Palm Sunday of The Passion of The Lord

Dear Parishioners I asked someone yesterday what I should preach this Sunday and he said. “They called Him King and four days later they shouted ‘Crucify Him’, at least that is the typical homily.” That got me thinking. Why?  Why did they change so quickly?  It seemed that they were following the crowd, they were stuck in a “group think”. Like a gaggle of geese, they followed. Sin tends to breaks down the mind’s capacity to stand on its own. But what allowed the martyrs to stand on their own even before persecution?  It was God’s Grace surely.  It seems
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5th Sunday of Lent (Year B)

Dear Parishioners True Glory implies a death.  True Glory implies a death and we often will water it down, relativise this death.  “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”  It obviously doesn’t always imply a bodily death but it always implies a death to self. My mind turns to the saints, and so many are great models of this. For example, Gianna Beretta was born in Milan in 1922. She diligently dedicated herself to her studies, in 1949 she  graduated in medicine and surgery and
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Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year B)

Dear Parishioners, Bishop Paul Martin’s ordination took place on 3rd of March.  It was a powerful moment, an incredible witness of hope for our Diocese. I thought that it would be a welcoming gesture to introduce him to you in today’s bulletin. On Sunday, Bishop Martin presided at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral for the first time. In his first homily as Bishop of Christchurch he told the congregation that we may use words to express our faith, but what is important in life is what we do: “If we are to be Christian, actions must be consistent with our words”, he
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Third Sunday in Lent (Year B)

Dear Parishioners The First Sunday of Lent, Jesus went into the desert and thereby shows us that we must face our temptations. The Second Sunday of Lent, Jesus is Transfigured and thereby shows us that God is hidden just behind the veil, so we must hope. This Sunday we have the Purification of the Temple.  Jesus takes a whip to all the money changers, saying “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” Reference? Do we have a sense that the Church and the Eucharist are Sacred?  Sometimes we might in the depths of our
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Second Sunday of Lent (Year B)

Dear Parishioners How can our school make another leap forward?  How can we do all that we can for the children of our parish?  I don’t know.  But I do have some of the necessary elements. First, I am sure that the school cannot do it on its own.  I am also sure that the parish cannot do it either.  The school and the parish are intimately bound because we have the same goal, we are both working tirelessly for the good of our children. The school provides a Catholic education and the parish is a source of spiritual food. 
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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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