Dear Members of the Muslim community in Aotearoa New Zealand,
We hold you in prayer as we hear the terrible news of violence against Muslim’s at a mosque in Christchurch. We are profoundly aware of the positive relationships we have with Islamic people in this land, and we are particularly horrified that this has happened at a place and time of prayer. We are deeply saddened that people have been killed and injured, and our hearts go out to them, their families and wider community. We wish you to be aware of our solidarity with you in the face of such violence.
Ngā mihi nui,
Ko te Piringa Whakawhanaungatanga o Ngā Whakapono a te Huinga Pīhopa Katorika o Aotearoa
New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Interfaith Relations
The full newsletter can be viewed here.
Sacred Heart Cathedral
A beacon of faith, hope and love
“Ask, and it will be given to you; … knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7)
The closure of our Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart has come as a shock not only to parishioners, but also the wider community. Many have found the Cathedral a place of spiritual enrichment, a place of beauty, and a place to take time out from busy city life. Its fine acoustics and organ have also provided a home to musicians and community groups who have used it for concerts and recordings.
We have an exciting opportunity for the Cathedral Parish, the wider Wellington community and others to help preserve this Wellington landmark. For our community it is an undertaking that represents so much more if the Cathedral is to remain the spiritual, cultural, and community home that our predecessors built it to be. Each of us may have different reasons for calling the Cathedral our spiritual home, but what makes us one family is that we all want and need the Cathedral to be the place where we find communion with God and each other.
While the detailed planning for remediation work has not started yet, it is likely that the building will be closed for a number of years and the work will cost several millions. The Parish Funding Committee, brought together by Father James Lyons, is focused on planning and raising funds for this essential work. The synergy between the Parish and Archdiocese to formulate a successful funding campaign is very strong. As stewards of our faith and church home, we’ll be asking you to give generously in the same way as those before us did.
As we reflect on the work ahead, it’s worth remembering that our Catholic community doesn’t give to the church because it has needs; our community gives because the church meets needs.
Chair, Funding Committee
The full newsletter can be viewed here.
Food for Faith – online prayer support for ADVENT
During Lent this year Father John O’Connor of Christchurch provided “daily email encouragements” through his website Food for Faith to people who signed up for them. The programme was very successful and in response to the enthusiasm, Food for Faith is offering an opportunity for daily reflection during ADVENT. Every day of December 2017 those who sign up will receive an email encouragement, perhaps a paragraph or two, or brief video clip or podcast. If you would like to sign up for the daily Advent emails, visit Food for Faith www.foodforfaith.org.nz and look for the purple sign-up box.
Please spread the word about this opportunity through parish newsletters, email lists etc. A short message for newsletters could be:
“Through his website www.foodforfaith.org.nz Fr John O’Connor of Christchurch is offering an opportunity for Advent reflection. Every day in December those who sign up will receive a short reflection by email. Visit the website and look for the purple sign-up box.”
25TH World Day of Prayer for the Sick
11 February 2017
In his message to the Church commemorating this special Day, Pope Francis writes:
“The gaze of Mary, Comfort of the Afflicted, brightens the face of the Church in her daily commitment to the suffering and those in need…
This great wealth of humanity and faith must not be dissipated. Instead, it should inspire us to speak openly of our human weaknesses and to address the challenges of present-day healthcare and technology. On this World Day of the Sick, may we find new incentive to work for the growth of a culture of respect for life, health and the environment. May this Day also inspire renewed efforts to defend the integrity and dignity of persons, not least through a correct approach to bioethical issues, the protection of the vulnerable and the protection of the environment.”
Mary, our Mother,
in Christ you welcome each of us as a son or daughter.
Sustain the trusting expectation of our hearts,
succour us in our infirmities and sufferings,
and guide us to Christ, your Son and our brother.
Help us to entrust ourselves to the Father who accomplishes great things.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
Next Saturday (11th), the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, is the Church’s day of prayer for the sick. The Sacrament of Anointing will be offered after the 8.30am Mass and the 5.30pm Vigil Mass. This for the aged, infirm, those facing surgery and for those in a care giving role.