Tag Archives: Parish

The Cathedral Connection 16 June 2019

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Who do you need to grow?

From the very beginning of our life we need others. Our parents, grand parents, caregivers, friends, family and strangers all touch our lives. With love as their guide these communities or relationships provide not only a warm embrace of love, safety and value, but they also encourage separateness, and it is in this separateness that we are enabled to learn, to take risks, to both grow and develop. Indeed, many of the tasks of human and spiritual maturity involve others acting as a mirror reflecting us back to ourselves as we truly are, not just as we would like to see ourselves.

Today we celebrate the inter-dependence of the Trinity of persons defined as love; revealed as One God, home to three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. United but distinct. While we realise that this is a paradox of unity amidst diversity, we realise this mystery is at the heart of our faith and the centre point of all love. It is not something we can understand with our minds, but like most things relating to faith and love we can only understand and experience with our hearts.

So, let us go out and actively experience this love, growing relationships and community that are truly life giving and in so doing may we be drawn deeper into that unity and diversity which is at the very heart of the mystery of the Holy and undivided Trinity.

Michael Fletcher
Cathedral Director of Music

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The Cathedral Connection 2 June 2019

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AFTER THE ASCENSION

Today’s first reading is St Luke’s account of the Ascension, in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.  One thing that struck me, re-reading it, was that even then, even after the Resurrection, the apostles still didn’t get it. They still expected Jesus to ‘restore the kingdom to Israel’, that is, to throw the Romans out and re-establish Israel’s independence.

Jesus’s reply was to promise that the Holy Spirit would make the apostles his witnesses to the ends of the earth. You can’t get much further from Jerusalem in the 30s of the first century than these islands of Aotearoa in 2010s, but since the days of St Paul, the Church has been described as the Body of Christ.

In exploring what this means, Rowan Williams, theologian and former Archbishop of Canterbury, reminds us that God, in Jesus, became a servant. Jesus often referred to himself as a servant, and so, as the Body of Christ, the Church too must be a servant of humanity.

Rowan Williams also points out that the Church is ‘most truly itself’ when it meets for the Eucharist.  The Eucharist sustains and renews the Church, the people of God, but it also challenges the Church. In one of the Eucharistic Prayers we sometimes use, we pray that God will:

‘Open our eyes to the needs of our brothers and sisters; inspire in us words and actions to comfort those who labour and are burdened. Make us serve them truly, after the example of Christ and at his command. And may your Church stand as a living witness to truth and freedom, to peace and justice, that all people may be raised up to a new hope’.

– Jim McAloon, Chair, Parish Pastoral Council.

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The Cathedral Connection 26 May 2019

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The Gift of Peace

In the Gospel this Sunday Jesus knows and is aware of the deep anxiety of his disciples as they face the reality of his leaving them. They are who they are because of him. Without him who will they be? Jesus carefully prepares them for his departure. Before he returns to the father, he councils his disciples not to be afraid because go he must. He leaves them with his word, his peace and the promise of the Holy Spirit who will help them in the future to be the wonderful apostles they will become.

We too are not alone nor helpless. As Denis McBride writes:

‘We have the word of God and the presence of the Spirit to help us do what the Church must always do: face the real confusion and aim for peace. It will not be until the heavenly Jerusalem that we will know total peace. Meanwhile we face the real world with confidence because of the great gifts in our community: the word of God, the presence of the Spirit, and You who still argue for the freedom of the Gospel.’

May the peace of God be with you always

With every blessing
Fr Doug

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The Cathedral Connection 19 May 2019

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Leaving a Legacy

 I have just been reading a book, “With the End in Mind,”  by Kathryn Mannix. It’s about the hospice movement and is subtitled ‘Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial.’  Only when I finished it did I realize that yesterday was the Mary Potter Street Day Appeal. How appropriate.

It’s a powerful book on many levels.  We know of course that death is never an end, but is an important stage on the journey of life.  The book (and the hospice movement), shows us how to approach death, not with trepidation but with opening, clarity and understanding.

One of the themes of the book was about leaving a legacy.  What would I like to be remembered by? If I had the opportunity, what would my final words of advice be to those I leave behind?  What gift could I leave that others would appreciate?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus, in his darkest hour, talks of legacy, gift, what he is leaving for others to have.  It is like his last will and testament. His final, parting words. Do this and you will live!

I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

We are called to be great lovers. But we cannot do this unless we are touched by God’s love. We can only radiate what we have received.

The journey of life is really about becoming the person God wants us to be. We can become more and more selfish or more and more selfless. Each moment, each day we make decisions that move us in one direction or the other.

Fr Ron

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The Cathedral Connection 5 May 2019

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CALLED TO SERVE?

Every parish in this archdiocese has a parish pastoral council. The council is described in the archdiocesan guidelines as ‘the primary consultative body that assists the pastoral leadership team… especially in the area of pastoral planning’.

The council is responsible for developing and updating a pastoral plan, and working with the whole parish to make it happen. The plan will address the ‘spiritual, liturgical, pastoral and social needs’ of the parish, and the parish’s mission in church and city. The pastoral council does not do everything – as we know, we are blessed with many people in the parish who generously give their time, and we have liturgy and finance committees as well.  Its role is more about oversight and advice.

In this parish, the pastoral council members have usually been invited by the parish priest to serve. As a group, we think it would now be helpful for the pastoral council to be affirmed by the parish annual general meeting. This might make the pastoral council more visible, and it might make it more clear that the council serves the parish as a whole. It might also make the beginning and end of individuals’ terms clearer.

Normally our council has had around ten members. With departures, we need between four and six new members. It is important that the council members together represent the parish as a whole – in terms of ages, cultural communities, which masses they attend, a balance of men and women, and so on.

If you would be interested in serving, or would like to suggest someone who might be willing – usually for terms of two years at a time  – please contact me at jmcaloon@xtra.co.nz, or contact Debbie Matheson.

Jim McAloon, Chair Parish Pastoral Council.

The full newsletter can be viewed here.