EVERYBODY NEEDS FOOD
No joke – there are people in our parish community and suburban area that can’t always afford food, and sometimes go without.
Sitting in a warm house trying to decide what to have for dinner, is a dream for some in our parish area. While there may be a variety of reasons why some families are short on food and we might debate the causes, the most important thing is that parents and their children, and the elderly, that are missing out get something to eat.
A warm grateful thanks to St Vincent de Paul’s 21 collectors at Pak 'N Save, Kilbirnie on Saturday 27 May, for taking part in the six-monthly SVDP Foodbank Appeal. Through the kind generosity of the eastern suburbs shoppers 75 boxes of food and other items were collected. Also, $267 cash was donated. Organiser Brendan Quirk from our Seatoun & Miramar Conference looked back on previous collections - this one was the best ever! 30 boxes of food and items were also collected by the other Conferences at a similar event on the same day in Johnsonville.
Shoppers entering the supermarket are politely handed a list of items people struggling to buy groceries might most appreciate. They are asked to add one or more of these items to their shopping and as they leave the supermarket drop the items in at the collection table. The appeal is also a practical way in which Holy Trinity parishioners as collectors make a difference, giving of their time and talents to loving, humble service to others (“blessed the one who is kind to the poor” Proverbs 14.21). This is just one of the ways so many of our Holy Trinity parishioners support the mission of our own local SVDP Conference.
Collectors are at the supermarket for only an hour out of their Saturday morning. Collectors either distribute the list of requested items or sort the donated goods at the collection table. The response collectors receive from shoppers is invariably one of whole hearted support. Shoppers appreciate being able to do something useful in helping those in trouble. They are keen to donate actual food items knowing they will go straight to people in need,distributed by the SVDP Centre in Newtown mainly and by local Conferences around Wellington.
A big shout out to Pak N Save Kilbirnie who have supported the collection in the eastern suburbs over a number of years.
Feast day at Holy Cross
In early June Holy Cross School celebrated the feast day of Marcellin Champagnat. He founded a religious order known as the Marist Brothers who dedicate their lives to teaching young people.
Eighty-five years ago here in Miramar the Brothers opened up a school known as Marist Miramar; the original building now houses our Year 6-8 classes. In 1987 two schools, Holy Cross Miramar and Marist Miramar joined together and became Holy Cross Miramar.
On the feast day Holy Cross students spent the day learning about the Marcellin and the Marist Pillars and how we uphold these today. Thank you to Mr Kelly Smith and Mr Solia who prepared and presented this learning to all of our classes.
During the month, new ministers were commissioned. These ministers not only share the Word of the day but also Eucharist. While Mass is the pinnacle of our celebrations here in the parish lead by our priests Fr Ephrem and Fr Gregory, they can’t be in all places at all times. In their absence, the new ministers can lead us in special liturgy.
New minister Tony Sutcliffe (pictured with the books to be used for special liturgy) says his parents were very proud when he became a Justice of the Peace, if they were still around they would have been ecstatic at his new position. Other new ministers are Patricia O’Donnell, Leona Foster, Malia Falani-Andrews and Frances Meech. Congratulations to them all!
Jubilee celebrations continue
During the month St Patrick’s Church hosted all of the priests in the Archdiocese celebrating jubilees. Three celebrated 60 years, five 50 years and two, including Fr Gregory, 25 years. It was a wonderful celebration of thanks giving.
Feast day at St Anthony’s
Recently, St Anthony’s School enjoyed celebrating St Anthony's Feast Day. Students completed activities during the day centered around learning more about our school's crest. Thank you to Davinia Penman and Takahe Class who organised our special liturgy in the afternoon. The students and staﬀ enjoyed a new school tradition of chocolate cake for morning tea. Thank you to Vince McArley and Nicolette Pink for making the amazing cake - it was delicious!!
Cardinal John visits
On Friday the 12th of May Cardinal John came to visit St Patrick’s Primary School. The whole school was excited. We had two students to welcome him, their names are Akash and Matthew. Afterwards we sang our school song. Cardinal John talked about his favourite parts of being a: priest, bishop, archbishop and cardinal. He also talked a little about his background like how he got taught by the St Joseph’s sisters and went to St Joseph’s school. The Cardinal also talked about his coat of arms and what it means to him. At the top of his coat of arms is a hat that cardinals used to wear. In the middle, there is a bible. The A means the alpha and the O stands for omega (the beginning and the end). He chose his motto from the prophet Baruch ( 5:4 ). Behind the bible there is a shepherd’s staff this is symbolic of a shepherd and his sheep. Behind the staff there is a Metropolitan cross. When Cardinal John was about to leave two students named Angelei and Daniel thanked him and sang a song called Mo Maria.
WHAT IS A SYNOD?
It’s easier to say what a Synod isn’t, than what it is. A Synod is not a parliament. It cannot change Church teaching, as that is a matter for the universal Church. A Synod is not a business summit or a conference where people come to listen to speakers and make decisions.
