Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection 19 August 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Dear Parishioners

A new hip is not the only change in me!   I return to you after six weeks’ recovery to take a new position in the parish.  Debbie Matheson is now our pastoral leader; I work alongside and with her, to lead the Eucharist and other sacraments, but Debbie is your “go to” person in matters relating to parish life and administration.

I welcome this change.  A priest is ordained to nourish God’s people in Word and Eucharist and to witness the gospel message to the wider community.  Of necessity the priest very quickly finds himself in the midst of meetings and management and often, as the only “fulltime staff”, handling all the parish business.

Fortunately, parishes have come to see the significance of participation and over the last 25 years or so, many parishioners have accepted more and more responsibility.  But our Archdiocese has gone further and provided theological and personal development programmes to enable lay people to take full responsibility for parish life.

Debbie has arrived among us at a crucial time as we face the reality of an earthquake-prone cathedral and as I prepare for retirement.  I am grateful for your prayers that have supported me through surgery; and I am grateful for the opportunity I now have to put the best of myself into celebrating the liturgy and enabling the Bread of Life to nourish your own lives.  But I am especially grateful that we have a lay leader.  Her very presence will stimulate your faith and tap your own potential for witness and involvement.

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 12 August 2018

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How many times have we just had enough, just wanted to stay in bed, pull the covers over ourselves and ignore the world and find solace in sleep? I know I have! At this time of disruption and with the absence of our Cathedral I’m sure the thought of ‘it’s all too hard’, and ‘I’ve had enough’ have probably popped in to our heads at some point. Elijah was in a similar position in today’s first reading, he had had enough. Yet still the angel of the Lord twice provided him with food and water, and nourished he continued his journey. Not a short journey either, one that lasted 40 days and nights.

How do we hear that call though? Pope Benedict tells us that the aim of Liturgy is to assist the Word of God to effect greater understanding of the mysteries of our faith. In our Mass we are asked to join in a much greater cosmic liturgy, one not solely based in the self-made world of man. To get there, to bridge the gap between humanity and divinity there is music and silence. Two media that can allow us to experience the mysterium, the essential message which is in itself unutterable and uninterpretable.

So, listen in the silence, through the music, and allow yourself to be drawn closer to God and be fed. Even though our own journey to return to our Cathedral may be a little longer than those 40 days and nights that Elijah experienced. Together, nourished by the bread from heaven let us continue our journey together and walk in love, just as Christ did.

Michael Fletcher
Director of Music.

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 5 August 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

I am the Bread of Life

 “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (John 6:35)

 This year we have been following Mark’s Gospel. Because it is a short Gospel, we now leave it for 5 weeks, reading instead from John’s Gospel Chapter 6 – the feeding of the 5000 and the Eucharistic words that follow it. John does not have an account of the institution of the Eucharist (he presumes it), but the whole of Chapter 6 is Eucharistic.

Last week’s Gospel set the scene, with the feeding of the 5000 with 5 loves and 2 fish. As Andrew says, referring to the 5 loaves and 2 fish that a boy has, ‘…but what is that amongst so many.’ It’s nothing. BUT 5 loaves and 2 fish AND JESUS is everything.

As we come to terms with our Cathedral being closed for quite a time, we may have a lot of negative and soul destroying emotions. We can relate to Philip’s response to the task of feeding the 5000 – ‘Six months’ wages would not buy enough for each of them to get a little.” It isn’t going to work. Then we see Andrew, ‘There is a small boy here with 5 loaves and 2 fish.’ They are very little BUT with Jesus they are more than enough.

The last 3 Sundays I have come to morning tea after the 10.30am Mass, in the College Staffroom. Conversations there were very much about hope and possibilities, coming together, supporting each other, getting to know each other in a new way. What I heard over and over was the importance of keeping the community together.

The spirit of the parish was brought home to me last Sunday in seeing a woman collecting money for food that she had made. She had begun her fundraising for the Cathedral already, even before the start flag had fallen! Her ‘5 loaves and 2 fish’, coupled with all the other loaves and fishes that we hope to bring, with Jesus, will be more than enough!

– Fr Ron Bennett, Moderator.

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The Cathedral Connection 29 July 2018

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The gospel readings over the next few Sundays from John will invite us to consider the deeper meaning of Eucharist: Christ, the Bread of Life, present to us in this sacrament that is given to us in order that we might become sacrament to one another.

The challenge of today’s gospel, and the mandate of the Eucharist, is to take up the hard work of reconciliation and compassion begun by God. To humbly bring the peace of God into our own homes. To share the gifts, we have received – our talents, our riches, and ourselves, to create communities of joyful faith. We’re called to become the Body and Blood of Jesus that we receive in the Eucharist.

It is easy to follow Jesus when we are on the receiving end of his bounty and goodness. As we grow in discipleship there will come a time (if it hasn’t already come) when we will no longer be simply on the receiving end of the relationship. We will be called to enter further into a relationship with Jesus that is more mutually reciprocal.

Today’s gospel also challenges us to realise the many things we waste in our lives that can be the difference between life and death for others: our stores, abundance of clothing, food, household goods, toys and money can become signs of God’s loving providence for all.

As a community, we are privileged to be receivers of God’s providence. Many gifts and talents within our community have been shared over the past few weeks, as we work towards a new ‘normal’ in parish life.  Thank you.

Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 22 July 2018

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Sacred Heart Cathedral

A beacon of faith, hope and love

“Ask, and it will be given to you; … knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7)

The closure of our Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart has come as a shock not only to parishioners, but also the wider community. Many have found the Cathedral a place of spiritual enrichment, a place of beauty, and a place to take time out from busy city life. Its fine acoustics and organ have also provided a home to musicians and community groups who have used it for concerts and recordings.

We have an exciting opportunity for the Cathedral Parish, the wider Wellington community and others to help preserve this Wellington landmark. For our community it is an undertaking that represents so much more if the Cathedral is to remain the spiritual, cultural, and community home that our predecessors built it to be. Each of us may have different reasons for calling the Cathedral our spiritual home, but what makes us one family is that we all want and need the Cathedral to be the place where we find communion with God and each other.

While the detailed planning for remediation work has not started yet, it is likely that the building will be closed for a number of years and the work will cost several millions. The Parish Funding Committee, brought together by Father James Lyons, is focused on planning and raising funds for this essential work. The synergy between the Parish and Archdiocese to formulate a successful funding campaign is very strong. As stewards of our faith and church home, we’ll be asking you to give generously in the same way as those before us did.

As we reflect on the work ahead, it’s worth remembering that our Catholic community doesn’t give to the church because it has needs; our community gives because the church meets needs.

Nigel Ingram
Chair, Funding Committee

The full newsletter can be viewed here.