lost in grace

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An interesting experience this weekend on the new Christchurch Belfast bypass road. GPS has not yet caught up with the fact that after several years of planning and construction the new motorway is open. Instead of following the road, my car’s GPS showed me driving without a road to drive on across farmland. (the red […]

Advent online

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Earlier in the year Food For Faith offered daily reflections for the season of Lent during which those who signed up received daily email encouragements. The feedback we received was very positive with many encouraging us to continue the initiative regularly. Food For Faith is now offering an online retreat for ADVENT 2017. The format […]

at all times

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I have a friend from the USA staying for a few days and soon after his arrival we headed for the hills. That’s a bit metaphorical because our first days were at a small seaside town, but now we really are in the hills in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Magnificent! I realise […]

the networkers

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In recent years I have marvelled at the steady emergence of the new Christchurch western transport corridor bypass, a key stage of the unfolding city motorway network. Before the first turf was turned on the project, years of planning had drawn on the best of traffic analysis, roading advice and bridge design, engineering and earth moving […]

church beauty

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Today’s feast of the Dedication of the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran might seem like a strange focus for a feast. It is however a timely feast for our Christchurch diocese embarking on the rebuilding of Catholic churches destroyed by the 2010 / 2011 earthquakes. It was the emperor Constantine who built the first basilica on the Lateran site in the early […]

cemetery visits

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Here in the Hurunui in the first weekend of November each year,  priest and parishioners meet in each of the eight cemeteries of the parish to pray for those who are buried in each cemetery. Our prayer is simple and brief, five minutes of prayer together before people go to stand by the graves they […]

FFF: a new era

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Dear Friends, It was almost eight years ago that Food For Faith began. The beginnings were small, a blog intended to last for a couple of weeks during a Holy Land pilgrimage. When the pilgrimage was over, the blog continued and then continued some more as I realised the potential for this new form of […]

All Souls

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On November 2 the Church celebrates the Feast of All Souls and the month of November is named as the month of Holy Souls. In this month we take pause to remember those who have died. We pray for those whom we have loved in life on earth. We pray for those who have loved […]

All Saints

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On this day, the feast of All Saints, in the year 1541, Michaelangelo‘s Last Judgement was unveiled on the rear wall of the Sistine Chapel. There was no coincidence in the date: the feast of All Saints was a most appropriate day to dedicate this masterpiece of world art.Michaelangelo’s ceiling tells the story of our salvation history: the encounter […]

Halloween

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People have always had a need for annual moments in a year that are highly ritualised around social gatherings with food and drink. Halloween has relatively recently become one such significant day on every town calendar. The marking of Halloween (literally “All Saints Eve”), became significant for Christians who were preparing to celebrate the feast […]

Luther + 500 yrs

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It’s 500 years (31 October 1517) since Martin Luther published his 95 theses by reputedly nailing them to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church in Germany. With this gesture he intended to begin a debate aimed at reforming the Catholic Church by correcting misunderstandings of doctrine and abolishing abuses in church practice. He could […]

a touchstone

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A good homily story I heard a number of years ago had as its punch-line “remember that the most important thing, is to always keep the most important thing, as the most important thing.” It’s a great line, even without the preceding story. For me it has become a regular touchstone, a method for taking […]

a new horizon

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It’s Mission Sunday this weekend and Pope Francis’ 2017 Mission Sunday letter is inspiring. At one point he quotes Pope Benedict’s reminder that  “being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a Person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” […]

the town square

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Early this evening, almost four weeks after the last votes were cast in the general election, New Zealand has a new government. The 1992 national electoral reform referendum resulted in 84% of voters opting for a change from the First Past the Post system. From the four alternative options listed on the referendum, 70% of […]

Luke

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It’s the feast of St. Luke today, 18 October.  He is best known as the writer of the Gospel of Luke, but he also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. You might like to try reading through the Gospel of Luke and then pick up the Acts of the Apostles which continues where the Gospel […]