Morena/Good morning,

In recent times I have been having a reality check about what people endure and how sometimes we can settle for comfort and ease. This can be experienced in our church, our homes, and yes, even in our Passionist Family Groups. The readings this weekend encourage us to see a bigger picture. The Old Testament demonstrates that the journey of its people is one about the growing awareness of God. It is a movement from a God of rules and regulations to one encouraging personal responsibility and compassion.

The encounter with Noah and others is a God shaping and revealing an encounter – an encounter that speaks of ‘Covenant’ – a pact that “I will be your God and you my people’. Over the years, we see continuously how humans are tempted and lured in other ways and directions and move from this covenant relationship. We get so lured by the temptations to rest, have a good time, and rest on our laurels, that, we have done our duties. 

Tell any mother about this experience – there is always something to attend to and so easily we are lured to this sense that I have worked hard and deserve this break and time out. Perhaps in all honesty we do. However, in life there is always something that needs attention – our relationships and friendships. People need care and support, people need friendship and people need to be loved. This is the heart of the call of the gospel to love and serve.

Our Passionist Family Groups do place a burden on us to go beyond ourselves which is never easy. There are people out there in our parish communities and beyond who need support, love, compassion and care. We can dwell on what the church does not do or hasn’t done but it will never diminish the responsibility of the gospel in Matthew 28 “Go out and make disciples…”

We are in the first week of Lent and the gospel gives us a clue via Mark of what we can do. Jesus withdraws into the desert – he rids himself of worldly distractions to find himself and his relationship with God. It is challenging and lonely but also necessary. Ask any person facing death what their journey is like and what it means to them. We all have to face things we would rather not! But, to be the best person we can be then this is a road we must take.

Yes, it’s not for the faint hearted but necessary for us to understand the call and message of Jesus.

As I journey, I feel so honoured by the people I meet and what they share. I am totally convinced that our Passionist Family Groups are a need and provide an important place for people. It creates a loving accepting relationship that creates and encourages us to see a bigger picture. We are all ‘connected’ and made of ‘star dust’. If we look to the heavens that is our source and it is us. We spend so much time in dividing people but we are all made of the same matter. Rather, we should seek more moments to create opportunities to bringing people together. Celebrating life and humanity with all its gifts and those of everything around us and within us.

Have a good week – blessings on each of you and those struggling



Scripture reflection:  Sunday of Lent Year B, 18 February 2024.

The Good News of the Covenant



Grant, almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. 

First reading: Genesis 9:8-15
Responsorial psalm: Ps 24(25):4-9
Second reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22
Gospel: Mark 1:12-15
Link to readings – click here

May we take heart from the scriptures as we begin our Lenten journey, ready to follow the Lord’s ways, and eager to learn his paths.

St Joseph’s Pukekohe Set Up pf Passionist Family Groups is under way thanks to John and Rosie Crawford, Jocelyn and Billy Uasike who spoke at masses last weekend and Lindsay brand and her daughter Tam Fatiolofa along with Trisha Schistra this weekend’s masses and we start up on the 25th February. Please keep the people of this parish and their supportive PP Fr Robert Steele in your prayer.

This week I will be meeting with the Christchurch Parishes with Passionist Family Groups and Ashburton. I will be away from Thursday to next Monday. 

 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 and give example to children     

 Formation-ReflectionEverything is Connected…from the Nathanial Report (November 2023) John Kleinsman PhD  

(director of the New Zealand Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics)

 In his recent Apostolic Exhortation on the climate crisis, Laudate Deum, Pope Francis notes that “the Covid-19 pandemic b rought out the close relation of human life with that of other living beings and with the natural environment … [thereby confirming] that what happens in one part of the world has repercussions on the entire planet.” This insight leads the Pope to a conviction that he acknowledges he repeats over and over again: “Everything is connected”. (Laudato Deum, n. 19) 

 In his 2015 Encyclical on Care for our Common Home, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis traces the interconnectedness of life to the interconnectedness of the divine persons of the Trinity:  “The divine Persons are subsistent relations1, and the world, created according to the divine model, is a web of relationships. Creatures tend towards God, and in turn it is proper to every living being to tend toward s other things, so that throughout the universe we can find any number of constant and secretly interwoven relationships. 

This leads us not only to marvel at the manifold connections existing among creatures, but also to discover a key to our own fulfilment”. 

 “The human person grows more, matures more and is sanctified more to the extent that he or she enters into relationships, going out from themselves to live in communion with God, with others and with all creatures. In this way, they make their own that trinitarian dynamism which God imprinted in them when they were created. 

Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity.” (n. 240)  So, a “spirituality of global solidarity” becomes the paradigm for evaluating the way we humans are living and being in the world. What does a spirituality of global solidarity look like and how is it nurtured? It will flow from an “open theology” that is oriented to salvation for both people and creation within a synodal, missionary and open Church. As Pope Francis recently wrote in Ad Theologiam Promovendam, a short apostolic letter in which he offers revised statutes for the Pontifical Academy of Theology: 

 “Theological reflection is therefore called to a turning point, to a paradigm shift, to a ‘courageous cultural revolution’ that commits it, in the first place, to being a fundamentally contextual theology, capable of reading and interpreting the Gospel in the conditions in which men and women live daily, in different geographical, social and cultural environments, and having as its archetype the Incarnation of the eternal Logos, his entry into the culture, the vision of the world, the religious tradition of a people”. 

 Theologian Sr. Geraldina Céspedes Ulloa picks up on the theme of an open theology that reflects the conditions in which we are living daily.2  Faith has to lead us to be better human beings,  in solidarity with those who suffer and with the earth … I try to do a theology that inserts the Gospel in the people’s realities and culture — a theology that listens to humanity’s cries. I live a theology that does not ignore the tremendous socio- environmental imbalance, nor does it ignore the crises within the church itself. 

