WelCom December 2023
The latest issue of WelCom is available to read here.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.”– Isaiah 9:6
Helping the Sisters at the Home of Compassion to set up the Christmas crib in the chapel for Advent are brother and sisters from the Chine family of Island Bay (l-r) Gelila (10), Minab (13), Asgedet (7) and Luwam (15). The three younger children are students at St Francis de Sales School and Luwan attends Wellington East Girls College.
The world must unite in faith to tackle climate change
On the eve of Pope Francis’ historic attendance at the UN climate change conference COP28 in Dubai, 30 November to 12 December, His Excellency Rashed Matar Alqemzi, UAE Ambassador to New Zealand, writes for WelCom on the profound significance of Pope Francis’ invitation and acceptance to attend COP28.
Diaconate ordination of Matthew White
Seminarian Matthew White was ordained a deacon by Archbishop Paul Martin sm on Sunday 12 November at St Teresa’s Pro-Cathedral, Karori.
Members of Matthew’s family, friends, clergy and several parishioners from his home parish Te Ngākau Tapu in Porirua and from Ōtari parish in Wellington were all there to support him.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I want to take the opportunity to wish you all a blessed and holy Christmas. These days of Advent pass so quickly in the busyness of the end of our year.
Neuro specialist addresses post-Cyclone Gabrielle trauma issues
The Diocese of Palmerston North in collaboration with Frontiers of Hope Director Michael Hempseed, brought neuro and trauma specialist Dr Andy Harkin to Napier for a workshop, for mental-health practitioners working with people affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
Architectural gem almost fully polished
The revitalised columns and frontage of Sacred Heart Cathedral, signal the approach of the long-awaited reopening of this Archdiocesan treasure.
Archbishop Paul Martin sm presented with symbolic Metropolitan’s pallium
Archbishop of Wellington Paul Martin sm received his Metropolitan Archbishop’s pallium and also blessed the iconic Holy Mary Mother of God artwork during the same 5pm Mass at St Mary of the Angels Church in Wellington, on Sunday 5 November.
Bishop John welcomed to Whanganui Parish and River
The noise of coming from the church hall from parishioners watching the Rugby World Cup final on the big screen saw Bishop John Adams join them as he arrived at St Mary’s Church before his official welcome that morning.
Dannevirke celebrates 125 years of Catholic faith
In a spirit of joy, parishioners, religious and clergy with connections to St Joseph’s parish in Dannevirke, gathered over the weekend of 14–15 October to salute 125 years since early settlers established Catholic faith practice in the area in 1898.
Christmas toy drive for ‘Grandparents Raising Grandchildren’
Every Christmas season, the Benjamin Hughes Hair Salon in Te Whare Manaaki Makawe Ōtaki, embraces the spirit of joy and hope by organising a toy drive for a worthy cause.
Caritas pleads for peace in Gaza
The Catholic aid agency, Caritas Internationalis, joined international appeals for a ceasefire in Gaza.
In a statement titled Now is the time for peace, the central confederation of Caritas aid agencies across the world called for unimpeded humanitarian access to the 2.3 million people still in Gaza, while urging Hamas to release the hostages taken from Israel on 7 October.
Inaugural ‘Faith Pavilion’ for COP28
Pope Francis is set to speak at the inauguration of the first-ever ‘Faith Pavilion’ during the upcoming 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates.
Pope calls for an ‘outgoing’ theology
Pope Francis recently issued a short apostolic letter motu proprio titled ‘Ad Theologiam Promovendam’. The text introduces new statutes for the Pontifical Academy of Theology and, in so doing, captures some of the essential reforms Francis has initiated.
The Season of Advent – Ko te Wā o te Aweneti
Artificial Intelligence and religion
The Wellington Abrahamic Council hosted a public seminar last month on the ever-increasing impact of technology on religions and how to adapt in the post-AI age.
Questions included: What are our religions’ positions on technology in general, and AI specifically? How could AI impact our religious beliefs and practices? Can a machine be conscious or have a soul? How do we mitigate potential threats AI poses to humanity, to religion and to God?
Pope’s peace day message to focus on ethical concerns over AI
Signalling the Vatican’s growing engagement in efforts to ensure the ethical development of new technologies, the Vatican has announced ‘Artificial Intelligence and Peace’ will be the theme for the next…
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December
As has been the custom for many years, an archdiocesan Mass will be celebrated on the Archdiocese of Wellington feast day, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December. The Mass will be celebrated at St Teresa’s Pro-Cathedral, Karori, at 7pm.
A Litany Revisited
Fr James Lyons continues his exploration of titles given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the 16th century Litany of Loretto.
The Christmas message
It seems to me that each year it gets that little bit more difficult to engage with the Christmas message, to cut through the commercial hoo-ha that surrounds it; hoo-ha that, these days, can start to build as early as September.
Te Tai Potuini Kapahaka champions 2023
St Canice’s School Westport won the West Coast Primary Schools Kapahaka competition, hosted this year by Reefton Area School, in September.
First Holy Communion
Lennox Finnigan (l) and Micah Gut (r) recently made their First Holy Communion at St Patrick’s Parish Church, Kaponga.
St Anthony’s School Centenary
St Anthony’s School in Seatoun celebrated its centenary over the weekend of 13, 14 October. St Anthony’s has been running since the 1920s to the 2020s!
Dates and events – what’s on
Dates and events – what’s on
To list events free, email email@example.com with event name, date, time, location and contact details. Wednesday 1 November All Saints Day Thursday 2 November All Saints Day – Commemoration Masses…
Archbishop Martin to receive pallium in Wellington
Archbishop Paul Martin sm is to receive his pallium at a special ceremony in Wellington from Papal Nuncio Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa, on Sunday, 5 November, at the 5pm Mass, St Mary of the Angels. The New Zealand bishops will be present.