Monthly Archives: April 2011

New Zealand will lead the way again

As with so many milestones, New Zealand will get a head start on the celebrations to mark the beatification of Pope John Paul II tomorrow. Because of our place on the globe relative to the international dateline, we can claim to be a trendsetter in many ways. While the beatification will take place on Sunday evening New Zealand time, the two major Catholic cathedrals in this country will have special Masses in the morning to remember the mark (soon-to-be) Blessed … Continue reading

Resisting the popular move

One of the things that is hard for people, whatever their place in the world, is the temptation to do what is popular or what is easy. If there are two options, it is human instinct to do what’s easier, right? Well, as we continue the countdown to Sunday evening’s (NZ time) beatification of Pope John Paul II, we are hearing more stories emerge. My focus today is on the revelation that Pope Benedict considered, but ultimately decided against, canonising … Continue reading

Wow, that was quick

As I forecast yesterday, talk of the beatification of John Paul II is likely to dominate Catholic discussion this week as the wedding in London will dominate discussion in other spheres. A story that caught my eye today was the revelation from an Italian cardinal who says he was asked to sign a petition to waive the usual five-year waiting period after a person’s death before beatification proceedings to begin in John Paul’s case. It’s not the petition that’s surprising; … Continue reading

The countdown to beatification

Well, we’re now just four days away from the beatification of Pope John Paul II, which will make him Blessed John Paul II. I suspect I might find reason to post on the topic another time or two over the next several days, but the media coverage is starting to heat up now that the Easter celebrations are over. Now, I made my thoughts on this topic known in a post I wrote back in January, just before the beatification … Continue reading

This is a very tricky one

Over this Easter weekend, I caught up with a couple of Catholic friends I hadn’t seen for a while. We got on to the topic of bishops and, without going into too much detail, we were in agreement that being a bishop would be an incredibly difficult job. Obviously life wouldn’t get any easier the further up the Catholic ladder one is called. Archbishops, cardinals and popes would have huge burdens to carry, as well as the great privilege of … Continue reading

From the mouths of babes

Ok, maybe not from the mouths of babes, but on this Holy Saturday, I received this text from my 12-year-old niece: Bet 97% of u wont send this: Jesus died on the cross thinkn of u. If ur that 3% that cares send to 10 ppl & c wat he does 4 u everyday of your life. Says it all really. I think posting this on The Soapbox counts as sending it on. The Lord is Risen! Alleluia!

Hangin’ with the Bishop

I’ve been quite privileged over the past six years to develop a close working relationship with a number of priests; I’ve mentioned that before on the Soapbox. I’ve also been able to get to know Bishop Patrick Dunn, the Bishop of Auckland, well over those years. He has always been very supportive of me, and I was proud to work on a newspaper that he calls his own. Well, as the communications world has evolved at a rapid rate of … Continue reading

Triduum Time!

Well, the great 40 days of preparation is over and we’re into the Easter Triduum. I was at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland tonight, along with seven or eight hundred other folks, for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, celebrated by Bishop Patrick Dunn. Every year, I find the washing of the feet a very poignant moment, probably more so because I’ve been at St Patrick’s for the past four years or so, therefore it’s always been Bishop Patrick who … Continue reading

A Ripley’s moment

Every once in a while, I see a headline and it makes me look twice. Or three time. Or four times. I had one of those moments yesterday when I saw the following headline on the Stuff website: “Papal jewellery headed for eBay auction”. That couldn’t possibly be right, I concluded. And then I thought about it again. And came to the same conclusion. So I decided to read the story — a novel concept, I know — and ascertain … Continue reading

A win for the good guys

It seems that the big guys — the Government — are always sticking it to the little guys — the Catholic Church. Every once in a while, though, we get a win on the board. About four years ago, when I was at NZ Catholic, I was working on a story when a contact mentioned something in passing that I initially raised an eyebrow at, but later realised was a big story in the making. The “who” of the contact … Continue reading