JOHN ROGERS (LEFT) RECEIVES THE DELARGEY AWARD, with ANNE & ANDY LOVELL
Award for youth leader
Early last month parishioner John Rogers received the Delargey award for youth leadership.
The Awards recognise significant and outstanding contributions made in the field of Catholic youth ministry in New Zealand. They are named in honour of Cardinal Delargey.
The award ceremony was held last month as part of the Archdiocese youth mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Fellow parishioner and previous youth leader Caroline Newson introduced John to the assembly. He received the award to great applause.
After receiving the Award John gave advice based on what he has found to work “you need to be part of a group of mixed-age people. Make sure they all share the vision. Make sure they all buy into the process – conversion follows on from preaching of the Kerygma, then Catechesis, and Discipleship. If they don’t buy it, you may not have the right group. You do not want to be part of a Ministry based purely on social or cultural needs. Pray together and often. Enlist some older college-aged teens, these will become your Teen Leaders. Start to meet with all of these people just to talk and pray together. Soon you’ll be ready to start. You need a programme of some kind to help get things rolling. Alpha is good. It starts to build community and faith, then you can move pretty seamlessly into a weekly programme of some kind. Don’t push them to go to Mass. When they are ready it will happen. A halfway-good music group is pretty much a must. You will want someone who can play the music people like, music that helps to bring them together, music that inspires them.
“If you are serious about this you can wave goodbye to a good part of your free time. You will also see God work in the lives of His lambs, time after time after time. That makes everything else worth it!”
Sage advice from a Delargey award holder.
The Awards provide recognition for ministry workers and supporters of ministry with young people in New Zealand. The Awards recognise the place of long-term involvement in Catholic ministry with young people. Well done John.
MAY IS THE MONTH OF MARY
Mary possesses a unique relationship with all three Persons of the Trinity, thereby giving her a claim to the title of Queenship. She was chosen by God the Father to be the Mother of his Son; God the Holy Spirit chose her to be his virginal spouse for the Incarnation of the Son; and God the Son chose her to be his mother, the means of incarnating into the world for the purposes of the redemption of humanity.
This Queen is also our Mother. While she is not our Mother in the physical sense, she is called a spiritual mother, for she conceives, gives birth, and nurtures the spiritual lives of grace for each person. As Mediatrix of All Graces, she is ever present at the side of each person, giving nourishment and hope, from the moment of spiritual birth at Baptism to the moment of death.
The Way of the Cross
Accolades to parishioner Tony Sutcliffe, who with Rev Tim MacKenzie of our sister Anglican parish, arranged a most successful procession on Good Friday.
The procession started at St Anthony’s with readings and hymns. Then behind the cross the procession walked quietly to St George’s to continue the readings.
By the time Seatoun beach had been reached it had become clear that many had noticed the procession. A reminder to them that it was Good Friday and that much can be learnt about our own human journey in the sacred Easter journey.
At the water front a large cross was made on the foot path from stones taken from the beach. A further reminder to passers by.
After readings at the former St Christopher’s church the procession ended back at St Anthony’s for hot cross buns. The hot cross buns were enthusiastically received.
On the 15th of March, Beatrice had her baptism in front of the whole St Patrick’s Primary School.
Beatrice chose two people to be the altar servers; Breanne and Francis. She also chose these people to read the scriptures; Ella, Nardos, Angelei and Esipito.
Firstly, Father prepared the blessed water and the candles. Then he handed out the booklets with Mass responses. Next he read from the booklet and Beatrice’s family responded. After that Father Ephrem asked Beatrice’s mother to bless her chest and the forehead. Then Father said some more prayers. Following this, Father called Beatrice up to get baptised with the holy water. After that Father lit the candle and asked some questions of her mother and her godparent. Finally, Father took Beatrice’s candle and lit it, then said some prayers.
We welcome Beatrice into our Christian family.
Holy Cross School reflection on Palm Sunday
Holy Cross School families were reminded on Palm Sunday that palms are a sign of how the people cut branches and laid them in the road before Jesus as they shouted with joy.
