When any new Catholic newspaper is established, it is a hope that it might tap into the faith enshrined in the lives of Christian people down the ages, speak about the hope that was theirs and is ours, and stimulate all of us in the ways of truth and love, justice and integrity, mercy and reconciliation.
Wel-com has, I believe, been doing this most ably for 250 issues over nearly 24 years. More particularly it has been the newspaper for the two dioceses of Wellington and Palmerston North for the past 10 years.
Every issue is packed with stories from parishes in both dioceses reflecting the lives of the people. I know many people wait eagerly to see who of their friends is appearing in the next issue.
Wel-com also helps to extend our knowledge of scripture, of prayer and of issues relating to the life of the church in the world, sometimes in ways that can startle us out of any complacency in living our faith fully. It also gives us glimpses of life in other faiths prompting us to ‘acknowledge, preserve and promote spiritual and moral values found among them, and the values found in their society and culture’ (Second Vatican Council’s declaration on non-Christian Religions n.2).
We might justifiably include the search for values that simmer within our own country’s secular culture, looking, with St Paul, for ‘everything than can be thought virtuous or worthy of praise’ (Philippians 4:8), always bringing the light of Christ to bear on them.
It belongs to a truly Catholic culture to reach out in these ways and we are grateful to Wel-com for continuing to lead us in this search.