The people who participate in a Synod are asked to prayerfully discern together where the Holy Spirit is taking us.
A Synod can make recommendations to the Archbishop about pastoral directions and priorities. When he makes decisions on the recommendations, they apply across the Archdiocese.
So, after the Synod is complete the discernment and any decisions the Archbishop might make will be passed on to Parish Councils so they can consider an appropriate local response.
In this particular Synod the prayerful discernment will be around leadership, people on the peripheries of society, bicultural relationships, one body of Christ, our own peripheries, refugees and migrants, care for creation, fellow Christians, accompanying one another as well as marriage and families.
SYNOD 2017 - LEADERSHIP
Pope Francis constantly stresses the need for the Church to go out to those on the edges of society, the poor, the marginalised, the homeless, those who struggle. He himself visits prisoners, refugees, and the poorest parts of the cities he travels to. Through the Papal Almoner Archbishop Krajewski he constantly reaches out to people living on the streets of Rome.
In the last few years pastoral areas, parish amalgamation and earthquake issues have absorbed a lot of time and resources in the Archdiocese. By their nature these processes have been inward-looking, and in many places they are still being worked through. Our buildings are not perfect, our liturgy and sacramental programmes will always need attention, and the downstream effects of parish amalgamations will continue for some time. But the poor, the imprisoned, the sick, refugees, and those who struggle are here now, in our cities and small towns, in the areas covered by our parishes. Their need is a silent summons to us to let go of our inward focus and take up the challenge of better serving the marginalised in our communities. We will ourselves be evangelised in the process, because we will encounter Jesus.
There is a temptation to say that because we have various Catholic organisations which serve those in need we have fulfilled our duty. It is not enough.
1. Who are the poor, the marginalised, the struggling, the homeless, in our local areas?
2. What do the words of Pope Francis (see quotes) mean in the context of our parishes, schools and communities?
3. As a parish/school/community, what can we do to serve those in need better, both in terms of their needs and in advocating for them?
Submit your answers to the Archdiocese: www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017Synod
POPE FRANCIS ON PENTECOST
On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit came down from heaven, in the form of “divided tongues, as of fire… [that] rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages” (Acts 2:3-4). This is how the word of God describes the working of the Spirit: first he rests on each and then brings all of them together in fellowship. To each he gives a gift, and then gathers them all into unity.
In other words, the same Spirit creates diversity and unity, and in this way forms a new, diverse and unified people: the universal Church. First, in a way both creative and unexpected, he generates diversity, for in every age he causes new and varied charisms to blossom. Then he brings about unity: he joins together, gathers and restores harmony: “By his presence and his activity, the Spirit draws into unity spirits that are distinct and separate among themselves” (CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA, Commentary on the Gospel of John, XI, 11). He does so in a way that effects true union, according to God’s will, a union that is not uniformity, but unity in difference.
For this to happen, we need to avoid two recurrent temptations. The first temptation seeks diversity without unity. This happens when we want to separate, when we take sides and form parties, when we adopt rigid and airtight positions, when we become locked into our own ideas and ways of doing things, perhaps even thinking that we are better than others, or always in the right, when we become so-called “guardians of the truth”. When this happens, we choose the part over the whole, belonging to this or that group before belonging to the Church. We become avid supporters for one side, rather than brothers and sisters in the one Spirit. We become Christians of the “right” or the “left”, before being on the side of Jesus, unbending guardians of the past or the avant-garde of the future before being humble and grateful children of the Church. The result is diversity without unity. The opposite temptation is that of seeking unity without diversity. Here, unity becomes uniformity, where everyone has to do everything together and in the same way, always thinking alike. Unity ends up being homogeneity and no longer freedom. But, as Saint Paul says, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17).
So the prayer we make to the Holy Spirit is for the grace to receive his unity, a glance that, leaving personal preferences aside, embraces and loves his Church, our Church. It is to accept responsibility for unity among all, to wipe out the gossip that sows the darnel of discord and the poison of envy, since to be men and women of the Church means being men and women of communion. It is also to ask for a heart that feels that the Church is our Mother and our home, an open and welcoming home where the manifold joy of the Holy Spirit is shared.
Now we come to the second new thing brought by the Spirit: a new heart. When the risen Jesus first appears to his disciples, he says to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them” (Jn 20:22-23). Jesus does not condemn them for having denied and abandoned him during his passion, but instead grants them the spirit of forgiveness. The Spirit is the first gift of the risen Lord, and is given above all for the forgiveness of sins. Here we see the beginning of the Church, the glue that holds us together, the cement that binds the bricks of the house: forgiveness. Because forgiveness is gift to the highest degree; it is the greatest love of all. It preserves unity despite everything, prevents collapse, and consolidates and strengthens. Forgiveness sets our hearts free and enables us to start afresh. Forgiveness gives hope; without forgiveness, the Church is not built up.
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