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ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020


The official publication of the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton November 2019 - January 2020

Fr Matthew Gibson ordained A month in the life of a missionary Sun shines on new Paeroa classroom Being Maori and being Catholic The religious life features

A fresh voice to faith


ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020

bishop’s message


his morning I went to Mass at Roeselare in Belgium. The Mass was celebrated in Flemish and there was a choir present. During communion Here I am was sung in English. It was nice to be able to join in singing a hymn that is quite evocative as the Church focuses on the Extraordinary Missionary Month under the theme Baptised and Sent - The Church of Christ on mission in the world. Each of us, at the moment of our baptism, received a share in the life of Christ. We became forever beloved sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, filled and sealed with his Spirit. This is the gift of baptism. But there is also a task. We are also given a share in the mission of Jesus - We are called to be living signs of Christ’s presence in the world. We the Church are called to be the Body of Christ that is on mission in the world. We are reminded of this every time we sing Here I am Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord? I have heard You calling in the night. I will go Lord, if You lead me, I will hold Your people in my heart. The call to mission belongs to each one of us. It’s a call that echoes throughout our life as each day the Lord calls us. And we should ask him each day to help us live out our mission. Show me how I can be your hands today Lord. Show me how I can see the needs of others with your eyes and love with your heart. Give me the words so that what I speak may be your words for the life of the world. Baptism, and the life and mission given to us in baptism, are all ordered towards communion, being one with Christ and one with each other. Earlier this week, I visited the Benedictine monastery of Maredsous for the feast day of a forebear, Blessed Columba Marmion. At his tomb there was a book of his quotes and the one opened for the day read, “When we take communion, we need always to be ready to embrace in the same love, Christ AND everything that is united to Him. The measure of the degree to which Christ has given Himself to our souls is that of our own giving of ourselves to our brothers and sisters.” I found it quite a challenging quote but one that sums up Christ’s mission for the world, that we may be one in Him, so completely one that the world will know it is the Father who has sent Him - and who has sent us (cf John 17:21). Receiving Holy Communion is not simply a passive act of devotion. It is a call to mission, to giving oneself after the example of He who gave his life for us.

In this issue... Read Kete Korero online! Bishop’s Message Diocese Hamilton Diocese welcomes newly ordained Fr Matthew Gibson Features A month in the life of a missionary Lujan home for girls Parish News Holy Family Parishes welcome Fr Mark Field Alice Lee farewelled Our Parish tidings Priestly jubilees Miha Maori at the Cathederal Trust Grant a heat pump blessing for Kawerau

2 3 8-9 9 4 4 4 4 5 5

School News Winter sports at Sacred Heart Girls' College 6 Aquinas College games and tournaments 6 Sun shines on St Joseph's new classrooms in Paeroa 7 Set Free celebrates tenth birthday 7 Glee at Grandparents Day event 10 St John present Campion student with grand award 10 Students dig deep to help charity 10 Vital cog retires 10 The Religious Life Being Māori and being Catholic Thirst for knowledge leads Bev to greater understanding and faith Sharing faith with Youcat Filipino community Masses David Wells brings a fresh voice to faith Joshua Retreat ignites the Spirit within Interfaith reps sought

11 12 12 13 13 14 15

Advertorial 16

The mission Jesus shares with us has one weakness that the Mission Impossible TV and movies remind us - “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…” In these challenging times it is easy to walk away from Christ and to live another life. The more this happens the more we become divided and buy into the work of division rather than communion. Can I thank all those who do live their baptismal mission in a myriad of ways. Your faith and works are inspiring to many. And yet, as we know from the last census, many more people are now saying they have no religion.

Kete Korero Magazine Chanel Centre, 51 Grey St, P.O. Box 4353, Hamilton East 3247

I suspect many people are saying no to Church rather than to God. Can I conclude by saying, do not lose heart! In the midst of these revolutionary times where everything seems to be changing, we remember that the Church in Aotearoa New Zealand is born out of the faithful men and women of France who stayed faithful in trying times and who were inflamed by a missionary zeal that brought them to our shores. May we be missionaries after their great example.

Editor: Michael R. Smith, 5 High Street, Rotorua 3010; P.O. Box 6215, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3010 At: 07 349 4107, 0272096861, Website: Facebook: @ketekorero YouTube: Kete Korero

The Kete Korero is an official publication of the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton. Deadline for contributions to the next issue is 14 January 2020

Sponsorship and advertising: David Barrowclough, Chanel Centre 0800 843 233 Fax 07 8567035 or email: Layout: Business Media Services Ltd, 5 High Street, Rotorua 3010 Design: Sandy Thompson, Advocate Print Ltd, 248 Fenton Street, Rotorua 3010. Printing: Beacon Print Ltd, 5 Pohutu Street, Whakatane 3120 ISSN: (print) 2357-2221 & (online) 2357-223X Member of the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) and Australasian Catholic Press Association (ACPA) Cover Photos (Top) A month in the life of a missionary, (Below from left) Winter sports at Aquinas College, Matthew Gibson's First Mass, Henare Walmsley and (Bottom right) David Wells.

ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020


diocese Hamilton Diocese welcomes newly ordained Fr Matthew Gibson

Left: The Laying on of Hands; Above: Matthew Gibson's first Mass; Below: Anointing of Hands.


Church might see it, some dusty unintelligible ritual of empty pomp and shallow platitudes. The ordination was a very real and simple declaration that here, today, a man was humbly offering himself to God in a particular way.

A palpable sense of joy and peace filled the Hamilton Cathedral church, a recognition that this was not, as some both in and out of the

The person of God The congregation knew the Church was taking that offering, after having carefully discerned it, and asking for God’s blessing on it. Then, through the Bishop of this place, in union with all the bishops and the Pope, carrying out in faith specific actions and words, in co-operation with the movement of the Holy Spirit, to enable that man to act in the person of Christ. The beauty of the music at the ordination, provided by the Cathedral Choir and Auckland’s Sursum Corda, spoke of the beauty and richness of our faith. Bishop Steve Lowe’s homily at the ordination highlighted Matthew Gibson’s care for people, his humility and his love of prayer.

Sam Harris he Diocese of Hamilton has a new priest: thanks be to God! Matthew Gibson was ordained in the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 31 August, in a moving and beautiful Mass. Fr Matthew then said his first Mass at St Peter Chanel the next day. Occasions like these are an outward sign of the faith, hope, and joy that Catholics bear in their hearts: • faith that God is steadfast in his promises to give the Church what she needs, chief among those needs the sacraments; • hope that a culture of life can continue to exist and flourish in the midst of a culture of death, and: • joy experienced in the community of believers and in appreciation of beauty.

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Fr Danny Fraser-Jones, preaching at the First Mass the following day, spoke boldly and clearly of the priest’s unique role in the Church. Let’s continue to pray for our bishop and our priests, particularly Fr Matthew Gibson. Pray that they will be men of prayer, charity and humility as they live out their call to guide and aid us laity in living out our own call to live the Gospel in our daily lives and preach it in our workplaces and homes.

