Tag Archives: Fr David Dowling

The Cathedral Connection 8 March 2020

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Dear friends

Last Wednesday evening I enjoyed the first of our mission-focused Lenten Programme sessions jointly supported by our Cathedral Parish and the Anglican Cathedral Parish.

David Rowe, the Dean of the Anglican Cathedral challenged those present to wake up to God and to one another. He spoke of Lent being a time to build bridges and relationships. The question was asked: How do we relate to God and to one another?

In the fourth century men and women (known as the Desert Fathers and Mothers) went into the desert in search of a deeper relationship with God.  They had many wise sayings. One of them was: “The person who loves worldly things loves stumbling blocks. When we lose something, therefore, we should accept it with joy and thanks as we have been relieved from care.”

Living in the desert was not about living in isolation.  It was about living for God.  If we are not careful, our desire for wanting to acquire more and more worldly things can distract us from living for God. Lent is a good opportunity for us to ‘go into the desert’ to identify the stumbling blocks that hinder us from developing a deeper relationship with God and one another.

The second evening in our series of five joint Cathedral parish gatherings is this Wednesday 11 March, in Connolly Hall beginning with refreshments at 6.45pm for a 7pm start. Cardinal John will speak about what we can learn from Pope Francis about all being called to mission and having hearts that are open and expanded by love. Everyone is most welcome.

Wishing you many blessings this Lent.

Fr David

The full newsletter can be viewed here

The Cathedral Connection 9 February 2020

The full newsletter can be viewed here

Dear parishioners and friends,

I am delighted to have been appointed Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish and to be working with Lay Pastoral Leader Debbie Matheson, Director of Music Michael Fletcher and Office Administrator Frank Doherty.  When I arrived in previous parishes I told the parishioners that I had no great ambition as a priest other than to be available for the people that I am privileged to serve.  I am looking forward to continuing this approach in the Cathedral Parish.

In addition to ministry in the parish, I help to guide and support young men who are discerning a call to priesthood in the Archdiocese of Wellington.  Gerson Badayos, a prospective student for the priesthood has recently arrived from the Philippines and will be in Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish during 2020 for a “come and see” experience.  Please keep Gerson in your prayers and welcome him into our parish community.  I will be introducing him at Masses this weekend.  In addition to Gerson we also have three seminarians in formation for priesthood at Holy Cross Seminary in Auckland (Matthew White, Kinh Nguyen and Emilio Capin).  Alfred Tong is on pastoral placement in Our Lady of the Bays Parish in Richmond, Motueka and Takaka.

An essential part of being a priest is being about and getting to know people.  So I would be very grateful for invitations for a cuppa or a meal in the weeks and months ahead.  This will help Gerson and I to settle into the parish and get to know people. My email address is d.dowling@wn.catholic.org.nz and my phone number is 496 1790.  If you or anyone you know would appreciate a visit please feel free to get in touch.

Nga mihi nui
Fr David

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The Cathedral Connection 2 February 2020

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It’s not often today’s Feast, that of the Presentation, falls on a Sunday. As St Luke explains, the infant Jesus, being a first-born, was presented to the Lord. A number of points might be made about the way Luke tells the story. First, he emphasises that Jesus and his parents were devout Jews. Secondly, there’s another ‘recognition’ of Jesus as the salvation, not only of Israel, but of all the world.

Some commentators point out that Luke likes to balance men and women in his stories – not only in the stories about Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zachariah – but also in the parables Jesus tells, where one featuring a man is followed by one featuring a woman. In today’s gospel it’s Simeon and Anna (or Hannah), both elderly prophets, filled with the Holy Spirit, who recognise Jesus. Unfortunately we don’t have Anna’s words, but Simeon’s words – ‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace…’ are well known and are very beautiful, speaking as they do of a fulfilled old age.

But there is a catch. Simeon also warns Mary that ‘a sword will pierce your own soul too’. We can only imagine how Mary might have felt, hearing such words on a solemn and joyful day. As well as the allusion to Jesus’s future, perhaps, we are being reminded that to love also means to risk grief, to risk loss. But, as the Song of Songs reminds us, love is stronger than death.


The Presentation story is also about endings and beginnings  – Anna and Simeon are elderly; Jesus is an infant with his life ahead of him. Last week we farewelled Fr Doug Shepherd.. Today we welcome Fr David Dowling as our new Parish Priest. Fr David, we are delighted to have you with us and we ask that God will bless your ministry with us, and ours with yours,  in the months and years ahead.

Jim McAloon, Chair, Parish Pastoral Council.

The full newsletter can be viewed here