Tag Archives: Fr Doug Shepherd

The Cathedral Connection 26 May 2019

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The Gift of Peace

In the Gospel this Sunday Jesus knows and is aware of the deep anxiety of his disciples as they face the reality of his leaving them. They are who they are because of him. Without him who will they be? Jesus carefully prepares them for his departure. Before he returns to the father, he councils his disciples not to be afraid because go he must. He leaves them with his word, his peace and the promise of the Holy Spirit who will help them in the future to be the wonderful apostles they will become.

We too are not alone nor helpless. As Denis McBride writes:

‘We have the word of God and the presence of the Spirit to help us do what the Church must always do: face the real confusion and aim for peace. It will not be until the heavenly Jerusalem that we will know total peace. Meanwhile we face the real world with confidence because of the great gifts in our community: the word of God, the presence of the Spirit, and You who still argue for the freedom of the Gospel.’

May the peace of God be with you always

With every blessing
Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 14 April 2019

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IN MEMORY OF ME

On Sunday we will recall the joyous entry of Jesus into Jerusalem with shouts of ‘Hosanna.’ Some of those who were there at his entry would later be shouting out ‘Crucify him’ in the courtyard of Pontius Pilate.

We will again hear the passion of Christ and the terrible suffering Jesus had to endure.

As Christians we are a committed to be a people that remembers the passion of Jesus: Whenever you do this, do this in memory of me.

We remember the victory of love over the powers of hatred and destruction. The triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and of life over death.

His terrible suffering that saved the world, yet it wasn’t his suffering that redeemed us, it was his love.

Surely suffering is something you and I would give almost anything to avoid. Yet we would gladly suffer for someone whom we love.

As Christians we must not only accept suffering but make it holy. Love makes it holy.  And keeping the memory of Christ’s passion makes us sensitive and attentive to the suffering of others.

The cross demands our attention as we recall the suffering of Jesus and the suffering of all who are victims of hate and violence.

With every blessing

Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 31 March 2019

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The Power of Repentance and Forgiveness

 The parable of the Prodigal Son is probably the best known and best loved of all of Jesus’ stories. The younger son discovers that, in spite of his sins he is deeply loved and forgiven by his father. Gandhi experienced this when he was fifteen. He stole something from his brother. However, he felt so bad about it that he made up his mind to confess it to his father. He wrote out his sin on a piece of paper, asking for forgiveness and punishment, while promising to never steal again.

At the time his father was very sick and in bed. Gandhi handed him the note and sat by his father’s bedside waiting for judgment and punishment. His father sat up in bed and began to read the note. As he read it, tears came into his eyes. Gandhi himself began to cry. Instead of getting angry and punishing him, the father hugged the repentant son, and that was the end of the matter.

The experience of being loved while he was in sin had a profound effect on Gandhi. He said years later, ‘Only the person who has experienced this kind of love can know what it is.’

Those who experience this kind of love, know something about the heart of God and in the power of repentance and forgiveness. God never closes his heart to any of his children. No matter what they do, if they return to Him, the one thing they can be sure of is an unconditional and generous welcome.

With every blessing

Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 10 March 2019

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LENT and PREPARATION

At Easter we will celebrate the holiest time of our Christian calendar, the Resurrection.

Now we begin Lent, a time to prepare and ready ourselves for that great feast. We are invited to let God find us where we are spiritually in both body and mind.

God asks the same question to each of us: ‘Where are you my beloved sons and daughters?’ During this Lent we are invited to make the time to review and reflect where we are in our Christian lives and discover God’s presence anew.

We are challenged to make time to listen to his Word. We are invited to let him get close to who we are and to how we are in living out the Gospel values. To reconcile our lives to God and to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

So, may the word of God find you and nourish you this Lenten Season.

With every blessing.

Fr Doug

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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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