the networkers

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

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

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

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

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

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 […]


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

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

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

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

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 […]


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 […]

before & after

St. Teresa of Avila died on the night of 4 October, however her feast day is 15 October. The reason for this is that the implementation of the Gregorian calendar (which we use today) replacing the Julian calendar, required that 10 days be eliminated. This happened on what was therefore the night of 4-15 October, […]

55 years ago

It’s 55 years today since the first session of the three-year Second Vatican Council began. On this day, October 11 Pope John XXIII addressed those gathered in a speech which summarised the needs of the era. Today Pope Francis also uses the “change of era” language. Here is the most often quoted section of Pope […]

on friendship

This month began with news of the Las Vegas tragedy with the loss of 58 lives and the wounding of almost 500 people A number of commentators have reflected that while one man held the gun, the responsibility for such tragedies must at least partly shared by a society that is lacking in what is […]