Tag Archives: Cathedral

The Cathedral Connection 17 February 2019

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Blessings indeed

For the 1st few weeks of this year, the readings have been about ‘beginnings’ as Jesus begins his mission. That works in well for us, as we begin a new year.  After choosing his twelve apostles, Jesus teaches about the nature and demands of discipleship. We have to make a choice.

The 1st reading is from Jeremiah. It’s about choices also. God curses those who rely only on themselves, who think they can make it on their own steam. God blesses those who ‘put their trust in the Lord, with the Lord for their hope.’  We are either self-centred or other-centred. One is enriching, the other kills. Today’s psalm echoes that same theme of dependence on God, rather than oneself.

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians get to the nub of the matter. It’s the resurrection that matters. As Paul said, “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have died…” (1 Cor 15.19). In fact, as Jesus himself promised, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Lk 6.21.)

Luke’s beatitudes reading may seem strange to us, as most often we hear Mathew’s account.  Luke incorporates part of the material Matthew had included in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:1-12). Luke’s version is shorter. Unlike Matthew’s nine blessings and no woes, Luke has four each, set in parallels: poor-rich, hungry-full, weeping-laughing, and rejecting-accepted.

If we fail to pay enough attention to such words of blessing, perhaps it is because we are aware of the associated woes, “Woe to you who are rich, … who are full now.” Those bring God’s care for the poor into sharp relief. Or perhaps, childishly, we simply want to wish away realities like poverty, hunger, death.

Today, in our Cathedral parish, it is time to celebrate blessings, the blessings of Fr James’ 11 years in the parish. We do it through a special Mass at St Paul’s Cathedral, and a parish picnic afterwards in the grounds of Parliament. Thank you, Fr James, for all the blessings you have given this parish of the Sacred Heart.  We wish you many blessings in your retirement.

Fr Ron – Moderator, Cathedral Parish.

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The Cathedral Connection 10 February 2019

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Dear Parishioners,

the Gospel story this Sunday is not so much about fishing, but trust. Jesus is saying to Peter: ‘How far are you willing and prepared to trust me?’ It was a major turning point in Peter’s life. What started out as a failure to catch fish ended in a new beginning, starting out in a new direction.

Jesus was calling Peter and his companions to the most important undertaking in the salvation of the world.

He was calling them to serve God and to serve humanity to be his disciples in accomplishing His mission.

We too are called by Christ to venture into the ‘deep.’ We too are challenged in how willing and prepared we are to trust completely in Jesus.

Through all our fears, insecurities and doubts he calls us to be his true disciples. To live for God, to live for our families and to live for one another.

God of All, grant us in our tasks your help, in our doubts your guidance, in our weaknesses your strength and in our sorrows your consolation. Amen

Now a little about me.

Thank you for warmly welcoming me into the Cathedral Parish. When I heard I was to be appointed to Sacred Heart I thought I was venturing into the deep because it was a Cathedral Parish. I have been a priest for a little over five years after being a teacher in Primary Schools for thirty-five years. I was very blessed and privileged in being the priest at St Benedict, Onslow parish and then the combined parish of Ōhāriu, that includes Johnsonville and Newlands. I now start  on a new journey being your Assistant priest in serving you, sacramentally, pastorally and by being a chaplain to our awesome primary school and college.

Fr Doug
Parish Assistant Priest

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Cardinal John’s Newsletter 7 February 2019

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

Greetings and all good wishes for 2019. It is hard to belive that the month of January has gone already. So many people have been saying “What happened to January?” The month went by so fast and if it is an indication of what the year is going to be like I think it is probably going to be a very busy year.

You will see in the notice part of this newsletter that I will be away in Rome for most of February. I ask for your prayers for this time and especially for the third of the meetings I am attending. In October this year the New Zealand Bishops will make our Ad Limina visit to Rome. This is the visit usually made every five years to meet with the Holy Father, to celebrate Masses and pray at the Tombs of St Peter and St Paul, and to visit various Roman dicasteries (departments). It is actually eight years since we made our last Ad Limina visit.

This year also brings the challenges of preparing for the Royal Commision into abuse in State and Church Institutions. We do not know yet exactly what is required, but we do know that there is much to prepare. It is also a year in which we are making very big efforts to educate those in any form of ministry that our mission is to ensure that the Church is a safe place for all.

