WelCom News

WelCom is the official monthly newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington and the Diocese of Palmerston North and is free in all parish churches and schools in the two dioceses.

As well as reporting on activities that occur in the two dioceses, WelCom aims to present educative and thought-provoking articles about the Church in the world.

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Content deadlines 2019

A response to article on clerical abuse

WelCom May 2019: In the April 2019 edition of WelCom, Dr Christopher Longhurst wrote an article entitled ‘Theologies of Lament, Listening and Healing – Responses to Institutional Crisis of Clerical Child Sexual Abuse’. The following response is by a WelCom reader. Firstly, I would like to thank Dr Longhurst for his engaging discussion on how we,

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Church in solidarity with Sri Lanka

WelCom May 2019: Church members, groups and individuals joined Pope Francis in Rome’s St Peter’s Square as he reiterated his closeness to the people of Sri Lanka following the terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday. Speaking after the special Easter ‘Urbi et Orbi’ message and blessing, the Holy Father expressed his ‘heartfelt closeness to the Christian community,

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A time for coming together

WelCom May 2019: Over 250 people were killed and around 500 others were injured in six coordinated attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, 21 April. Among the targets in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa were two Catholic churches – St Anthony’s Shrine in the capital and St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, north

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Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation CHRISTUS VIVIT of the Holy Father Francis to Young People and to the entire People of God

WelCom May 2019: In his latest apostolic exhortation, released 2 April 2019, following last year’s Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, Pope Francis has urged young people to embrace their role as the present and the future of the Catholic Church by building relationships with their community and with God. The

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Pope releases document summarising Synod on Youth

WelCom May 2019: Pope Francis has urged young people to embrace their role as the present and the future of the Catholic Church by building relationships with their community and with God. His latest apostolic exhortation was signed on 25 March and released 2 April 2019, following last year’s Synod of Bishops on Young People, the

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Mary Month of May – Ko Meri, ko te mārama o Haratua

WelCom May 2019: The month of May is a special time to honour our Blessed Mother Mary. Marian devotions may include singing Marian hymns, readings, homilies, and reciting the rosary. In his 1951 encyclical Ingruentium malorum Pope Pius XI wrote: The custom of the family recitation of the Holy Rosary is a most efficacious means. What

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‘End of Life Choice Bill should be withdrawn immediately

WelCom May 2019: Peter Thirkell, Secretary of the Care Alliance, welcomed the Justice Select Committee’s statement that the End of Life Choice Bill ‘is not workable in its present state’. The Care Alliance position regarding the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide, agreed by all its member organisations (who include all of the major providers of

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My Vocation Journey

WelCom May 2019: The annual day of prayer for Vocations is on Sunday 12 May, the 4th Sunday of Easter. It is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. Alfred Tong, an Archdiocese of Wellington seminarian, shares his call to vocation story. ‘Two roads diverged in a yellow wood’. I never knew these were the beginnings of

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Notre Dame Cathedral – ‘A major symbol of the Catholic faith’

WelCom May 2019: Catholics around the world watched with horror as the roof of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed with flames on Monday 15 April 2019. The fire broke out as the cathedral was being renovated. Flames tore through the 860-year-old cathedral’s timbered roofing destroying the roof and spire. The following day, firefighters said the

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World Environment Day, June 5

WelCom May 2019: Catholic Church tackles destruction of ‘the lungs of the world’ The Amazon rainforest absorbs carbon for the entire planet, produces more than 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen and is being destroyed by deforestation and climate change. As carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, humanity is choking its own oxygen supply. In

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Pope Francis meets with climate-strike teen

WelCom May 2019: Pope Francis met briefly during his general audience April 17 with Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager and climate activist who inspired a million students around the world to take part in a global strike in March this year to protest politicians’ inaction on climate change. The pontiff approached Thunberg at the end of

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New Appointments

WelCom May 2019: Apostolic Nuncio for New Zealand and the Pacific Amanda Gregan Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa as Apostolic Nuncio to New Zealand and Apostolic Delegate to the countries of the Pacific. Archbishop Novatus’ appointment was announced in the Vatican City on 29 March 2019. He is due to be in New Zealand

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Scope of Royal Commission clarified

WelCom May 2019: The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions has commenced its substantive work in early 2019. Commissioners to the Inquiry are Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae, Dr Andrew Erueti, Paul Gibson, Sir Anand Satyanand (Chair) and Judge Coral Shaw. On 1 March 2019, the Royal

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Victims of Abuse – Hear My Sorrow

