2016/04/03 08:00:00

2016 Eucharistic Convention Speakers

Fr John Hollowell

Father John Hollowell is a young dynamic Catholic priest who we were lucky enough to have as one of our guest speakers at our 2013 Eucharistic Convention. Here Father Hollowell talks about evangelising through the internet and social media.    

News & Updates


Wishing you all a happy and holy Christmas, and a fruitful new year.   Dear supporters of the Eucharistic Convention It is timely for me to update you as to the future of this convention. After meeting with Bishop Steve some months back it was concluded that a smaller type of event would probably be more effective going forward rather than the large and rather costly events that have graced the convention over what is now twenty nine years, excluding the Covid years where it couldn’t be held. For my part, I am now heavily involved in the training of Deacons for the Auckland Diocese, in addition to my role as the Catholic Chaplain at North Shore Hospital. I also need to spend time with my family, which is so necessary in this day and age. Given my current workload, I will not be able to dedicate the time required to any other apostolate. This will mean, of course, I will not be involved in any revamp of a Eucharistic Convention style event. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support over the years that I have been director of the Eucharistic Convention, especially during the covid years when positive planning was impossible. It has truly been a privilege to spearhead this wonderful event. There is light at the end of the tunnel, though. Over the last few months I have been meeting with your previous convention director, John Porteous, and Bernard Moran, who with his wife Annetta have been heavily involved in “VOICE FOR LIFE” for many years. Some of you may remember the publication NZ TABLET which was discontinued in 1996, Bernard was a journalist for that publication. As concerned grandparents, given the pressure placed on young people in our secular world today, John and Bernard want to bring St Michael the Archangel back into Catholic consciousness. In years past the prayer to St Michael was said after each Mass, perhaps it’s time to re-establish this practice?  One of St Michael’s titles is Guardian of the Blessed Eucharist, and so re-establishing devotion to this magnificent Archangel would seem to be an appropriate activity as a follow-on from these Eucharistic Conventions. To that end, I have invited John and Bernard to update you on their plans, and if you like what they have on offer you might like to support their new venture as you have supported the convention over many years. Next year it will be thirty years since the first Auckland Eucharistic Convention, which seems to be an appropriate anniversary to launch a similar apostolate configured for the current age. John and Bernard will send out a notice of their St Michael’s Project early in the new year. With every Blessing Deacon Mark Rivalland 18 December, 2023   PS: Tomorrow will be the 13th anniversary of the sudden death of our initial spiritual advisor to the Eucharistic Conventions, Monsignor Paul Cronin. Please remember him in your prayers.