A major effort will go into raising funds for the seismic strengthening and maintenance work to be done on our Cathedral. As well as those major events there are the usual round of many many meetings, celebrations in parishes, Confirmations etc.

It is not just me that has a full year ahead. For everyone life is very full and very busy. The temptation for me is to get caught up in all these things and allow prayer to become a bit perfunctory, something to fit in amidst all the other demands. I know that this is not good enough and that it actually does not help me very much.

I need to pray, we all need to pray. For me that means being disciplined and making the time. If I don’t do that the days just become full of tasks to be done, they can easily become chores and even meaningless. Just a few weeks ago Pope Francis said “Prayer always transforms reality, even if things around us do not change, we do.” I know that this is true. Time set aside enables me to respond to the invitation of Jesus “Remain in my love.” It brings me the gift of peace and the strength to carry on with purpose, hopefully knowing that this all is done with God’s grace. I have recently been reading a wonderful book in which Brother David Steindl Rast is interviewed. He said in one part of the interview; “Rightly understood, praying means facing the Mystery, facing life again and aagin. If we do that, life will show us what to do…life will inevitably challenge us to change. Openness for this change is what matters in prayer. Faith is trust in life, lived new again and again, new in each moment because life is changing every moment.”

I love that idea of prayer being “Facing the Mystery.” This year, whatever it brings for any of us, will you join me in prayer every day, will you join me knowing that in prayer we support each other as we “Face the Mystery?”

Naku noa. Na
+ Hoane

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The Cathedral Connection 3 February 2019

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MOVING AND CHANGING

This weekend we welcome Fr Doug Shepherd to our parish community as Assistant Priest.  Fr Doug was previously at St Benedict’s in Khandallah, within St Francis of Assisi Ohariu Parish. Fr Doug, we look forward to working with you and getting to know you.

We are also beginning, this weekend, the new arrangements for Sunday Masses. The Saturday evening Vigil Mass and the Choral Mass at 10.30am on Sunday will be celebrated in St Thomas More Church, Wilton, and the Sunday evening 7.00pm Mass in the Cathedral Chapel.

The Parish Pastoral Council and Liturgy Committees thought very carefully about this arrangement. As St Thomas More is designed for worship, we will no longer have to set up and pack down every weekend. Furthermore, music will be much better provided for. As well as thanking St Mary’s College, I should like to thank all our musicians for ’keeping things going’ while we were in the college hall. The Sunday evening Mass is the ‘last Mass of the weekend’ in Wellington city, and an important ministry; we hope the chapel will be a suitable place for this celebration.

As the notice inside this newsletter says, there are some transport arrangements offered for getting to St Thomas More. In addition, if anyone is experiencing difficulties with the new arrangements, please let the parish office know; we cannot assist if we do not know.

As a community, we can only wait patiently for the time when we will be able to return to a strengthened cathedral.  We might remember that Scripture often speaks of times of wandering, of times of exile, and of times of waiting – as well as the joy of returning.

Jim McAloon
Chair, Parish Pastoral Council

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The Cathedral Connection 27 January 2019

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Dear Parishioners…

Following on is a situation in the game of cricket when a team is required to immediately bat its second innings because it lags far behind the opposition’s first innings total. But this front page effort is not about cricket, nor has it anything to do with lagging behind!!

This weekend closes my 11 years with you. Following on, is Fr Doug Shepherd. He takes up residence during this week and will be presiding at parish Masses from 1 February. You will be greatly blessed by his presence and ministry among you, and you are fortunate to actually have a priest to “follow on”.

It is apparent to most that priests are in short supply. New Zealand born candidates for priesthood are all but non-existent. There are many reasons suggested as to why our Catholic men are not making a life-choice for priesthood and you have voiced most of them to me. I am not listing or debating them here, but want to make some personal observations:

Over my years with Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, I have not been aware of any parent placing the priesthood before their son as a viable option; I have shared many family prayer times but have never heard a prayer for the family to be blessed with a religious vocation. It is easy to get the impression that being a priest is the last thing anyone wants for one of their own.

I am far from perfect and my imperfections may contribute to those negative reactions. But I wish I could let you all see how wonderful priesthood really is. Your support, your affection, the welcome place you make for me in your homes and in your lives, brings joy to my spirit and fulfills my own life. Fr Doug Shepherd and I share this same beautiful priesthood. It is not a wasted life but a treasure waiting to be found. Who will follow on…?

Fr James

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