Monthly Archives: August 2011

For you and for many

As I mentioned last week, I’m now living and working in Canberra, where — to varying degrees — the new translation of the Mass has been implemented. Unlike New Zealand, where the changes have been phased in (with the people’s parts last advent and the priest’s parts from this Advent), the entire translation is being used in many parishes. Advent is the official deadline in Australia, but many dioceses have already introduced it. I’ve written fairly extensively on the topic … Continue reading

You never know who you’ll “meet”

Through my involvement with Catholic media over the past six-plus years, I’ve met some interesting people. I’ve met four cardinals, maybe 15 bishops, religious working in Sudan and Pakistan, speechwriters for popes and countless other wonderful people. Next week, I’ll be meeting someone I’ve been conversing with for over a year via email. He’s a priest in Timor Leste (East Timor) and he will be attending a conference I’m also attending. Behind almost every priest is a great story of … Continue reading

Beacons of the Faith

One of the great things about the Catholic Faith — and I may have posted about this before — is that we are given great examples of Christian living in the communion of saints. While other Christian denominations seem reluctant, or even unwilling, to sign on to the Catholic understanding of saints, we Catholics can look at people who led exemplary lives and have devotion to their lives and commitment to trying to emulate how they lived. At this point … Continue reading

You’re obliged to listen to this

All around the world, bishops are having to tread a fine line. People — in the West, at least — are drifting away from the Faith, or at least their practice of the Faith. Weekly Mass attendance in New Zealand numbers in the upper teens in terms of percentage. Back in 2006, about 17 per cent of people who called themselves Catholic in that year’s Census were regular Mass attendees. The numbers are not that dissimilar in countries with similar … Continue reading

Soapbox goes international

OK, so it’s time to come clean. As you will have noticed, posting on The Soapbox has been very sporadic over the past couple of weeks. I have a reason — or maybe it’s an excuse. You guys can be the judge. Last week, I became one of those New Zealanders. I made the move across the Tasman and I’ve started a new job with Catholic Health Australia. CHA represents the interests of 75 Catholic hospitals and 550 aged care … Continue reading

It’s Rio for WYD 2013

Back in January, I did a little prognosticating on where the next World Youth Day might be. Well, I actually suggested that I hoped — although without much conviction — that South Korea might host the next international WYD. I wrote at the time that Brazil seemed like a logical choice, given that it’s the country with the largest Catholic population in the world and there hasn’t been a WYD in South America since the mid 1980s. My argument against … Continue reading

Hanging with Benedict

I’ve never had the pleasure of attending World Youth Day. I wasn’t at the papal Mass when John Paul II came to Auckland in the mid 1980s. And when I was in Rome in 1999, JPII was at his summer residence. What I’m trying to say is I’ve never been in the presence of a pope. Therefore, I’ve never had to think about the possibility of what two young Auckland men will get to experience tomorrow (NZ time). Dominic Light … Continue reading

Our national day

Tomorrow — August 15 — is the Feast of the Assumption. It’s a big day for the Church around the world, but especially in New Zealand. When Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier arrived in New Zealand in 1838, he entrusted our country to the patronage of Our Lady of the Assumption. In this week’s episode of the 15 Minutes with the Bishop podcast, I chat with Bishop Patrick Dunn about the Feast of the Assumption, the different understandings of what happened … Continue reading

Another Facebooking bishop

I’ve been having a bit of a nosey around Facebook lately to see what some Catholic bishops around the place are up to. Hopefully you’re following Icon Media’s good friend Bishop Patrick Dunn on Facebook along with about 1000 other folks. I just wanted to introduce — or re-introduce if you already follow him — Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Canberra. I have the great privilege of spending three days with Archbishop Coleridge back in 2008 and really enjoyed that time, … Continue reading

Back to the future

Today would have been a very satisfying day for a number of Catholics, though I’m not sure what that percentage of Catholics would be. So what was the cause of that satisfaction? Just a few minor changes in the words we use at Mass. But these weren’t (aren’t) any ordinary words. They’re the words we use when praying the Our Father during Mass. I’ve written about this topic before, but the Cliff Notes version is that the New Zealand bishops … Continue reading