Tag Archives: Debbie Matheson

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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The Cathedral Connection 18 November 2018

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Are you ready?

 Mark’s account of this week’s Gospel is often called ‘The little Apocalypse’.  It is a discourse by Jesus about the end of time. Our life on earth is part of the paschal mystery, the dying and rising of Christ.

Our time here is grace.  It is a free gift.  Nothing we did or will do earned our existence, and nothing we do can guarantee our number of days here. Our time on this earth is limited.  Our life will come to an end; of that we can be sure.  ‘But of the day or hour, no one knows’.  In this Gospel Christ wants to remind us of the need to remain prepared, not in worry and fear, but in the love of God and in charity and compassion towards the needy.

Christ calls us to embrace not the things of the world but the things of God: the eternal treasures of love and mercy, the joy that comes from selfless giving, the satisfaction that comes from lifting up the hopes and dreams of others.

The Collect prayer today identifies for us where the source of “constant gladness” and “full and lasting happiness” is to be found: it is to be found in serving “with constancy the author of all that is good”.  This Collect asks that we make sure we are using all our gifts and resources to serve God well.

We love God whom we cannot see through loving our neighbour whom we can see, and we praise the Creator whom we cannot see through valuing the creation we can see.  How is God being served through your gifts and resources.

Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 21 October 2018

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Mission and the RCIA

As baptised Christians, Jesus has charged us with sharing in His mission, ‘In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples’ and calls us to ‘go out into the world and make disciples of all nations.’ Matthew 28:19. The primary way that we do this is in our everyday witness.

Last week Trish McAloon (Parish RCIA Co-ordinator) and I attended the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Australia and New Zealand National Conference held in Melbourne.

We heard that in being a welcoming community, telling our stories as we accompany ‘enquirers’ of our faith, and celebrating the sacraments we co-operate with God in His mission. A phrase that resonated with me was the description of mission as ‘God’s turning towards the world in creative love’. It is in the sharing of ourselves (our time), our gifts (our talent) and our treasure (our money), that we work with God in realising his mission, in creative love.

In the RCIA programme there are several roles which assist ‘enquirers’ in learning to recognise Jesus in their daily lives and explore our catholic traditions and beliefs. These include being a sponsor or Godparent, a witness or catechist, or offering hospitality. Those involved in delivering the RCIA programme describe it as very rewarding, enriching and an opportunity to not only share their faith, but to grow their faith.

The RCIA journey begins as an invitation to come and meet Christ. Is there someone you would like to invite to join the RCIA programme or is God calling you to be part of the programme? As we celebrate Mission Sunday let us remember that, while the primary role of evangelisation is God’s, we are his vessels.

Debbie Matheson,  Lay Pastoral Leader

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The Cathedral Connection 29 July 2018

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Eucharist

The gospel readings over the next few Sundays from John will invite us to consider the deeper meaning of Eucharist: Christ, the Bread of Life, present to us in this sacrament that is given to us in order that we might become sacrament to one another.

The challenge of today’s gospel, and the mandate of the Eucharist, is to take up the hard work of reconciliation and compassion begun by God. To humbly bring the peace of God into our own homes. To share the gifts, we have received – our talents, our riches, and ourselves, to create communities of joyful faith. We’re called to become the Body and Blood of Jesus that we receive in the Eucharist.

It is easy to follow Jesus when we are on the receiving end of his bounty and goodness. As we grow in discipleship there will come a time (if it hasn’t already come) when we will no longer be simply on the receiving end of the relationship. We will be called to enter further into a relationship with Jesus that is more mutually reciprocal.

Today’s gospel also challenges us to realise the many things we waste in our lives that can be the difference between life and death for others: our stores, abundance of clothing, food, household goods, toys and money can become signs of God’s loving providence for all.

As a community, we are privileged to be receivers of God’s providence. Many gifts and talents within our community have been shared over the past few weeks, as we work towards a new ‘normal’ in parish life.  Thank you.

Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 22 July 2018

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Sacred Heart Cathedral

A beacon of faith, hope and love

“Ask, and it will be given to you; … knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7)

The closure of our Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart has come as a shock not only to parishioners, but also the wider community. Many have found the Cathedral a place of spiritual enrichment, a place of beauty, and a place to take time out from busy city life. Its fine acoustics and organ have also provided a home to musicians and community groups who have used it for concerts and recordings.

We have an exciting opportunity for the Cathedral Parish, the wider Wellington community and others to help preserve this Wellington landmark. For our community it is an undertaking that represents so much more if the Cathedral is to remain the spiritual, cultural, and community home that our predecessors built it to be. Each of us may have different reasons for calling the Cathedral our spiritual home, but what makes us one family is that we all want and need the Cathedral to be the place where we find communion with God and each other.

While the detailed planning for remediation work has not started yet, it is likely that the building will be closed for a number of years and the work will cost several millions. The Parish Funding Committee, brought together by Father James Lyons, is focused on planning and raising funds for this essential work. The synergy between the Parish and Archdiocese to formulate a successful funding campaign is very strong. As stewards of our faith and church home, we’ll be asking you to give generously in the same way as those before us did.

As we reflect on the work ahead, it’s worth remembering that our Catholic community doesn’t give to the church because it has needs; our community gives because the church meets needs.

Nigel Ingram
Chair, Funding Committee

The full newsletter can be viewed here.