Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection 10 November 2019

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We are Church

Last month my husband and I were blessed to be able to visit several historical cities in Spain and Portugal.  During our visit we instinctively sought out each city’s Cathedral.  We spent many hours in these buildings praying, learning about and reflecting on the devotion and cultural history of the congregation, city, country.

We enjoyed visiting the physical buildings, seeing the ornate statues, gold leaf decorations, ornamental carvings and monstrance, 14-18th century ceremonial robes and many devotional chapels.  Reflecting on the difference between these and our Cathedral, with a much younger history than the countries I visited, I was drawn to the missionary nature of our history.

The gospels call us to be people of mission.  We received the good news of the gospel from missionaries, and it is ours to pass it on.  Our Cathedral, our physical church, is a place that offers us somewhere to gather as a community to worship, to be spiritually fed, to build community, AND a place to go out from – to, as we are tasked with at the end of each Mass in the Dismissal blessing ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord’ – go and do good works and share the Good News of Jesus.

Church is a ‘living church’, it is more than a physical building.  We are the church.  We are the witness, the living experience of the gospel messages today, and this is our mission.  During our time out of our Cathedral, and as we reflect on how we wish to use our physical buildings in the future, let us keep in mind that the hospitality and service that we offer each other, the visitors to our buildings and our outreach to those less fortunate than ourselves is what defines us as a Cathedral parish.

Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection 3 November 2019

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OUR COMMON HOME

During October the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region was meeting in Rome. Such reporting as there was in this country hit on the Synod suggesting that where the need exists married men could be ordained as priests, and that there should be further reflection on whether women could be ordained as deacons.

Both are important issues, but there was far more to the Synod than that. The final document speaks of a long path of ‘listening to the People of God in the Church of Amazonia’. It refers to the ecological crisis in that part of the world: deforestation, a loss of biodiversity, infrastructure projects which do not serve the needs of the people, and unsustainable extraction of resources.  The document also emphasizes the ecological wisdom of the indigenous peoples of the region.

This might seem a long way away from us.  Papua New Guinea’s Cardinal John Ribat, however, who attended the Synod, has said that similar problems face this part of the world. The effects of climate change are already being felt in the island nations of Oceania. Sea levels are rising, drinking water is contaminated, storms and erosion threaten coastal communities. Four weeks ago Caritas Aotearoa launched its annual State of the Environment for Oceania report, available here https://caritas.org.nz/state-environment-oceania-2019-report. It’s a short document and worth reading.

As Pope Francis recently observed, ‘The young remind us that the earth is not a possession to be squandered, but an inheritance to be handed down’. In his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, Francis reminded us that the whole creation speaks to us of God’s love for us, and that we must use these created gifts wisely, and with thought for future generations.

Jim McAloon
Chair, Parish Pastoral Council.

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The Cathedral Connection 27 October 2019

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Sunshine and Gladness

I can still remember the 1970s animated adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and probably more so one of the songs from it, sung by the Kings Singers.

Building a wall to surround you, Gathering all your treasures around you,
Living a life apart. Not having anyone near you; Building a wall and making them fear you, Saying you have no heart.

You’re a fool if you think you can live Your life without sharing sunshine and gladness; If you think you can live without love, You’re building a wall of sorrow and madness.

You’re building a wall to surround yourself; You’re just building a wall to protect yourself; You’re just building a wall to defend yourself, But you’re building a wall that will break your heart.

 For me, many of these stories and in my case the animated adaptations left me with something that lingered. Something that inspired a fresh look at elements of my own life. It is much like taking a mirror to what is and showing a vista to what might be. The end of story never really being the end.

Today’s parable provides stark lingering questions for us all: where do we place our trust and why do we judge those around us? Questions that are never easy to answer and rather uncomfortable as well. Perhaps it’s just easier to build a wall and deflect further thought?

Christ challenges us to think and reflect offering His love and mercy, for before him there is no need to fear. Our vulnerability is met and welcomed and the fragments of our lives are gathered up and transformed in to glimpses of hope. A hope that transforms how we see ourselves, how we present ourselves to others and in how we respond to them.

So don’t build a wall that will break your heart, instead let yourself be vulnerable and allow Christ’s love to enter and transform you. And don’t let that be the end of the story, when you leave here share that transforming love with all by sharing in their struggles thus building God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, sharing the sunshine and the gladness.

Michael Fletcher, Director of Music

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The Cathedral Connection 20 October 2019

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PRAY ALWAYS

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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RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY

 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

The full newsletter can be viewed here.