In this issue...
ketekorero August 2015
Read it online!
What do you see?
audato Si’ is Pope Francis’ recently published encyclical letter on the care of our common home. In it the Holy Father reflects on what effect human activity is having not only on the earth but also our relationships with each other and ultimately with God. Throughout the letter, he reminds us that everyone and “everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity that flows from the mystery of the Trinity” (LS 240). While that is the call, the Holy Father laments how we have lost sight of our interconnectedness. Instead of having a responsible stewardship towards the creation, humanity has sought to master and dominate it without any thoughts to the effects of our actions thereby losing sight of the sacredness of the creation. In the same way, we have lost sight of the sacredness of the human person who is part of and the high point of creation. I find it quite ironic that the green movement is so keen to save the whales, but this pro-life attitude doesn’t flow onto vulnerable human lives. Pope Francis says, “When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected. Once the human being declares independence from reality and behaves with absolute dominion, the very foundations of our life begin to crumble, for ‘instead of carrying out his role as a cooperator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature’” (LS 117).
Features 3 Who is My Neighbour? Moving to next phase Celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life 7 Atawhai Mai Atawhai Atu - Mercy Given, Mercy Received 7 The Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny 9 Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions in Hamilton 10 St Vincent de Paul grows to provide wide-ranging 11 social services Profile Coming home a departure for Sr Marie Parish News Blessing planned for ‘Lost Souls’ Diocese planning as demand for Catholic school places rises Early life lay foundations for Msgr David Bennett
6 5 5 15
Youth Cultural diversity stands out at Youth Day 13 13 Young Catholic creative showcase Building future leaders in Gisborne 14
It’s in this light that the euthanasia debate is being argued at present in New Zealand. Proponents of euthanasia want to have mastery of life and death. Suffering and death have no meaning, and they become things to be feared. But for the Christian there is always life and hope to be found.
The Kete Korero is an official publication of the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton. Deadline for contributions to the next issue is 12 October 2015
In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl, who was an inmate of Auschwitz, writes of a young woman whose death he witnessed. It is a simple story. There is little to tell and it may sound as if I had invented it; but to me it seems like a poem. This young woman knew that she would die in the next few days. But when I talked to her she was cheerful in spite of this knowledge. “I am grateful that fate has hit me so hard,” she told me. “In my former life I was spoiled and did not take spiritual accomplishments seriously.” Pointing through the window of the hut, she said, “This tree here is the only friend I have in my loneliness.” Through that window she could see just one branch of a chestnut tree, and on the branch were two blossoms. “I often talk to this tree,” she said to me. I was startled and didn’t quite know how to take her words. Was she delirious? Did she have occasional hallucinations? Anxiously I asked her if the tree replied. “Yes.” What did it say to her? She answered, “It said to me, ‘I am here — I am here — I am life, eternal life.’”
Kete Korero Magazine c-/ 51 Grey St, P.O. Box 4353, Hamilton East 3247 Editor: Michael R. Smith, P.O. Box 6215, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3010 Tel: 07 349 4107, email@example.com Videos: http:/tinyurl.com/ketekorero Sponsorship and advertising: David Barrowclough, c-/ Chanel Centre 0800 843 233 Fax 07 8567035 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pope Francis writes, “The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face” (LS 233). A spiritual or mystical connectedness does indeed exist in everything, even death, something and someone to discover. But, in the times in which we live and our culture, we seemed to have lost sight of the mystery of life in all its wondrous dimensions. Everything in life and even in death can lead us deeper into the mystery of life, of ourselves, of each other and of God. So what do you see?
Design and layout: Sandy Thompson, Advocate Print 248 Fenton Street, Rotorua 3010 Printing: Beacon Print Ltd, 207 Wilson Road, Hastings 4153 ISSN: (print) 2357-2221 & (online) 2357-223X
Front cover photo
Year of Mercy - rediscovering the mercy of God (and reconciliation) Michael Smith Many Catholics feel daunted by going through the sacrament of Reconciliation (or Confession as it was previously called). For others, there is an ease and a certainty provided by the comfort that comes with the blessing involved. Pope Francis has announced the Jubilee Year – a Year of Mercy starting on 20 November, noting “No one can be excluded from the mercy of God! ... The church is the house that welcomes all and refuses no one. Its doors remain wide open, so that those touched by grace can find the certainty of forgiveness.” Fr Mark Field of Tauranga referred to this
Sr Marie Finn is the chaplain nun at Waikato Hospital. See the article on Page 6 regarding her time in Canada and her consecrated life experiences. (Pic supplied)
aspect of reconciliation and the mercy of God when writing in the parish monthly publication around Lent this year. Admitting he himself was among those who didn’t find confession very easy, he said he continued to be humbled by the experience of hearing confession. “It is a very privileged experience of the love and mercy of God. Who am I, but a sinner, to be able to dispense the Lord’s absolution to others?” Fr Mark reassured those who felt uneasy that “confession is a beautiful expression of our helplessness before God, and it’s okay. I have also said that this is a graced moment – the
Lord is, indeed, very near to those with broken hearts.” In his homily announcing the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis said the Sacrament of Reconciliation “allows us with confidence to draw near to the Father, in order to be certain of His pardon” adding: “I am convinced that the whole Church will find in this Jubilee the joy needed to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God, with which all of us are called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time. “From this moment, we entrust this Holy Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she might turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey.”
Publication of the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton, New Zealand