St Joseph, Terror of Deamons

Church grants plenary indulgence for year of St. Joseph The Apostolic Penitentiary issues a Decree granting plenary indulgences for the year of St. Joseph proclaimed by Pope Francis on Tuesday. The special year will last from 8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021. By Vatican News staff writer Pope Francis on Tuesday announced a special year dedicated to St. Joseph starting from 8 December 2020 until 8 December 2021, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church, as well as the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. The Apostolic Penitentiary also issued a decree granting special indulgences for the duration of the special year to celebrate the anniversary and “to perpetuate the entrustment of the whole Church to the powerful patronage of the Custodian of Jesus.” During this period, the faithful will have the opportunity to commit themselves “with prayer and good works, to obtain, with the help of St. Joseph, head of the heavenly Family of Nazareth, comfort and relief from the serious human and social tribulations that besiege the contemporary world today.” Devotion to St. Joseph The decree signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, and the Regent, Fr. Krzysztof Nykiel, notes that devotion to St. Joseph has grown extensively throughout the history of the Church, “which not only attributes to him high reverence after that of the Mother of God his spouse but has also given him multiple patronages.” At the same time, the Magisterium of the Church continues to discover “old and new greatness in this treasure which is St. Joseph, like the master in the Gospel of Matthew who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” Therefore, the gift of indulgences granted through a decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary by mandate of the Holy Father “will be of great benefit to the perfect attainment of the appointed purpose.” Conditions for the plenary indulgence The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions) to Christians who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in the Year of St. Joseph on these occasions and manners indicated by the Apostolic Penitentiary: –       The plenary indulgence is granted to those who will meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer, or take part in a Spiritual Retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on St. Joseph. “St. Joseph, an authentic man of faith, invites us”, the decree reads, “to rediscover our filial relationship with the Father, to renew fidelity to prayer, to listen and correspond with profound discernment to God’s will.” –       The indulgence can also be obtained by those who, following St. Joseph’s example, will perform a spiritual or corporal work of mercy. St. Joseph “encourages us to rediscover the value of silence, prudence and loyalty in carrying out our duties,” the decree notes. –       The recitation of the Holy Rosary in families and among engaged couples is another way of obtaining indulgences, in order that “all Christian families may be stimulated to recreate the same atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was in the Holy Family.” –       Everyone who entrusts their daily activity to the protection of St. Joseph, and every faithful who invokes the intercession of St. Joseph so that those seeking work can find dignifying work can also obtain the plenary indulgence. On 1 May 1955, Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph “with the intent that the dignity of work be recognized by all, and that it inspires social life and laws, based on the fair distribution of rights and duties.” –       The plenary indulgence is also granted to the faithful who will recite the Litany to St. Joseph (for the Latin tradition), or the Akathistos to St. Joseph (for the Byzantine tradition), or any other prayer to St. Joseph proper to the other liturgical traditions, for the persecuted Church ad intra and ad extra, and for the relief of all Christians suffering all forms of persecution. Because, the decree notes, “the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt shows us that God is there where man is in danger, where man suffers, where he runs away, where he experiences rejection and abandonment.” A universal saint In addition to these, the Apostolic Penitentiary grants a plenary indulgence to the faithful who will recite any legitimately approved prayer or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, for example, “To you, O blessed Joseph” especially on “19 March, on 1 May, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, on St. Joseph’s Sunday (according to the Byzantine tradition) on the 19th of each month and every Wednesday, a day dedicated to the memory of the saint according to the Latin tradition.” The decree recalls the universality of St. Joseph’s patronage of the Church, noting that St. Teresa of Ávila recognized him as “a protector for all the circumstances of life”. Pope St. John Paul II also said that St. Joseph has “a renewed relevance for the Church of our time, in relation to the new Christian millennium.” For the sick Amid the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis, the gift of the plenary indulgence is also extended to the sick, the elderly, the dying and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave their homes. They too can obtain the plenary indulgences if they are detached from any sin and have the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three usual conditions and recite an act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, offering to God the pains and hardships of their lives. The role of priests The Apostolic Penitentiary encourages priests to pastorally facilitate the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and the administration of Holy Communion to the sick with a willing and generous spirit.  

Beautiful Video from Fr Stan Fortuna & Tony Melendez

Both Father Stan and Tony Melendez (who has no arms and plays the guitar with his feet) have been to our previous Eucharistic Conventions.  They have come together to produce this beautiful video production – “You are my God” I invite you to watch it Deacon Mark  

The Fletcher Family offer a touching tribute to their parents on All Souls Day

Dear Deacon Mark Rivalland On this All Souls Day 2020, could you please ask people to pray for the repose of the souls of our dearly Beloved parents: The late William Livingstone Fletcher who had attended the Eucharistic Convention from 2001 – 2011 The late Noreen Antonette Fletcher had attended the Eucharistic Convention from 2001 – 2018  Could we also ask that people also pray for all deceased souls who have supported and attended these conventions over the past 27 years? Our precious mum and dad loved the Eucharistic Convention. They attended from the time they immigrated to this beautiful country of New Zealand until God called them home. Our whole family has been blessed to attend these conventions, we look forward to them every year. There would be something very special missing in our lives if there were no more Eucharistic Conventions, and we know of many others who feel the same way. Our prayer is that they continue well into the future, the graces that flow from these events are incalculable. We have put together this video tribute to our dear mum and dad; we hope you like it. With grateful thanks Alison, Barrington, Craige and Antonette (The Fletcher Family) St. Annes Parish, Manurewa, South Auckland  

Blessed Alexandrina Maria de Costa

Through the centuries God has given us signs to show the validity of the Holy Eucharist. This sign is special indeed. Blessed Alexandrina Maria de Costa Born 30 March 1904, Died 13 October 1955   For 13 years and seven months until her death, Blessed Alexandrina Maria de Costa received no nourishment of any kind except the Holy Eucharist, at one point weighing as few as 33 kilos (approximately 73 pounds). This is a film about her life. Deacon Mark  

New Maltese bishop: “Pope Francis’ convictions are the convictions of the gospel”

