Tag Archives: Parish

The Cathedral Connection 15 December 2019

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Oh Joyous Prepartion

Throughout Advent we are reminded that this is a ‘time of preparation’.
Preparation in the secular world often sees people rush about, perhaps
stressing as they ponder what presents to purchase, plan a Christmas
meal, a family gathering, at work prepare for the Christmas shutdown and
possibly a summer holiday. Added to our normal everyday tasks, these
preparations can be all consuming and possibly seem overwhelming at
times.

As Christians, Advent is a time – a call – for us to also prepare to celebrate
and remember Christ’s First Coming. It is also a time to look forward and
prepare our minds and hearts for His Second Coming at the end of time.
But what does that actually mean? The scriptures this weekend, which
refer to both mysteries, offer us pointers.

Our Advent readings promise God’s final act of salvation – but salvation
belongs to this world as well as the afterlife. We see this in the first reading
where Isaiah envisions salvation as healing of the blind, deaf, mute and
lame, which elicits songs of ‘’joy and gladness’’. James tells us how to wait,
patiently, making our hearts firm.

John the Baptist leads the way to God’s Kingdom. We, as Christ’s disciples
like John, are called to lead others joyously to God’s Kingdom. Who are
the blind, the lame, the lepers, the deaf, the dead, and the poor in our
world? How do we communicate the News of Great Joy to them? How do
you respond to the call to a life of prayer and action, and to be joyful
messengers of God’s Kingdom?

This weekend, as we move into the second half of Advent: with a sense of
joyful expectation, and an awareness that the fulfilment of God’s great plan
for us is near. Will your preparation this Advent lead you into a quiet time
for reflection and collection?

Debbie Matheson, Lay Pastoral Leader

The Cathedral Connection 8 December 2019

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As we celebrate the second Sunday of Advent, it is important not to lose track of the first. Last week, Michael Fletcher reminded us that Advent invites us to pay attention to what is going on in our own environment and our own hearts.

Today’s gospel is a further warning as John the Baptist encounters the Pharisees and Sadducees arriving for John’s baptism of repentance. John’s description of them as “progeny of vipers” seems a little harsh, but the Baptist exposes them as people who did not appreciate or chose to ignore what was in their hearts.

The Pharisees and Sadducees did not, in John’s words, produce fruit worthy of repentance and relied instead on their physical descent from Abraham.

As John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Jesus, let us take his warnings seriously and look at our own hearts in preparation for the coming of Jesus.

Nicholas Burley
Parish Council Member 

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The Cathedral Connection 1 December 2019

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well, happy new church year is perhaps more accurate. As we start our season of Advent we are reminded that the Church and secular world are slightly off kilter with each other in terms of their time keeping. Shops have already started with the wonders of Christmas (and I’m sure remnants of Easter are still lurking on shelves as well) with bright lights and sales offers to satisfy our immediate desires and ‘needs’. I know I’ve been sucked in before, even if just for a block of Whittaker’s chocolate as a salve against more pressing issues I’d rather ignore!

Advent in the Church, however, makes no claim for instant satisfaction, and instead invites us to pay more attention to what is going on in our own environment, in our own hearts. At its heart Advent is a cry that yearns for a world that is fair, just and honest. Indeed, the call throughout Matthew’s Gospel is to justice. So, as St Paul calls us to “wake up” and be ready, let us look around us and within us, and with the gift of the Christ who has already come, make changes that see a world that is different, gentler, more robust, indeed transformed.

Let this New Year bring hope and joy, may we move away from a Christmas that some would believe is already here and instead embrace these four weeks of Advent. May we be transformed to bring forth His kingdom, one of inclusion, of compassion, integrity and generosity here on earth.

‘Yea, amen, let all adore thee … O come quickly; Alleluia! Come, Lord, come.’

Michael Fletcher
Cathedral Director of Music

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The Cathedral Connection 24 November 2019

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CHRIST THE KING

In the encounter between Jesus and the two thieves on Calvary, one of the thieves was so lost in darkness and hatred that he did want the light of Christ to touch him. The other, though recognised the light of Jesus’s goodness and responded to it.

The repentant thief recognised that Jesus was innocent and spoke up for him before his unrepentant companion. The goodness of Jesus made the repentant thief see the wretchedness of his own wasted life, but it also awakened his own innate goodness.

He turned to Jesus, realising that he was the only one who could help him at this last moment of his life.

Salvation is always a gift from God. He gives it freely without any conditions to those who, like the repentant thief open their hearts and minds and know that Jesus is truly their King.

Pope Francis reminds us:

“Today, Jesus is asking every person to let him be their king: A king who sacrificed himself upon the cross, saving his people from death, he said. Christ the King casts light on a life marked by doubt, by fear and by the trials of every day.”

Fr Doug.

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The Cathedral Connection 3 November 2019

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OUR COMMON HOME

During October the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region was meeting in Rome. Such reporting as there was in this country hit on the Synod suggesting that where the need exists married men could be ordained as priests, and that there should be further reflection on whether women could be ordained as deacons.

Both are important issues, but there was far more to the Synod than that. The final document speaks of a long path of ‘listening to the People of God in the Church of Amazonia’. It refers to the ecological crisis in that part of the world: deforestation, a loss of biodiversity, infrastructure projects which do not serve the needs of the people, and unsustainable extraction of resources.  The document also emphasizes the ecological wisdom of the indigenous peoples of the region.

This might seem a long way away from us.  Papua New Guinea’s Cardinal John Ribat, however, who attended the Synod, has said that similar problems face this part of the world. The effects of climate change are already being felt in the island nations of Oceania. Sea levels are rising, drinking water is contaminated, storms and erosion threaten coastal communities. Four weeks ago Caritas Aotearoa launched its annual State of the Environment for Oceania report, available here https://caritas.org.nz/state-environment-oceania-2019-report. It’s a short document and worth reading.

As Pope Francis recently observed, ‘The young remind us that the earth is not a possession to be squandered, but an inheritance to be handed down’. In his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, Francis reminded us that the whole creation speaks to us of God’s love for us, and that we must use these created gifts wisely, and with thought for future generations.

Jim McAloon
Chair, Parish Pastoral Council.

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