Reflecting on ideas raised during the Synod process.

Cardinal John’s newsletter | 4th August 2022

Kia tau te rangimārie ki a koutou

Over the last few months several thousand people participated in the Synod process, responding to the invitation of Pope Francis to be involved in building a more Synodal church. Many people were excited about this process and enjoyed being part of it. They saw it as bringing the Second Vatican Council to our minds once again and as a way of continuing the work of the Council. People from around the country spoke of the sense of privilege they experienced in being able to speak of their understanding of Church and of how together we might move forward. Understandably, others expressed sadness, anger and disappointment that the church is not the place they hoped it would be; they spoke of sadness and anger at the crisis of abuse; and that, as baptized People of God, they are not always able to share their gifts as active parishioners.

There were many issues that people are disappointed, angry and sad about. These have been brought to the fore and will have the be addressed internationally and locally. We can do much of that now, we do not have to wait until the actual Synod in Rome in October next year. We are beginning to do that through the Council of Priest and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, by studying and reflecting on what people have said. I encourage you all to look at what you can do to work on those areas which must be improved.

People were impressed and very grateful for the Spiritual Conversation process and its emphasis on discernment. The prayer and silence was deeply appreciated and it was expressed often that this could become our normal way of working together. I fully support that idea and encourage people to engage in meetings and Church gatherings in this prayerful way of working together. Imagine what it would be like if all our meetings employed this process:

  1. First round of sharing… “in my prayer today…

and I feel…

  • Second round of sharing… “in the voice of the group today I heard…

I heard the Holy Spirit saying…

                 and this leaves me feeling…

  • Third round of sharing…listening, dialogue, discernment and decision making.

This is a deeply Catholic way of working together, of praying and listening, discerning and coming to a decision. Imagine what it would be like if we all worked in this way!

Nāku noa. Nā

+ John

Liturgical reception for Archbishop Paul, Friday 12th August:  Archbishop Paul Martin SM will be welcomed to the Archdiocese on Friday 12th August with Evening Prayer of the Church at St Teresa’s Pro-Cathedral at 6pm. All are welcome to this time of prayer. A formal installation of Archbishop Paul will take place at a later date.

Chrism Mass: The Chrism Mass for this year will be celebrated at St Teresa’s Pro-Cathedral on Wednesday 14th September at 7pm. Parishes are requested to have representatives appointed to collect the Holy Oils at that Mass. South Island Parishes will have Oils sent to them.

“Let us ask ourselves: When I start my day, do I throw myself headlong into the things to be done, or do I first seek inspiration in the Word of God? At times we begin the day automatically, we start doing things … like hens. No. We must start the day by first of all looking to the Lord, taking his Word, briefly, but allowing this to be the inspiration for the day. If we leave the house in the morning keeping a word of Jesus in mind, the day will surely acquire a tone marked by that word, which has the power to orient our actions according to the Lord’s wishes.”    Pope Francis    Angelus ~ July 17, 2022

From the Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis on The Liturgical Formation of the People of God.

“The priest himself should be overpowered by this desire for communion that the Lord has toward each person. It is as if he were placed in the middle between Jesus’ burning heart of love and the heart of each of the faithful, which is the object of the Lord’s love. To preside at the Eucharist is to be plunged into the furnace of God’s love.”  (Desdierio Desdieravi 57)