Morena/Good morning,

I have always loved this gospel and what it represents. I guess it comes from my own fragility and need for forgiveness and acceptance. We can pretend to be like Jesus but when we are driven by compassion then we move to this week’s reading and its message.

People are struggling and they too are in need of love, peace, acceptance and forgiveness. Judging is easy, being compassionate and forgiving, not so much. That is, what sets Jesus apart. The God he talks about and invites us, into relationship with, is one, who is forever inviting, welcoming and non-judging.

The message of the cross is there for all of us – do we take on the burden realising that every step is a sign of belief in the Jesus who walks with us. Those arms are open, accepting but also ready to embrace like a parent helping an upset child. No judgement, only a heart that breaks for them. If only we could all see that the simple message of Jesus is just that “Come to me all you who are overburdened and I will give you rest”. That is love at its essence a willingness to engage and connect. 

Let’s be with each other, connect, have a conversation, ask how people are, listen to them. Yes, really listen. And ask that God guide us in our way to be like him.

Then, the words of Matthew becomes our opportunity to put into action – “shoulder my yoke and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your weary soul. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.” People need us to go out and while sometimes it is not easy it can be the difference between life and death.  

God go with you – Have a good week,


Scripture reflection: Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary time – 9 July 2023.       Come to me, and I will give you rest



First reading: Zechariah 9:9-10
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 144(145):1-2, 8-11, 13-14
Second reading: Romans 8:9, 11-13
Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30
Link to readings – click here

Praise to God and joy in God’s merciful love, justice and peace are themes which run through the readings for this Sunday.

The First Reading from Zechariah describes how God will defeat his enemies and establish himself as king – not through war and aggression, but with humility and peace.

The Psalm is a great hymn of praise, central to the Jewish faith. It speaks of God’s kindness and compassion to all, and offers us the reassurance that the Lord will always be faithful and loving, ready to support and raise us up when we fall.

In the Second Reading, Paul reminds the Romans, and ourselves, of what the suffering and death of Jesus has achieved for us. He speaks of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

In today’s Gospel, through his own prayer to his Father in heaven, Jesus reminds us that he is the one who will reveal God to us. Humility and gentleness are the virtues he emphasises; rest and freedom from burdens are the gifts he promises.

This week we pray anew for the people whose lives are burdened by war and violence, especially in Ukraine, Sudan and other troubled areas of the world. With the help of our prayers, may they know the love and peace of Christ.

After 30 years of leading and coordinating at both a parish and regional level Terry and Heather O’Brien are stepping down. 

They have been amazing with their support of both Heretaunga and Stokes Valley in fact they still belong and work with a group in both parishes and will continue to do this. 

Terry has Parkinson and so it is a healthy decision to step down. We will remain in contact and support where we can. They are part of our Passionist Family. A wonderful couple who has given wonderful service. The gift was given as a thank you for their ministry.

Passionist Youth Retreat Team

 During preparations for our upcoming Chapter, we were fortunate to have a presentation on the wonderful ministry of our Brisbane based Passionist Youth Retreat Team. Every member of the team past and present deserves great credit, but especially Ray Sanchez CP, Jo and Tim McDade and Tom Warren. Luke Bulley was a member of the team and this led him to join the Passionists. During his formation years he worked for brief periods with the team and has continued to do so since his ordination.


 You will find this video presentation inspiring and find yourself grateful that there are young lay Passionists taking our charism to other young people and engaging in a ministry that was so important to many of us in our younger days.

    Click on the link below to hear more: Very interesting and uplifting ministry to our young people.


Some notes from the talk given by Tom O’Loughlin, Irish  Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham. 

From his talk to ‘We Are Church’, 30 May 2023

Tradition: – some people think this means looking back to the past. But for Christians, Tradition is future-oriented: it is a question of handing on to future generations. Jesus told us to go out to the whole world and tell the Good News – today! Will the Synod be a Vatican 3? No! It will be a far more humble reality – a synod on synodality which is an unknown and contrasts with hierarchical control. It is a steep learning curve. All of us have to be engaged in this.

The ‘Instrumentum Laboris ‘ is the working-document, putting together all that came from the different Assemblies throughout the world. It is prepared but has not yet been circulated. We hope that at least it will take account of the problems in the Church today: that it is realistic and describes the scene on the ground. It will talk about one style [with laity involved], but it will be decided by another style [hierarchy making final decisions].

