friendship’s sake

I have spent the weekend in the Philippines (Manila and Cebu) and today head home to NZ. The brief visit was an opportunity to meet with friends in both cities and to journey together in faith. The simple purpose of the visit: friendship, the kind of friendship without which life is not possible. Fifteen hours of flying […]

Filipino evangelists

In the parish of the Good Shepherd, Hurunui, a significant number of our parishioners have arrived here in recent years from the Philippines. Their presence is a great gift for us, as for the diocese and for the country. A number of our new priests and seminarians are also from the Philippines. Last month at […]

present reality

Our gathering for the Spiritual Exercises continues today after a full Friday evening and Saturday. Late in April more than 25.000 people met in Rimini (on the Adriatic Coast of Italy) and Fr. Julian Carron led the Spiritual Exercises for the Communion & Liberation fraternity.. This annual gathering meets in a rather strange retreat environment: […]

NZ speaks in Rome

I picked up a copy of the Vatican Newspaper yesterday and was not surprised to see an interview with Cardinal John Dew. Pope Francis is attracted to peripheries and New Zealand is pretty peripheral at least geographically. You can read the interview at this link. In his interview Cardinal John acknowledges the gift of new immigrants […]

a Saturday…

The Catholic communities of the Hurunui district are small and spread around a large rural hinterland. Since my arrival in the parish just over three years ago the three parishes have been reformed into one new parish of the Good Shepherd. This has been a challenging and necessary amalgamation, and we are beginning to see […]

Filipino farewell

Yesterday the Philippines farewelled Pope Francis after three remarkable days of friendship. It is worth searching the visit online for some of the video clips and homilies. In these days I have received a number of emails from friends in the Philippines, and I am happy to share two emails that I received this morning, […]

loss & hope

When I passed St. Joseph’s Papanui yesterday morning there was very little remaining of the church building, just the doors through which so many have passed seeking God. Babies have been carried through these doors to the waters of baptism, and so many of our friends and family have been carried through these doors at […]

Filipino faith

Pope Francis is in the Philippines today and over the past couple of hours he has been celebrating the first Mass of his three-day visit in the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Manila. The Philippines is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with over 100 million people living in […]

pressing on

Late last week I arrived in the Philippines for a series of retreats / spiritual exercises with communities in General Santos, Manila and Cebu. Yesterday I completed the first sessions with a group here at the Trappistine Abbey about 45 minutes from Gensan city and a couple of reflections with the growing community of Trappistine […]

Philippines – light a candle

In the last few minutes news reports have estimated that the death toll in yesterday’s Philippines Typhoon is in the vicinity of 10.000 people.   A number of readers of this blog live in the Philippines, and a significant percentage of our Good Shepherd Hurunui parishioners are from the Philippines and awaiting news from friends […]

  • a new thingWhen I am leading a session I often discourage those [...]
  • come with meHidden in the heart of today’s Office of Readings is [...]
  • power-full prayerMount Carmel was a significant place for the prophets of Israel [...]
  • hope in sufferingPerhaps it was being in the presence of so many [...]
  • "Thanks Fr John, very thought provoking, my current"
  • "For Bishop Grimes that must have been a hard call,"
  • "We were at Cardiff Castle yesterday and saw the ti"