“Pope Francis’ convictions are the convictions of the gospel”, a new Maltese bishop has said.     “Francis is the best, most beautiful and best expression of the gospel” Father Anton Teuma was named by Pope Francis June 17 as the new Bishop of Gozo, the second-largest island in the Maltese archipelago.   The bishop-elect spoke June 28 on the Maltese program In Depth, and was specifically asked how he personally felt about Pope Francis’ forthright views on topics such as immigration, racism, homosexuality and the environment, which although anchored in the tradition, have sometimes raised the ire of more conservative Catholics. “Pope Francis’s convictions are the convictions of the gospel”, the new bishop affirmed emphatically. He added that the present pontiff “is the best, most beautiful and best expression of the gospel we can have in time, therefore I will follow his footsteps”. “If we bind Christ to the structure of the Church, we would be impoverishing him” As examples of how ‘Franciscan’ priorities might play out in his future episcopal ministry, Teuma first echoed Pope Francis’ conviction that the Church must fling open its doors to let Jesus out into the world, rather than wait for the Lord to knock to enter. Asked whether the Church is still relevant in Maltese and wider society today, Teuma answered by saying that “the message of Jesus Christ as well as the Gospel is fundamental not for the Church but for its people”. “If we bind him to the structure of the Church, we would be impoverishing Jesus Christ and doing him a great disservice because he did not come for a structure, he came for man”, the Bishop-elect insisted. A pledge “to listen to others as this is the policy of God” As for evangelisation, too, Teuma said he intended to follow in the pope’s mould by focusing not so much on the priest or bishop personally as the stopgap to growing secularisation but instead on the minister’s ability to facilitate a personal encounter between Jesus and those Catholics considering abandoning the faith. Rather than convincing the wavering Catholic to stay, “my job is to introduce them [to Jesus] or to create a context that makes it easier for them to meet”, the new bishop explained. Another leaf Teuma said he intends to take from Pope Francis’ book is that of collegiality and subsidiarity. That cooperation could first be felt at a local level, the new bishop said, by providing more priests from Gozo – where there are more vocations – to work on Malta – where there are fewer. One more way in which the new bishop plans on emulating Pope Francis is in the latter’s strict ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to clerical sex abusers, telling In Depth “”we have very clear directives from the Holy See on such matters. We acknowledge the fact that if we are in doubt, each and every case has to be thoroughly investigated. It has always been very clear and categorical in this regard”. But in the meantime, Teuma said as he gets to know his new diocese he is setting as a “very important” goal that of “listen[ing] to others as this is the policy of God”. “First and foremost, my plan is to hear with great attention my fellow priests and continue working on what was built by previous bishops”, the Gozo Bishop-elect pledged, adding that consultations with laypeople in the diocese are an important priority for him as well. A “down to earth” welder and electrician who prefers the word “we” to “I”   Teuma, 56-years-old and a priest for 32, has most recently served as parish priest of Xaghra, episcopal delegate for the family and head of the John Paul II Family Institute of Gozo. He holds a doctorate in science of education from the Pontifical Salesian University., has ministered in Rome as a parish vicar, as a spiritual father at the Pontifical Roman Seminary and as the head and spiritual assistant of the Eucharistic Communities of the diocese of Rome, and has also served as the head of Gozo’s major seminary. Teuma has been described by people who know him as “down to earth”. A quality of his that comes, perhaps, from training for the welder’s and electrician’s licences he obtained while studying for the priesthood, and a facet of his personality that was amply on display during his mid-June presentation to the media, when he repeatedly spoke of the need to work “collectively” and said he does not like the word “I”, preferring instead the “we” that reflects the strength of the community. SOURCE: novenanews.com

