Tag Archives: Connection

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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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 23 December 2018

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Displayed on the street front of a church not far from here, this poster reflects the growing concern among individuals and nations that all is not well with our world. Domestic violence and abuse of

trust, homelessness, mental illness, an alarming suicide rate, charges of people trafficking and slavery in our own country, reportedly taking New Zealand “to a new low”, present images of frightening instability.

Yet, each Christmas, we are offered an image of enormous hope. From within a rustic, weather-beaten and neglected shelter, scarcely suitable for animals let alone people, a mother gives birth and another child is born. It’s been said that every new-born shows God’s trust in the world. Why else would God continue to gift new life?

The Christmas stable is our starting point towards a future that recognises and welcomes life in all its forms, that respects the dignity of every person, especially the most vulnerable, and rejoices in the wonder, the grace and the beauty that shines around us, even when what we have or see appears to be of little value.

We each have the power to be “a stable influence” in life. Imagine the difference for good if we did just that! God’s trust would certainly be vindicated.

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 16 December 2018

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Rejoice

The third Sunday of Advent is upon us.  Gaudete Sunday! Named from the first word of the Introit at Mass: Gaudete in Domino semper (Rejoice in the Lord always).  The readings today again speak of preparation; remind us that ‘The Lord is near’; and that joyfully we await His coming.

Experience tells us that whenever a special guest is expected to visit, we can get over excited, tense and often restless (parents can too, as they await the birth of their child). We can become anxious in preparing the best for our guest.  Our preparation can be exhausting and sometimes we can lose focus.

Today, on Gaudete Sunday, I encourage you to take a moment from your preparations and busyness in expectation of the Christmas feast.  Slow down, pause.  Give thanks for, and rejoice in, the beauty that surrounds us in nature; the people that surround you; the memories that you carry.  Rejoice knowing that you are ‘infinitely loved and infinitely lovable’.

Joy is a blend of laughter and tears.
It is looking for the happiness that comes in small packages, knowing that big packages are few and far between.
It is making the most of the present,
enjoying what is at hand right now.
Joy is love bubbling over into life.
Joy is the flag we fly when Christ, the Prince of Peace,
resides in our heart.
(author unknown)

As we continue our preparation, our aim is not only to do good but to do good with joy and love. With peace in our heart we are will be able, to walk humbly, justly and mercifully bearing witness to all we meet. Rejoice!

Debbie Matheson (Lay Pastoral Leader)

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