Monthly Archives: December 2010

“Face the facts”, China tells Pope

You may recall that in his Christmas message to the world, Pope Benedict talked about religious persecution in various parts of the world. Among the countries that he singled out for their lack of religious freedom was China. Well, not surprisingly, some people in China didn’t like being called out by one of the most influential people in the world. According to a report in The Irish Times, the Chinese foreign ministry has told the Pope that he needs to … Continue reading

Come to the Feast

Regardless of how people look at Christmas — as the celebration of Christ’s birth or as an excuse for a holiday — almost everyone acknowledges that it is a time of giving and sharing. Whether Christian or not, people give gifts at Christmas. Pope Benedict has also been in a sharing mood, welcoming 250 of Rome’s homeless to the Vatican, where the Holy Father shared lunch with them. The occasion also served as a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of … Continue reading

The Holy Innocents

Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in the Catholic Church. It has been marked in the Church’s calendar since the 6th century to remember the male babies who were murdered by order of Herod as he tried to have Jesus killed. It has become a day to remember all children who have died, regardless of the circumstances, but especially to commemorate children who never had a chance to be born because of abortion. In New Zealand, there are … Continue reading

To the city and the world

Christmas is obviously a major celebration for people all around the world. It is also an important day in the Church’s year because the Pope always delivers his Urbi et Orbi speech, Latin for To the City (Rome) and the World. Each year, the message is highly anticipated. In this year’s message, the Church in China and Iraq received special attention. The Church in both places is suffering persecution of different kinds, as are Christians in other lands. Here’s part … Continue reading

Feliz Navidad

Hello all, and a very Happy Christmas to you. I’m surrounded by my family today as we mark Christmas, and it’s such a wonderful atmosphere. The stresses of life somehow seem far away and the spirit of love and sharing abound. I hope and pray you are all having an equally blessed day. Oh, and don’t forget we still have to go to Mass tonight or tomorrow as well to fulfil our Sunday obligation.

A couple of Christmas messages

Happy Christmas Eve Eve, Well, the countdown is almost over as we prepare to celebrate the coming of God among us 2000 years ago (give or take 10 or 15 years). The presents have (mostly) been bought, they’ll get wrapped tomorrow, and all will be in readiness for Midnight Mass and a Christmas Day spent with family and friends. This time of year inevitably brings Christmas messages from a range of people. Today, I came across a statement from the … Continue reading

A Kiwi Nativity story

In Christian churches throughout the world, Nativity plays are being performed to re-create the story of the first Christmas. At a church in Auckland, they’ve brought the concept into the 21st century, creating a YouTube clip that has been viewed by more than 33,000 people as of this evening. By New Zealand standards, that’s a pretty good effort. It is very Kiwi, which is great, and it’s a lot of fun. Watch the St Paul’s version of The Christmas Story┬áhere

One Solitary Life

I first came across this little article on Being Frank last weekend, and then saw it in the St Patrick’s Cathedral parish newsletter later that day. In the week leading up to Christmas, it seems like the perfect time to offer it as a little reflection on what this time of year is all about and just how remarkable was the baby born in humble surroundings 2000-odd years ago. He was born in an obscure village, the son of a … Continue reading

Kiwi priest spreading the Word

As you may recall, I wrote yesterday about the different cycles of the Church when it comes to providing priests to minister to various parts of the world. I was writing about how priests from overseas are coming to New Zealand to help ease the perceived (alleged?) clergy shortage. Well, coincidentally, I noticed a story from Australia today about a priest from New Zealand who has answered a call for priests to serve in a fairly rural part of our … Continue reading

Mons Cronin called home

Auckland Diocese lost one of its most senior priests today with the death of Msgr Paul Cronin. I attended morning Mass at his parish at Sacred Heart Church, Vermont St, on a few dozen occasions, and I always enjoyed his brief but thoughtful homilies. He always celebrated the Mass very reverently, and I have several friends who found him to be a very good confessor. Msgr Cronin had many roles in the diocese, apart from acting as the administrator of … Continue reading