 In a similar vein, Cardinal Cupich has recently called for Cardinal Bernardin’s Consistent Ethic of Life to be retrieved,3 40 years on from Bernardin’s Fordham address in which he famously linked the issues of abortion and nuclear deterrence. 

Reading that 1983 address reveals that a key motivation for Cardinal Bernardin’s commitment to shaping a position of linkage among the life issues was his deep desire to develop “a significant defence of life in a comprehensive and consistent manner.” 

 Perhaps Cardinal Cupich has been reading the NZ Bishops’ latest teaching document, Te Kahu o te Ora – a Consistent Ethic of Life, a recently published revised version of a 1997 document based on Cardinal Bernardin’s Consistent Ethic of Life. In that document we read that “the ‘right to life’, properly understood, includes the right to flourish and develop according to our fullest potential. Anything that undermines the flourishing of God’s creation constitutes a tear in the seamless garment of life.” The bishops also note: 

… the concept of the consistent ethic of life can act as a counter to the culture of domination (between humankind and by humankind over God’s creation) that is all too readily evident. Just as a kahu embraces all that is good and wholesome, so too the consistent ethic of life forms a canopy of non-violent moral teachings embracing the connections between all parts of God’s creation … If practised, this ethic can help us to maintain, and where necessary restore, harmony and right relationships within humankind and between humankind and the rest of God’s creation. 

At a time in our human history where the intensity of violence between humans is all too evident and the violence we humans are wreaking on our planet is reaching crisis proportions, the notion of a “spirituality of global solidarity” has never been more urgent. 

  To quote again from Cardinal Cupich: “All threats to human dignity are intertwined, not simply by logical consistency, but by reality itself, as diverse threats to life tend to reinforce one another.” Indeed, “everything is connected” and it is time we started thinking, praying and acting as such. 

1  The concept of a “subsistent relationship” comes from Philosophy. It is here being used by Pope Francis to make the point that the relationship between the three persons of the Trinity is a ‘necessary’ one that goes to the core of their identity. 

2  González, L D. (2023) Q&A with Sr. Geraldina Céspedes Ulloa, living a theology that listens to humanity’s cries. Global Sisters Report. 

3  Cupich, B J. (2023). Cardinal Cupich on retrieving the Consistent Ethic of Life. America




      Pease remember in your thoughts and prayer: 


  • Please keep Paul Geoghegan who is in the hospice in your prayers and remember his wife Christine and children and grandchildren.
  • Please keep Jocelyn Bryant who is undergoing Chemotherapy also her husband Kevin and family in your thoughts and prayer 
  • Please keep  Paul and Linda Darbyshire in your thoughts and prayer amid challenges they face.
  • Blessings and thanks for the safe arrival  of Little Darby weighing 2.1 kios. Both mum and baby are doing well. Congrats toNick and Leah and daughter Heidi  Darbyshire.  
  • Please keep in your prayer Leanne Hintz (Claire & Ray Hague’s  daughter. She is very unwell.
  • Please keep Richard Gibbs in your prayer he is recuperating at home and remember his wife Sue.
  • Please keep Robert van de Pas in your prayers – he continues to struggle with pain etc from Chronic Pancreatitis. Also Adriana his mother who is supporting him.
  • Please keep a young mum in your prayers who is having pregnancy issues.
  • Please keep Preston Epplett in your prayer and his family. Preston is recovering.
  • Please remember Preston and Jenny Epplett’s daughter who is undergoing chemotherapy
  • Please keep Debbi Davidson’s husband Bryan in your prayer after Debbi died on 1st November. Also, please keep the children and grandchildren and friends in your thoughts and prayer. Grief is a tough journey.
  • Please keep Charlie and Maggi in your thoughts and prayer as they support their daughter and her partner
  • Please keep Anja van de Wettering in your prayers as she has shared she is expecting her second child.
  • Please keep David, Victoria and baby in your prayers. There has been some positive progress and it now looks as if this baby will make it to full term. 
  • Please keep a friend in mind who is in very early stages of pregnancy but has had a few miscarriages so, things are touch and go.
  • Keep in mind all those who are struggling with various aspects of mental health.
  • Please keep in mind a son of a friend of mine who has just been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 
  • Please remember Martin van der Wetering in your prayers as his health still is causing him grief and discomfort.
  • Please remember Phil Drew a former Passionist along with his wife Anne and family
  • Please keep in your prayers those who continue to  deal with the after effects of droughts on the horn of Africa. Also weather effects on other countries across the planet 
  • Please keep Bob Buckley in your prayers- 
  • Keep in prayer the people of Ukraine
  • Keep people in Gaza and Israel in your prayer – these acts from both sides have had a horrible effect on the innocent as always. 
  • 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 –his parents are his caregivers.
  • Your own intentions


  • How can you tell the difference between a dog and tree? By their bark.
  • Why do dragons sleep during the day? Because they like to fight knights.
  • Why did the scarecrow win an award? It was outstanding in its field.
  • Did you hear about the 12-inch dog? It was a foot long.
  • Why did the baseball player get arrested? He stole third base.
  • What did one piece of tape say to the other? Let’s stick together.


Best dad jokes for kids

  • What’s brown and sticky? A stick.
  • How does the rancher keep track of his cattle? With a cow-culator.
  • What do you call a shoe made out of a banana? A slipper.
  • How you fix a broken pumpkin? With a pumpkin patch.
  • Where do boats go when they’re sick? To the dock.
  • Can February March? No, but April May!
  • What do you call a fibbing cat? A lion