Tag Archives: CardinalJohn

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 13 June 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

Later this year, in the month of October, Pope Francis has asked the world to embark on “An Extraordinary Missionary Month”. He has done this because it will be one hundred years since Pope Benedict XV wrote the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud about being missionaries. Pope Francis has highlighted again in his first major document Evangelii Gaudium that we are ALL called to be “Missionary Disciples.” The very first sentence of the document of almost 6 years ago says, “The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.” (EG 1).

Pope Francis went on to say in the next paragraph; “Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too.” (EG 2)

If we are called to be Missionary Disciples every day, and every hour of the day, and if we are to embark on a new chapter of evangelisation which is marked by joy, and if we are to help others find ever-lasting joy in Christ, then regular prayerful reflection will help us.

One of the ways to keep us joyful and to ensure that our interior life does not become caught up with our own interests and concerns, and we no longer hear God’s voice because we are so focussed on ourselves, is to reflect prayerfully every day. Many people choose to use a nightly reflection known as The Examen.

It is a simple, powerful and effective time of prayer and reflection.

  • Review the day with gratitude
  • Take note of the joys and delights of the day
  • Focus on the gifts of God’s grace
  • Also acknowledge the failures and self-disappointments
  • Look forward to tomorrow and ask for light and guidance for the day ahead.

If we are to be Missionary Disciples we clearly need to en-counter the Joy of the Gospels for yourselves before reaching out to others. This kind of prayer – the Examen – will help us to encounter Jesus, to be in relationship with him, to walk with him and talk with him.
When Pope Benedict XV wrote Maximum Illud one hundred years ago he wrote of “the proclamation and the love of Jesus, spread by holiness of one’s life and good works.” Our holiness of life and our good works become more effective when we pray and reflect every day about how we are living out our Baptism and Confirmation. The Examen is a wonderful help. I wish you joyful reflections.

Every blessing

Naku noa
+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 30 May 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,
Only a few weeks after he was elected Pope Francis wrote Evangelii Gaudium. If you want to know what Pope Francis asks of the Church and what his plan for the Church is then read this document. It is really his plan for the future.

In Evangelii Gaudium he writes: “Each particular Church, as a portion of the Catholic Church under the leadership of its bishop, is likewise called to missionary conversion…It’s (the Church’s) joy in communicating Jesus Christ is expressed both by a concern to preach him to areas in greater need and in constantly going forth to the outskirts of its own territory or towards new sociocultural settings. Wherever the need for the light and the life of the Risen Christ is greatest, it will want to be there”. (EG 30)

Do we ever think about the fact that we are called to missionary conversion? Do we think about going to the out-skirts, to new settings, to the edges in order to make a difference by living the Gospel? The Pope’s whole focus is on evangelisation; is it our focus too? Are we doing what we can to share the Good News of the Gospel that God is with us, Jesus has redeemed us, the Holy Spirit guides and directs us. The Gospel gives hope to those struggling with life and we are the ones privileged to of-fer life and hope to others.

In this newsletter I ask all the readers to reflect on the fact that every man and woman IS a mission; that is the reason for our life on this earth. In the Archdiocese we have, for many years now, been educating people in Stewardship and trying to help others discover that “intentional discipleship” is our best – and only response- to God’s constant and abundant goodness. I believe that embracing “intentional discipleship” is an ongoing part of our “missionary conversion.” The challenge to do this is as urgent as ever. Our living out of our faith is not just about what happens in our churches. Yes, we come to Mass to be part of a vibrant and exciting community; to be inspired and challenged by the Word of God; to be fed and nourished by the gift of the Eucharist. All of those gifts are not just for individuals. ey are given so that we live the mission our Archdiocesan Synod gave us almost two years ago when we reflected on the theme “Go, you are sent.”

We all know very well that in our individual lives we try to change every day, to be a little more loving, a little more patient, more kind and truthful. “Conversion” is a daily challenge, so too is “missionary conversion.” We have a task to do, at Baptism and Confirmation we were anointed for the task of being “a mission.”
Shall we get on with it?

Every blessing

Naku noa
+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 16 May 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,
A few weeks ago at a parish meeting I reminded all gathered that Pope Saint John Paul II had told us that “First of all, I have no hesitation in saying that all pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness.” (Novo Millennio Ineunte 30) A few years later Pope Benedict wrote of the centrality of the Word of God and said “let the Bible inspire all pastoral work” (Verbum Domini 73). They are two excellent reasons for us to remember that ALL our parish and school meetings should begin with a substantial time of prayer.

I then asked someone to read out the following story as part of the prayer to begin the evening.

I heard once a story about a young African called Kahua. Kahua lived in the hills above a vast savannah in East Africa. One day he came down to the savannah and turned up at the Catholic compound where he met the priest. Kahua asked for a job for six months and as the priest urgently needed someone he was given a job. It turned out that Ka-hua was honest and industrious, imaginative and reliable and above all he got on with everyone so the priest came to rely on him. The priest was shocked when just short of the six months Kahua came to him to tell him that the time was almost up and he would be leaving in a week. “No Kahua, you can’t go. I need you. I know l have been cranky and difficult at times and l probably haven’t paid you enough but l promise to be better and make it up to you.” Kahua explained that it really wasn’t about money. He reminded the priest that his original request had been for a job for six months. When pushed he also explained that he lived in the hills and that one day when he was thinking about his life he had looked out on the savannah below where he saw the Christian compound and the Muslim mosque. He knew they were among the great world religions and thought they might have the answers he was searching for. So he told the priest, “/ thought / would go and work for you and the imam for six months each and then l would know which religion was best for me. Now it is time to go to work for the imam.” “My God, Kahua, why didn’t you tell me?” muttered the priest. But the fact is most people don’t tell us. They watch us. It is our witness not our homilies that is important.

