Tag Archives: Parish

The Cathedral Connection 17 February 2019

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Blessings indeed

For the 1st few weeks of this year, the readings have been about ‘beginnings’ as Jesus begins his mission. That works in well for us, as we begin a new year.  After choosing his twelve apostles, Jesus teaches about the nature and demands of discipleship. We have to make a choice.

The 1st reading is from Jeremiah. It’s about choices also. God curses those who rely only on themselves, who think they can make it on their own steam. God blesses those who ‘put their trust in the Lord, with the Lord for their hope.’  We are either self-centred or other-centred. One is enriching, the other kills. Today’s psalm echoes that same theme of dependence on God, rather than oneself.

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians get to the nub of the matter. It’s the resurrection that matters. As Paul said, “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have died…” (1 Cor 15.19). In fact, as Jesus himself promised, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Lk 6.21.)

Luke’s beatitudes reading may seem strange to us, as most often we hear Mathew’s account.  Luke incorporates part of the material Matthew had included in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:1-12). Luke’s version is shorter. Unlike Matthew’s nine blessings and no woes, Luke has four each, set in parallels: poor-rich, hungry-full, weeping-laughing, and rejecting-accepted.

If we fail to pay enough attention to such words of blessing, perhaps it is because we are aware of the associated woes, “Woe to you who are rich, … who are full now.” Those bring God’s care for the poor into sharp relief. Or perhaps, childishly, we simply want to wish away realities like poverty, hunger, death.

Today, in our Cathedral parish, it is time to celebrate blessings, the blessings of Fr James’ 11 years in the parish. We do it through a special Mass at St Paul’s Cathedral, and a parish picnic afterwards in the grounds of Parliament. Thank you, Fr James, for all the blessings you have given this parish of the Sacred Heart.  We wish you many blessings in your retirement.

Fr Ron – Moderator, Cathedral Parish.

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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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The Cathedral Connection 3 February 2019

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This weekend we welcome Fr Doug Shepherd to our parish community as Assistant Priest.  Fr Doug was previously at St Benedict’s in Khandallah, within St Francis of Assisi Ohariu Parish. Fr Doug, we look forward to working with you and getting to know you.

We are also beginning, this weekend, the new arrangements for Sunday Masses. The Saturday evening Vigil Mass and the Choral Mass at 10.30am on Sunday will be celebrated in St Thomas More Church, Wilton, and the Sunday evening 7.00pm Mass in the Cathedral Chapel.

The Parish Pastoral Council and Liturgy Committees thought very carefully about this arrangement. As St Thomas More is designed for worship, we will no longer have to set up and pack down every weekend. Furthermore, music will be much better provided for. As well as thanking St Mary’s College, I should like to thank all our musicians for ’keeping things going’ while we were in the college hall. The Sunday evening Mass is the ‘last Mass of the weekend’ in Wellington city, and an important ministry; we hope the chapel will be a suitable place for this celebration.

As the notice inside this newsletter says, there are some transport arrangements offered for getting to St Thomas More. In addition, if anyone is experiencing difficulties with the new arrangements, please let the parish office know; we cannot assist if we do not know.

As a community, we can only wait patiently for the time when we will be able to return to a strengthened cathedral.  We might remember that Scripture often speaks of times of wandering, of times of exile, and of times of waiting – as well as the joy of returning.

Jim McAloon
Chair, Parish Pastoral Council

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The Cathedral Connection 27 January 2019

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Dear Parishioners…

Following on is a situation in the game of cricket when a team is required to immediately bat its second innings because it lags far behind the opposition’s first innings total. But this front page effort is not about cricket, nor has it anything to do with lagging behind!!

This weekend closes my 11 years with you. Following on, is Fr Doug Shepherd. He takes up residence during this week and will be presiding at parish Masses from 1 February. You will be greatly blessed by his presence and ministry among you, and you are fortunate to actually have a priest to “follow on”.

It is apparent to most that priests are in short supply. New Zealand born candidates for priesthood are all but non-existent. There are many reasons suggested as to why our Catholic men are not making a life-choice for priesthood and you have voiced most of them to me. I am not listing or debating them here, but want to make some personal observations:

Over my years with Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, I have not been aware of any parent placing the priesthood before their son as a viable option; I have shared many family prayer times but have never heard a prayer for the family to be blessed with a religious vocation. It is easy to get the impression that being a priest is the last thing anyone wants for one of their own.

I am far from perfect and my imperfections may contribute to those negative reactions. But I wish I could let you all see how wonderful priesthood really is. Your support, your affection, the welcome place you make for me in your homes and in your lives, brings joy to my spirit and fulfills my own life. Fr Doug Shepherd and I share this same beautiful priesthood. It is not a wasted life but a treasure waiting to be found. Who will follow on…?

Fr James

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Cathedral Connection Extra – 12/13 January 2019


St Thomas More Church Building

We are on the move again, pursuing the best ways of serving one another while our parish church (Sacred Heart Cathedral) is out of commission.

As advised prior to Christmas, our Saturday Vigil Mass (5.30pm) and the Sunday 10.30am Mass will transfer to St Thomas More’s church, Wilton, commencing the weekend of 2-3 February. The 7.00pm Sunday evening Mass will be celebrated in the cathedral’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

St Thomas More is part of the Otari Parish, located at 36 Worcester St, Wilton, off Wilton Rd and one street to the north of Cardinal McKeefry School.

The move is occasioned by the need to have a more “permanent” location for Sunday Mass.  Having to set up for Mass each Saturday at St Mary’s College Hall, and then re-set the hall for college use each Sunday evening, did not foster a sense of belonging.  Doing this weekly for the past six months also asked a huge commitment of a small group of volunteers.

St Thomas More will also allow us to use an organ again at our Choral Eucharist to accompany and encourage our singing; with the Cathedral Choir better placed to enrich our worship and thanksgiving.

The Parish is very grateful to St Mary’s College community for the generous use of the hall.  The College, no less than the Parish, has had to make considerable adjustments since July to enable our presence.

An Archdiocesan Funding Committee is to meet on 24 January to initiate the process for the cathedral strengthening and maintenance.  Details will be shared when available.  Please keep this vital project in your prayer.

With thanks for your patience and loyalty as we proceed.

Debbie Matheson                                                  James Lyons
Lay Pastoral Leader                                              Priest in Sacramental Ministry

Worshipping at St Thomas More Church,
36 Worcester Street, Wilton

Please use street parking around the church and keep parking in the northern carpark available for those who are mobility impaired.  Please use the area to the southern side of the church as a drop off zone.  The driveway beside the church is a private driveway and not available for parking.

Parish Transport
A shuttle bus to St Thomas More church will depart from in front of the Cathedral doors half an hour before each Mass, (5.00pm Saturday and 10.00am Sunday).  It will return directly after the Vigil Mass and at 12.00noon on Sunday.  If you would like to avail yourself of this service can you please advise the parish office to confirm your seat.  The need for this service will be re-evaluated at the end of February.  If you can offer to transport a fellow parishioner, please contact the parish office.

Morning tea will be available after the 10.30am Mass as usual.  On the first weekend of each month you are invited to join with St Thomas More parishioners for a koha breakfast from 9.30-10.15am.

Weekend Mass timetable
5.30pm Saturday Vigil – St Thomas More Church, Wilton
10.30am Sunday Choral Eucharist – St Thomas More Church, Wilton
7.00pm Sunday Eucharist – Cathedral Blessed Sacrament Chapel

Weekday Eucharist will be held in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel 8.00am & 12.10pm daily from 1 February.  Reconciliation available 11.50-12.10 weekdays.