choosing life

This week the End of Life Choice bill has been debated in the New Zealand parliament resulting in the decision to send the bill to Select Committee and consult citizens in a referendum. The most reliable measure of a civilised society is the degree of care provided for those citizens who are most vulnerable and needy. […]

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 […]

never be afraid

It is 40 years ago today that my paternal grandfather William O’Connor died. Grandad spent the last few weeks of his life not on the Gray’s Corner Farm where he had lived for fifty years but at our family home in Timaru. I recall the morning a couple of weeks before his death when the […]

dealing with grief

Every week I spend time with people who are carrying the burden of grief. I know that there is little I can do or say to ease the pain. While I learnt some grief theory and pastoral practice in seminary, and for thirty years as a priest have accompanied people who are coming to terms […]

facing fear

The liturgy of Good Friday gives us an opportunity to face our greatest fear, the fear of death.

unto dust…

The encouragement that usually accompanies the imposition of Ash Wednesday ashes is “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” But when I was a child the exhortation was a bit more sombre: “Remember man that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.” For some reason it is this latter mantra that […]

not death but life

On Good Friday earlier in the year I had the privilege of preaching the sermon at the morning ecumenical service held at St. Mary’s Co-operating Church in Culverden. Since arriving in the Hurunui I have known that the Catholic parish of the Good Shepherd is home to six of the most beautiful churches in the […]

funerals, and hope

Last month I celebrated Mass on the anniversary of the death of my mother (9 February 2009) and father (10 February 2010). My father would often comment that we could only hope for the threescore and ten  years spoken of in Psalm 90, and both my parents reached that milestone albeit with with only five […]

celebrating life?

Today a friend posted this blog posting on funerals on his Facebook page. Thanks Pete for sharing this – a very helpful reflection.      

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  • the pointerMy paternal grandfather knew his way around the night sky. [...]
  • 180 years ago180 years ago 13 January 1838 the first Catholic Mass [...]