Tag Archives: Cathedral

The Cathedral Connection 18 August 2019

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Jesus – Bringer of Peace or Division

 At first sight, today’s Gospel is confusing. This doesn’t seem to be the Jesus we all know! Preachers and people alike find it hard to reconcile these passages with other passages of scripture.

One explanation is that the language of Jesus’ time was not as ‘robust’ as modern languages and nuances get missed. So, in those days, in order to say, ‘I like Mary more than Jane” I would have to say, “I love Mary, I hate Jane.’ Hearers and readers would understand, but we would say it differently as our languages are more developed.

There has also been unnecessary division amongst the followers of Christ, and even Christians relationships with those of other faiths. This goes against the words of Jesus in John 17/21 – ‘Father, may they all be one, as I am in you and you are in me!’ Yes, some of our divisions have been both unnecessary and unjust, and often a scandal.

But I think Jesus’ message here is really about passion. From the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we follow Jesus’ journey from his Galilean home towards his death in Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-19:27).  There is an urgency about Jesus’ message.  In numerous passages about discipleship and judgment day, Jesus warns against stocking worldly wealth, as we read a fortnight ago about the rich fool building barns for a retirement that he did not have. The decision to follow Jesus or not will separate people.

So, the real point of the gospel is the decision to follow Jesus completely now – Yes or No.  Some points for reflection —  Is there an urgency and passion in my life? If so, what is it for? What are the costs to follow it: peace, money, time, relationships, etc.? What would be the cost if I do NOT follow that passion now?

Fr Ron Bennett, Moderator.

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The Cathedral Connection 11 August 2019

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Initiation to the Christian life

It is both a privilege and an opportunity for personal growth when you accompany people on their journey to explore our Catholic faith. The parish currently has two people wanting to embark upon a journey through a Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) formation programme that starts at the beginning of September. The piece below, written by Joe Green, the Archdiocesan RCIA Co-ordinator, explores te ara (the pathway) of the RCIA programme and the role of the parish.  We hope Joe’s reflective questions will encourage you to attend an information evening on how you can become involved in various aspects of this year’s programme (see notice inside for details).

The initiation of catechumens is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful’ (RCIA #4). This simple sentence sums up the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the ‘RCIA’. It is this sentence that is driving a sea-change around the world in the way catechumens, those who are not baptised Christians, are initiated to Christian life (not to be confused with the baptised who wish to become Catholic).

And what is the Christian life? The RCIA (#75) outlines four major components: worship and prayer, word, community and mission and service.

Since the RCIA was revitalised following Vatican II it has tended to be seen as a class-based introduction to Catholicism, heavily loaded with learning dogma and doctrine.

Dogma and doctrine are important, but they are only one small part of the process. More important is participation in the life of the parish: liturgies, prayer, social groups, service such as communion to the sick, foodbanks, St Vincent de Paul, community committees, support to refugees and migrants, Catholic social action.

As a parish community do we live this Christian life? Why would someone want to join us? How do we help them grow? What would keep them here?

Debbie Matheson, Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection 4 August 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here

Thank You!

Thanks to all who attended the consultation meetings last week. The combined attendance was about 45 people, and the discussion was lively and even entertaining. We will put out a fuller summary soon. Some points seemed to attract a lot of interest. One was the desirability of making the piazza a greener space, and enhancing the potential of that area and the courtyard for meditation and relaxation. Several people spoke of the importance of opportunities for deepening our knowledge of the Bible.

Many agreed that what brings us together, apart from our common faith, is the importance of working together and caring for each other.  There were also questions about whether we do that as well as we could.  Similarly, several people thought communication could be improved. Of course, too, everyone is keen to get back into the Cathedral – there is an update inside this newsletter – and there were suggestions about a big re-opening event, including inviting the Pope.

In the next few weeks representatives of the Parish Council and Finance Committee will work on developing these insights, and the earlier surveys, into a draft parish response to Cardinal John. We expect to make that available for feedback, and in the meantime if anyone would like to offer their thoughts on the consultation questions, please get them into the parish office by 12 August. The questions can be found on the parish website in the newsletter of 21 July.

The best feature of the discussion, I thought, was that everyone spoke honestly and listened respectfully.  Perhaps, in a world where sometimes it seems that shouting and putting people down prevails, we might be a model of dialogue and encounter — in our parish community and everywhere we go.

Jim McAloon, Chair, Parish Pastoral Council

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The Cathedral Connection 28 July 2019

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The importance of prayer is a favourite theme in Luke. It underpins the message in both the First Reading and in the Gospel of today.

In the First Reading we have Abraham interceding with God on Sodom’s behalf. A city full of evil and corruption. Abraham is troubled by the idea of the innocent being punished along with the guilty so passionately prays to God, even bargains with him.

The First Reading highlights the importance of intercessory prayer and reveals the true mercy of God.

This prepares us for the Gospel in which Jesus tells his disciples how to pray to God, the Father and urges them to be persistent and confident in their prayers.

‘Ask, and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.’

 With every blessing
Fr Doug

The full newsletter can be viewed here.