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WELCOME to the website for the Catholic Parish of Otari which covers the areas of Karori, Wilton and Northland.  The parish has two churches, St Teresas in Karori and St Thomas More in Wilton (see contact page)

 4th Sunday of Easter April 22, Year B

 

Cardinal John Dew—My Vocation Story  

When I went to the Seminary in 1970 it was really the last thing I wanted to do. I didnt want to be a priest but somehow I knew that it was the only thing, and the right thing, for me. I wasnt much of a student and study didnt come easy. But the main reason for not wanting to go to the Seminary was that I didnt think I was worthy. I didnt think I was good enough to be a priest, for the first couple of years, I kept asking, "why me?" Yet, even as I asked that question I knew I was in the right place. Scripture was not something I was very familiar with as a 21-year-old – I was more interested in playing rugby and squash and, being out-doors.

In Johns Gospel the Jews argued and said, "How could this man give us his flesh to eat? This is intolerable languageso they stopped going with him and walked away. When Jesus asked Peter if he was going to walk away too, Peters response was "Lord, there is no one else to go to; you have the words of everlasting life." Those words kept me going: I still didnt think I was good enough to be a priest, but there was no one else for me to go. There is still no one else. Jesus has the words of everlasting life.

The final words of Georges Bernanosnovel, The Diary of a Country Priest are: "All is gift. All is blessing"Priesthood has been, and is, a blessing for me, not always easy, but still a blessing. I dont expect it to be easy, because life isnt easy. But there are things which feed, nourish, inspire and encourage us.

Years ago I read an article entitled, "The Price of Health and Happiness". The author maintained that the price of health and happiness was "to see everything as gift, and God as the giver behind that gift." Those words had an enormous impact on me. I still dont always see everything as gift but when I pause and reflect, I do see the giftedness of life. 

There have been Scripture passages that have lit my path – I remember as a seminarian finding those words Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, "if only you knew what God is offering you". Those words come back to me over and over again, as I see what God offers me through the Gospel, through the Eucharist, through people who share faith, through having the support of a community in making our wholehearted response to the commandments of God. 

Other words from Johns Gospel are those which are, for me, the essence of and my definition of prayer. Jesus invitation, "remain in my love". I try to answer that invitation every day in order to be inspired, to be grateful, to put life into perspective. Many years ago, the Transfiguration became very important for me. Someone sent me a card which read: "You go beyond division and bring all things back to the Christ – centre. You meet Jesus in the Transfiguration. My prayer for you is that your life will be ongoing celebration of the wholeness of God." That same person wrote again a few years later: "I know that you will go on meeting Jesus in the Transfiguration, moving from the point of view of the disciple trying to rationally define the experience, to being one with Christ and knowing that blaze of white light which burns up all words and thinking. And even later, you will not find words for it but the blessing of it will flow out and touch many, many lives." Those words inspired me and so the Transfiguration became central – not just the idea of being up on the moun-tain with Jesus knowing its good to be there. On the mountain Jesus was confirmed in his identity, "This is my Son, the Beloved". Jesus was able to come down that mountain and resolutely take the road to Jerusalem. That inspires me to resolutely take the road to Jerusalem.

Whatever the challenge or demand in front of me might be, this is my road to Jerusalem. I can take it resolutely, because I know that I, too, am transfigured by the goodness of our gracious God. There are many passages from the Word of God which help me to know – beyond any shadow of doubt – that I am privileged to be called to serve as a priest.  

I still cant understand why God chose me. If I had chosen God, instead of God choosing me, I would have reason for thinking that I made a mistake because it would have been my human choice. God knew when he called me – with all the cowardice, compromise, failures and sin, yet he still chose me. All I can do is say "thank you". It is not a matter of "being worthy", it is about an ordinary person accepting an extraordinary gift.

+John A Dew Archbishop of Wellington

 

 

Christ, the Good Shepherd  

The 4th Sunday of Easter is called Good ShepherdSunday as the readings are taken from Chapter 10 of Johns gospel, which is about Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Each year part of this chapter is read. Todays reading is from John 10/ 11-18.

In this passage, Jesus states I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep; the hired man, since he is not the shepherd, abandons the sheep and runs awayI am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know meJesus lived out the words on Calvary, when he offered his life for you and me.

This Sunday is also called Vocations Sunday, when we are challenged on how we are called to live out our vocation as followers of Jesus. Our English word vocation comes from the Latin word vocarewhich means a calling.Through our baptism, we are all called to be followers, disciples of Jesus. No turning back, no half measures. Full time followers of Jesus.

We live out that calling in various ways. Perhaps the most obvious is the sacrament of Marriage. I have been privileged to have been part of the Marriage Encounter Movement, which this year celebrates its 50 th Anniversary. It has been wonderful to me to see couples in love, really caring for each other and their family. 

There are of course many other situations where people live out their baptismal calling. It may be as a young person, someone separated or divorced, widowed, single, married. Whatever situation we are in, we are called to be disciples of Jesus, his brothers and sisters.  

This bring me to the one that we most often associate with vocation (sometimes we think it is the only one), viz that of priesthood and religious life. This is my vocation, and one I appreciate very much. I guess every priest has his own story of how he came to be a priest and what the priesthood means to him. It just seemed to happen for me, a sort of last minute thing. My friend at St Pats was thinking of going to the seminary (he didnt) and I, who wasnt thinking much about it until then, did! I also believe many good people had me in their prayers and got me thoughas many still do today for me.

For me, priesthood is a calling to be a great Lover. I am called not to have one exclusive relationship (as in marriage) but to live a life that is inclusive – including everyone. It is something that I love, that I would not give up for anything.  

Let us together, whatever our vocation, walk together as we seek to follow Christ, the Good Shepherd.  

Fr Ron

 Cardinal McKeefry School Playground Refresh

We are fundraising to refresh our school playgrounds.  Please go to our 'Givealittle' page and give a little funding for our very important playground.

Thank you so much.  Tania Savage, Principal.

 

 

Pantry Goods for Refugee Family of Six: 

THIS SUNDAY APRIL 22 

Catholic Social Services and Red Cross are preparing for the next arrival of Refugees to Wellington. Those arriving in April are from Colombia, Iran, Iraq,  Palestine and Syria. 

Otari Parish have committed to provide grocery pantry items for a family of six (4 children aged 2 -7 yrs) and we are asking the St Thomas More 8.30am community for donations.

A list of the appropriate foods is available after Mass this Sunday. Just place your name beside one item that you choose to provide. Please no canned food containing meat. It is useful to have cans with pictures of what is in the can. Also check the expiry dates on all food. Please remember to bring the food item/s you signed up for to the 8.30am Mass Sunday 22nd April. These pantry goods will be delivered to the Loaves and Fishes later that afternoon. Thank you for your  support.

 

 Engaged Encounter :  

This is a weekend experience for couples intending to be married. Weekends Scheduled for 2018 are; 14-15 July, 3-4 November.Registrations close two weeks before.    Venue: Presbytery, 301 Karori Road,Karori, Wellington. For more details go to the  Website at: http://www.cee-wellington.co.nz or phone Kate and Simon Olsen on 8016192, or email them on simonolsen@gmail.com

 

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMMES  NOW OPEN 

Otari, Sacred Heart and St Mary of the Angels parishes.  Please register your child using either the online form on our website page or the pdf form opposite.  There is a word doc form on the website page.


SYNOD OUTCOMES BOOKLET (Available as a PDF - Please click here) "I now ask parishes to start planning how they will implement the Synod outcomes in their particular situation."  Cardinal John Dew."  Otari Parish will definitely be integrating the Synod outcomes into parish planning so please include the Synod outcomes booklet in your reading. 

 

 

 


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