touching eternity

Many of you will read this on Friday morning 8 December, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. I am sitting down to write late in the evening of the 7th, the feast of Ambrose, and the 32nd anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. It’s been a full day. This morning I flew to Auckland […]

what a privilege

“You have been chosen by Christ to receive the imprint of his own priesthood in your souls so that your destiny is linked to him in a bond that lasts into eternity. What a challenge, what a demand that is upon you but what a privilege too.” An inspiring 3 minute video reflection from the […]

ministers of hope

I am grateful to the Christchurch Press for taking the initiative to present a feature this morning on the recent Christchurch ordinations. A brief interview can do little more than convey an idea or two slanted with a personal, populist and often negative bias. However a personal participation in the gathering itself has the power […]


The Monday evening of Holy Week is a highlight for a priest in the diocese of Christchurch. At 5 in the afternoon we gather to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation together. It is both humbling and moving to be a brother among brothers as we confess our sin and receive God’s forgiveness through a brother […]

the art of JMH

The response to my post yesterday marking the death of Christchurch priest Monsignor James Harrington was both overwhelming and moving. Many readers were touched to learn that a most outstanding example of the art of JMH (as he usually signed a piece he had written) remains in the now derelict chapel of the former Holy Name […]


Another great little video which will be of special interest to anyone wondering if God might be nudging them to consider life as a diocesan priest. A couple of great one-liners in the video including “a seminary is a training-ground for faith” and “there is no better place to discern a call to priesthood than […]

life-long adventure

As I come to the end of my summer semester of liturgical studies at the Liturgical Institute (Mundelein Seminary), I am grateful most of all for the robust vocational environment that thrives here. Men and women of all ages and backgrounds live and study, pray and play together here, knowing that “vocation” is the word […]

a calling

Early every morning here at Mundelein, as the sun is rising, I walk around the lake on the university campus. The circle takes about 45 minutes. This campus, the lake, the woods and the buildings, make up what is without a doubt one of the most beautiful university campus’ in the world. But there is a beauty that […]

a life of value

When did you last encourage someone to consider that God might be calling them to serve as a priest? This Sunday (“Good Shepherd Sunday”, Fourth Sunday of Easter) is celebrated throughout the Church as Vocations Sunday. In a real sense, every Sunday of the year is a day of focus on the Christian vocation to live […]

Fr. Jack O’Connor

It is the end of a wonderful day of celebration of my uncle Jack’s 50th jubilee of his ordination as a priest of the diocese of Christchurch. While the actual date is July 5 (1965), we combined the celebration with Jack’s 85th birthday (last month), and as Jack himself reflected, when you get to his […]

heroic priesthood

I have been privileged over the past couple of months to live and study with some of the young priests who feature in a brief new video called “Heroic Priesthood.” Tap on the image below and take ten minutes to watch this encouraging and inspiring clip. In parish ministry I often hear older parishioners make […]

priests & adventure

I’m not sure how I missed this great 2010 Kim Hill interview with Fr. Michael Mahoney, presently Parish Priest of South Westland.  In this inspiring chat Michael reflects on priestly calling, mountaineering & Everest, Brazil, and above all faith in God. All part of the adventure that is life as a priest. Kim Hill Interviews […]

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