Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection 24 November 2019

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CHRIST THE KING

In the encounter between Jesus and the two thieves on Calvary, one of the thieves was so lost in darkness and hatred that he did want the light of Christ to touch him. The other, though recognised the light of Jesus’s goodness and responded to it.

The repentant thief recognised that Jesus was innocent and spoke up for him before his unrepentant companion. The goodness of Jesus made the repentant thief see the wretchedness of his own wasted life, but it also awakened his own innate goodness.

He turned to Jesus, realising that he was the only one who could help him at this last moment of his life.

Salvation is always a gift from God. He gives it freely without any conditions to those who, like the repentant thief open their hearts and minds and know that Jesus is truly their King.

Pope Francis reminds us:

“Today, Jesus is asking every person to let him be their king: A king who sacrificed himself upon the cross, saving his people from death, he said. Christ the King casts light on a life marked by doubt, by fear and by the trials of every day.”

Fr Doug.

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The Cathedral Connection 17 November 2019

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World Day of the Poor

Pope Francis invites us today to remember the 3rd World Day of the Poor, by taking the opportunity to reach out to meet people experiencing financial hardship, homelessness and isolation.

In his message announcing the theme he stressed the vital importance of the both “embracing and assisting the poor, the oppressed and outcast” who he in his typically vivid language has called the “left over people.”

His emphasis is on being with and what he described in his reference to the Church hospital as the need for “proximity”, getting close to and remaining near the poor. Moreover, the focus of the theme is a verse from Psalm 9:19 “The hope of the poor shall not perish forever”.

Pope Francis writes “If the disciples of the Lord Jesus wish to be genuine evangelisers, they must sow tangible seeds of hope”. The showing of “tangible seeds of hope” is far from a naive exhortation to a superficial optimism. It is an invitation to engage long term with the real hopes of the poor themselves. This positive engagement draws us into the “good news” stories of the poor themselves. Pope Francis closes his message by calling on all Christians and people of goodwill “to cooperate effectively so that no one will feel deprived of closeness (“proximity”) and solidarity.”

His message for the World Day of the Poor encourages us to seek people’s true needs, “not to stop at their most obvious material needs, but to discover their inner goodness, paying heed to their background and their way of expressing themselves, and in this way to initiate true dialogue.”

Let us take Pope Francis’ message to heart and attempt to live it in our own lives.

Fr Ron

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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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