Category Archives: Cathedral News

Cathedral & Pastoral Area Bulletins & Other Related News.

The Cathedral Connection 15 July 2018

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This is the theme running through the first and gospel readings this weekend.  Amos was sent to prophesise; and the disciples were sent to anoint and heal the sick.

In the dismissal at the end of each Eucharistic celebration we, the community of believers here at the Sacred Heart Cathedral are sent too, sent to bring good news to the poor, to make disciples of all nations, to love one another and to accompany each other.   This theme is particularly relevant to us today.

We have now received both the full report from Dunning Thornton and a peer review report from Batchelar McDougall Consulting on the building’s structural integrity.  The Finance Committee and the Parish Pastoral Council both met on Thursday evening to discuss the implications of the reports in relation to the Health and Safety Act and Archdiocesan guidelines on Earthquake Prone buildings.  Their discernment produced a recommendation to the Pastoral Leadership Team of immediate closure of the Cathedral.  More information on how we got to this point is available on a separate fact sheet enclosed in this newsletter.

We are extremely grateful to the proprietors and staff at St. Mary’s College who have made available the college hall to the parish to celebrate the Vigil and Sunday Masses for as long as necessary.  We are grateful too to Sacred Heart School for the use of their buildings for weekday Eucharist this week.

There will be an opportunity for more information at a meeting to be held on Tuesday 17th July, 7.00pm at St Mary’s College Hall.

As sad and troubling this news may be, it is also a marvellous opportunity to celebrate our togetherness as a community. Seeds have been planted over many years and now we can sense the ripening and the harvest, with our schools embracing the parish and our committees rallying in support of the need before us.  Last year’s Synod proclaimed, GO – YOU ARE SENT, and now we are on the move, witnessing that we, and not any building, are CHURCH. This faith and confidence will more than see us through.

Debbie Matheson                Fr. Ron Bennett
Lay Pastoral Leader            Moderator

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The Cathedral Connection 8 July 2018

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The newsletter insert can be viewed here.

Eternal Father, Strong to Save

Today is Sea Sunday, when the Church remembers seafarers. Seafarers are often away from their families for months at a time. They work long hours and navigate the world’s most treacherous stretches of ocean. Their lives are tough, hazardous and lonely.  In many ways, seafarers are on the peripheries of society. Eternal Father, Strong to Save, William Whiting’s famous hymn  resonates with restless waves, dark waters and angry tumult. Standing behind the rage, however, is a God who shields His children from harm and, instead of wild confusion, brings peace.

Peace, of course, is inclusive and brings people from the peripheries. God as the bringer of peace is an image well known to us from scripture. This year our parish retreat afternoon on Sunday 22nd July is entitled Give me your hand . Fr. Jim Dooley s.m. will lead us in a time of personal prayer and reflection on Jesus’ invitation to Thomas the Apostle to be reconciled with the disciples. Thomas had been separated from the disciples after Jesus had risen from the dead. Jesus invites Thomas ‘Give me your hand, put it into my side’.

Today, we pray for those in our congregation and pupils from Sacred Heart Cathedral School who will receive their own peace in the form of the sacrament of confirmation. The sacrament will be received at St. Teresa’s, Karori. Confirmation confirms our baptism and inclusion in the family of God. It confirms that we are no longer on the peripheries and are reconciled with Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Nicholas Burley
Chair, Parish Pastoral Council

The full newsletter can be viewed here.
The newsletter insert can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 1 July 2018

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When parents seek to enrol their child in a Catholic School, they must provide evidence of baptism. An unbaptised child can be accepted if another family member has been baptised and if enrolment at the school may encourage the other towards baptism. Eight children from our parish school have been working towards this goal and will be baptised and confirmed at our 5.30pm Vigil Mass this weekend. A parent of one of the children will also receive the Sacraments of Initiation.

We should all rejoice at this outcome and be eager to befriend and support the families involved. Faith is a fragile gift and must be tended with great love and care. If our community is to grow and flourish, none of us can be excused from welcoming and nurturing these new ones, born into the family of God. Help them proudly celebrate their new life.

Accompanying this time of “Welcome” is a moment of “Farewell” as I step down from the role of Parish Priest after nearly 11 years among you. On Monday, I have surgery to replace the artificial hip that has served me for the past 16 years and, after recovery, will take up the new role of Priest in Sacramental Ministry. That means I will assist with the celebration of the sacraments, with our Pastoral Leader, Debbie Matheson, overseeing parish life. Fr Ron Bennett of Otari Parish will support Debbie, being present at some of our Sunday Masses. I will formally retire from active, assigned ministry, at the end of this year.

I am extremely grateful for the privilege of leading our parish, and very confident that Debbie’s pastoral sensitivity will continue to mould and build our community through to the appointment of the next Parish Priest.

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 24 June 2018

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Our parish is one of several inner-city parishes that support the work of Downtown Community Ministry Wellington.

DCM works with homeless people to help them get into houses. Once a person is reduced to living on the street a significant process is required for them to be able to get back into a house, beginning with addressing the reasons they first became homeless. Over the past decade DCM have supported hundreds of people to successfully escape homelessness and enter sustainable housing. DCM provides a range of associated services, such as support in dealing with Work and Income, supportive mental health and addiction services, money management services, medical and dental services, a foodbank, and preparation for work. Overall DCM offer holistic support for people who are disenfranchised in our city.

Our support for DCM is one important way in which we as a parish are able to help those on the peripheries, one of the goals of our recent Archdiocesan Synod. In our urban setting those without a home to live in are one group of the poor to whom Jesus calls us to be responsive to. To paraphrase Jesus “I was homeless and you gave me shelter”. One way to be responsive to those who are homeless today is in supporting the organised groups that provide effective processes and respectful support to address the homelessness of individuals.  In Wellington DCM is the leading group.

DCM Wellington is holding its annual bookfair on Saturday August 4. This is their major fundraiser for the year. On the next two Sundays you are invited to bring any spare books, CDs or DVDs you no longer need that you can donate to the bookfair (see notices inside). Of course, you can also support DCM by going to the bookfair at Shed 6 on Queen’s wharf where there will be thousands of books of every type at very modest prices.

Nick Polaschek

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The Cathedral Connection 17 June 2018

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Announcing the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis wrote that Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is always ready to forgive. [Misericordiae Vultus. 2013, par3]. It is in the context of this “Year”, which began with the opening of “Doors of Mercy” in churches throughout the world, that the Pope reminded us the Name of God is Mercy – surely one of the most consoling and encouraging aspects of Christian belief.

To know that the God revealed in Jesus Christ, the God we worship as Creator and Giver of life, is a God whose essence is mercy, who loves life more than anything else, must be shared and proclaimed for all the world to hear. It is this assurance that forgiveness is possible, that bad choices can be transfigured, is what so many yearn to know.

Chapter 15 of Luke’s gospel comprises three of Jesus’ parables. Each is powerful, but together they are truly significant. We first read of the lost sheep, then the lost coin, followed by the lost son. The shepherd, the woman and the parent agonise over their loss and there is the greatest rejoicing in all three households when the lost is found. To me, the sheep represents the animal world, the coin represents the material world and the son is there for all humanity. God wants nothing to be lost. All creation is sacred. Love never ends.

Nothing should keep any of us from admitting our failures and accepting God’s mercy. There is no need to fear. God is in fact looking out for us, searching and waiting, with a welcome home feast in mind. But – yes, there is a ‘but’ – the chapter ends with the older brother unable to forgive, suggesting he knows God by a different name! What is your name for God?

Fr James

The full newsletter can be viewed here.