Above photograph: thanks to Matt Botsford
The letter from Bishop Pat explaining this decision can be found below.
This website will continue to be updated and we will endeavour to find some prayers/reflections to share with you to help you create family liturgies you can share at home.
You will find the first of these in the next column.
A really good short video on 'Faith and Reason' has also been added to this page. It is well worth a view.
Prayer liturgy for the 5th Sunday in Lent - updated Friday, March 27
Due to the Covid-19 emergency all Masses are cancelled until further notice
Hall set up
5th Sunday in Lent
Reflection on the Gospel-5th Sunday of Lent Year A (John 11:1-45)
Sunday’s readings touch into the most profound of mysteries, the mysteries of life and death. To hold a new born child or to see the sick restored to health is to experience the wonder of life. On the other hand, sudden death can bring unimagined grief and pain.
The news this morning (March 23) tells us that 14,641 people have died from Coronavirus over the past two months. Some have died alone. With this pandemic comes an extraordinary outpouring of grief and fear. This comes in the wake of bushfires that saw the death of some 1.25 billion animals in my country and deep sorrow at the prospect of species loss.
Death brings tears, even anger. Little wonder that “life” becomes a metaphor for transformation and new beginnings or that “death” so often signifies deprivation and loss.
The gospel reading is about the death and restoration to life of Lazarus, “the one whom Jesus loved”. It is the last of the seven “signs” in John’s “book of signs” that reveal the “glory” of God. It is also the greatest of Jesus’ signs. It functions as a catalyst for the events that lead to his death: “…from that day on they planned to put him to death” (11:53). It provides the occasion for Jesus to assert “I am the resurrection and the life” and to invite assent to that revelation of his identity. It reveals the compassion and tender heart of Jesus who weeps at the grief of Mary his friend and at the death of her brother.
It also reveals the goodness in the hearts of those “Jews” who share her grief and who come to faith in Jesus who raises the dead to life. Though the story revolves around the plight of Lazarus, Martha and Mary are the characters who, with Jesus, occupy centre stage and into whose faith journey we are invited to enter.
Martha and Mary are identified as “sisters” who live in Bethany. Are they blood “sisters” or sisters in their love of Jesus and the community around him, or both? Lazarus is Mary’s sick “brother”. Martha will later claim him as her “brother”. Might they all be part of a little faith community in Bethany rather than biological siblings?
A brief notice alerts the reader to the imminent death of Jesus: “Mary is the one who anointed Jesus with perfumed oil and wiped his feet with her tears”. The reader will later discover that Mary’s anointing of Jesus is “for the day of [his] burial”. As so often in John’s gospel, misunderstanding and irony function to bring the actors in the drama, and to bring us as actors in the theatre of Christian life, to new levels of understanding and faith.
Right now, in the face of a pandemic, we are called, as sisters and brothers across the globe, to play our part so that this illness may lead to greater love and even to “life”.
-Veronica Lawson RSM
We are moving
At the end of the month we have to vacate our current Mass venue as our gathering time clashes with other planned events at Te Puru.
When Masses recommence after the Covid-19 emergency, our regular Saturday 5pm Mass will be held in St Hilda's Church, 3 Wakelin Rd, Beachlands.
We thank the local Anglican community for allowing us to use their facility.
Caring Group to help our community
They'll know we are Christians by our love. And one way we can show our Christian love is to care for one another, especially in times of need or distress.
Several people have already volunteered their services to start the Group but we need more. We also need to know if there is anyone who needs help from the Caring Group. So, if you would like to be a volunteer who may be called upon from time to time please contact Glenis Clapham (ph: 09 536 6305) or Kathie McNabney (ph: 09 530 8130). If you need some help or know of someone from our community who needs help please let Glenis or Kathie know.
Have you considered joining the parish planned giving programme? No more searching through your purse or wallet at collection time. You will be provided with a set of envelopes which need only be placed in the basket with your donation inside. And best of all at the end of each tax year you will receive a statement of your contributions so you can make a claim on your tax return.
Why not join up now. Contact the parish office or follow the link below for further information. Ph 5348710
Download our free Android App here
Take us with you everywhere on your Android phone by clicking on the link and following instructions.
If you are an iPhone user I can show you how to create your own app for our website.
How giving a little can mean a lot
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)
There are always people in need, sometimes long term, sometimes short term, sometimes in an emergency. The parish Food Bank, run by the Howick branch of the SVDP society, helps many families who find themselves in need of basic food items. Through supporting this we are putting into action the Church's principles of Social Justice: Human Dignity, Preferential Option for the Poor, the Common Good, Solidarity, Subsidiarity, Stewardship and Participation.
When you come to Mass at Beachlands try to bring one food item, a packet or can that can be added to the Food Bank, and place it in the basket on the table when you come in.
Giving a little can mean such a lot.
Please continue to keep Eileen Gallagher, John Clapham, Allan Saunders, Francis McNabney and other members of our community in your prayers.
John also asks us to pray for a breakthrough for treatment within New Zealand for neuroendocrine cancer.