The School community was asked to consider some questions that we might all find useful.
Can you think of a time you welcomed someone else, into your home, your class, your game? What did you do?
Can you think of a time when you have been welcomed by others? What did they do to make you feel special and welcome?
We need to be mindful of our actions and try to welcome all people as we would welcome Jesus.
Jesus is in all people, so we should treat all people with the respect, love and kindness that we would show to Jesus. We should try to welcome all people into our lives and treat them as we would like to be treated.
The school community was then asked to say these prayers each night, you might like to join them:
We pray for world leaders: that they may be inspired by Jesus’ example to care for all people, especially those who are poor. Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for our brothers and sisters throughout the world: that we may look for Jesus within them and that we treat each other as we would wish to be treated. Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for our parish, family and friends: that we may welcome all people with respect and love, as Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem. Lord, hear our prayer.
God of truth, we thank you for sending us your Son Jesus. Open our hearts so that we may welcome him in others and bring us together to make the world a fairer place. Amen.
Sunday Gospels for May
Sunday 7th May (John 10:1-10)
The sheep follow the shepherd because they recognise his voice. We are safe in following Jesus as our shepherd. In doing so we are given life and have it to the full. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the Gospels. Who else can promise and deliver on so much. Jesus is inviting us to know him, to trust in him and share what he has to offer. In this passage Jesus is asking us where our heart is. Do we listen and stay close to materialism, greed for power and prestige or do we stay close to Jesus?
Sunday 14th May (John 14:1-12)
A place has been prepared for us. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. Not only are we offered fullness in our life here on earth but also beyond. Each of us has our own room in the place that has been prepared for us. The invitation to us is a personal one. We have no need to fear for the future.
Sunday 21st May (John 14:15-21)
The commandments are simple and Jesus lives within us to make keeping them easier. But, we all know that many alternative paths are available to us and it is easy to get distracted and take the wrong path. In our human frailty, it is good to ask ourselves in all we do, are we taking the loving path? If the answer is yes and we are loving God and our neighbour we can’t go wrong. When God seems distant and our neighbour is annoying us it may be hard to stay loving but is there any real alternative to being loving?
Sunday 28th May (Matthew 28:16-20)
We have been asked to make disciples of all nations and help them to keep the commandments that have been given to all. We don’t do this work on our own. Often opportunities are given to share what Jesus means to us. It is fundamental to our faith that we don’t run away from the opportunity. We need to take courage and respond with the right word or deed. In doing so we share the good fortune that we have received and make the world a fuller and more loving place, we discover what it is to work in the vineyard guided by a kind and supportive master.
Pope Francis - Talking to children recently in Rome
[Pope Francis:] I will ask a question in exchange: why is that each time you draw near to Jesus, you realise that He has approached you first? If we are able to draw near to Jesus, it is because He has drawn near first. He always takes the first step. Do you understand this? Does Jesus refuse to be with us? I ask you....
There. Does Jesus await us? Is he or is he not waiting for us?
But does he await us like this, or does he do something else? [A boy replies: “He comes to meet us”] He comes to meet us! Well said! Who said this? You are good! Well done! Jesus always comes to meet us. And if you see Jesus coming from this way, and you somewhat play the fool and look the other way, does Jesus go away?
No! He helps you!
You, what does Jesus do? You said it well....
[Boy:] He helps you!
Does he take you by the ear and do this? [gesturing]
[Boy:] No! He makes you understand that you have done wrong.
That’s it. He speaks to your heart; he makes you understand what love is. And if you do not want to hear him, what does he do? Does he go away?
He stays. He stays there. He is patient. Jesus always waits. And this is the answer to your question. We approach Jesus, but we discover that He has drawn near first. He has been there, waiting for us. And he waits. And he speaks to us. But he is always there; he is always there; he is always there. And if you have done something bad, does he push you away?
He forgives you....
Ah ... this is a beautiful word that you have said....
He forgives you!
And if you.... You have to tell him that you are sorry you did these things, isn’t that true?
And he forgives you. You are contrite, and he forgives you. But it is always Jesus who first draws near.
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