Category Archives: Central Pastoral Area

The Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter 24-25 March 2018

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Today, Palm Sunday, begins Holy Week.  This is the most sacred time of the year for Christians, climaxing in the Resurrection of Jesus, the kernel of our faith.

The contradictory behaviour of those who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with “Alleluias” fit for a king, condemning him to death a few days later, is reflected in the liturgies of this week.  We find ourselves caught up in a cycle of joy-sorrow-joy-sorrow-joy, as the drama takes us through Palm Sunday to Holy Thursday to Good Friday and on to the great Easter Vigil and the Day of Resurrection.

The starting point is made special with 40 children celebrating their First Reconciliation this afternoon (2pm at St Thomas More Church, Wilton).  This Sacrament combines the themes of sorrow and joy powerfully and beautifully, easing and lifting burdens with the loving mercy of forgiveness.

There is an open invitation to join the families gathering this afternoon, and our parish timetable lists several opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this special week.  We should all consider completing Lent and honouring the gift of Jesus, by formally expressing sorrow for what we have done or failed to do and experience that sorrow turning to joy.

Please try to participate in some, if not all, the Easter ceremonies.  The Chrism Mass (Tuesday), the Last Supper (Thursday), the Friday commemoration of the Lord’s Passion, and the Easter Vigil.  They celebrate the essence of our faith and the purpose of parish life.

Fr James

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The Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter 25 February 2018

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In common speech the word ‘hopefully’ has been downgraded so that it expresses little more than a vague wish: ‘Hopefully, it will be fine tomorrow,’ or ‘Hopefully, it won’t be too busy.’

A novelist describes what it is to live hopefully. One of her characters is a young woman named Sally who has cancer and knows that she is dying. She has two young children.  She is determined not to leave her husband and children with the memory of her dying being a drawn-out horror story as she wallows in despair. She wants her children to remember her as a fun-filled, kind and loving person. As long as she has strength, despite the illness that threatens to overwhelm her, she resolves that she will find purpose and meaning and as much enjoyment as she can in each day. Even though she knows her time on earth is limited she is full of hope that counters despair.

Charles Pinches, a professor of religious studies, says that, unlike optimism, genuine hope is formed in the darkness. This was Sally’s experience.

During Lent we keep company with Jesus as he trod the path that would lead to the cross. The happiness he pursued was not a passing fancy but the true blessedness that comes from a life of overflowing commitment to the way and will of God. Nothing would turn him aside. This is what it is to live hopefully. Living hopefully is grounded in the faithfulness of God and is always linked to action.

Living hopefully is one of the key notes of the gospel that we are called to proclaim throughout Lent, the Easter season and all that lies beyond.

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that [life] makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.  Vaclav Havel (1936-2011), first President of the Czech Republic who spent years imprisoned during the Soviet era.

Extract from editorial by John Meredith in Word and Worship [Autumn 2018]  Used with permission.

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Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter 27/28 January 2018

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23 January 2018

Dear Parishioners,

As many of you will know, in December 2017, David Seymour’s ‘End of Life Choice’ bill had its first reading in Parliament and was voted through to the Justice Select Committee. This Bill, which seeks to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide, is something that we, the Bishops of New Zealand,     remain extremely concerned about. We want to take the opportunity to further inform you about the complexities and risks associated with euthanasia and assisted suicide.

We are hesitant about “tacking on” activities to Mass, but from time to time a particular initiative is  given permission because its focus is so important that in effect it finds its full meaning within the context of the Mass. As we gather to be nourished by God’s Word (teaching and law) and by His Body and Blood, which makes possible the fullness of life, it is appropriate that something which so gravely threatens the gift of life is addressed within the context of our Sunday worship.

Today, all around New Zealand, we are making available a resource which gives 5 reasons why    legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide would be dangerous. We encourage you to share it among your friends, family and networks. This information is to inform and assist you to take personal action. Each of you can make a difference. Each of you are called to make a difference.

The fact sheet being provided at Masses today is also available online by visiting the website of The Nathaniel Centre – the New Zealand Catholic Bioethics Centre –

Thank you for giving this your attention and for the support and effort you have all given to date on this issue. It is a powerful witness when the entire Catholic community is united around a point of   belief and action – the upholding of the dignity of human life – which is so central to our faith and    pivotal to an inclusive and caring society.

Many of you submitted to the Health Select Committee Inquiry two years ago. There is now an urgent need to let parliament know your views about David Seymour’s Bill. Therefore, we urge each of you to get personally involved by sending a submission to Parliament’s Justice Select Committee before the closing date of 20 February 2018. Instructions on how to make a submission has been handed out with the fact sheet.

Your voice will make a difference !

Bishop Patrick Dunn, Bishop of Auckland and NZCBC President

Bishop Charles Drennan, Bishop of Palmerston North and NZCBC Secretary
Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington
Bishop Steve Lowe, Bishop of Hamilton
Bishop Colin Campbell, Bishop of Dunedin
Bishop-Elect Paul Martin SM, Bishop-Elect of Christchurch

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Wellington Central Pastoral Area Newsletter 24 December 2017

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Christmas (by John Betjeman)

 No love that in a family dwells

No caroling in frosty air,

Nor all the steeple-shaking bells

Can with this single Truth compare-

That God was man in Palestine

And lives today in Bread and Wine


On behalf of the priests and staff in the Wellington Central Pastoral area, I wish you all a happy, holy and safe Christmas.

Fr Ron

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