Tag Archives: Prayer

The Cathedral Connection 24 March 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.


Over the last week we have all born witness to the outpouring of raw emotion around us following the senseless, violent loss of life of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Christchurch. We have all been shaken by the interruption to our comfortable lives. The uncertainty, not having the answers and being adrift from security all contribute to a feeling of helplessness.

Today’s Gospel, from Luke, sees people with similar questions as ours today. Questions of why, and how come? In the face of tragedy, Jesus provides comfort but also a sobering call for all of us to reflect and examine our own lives. Tragedy is much easier to stomach when there is someone else to blame. Indeed, we don’t even want to look at the truth of our own lives, our own inner reality, our fears, our brokenness, but we need to. We must dare ourselves to do so because it breathes life and hope for our future. This reflection is not a prison sentence. It is a hand outstretched that liberates us and transforms us.

As we gather today, we remember and take part in the embrace of Christ on the Cross. With his outstretched hands, he embraces both the dead and the living in love, and it is this love that we have seen reflected and shared around the country as the antidote to this act of hate.

May we show responsibility for ourselves and one another; may we gift ourselves to one another; and may we allow God’s gift of love and peace to embolden all our hearts so that we may share them throughout our world.

– Michael Fletcher, Director of Music.

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 21 March 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

In my last newsletter two weeks ago, I wrote about the line that had deeply impressed me from a Hymn sung at a Mass I celebrated with the Sisters of Mercy. The line of the Hymn was “There is never a time for hope to die.” Little did I know that just a week later New Zealand would be facing one of its “darkest days.” The tragedy of 50 people being shot and killed while they were at prayer on a Friday afternoon could easily make us think that hope had died. We have heard so much in the last few days about how “New Zealand has changed forever.” I believe that is true, this has been a very difficult time for everyone and will continue to be for a long time to come.

Amid this disaster people all over the country have turned out in their thousands to pray at many differ-ent services, have taken flowers to Mosques and stood outside the Mosques in solidarity with Muslims. Politicians and Civic Leaders who do not often speak of love and compassion, kindness and care have done so eloquently and with passion.

We have witnessed deep goodness and compassion in so many people. I have never heard so many people talking about how a dreadful act of violence has brought out the good in so many other people. This is the time for anyone in New Zealand to stand up and say that we have had enough of violence and racism and bigotry and hatred, attitudes which are negative and destructive do nothing for our society.

Last year Pope Francis wrote that wonderful document on Holiness called “Gaudete et Exsultate,” he wrote powerfully about the call to holiness and used the Beatitudes from Matthews Gospel to help us reflect on what holiness is. He wrote:

Being poor of heart: that is holiness

Reacting with meekness and humility: that is holiness

Knowing how to mourn with others: that is holiness

Hungering and thirsting for righteousness: that is holiness

Seeing and acting with mercy: that is holiness

Keeping a heart free of all that tarnishes love: that is holiness

Sowing peace all around us: that is holiness

Thousands of people around Aotearoa New Zealand have mourned with others, have been showing us that they are hungering and thirsting for right behaviour and justice, have been showing mercy, keeping their hearts free of anything that might tarnish words and acts of love, and above all have been sowing peace all around. Most of those people would not dream of calling themselves “holy”. I believe they are.

I thank God and I thank the people of New Zealand who have shown such love and goodness, such at-titudes of welcoming all and accepting everyone in this land we are proud to call our home. This is big-ger than New Zealand; messages of love and support have been received from Civic and Religious Leaders from all over the world who are thinking of and praying for us. Thank you to everyone who has not “allowed hope to die.”

With abundant blessings,
Naku noa. Na + Hoane

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Cardinal John’s Newsletter 21 February 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

Cordiali saluti a tutti voi da Roma

By the time you receive this newsletter from Rome we will be heading into the second day of the meeting with Pope Francis of the Presidents of Bishops Conferences from all over the world. This meeting has been called by the Holy Father to discuss the issue of sexual abuse of minors. The Pope has described this meeting as “coming together in solidarity, humility and penitence to repair the damage done, sharing a common commitment to transparency, and holding everyone in the Church accountable.”

Your prayers for this meeting will be very much appreciated.

Last week I attended the Plenary Meeting of the Congregation for Divine Worship. The theme of this meeting was about the formation of all the baptized in order for everyone to be able to actively participate in the Church’s Liturgy. It is because we are baptized into Church and become one with him that we ALL share in His priesthood. Ordained priests have a particular role to play in Liturgy as they act in the name of Christ the High Priest, but ALL the baptised are called to give glory and praise to God. On one of the mornings last week we met with Pope Francis. Despite the many challenges he faces, he was relaxed, laughing and joking, and at the same time asking for our prayers. When I spoke with him I assured him of the prayerful support of the Catholic people of New Zealand, so please pray for him. Please pray especially for this meeting taking place now as the sexual abuse crisis weighs heavily on his heart, and he is genuinely trying to find a way to address this very difficult issue.

The first three days of this week I have also been at the meeting of the International Commission for English in the Liturgy. This has also been a fruitful and helpful meeting to attend. ICEL, as it is known, also has some major challenges in ensuring that we have the correct translations for our Liturgy and that they are words which speak to the minds and hearts of us all. Please also pray for the ongoing work of ICEL which serves the English-speaking Church so well.

Form Rome, I ask for your prayerful support and assure you that I am also remembering you all in prayer.

With every blessing

Naku noa. Na + Hoane

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Food for Faith – online prayer support for ADVENT

Food for Faith – online prayer support for ADVENT

 During Lent this year Father John O’Connor of Christchurch provided “daily email encouragements” through his website Food for Faith to people who signed up for them. The programme was very successful and in response to the enthusiasm, Food for Faith is offering an opportunity for daily reflection during ADVENT. Every day of December 2017 those who sign up will receive an email encouragement, perhaps a paragraph or two, or brief video clip or podcast. If you would like to sign up for the daily Advent emails, visit Food for Faith www.foodforfaith.org.nz and look for the purple sign-up box.

Please spread the word about this opportunity through parish newsletters, email lists etc. A short message for newsletters could be:

“Through his website www.foodforfaith.org.nz Fr John O’Connor of Christchurch is offering an opportunity for Advent reflection.  Every day in December those who sign up will receive a short reflection by email. Visit the website and look for the purple sign-up box.”