Category Archives: Cardinal John’s News

Important from Cardinal John & Fr David

Dear Cathedral Parishioners,
Please refer to the attached letter from Cardinal John Dew concerning the COVID-19 situation and the decision to suspend all public Masses until further notice.
On Friday afternoon Lay Pastoral Leader Debbie Matheson, Parish Administrator Frank Doherty and I discussed how best to respond to this challenging and rapidly changing situation.  During this difficult time we are committed to keeping in touch with parishioners and continuing to provide pastoral and spiritual care.
Cardinal John’s instructions have implications for our community and our liturgical and pastoral activities.  We therefore regrettably have to advise that in addition to all public Masses having to cease until further notice, the following activities in the Parish have had to be cancelled:
  • Stations of the Cross on 20 March & 3 April
  • Rite II Reconciliation on 22 March at St Teresa’s Church
  • Joint Cathedrals Lenten Programme
  • Laudato Si Lenten Series at St Thomas More Church
  • Autumn Picnic with Wellington Refugees on 29 March
We also wish to advise that:
  • The Cathedral Chapel will remain open daily for private prayer between 10.00am and 3.00pm
  • The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available on weekdays at midday and Saturdays at 9am
  • The Parish Office will remain open on weekdays from 10am to 3pm
  • The Pastoral Team continues to be available and contactable in the usual ways
  • The Parish website ( has helpful links and resources, which will be added to in the coming days and weeks
Another special communication will be sent early next week. In the meantime please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any matters that you wish to raise.
Please take care and be assured of our prayers and good wishes.
Fr David Dowling
Parish Priest

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 12 March 2020

The full newsletter can be viewed here

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

“To be a missionary disciple means to have had an encounter with MERCY and to lead others to it.” (Pope Francis)

Recently I read a book entitled “Tattoos of the Heart”. It is a book written by a Jesuit priest in the United States who for many years worked with drug addicts, street kids, gang members, the poor and the struggling. I found it a wonderful book with some incredible stories of love and forgiveness, stories of seeing the best in people who would often be ignored by society. One story was of a young man who had been in and out of prison, he had no confidence in himself, no self-esteem at all and thought of himself as worthless. One day a woman who was working with Fr Greg told the young man she had found a job for him, she welcomed him and treated him as he had never been welcomed or accepted before. He asked Fr Greg why she was doing this. His answer was “because she saw you as somebody, she recognized you as the shape of God’s heart.” His life was never the same again. Someone recognised him as the shape of God’s heart.

Over these next two weekends as we celebrate MISSION EXPOs at Viard College this Saturday and at Garin College next Saturday we are trying to put the Mission of Jesus at the heart of the Church, at the very centre of who we are. The mission of Jesus was to give others the chance to encounter the mercy of God, and then to lead others to experience that same mercy.

Mission Expo will display the many many efforts all around the Archdiocese that help and enable people to encounter God’s mercy. It is to give thanks for the many wonderful things that are happening and to help every one of us to reflect that through our Baptism we too do not just have a mission, but in the words of Pope Francs “I am a Mission.”, and celebrate that fact.

When we see every other person as having “the shape of God’s heart” we are living our mission.

With every blessing
Naku noa. Na + Hoane

The full newsletter can be viewed here

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 27 February 2020

The full newsletter can be viewed here

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

Last Saturday, 22nd February, was the Feast of the Chair of St Peter, a feast once described by Pope John Paul II as “shedding light on the special ministry of Peter strengthening and guiding the Church in the unity of faith which the Lord entrusted to the head of the Apostles.” he went on to say that this mystery of unity comes from “Fixing our gaze on Christ.”

The Lenten journey we have begun is all about “fixing our gaze on Christ.”

Lent is a time to hear again the call of Jesus to “repent and believe the good news.” The call to personal conversion is at the heart of the message of Jesus and is clearly at the heart of the ministry of Pope Francis. The Pope is very clear about the fact that ALL of us are constantly called to conversion of heart. In his first year as Pope, on the Feast of St Ignatius Loyola, he said in a homily: “The question ‘is Christ the centre of my life?’ is for us, for any of us, the ques-tion that cannot be taken for granted. It cannot be taken for granted because there is always the temptation to think that we are the centre; and when we put ourselves and not Christ at the centre, we err, we go astray”.

