Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection 28 October 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


 This week the whole Church gets together!  All the Saints come to meet us on Thursday and the next day we spend time remembering our beloved dead.  All Saints Day (Nov 1) and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (Nov 2) focus on the Body of Christ in its totality: the Church on earth and the Church in heaven.  One family, under one God.

Those officially recognised as saints are models of Christian living.  They show us what faith, hope and love make possible, and urge us on to live the way of Jesus with joy and trust. The saints are not gods, but people like you and me.  They simply took Jesus at his word and followed him.  Life for them, as for us, was not easy but they persevered and put the needs of others ahead of their own.

Baptism has already sanctified us; we are members of the Body of Christ – saints in the making.

Praying with and for the faithful departed reinforces belief in the “hereafter”.  It announces that in death life is changed, not ended.  Those who say there is nothing beyond this life, that dust is all we have to look forward to, are to be most pitied.  They shut themselves off from any hope of reunion with loved ones; for them love is fleeting; consoling, but not enduring.

That Jesus truly died, was buried and truly rose from the dead, is the core belief of Christianity.  It is our buffer against disappointment and sadness, while giving life meaning and purpose.  We miss those who have died, but they are not far away.  They are with God, and God is very near. All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.  Honouring them, we honour life.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 21 October 2018

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Mission and the RCIA

As baptised Christians, Jesus has charged us with sharing in His mission, ‘In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples’ and calls us to ‘go out into the world and make disciples of all nations.’ Matthew 28:19. The primary way that we do this is in our everyday witness.

Last week Trish McAloon (Parish RCIA Co-ordinator) and I attended the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Australia and New Zealand National Conference held in Melbourne.

We heard that in being a welcoming community, telling our stories as we accompany ‘enquirers’ of our faith, and celebrating the sacraments we co-operate with God in His mission. A phrase that resonated with me was the description of mission as ‘God’s turning towards the world in creative love’. It is in the sharing of ourselves (our time), our gifts (our talent) and our treasure (our money), that we work with God in realising his mission, in creative love.

In the RCIA programme there are several roles which assist ‘enquirers’ in learning to recognise Jesus in their daily lives and explore our catholic traditions and beliefs. These include being a sponsor or Godparent, a witness or catechist, or offering hospitality. Those involved in delivering the RCIA programme describe it as very rewarding, enriching and an opportunity to not only share their faith, but to grow their faith.

The RCIA journey begins as an invitation to come and meet Christ. Is there someone you would like to invite to join the RCIA programme or is God calling you to be part of the programme? As we celebrate Mission Sunday let us remember that, while the primary role of evangelisation is God’s, we are his vessels.

Debbie Matheson,  Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 14 October 2018

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


“Deep down in the heart of every person is the knowledge that life is precious and often fragile.”  These words from our Bishops help focus on the significance of today’s annual celebration of the gift of life.  Respect Life Sunday asks us to pause and consider the wonder of our being and the varied and intricate ways in which we are patterned and linked to one another.

Life is precious.  We have only one each, and it is unique, never to be repeated.  Your life and mine, and everyone else’s is to be honoured and held as a sacred trust.

Life is often fragile. It must be handled with care.  Your life and mine and everyone else’s can be damaged, broken or even destroyed by something as simple as an angry or spiteful word; it can be fractured with a glance or even by being ignored.

This precious and often fragile life – yours and mine and everyone else’s is also endowed with its own strength and can withstand enormous pressures such as come with disappointment or sickness or the loss of a friend.

With you, people of faith, I see life as a gift from the God who is love; the God revealed in Jesus. This puts life in a class of its own, with a dignity beyond compare.  And because life comes from love, it is itself creative and reaches for companionship.  Each life is born to grow and to unite with other lives.  Jesus came to help this vital process, urging us to think of others before ourselves, to value the healing that comes with forgiveness – in other words, to respect life above all else.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 7 October 2018

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Last month I spoke with a group of our Catholic Primary School principals.  They had asked me to help reinforce their role as guides and guardians of the Catholic Character of our schools.  It occurs to me that much of what I shared with them applies to everyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ.  Under six headings we explored the identity of someone promoting the Catholic Character.  Here they are.  Check them against your own understanding of what it means to be a Catholic Christian.

  • A witness to Gospel values – you can only be credible if you are joyful. Joyfulness springs from thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving opens you to compassion.
  • A servant leader – does not sit easily with the secular model of leadership. Leadership that is respected comes from the gift of self.
  • A midwife – bringing Jesus to birth in all your relationships. You are called to nurture life: act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly with your God. [Micah 6:8]
  • A team person – open to dialogue and working together with others. Positive collaboration recognises the gifts in each person.
  • A pilgrim – a person of hope, living with the conviction that our lives are going somewhere. Hope is wildly ambitious.
  • A parish person – while principals are encouraged to work closely with the local parish, parishioners should not separate their personal lives from their parish connection. “Owning” your parish gives life to both parish and school.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 30 September 2018

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Clericalism is the new “bad word” in the Church.  Why?  As more and more accounts emerge of the abuse of trust by clergy and consecrated persons, reaching back over the past century, questions are being asked about the privileged status they have traditionally enjoyed.  People have always regarded priests and religious as “special” and the Sacrament of Holy Orders has certainly marked the priesthood as distinct and separate from others.

While this is a beautiful tribute to the dignity of priesthood, it can easily lead to an “Upper Class” impression with a consequent lack of accountability.  It is obvious that some, even many, have succumbed to the temptation that privilege, power and authority invite.  Trust becomes a sad and tragic casualty.

Pope Francis has targeted clericalism as “an illness in the Church”, and says it arises from a distorted view of authority.  “To say ‘no’ to abuse is to say an emphatic ‘no’ to all forms of clericalism,” he wrote in his letter to all Catholics on August 20.

He states that clericalism can be a sin for both clergy and laity: for clergy if they demand to be treated as superior to the laity; for laity, if they resign themselves to ‘Let Father do everything’ and avoid the responsibilities proper to their own vocation as baptised Christians.

Bishop Vincent Long, speaking to our Priests’ Assembly in Christchurch recently, told us the priesthood has to be “humanised, not pedestalised!”  In today’s environment, the priest cannot be “apart from” the people; he must be “a part of” the people.  This the model we are trying to work from in New Zealand.  Pray that this kind of partnership will bring healing and peace.

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.