M A K I N G O R U P D A T I N G Y O U R W I L L ? A Gift in Your Will is a Testament to Your Commitment to the Ministry of Jesus

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ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020

parish news Holy Family Parishes Our Parish tidings welcome Fr Mark Field

Father Thomas Thanniyanickal, parochial vicar (left) with the new Holy Family Parish priest Fr Mark Field at the welcome. The Parishes of the Holy Family formally welcomed Fr Mark Field as parish priest on 15 September with a Mass followed by luncheon in the Catholic Hall, Te Aroha. Fr Mark had formerly served as parish priest in Rotorua and Tauranga. As Parish Priest, Fr Mark now joins Fr Thomas Thanniyanickal, parochial vicar, as the pastoral leaders for the parish. Fr Mark was born in Hamilton in 1960 and was educated by the Mission Sisters and Marist Brothers in that city. A former Marist brother and teacher Fr Mark, responding to the inner call to the priesthood, entered the seminary and was ordained in 2008. Among his many interests are history, Te Reo, lead lighting, cycling and walking. Fr Mark walked the Camino, in northern Spain in early 2019. In his welcome speech at the Sunday Mass, Fr Thomas lauded Fr Mark as a man with a deep pastor’s heart, with a special charism for the pastoral care of children and youth. As parishioners of the Holy Family we indeed affirm the words of Fr Thomas and offer him our full support and co-operation! Haere Fr Mark! Haere! Let us rejoice and be glad! Michael Barker

Photo taken after a celebration Mass for the Feast day of St Vincent de Paul on Friday, 27 September. Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Dip your feet into the River Jordan, walk the Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem, visit the spot where Jesus was born and swim in the Sea of Galilee. Our 21 day pilgrimage leaves on 28 December next year (2020). Your host will be Shelly Fitness, principal of St Patrick's School and our chaplain is Father Mark Field. Email: for more. Family Weekend 2019 Registrations are open for the Family Weekend 2019. This year, the event will be on 15-17 November at Mt Maunganui - We invite you to step away from the challenges of life and experience the freedom, joy, and unity, of family life re-focused on Christ. Big families, small families, single parent families, all welcome! Featuring Keynote speakers Bob & Lisa Perron and Paulo and Malu Garcia. Giving back programme All Saints by the Sea Mount Maunganui has a programme where, if you are able to provide a meal or two, parishioners can take a plastic container/s from the STM Church foyer (in basket), date and label what the contents are and return to the freezer in the library area. They are reminded they must please use the containers provided – please do not re-use and do not supply your own. "Thank you for your support."

Rush family and friends gathered at St Joseph's Catholic Church, Waihi for the Christening by Rev Fr Aidan Mulholland of a new member of the extended family. Pictured are: Dan Bodle (sponsor), Eugene Rush (Father), Emily Rush (Mother) with newly Christened baby Rupert Ambrose, and Annaleah Rush/Bodle (sponsor). HELP HELP HELP Saint Vincent De Paul, Tauranga, Opportunity Shop, Cameron Road need more volunteers to help in the shop undertaking tasks such as sorting incoming donations, preparing and pricing goods for resale and working in the shop itself on the counter and assisting customers. The Society’s Opportunity Shops are the main way in which the resources needed to help the needy in our community are raised. We need more people to work in this mission, an hour or two a week to help us help others. In addition, used furniture and whiteware are required. If you have surplus good used appliances or furniture please consider donating to Saint Vincent’s. We pick up! If you can help please call Lorna on 07 578 3814.

Priestly Jubilees Celebrations were held on 18 September for the priests of the Diocese who have Jubilees of Ordination this year. Father Thomas’ 25 years acknowledged, along with the following: Sixty-five years: Monsignor Des McCarthy and Father Graeme Alexander, and Sixty years: Monsignor Michael Browne and Father Frank O’Regan


Become an advertiser and reach readers across the diocese and beyond. Contact: David 0800 843-233

ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020


parish news

Trust grant a heat pump blessing for Kawerau

Miha Maori at The Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary Bev Simpkins Miha Maori which was prepared by the Sacred Hearts Girls' College was held at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Hamilton on Sunday 15 September 2019. The Miha Maori celebrant was Bishop Steve who was ably assisted by Deacon Ben Pomare. An important aspect of the Miha was the participation by the rangatahi of the diocese, namely the Sacred Hearts Girls' College, St John College and John Paul College students. They proclaimed the day’s two readings and the psalm, and then the prayers of the faithful which were all articulated in te reo Maori. “Wairua Tapu” was the himene which accompanied the procession of the Gospel which was then proudly proclaimed by Deacon Ben Pomare in te reo Maori. This long and inspiring Gospel reading was followed by a very profound and descriptive homily by Bishop Steve. Some of the students then assisted with the distribution of Holy Communion to members of the congregation. The remaining students harmoniously sang three himene with the accompaniment of three proficient guitarists and the congregation during the communion. The final rousing himene was “Aue te aroha I ahau” sung by all and some even put the actions to this himene. These rangatahi are our precious taonga of the future who will confidently continue to lead/join us in the Miha Maori. What an amazing finale to Te Wiki O Te Reo Maori.


All good to go, members of the St Gerard's Kawerau project team with an Eastern Bay Energy Trust representative: L-R Judy Gebert, Bernie Gebert, Edwina O'Brien (EBET rep) Roswitha Leitner and Chris Reynolds. he St Gerard’s Catholic Church Kawerau community was very blessed to receive a grant of $15,249 excluding GST in order to replace our five old heat pumps. The money went towards replacing four in the church and one in the small, attached hall. We began our application process in August 2018, quite a lengthy process as it turned out. We firstly had to get permission from East Bay Energy Trust to apply again as they also paid for our old units about 14 years ago. The next stage was to get three quotes, which seemed to take quite a while. Having done that, we then also needed some details of our charitable status. Greg Schmidt


from the Diocese was most helpful with this information. Part of our process was also tied up with a change in the Parish Priest for the Whakatane parish. So, with the eventual permissions to go ahead with the project, we applied to East Bay Energy Trust for the funding. We were so thankful our application gained approval and our new Mitsubishi heat pumps/ air conditioners were installed in May 2019 by JDC Refrigeration services, a local firm, just in time for use in the cold winter months. The team from East Bay Energy Trust came to inspect and sign off our project on 9 July. Judy Gebert, Sec for St Gerard's PPC

Alice Lee farewelled

engagement, they were married in St Patrick’s Church in Putaruru by Rev Father McDonald on 10 October 1959. They moved straight into their own home which they had gained three months earlier with a government loan. This was the beginning a journey together that lasted just short of 60 years. While John worked, Alice supported their three children – Steven, Jeannette and Michele. They planned to travel as much as they could, and thoroughly enjoyed their trips overseas. They also covered the North and South Islands in their motor home during the past 12 years, loving every hour they spent together. Alice suffered a series of health issues from 1987 but was determined to live a full and active life. Alice and John were blessed with five grandchildren and four-and-three-quarter great-grandchildren. Together they shared their responsibilities, joined their kids in their activities and travelled on many paths together. John looked after Alice in every way that he could. His purpose was to show her that she was loved.

