Tag Archives: Mass

The Cathedral Connection 20 October 2019

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PRAY ALWAYS

The First Reading tells of the battle the Israelites fought after their deliverance from Egypt. Victory was theirs but not from their own efforts alone but from the power of God mediated through the intercession of Moses.

In the Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the helpless widow and the corrupt judge. Through her persistence the judge finally agrees to listen to her complaint, but just to get rid of her.
The profound message in the story is intended for his disciples who are faced with suffering and persecution. If an amoral Judge can be moved by the persistent pleading of a widow, how much more will God see justice done for his faithful ones who cry out to him continually in prayer.

The question is for them in that moment and for us today will they/we, have the faith, trust and fortitude of persevering in prayer, or throw the towel in and abandon the faith, just because our prayers are never answered immediately or sometimes in the manner in which we want.

With every blessing
Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 13 October 2019

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RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY

 In the times and places of Scripture, leprosy was a feared and dreaded disease Not only did it disable and disfigure and shorten life, it also isolated and marginalised.

However, the hopelessness and fear with which Jesus’s society regarded leprosy parallels the perception of many people today regarding the future of our planet.

This year, young people in particular have shown that they are familiar with the urgency of scientific predictions – that unless we act promptly and radically to address the climate crisis and other forms of environmental pollution and degradation, our future is at risk.

The human and the habitat are in need of healing and restoration. Pope Francis recognised four years ago, in his encyclical on the care of our common home ‘Laudato Si’, that climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing humanity. He said even doomsday predictions cannot any longer be met with irony or disdain, as the likelihood grows that we will leave to future generations debris, desolation and filth, along with the increased likelihood of catastrophic events.

But all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom.

Traditionally, Respect Life Sunday has focused on issues at the beginning and end of life, and we need to continue to focus on these questions. But our Catholic tradition has long recognised that there are many other threats to human life. Pope Francis calls it integral ecology and asks us to work together for a hopeful future for our children and grandchildren.

Fr Ron

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The Cathedral Connection 15 September 2019

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Lost and Found

On my first Camino, I remember visiting the 12th century Lyon Cathedral in Spain. So beautiful. I remember a quote written on a wall – “they (the builders) sought to describe God (through their building). Of course, they couldn’t, but they came closer than many.’

Many have attempted to describe God, with various degrees of success. We just don’t have the words or the imagination to describe the indescribable! Perhaps that is why we resort to poetry, music, art, scripture, to describe God.

How can God describe God to us poor limited human beings?  God does it in Jesus. One of the ways Jesus does this is through the use of parables. A parable is a way of helping people understand a teaching moment through story. The word “Para” can mean “alongside of.” So a parable is an  analogy or story that goes alongside a fact, event, or teaching. It helps us to understand.

In Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel we have three marvellous parables – the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son (the priest today may read the shortened version, leaving out the third parable.) The focus on each story is the commitment of the one who has the loss – the shepherd hunts assiduously, the woman searches, and the father runs to embrace the scandalous son. The parable of the ‘prodigal son’ is really the parable of the loving and forgiving father who abandons all propriety and decorum at the return of the son who was lost and has been found.

The three parables can speak to us – the ‘lostness’ in our own lives that only God can fill. But there is also the ‘lostness’ in the lives of so many around us who have lost hope.  We can be God’s instruments in giving them hope again

Fr Ron

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The Cathedral Connection 5 May 2019

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CALLED TO SERVE?

Every parish in this archdiocese has a parish pastoral council. The council is described in the archdiocesan guidelines as ‘the primary consultative body that assists the pastoral leadership team… especially in the area of pastoral planning’.

The council is responsible for developing and updating a pastoral plan, and working with the whole parish to make it happen. The plan will address the ‘spiritual, liturgical, pastoral and social needs’ of the parish, and the parish’s mission in church and city. The pastoral council does not do everything – as we know, we are blessed with many people in the parish who generously give their time, and we have liturgy and finance committees as well.  Its role is more about oversight and advice.

In this parish, the pastoral council members have usually been invited by the parish priest to serve. As a group, we think it would now be helpful for the pastoral council to be affirmed by the parish annual general meeting. This might make the pastoral council more visible, and it might make it more clear that the council serves the parish as a whole. It might also make the beginning and end of individuals’ terms clearer.

Normally our council has had around ten members. With departures, we need between four and six new members. It is important that the council members together represent the parish as a whole – in terms of ages, cultural communities, which masses they attend, a balance of men and women, and so on.

If you would be interested in serving, or would like to suggest someone who might be willing – usually for terms of two years at a time  – please contact me at jmcaloon@xtra.co.nz, or contact Debbie Matheson.

Jim McAloon, Chair Parish Pastoral Council.

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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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