heaven’s threshold

Grief is the price we pay for love, and this week the many family and friends who love and are loved by Fr. Graeme Blackburn have been gripped by grief at his tragic road accident death on Monday. We were united in speechless shock at the news. Memories began to be shared. Tears flowed and […]

deep sadness

Last evening we received the tragic news of the death of one of our youngest priests in a road accident. Graeme Blackburn was ordained on 1 July last year. Our prayers are with and for Erin his mother, his family, his many friends, and for us his diocesan family of Christchurch. Our shared grief is […]

the pointer

My paternal grandfather knew his way around the night sky. In New Zealand, the Southern Cross is the most recognisable constellation.  I remember grandad showing me this cross, and the “Pointers”, the two stars that seem to point to the Southern Cross. Many artistic representations of John the Baptist show him as a ‘pointer’. He […]

180 years ago

180 years ago, 13 January 1838, the first Catholic Mass was celebrated on Aotearoa New Zealand soil. Bishop Pompallier had arrived in the country a couple of days earlier. Here is the account of the event in from his diary: “On Wednesday, the 10th of January, 1838, we arrived at the entrance to the Hokianga River, […]


One of these years I will make it to the New York Encounter. The 2018 event will be held over the next two days and “strives to witness to the new life and knowledge generated by the faith,” following Pope Benedict’s claim that “the intelligence of faith has to become the intelligence of reality.” I […]

the holy longing

“the Magi did not set out because they had seen the star, but they saw the star because they had already set out” I enjoyed a couple of days this past week at the annual Hearts Aflame gathering of young Catholics, this year held in the small Rangitikei town of Marton. This ten-day live-in event […]


Every now and then Food For Faith followers send inspiring reflections and are happy that I share these. I am grateful to Frank Kelly who sent the above poem with the comment: “Since I am not a retail enthusiast, I was glad to miss out on all the “bargains” in store and online. So I spent […]

social media

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For most of the history of human civilisation the term family has been used to speak of a community of love: parents and children, with a complex and diverse range of relationship connections through blood, legal contract and friendship ties. In the “Western” world family was often defined as a household of wife and husband […]

my inmost calm

If you didn’t read my request yesterday could I ask that before you read today’s reflection you take a moment to complete the brief evaluation. Your comments will determine whether this Food For Faith mission has a future. Our direction and development is dependant on your feedback so please click the image here to respond. […]

take a moment

Today is the fifth day of the Christmas Octave, and on the eighth day of the Octave (New Year’s Day) our Advent / Christmas daily retreat pilgrimage concludes. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to bring you these daily reflections. Could I ask now that you take a moment or two to help […]

how sensible 😇

You may have noticed that my post yesterday mistakenly featured the feast of the Holy Innocents instead of St John whose feast-day it actually was. It wasn’t that I had just mixed up the website dates since I even turned up at Mass prepared for the wrong feast! So today, which really is the Holy […]

no place for them

With yesterday’s celebration of Christmas we began the eight days (the Octave) of Christmas, and we conclude our December retreat with a relaxed journey through the Octave with the last of our daily emails arriving in your inbox on New Year’s day. I thought you might be interested in Pope Francis’ homily for the Midnight […]

the refiner’s fire

The first reading from today’s liturgy is perhaps best known because it features in Handel’s Messiah: Let’s take a moment to examine the message which seems to be a bit of a violent prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. In an Advent sermon in 1928 the German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer reflected: “It is very […]

on the road

Have you ever noticed how much of the account of the birth of Jesus involves travellers? The angel Gabriel was a traveller to the home of Mary, and soon after Mary was on the road to visit her cousin Elizabeth for a three month stay. Then shortly after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph […]