The colourful people in my community

by Mike Baird There’s a community of people I’ve come to know since my work shifted into the CBD.  I meet them on my way to and from the coffee shop. They’re walking from somewhere to nowhere then from nowhere to somewhere. They’re colourful people. Take Mr Green. Green sweatshirt over green track pants, carrying a child’s green umbrella, rain or shine.

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Four decades of Marriage Encounter in NZ celebrated

by Fr RON BENNETT Many families plan their day around the kitchen table. So it was that, 50 years ago, around a kitchen table in New York, USA, that a few couples and a priest planned a movement that would radically transform the sacraments of marriage and priesthood in our Catholic Church. The results of that kitchen table conversation have now

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Dunedin course gives men confidence to be good dads

Dunedin Catholic Social Services is looking at bringing their highly successful parenting course for fathers, Game On, to other parts of the country.  The course, which had been running in the diocese for the past 12 years, was conceptualised by CSS director Mike Tonks. Mr Tonks said it is not so much a course as it is a way of

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Fr Merv looks back on 60 years of service

by JEFF DILLON If ever there was a pastor who knew the smells of the sheep in his various flocks, just as Pope Francis desires, Dunedin diocese’s Fr Merv McGettigan would be one such man. Fr McGettigan, who recently celebrated the 60th jubilee of his priesthood, can count among the places where he has served many country districts and small

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Liturgical responses to the abuse crisis

As new revelations of clergy sexual abuse of minors are made the question posed to Catholics is — what should one do? Many suggestions can be made, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that it is necessary to turn to the Lord in prayer and fasting first. This should happen before, during and after any inquiries or royal commissions on abuse.

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Changing pew-dwellers into missionary disciples

Diocesan priests from throughout New Zealand were challenged to unleash the giftedness of the people in parishes by making disciples out of them. Around 185 priests from all six New Zealand dioceses who gathered in Christchurch from September 10-14 for the fourth national priests’ assembly listened to Canadian Fr James Mallon, author of Divine Renovation — From Maintenance to a Missional Church and

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The scandal of the hierarchy

by Dan Stollenwerk I hate it too. And who wouldn’t? A cardinal sleeping with seminarians — an open secret; priests raping children — and bishops quietly moving them to outlaying parishes; parishioners finally collecting the courage to report an incident— only to be chastised by the local ordinary for slandering one of his own.  Then again, that was just

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Too many candles below set statue in church alight

The wooden statue of the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus at St Thomas More Church in Glenfield caught fire recently with the cause being too many lit tealight candles below it.  Parish priest Fr Alfredo Garcia said it was miraculous that the fire did not touch anything else. “The miracle was Mother Mary consumed the flames unto herself saving the church,” he said.

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Rates hits for Akld church properties

Catholic parish properties are among those facing huge council rates rises in Auckland. In August, Auckland Council issued new rates bills to many churches which classified all or parts of affected properties as subject to rates and not exempt under the law. The council reportedly did this without consultation. But council spokespeople have told media that what they have done is

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Chch city church building projects halted

Christchurch Bishop Paul Martin, SM, has announced the cessation of all Church building projects that have not yet begun construction in the city until a review of placements of churches and facilities as well as the number of priests in the diocese is done. “If we don’t do it now we might miss our moment and opportunities. It is part

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