Category Archives: Cardinal John’s News

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 7 February 2019

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

Greetings and all good wishes for 2019. It is hard to belive that the month of January has gone already. So many people have been saying “What happened to January?” The month went by so fast and if it is an indication of what the year is going to be like I think it is probably going to be a very busy year.

You will see in the notice part of this newsletter that I will be away in Rome for most of February. I ask for your prayers for this time and especially for the third of the meetings I am attending. In October this year the New Zealand Bishops will make our Ad Limina visit to Rome. This is the visit usually made every five years to meet with the Holy Father, to celebrate Masses and pray at the Tombs of St Peter and St Paul, and to visit various Roman dicasteries (departments). It is actually eight years since we made our last Ad Limina visit.

This year also brings the challenges of preparing for the Royal Commision into abuse in State and Church Institutions. We do not know yet exactly what is required, but we do know that there is much to prepare. It is also a year in which we are making very big efforts to educate those in any form of ministry that our mission is to ensure that the Church is a safe place for all.

A major effort will go into raising funds for the seismic strengthening and maintenance work to be done on our Cathedral. As well as those major events there are the usual round of many many meetings, celebrations in parishes, Confirmations etc.

It is not just me that has a full year ahead. For everyone life is very full and very busy. The temptation for me is to get caught up in all these things and allow prayer to become a bit perfunctory, something to fit in amidst all the other demands. I know that this is not good enough and that it actually does not help me very much.

I need to pray, we all need to pray. For me that means being disciplined and making the time. If I don’t do that the days just become full of tasks to be done, they can easily become chores and even meaningless. Just a few weeks ago Pope Francis said “Prayer always transforms reality, even if things around us do not change, we do.” I know that this is true. Time set aside enables me to respond to the invitation of Jesus “Remain in my love.” It brings me the gift of peace and the strength to carry on with purpose, hopefully knowing that this all is done with God’s grace. I have recently been reading a wonderful book in which Brother David Steindl Rast is interviewed. He said in one part of the interview; “Rightly understood, praying means facing the Mystery, facing life again and aagin. If we do that, life will show us what to do…life will inevitably challenge us to change. Openness for this change is what matters in prayer. Faith is trust in life, lived new again and again, new in each moment because life is changing every moment.”

I love that idea of prayer being “Facing the Mystery.” This year, whatever it brings for any of us, will you join me in prayer every day, will you join me knowing that in prayer we support each other as we “Face the Mystery?”

Naku noa. Na
+ Hoane

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 6 December 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

Last Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent I asked for a special penitential rite to be used at all Masses in the Diocese. This was a way of making a response to the Pope’s Letter to the People of God, which he wrote on 20 August of this year. At a meeting of the Council of Priests we thought very hard about what could be done in response to the Letter. We asked the clergy and religious of the Archdiocese to make Friday 5 October a personal day of prayer and fasting, in acknowledgement of the deep wounds and pain caused to victims
of sexual abuse. The priests were very aware that as Pope Francis says in his Letter these were “crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike”.

The penitential rite last weekend was a further response to the Holy Fathers’ call:

“I invite the entire holy faithful People of God to a penitential exercise of prayer and fasting, following the Lord’s command. This can awaken our conscience and arouse our solidarity and commitment to a culture of care that says “never again” to every form of abuse.”

I am very conscious of the anger among the laity at the damage done not just to victims, but to the Church and the trust among its members. You have every right to be angry. In his Letter Pope Francis is calling us to move beyond our anger in order to bring about change – a “conversion” – within the Church, and to do so in solidarity with one another: “…every one of the baptized should feel involved in the ecclesial and social change that we so greatly need. This change calls for a personal and communal conversion that makes us see things as the Lord does.”

Pope Francis sees joining together in a penitential mode as the starting point of solidarity in our commitment to a culture of safeguarding and care, which must permeate all aspects of our life together. This is a solidarity which is challenging, but which has the potential to overcome division driven by anger. The change in the power dynamic needed in the Church is substantial and we all have a part to play in this change. As he says in the Letter “It is impossible to think of a conversion of our activity as a Church that does not include the active participation of all the members of God’s People”.