Alice Lee (17/7/1937 – 6/9/2019) Alice Teresia Lee (Nee: Mathis) was born on 17 July 1937 in Putaruru. She finished her schooling at Sacred Heart Girls' College in Hamilton at 15 years of age and went to work alongside her brother, Johnny Mathis, milking cows for Adolf Mathis Snr, their dad. Alice then moved to a position of legal secretary for Hamson-BellLockhead. This is where John Lee, working at Spears Garage, spied this beauty doing many walk-bys to the courthouse. In 1957, after asking permission to accompany Alice home after a dance at St Pats hall, John courted Alice for 12 months. After a 12-month

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ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020

school news Winter sports at Sacred Heart Girls' College Mark McAlley - Director of Sport Development t’s been another busy year of sport at Sacred Heart Girls’ College and with it drawing to a close, there is much to be reflective and proud of. Over 50 more students are involved in sport this year, with the increase in participation coming from the introduction of new sports such as 8-Ball Pool, Futsal, Table Tennis and Cheerleading, supported by increased numbers in our current sports. The involvement of students in extracurricular activities is very important and this plays a critical part in the holistic development of the individual. Our continued focus is on increasing participation and seeing our girls enjoying and getting the most out of their sporting experience while they are here. Our students are proud to represent our College in sport and to further build our identity as a Catholic community. Fourteen months into my role as Director of Sport Development, I am pleased with the overall progress we are making. Through my daily convivial conversations with our young athletes


and the excitement I can hear in their voices as they recall a sporting moment from the weekend tells me everything I need to know, that we as a school are heading in the right direction. My team and I are committed to ensuring each and

every student enjoys their sport whilst attending Sacred Heart. The addition of Paul Stokes to the Sports Department this year has certainly increased the ‘man-power’ to provide more sporting opportunities for our students. Along with Kylee Corboy, they are both working extremely hard to ensure those opportunities are ones of fulfilment. Sacred Heart has had success across a number of sporting codes including the 1st XI Football winning the Waikato Secondary Schools Knockout Competition, 1st XI Cricket Team making the Waikato Secondary School Girls final in Term 1, the Rowing programme winning silver at Maadi Cup and a gold, silver and bronze at the North Island Rowing Championships. In addition, a number of individual athletes are representing New Zealand in their chosen sports. The question I pose you to ponder is, “are we better to have success in one or two sports or are we better having as many of our students involved in regular sport, keeping active, developing social skills and lifelong healthy habits for future years to come?”

Aquinas College games and tournaments Caitlin Tarr - Sports Coordinator AIMS GAMES (Year 7/8 students) What a brilliant week it was in the Bay of Plenty for the AIMS GAMES. Aquinas had 120 keen kids competing and representing the college with pride across 18 Teams. A special congratulations must go to our medal winners! • Holly van den Borst - Gold in Rhythmic Gymnastics • Kieran Death - Gold in Rock Climbing • Ashton Matuku - Silver in AWD Table Tennis • Isla Wills - Silver in Open Trampoline • Eliana Hulsebosch - Silver in Mountain Biking • Ella Hill - Silver in Squash We all started the week with early morning rises, to get to our games on time and determined to do our personal best. We all had the best time meeting others and getting closer to our team. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone making it possible. We could have never been able to do it without all the organisation or the teams. Well done to everyone who participated. Winter Tournament Week Aquinas was well represented during Winter Tournament Week this year with Basketball, Football, Hockey and Netball teams traveling to Auckland, Rotorua, Hamilton and Whanganui. Basketball - Junior Girls and Boys Aquinas College basketball was well represented in the recent junior regional championships held in Rotorua during tournament week. After 4 days of competition the girls finished seventh with an epic win over our local rivals Tauranga Girls by just two points when we had been down the entire match.  This was a great

fight back by the girls and coach Mike Rogers was suitably impressed with that performance. The boys team who had a couple of early losses in the tournament did not let this dampen their spirits, in fact they played their strongest basketball on the final two days of competition to finish ninth place.  Basketball - Senior Boys The Aquinas College Senior A boys basketball team recently played in the Schick Northern Cup which was held at the North Shore Events Centre over 5-7 September. The team had been hit hard by injuries leading up to the tournament and this gave the younger members of the team a great opportunity to stand up and take on more responsibility on the court. Football Girls With a large number of new and young players for this year, our trip to the Maurice Hulme Winter Tournament Week, in Rotorua, was looming as a bit more of a challenge than previous years. We were drawn in the ‘pool of death’ which included two strong Auckland schools, a stronger Hamilton school, a not so strong Northland school and one comparable school from Palmerston North. While it was not the most successful week of football, it was a great experience for our young squad and one they can hopefully learn from, in readiness for next year. Thank you Chris Phayer for your awesome coaching! Football - Boys The Boys all headed down to Whanganui to play in the Trident Tournament. It was a tough start to the week with a couple of injuries and illnesses facing the team. From the fifth round the remained undefeated when all team players were available to take the field. This included beating a local Prem team Katikati 1-0 – one of our best games played this season.

Thank you to Tony Eberlein and Andrew Berntsen for taking the lads away for the week. Netball The Netball Girls headed up to the North Shore in Auckland for their UNISS experience this year. Heading into the Tournament we had a strong team made up of eight Year 13 and three Year 12 Students. The girls all had a great time together, celebrating the final year of Netball before the vast majority head out of school next year. A special thank you to Theresa Price and Mary Patel, you were a wonderful Coaching and Managing duo. Hockey Girls On Monday of tournament week, the girls fought a hard game against Rotorua Girls, unfortunately they didn’t come home with a win. This only made them more motivated to do better. Hockey Boys The Aquinas College First XI Hockey boys team travelled to Rotorua to compete in the Woolaston Trophy. The team was hit hard by an injury to a key player, days out from tournament. A narrow loss to Gisborne Boys’ High School in the final pool match refocused the boys before the quarterfinal match with Cambridge High School. The boys fought well but couldn’t quite put their opportunities away and came away from that match with a narrow 1-0 loss. This meant that they could only playoff for fifth – eighth place. With only a few players leaving next year, this was a good opportunity to give the younger boys some experience and develop the team for next season. This valuable experience will bode well for the boys next season, and the future of hockey here at Aquinas College is exciting.

ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020


school news Sun shines on St Joseph's new classrooms in Paeroa Catherine Swney, Principal. t Joseph’s Catholic School in Paeroa were proud to host Bishop Steve Lowe and Father Thomas Thanniyanickal at the opening of the refurbished classrooms on 28 August. The school was very lucky as the sun came out for the first time in weeks, which made the afternoon much more pleasant for everyone. The about 50 parents and parishioners at the event were welcomed at the school with a Whakatau, formal welcome. The formal part of the proceedings started with the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Darren van de Wetering, welcoming everybody and thanking all the people who had contributed to the renovation. He commented how wonderful this new space would be for children’s learning. The Principal, Catherine Swney, also thanked all those involved and also mentioned that a school is not just buildings, because at its heart are the children and their whanau who bring the school to life. One of the students, Matthew Simpson, also spoke about some of his memories as a five-year-old just


Model of first classroom and the church. Classroom opened in March 1900. Bishop Steve talking to the students.

