Christmas is a time of faith and whānau.
Of course that’s not just by chance. The great feast of the nativity – Christ’s birth and entry into our human history – is followed closely (the following Sunday) by the feast of the Holy Family. Faith and family are inseparable. Family time is where and when we first learn and live the significance of the birth of Jesus.
I’ve included a few photos taken around the Christmas season. One after midnight Mass here at the Cathedral (a magnificent liturgy, thanks especially to the musos and choir); another of Fr Marcus Francis with a wonderful celebration of baptisms galore up the Whanganui river at St Joseph’s, Hiruhārama (Jerusalem) the Sunday before Christmas; and a collection from the Christmas liturgy with Deacon Danny Karatea-Goddard at the Hāto Hōhepa Church on the Te Hiiri marae, Halcombe. The last couple are from the Hearts Aflame young adults summer school, which I joined for a few days in Marton last week. All these images point in different ways to who we are so blessed to be.
January is ‘look ahead’ month. I’ve got a great mix on the horizon. Later on this week I join the LifeTeen camp on the Kāpiti Coast; this coming Sunday I’m at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in the morning installing the new Parish Priest Fr Joe Grayland; the following week I’m at Cullinane College for the opening and blessing of a new block at dawn (that means 4.30 am). The following Saturday evening I have Confirmation on the Maungārongo marae in Ohakune which will be a fantastic occasion for our teenagers in that part of the Diocese, and on the Sunday evening I’m at Hāto Pāora College for their first Mass of the new year.
Feb has a couple of very special occasions. On Sunday the 4th I will join Frs Robin IC and Manoj IC with Fr Michael Hill IC (from Dunedin) at St Mary’s here in Palmy for the reception of Khuong Nguyen as a Postulant with the Rosminians. This will be a very joyful occasion, as will be as will be the Mass on Feb 10th in Melbourne when I will receive the first Vows of Profession of Karen Englebretsen (Cathedral and Lourdes parishioner) as a Sister of the Cross and Passion (Passionists). All these occasions are of course public so all welcome. The more mundane work does go on in between!
I hope you had a great Christmas. January Masses here at the Cathedral have been very full with visitors and regulars alike.
Blessings and best wishes to you all for the new year.