I think that sometimes the temptation for us is also to think that the call to personal conversion, to “fix our gaze on Christ” is for others and not for me. In this time of Lent when we are invited to pay closer attention to the Word of God, we know that is so we can personally focus on our relationship with Jesus, and not on all the other things that worry, distract or preoccupy us.

One of the strategies of Pope Francis in his work to reform the Church, and especially the Roman Curia (which was asked for in the Cardinals’ meetings leading up to his election) is to keep emphasising that this is always about per-sonal conversion. It is about a change of heart, putting Jesus at the centre of life and fixing our gaze on him. When Jesus is at the centre and the focus of our lives the relationships that we have with others improve, the things that worry us fall into place – even things like the question of Mass times, what will happen with “MY” parish, and how to cope with the many questions we are faced with today seems to fall into place.

The questions for Lent therefore are:

  • How do I keep my gaze fixed on Jesus?
  • How do I make Jesus the centre of my life?
  • How do I focus on Jesus in the days ahead?

Naku Noa,


The full newsletter can be viewed here

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 30 January 2020

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

On the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, I celebrated Mass for the Focolare Community, 350 Focolare members from all over Oceania had gathered at El Rancho for their Mariapolis for five days. It was a wonderful day to reflect of our Baptism and on our call to be “Mission.”

This year throughout the diocese I hope that we can all reflect on what our Baptism means and that it calls us to become more and more aware of the fact that we are all charged and privileged to be Missionaries. Remember these words of Jesus addressed to all of us: “Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Fa-ther and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28: 19). We will never do that unless we are deeply aware that our Baptism makes us “beloved daughters and sons of God.” At his Baptism “all the love” of the Father rested on Jesus. “all the love” of God rests on us, His beloved sons and daughters.

Just as God’s favour rests on us, our response is to rest in the intimacy of God and to know that God loves us beyond meas-ure. That fact should influence all we do in our families, schools, colleges and parish communities. When we are aware of how much God loves us it then affects the way we relate to others and the way we think about what we can do in our com-munities. We live for other, become more aware of their needs and not just our own; we think of the wider Church and the needs of the whole parish and diocese and not just our own community.

This year, reflect on what your Baptism has done for you, keep your eyes on God who loves you, just as God cannot help but keep eyes on us, smiling and loving us without measure. This year choose to be marinated, intoxicated in the fullness of God.
With every blessing for 2020.

Naku Noa,

What’s Happening

Fr Pat Greally died 3 January 2020 after a long battle with cancer. Please remember Pat and his family in prayer at this time.
Fr Fergus Reeves is suffering ill health at the moment. Please remember Fergus in your prayers at this time.
We congratulate Bishop-elect Michael Gielen on his appointment to Auxiliary Bishop of Auckland. His episcopal ordination will be Saturday 7 March. Please remember Michael in prayer at this time.

Date Savers:

Feb 2020
6 Waitangi Day Mass – 9am St Mary of the Angels. Nau mai, haere mai.
11 Ministry Formation Day – Sts Peter and Paul Lower Hutt, “Liturgy with Children” presenters Fr James Lyons, Patrick Bridgman and Michael Mangan (Teacher and Music Liturgist)
14 Valentine’s Day Mass – St Joseph’s Church Mt Victoria 7.00pm
21 Teachers Commissioning Mass – (South Island) Garin College 5.30pm
25 Teachers Commissioning Mass – (North Island) Sacred Heart Petone, 5.30pm
27 Marriage Enrichment Evening – check your parish noticeboard rsvp

March 2020
Mission Expo – More details to come
14 Bishop Viard College, Porirua 10am – 4pm
21 Garin College, Nelson 10am — 4pm

April 2020
Chrism Mass
7 South Island – venue to be advised
8 North Island – St Teresa’ Pro-Cathedral, Karori

May 2020
20 – 24 Clergy Assembly – Tatum Park

The full newsletter can be viewed here.