The celebratory cake Refurbished classrooms starting at the school, his journey through the school and reviewed some of his favourite aspects of the new classrooms. He especially liked the corner full length windows which look down onto the playground. After the blessing by Bishop Steve, there was some beautiful singing by the children and a stirring haka by the boys which completed

the formal part of the proceedings. We then had the cutting of the cake by Matthew Simpson, being the student who has been at St Joseph’s the longest, and Elsie Weir Kaifa, the newest student at the school. This was followed by afternoon tea for the adults and ice blocks for the children!

Boys performing a rousing the haka.

Set Free celebrates tenth birthday By Esme O’Rafferty The Set Free Youth Festival celebrated its tenth year in style this year, with 75 youth in attendance, and 50 young adult volunteers from all over New Zealand. The festival, held over the weekend of 20th22nd September at Finlay Park in Cambridge, included keynote speakers Emma Fradd, Bishop Steve Lowe, Jil Miller and Aquinas College alumnus Sam Brebner. Youth came from all over the Diocese of Hamilton and as far away as Christchurch and Whangaparaoa on Auckland’s North Shore to be part of the celebrations. Emma Fradd opened the festival with her keynote session “All In”, encouraging the youth to fully embrace their faith. The second day started with Mass at 8am, celebrated by Bishop Steve, with the morning taken up with workshops led by Emma Fradd and Julieta Cruz on “Renewal of the Mind” and the “Catholic Guide to Mental Health”, which were both popular with the youth. Before lunch Bishop Steve gave the second keynote session, about the forgiveness of sins, which led into the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After lunch was the highlight of the weekend – free time – with the youth going off in groups to kayak on the river, play cage soccer, or catch a boat across to the island to play Animal Survival. It was interesting watching the youth jump into the water one after another, even after hearing the ones before them complain about the cold!

In the evening, Jil Miller opened up the evening with a third keynote on “God’s One Word” and Fr Prakash of All Saints by the Sea Parish led Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament immediately following. He then joined in the praise and worship session afterwards, getting up on stage to dance! On the third day was Sam Brebner’s keynote session on relationships and their importance in our lives, with Mass celebrated by Fr Prakash before the youth went home. The youth said Set Free was a great way to come closer to their faith and build relationships with Jesus and the Church. Ella Watson (Sacred Heart Girls' College) and Orlando Pedraza (Campion College) had both been to Set Free three times, and had come away every time feeling something more than when they arrived. “It’s a great way to build a closer relationship with God,” said Ella. “Every time I’ve come away from Set Free, I always have such a high on Jesus.” “I get given a new sense of hope and drive . . . to face challenges head on,” she said. Orlando said youth should go to Set Free because it was a great way to meet other young people who might be in similar situations in their faith life. “It’s great [for] making new connections, making new bonds with people you might otherwise never have met,” he said. He said that Set Free had made him more

confident and open in his faith. “It’s really made me more comfortable with being myself.” He said that being at Set Free had helped him to experience God differently as well. “At Adoration, when Fr Prakash walked past and you looked into the monstrance . . . it’s a different experience. I don’t really get that feeling from anything else . . . I’m not one to cry, but I was just chilling and all of a sudden I was crying,” he said. Special thanks to the generous people of St Mary of the Cross, Rotorua, and all of our sponsors including PK Sound Ltd, for their generous donation of sound equipment.


ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020

feature A month in the life of a missionary Readers of Kete Korero will recall the article in the August-October 2018 edition about the journey Leonie Riddick to becoming the missionary nun, Sister Maria Mater Boni Remedii Riddick (Sr Remedii). Born in Waipukurau, the now Sr Remedii grew up and received her education in

Sister Maria Mater Boni Remedii Riddick In 2014 I finished my formation and was given my mission: to serve the Church in the Diocese of Vanimo, in Papua New Guinea. Other than my love of travelling to places nobody else wants to go to, I am a fairly regular Kiwi. But God calls whomever he wants and so here I am in PNG. We currently have six sisters here. Our apostolates (the tasks set for them by the order) include the following: • Running the pastoral centre (training catechists and prayer leaders, running retreats, and producing catechetical material etc.); • a medical apostolate in the Diocese Health Services; apostolate in a local school; • we have a long-term refuge home for girls who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, threatened with forced marriage etc.- think of it as an orphanage crossed with women’s refuge; • we have begun a music programme, with the intention of creating an orchestra; • we work in a few parishes; and, • we have young sisters who are beginning their formation. I think it is fair to say that life is busy! We celebrated an extraordinary month of missions in September 2019, so I have shared with you what a month (and a bit) of missionary life looks like:

Tauranga and Whakatane. She studied medicine at Otago University in both Dunedin and Wellington, and then returned to Whakatane to work for 18 monthsbefore entering religious life with the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara. Following her perpetual vows on

May 2018, Sr Remedii returned to Papua New Guinea to continue her work as a missionary. Sr Remedii recounts a month in her life as a missionary in the story below. (See Kete Korero August - October 2018 for more details on her life.)

Left and above: Sr Remedii travels the Sepik river by canoe and can be away for two-three weeks. Road transport is not necessarily easier. Below,: Although impressed by how wide the mud road is, she is not surprised at the mud. The two ladies with her in this picture work for Callan Services which is the organisation that she works with. They were doing a combined Outreach.

The convent has a ute (above) and there are always people travelling in the back. This picture shows them in town doing their shopping. It's okay in fine weather but not nice in the rain and the vehicle is old and breaking down. Below: In one week, she went from canoe to helicopter, which are uncommon.

14 September: We celebrate a feast for our institute, the exaltation of the Cross. We are having a Mass and a shared meal with the other priests and religious of the diocese, with some of the laity who are our friends, benefactors and the third order. The third order is made up of the laypeople who participate with us in our missions and share the charism of our order. 15 September: One of our sisters leaves us for a new mission. She has served 6 years in PNG as the superior of the Lujan Home for girls. She has been ‘mother’ to about 50 children and youth. She has dealt with girls who have major psychological baggage, some with major medical problems, dysfunctional families, the daily struggle to pay the bills and provide them with food etc. She has given catechism, changed nappies, gone to parent-teacher interviews, helped with schoolwork, played soccer, and more than anything, she has loved and taught the girls to love. She leaves PNG to go to Guyana; there she will be working in a parish. A beautiful example of docility to God’s will. 16 September: PNG Independence Day! If there are boats, I will travel with another sister to Leitre. I previously had my boat sink there, so I was glad I grew up in the BOP: I lost my veil, but made it to shore unharmed, and in much better condition than anybody else. But I don’t want to tempt God so that I will make good use of my new lifejacket.

