Cardinal John Dew has shared with priests at a Mini Clergy Assembly in Wellington archdiocese something he learned years ago that has had a “huge influence” on how he tries to prepare and deliver homilies. More than 40 priests came together for the assembly on June 25 and the first part of the day was spent reflecting on “homilies, how we prepare them, what their content should be and how they should be delivered”, Cardinal Dew wrote in a newsletter two days later.

“I shared with the priests something I had read back in 1980 which has had a huge influence on how I try to prepare and deliver homilies,” the cardinal stated.

“It said this: ‘Most homilies today are ‘Try Harder’ homilies. They simply tell people to do more, to give more, to pray more, to try harder. Moralising has replaced the Good News and does nothing to help people who are struggling with life. . .’.”

“Everyone one could see that we are incredibly privileged and that it is a huge responsibility to deliver homilies in such a way that they are relevant to parishioners’ life experiences and give them hope,” the cardinal added.

The afternoon at the assembly was devoted to looking at the sacrament of Reconciliation and especially the differences between Rites One and Two.

“When reflecting on the sacrament of Reconciliation we shared and discussed our own experiences of the sacrament and how we can make the best possible use of the rites the Church has given us,” Cardinal Dew wrote.

“It is always God’s love and mercy we are proclaiming and celebrating.”

The day after the mini clergy assembly, a Mass was celebrated and a luncheon held to honour Fr Pat McCann, SM, who celebrated 65 years of ordination, Msgr John Carde, Fr Pat Maloney, Fr Earl Crotty, SM, (all 60 years), Fr John Craddock, SM (50 years) and Bishop Paul Martin, SM (25 years).

Cardinal’s luncheons 

Wellington archdiocese is aiming to hold four luncheons throughout the year to help bring together business and community leaders to reflect on faith and how it can relate to their work life.

The first of the “Cardinal’s Luncheon” series was on August 8 in downtown Wellington. Sir Bill and Lady Mary English addressed the initial event.

This networking opportunity is one of many initiatives stemming from the archdiocese’s 2017 synod concerning leadership.

The archdiocese also aims to arrange a range of activities to give people opportunities to get to know Cardinal Dew, clergy, practising and retired professionals and fellow Catholic businessmen and women in the community.

Visit for more information and to register.