WelCom August 2019:
‘Behold, I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.’ ‒ Isaiah 43:19
Many people in our parish communities are quietly and gracefully living out their Baptismal calling after experiencing a marriage breakdown and or divorce. Pope Francis, in his 2016 Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, says, ‘The life of every family is marked by all kinds of crises, yet these are also part of its dramatic beauty’. Every family will have its share of ups and downs and all of us are called to care for and support each other in difficult times. This support and care must be practical and also hope filled. Pope Francis says, ‘we should not be trapped into wasting our energy on doleful laments, but rather seek new forms of missionary creativity’.
With this in mind, our outreach to separated and divorced people will again feature a Mass celebrated by Cardinal John Dew ‒ this year at Ss Peter and Paul Church, 60 Knights Rd, Lower Hutt. It is hoped this will be an annual event, hosted by different parish communities, in a spirit of mutual support and healing.
Cardinal John extends a warm welcome to any and all who are affected by separation and divorce to join him in the celebration of Mass at Ss Peter and Paul Church, Lower Hutt, 7pm, Wednesday, September 25, followed by a glass of wine and light refreshments.
Chris Duthie-Jung is Director, Marriage, Family & Young Church Ministries, Archdiocese of Wellington.
Last year on 9 August, Cardinal John celebrated a Mass for separated and divorced people at St Joseph’s Church, Mt Victoria, Wellington. In his homily he spoke about how in 2015 he attended the Synod on the Family in Rome and was appointed, along with nine other Cardinals, to the group writing the Synod’s final document.
Pope Francis joined them and said, ‘I am very worried for families, give me a document I can use…that I can use to encourage families…’.
Cardinal John said, ‘And that is what we must do. We must encourage families, encourage all of you. The separated and divorced amongst us live with fractured love. There are times they feel lost, lonely, dreams have been broken, hopes shattered and destroyed; often they feel judged by the Church and by other Church goers. They need to be reassured they are part of the faith community.
‘We are in the presence of Jesus the Healer, Jesus who never turned anyone away, Jesus who stretched out his arms on the cross to embrace us all, no matter what stage of life we are at. The Synod on the Family ended with this amazing document called Amoris Laetitia – the Joy of Love. For many of you that joy may have faded, and even the Church may not seem to be there, welcoming and embracing you as it should in the name of Jesus.
‘Pope Francis has shown us clearly that all the broken, the lonely, lost hurt, separated, divorced, bereaved and hurting are all the family of the Church. As he said this document, ‘No family drops down from heaven perfectly formed.’
We are all deeply aware we are not perfect, we all struggle and, in that struggle as imperfect as we are, we try to support and encourage each other. We must encourage each other as we reflect on the words of Jesus.
‘We have this document, Amoris Laetitia, but more importantly, we have each other…we must all encourage and support each other.’
Amoris Laetitia – available from Pleroma Christian Supplies: christiansupplies.co.nz