17 September-20 September: Medical clinic in Leitre. I am a medical doctor and the only one in the province who does regular outreaches. In outreaches, you expect the unexpected: 20 patients or 200, TB, bone infections, pufferfish poisoning, and who knows what else. I will be staying in an old convent, keeping a machete and broom nearby- we had both snakes and rats in the house during our previous stay. 21 September: Music classes back in Vanimo. We have a budding orchestra, and I am teaching violin while the director is away- 18 months ago nobody in Vanimo had seen a violin, now we have 14 violinists, and more to come! 22 September and every Sunday - I’m home: Mass in the local parish and taking communion to the sick. If anybody is in need, we arrange for him or her to confess or be anointed, and we accompany them and prepare them for death. 23 September 23-19 October: “Normal” apostolate in the local medical clinic and catching up on paperwork. This is one of the longest periods I’ve had at home for a few months. 25 September: Our volunteer orchestra director arrives from Venezuela. He has been with “el Systema” for years and is helping us to set it up in Vanimo. He came last year for three months and now he is arriving for an 18-month stay. It is a big sacrifice to leave his wife and daughter for so long.

ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020



Lujan Home for Girls

These are all examples of bush clinics. Top left and right: When Sr Remedii gets wherever she is going she sets up an area to work, either in a small one room house or underneath a house – which is a normal place to socialise. Privacy and confidentiality don’t have quite the

same meaning as they do in New Zealand. It’s a big event for the village and the whole village wants to get into the photos. Above Time to take a break even just to have a drink can be hard to come by, hence the large coconut which she is drinking while working.

27 September: Priests start to arrive from the bush for their annual retreat. This is a chance to catch up with them and on the situation of some of my patients and friends in the bush. 28 September: Planning meeting for the Orchestra/Music team 29 September: Confirmations in the Parish with the Bishop 1 October: The opening of the extraordinary mission month at the Cathedral, also the feast day of two of the communities in the diocese (i.e. party!) The first week of October: Two new sisters of our Institute arrive. One will be in my community- her apostolate will be in a school. The other will be at the Lujan Home for Girls no more quiet prayer time for her! 21 October: back to the bush. We will travel by

canoe with the Bishop and the priests returning from their retreat. We will spend a week in each parish of the 2 parishes: cooking over open fires, sleeping on the side of the river or in bush huts, and doing our best to ward off the malariacarrying mosquitoes. I will be eagerly looking for crocodiles, and one of the priests will be more eagerly hunting lizards and birds while on the canoe. He usually misses, but occasionally we get a nice meal out of it. On our trip earlier this year, the canoe cracked right down the middle, just after seeing a large crocodile. For the next hour or so we had to bail out water with our jandals and hold the sides together when we went over shallow rocky areas. Once we got to deeper water it held itself together. I love these two parishes, the silence of the canoe, the beauty of the rainforest, the interesting medical cases, the fervor of the parishioners, the simplicity and

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The sisters are very aware of how important it is for the girls to maintain close ties with their culture. As well as celebrating local events in an appropriate manner, all girls have contact with local families and join them for holidays. The girls have a story about why they are living in the home and occasionally some individual attention is needed to assess psychological health. One on one English language sessions are also helpful. In the dry session, the Girls Home can run out of water. This means a trip to the river for laundry and washing. Its hard work but everyone rather enjoys it. faith of the parish priests, and their genuine love for their parishioners. The mission is constantly changing, constantly adjusting to new and unforeseen circumstances. You learn to accept everything as coming from God's hand, both the good and the seemingly bad. You learn to say yes, even when you don’t know how you will do what is asked of you. You trust that God's strength is truly made manifest in our weakness. And we learn that if God wants something to happen, it will happen, and if not, then it will fail, to Him be the glory forever and ever.

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ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020

school news Glee at Grandparents Day event

Students dig in to help charity


Family and pupils look on as Grandparents and VIPs gather at the front of the church.


randparents and VIPs were welcomed to St Joseph’s Catholic School Morrinsville on the 28 August to celebrate our students’ learning. The day started with a Mass which found our parish overflowing with parishioners, grandparents, VIPs, parents, visitors, staff and students. Father Thomas Thanniyanickal led the Mass, supported by the Director of Religious Studies Lee White and staff from St Joseph’s School. The warmth and bond seen between the students and their grandparents was incredible. After Mass, gifts of handmade bookmarks “Celebrating one of God’s most remarkable creations”

were presented from the students to their grandparents or VIPs. Following the Mass, the guests were welcomed to morning tea hosted by the school and was held in the school hall. Our Glee (choir) group performed a range of songs and this was followed up by a whole school Jump Jam demonstration.

uring the yearly Service Day at Aquinas College, a group of students were tasked with tidying up and weeding the school's greenhouse and garden. A discussion arose about the wonderful resource these facilities are and how they could be used in a more beneficial way for the community. After some further thought and debate, it was decided that we would grow vegetables from seed and donate them to a local charity. Under the Stars, a charity which provides food to the homeless, was chosen to receive the vegetables. The first donation in August was about 30 radishes and a bag of

spinach and silverbeet. The second donation in September was about 15 broccoli heads and a large bag of silverbeet and spinach. It is rewarding, indeed, for Aquinas students to be able to, not only see the fruits of their labour, but also to truly reflect the teachings of Jesus through service. Our intention is to continue to integrate this initiative into the Year 10 Science program which involves plant propagation and has cross curricular links to the Year 10 Religious Education program. Thanks to one of the groundsmen, Gary, for his immense help. Mat Synge, Teacher of Science

Guests were welcome to join their students in the classrooms for activities including making poems, reading, story writing, coding, and kahoot quizzes, etc. Overall it was a very successful day, once again enjoyed by all at St Joseph’s Catholic School Morrinsville. Lee White - Director Religious Studies

of Aquinas College students with teacher Mat Synge in the garden.

St John presents Campion student with 'grand' award


ongratulations to Campion College student Samantha Renshaw who received the St John’s Grand Prior Award in a ceremony at Government House in Wellington in August. The award was presented by Dr Steve Evans, KStJ, the St John Chancellor. Established in 1931, the Grand Prior Award is one of the highest awards for St John cadets, and is considered so important that it is the only badge which may be transferred to the St John’s adult uniform. The presentation was followed by an address

from Her Excellency The Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM QSO DStJ. Governor General of New Zealand. Samantha and the other recipients were then invited to morning tea with the Governor General. This award is the culmination of 7 years hard work, which has given Samantha a passion to pursue a career in medicine. In the picture right, Samantha is receiving the St John's Grand Prior Award from Dr Steve Evans KStJ, the St John Chancellor.

'Vital cog' retires

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The long-serving staff member, Celia Jowsey, has said farewell to St John’s College in Hamilton. Celia came to St John’s College in 1993 to take on the role of Financial Officer. In 2000, Celia then took on the role of Personal Assistant (PA) to the Principal. At that time the Principal was Peter Goddard. Since then Celia has served three more Principals, and four Acting Principals. Celia has been a vital cog in the wheel of St John’s College, and it is without a doubt that all those Principals have found her to be indispensable.

