Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection 20 October 2019

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The First Reading tells of the battle the Israelites fought after their deliverance from Egypt. Victory was theirs but not from their own efforts alone but from the power of God mediated through the intercession of Moses.

In the Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the helpless widow and the corrupt judge. Through her persistence the judge finally agrees to listen to her complaint, but just to get rid of her.
The profound message in the story is intended for his disciples who are faced with suffering and persecution. If an amoral Judge can be moved by the persistent pleading of a widow, how much more will God see justice done for his faithful ones who cry out to him continually in prayer.

The question is for them in that moment and for us today will they/we, have the faith, trust and fortitude of persevering in prayer, or throw the towel in and abandon the faith, just because our prayers are never answered immediately or sometimes in the manner in which we want.

With every blessing
Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 13 October 2019

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 In the times and places of Scripture, leprosy was a feared and dreaded disease Not only did it disable and disfigure and shorten life, it also isolated and marginalised.

However, the hopelessness and fear with which Jesus’s society regarded leprosy parallels the perception of many people today regarding the future of our planet.

This year, young people in particular have shown that they are familiar with the urgency of scientific predictions – that unless we act promptly and radically to address the climate crisis and other forms of environmental pollution and degradation, our future is at risk.

The human and the habitat are in need of healing and restoration. Pope Francis recognised four years ago, in his encyclical on the care of our common home ‘Laudato Si’, that climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing humanity. He said even doomsday predictions cannot any longer be met with irony or disdain, as the likelihood grows that we will leave to future generations debris, desolation and filth, along with the increased likelihood of catastrophic events.

But all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom.

Traditionally, Respect Life Sunday has focused on issues at the beginning and end of life, and we need to continue to focus on these questions. But our Catholic tradition has long recognised that there are many other threats to human life. Pope Francis calls it integral ecology and asks us to work together for a hopeful future for our children and grandchildren.

Fr Ron

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The Cathedral Connection 29 September 2019

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Seeing what is all around us

Music, poetry, sculpture, painting – the diverse range of the arts gives us a glimpse of the vision and imagination of the artist. They often see a fuller reality that is already present in the ordinary, and through their work they allow us to share in that hidden truth – to see ‘the full picture’. From Shakespeare to David Bowie, from painting to Christmas carol, the story of Dives and Lazarus has inspired artists throughout the ages, and in turn provided a transfigurative experience for those viewing and experiencing their work.

Today’s parable draws some clear links to the story of the Transfiguration, and both point to resurrection and the coming of God’s kingdom, and also to the power and importance of listening. But how do we listen to the voice of God in such a way that we distil and purify our own vision of life, that then leads us to transfigured action that imitates Christ’s own self-giving love?

The ‘aha’ moment is perhaps that the gospel reading today isn’t about earning or relinquishing an eternal reward; rather it’s about the character and quality of our life right now. We need to take this invitation to live a fuller, more meaningful life by sharing ourselves with one another. For we are all one; we are all members of the race which God has personally joined. We need to open the gifts we have received and live with gratefulness.

So, go in to the world with hope, joy and most certainly with the transfiguring power of Christ’s love to be His voice and hands and feet, and to be artists in the world, transfiguring the ordinary, into a new creation.

Michael Fletcher
Cathedral Director of  Music

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The Cathedral Connection 22 September 2019

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We are constantly told that it is very difficult to change our habits and the natural way that we react and behave.

Dostoevsky wrote:
‘The second part of half of a person’s life is usually made up of the habits acquired during the first part.’

Now that is quite a challenging thought. A profound story to illustrate this.
‘Once a holy man was instructing his disciples as they walked through a forest. He pointed to a small oak sapling and asked one of his disciples to pull it out. The disciple did so with one hand. Then the Holy Man pointed to another oak sapling, a little bigger than the first and asked the disciple to pull that one out too. The disciple had to use both hands this time. The Holy Man pointed to yet another sapling much bigger and asked the disciple to pull it out. This time he could only pull it out with the help of all the other disciples. Finally, the Holy Man pointed to an even bigger oak tree and asked his disciples to pull it out. Of course, they were unable to do so.

The Holy Man concluded, ‘That’s how it is with passions and habits. In the beginning, before they have sunk deep roots, it is easy to eradicate them. But if we allow them to sink deep roots, it becomes virtually impossible to rid ourselves of them.’

While the story shows the danger of forming bad habits it also shows the importance of forming good habits. Just as dishonesty can become a way of life so can honesty. Honesty can become habitual, spontaneous, second nature in our lives.

Flor McCarthy writes,
The real reward for a good deed is that it makes the next good deed easier. Every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character.’

With every blessing
Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 15 September 2019

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Lost and Found

On my first Camino, I remember visiting the 12th century Lyon Cathedral in Spain. So beautiful. I remember a quote written on a wall – “they (the builders) sought to describe God (through their building). Of course, they couldn’t, but they came closer than many.’

Many have attempted to describe God, with various degrees of success. We just don’t have the words or the imagination to describe the indescribable! Perhaps that is why we resort to poetry, music, art, scripture, to describe God.

How can God describe God to us poor limited human beings?  God does it in Jesus. One of the ways Jesus does this is through the use of parables. A parable is a way of helping people understand a teaching moment through story. The word “Para” can mean “alongside of.” So a parable is an  analogy or story that goes alongside a fact, event, or teaching. It helps us to understand.

In Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel we have three marvellous parables – the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son (the priest today may read the shortened version, leaving out the third parable.) The focus on each story is the commitment of the one who has the loss – the shepherd hunts assiduously, the woman searches, and the father runs to embrace the scandalous son. The parable of the ‘prodigal son’ is really the parable of the loving and forgiving father who abandons all propriety and decorum at the return of the son who was lost and has been found.

The three parables can speak to us – the ‘lostness’ in our own lives that only God can fill. But there is also the ‘lostness’ in the lives of so many around us who have lost hope.  We can be God’s instruments in giving them hope again

Fr Ron

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