Category Archives: FCBCO

Can Mass and Prayer be the new normal for youth?

Rachel Pitcaithly Source: Supplied

Rachel Pitcaithly Source: Supplied

Yesterday, I attended brilliant workshop by an inspiring Catholic school teacher, Rachel Pitcaithly about, “Developing young people with Catholic Hearts and Minds”. She reported on extraordinary success in a Christchurch boys college in getting the boys praying and attending Mass as the new normal. Lots of ideas here to be trying back in Australia!

Some of the ideas that Rachel brought up yesterday have been discussed in this article in 2012 by Jonathan Doyle (with a significant contribution from Rachel), “Catholic Schools and the Sacrament of Reconciliation – A bridge too far?”

Wednesday: Hakas (with Video), Pastoral Planning, Earthquakes, Mass & St Mathias

This morning the Pacific bishops discussed two subjects: pastoral planning – and earthquakes! Then we had Mass with students from all the secondary schools of the diocese, followed by another ferocious haka from the boys of St Patrick’s College Wellington. Archbishop Adrian Smith of Honiara in the Solomon Islands preached a very funny homily inspired by today’s feast of St Matthias, the first person called to succeed the apostles. He challenged the young people to take their turn as apostles – some even as bishops.

Photos: Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania

In last night’s blog, I talked about opening of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania. Here are some of the pictures taken by Adrian Heke and courtesy of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.


Greetings from New Zealand

Kia Ora! Greetings from New Zealand / Aeotora. I am at the Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania in Wellington for the four-yearly meeting of all the bishops of Oceania.


Photo of Aoraki / Mount Cook. SOURCE WIKIPEDIA COMMONS Photo: David Briody

Last night we were given a pōwhiri or ceremonial welcome by the local Maoris. There were many speeches, songs (we sung the Salve Regina and the Pater Noster in reply to the Maori songs). As is the custom, noses were pressed and hands shook, followed by Mass in Sacred Heart Cathedral and then a hākari (feast). There is a very strong sense of the Church of the Pacific amongst us and even the tiniest island nations have their bishop or administrator here.

Today Bishop Eugene Hurley of Darwin led a very moving discussion of Australian refugee policy and off-shore detention centres on Pacific islands. The bishops of places such as Manus Island and Nauru also spoke about the impacts on their communities. There was a strong sense that Australia’s present policy is cruel and that we could do much better. This confirmed the Australian bishops’ statement of last week. As Jesus challenges us in the Gospel of Matthew,  When I was a stranger did you welcome me? (Mt 25:35)

I attended an interesting workshop analysing all the evidence about Gen Y and how connected / disconnected they are from the Church. Good discussion of what works in bringing them closer to Christ, his sacraments and his community. St John Paul would be pleased!