Her skills at organisation, planning, keeping untold schedules, paperwork, pay details and the list goes on, have ensured that the principal of the time has been able to focus on their core business: the daily running of the college. Celia will be sorely missed for her knowledge, absolute discretion, sage advice, patience, calmness, preparedness to go the extra mile and her willingness to learn new things and develop new skills. Celia is replaced by college's school receptionist, Mrs Kaye Tanner-Jones.

ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020


the religious life

Being Māori and being Catholic This article was part of a longer feature on Henare Walmsley’s work in Karere Katorika (August 2019) published by the Māori Pastoral Care Team of Archdiocese of Wellington. The interview was recorded by: Mynetta Erueti, Kaiawhina Maori, Te Ohu Kaimanaaki Henare Walmsley o be Māori gives me a sense of belonging through whānau, hapū and iwi relationships. Having people of like-mind and action pervades pride amongst each other but still allowing a person to grow within themselves. Being Māori is being steeped in tradition which has been handed down from generation-to-generation. Being Katorika (Catholic) provides a sense of belonging outside the realm of Māoridom and allows us to see other traditions (spiritual and culturally) around the world. We take our blessings of being Māori and Catholic by sharing the same spiritual idioms while understanding the differences between each other. The more we learn about others, the more we learn about ourselves.


'Brown Joes' and Parish Priests I remember being pulled out of bed by the “Brown Joe” nuns (Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart) who use to walk around the village at Whakarewarewa in Rotorua gathering up all the whānau to go to Māori miha on Sundays. The small Sacred Heart of Our Lady Church was directly opposite our whare so there wasn’t any escape from going to church. Fr Daniel McKenna (an Irish priest of the Mill Hill order) had a habit of knocking over one of the building pillars every time he drove his car up to the church. Fr Anton Timmerman (also a Mill Hill father and Dutch in later years conducted Māori miha in a rather expletive version of te reo Māori but still got the message across. I guess being Māori and Katorika was just taken for granted in our large family in “Whaka” village during the seventies and eighties. Previously I lived with my kuia as a small child and then attended Whakarewarewa Māori Primary School in those formative years, so I was lucky to spend many years with lots of siblings, cousins and extended whānau. I remember running between the Catholic Church at the top of the village to the bottom of the village where Te Arawa Anglican Church was located. As kids we would

Sacred Heart of Mary Church Whakarewarewa 2019 compare the after-mass kai and take our blessings full (under the blessings of our koroua and kuia of course). Gone are the days of the Josephite Sisters and the Mill Hill priests and the village has reverted to over-commercialisation through the tourist trade. Changing times Gone are the days that tourists would gather at the door of the church and take pictures of us as we went up for communion. But there have been new Māori Deacons appointed to the rohe, I hear, so with the changing of the guard we may see our little humble church at the top of the hill revived – a sign of hope perhaps. It has been a while since I have been back to Rotorua (I am living in Wellington now) but my Nan’s spirit together with mum and dad’s wairua is ever-present at the whare on top of the hill. Influences My brother Keith and I attended Hāto Paora Māori Boys College in Feilding during the 1970’s. We were quite privileged really to be attending the college. Mum and dad, along with eight other siblings, were living in the small whare at Whakarewarewa. Fees at the college were expensive and a great burden on our parents, however we managed to survive – not too sure how but by the grace of God it seems. The Marist priests were hugely influential on us at that time. I can’t thank them enough. Some of them are good friends these days like Pā David Gledhill, while some others

Wharenui Te Awa i Manukau

Whare renovations 2019 have gone to our maker. Kuia and koro, uncles and aunties, and parents were centred around Catholic faith. Some of my ancestors walked out of the darkness when Tarawera erupted in 1886 covering sky and earth with volcanic ash.

They prayed the rosary as they were blinded by the burning landscape while making their way to safety. Many settled with whanau in the Whakarewarewa village and were very religious but very aware of their cultural heritage and traditions.


ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020

the religious life Thirst for knowledge leads Bev to greater understanding and faith Bev Simpkins Introduction: Ko Te Arawa toku Waka, Ko Tongaririo toku Maunga, Ko Tuwharetoa toku Iwi, ko Ngati Hinemihi toku hapu, ko kauriki toku marae, ko punga punga toku awa, ko Taupo nui a tia toku roto, ko Beverley Anne Atiria Simpkins ahau. My Journey: I converted to the Catholic religion when I married my husband whose family were devout Catholics. At a later date I chose to be confirmed into the Catholic Church. My children were brought up as Catholic and attended a Catholic school. My strongest desire was for my grandchildren to be part of this wonderful faith, so I decided I needed to lead by example. When I saw these courses advertised in our newsletter, by The Catholic Institute (TCI) I decided I needed to learn all I could, so that any Catholic questions directed to me by these inquisitive little minds could be answered competently and with Bev Simpkins with Diploma in Religious Teaching at St Michael's Rotorua. confidence. As I completed each paper, my thirst for more Te Haerenga: knowledge grew stronger and my understanding I huri āhau hei Katorika,ngā te mea, te whanau of the scriptures and the faith increased. ō tāku tane he tino katorika tuturu. I te wa I When I attended mass the readings and the huri ai ahau hei katorika whaka iriiri hia āhau Gospel took on a new and fulfilling meaning, ki te wairua tapu. which I continue to share with friends and I tipu ake āku tamariki i roto I te hahi katorifamily. Two pilgrimages to the Holy Land with ka, a I haere rātou ki ngā kura katorika. Ko tāku existing friends and newly acquired friends were tino hiahia kia tipu ake aku mokopuna I roto I led by two different Hamilton Catholic Bishops. te hahi katorika. Ka whakaaro ahau me noho The Readings and the Gospels took on a much pai āhau I roto I tōku hahi katorika hei tauira more realistic and meaningful understanding mō rātou. of the Bible. To actually have been present in I kitea e āhau ngā pānui a Te Pūtahi Katorithe places mentioned in the Bible and reflect on ka ki Aotearoa (TCI) I roto I reta korero a hato what happened in those specific areas was just Meiri Makapiripi. I te kimi rātou he tauira ki awe inspiring. te ako I ngā tikinga me ngā karaipiture o te I feel very privileged to have had the whakapono katorika. opportunity to learn about the scriptures and Ka whakaaro āhau ko tēnei te wā mōku ki te Catholicism through the teachings by these whakapiki ake I tōku matauranga I roto I tōku very skilled and competent distance tutors who hahi, kia tika ai tāku whakautu ki ngā patai ka come with a wealth of knowledge. I owe my homai ki āhau, mō tōku hahi. achievement of a Diploma in Religious Teaching I te mutunga o ia pepa akonga ka piki haere in Pastoral Ministry to these highly qualified, āku mohiotanga mō ngā kupu o te paipera, me academic and learned people who absolutely ngā karaipiture, me ngā tuhituhi tapu. Ka nui walk the talk. Nga Mihinui Kia koutou katoa. āke tāku whakapono.


