Tag Archives: Parish

The Cathedral Connection 24 June 2018

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YOUR PARISH AT WORK

Our parish is one of several inner-city parishes that support the work of Downtown Community Ministry Wellington.

DCM works with homeless people to help them get into houses. Once a person is reduced to living on the street a significant process is required for them to be able to get back into a house, beginning with addressing the reasons they first became homeless. Over the past decade DCM have supported hundreds of people to successfully escape homelessness and enter sustainable housing. DCM provides a range of associated services, such as support in dealing with Work and Income, supportive mental health and addiction services, money management services, medical and dental services, a foodbank, and preparation for work. Overall DCM offer holistic support for people who are disenfranchised in our city.

Our support for DCM is one important way in which we as a parish are able to help those on the peripheries, one of the goals of our recent Archdiocesan Synod. In our urban setting those without a home to live in are one group of the poor to whom Jesus calls us to be responsive to. To paraphrase Jesus “I was homeless and you gave me shelter”. One way to be responsive to those who are homeless today is in supporting the organised groups that provide effective processes and respectful support to address the homelessness of individuals.  In Wellington DCM is the leading group.

DCM Wellington is holding its annual bookfair on Saturday August 4. This is their major fundraiser for the year. On the next two Sundays you are invited to bring any spare books, CDs or DVDs you no longer need that you can donate to the bookfair (see notices inside). Of course, you can also support DCM by going to the bookfair at Shed 6 on Queen’s wharf where there will be thousands of books of every type at very modest prices.

Nick Polaschek

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The Cathedral Connection 17 June 2018

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THE NAME OF GOD (2)

Announcing the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis wrote that Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is always ready to forgive. [Misericordiae Vultus. 2013, par3]. It is in the context of this “Year”, which began with the opening of “Doors of Mercy” in churches throughout the world, that the Pope reminded us the Name of God is Mercy – surely one of the most consoling and encouraging aspects of Christian belief.

To know that the God revealed in Jesus Christ, the God we worship as Creator and Giver of life, is a God whose essence is mercy, who loves life more than anything else, must be shared and proclaimed for all the world to hear. It is this assurance that forgiveness is possible, that bad choices can be transfigured, is what so many yearn to know.

Chapter 15 of Luke’s gospel comprises three of Jesus’ parables. Each is powerful, but together they are truly significant. We first read of the lost sheep, then the lost coin, followed by the lost son. The shepherd, the woman and the parent agonise over their loss and there is the greatest rejoicing in all three households when the lost is found. To me, the sheep represents the animal world, the coin represents the material world and the son is there for all humanity. God wants nothing to be lost. All creation is sacred. Love never ends.

Nothing should keep any of us from admitting our failures and accepting God’s mercy. There is no need to fear. God is in fact looking out for us, searching and waiting, with a welcome home feast in mind. But – yes, there is a ‘but’ – the chapter ends with the older brother unable to forgive, suggesting he knows God by a different name! What is your name for God?

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 10 June 2018

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THE NAME OF GOD

The biblical story of how sin came into our lives centres on the refusal to take responsibility for what we do or fail to do. Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the Serpent – and so it continues today. When I know I’m in the wrong I look for a way to avoid the consequences. It wasn’t me! I was made to do it! I had no choice… Excuses! Excuses!

Fortunately, the Name of God is Mercy. The freedom with which humanity is endowed was never going to bring any of us to perfection without slipping off the path, interpreting freedom as a free pass to do whatever I like. The ability to choose can feed pride to the point where I think I don’t need God – or that I can take God’s place.

Today’s psalm response is With the Lord there is mercy and fulness of redemption.  It is a cry of confidence, made secure by the sacrifice of Jesus who came, not to condemn the world but that through him the world might be saved! This is our great hope. To know that I can start over and keep trying – that wrong-doing is not going to lose God’s love for me – must surely make me want to say, “thank you”, and to make a better effort.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the Church’s way of celebrating this great gift of mercy, but it is so much neglected. Is this because people have lost any sense of sin, and don’t feel there is any need to repent, or to work at overcoming faults? Is it lack of understanding the benefits of speaking out my sorrow, or appreciating that personal faults do have an impact on the whole community?

Over the next few weeks I will provide more information about this beautiful, uplifting sign of God’s mercy. The parish Liturgy team will prepare an evening of reconciliation. Today’s readings help set the scene. Please reflect in your own prayer on the gift we have in knowing the Names of God: Mercy.

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 3 June 2018

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COME TO THE TABLE

Dinner’s ready! Come to the table! It’s an invitation that may not be heard too often these days with the family rarely together at meal time. Sports, meetings, shift work and overtime, demand individual timetables and the ideal of sitting together for a meal at the family table can remain a dream. It’s something most families would like to do. There is so much to be gained in sharing a meal.

Sitting around a table with others, it’s impossible to focus on myself. I’m pulled into a stream of conversation, passing dishes, asking for the salt, pepper, butter, sauce… There’s listening and talking. Learning, too, as others tell of their experiences or concerns. Laughter rewards a joke or an unintended gaffe. Any argument or rudeness gets a quick There’ll be none of that at this table! from Mum or Dad.

It is around the table that the family becomes truly itself, united in the moment of togetherness and in the memory of what makes this family. Traditions are created and celebrated, spontaneity welcomed and loyalty encouraged. What did you learn today? or What have you got to be thankful for today? can spark a beautiful and memorable passage of chatter and enjoyment. Hurts can be shared, and even healed.

Today’s feast of Corpus Christi highlights the identity of those baptised into the Christian faith. We are the Body of Christ, the People of God, the Church. The various traditions within the Christian family differ in many aspects of belief, but all know the value and importance of the “Gathered Table”.

The Table of the Eucharist is where we find our identity, where we are truly ourselves. This is the Table where what we do in memory of the Lord brings him present among us. He feeds our belonging and unites us more deeply with one another, strengthening us to go out, carrying him to those who have yet to hear clearly the invitation: Come to the table!

Fr James

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The Cathedral Connection 27 May 2018

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Feast of the Holy Trinity

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity, a celebration of the mystery of God as a community of love. The community consists of three distinct persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who want to share their love with us. Their loving, relational, collaborative, sharing community witnesses equality, full participation and outreach in love to all creation (mission). The Father initiates, the Son implements, and the Spirit empowers.

Relationship is God’s nature.  We are made in the image and likeness of God, so the need and ability to relate is in our nature too. The abundant and generous love flowing from one to another in the Trinity and throughout creation is what we are called to imitate. Our love of, and for one another is how we meet God.

Today’s feast invites us to respond to the love of God, poured into our hearts by Christ and the Holy Spirit, and to look forward to the day when we shall share in the glory of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  It is also an occasion to consider our personal relationships, how they might be strengthened or healed. The culmination of our Offertory Giving Programme today makes it timely to affirm our relationship to the Parish.

Love of neighbour and God is intentional in nature.  It doesn’t just happen. The gift
you make of yourself, whether to family, friend or parish community, is something only you can do. It is in giving that you find completion, fulfilment. Are you ready?

 

Debbie Matheson
Lay Pastoral Leader

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