One Parish priest recently said: “There will be no discussion of critical issues. Just an increase in prayer.” This is like motherhood and apple pie. Last year Cardinal Ouellet organised a seminar on Priesthood with no mention of any decline in vocations. It was a dated theological discussion of priesthood. Have low expectations of the Synod! Catholic means ‘wholeness’ – not universality – human cultures are diverse, local churches reflect local realities. 

Women Priests may be culturally unacceptable in Africa or India, but in many western countries it is culturally unacceptable to exclude women. My hope for the Synod is that it will ‘hear’ the differences. We have had an Italian Renaissance culture shoved onto all of us – but it is not a case of ‘one size fits all’. Another hope I have is that the Synod will face the impediments to its progress. These include: a fear of admitting [papal] mistakes. They were afraid to admit Luther was right… Religion is a culturally conservative force and religious structures attract conservative people. Very few canon lawyers are radical!

I hope too that the Synod/we will not be dogged by false fears. Some are afraid that it will bring an implosion within the Church. But the implosion has happened already. Don’t be a scaremonger about the effects of the Synod. We are in a mighty mess already! If you doubt this then ask yourself these questions:

How many of your cousins and siblings are still practising?
How many of your children, nephews and nieces are still practising?
How many of your grandchildren are still practising?
How many find church attractive and life enhancing?
How many find the Christian message attractive?

Those who hinder the implosion make it even more daft. Remember the quotation about the millstone around their neck rather than lead the young astray. What is peddled as Christian faith in Uganda by President Museveni and bishops? Don’t beat up people because they are LGBT.

I hope the Synod will relish diversity – not uniformity. We are the first culture which can actually choose Christianity within a culture of secularity. Our culture does not assume, as past cultures did, that there is a God…

In the past, the evangelical counsels led to a two-tier Church: those who professed the three vows and all others. The understanding of the evangelical counsels led to individualism, as each vow focussed on the individual…

Circulated by ACCCR (Australasian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform)

Reminder: 5 Aims and Goals 


  • share & celebrate life & faith 
  • support one another (especially in need)                            
  • reaching out to & include others
  • build community/extended family
  • show example to children                                                                                    

    Pease remember in your thoughts and prayer: 


  • Please keep in prayer Emily and Jason – Emily who just had given birth but their baby is in critical care. 
  • Please keep in mind Merrilyn Barron who is unwell from Covid and awaiting furthers tests.
  • Please remember Sally van der Wetering We offer our prayer and support to Sally, Martin and her family and extended family. Also keep Martin inn your prayers as his health is not good currently.
  • Please remember Phil Drew a former Passionist who has had a massive stroke. Please remember his wife Anne and family
  • Please keep in your prayers those who continue to  deal with the after effects of Cyclone Gabrielle and other weather events. 
  • Keep in prayer the people of Ukraine
  • Please keep Somalia and the surrounding countries dealing with their sixth year in a row of drought.
  • Please keep Nick and Leah and daughter Heidi Darbyshire along with Paul and Linda in your thoughts and prayer.
  • Please pray for Dot and Neill Wilson (Invercargill) – their son-in-law Mark married to Dot’s daughter Anita has been diagnosed with aggressive brain tumour, Please keep in mind their daughter Bailey and son Taylor.
  • Remember Pat and Rod Carson 
  • Aidan son of Josie and Phil McIntyre – he is very sick and his parents are his caregivers.
  • Your own intentions


  1. What did the virologist say to the public? Probably the opposite of what he’ll tell them next week.
  2. One horse asks the other if he’s tried Ivermectin. “I haven’t,” he says, “but my neigh-bor has.”
  3. What are some unexpected consequences of over-the-counter efforts to treat COVID-19? Dirty fish tanks.
  4. Joe Rogan caught COVID but made a near-complete recovery. Unfortunately, he’s still not able to smell jiu-jitsu.
  5. What do all virus jokes have in common? They’re catchy.
  6. What do you call a coffee filter mask? A coughy filter.
  7. Going to ask my mom if the offer to slap me into next year still stands.
  8. Knock-Knock! Go home, you’re supposed to be social distancing.