WelCom July 2017:
Cardinal John Dew
Our generous God gifts us with so many things that help us on our way. God does not just hold out one gift for us to choose from, but many gifts every day, many gifts several times a day. The gifts of the Holy Spirit – Wisdom, Right Judgement, Courage, Knowledge, Reverence and Fear of the Lord – are ours in abundance. Because God breathes those gifts of His Spirit into our lives we are able to produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Trustfulness and Self-Control.
Our life circumstances change – we meet new challenges, have new chances, are confronted daily with decisions big and small. What does not change is the generosity of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who continues to ‘help us on our way’, and do new things in our midst.
Every year on Pentecost Sunday, I have the great privilege of celebrating the Mass to welcome new Catholics to the wider Archdiocesan community. They come to the Pentecost Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral with their families, friends and supporters and often with young people from their parishes, to be welcomed, prayed with and embraced by the wider family of the Church they have just been baptised or welcomed into. It is a wonderful occasion and it is lovely to see others who have been Catholic all their lives welcoming them, excited that others have been drawn into the Church.
Because God breathes those gifts of His Spirit into our lives we are able to produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Trustfulness and Self-Control.
Many of those who become Catholics do so because someone else has inspired them, supported them or touched them in some way, which has helped them to see living the Gospel brings life and peace. It is often this contact that leads an inquirer into the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
Every year about 50–60 people become members of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese, after having been part of the RCIA over several months. During those months, as people are reflecting and praying, studying what the Church teaches and how those teachings are to be lived, I am amazed and in awe when I hear of their faith journeys.
The Church of Wellington owes a great debt of gratitude to all those in our parishes who run the RCIA process. It is work that goes on for most of the year; a true journey for those becoming Catholics, which is facilitated by our people who work in RCIA. They give of their gifts unsparingly in order that the Holy Spirit may work through them to bring others to the light of faith.
We pray for the grace to recognise God’s gifts when they are given
To own them
To claim them
To acknowledge them as ours to give away.