A life of sacrifice for others
This year we will be celebrating 100 years of Mercy education in our parish.
In Kilbirnie there was a large wooden building which stood on the hill overlooking the village (today the site of St Catherine’s College Coolock block), which Catherine Bourke, the wife of Mr M F Bourke had acquired in 1908. She had it transferred in 1917 with its mortgages ‘in natural love and affection’ to her niece Agnes Bourke, called in religion Sister M Vincent, for use as a convent.
The new convent was named St Catherine’s and the first community to live there comprised Sisters M Chanel Burton, Evangelist Herring, Imelda Aisher, Gertrude O’Flaherty and Gerald Byrne.
Early last century our parish, like the rest of New Zealand, suffered under a great influenza epidemic in which many died. During the epidemic the schools were closed and the sisters nursed the sick in their homes and in temporary hospitals.
Sr M Chanel was nursing in the old St Patrick’s College temporary hospital in Cambridge Terrace. She walked each day from Kilbirnie to Te Aro and back again.
One day she called in to the convent at Newtown on her way home to get a drink. The Sisters there besieged her to stay that night as she did not look well but she insisted on going back to Kilbirnie as she needed medicine she had there for her patients the next day. On arrival at Kilbirnie she went upstairs to her room. At tea time someone went up to get her and found she herself had died from the influenza.
Today, in the foyer of the Te Atawhai block at St Catherine’s College there is a foundation stone which was laid in 1920 on the occasion of the opening of the first purpose built school on the site.
Translated the Inscription reads:
To the greater glory of God and the honour of the Mother of God.
This stone is placed in memory of Sister M. Chanel, professed religious of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. She was notable for her faith, her prayerfulness, her love of God, and her love of the poor. She died the day before 1 December, 30 November 1918.
She was 49 years old. Pray for her.
A new year thought:
At the end of each day, we can stop for a few minutes to remember the good times and the challenges, the things that went well and those that went wrong. In this way, before God and before ourselves, we can express our gratitude, our regrets and our trust. This means praying in life, with life and about life, and it will surely help you to recognize the great things that the Lord is doing for each of you. As Saint Augustine said, we can find God in the vast fields of our memory.
– a quote from Pope Francis, verified by Missionz.
Don’t believe everything on Facebook
Just in case you were wondering, there is some pretty crazy stuff on Facebook. Even if it comes with a really nice smiley photo. What you are reading isn’t necessarily fact or even close.
The new year was full of all sorts of weird stuff like this one with a photo of the Pope suggesting that we don’t need to worry about believing in God anymore. These sorts of posts will usually come through to you from a friend forwarding them from a friend. Who knows were some of them started out.
Referring the post to the Apostolic Nuncio, he has commented as follows:
Many thanks for your message. At present all of us have to learn new skills in order to distinguish fake news from authentic news. Unfortunately, that does not only concern politics, but also the Church. The first step is to check news that sound strange, especially when there is a quotation without indication of its source. This one does not show its source, and you have done the right thing: to check. Congratulations!
I can assure you that the quotation you have sent me is a fake. Of course, as a fabrication it is not stupid, because it gives the impression not to be as far from the truth as in reality it IS. For example, the sentence “for many, nature can be a church”, mirrors the subjective feelings of many people. However, nature can NOT be a church. A building and the Church itself can never be replaced by nature, as some people might feel. A church, and the Church, are what they are: a (sometimes steamed up) mirror of Christ.
Just as an illustration of the kind of campaign going on against the Pope, I quote (no fake!) from the following article: Marco Politi, “Choppy waters for the ship of St Peter: Francis, a progress report Premium”, in: The Tablet, 03 January 2018: “Approval ratings for the Argentinian pontiff continue to be very high, and not only among Catholics. Far beyond confessional boundaries, he is recognised as a moral authority and geopolitical leader. His stand on migration, refugees, on the ever-growing inequality between rich and poor, on sex trafficking and the “new slavery” that exploits millions of workers, and his repeated emphasis on the tight link between environmental deterioration and growing social injustice, has made a broad impact on the public. Inside the Church, meanwhile, a sort of civil war is going on. Opponents say Francis is a communist, a feminist, a populist, or is in such thrall to the spirit of the age that he has dramatically squeezed the sacred from the papacy, betraying tradition and divine law. It would be a mistake to consider the Roman Curia the main or only centre of opposition. For sure, the curial apparatus is partially frustrated and dismayed, since it feels that under Francis it is losing its almost military aura as Catholicism’s chief of staff. But broad resistance to Francis has roots all over the world in the local churches.”
If you are left wondering about the authenticity of material that pops up on your Facebook page, a quick way of checking it is to copy and paste a section from it into Google. In the resulting Google search that comes up take particular note of the web-site addresses of the sites displayed. If one of them is an organisation associated with the quote then clicking on the search link will help you to verify authenticity.
Here’s your chance to make a difference
The Justice Select Committee is now asking for public submissions on David Seymour’s ‘End of Life Choice Bill’. The Bill seeks to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide (called ‘assisted dying’ in the bill) for people with a terminal illness or a “grievous and irremediable” medical condition.
Many of you will have made a submission to the Health Select Committee inquiry about ‘Ending Life in New Zealand’. Because of the overwhelming number of submissions against euthanasia, parliament took notice and your voice made a difference.
However, the Justice Select Committee inquiry is different because it is specifically about the Bill. A submission is your chance to have your say on the Bill.
Your voice counted at the time of the last round of submissions. Your voice will count again in the new round associated with the Bill.
Could you please send an email with you views? It is simple, just follow these steps:
Thank you in advance in taking this important step in protecting the lives of the vulnerable in our community.
...is editor of our monthly magazine. If you have news and views to share please email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org