If you have not yet read the Pope’s letter, please do so here. It may cause, discomfort, anger and pain. However please reflect on it, talk about it with others. Pope Francis has asked the People of God to act in solidarity and to work towards communal conversion. We priests know that we cannot do this by ourselves. Your concern, care and interest is needed so that we can live and work in solidarity, and so that our Church will be strong, joyful, safe and full of energy.

Naku noa. Na + Hoane

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington – Clergy Appointments for 2019

Clergy Appointments for 2019 for the Archdiocese of Wellington

Changes take effect 1 February 2019

Holy Family, Porirua East

  • Missionaries of Faith
  • Father Andrew Antonio, Parish Priest
  • Assistants – Father Tuli Paulo and Fr Ramesh Songa


Sacred Heart, Reefton

  • Father David Gruschow, Administrator while continuing as Parish Priest of St Canice’s, Westport


St Francis of Assisi, Ohariu

  • Father Peter Roe SM Administrator


Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish

  • Father Ron Bennett, Moderator
  • Father Doug Shepherd, Assistant
  • Father John Pettit OCSO, in residence doing supply work and Hospital Chaplaincy


Our Lady of the Valleys and Te Awakairangi

  • Fr Paul Finlayson SSC, Supply Priest


Personnel Changes:
Fr Penehe Patelehio on loan to Archdiocese of Samoa to work in Missio Sui Iuris, Tokelau
Father Peter Fitzgibbon retiring from active Parish Ministry
Father James Lyons retiring from active Parish Ministry
Father Tikoua Kautu appointment pending
Father Patrick Bridgman Sabbatical, April – October
Father Stefano Lee Archdiocese of Toronto as Chaplain to South Korean community

Cardinal Dew’s letter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 22 November 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,
On Monday August 20 2018, Pope Francis wrote a letter to the People of God about the recent revelations of sexual abuse, abuse of power and abuse of conscience by a significant number of clergy and consecrated persons around the world. Pope Francis particularly wanted to acknowledge the suffering endured by many minors, their families and the larger community due to these crimes.

With shame and repentance Pope Francis acknowledged the failings of the ecclesial community with regard to these crimes. He wrote that the extent and the gravity of all that has happened requires coming to grips with it in a comprehensive and communal way. He wanted us not just to acknowledge what has happenned but to ‘take on the pain of our brothers and sisters, wounded in flesh and spirit’, and to offer those who have experienced abuse an outstretched hand of assistance. Some people have asked questions about why we should all pray and do penance when we did not commit these crimes. However Pope Francis is suggesting that we all take on responsibility for stopping this. He invites us all to work on the means to ensure the present and future safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults, and to fight against all forms of spiritual corruption and clericalism, causes of these offences. He wants us to be part of a social and ecclesial change including a personal and communal conversion to see things as the Lord does.

Such change and conversion cannot be successful if only a small group are involved in the work. Pope Francis sees that it requires the active participation of all members of the People of God to generate the necessary dynamics for sound and realistic change. He invites us all to a prayer and fasting that opens our ears to the pain of those who have suffered, that gives us a hunger and thirst for justice, and that moves us to action in truth and charity to combat all forms of abuse of power, sexual abuse and abuse of conscience.

The Council of Priests spent a whole day and a half looking at this on 15th-16th of this month. The next day the Council met again, together with the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, the Board of Administration and Te Kahu o te Rangi (the Māori advisory council for the ADW) and the Archdioicesan Directors. That day we all considered Pope Francis’ letter. As another step in this process of prayer and action, I am inviting us all at the beginning of this penitential season of Advent to use the penitential rite which follow this newsletter and with this to seek forgivenness and conversion.

A few weeks ago all the priest of the Archdiocese had a day of prayer and fasting (October 5th). I am inviting all people in the Archdiocese to pray in a special way on Sunday December 2 and to reflect on what we can all do to be more aware of this and to find new ways to work together.

Naku noa. Na + Hoane

The full newsletter can be viewed here.