Tag Archives: Parish

The Cathedral Connection 20 October 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


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

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 13 October 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


 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

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 6 October 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Friday was the memorial for Saint Francis of Assisi (1181/82-1226).  St Francis is probably one of the best-known saints – known for his love of creation and the radical poverty of his lifestyle. He is venerated by Christians in many denominations, particularly in the Anglican communion as well as our own, and has been the subject of many books and films.

He was born in what is now Italy, to a wealthy merchant family. As a youth Francis enjoyed his family’s wealth, but a number of events – illness and captivity –  caused him to reconsider his life. By the time he was in his mid-twenties he was abandoning his privileged lifestyle and from 1208 others joined him in a wandering life of preaching. In 1211 Clare of Assisi was inspired to follow Francis’s example, and so the Franciscans and Poor Clares, as they became known, began as religious orders.

There are plenty of legends about medieval saints like Francis, but we can be certain about his veneration of, and delight in, God’s creation. In a time when many Christian European states were engaging in the Crusades, Francis visited Egypt in the hope of building bridges with Islam. Francis wrote a good deal; his Canticle of the Sun is still well-known (although he didn’t write ‘Make me a channel of your peace’). Notably, he wrote in Italian, not Latin, so that ordinary people could understand him.

In 1979 Pope John Paul II declared Francis the patron saint of ecology. As we all know, Cardinal Bergoglio took the name ‘Francis’ when he became pope. He said that this was so that the church would remember the poor, commit itself to peace, and care for creation.

From a very different time to our own, Saint Francis still speaks to us. But like many saints, his message should challenge us as well as encourage us.

Jim McAloon, Chair, Parish Pastoral Council.

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 29 September 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Seeing what is all around us

Music, poetry, sculpture, painting – the diverse range of the arts gives us a glimpse of the vision and imagination of the artist. They often see a fuller reality that is already present in the ordinary, and through their work they allow us to share in that hidden truth – to see ‘the full picture’. From Shakespeare to David Bowie, from painting to Christmas carol, the story of Dives and Lazarus has inspired artists throughout the ages, and in turn provided a transfigurative experience for those viewing and experiencing their work.

Today’s parable draws some clear links to the story of the Transfiguration, and both point to resurrection and the coming of God’s kingdom, and also to the power and importance of listening. But how do we listen to the voice of God in such a way that we distil and purify our own vision of life, that then leads us to transfigured action that imitates Christ’s own self-giving love?

The ‘aha’ moment is perhaps that the gospel reading today isn’t about earning or relinquishing an eternal reward; rather it’s about the character and quality of our life right now. We need to take this invitation to live a fuller, more meaningful life by sharing ourselves with one another. For we are all one; we are all members of the race which God has personally joined. We need to open the gifts we have received and live with gratefulness.

So, go in to the world with hope, joy and most certainly with the transfiguring power of Christ’s love to be His voice and hands and feet, and to be artists in the world, transfiguring the ordinary, into a new creation.

Michael Fletcher
Cathedral Director of  Music

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 22 September 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


We are constantly told that it is very difficult to change our habits and the natural way that we react and behave.

Dostoevsky wrote:
‘The second part of half of a person’s life is usually made up of the habits acquired during the first part.’

Now that is quite a challenging thought. A profound story to illustrate this.
‘Once a holy man was instructing his disciples as they walked through a forest. He pointed to a small oak sapling and asked one of his disciples to pull it out. The disciple did so with one hand. Then the Holy Man pointed to another oak sapling, a little bigger than the first and asked the disciple to pull that one out too. The disciple had to use both hands this time. The Holy Man pointed to yet another sapling much bigger and asked the disciple to pull it out. This time he could only pull it out with the help of all the other disciples. Finally, the Holy Man pointed to an even bigger oak tree and asked his disciples to pull it out. Of course, they were unable to do so.

The Holy Man concluded, ‘That’s how it is with passions and habits. In the beginning, before they have sunk deep roots, it is easy to eradicate them. But if we allow them to sink deep roots, it becomes virtually impossible to rid ourselves of them.’

While the story shows the danger of forming bad habits it also shows the importance of forming good habits. Just as dishonesty can become a way of life so can honesty. Honesty can become habitual, spontaneous, second nature in our lives.

Flor McCarthy writes,
The real reward for a good deed is that it makes the next good deed easier. Every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character.’

With every blessing
Fr Doug

The full newsletter can be viewed here.