ultimate strength

Don’t miss this encouragement in the heart of the second reading of today’s liturgy. “My grace is enough for you: my power is at its best in weakness” 1 Cor 12 Our human frailty and sin, when acknowledged honestly, becomes our capacity for God’s power. While our human achievements and successes might give us moments of […]

Saint Suzanne

My first encounter with the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion was in Timaru where the sisters of the community founded by Mother Mary Joseph Aubert nursed the poor and disabled of South Canterbury at St. Vianney’s Home of Compassion. As a teenager I recognised the sisters as remarkable women of faith who had given […]

God at work

I have been to dozens of confirmation ceremonies over the years and expected this morning’s celebration of the sacrament at St. Bede’s College in Christchurch to be much like the others. But it was different. It’s been a big couple of days for the College with 15 students baptised, 55 confirmed and a number receiving Holy […]

on mission

It was a pleasure and a privilege to spend the past week in the Taranaki in the shadow of the mountain from which the region takes its name. A few months ago I was asked by the parishes of the Taranaki to lead missions for the Catholic church communities surrounding the mountain. In the weeks […]

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 my grandfather showing me this cross, and also pointing out the “Pointers”, the two stars that indicate the Southern Cross. Many artistic representations of John the Baptist show him as a ‘pointer’. […]

a new thing

When I am leading a session I often discourage those in the group from taking notes. Schools probably still teach that it is helpful to write while listening, but I’m not so sure. At times I have encouraged students, if they have to have a pen in hand, to doodle while actively listening. While some […]

come with me

Hidden in the heart of today’s Office of Readings is the episcopal motto of the first bishop of Christchurch John Joseph Grimes. Bishop Grimes was born in East London in 1842 and was educated in England, France and Ireland before his ordination as a priest when he taught English and Classics in Ireland and in […]

power-full prayer

Mount Carmel was a significant place for the prophets of Israel, especially Elijah 900 years before Christ. (you can read more about this in the first and second book of Kings, especially 1 Kg 18-19).  The section that is today’s first reading is one of the many great adventures in the Bible and ideal as a […]

hope in suffering

Perhaps it was being in the presence of so many Jesuits over the past weekend that stirred a deep gratitude in me for the Jesuits who have had a hand in my own formation. Each of them in their own way and using their own abilities, have communicated something of the breadth and depth that […]

grace abounds

Last night almost 400 people gathered at Hoyts Riccarton in Christchurch to watch the biblical drama Paul, Apostle of Christ. Since the movie is not being screened publicly in New Zealand Food For Faith decided to hire a small theatre for a private showing. Bookings came in quickly and we soon increased to a theatre […]

renewed youth

Last weekend I was with a group in Sydney who are seeking to live with greater familiarity with Jesus Christ. “Familiarity with Christ” was a recurring mantra of the retreat: under the broader theme: “see I am doing a new thing, even now it comes to light. Can you not perceive it? Newness is one […]

the gift of tears

I often write a food for faith reflection on the scriptures of the day after I reflect on the scriptures in the early morning. I hadn’t intended to write today, but a thought from today’s first reading (Paul’s exhortation to the leaders of the church of Ephesus) has stayed with me through the day with […]


I often return to books that I consider to be classics. Some of these were written decades or centuries ago. Others, including Pope Benedict’s second “Jesus of Nazareth” book are more recent. In his first volume, published in 2007, the emeritus pope reflects on Jesus’ ministry from his baptism in the Jordan up to the Transfiguration. In volume two he […]

Monday morn

The gospel readings of each Sunday are a central part of the nourishment given in the liturgy which sets us up for the week ahead. Too often the gospel is not heard or remembered and we are the poorer for it as we face the challenges of the week. So let’s take a moment on […]


The Food For Faith team invite you to a private screening of the recently released biblical drama Paul, Apostle of Christ. This significant and inspiring movie was released in the US a few weeks ago but is not being shown publicly in New Zealand. The Food For Faith private screening is on Sunday 3 June, […]