Tag Archives: Connection

The Cathedral Connection 15 December 2019

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Oh Joyous Prepartion

Throughout Advent we are reminded that this is a ‘time of preparation’.
Preparation in the secular world often sees people rush about, perhaps
stressing as they ponder what presents to purchase, plan a Christmas
meal, a family gathering, at work prepare for the Christmas shutdown and
possibly a summer holiday. Added to our normal everyday tasks, these
preparations can be all consuming and possibly seem overwhelming at
times.

As Christians, Advent is a time – a call – for us to also prepare to celebrate
and remember Christ’s First Coming. It is also a time to look forward and
prepare our minds and hearts for His Second Coming at the end of time.
But what does that actually mean? The scriptures this weekend, which
refer to both mysteries, offer us pointers.

Our Advent readings promise God’s final act of salvation – but salvation
belongs to this world as well as the afterlife. We see this in the first reading
where Isaiah envisions salvation as healing of the blind, deaf, mute and
lame, which elicits songs of ‘’joy and gladness’’. James tells us how to wait,
patiently, making our hearts firm.

John the Baptist leads the way to God’s Kingdom. We, as Christ’s disciples
like John, are called to lead others joyously to God’s Kingdom. Who are
the blind, the lame, the lepers, the deaf, the dead, and the poor in our
world? How do we communicate the News of Great Joy to them? How do
you respond to the call to a life of prayer and action, and to be joyful
messengers of God’s Kingdom?

This weekend, as we move into the second half of Advent: with a sense of
joyful expectation, and an awareness that the fulfilment of God’s great plan
for us is near. Will your preparation this Advent lead you into a quiet time
for reflection and collection?

Debbie Matheson, Lay Pastoral Leader

The Cathedral Connection 1 December 2019

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well, happy new church year is perhaps more accurate. As we start our season of Advent we are reminded that the Church and secular world are slightly off kilter with each other in terms of their time keeping. Shops have already started with the wonders of Christmas (and I’m sure remnants of Easter are still lurking on shelves as well) with bright lights and sales offers to satisfy our immediate desires and ‘needs’. I know I’ve been sucked in before, even if just for a block of Whittaker’s chocolate as a salve against more pressing issues I’d rather ignore!

Advent in the Church, however, makes no claim for instant satisfaction, and instead invites us to pay more attention to what is going on in our own environment, in our own hearts. At its heart Advent is a cry that yearns for a world that is fair, just and honest. Indeed, the call throughout Matthew’s Gospel is to justice. So, as St Paul calls us to “wake up” and be ready, let us look around us and within us, and with the gift of the Christ who has already come, make changes that see a world that is different, gentler, more robust, indeed transformed.

Let this New Year bring hope and joy, may we move away from a Christmas that some would believe is already here and instead embrace these four weeks of Advent. May we be transformed to bring forth His kingdom, one of inclusion, of compassion, integrity and generosity here on earth.

‘Yea, amen, let all adore thee … O come quickly; Alleluia! Come, Lord, come.’

Michael Fletcher
Cathedral Director of Music

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The Cathedral Connection 24 November 2019

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CHRIST THE KING

In the encounter between Jesus and the two thieves on Calvary, one of the thieves was so lost in darkness and hatred that he did want the light of Christ to touch him. The other, though recognised the light of Jesus’s goodness and responded to it.

The repentant thief recognised that Jesus was innocent and spoke up for him before his unrepentant companion. The goodness of Jesus made the repentant thief see the wretchedness of his own wasted life, but it also awakened his own innate goodness.

He turned to Jesus, realising that he was the only one who could help him at this last moment of his life.

Salvation is always a gift from God. He gives it freely without any conditions to those who, like the repentant thief open their hearts and minds and know that Jesus is truly their King.

Pope Francis reminds us:

“Today, Jesus is asking every person to let him be their king: A king who sacrificed himself upon the cross, saving his people from death, he said. Christ the King casts light on a life marked by doubt, by fear and by the trials of every day.”

Fr Doug.

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The Cathedral Connection 17 November 2019

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World Day of the Poor

Pope Francis invites us today to remember the 3rd World Day of the Poor, by taking the opportunity to reach out to meet people experiencing financial hardship, homelessness and isolation.

In his message announcing the theme he stressed the vital importance of the both “embracing and assisting the poor, the oppressed and outcast” who he in his typically vivid language has called the “left over people.”

His emphasis is on being with and what he described in his reference to the Church hospital as the need for “proximity”, getting close to and remaining near the poor. Moreover, the focus of the theme is a verse from Psalm 9:19 “The hope of the poor shall not perish forever”.

Pope Francis writes “If the disciples of the Lord Jesus wish to be genuine evangelisers, they must sow tangible seeds of hope”. The showing of “tangible seeds of hope” is far from a naive exhortation to a superficial optimism. It is an invitation to engage long term with the real hopes of the poor themselves. This positive engagement draws us into the “good news” stories of the poor themselves. Pope Francis closes his message by calling on all Christians and people of goodwill “to cooperate effectively so that no one will feel deprived of closeness (“proximity”) and solidarity.”

His message for the World Day of the Poor encourages us to seek people’s true needs, “not to stop at their most obvious material needs, but to discover their inner goodness, paying heed to their background and their way of expressing themselves, and in this way to initiate true dialogue.”

Let us take Pope Francis’ message to heart and attempt to live it in our own lives.

Fr Ron

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The Cathedral Connection 10 November 2019

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We are Church

Last month my husband and I were blessed to be able to visit several historical cities in Spain and Portugal.  During our visit we instinctively sought out each city’s Cathedral.  We spent many hours in these buildings praying, learning about and reflecting on the devotion and cultural history of the congregation, city, country.

We enjoyed visiting the physical buildings, seeing the ornate statues, gold leaf decorations, ornamental carvings and monstrance, 14-18th century ceremonial robes and many devotional chapels.  Reflecting on the difference between these and our Cathedral, with a much younger history than the countries I visited, I was drawn to the missionary nature of our history.

The gospels call us to be people of mission.  We received the good news of the gospel from missionaries, and it is ours to pass it on.  Our Cathedral, our physical church, is a place that offers us somewhere to gather as a community to worship, to be spiritually fed, to build community, AND a place to go out from – to, as we are tasked with at the end of each Mass in the Dismissal blessing ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord’ – go and do good works and share the Good News of Jesus.

Church is a ‘living church’, it is more than a physical building.  We are the church.  We are the witness, the living experience of the gospel messages today, and this is our mission.  During our time out of our Cathedral, and as we reflect on how we wish to use our physical buildings in the future, let us keep in mind that the hospitality and service that we offer each other, the visitors to our buildings and our outreach to those less fortunate than ourselves is what defines us as a Cathedral parish.

Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.