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I waimaria āhau e rua āku haerenga ki tāwahi, “Ki Te Whenua Tapu” I haere āhau I te taha o ngā Pihopa o kirikriroa. I konei ka ora mai ngā tangata, ngā wāhi, ngā pānui I roto I te paipera, me ngā karaipiture. I haere mātou ki te kite I ngā wāhi, I ngā tāone, I ngā whare karakia I korero tia ai, I pānui tia I roto i te paipera. He tino whakamiharo āhau ki a rātou, āku kai ako ,mō ngā akonga o ngā kairapiture me ngā tikanga o tōku hāhi. Ngā rātou kua riro mai i āhau tōku tiwhekete mā te ako te whakapono, I roto te minita Pahihi no reina ka nui āku mihi atu ki a rātou.

Sharing faith with Youcat


hen talking to children about the Catholic faith, parents and caregivers are often left scrambling to know how best to share their knowledge. Youcat for Kids – Catholic Catechism for children and parents is a book designed to help resolve this dilemma. Published by Freedom Publishing, the Australasian edition is available in New Zealand through Pleroma Christian Supplies. Described as an exciting new Catechism to help children (ages 8-13) and parents to discover their Catholic faith together. “Where do I start?’ is a question most likely asked by those bringing children to a greater understanding of key elements of faith. The book is attractively laid out in stages, exploring elements that might otherwise be considered too big: Creation, the Creed, the Sacraments, the Ten Commandments, Prayer and the Life of Jesus. Each section starts with a specific question and an illustration providing a cue to a conversation with children. Two cheeky kids help with discovering meanings at the same time as providing laughs. The book can be closed to enable a wideranging conversation, allowing children the opportunity to provide their own understanding and answers. Acknowledging grown-ups don’t necessarily have all the answers, the book is designed to help them to also go on the journey towards knowledge with their children. In an age when we are discovering the challenge of the mystery of faith, readers are reminded that the answers to questions may not necessarily fully agree with the Church. As the adults and children move from one topic to another, they find answers to some questions unveiled in later sections.

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ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020


the religious life Filipino community Masses

David Wells brings a fresh voice to faith Paul Shannon and Brigid Conroy David Wells enlightens and inspires the minds and hearts of hundreds across the diocese.


magine sitting in a pub with the Pope having a pint and him saying to you “wouldn’t it be good if…?”. This is exactly what Pope Francis is doing through his apostolic exhortations, appealing to us as a Church to reclaim our Joy as an Easter people. The Catholic community of the Hamilton Diocese enjoyed the recent visit of David Wells an enigmatic, sincere and charming British educator who presented in a fresh and engaging way the key messages of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortations. David Wells presented sessions to laypeople, catechists, teachers and clergy in Hamilton, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and Rotorua. David warned us to “beware that you can lose your enthusiasm and replace it with cynicism as though it is more intelligent. Beware of taking yourself too seriously.” Instead, he harkened that one should try to follow this advice from Pope Francis, to give your children/grandchildren a memory of you smiling so that in their maturity, they will wonder where your joy came from. There you have the beginnings of evangelisation. David’s sessions drew on Scripture, the Catholic tradition and the writings of Pope Francis. Key learnings were that our faith needs to be tempered with joy and balanced with a pastoral openness, remembering that the Kingdom of God is for everyone, not an exclusive club for the perfect. This is the only way we can hope to evangelise our young people. We need to live our faith in our actions and show how this is reflected in the way we treat people within our community.

British educator David Wells at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Hamilton. were well received. His use of humour when presenting some of his own experiences as a religious education (RE) teacher in Britain was particularly entertaining. David emphasised to our teachers that Catholic education was not a “competition”. His message to our leaders in our schools was to not focus too much on the “How” and spend more time on the “Why”. This involves building meaningful relationships and journeying with staff and students towards a personal encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. David’s final day was spent talking to priests of the Hamilton Catholic Diocese. He enjoyed the opportunity given to him by Bishop Steve to address our ordained clergy. Those who attended expressed delight with his presentation. David thanked Bishop Steve and the diocese for a most memorable stay and for inviting his wife Alison to join him for this trip to the other side of the world. He had a special thank you for Dianne Porter our RE Advisor who spent the past year planning and arranging the whole visit.

From Pope Francis

"Being a Christian is not just about following commandments: it is about letting Christ take David’s sessions with more than 750 possession of our lives and transform them".

teachers from our diocesan Catholic schools

Members of the King Country Filipino Ecclesial Community Mass and the local parishes come together to celebrate Mass at St George Catholic Church, Te Kuiti on 26 July.


ilipino Ecclesial Community Masses have been held in the King Country. The Masses are part of the development of a Filipino Chaplaincy in the Hamilton Catholic Diocese as outlined in the May-July 2019 edition of Kete Korero. A key thrust of the Filipino Chaplaincy is encouraging full, active participation of Filipinos in parishes. The first King Country Filipino Ecclesial Community Mass was held St George Catholic Church, Te Kuiti on 26 July. The Mass was presided by Fr Fernando Alombro, MSP Filipino Chaplain. Filipinos and some parishioners gathered together in this occasion, coming from throughout the King Country region, including Te Kuiti, Otorohanga, Aria, Piopio and Benneydale, with visitors from Tokorua. It was followed by a fellowship “salo-salo” and meeting/planning of activities in the coming months. Fr. Matt McAuslin, Resident Priest in Te Kuiti also joined in this occasion. Mass will be every fourth Friday of the second month at 6:30pm. The next FEC Mass was scheduled for 27 September 2019 at St. George Catholic Church, Te Kuiti. Our Lady of the Rosary will be the Community’s Patroness. This year, Feast of St Lorenzo was to be celebrated on 5 October, 2pm followed by traditional Filipino games and food feast. For more information, contact: Ninfa Gantuangco,

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ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020

the religious life Joshua Retreat ignites the Spirit within Gary Parker and Dave Colquhoun en came from throughout the widespread area of the Hamilton Catholic Diocese for a special Joshua Retreat Day. Those attending travelled from Whakatane, Hamilton, Paeroa, Rotorua, Tauranga, Morrinsville, Cambridge, Te Aroha, Rotorua, Whangamata and even Auckland to attend the Joshua retreat day at the Church of The Holy Angels in Matamata on 10 August.


