Tag Archives: Mission

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 12 March 2020

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Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

“To be a missionary disciple means to have had an encounter with MERCY and to lead others to it.” (Pope Francis)

Recently I read a book entitled “Tattoos of the Heart”. It is a book written by a Jesuit priest in the United States who for many years worked with drug addicts, street kids, gang members, the poor and the struggling. I found it a wonderful book with some incredible stories of love and forgiveness, stories of seeing the best in people who would often be ignored by society. One story was of a young man who had been in and out of prison, he had no confidence in himself, no self-esteem at all and thought of himself as worthless. One day a woman who was working with Fr Greg told the young man she had found a job for him, she welcomed him and treated him as he had never been welcomed or accepted before. He asked Fr Greg why she was doing this. His answer was “because she saw you as somebody, she recognized you as the shape of God’s heart.” His life was never the same again. Someone recognised him as the shape of God’s heart.

Over these next two weekends as we celebrate MISSION EXPOs at Viard College this Saturday and at Garin College next Saturday we are trying to put the Mission of Jesus at the heart of the Church, at the very centre of who we are. The mission of Jesus was to give others the chance to encounter the mercy of God, and then to lead others to experience that same mercy.

Mission Expo will display the many many efforts all around the Archdiocese that help and enable people to encounter God’s mercy. It is to give thanks for the many wonderful things that are happening and to help every one of us to reflect that through our Baptism we too do not just have a mission, but in the words of Pope Francs “I am a Mission.”, and celebrate that fact.

When we see every other person as having “the shape of God’s heart” we are living our mission.

With every blessing
Naku noa. Na + Hoane

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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

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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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Cardinal John’s Newsletter 19 September 2019

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From +John…

On Wednesday 11th September, the Council of Priests had one of its regular meetings. The meeting began as it always does with a time of prayer and reflection. One of the questions we were asked to reflect on during our prayer was “as we are called to lead major change within the local Church of Wellington perhaps, we need to be reminded of some basic truths as priests?” This led into a wonderful time of prayer and sharing and included the words spoken by Pope Benedict XVI in his first homily as Pope: “We were conceived in the heart of God and for this reason ‘each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.’” I think we all do well to reflect on those words spoken by Pope Benedict, because unless we know deeply that we are “willed, loved and chosen” it will be hard to lead in this time of huge change and challenge.

Only a few days before our Council meeting Pope Francis had spoken to the clergy and religious during his visit to Madagascar. I was thinking of his words as we prayed and reflected at our meeting. He said on 5 September: “I was pleased by something one of the catechists said: ‘We are a Church that is part of a heroic people’. A people that has experienced suffering yet keeps hope alive. With this holy pride that you take in your people, a pride that invites a renewal of faith and hope, all of us today want to renew our ‘yes’. How happy is Holy Mother Church to hear you manifest your love for the Lord and for the mission that he has given you!”

It is a lovely thought to think that we are part of a heroic people. What does that mean for you?

We are a people who have experienced suffering, but we keep hope alive! What do we do as individuals and in our communities to keep hope alive?

We are invited to renew our faith and hope, do we really want to renew our “Yes?”

The Pope reminds us how happy “Holy Mother Church to hear us show our love for the Lord and for the mission that he has given us”.

  • What is your mission?
  • How do you live out your mission?
  • How do we work together supporting each other in our mission?

Please remember and pray with the words “each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary”.

Naku noa
John

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