at his Ascension, was exactly the role mothers have in family life. A mother draws the family together, helps to heal whatever is hurting family members or the family itself, is a reservoir of memories from which the family can learn, grow and feel proud of their heritage, is prepared to wait for the slowest or least able member to catch up, and is at the heart of any family celebration.

The inaugural feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, is tomorrow, 21 May, and will always be on the Monday following Pentecost. Mary gathered with the disciples, still hurting from their abandonment of Jesus and uncertain of their trust of one another. She is the reconciling mother, drawing the factions to make peace; she reminds them of their companionship with Jesus, his words and actions that put forgiveness and mercy at the centre of his mission; she waits and prays with them, holding them as the Spirit breathes the breath of life and the People of God, the Church, is born.

We are blessed to be within this circle of love. As we each renew our commitment to keep our local Church vibrant and relevant, through our Offertory Giving programme, may Mary our Mother encourage us to give our own “Yes” with the same confidence that she gave hers.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
Offertory Giving Programme 2018 – Week Two information can be viewed here.




Why do you give?  Why do I give?  Why does anyone give anything at all?  The answer, I know, is pretty obvious.  It is impossible not to give.  We are born to give.  It’s in our DNA.  A gift might acknowledge affection, or gratitude.  It could be given to create a memory, or even an obligation.  The ultimate gift is the gift of self, and I witnessed that gift last weekend in the marriage of my niece.  Kathryn and Stephen, like so many of you, gave themselves to each other with the promise they intend to hold the gift in trust as long as they both live.

Gift-giving comes naturally to humans, but the practice is much older than humanity, with its origin in the One who said, before anything else was: Let there be light – and gave life to everything, displaying that life with the brilliance of colour and the wonder of variety.

The parish received a gift this week – the long-awaited, but still verbal, engineering report on the earthquake status of our Cathedral.  It carried news of a problem with the roofing structure.  We will probably have to close the Cathedral for the strengthening work to be done but, in the meantime, there is no restriction on access.  You are free to make your own decision about being here.  We will have further details when the written report arrives.

While we may not welcome this particular gift, it does come at a good time – as we reassess our own personal level of gifting to the parish.  117 years ago, the Catholics in this city gifted this church to their community and to future generations.  It replaced the original cathedral on this site, gifted by the first settlers; 30 years ago, the parish community gifted further beauty, with the addition of the chapel, the foyer and Connolly Hall.

At a later date we’ll hear how we can send the gift of this Cathedral forward into the next generations, strengthened and refurbished, but today we begin by checking how we can share from our own personal resources, to keep the parish vibrant and relevant in this largely secular city.  As priest I have always been reluctant to talk about money – but even the apostles had to accept its necessity for pastoral survival.  Today’s newsletter carries the first of some printed information to help your understanding of our situation and to assist your personal response.

Today is also Mothers’ Day when we especially remember and honour each of those who have given themselves in motherhood.  Gifting the world with new life and nurturing that life, often at great personal cost, can only come from a loving heart.  Motherhood – a gift to cherish and protect above all else.

We speak of the Church as Mother: called to be a welcoming, safe haven, with a heart for compassion and mercy, with an unconditional love, a centre for peace and healing.  Perhaps that’s the best focus for you and I as we think about how best to support our parish.  If we want Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish to reflect qualities of motherhood, we each have to gift from ourselves to enable this to happen.

Gift-giving is part of our nature.  When our gifts contribute to life and support community, they are helping us to meet our commitments to the God who called us into a partnership – to care for one another and the creation of which we are a part.  In this regard, there is a mothering instinct in each of us.  Now is the time to let it shine.