Two non-Catholic Christians also registered for the day. The church was very suitable for our purpose and most accommodating; Fathers Fernando and Thomas (from Morrinsville) celebrated Mass after a brief welcome. Fr Fernando alluded to it being the Feast Day of St Lawrence and how, like St Lawrence, we must be prepared if necessary to be martyrs for our Faith. Traditional meanings Father Robert Sharplin spoke on the traditional meanings behind the symbols of baptism by water and baptism by fire. He described how the four main elements (water, fire, earth, wind), were regarded by early Greeks and all Mediterranean peoples as being essential to the formation of the universe. He spoke about: • How Adam was formed from the earth; • how earth takes on a different form in the baptism of water; earth can be moulded and reshaped as clay; • and, needs to be fired in a kiln to substantiate the new form, to give it true form, resistance and permanence. The political environment into which John the Baptist and Christ were born was compared

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to the political environment of today’s Western world. The pagan rule of the Romans and their indifference towards religions outside of their ideologies played a major part in the death of both John and Jesus. The inflexibility of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who feathered their nests while imposing restrictive rules on others and also elevating their importance, was compared to today. Christianity rose through it all from a group of eleven men who, after being afraid, stood up, stepped out and spoke up about the greatness of Jesus Christ and the importance of having Him in their lives. The Holy Spirit empowered the Apostles, and about 3,000 souls were baptised on the day of Pentecost. Awakening to 'wokeness' Fr Robert introduced the term “wokeness”, explaining how it was used in modern society (especially in universities) to reflect their newfound awareness of social injustices and prejudices and historical events. Many of these affect the traditional place of women and are being heralded, in particular by feminist groups. The outcome requires rethinking and an adjustment of the social order, as it changes much of what we understand as the status quo. In retrospect, extreme ideologies have taken over to the extent that Christianity is increasingly being marginalised, especially through the media. The need exists more than ever to take on the mantle of Joshua’s message “Be strong, stand firm, be fearless, then confident” (Joshua 9:1). Fr Robert stated that we must equip ourselves

Fr Robert Sharplin talks of 'awakening to wokeness'. better to do battle with the forces of darkness, and by engaging more with the Holy Spirit, we would be directed accordingly. Fr Robert then spoke about the turbulence the Catholic Church has gone through throughout the ages and mentioned the “Benedictine option”. When Europe was in crisis with famine, war, poverty and disease rife, St Benedict formed the Benedictine order and established care for the sick, poor, uneducated, widows and orphans. Benedictines helped to develop European civilisation based on Christian principles. The retreat attendees then broke into small groups to discuss how the many changes of to-

ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020


the religious life

When he heard the woman’s screams, he quickly decided whether to intervene. He ran to the middle of the road and loudly told the man to stop, which he did. The woman ran past Andrew into his house, and the assailant retreated into his own house, rather than being aggressive.

Interfaith reps sought

When Andrew was working in front of his house a few days later, he was approached by the man involved. Rather than threatening Andrew, he thanked him for intervening. He admitted that he was very likely to have done something far more horrendous to the woman, as he was drunk at the time. On the second occasion, Andrew was woken one night by intruders in his house. In a loud voice, he called out “In Jesus’ name, get out of my house.” The intruders scuttled. When the police arrived, they asked about the response of the intruders and were amazed that they did not threaten Andrew with reprisals. The Police had never attended a similar incident where a resolution was reached without the threat of severe reprisals. Andrew finished by praying over the men, asking for strength and courage to stand up in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the will to serve with courage, love and honour for all those connected to us. day were affecting their lives. They talked and shared stories, discussed issues and found common ground. Before lunch, Gary led the men in singing “Change My Heart O God” and “Priests, Prophets and Kings”. Lunch was enjoyed by all, as was a time of fellowship around the food!

The men once more broke up into small groups. They discussed times when they were challenged in their lives and how they responded. During the time of feedback, men indicated a desire to keep in contact, while also wondering “where to next?”.

The importance of stepping out After lunch and more praise and worship, Andrew Parrington, Pastor of Living Well Pentecostal Church in Rotorua, spoke on the importance of stepping out, speaking up and shouting out for The Lord. He spoke on how an increasingly dominant secular world order is silencing Christians and the Christian values on which our nation and Western civilisation are built are being undermined.

Gary spoke on CHARIS and its objectives. He gave each man a copy of the Fruits of the Spirit to help them become lights in the darkness. He also encouraged each to undertake the “Gift of the Spirit” course, if they had not already done so, and to work to establish it in their Parishes.

Andrew highlighted the impact of the media, especially social media and internet, citing the controversy over Israel Folau, and the reaction to his quoting Scripture. Andrew emphasised how the Israelites had to take courage, be brave, stand firm and be confident, as people entering the Promised Land. The Apostles displayed these qualities at Pentecost. We could do this by calling on the Holy Spirit to be in our lives, to surrender to Him, to be obedient to God and trust in His power to achieve His purpose. Jesus promised to send his comforter, and His comforter is among us. We need to be more aware of His presence and of His loving grace. Andrew talked about some situations he encountered while living in a rough part of Rotorua. The first involved a serious assault (man assaulting a woman) across the road from him.

Dave gave his testimony on how the Lord led him to become more involved in Joshua after the Men Alive weekend in Auckland 2018 and how it led to this Retreat. Gary spoke on seeing God’s authority in Dave’s life, how He is keeping Dave alive to respond to His call. We will meet again at the same venue during May 2020 (date to be confirmed). We already have a good idea for the theme. We are interested in men’s testimonies and may allow time for that. Some men voiced a desire to have younger members involved in Joshua – a challenge we all face. Questions arising Questions arising from the retreat include the following: • How will the retreat influence the men in answering God’s call in their lives? • How is the Holy Spirit touching them and continuing to work in their lives?


arishioners in the Hamilton Catholic Diocese are being asked to become involved in moves to reach out to other religious communities. A booklet produced by the NZ Catholic Bishops Committee (NZCBC) for Interfaith Relations was published before the 15 March Christchurch mosque attacks, but the movement has gathered greater urgency since then. Dr Teresa Fernandez is the Catholic Representative on Waikato Interfaith Council and a representative on NZCBC for Interfaith Relations. Bishop Steve Lowe (above) was one of the church leaders at the booklet’s launch in Hamilton in August, speaking about the history of the Interfaith movement from the Catholic perspective. Teresa says the message of the booklet is profound, particularly regarding the importance of Interfaith dialogue, as illustrated below: • Dialogue of everyday life (sharing in events of daily life) • Dialogue of action (collaborating for common good, e.g. the environment) • Dialogue of theological exchange (understanding and appreciation of one another’s beliefs and values) • Dialogue of religious experience (sharing of spiritual riches in terms of ceremonies and places of worship)

Although each diocese has one or two representatives on the NZCBC for Interfaith Relations, each diocese is widespread, so local representatives will be necessary to help grow and spread news and information throughout the parishes. “I do realise that there are many Catholics who are too far away to travel to Hamilton for an event in the evening or night,” Teresa says. “Interfaith activities can happen in any region of the diocese, and I am happy to support that. There are plans to have another launch of the booklet and a workshop early next year. It would be great if each Catholic Church in our Hamilton Diocese could have a contact person dedicated to Interfaith who can liaise with me.” For more information, contact Teresa at: or write to me, Dr Teresa Fernandez, C/- Andrea Savage, Cathedral of Blessed Virgin Mary, 494 Grey Street, Hamilton East, Hamilton 3216.



ketekorero November 2019 - January 2020


Profile for The Catholic Diocese of Hamilton

Kete Korero November 2019  

The latest edition of the Hamilton Catholic Diocese magazine Kete Korero is now available from the back of the church or at school and paris...

Kete Korero November 2019  

The latest edition of the Hamilton Catholic Diocese magazine Kete Korero is now available from the back of the church or at school and paris...