Monthly Archives: February 2011


Well, it’s been a long time in the making, but we’ve managed to meet our self-imposed deadline of launching the newest podcast in the Station 15 network, part of the wider Icon Media stable, before the end of February. Tonight, Icon Media launched Ignition, a weekly podcast that will showcase and serialise talks given at various Catholic events in New Zealand in recent years. A popular visitor to New Zealand, Fr Dominique Faure of the Community of St John, kicks … Continue reading

The truth hurts — so let’s suppress it

Sometimes people say things that expose quite a scandalous situation — one that really ought to be exposed — but the truth is too much for some people to bear or even allow. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York wrote about some of those tough-to-handle truths in a blog post published on Friday and entitled Unpleasant Truths. Archbishop Dolan, with whom I exchanged a couple of emails back in 2007 or 2008 while he was still in Milwaukee, revealed that … Continue reading

A good news story amidst the sadness

I understand that many weddings that had been planned for Christchurch and the surrounding areas this weekend were postponed as people tried to pull their lives together after the devastating earthquake that struck that region. It’s not hard to imagine why. There was at least one wedding that took place in a Catholic Church, though, and it was a great news story. So great, in fact, that someone from The Telegraph newspaper in the UK was on hand to chronicle … Continue reading

Catholic churches, schools in Christchurch off limits: Bishop

Bishop Barry Jones of Christchurch today announced that Catholic schools and churches in the region would remain empty until structural engineers have deemed the buildings to be safe. This report is from NZ Catholic: CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – No Catholic church or school in Christchurch will be able to be used until consulting engineers have declared it safe. Bishop of Christchurch Barry Jones made this announcement on February 25. NZ Catholic understands some churches have been severely damaged, but others … Continue reading

Bishop Dunn issues earthquake pastoral letter

Bishop Patrick Dunn of Auckland, my boss for five years, has responded to this week’s devastating earthquake in Christchurch in a number of ways. No doubt it has occupied much of his personal prayer time, he celebrated a special Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral today for the victims, and he has now issued a pastoral letter to be read at Masses this weekend. I’ve managed to get a sneak peek at the letter, which will be released in full tomorrow … Continue reading

New bishop named for Palmerston North

The last three days have been incredibly harrowing for the people of Christchurch. Amidst all the chaos and destruction and death, the administrator of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, which was severely damaged in the September earthquake and further damaged on Wednesday, was named as the new Coadjutor Bishop of Palmerston North diocese. Msgr Charles Drennan, who returned to New Zealand last year after serving several years in Rome, will take over as the second bishop of Palmerston North … Continue reading

Earthquake update

As the death toll continues to rise in Christchurch and the likelihood of finding many survivors gets smaller and smaller, I just thought I’d pass along a few quake-related links of Catholic interest for people wanting some more information. NZ Catholic is reporting on the extensive damage done to the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, a beautiful building that may never be used again based on its currrent state. The New Zealand Herald has before-and-after photos of the cathedral, as … Continue reading

One of our darkest days

Most people around the world seem to have heard about the devastating earthquake that struck Christchurch today. Despite being a lower magnitude quake than the one that struck in September, it was shallower and struck in the middle of a work day, as opposed to the early hours of a Saturday morning. For those unfamiliar with New Zealand’s geography, I live at the other end of the country, so I’m not personally affected. I do have a number of friends … Continue reading

Oh no!! Not ANOTHER new translation

As if we hadn’t seen enough controversy when it comes to determining what the words we use at Mass should be, there looks set to be another translation brouhaha over the release of a new version of the New American Bible next month. From Catholic News Service: WASHINGTON (CNS) — The revised New American Bible that will be released on Ash Wednesday, March 9, may seem most notably different to casual readers for its efforts at providing context and clarity … Continue reading

A real moral dilemma

There is a very robust debate being had over at Being Frank at the moment regarding the actions of a pro-life group in the United States. Members of the group have been seeking to expose Planned Parenthood, which performs more than 300,000 abortions each year, as an agency that cares very little for women’s health, which is essentially what the organisation is charged with trying to assist with. That sounds fine, right? Well, questions are being raised around the methods … Continue reading