Tag Archives: Debbie Matheson

The Cathedral Connection – Christmas Newsletter 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here

Christmas Newsletter 2019

Christmas is truly a feast of the heart. It reveals to us what the heart of God is like. He so loved humanity that He sent His only Son to redeem and save us.

It also reveals what the human heart is capable of. The nativity of Christ causes us to open our hearts and journey back to Bethlehem each year to rediscover our own roots in the gift of Jesus.

In Pope Francis Christmas message of 2018, ‘This truth is the basis of the Christian vision of humanity. Without the fraternity that Jesus Christ has bestowed on us, our efforts for a more just world fall short, and even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty.

For this reason, my wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity. Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture.’ What makes us human is not so much our ability to think as our ability to love.

To the extent to which we open our hearts to God and to each other, we will experience something of the great joy the angels announced to the shepherds over two thousand years ago.

May great joy be yours this coming Christmas and always.

For what has been thanks for what is to come. Yes.

With every blessing, Fr Ron, Fr Doug, Debbie, Michael & Frank.

The full newsletter can be viewed here

The Cathedral Connection 15 December 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here

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 10 November 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

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.

The Cathedral Connection 8 September 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Tirohia, Wānangatia, Mahia

 Do to others what you would have them do to you…

 The above Te Reo phrase See, Judge, Act, is the catch phrase for this year’s Social Justice Week, with Fairness the theme.  In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that to be his disciples we must take up our crosses and follow him.  Luke constantly uses vocabulary that indicates that the disciple’s cross is not a singular event, but a way of life.  Jesus implores us to be intentional disciples.

Pope Francis recently called for a ‘’revolution of tenderness’’: a love that comes close and real; a movement starting from the heart which flows to the eyes, ears, and hands.

As disciples, the source of love and peace must be at the centre of all that we do.  When we love someone, we show this by being loyal, by seeking to do the right thing for them, and giving preference to them.  Showing love comes naturally with our family and friends, those already known to us.  The real challenge comes as we seek to show love to those other around us.  The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference encourage us to use this Social Justice Week as an opportunity to reflect and take action on social justice issues in light of Catholic social teaching.

Next month Pope Francis has called an Extraordinary Month of Mission.  Over the past two months your Pastoral Council has been reflecting on practical opportunities for fostering a spirituality of service that will invite you to, as Pope Francis has asked ‘’get off the couch’’ and respond daily, taking up your cross and following Jesus.

Individually, as intentional disciples, this week may we be inspired by St Teresa of Calcutta “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love”.  How will you mark this Social Justice Week?

Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 11 August 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here

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

The full newsletter can be viewed here