WelCom May 2019: James Lyons, Priest of the Archdiocese of Wellington Lonely, isolated, numb, insecure, depressed. Definitely not conditions helpful to healthy living, yet they are daily experiences for a particularly vulnerable group – the victims of abuse. Since the announcement that the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care has been extended to include Faith-Based

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Safeguarding for a Safer Church

WelCom May 2019: Virginia Noonan, National Director, NOPS Many within the Catholic Church will be aware of the existence of the National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS) and our role in responding to complaints of abuse in the Church; and of overseeing the investigation of complaints of sexual abuse against clergy and members of religious orders. A

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Catholic Thinking – On Human Fraternity

WelCom May 2019: In this month’s Catholic Thinking article, Bernard Teo CSsR, discusses the joint Declaration On Human Fraternity – For World Peace and Living Together, signed on 4 February 2019 by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr Ahmed el-Tayeb, at an interreligious summit in Abu Dhabi. Dr Bernard Teo lectures in Christian

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Befriending the Old Testament: Part 3

WelCom May 2019: In the third part of this series about the Old Testament, we will look at how many books there are in the Old Testament and how that total came about. Dr Elizabeth Julian rsm How many books are there in the Old Testament? When we ask this question we are dealing with the canonical

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Book Launch and 100 Year Celebration – The School on the Hill

WelCom May 2019: Sr Stephanie Kitching rsm Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, had a saying she offered those of us who follow after her: ‘Put your whole confidence in God.’ This is something that Patricia O’Donnell, a former staff member at St Catherine’s College, Kilbirnie, lives out. Quite some many years ago

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Hastings interfaith prayer service with Muslim brothers and sisters

WelCom May 2019: Nicola Green On Saturday 30 March, our Catholic Parish of Hastings celebrated an interfaith prayer service in remembrance of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Christchurch and in love and faith with our local Muslim community. There is a mosque just down the road from Sacred Heart Church in Heretaunga St, Hastings, so

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St Patrick’s Day – strengthening bonds of belonging

WelCom May 2019: Norma Bellamy The Catholic Parish of Napier came together to celebrate St Patrick’s Day on 17 March, beginning with 10am Mass at St Patrick’s Church. The congregation was as large as on Christmas Day, and green being the colour of choice for many. Fr Barry Scannell sm, parish priest, began by reading letters

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CWL Biannual Conference in New Plymouth

WelCom May 2019: Pat O’Connor, CWL Diocesan President, Palmerston North Diocese Catholic Women’s League members from Napier, Inglewood and New Plymouth along with the National President Susan Dickson from Methven gathered in New Plymouth in March for the Palmerston North Diocesan biannual conference. Srs Mary Wyss and Margaret Monaghan prepared the morning Liturgy, followed by a

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Faith and Service

WelCom May 2019: Christine Patterson, CWL President for Archdiocese Catholic Women’s League members gathered on 30 March this year for the 75th Archdiocesan Council Conference, held at the Mercy Conference Centre, Thorndon. We acknowledged the commitment of one of our long-serving members, Fay Doyle. Fay, a CWL Life Member, National Board member and Regional Representative for Kāpiti

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Benemerenti ceremony

WelCom May 2019: The people of the Hutt Valley have been well served by the St Vincent de Paul Society for many years. Naturally this has meant parishioners giving generously of their time and talents to serve others as Christ asks of his friends. Pope Francis has recognised the service of Kathy Brabin, Dennis Cheetham and

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Lenten climate-action series makes impact

WelCom May 2019: Catherine Gibbs Young people are providing a wake-up call for all of us on climate change, Professor Martin Manning told the first of three gatherings at St Theresa’s Church in Plimmerton on Thursday 7 March. Speaking as part of the parish community’s Stronger Together Lenten study series, Professor Manning used a range of

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Catholic Schools Day

WelCom May 2019: Catholic Schools throughout New Zealand will celebrate the fifth National Catholic Schools Day on Tuesday 28 May 2019. Organised by the New Zealand Catholic Education Office (NZCEO) this year’s theme is ‘Extending Christ’s call to love, to be, to do – Kia rangiwhāwhātia tā te Karaiti karanga: kia aroha, kia tūturu, kia mahi’.

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Wellington Catholic schools join forces

WelCom May 2019: Wellington Catholic schools are living the philosophy ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ by joining forces to get the best out of all their students. The 13 primary and secondary schools are part of the newly established Wellington Catholic Schools Kāhui Ako. The group’s principals, teachers and support staff aim to

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