Catholic Religious Education

By Stephen Fraser / February 15, 2019
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There are always two – The Master and the Disciple   Being a disciple pre supposes that a personal experience or revelation has drawn us to want to be a disciple of Jesus our Master – Baptism establishes a covenant relationship between us and a lifelong journey begins……. We can be forgiven for understanding discipleship as a function of “who I am and what I do”, when it is rather a “who do I belong to and what is required of me” relationship. The first disciples of Jesus were disciple’s first of John the Baptist (Luke 5 1-11) and become disciples of Jesus who had then and has now a mission of drawing all into the Kingdom of His Father, our Father. This is outworked in two ways, firstly, over time our relationship should ensure that we become more like the Master, which culminates in a lifelong daily journey that …
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A Cross, A Reminder

By Karen / February 9, 2018
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A Day of Identity Asking a group of people to name the Holy Days of Obligations for Catholics invariably brings the response ‘Ash Wednesday’.  It isn’t a day of obligation for Catholics; in fact the ashes are often received outside Mass.  However, for Catholics Ash Wednesday is an identity day.  People attend Church services and receive the ashes.  Then they may spend the rest of the day with others whispering to them that they ‘have a mark on their forehead’.   Walking the streets of towns and cities you can spot many Christians on this day because they have a physical mark.   In part, when we wear the Ashes we are saying yes, we are part of the body of Christ. At Baptism we reject sin and profess our faith. This is reflected in one of the common phrases used at the imposition of the ashes “Turn away from sin and …
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Bells and Smells – A Catholic Thing

By Karen / January 10, 2018
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Bells and Smells Tell a Story Catholicism is sometimes referred to as the religion with ‘bells and smells’.  And in many ways we are.  Catholics take their whole body to prayer, we use more than words.  We stand, we sit, we kneel, hear bells, smell incense, feel holy water, cross ourselves, and genuflect. But not just for the sake of it but because everything we do has meaning and says something about our faith. Posture tells it As can be seen during the Mass how we are in prayer tells its own story. Kneeling strictly speaking is the bearing of repentance and private worship, this is why many people kneel after communion, it is why we kneel when we say “Lord, I am not worthy…” Sitting is a more passive stance of reflection and being open, we sit during the presentation of the gifts reflecting on the movement between the …
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Pausing to Reflect

By Sian Owen / November 9, 2017
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Faithful Contemplation Catholicism is full of stories that tell truths and enable us to contemplate God’s relationship with us through the use of the familiar. They are literally the ‘stuff of legends’.  If you contemplate the head of a pike (a kind of fish) according to German legend you will see a distinctive scene of the crucifixion. This is because at the moment of the crucifixion all the fish of the sea were so terrified that they dived deep into the water. The pike however was curious so emerged from the sea to view the event thus earning the enduring mark. Why tell the story? It reminds us to consider how we witness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Do our actions tell of the Good News? Doughnuts, those delightful sweet treats, have their origins in begging and praying. It was an old English custom that as payment …
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Faith calls us to Mission

By Sian Owen / October 20, 2017
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Faith Does. A popular book by Kenneth Stokes Faith is A Verb (1989) encourages readers to appreciate that growing in faith is a life-long process. The title is also a reminder that the gift of faith is not something static. It’s more than something we are given which we thank God we have, then leave on the shelf to gather dust.  Faith is active it is missionary.  As we continue to implement the diocesan Pastoral Plan Fit for Mission we are challenged think about how our faith makes a difference to our lives as missionary disciples (See James 2:17-14). Christian Baptism calls us to holiness and action.  We are called to grow our personal relationship with God and to be committed to making a difference in the world. For the Christian, faith and helping others are part and parcel of being Christian, of living out our Baptism.  At the conclusion of Mass having been …
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To Elect with Justice

By Sian Owen / September 5, 2017
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To Act with Justice   Micah 6:8 God has told you what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God? Justice and the General Election The New Zealand Catholic Bishops have written to all New Zealanders about how to wisely vote in the upcoming general election by considering the issues of concern through the light of Catholic Social Teaching.  They do not tell people who to vote for.  Our vote is  made in light of our conscious.  However our conscious must be informed.  One way to inform our conscious is to look at the wisdom of the Church and its Social Justice teaching.   You can download the Bishops’ election statement here.  NZCBC_Election_Statement_ What is Catholic Social Teaching ? Catholic Social Teaching sums up the teachings of the Church on issues of justice . …
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To Elect with Justice

By Sian Owen / September 5, 2017
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To Act with Justice   Micah 6:8 God has told you what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God? Justice and the General Election The New Zealand Catholic Bishops have written to all New Zealanders about how to wisely vote in the upcoming general election by considering the issues of concern through the light of Catholic Social Teaching.  They do not tell people who to vote for.  Our vote is  made in light of our conscious.  However our conscious must be informed.  One way to inform our conscious is to look at the wisdom of the Church and its Social Justice teaching.   You can download the Bishops’ election statement here.  NZCBC_Election_Statement_ What is Catholic Social Teaching? Catholic Social Teaching sums up the teachings of the Church on issues of justice. It seeks to …
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Faith handed on

By Sian Owen / July 19, 2017
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Each of us has in some way had the faith ‘handed’ on to us.  For ‘cradle Catholics’ our parents brought us to be baptised, wanted us to be part of the Catholic family, handed on the faith to us.  Those Catholics who chose to become part of the family as adults were influenced, encouraged and supported by others. The faith was handed on to them.  The whole Church family, every individual and group is involved in handing on and nurturing faith. In the early story of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand, faith was nurtured and shared by a wide variety of people.  For early European settlers, there were none of the structures we take for granted today.  For families such as the Poynton’s there was no Church, no Catholic school, no priests. They headed across the Tasman to Sydney for the Baptism of two of their children. However …
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