Our parishes are about building loving supportive communities, reaching out to one another and creating places and spaces where everyone feels accepted and welcomed, where they know they belong. Last Friday in Blenheim at the Vigil for Fr John Pearce and at the Mass in the Marlborough Convention Centre on Saturday the constant message was one of thanks for the way John had “connected” so many people and so many diverse communities in the vast Marlborough area. It was his witness and his reaching out to others that was deeply appreciated.

Are we creating close and warn relationships in our parish and school communities, in our families? Does each person know that they are held in a network of solidarity and belonging? Do we enable others to find contentment and friendliness in our communities?

What would Kahua say if he was looking at us?

Naku noa
Na + Hoane

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

In these Easter Days we are hearing in the daily Gospels so many stories about the first disciples and how they rushed off to tell others that Jesus was alive and that he had appeared to them. They were excited and energised, in fact so excited and energised that all they could do was talk about Jesus, about what he had said to them and what he had done. They knew that they were being sent out by him to tell others the good news of the Gospel.

Just a month ago Pope Francis published the Apostolic Exhortation CHRISTUS VIVIT – Christ is Alive! This is a letter written to Young People, and to “The Entire People of God.” It is written to each one of us. In that document Pope Francis writes:

“Where does Jesus send us? There are no borders, no limits: he sends us everywhere. The Gospel is for everyone, not just for some. It is not only for those who seem closer to us, more receptive, more welcoming. It is for everyone. Do not be afraid to go and bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away and most indifferent. The Lord seeks all; he wants everyone to feel the warmth of his mercy and his love” He invites us to be fearless missionaries wherever we are and in whatever company we find ourselves: in our neighbourhoods, in school or sports or social life, in volunteer service or in the workplace. Wherever we are, we always have an opportunity to share the joy of the Gospel. That is how the Lord goes out to meet everyone. He loves you, dear young people, for you are the means by which he can spread his light and hope. He is counting on your courage, your boldness and your enthusiasm.” (Christus Vivit 177)

For us as disciples of Jesus we are reminded that we are all sent. The Synod for the Archdiocese of 2017 had the theme “Go, You are Sent.” The above paragraph is for all of us, it is worth reflecting on and asking ourselves how we are responding to the mission Jesus gives us. Do we respond at all to being sent? Do we respond and go with generosity and energy? Or, do we just think that our parishes and organizations are about what we can get out of them. Please reflect on the paragraph above and please remember that always the purpose of being with Jesus is to go forth from Jesus in his power and with his grace.

The Holy Father has reminded us that Jesus is counting on our courage, our boldness and our enthusiasm …. let’s go forth with Easter courage, Easter bold-ness and Easter enthusiasm.

Naku noa. Na + Hoane

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 18 April 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

The liturgies of this Holy Week invite us to engage with the words, actions and experiences that were part of Jesus’s journey to live the life his Father called him to live. As we live Holy Week, hopefully we can see how each step and feeling that Jesus experienced applies to our lives as well. His reality reflects our reality. That is the mystery and truth of the incarnation and Holy Week. In a strange way this Jesus week is a metaphor for our own lives.

Palm Sunday saw Jesus welcomed as a King with shouts of confidence and acclamation. Most of us know what it is to be celebrated and affirmed by others, to have others put their faith in us and to be recognised as someone special. We also know how quickly that can change. Realisation dawns that they didn’t really understand – that the rela-tionship wasn’t mutual or life giving.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mirror the ordinary times of our lives. We journey along enjoying, and maybe enduring, the ordinary and the mundane wondering what we are here for and experiencing a restlessness about life and our future. Maybe we like Jesus start to look around us wondering if our friends are committed to the same values and dreams.

Holy Thursday is our big wake up call. Jesus shows us how he wants each of us to be. He shows us what service and sacrifice is all about. He gives us a mandate to love and to serve and to give ourselves without counting the cost. Yet even the one closest to him don’t get it. Peter is confused and protests. Jesus looks at each of us and says that is how I want you to live YOUR life. Do as I do. Let your life mirror my life.

Then the horror of Good Friday. He is judged and con-demned because he is a good man. Feelings of chaos, des-pair, betrayal, fear, anxiety, well up in Jesus and us. Is the pain, challenge and change too much? Will we face it and live through it? Or run away and ignore the one we | followed. So, what do we do? The Challenge of Good Friday is to kiss and embrace our cross. And like him in our pain and suffering reach out in love, forgiveness and compassion. In total trust we throw ourselves willingly and fearfully into the hands our God.
Saturday is the time of emptiness and aloneness- when we are faced with nothingness. The end of a relationship, a betrayal, a hopeless situation, despair and darkness, and what seems like nothing. The day when we witness the death of our dream and fall into our personal deepest fear and dark tomb. A sad and scary nothingness. Sit there and life will teach us.
Then the fire of hope is lit in the church and in ourselves. We renew our Baptismal vows as adults – recommit to that which was done for us as children. We say we will live like Jesus did, walk his way, speak his truth. Make Jesus the meaning of our lives. Make him the reason for all the seasons and weeks in our lives.

We are now an Easter people of hope who are confident and graced to shine the light of the Real and Risen Christ in our inner and outer worlds.

Happy Easter, peace be with you

Naku noa.
Na + Hoane

The full newsletter can be viewed here.