First Sunday in Lent – Year B

Lent… it is the proverbial desert. There are 40 days in Lent. The Spirit drives us into this desert. Jesus spent 40 days there. The Spirit drove Jesus into the desert.  The Devil, the Adversary, Satan, was there. Jesus was tempted, yet He did not fall. With God’s grace neither will we fall. Why does God want this experience in the desert? Was it so that the He might be strengthened? Perhaps it was to show us how to be strengthened. Grit keeps us focused on the end. Thus, Hope leads us to win the race. And perseverance strengthens us.
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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Dear Parishioners I have met many lepers.  The first leper I met profoundly moved me.  There are many stories that I would love to share with you.  But the first part of today’s Gospel that speaks about the healing of the Leper did not strike me so much.  Sure, the fact that the leper speaks with such eloquent humility is in itself powerful.  It is hard not be moved by his words, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus’ response is also quite beautiful in its utter simplicity: “I do will it. Be made clean.”  But what stood
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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Dear Parishioners, I have a dream that our parish will be an oasis of light and love for each of you.  While praying over this Sunday’s Gospel I was reminded that the founder of the Community of St. John, would tell us at the beginning of every retreat to pay close attention to the gospel read at the opening Mass for often the Holy Spirit will set the tone of the entire retreat of that Gospel. Well, this is the first Sunday Gospel that I will preach as the Pastor of this Parish. So, in prayer, I asked the Holy
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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Dear parishioners, Although this is my last letter as pastor of your parish, I will celebrate my last Sunday Mass here on February 25th. Today, Father Michael Thérèse becomes your pastor and you already know him well. “No worries” then, as New Zealanders often say. For me, this “sabbatical “time that I have been granted after 27 years of non-stop apostolic life will certainly not be a time of “vacation” but a time of “vocation renewal”. For a priest, it is indeed vital to understand that “doing” many things does not necessarily make us holy. We need to search the
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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Dear brothers and sisters If the prophet Jonah, whom we read today in the first reading, appeared in Christchurch sent by God with the following and terrible message: “Only forty days more and  Christchurch is going to be destroyed”, what would be the reaction of people? Would they not call 111 so that Jonah could be arrested and jailed for disturbing the peace?! The reaction of the people in Nineveh was much wiser: “…they believed in God; they  proclaimed a fast…and God did not inflict on them the disaster which He had threatened”. If God manifested the grave sins of
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4th Sunday in Advent (Year B)

4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas Day Dear parishioners, This is our last bulletin for December until the 21st of January. As you know too well from experience, Advent and especially the few days preceding Christmas, seems to be lived by many people, even Christians, as a time of hectic tidying up, of running around meeting deadlines, a time of  shopping to buy many presents for many people. Yet, let us not lose sight of the fact that the only true Christmas Present is the one God our Father gave us: Jesus, His beloved Son and the second Person of
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3rd Sunday in Advent

Christmas is near! Christ is coming! Let us put aside all the pressure and tensions within and without and say the wonderful words once again, “Come Lord Jesus, come!” This is a time of great joy, if you remember the joy you had as a little child on Christmas day you can also remember the anticipation that was in your heart.  As we grow older our joy in Christmas can diminish, usually because we get used to it. We stop looking forward to it. In fact, our joy is usually relative to the amount that we desire.  Joy comes when
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2nd Sunday of Advent (Year B)

THE GIFT OF THE GOOD NEWS In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist calls on people to get themselves ready for the coming of Jesus. If they want to hear the message Jesus brings and to follow him, some preparation will be necessary – they need to repent and be baptised in the waters of the river Jordan. We all know of people who seem to be searching for something in their lives, some direction or purpose that eludes them. Maybe a simple word from us might arouse in them an interest in why we are Catholic and what it is
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1st Sunday of Advent

1st Sunday of Advent Our Mother, the Catholic Church, in whom we have been baptised, invites us to start this new liturgical year by hearing this Gospel: “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come.  It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to keep watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning;
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Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of The Universe

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ , King of the Universe (Established by Pope Pius XI  in 1925) If we could survey 100 people with the question: “What is your concept of a king”? What kind of answers might we get? If you, Christians, were asked what kind of king Jesus is and what is the nature of his kingship, how would you answer? Pope Pius XI explained: “If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if
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