WelCom October 2018:
Cathedral In Strengthening Mood
Fr James Lyons
The blue material wrapping one side of our earthquake-prone Sacred Heart Cathedral tells a story of progress in the strengthening work.
Except this is not part of the main project, but rather a preliminary step towards reopening the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and Connolly Hall.
The clearing of asbestos residue from the inner roofing area is underway, and the reinforcement of the area linking the foyer, chapel and hall to the cathedral is making good progress.
The target is to have these sections available for use well before Christmas.
Meanwhile, the unchanged cathedral Sunday Mass schedule continues at St Mary’s College Hall. Weekday Masses (8am, 12.10pm, Mon–Fri, and 8.30am Saturday) are celebrated on the ground floor of Cardinal John Dew’s residence, Viard House.
Attendance has decreased since the closure of the cathedral in June, but support remains strong, with parishioners working together to ensure the community does not lose its identity.
Pro-Cathedral for Archdiocese
Every diocese and archdiocese must have a ‘Mother Church’, a Cathedral Church, which is the official seat of the Bishop or Archbishop.
The word ‘cathedral’ comes from the Latin word, ‘cathedra’, which means ‘chair’. The Bishop’s Chair is a symbol of his teaching office and pastoral authority in the Diocese. It is also intended as a sign of the unity of believers in the faith the bishop proclaims as the one appointed to shepherd of the People of God. Wherever the bishop locates his chair, it becomes the most important church in the Archdiocese.
If a cathedral is under construction, or is being renovated, repaired or seismically strengthened – as is the current situation in the Archdiocese – then the bishop usually proclaims another church to be the pro-cathedral of the diocese for a period of time.
Cardinal John Dew consulted the Archdiocesan Council of Priests in September about the possibility of a pro-cathedral.
‘After considering a few options including evaluating space and car parking for Archdiocesan occasions, I asked the Council of Priests if they would agree with me naming the parish church of St Teresa’s, Kārori, as the pro-cathedral of the Archdiocese,’ says Cardinal John.
‘The Council has agreed and Fr Ron Bennett, parish priest of Otari Parish readily accepted this request. Therefore, I will be naming St Teresa’s Church as the pro-cathedral.’
‘When I return to Wellington [in October] from my meeting in Rome, there will be an appropriate ceremony to install my ‘Cathedra’ in St Teresa’s and the church will be able to be used for diocesan ceremonies.’
‘We thought a great deal last year about the words “Go, you are sent”. Our going out of our cathedral, or any of our churches is as important as going into it to pray. As we journey out from the cathedral, having heard the words ‘The Mass is ended, Go in peace’, we are sent forth to be a leaven and a light to the people around us. The Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ, impels us, doing more in and through us than we could ever ask or imagine.’