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. […]

surprise journey

In the early 1980‘s I lived for six years of formation for priesthood at Holy Cross seminary in Mosgiel. In the late 1990’s when the number of seminarians was relatively low, the seminary was shifted to Ponsonby in Auckland where a new surge of passion for the life of faith has seen significant growth to the extent that […]

i can’t not

Don’t get down when you hear this Sunday’s first reading. Jeremiah is having a bad day. He’s a bit overwhelmed with the negative response he is getting when he passes God’s message to the people. In short, Jeremiah is having a Jeremiad. While we all have bad days, Jeremiah is very specific in his lament […]

be rooted

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning here at sunrise, the bells of the monastery have been ringing calling the monks to prayer, and in a couple of hours we will gather with the community and other retreatants for the Sunday morning monastery Mass. We have a wonderful selection of readings in today’s liturgy. I’m reminded as […]

facing reality

Today I’m at one of the many very beautiful cemeteries of the Hurunui. We the family and friends of one who has died, have gathered here in Waikari to bury him. When we gather for a funeral, we are confronted with the reality of death. The one we have known and loved in life, now […]

seasons & feelings

It was only a few short months ago that I posted some pictures taken at this spot (in the Cheviot Hills Reserve) on the Food For Faith Facebook page. The pictures were of daffodils among the trees here behind me. Well, it’s a very different scene here today. There are Autumn leaves everywhere…

the CROSS road

This evening I plan to be at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament choir and orchestra performance of Bach’s St. John’s Passion. Details below. But before then, at 3.00pm in Hawarden, I will unite with Christians around the world for the solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. This liturgy seems to focus on death, a […]

quakes & butterflies

Here in Canterbury New Zealand these past few years we rarely share our stories without telling of earthquakes. Our stability has been rocked in every way. We had thought that our turn on shaky ground had passed and recovery was underway. But then just after midnight on the morning of November 14 the entire region north through Marlborough to […]

Christ the King

the king, with the crown…of thorns. It’s the last Sunday of the Church year today. In recent weeks the readings of the liturgy have been preparing us for the end times (eschaton) with reminders that there will come a time when all that we can see and touch on earth is no more. Even secular […]

a mother’s tears

I will never know the depth of enduring pain felt by a mother who watches helplessly as her child suffers and dies. As a priest I have buried too many children and young people, and witnessed the torment of the anguished parents. Today’s feast of Our Lady of Sorrows reminds me of the ancient (13th century) […]

feasting the cross

In the early 1980‘s I lived for six years of formation for priesthood at Holy Cross seminary in Mosgiel. In the late 1990’s when the number of seminarians was relatively low, the seminary was shifted to Ponsonby in Auckland where a new surge of passion for the life of faith has seen significant growth to the extent that […]

Good Friday

Some of the most beautiful music ever written is inspired by the suffering and death of Jesus. Perhaps the most beautiful is Mozart’s Ave Verum. You might appreciate a moment savouring the dying face of Jesus while listening to the hymn. The crucifix was designed by Charles Thomas (Christchurch architect).  His choice was to portray […]

this Holy Week

With the celebration of Palm Sunday this weekend we enter the Holy Week journey through suffering and death to the resurrection of Easter morning. In this brief clip I offer a thought on the significance of Holy Week and Easter, and introduce the central liturgies of the week ahead.

hope in suffering

Over the weekend I was a bit preoccupied by the many ways in which those I love, (friends, family and parishioners), suffer. It was yesterday’s first reading from the Old Testament book of Job that got me pondering. Job was a good man and his suffering came about only because of the devil trying to […]

sinking feeling

I’m not sure if you have ever been seasick? I will never forget the time I was so seasick that I would have welcomed death. The journey was in a fishing boat late one night between Chatham and Pitt Islands. I didn’t realise that the crossing would take longer at night, and also that the […]

 
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