Pope Francis urges laity to ‘take a step forward’ in evangelization

The Eucharistic Convention is all about evangelisation. The fruits of this annual event are truly remarkable. The Holy Spirit is very much present at these conventions in a special way; it is an event like no other and one we want to continue with all we have to offer to the good Lord.  Can you help? Can you “evangelise” with us? If so share your ideas with me so “together” we can make a difference. Deacon Mark Rivalland EMAIL: [email protected] ————————————–     SOURCE:  catholicnewsagency.com By Courtney Mares Vatican City, Oct 14, 2020 / 07:00 am MT (CNA).- Pope Francis called for the laity to “take a step forward” in carrying out the Church’s mission of evangelization in a preface to a book written by an Italian bishop. “The time is now. The mission of the laity is not a privilege of a few and it involves total dedication,” Pope Francis wrote in the foreword to the recently published book “Symphony of Ministries: A renewed presence of laity in the Church,” by Bishop Fabio Fabene. “The laity themselves are asked to be joyful in self-giving and prayer, to grow and to operate within the Christian community to share and support their journey, the mutual exchange of gifts aroused by the Holy Spirit,” the pope said. Pope Francis stressed the importance of “the co-responsibility of the laity in the building up of the Church,” as highlighted in St. John Paul II’s 1988 exhortation “Christifideles laici.” “If the heart of the priest’s identity lies in consecrating the Eucharistic bread, the center of the lay mission consists in consecrating the world according to God’s plan,” Pope Francis wrote. “The ministries established carry out this dual mission in favor of the Church and the world, making the laity (women and men) active subjects of evangelization and mission,” he added. The pope mentioned that the recent synods on the family, young people, and the Amazon had recommended new lay ministries “for a more synodal and outgoing Church” and asked every bishop to conduct a careful discernment of which ministries are needed for his territory. He also warned Church leaders against the temptation to “clericalize” the laity and said it was vital to recognize lay people’s specific vocation. “It is necessary to avoid the risk of transforming ministries into forms of power, which is a temptation always lurking,” he said. “An entirely ministerial Church manifests a People with a thousand faces. It is a Church where the role of women is central.” Published in Italian by Edizioni San Paolo, the 112-page book proposes that the laity should play an important role in the Church’s pastoral care in light of a fall in priestly vocations in recent years. Bishop Fabene, the author, has served as under-secretary of the Synod of Bishops since 2014. Prior to this, he earned a degree in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University and worked in the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops. “It is time for the laity to take a step forward, a step further. And find in the Church the necessary space to do so, a way to respond to their vocations,” Pope Francis wrote. “The Holy Spirit is always active in the People of God, enriching them with new gifts each time, and we must be careful not to extinguish them and not to discourage them,” the pope said.  

Congratulations Father Roger Gilbride FSSP and Deacon Brendan Boyce FSSP

Both ordained today at St Benedict’s Church Auckland, by Emeritus Bishop of Hamilton, Bishop Denis Brown.   DEACON BRENDAN                       FATHER ROGER     May the Lord bless you abundantly for your generosity on offering your life of service to His Church   Deacon Mark FATHER ROGER GILBRIDE FSSP

Roger Gilbride talks about Euthanasia back in 2013

It is interesting to note Roger Gilbride toured our country in 2013 making people aware of the dangers associated in legalizing euthanasia. His efforts paid dividends, the bill failed. Well done Roger, we congratulate you on your courage and determination and are thrilled to witness your ordination to the Catholic Priesthood some seven years later. Old Hairy Legs never gives up, once more euthanasia is a hot topic with the End of Life Choice referendum on our option list this election. We all have a responsibility to do the right thing, God help us all. I share the Timaru Herald story about Roger below, it is well worth a read. Deacon Mark ———————————————————————– TIMARU HERALD – MAY 2013 Warning of suicide, elder abuse Legalising euthanasia would make a mockery of existing suicide prevention programmes, according to an anti-euthanasia activist. Euthanasia Debate New Zealand executive officer Roger Gilbride said that once assisted suicide was normalised those struggling with suicidal tendencies were more likely to follow that path. Mr Gilbride is touring the country for two weeks to share the latest research and information on the controversial issue. He held a meeting in Timaru at the Sacred Heart Community Centre yesterday. Figures from the United States for 1999 to 2010 showed that since assisted suicide had been legalised in the state of Oregon, general suicides nationally had increased 28 per cent and in Oregon 49 per cent, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Mr Gilbride said. In New Zealand, the 2003 Death With Dignity Bill was defeated on its first vote but the resurrected End of Life Choice Bill could be drawn from the ballot at any time, and Mr Gilbride wants Kiwis to be informed before that occurs. The bill covers those over 18 who have unbearable physical or psychological suffering or are likely to die naturally within 12 months. “But that is problematic,” Mr Gilbride said, “as it is difficult to predict if someone will die within that time period.” He said many people did not realise euthanasia was the direct intentional ending of someone’s life through a lethal injection or drug overdose. Medication to ease pain could shorten life and this was already practised but the ending of that life was a secondary effect, not the main intention, Mr Gilbride said. Safeguards surrounding euthanasia in countries where it was legal, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, were often circumvented, he said. Research published in the Canadian Medical Association journal in 2010 showed 32 per cent of euthanasia deaths in Flanders, Belgium, were performed without a patient’s request, he said. “Safeguards are extremely difficult to police.” Sometimes the family would be swayed by a medical professional to go ahead with the death because they trusted their authority, Mr Gilbride said. The fear was that if New Zealand legalised euthanasia, elder abuse would increase as the vulnerable and sick who felt they were a burden or unwanted would be pressured to end their lives early, Mr Gilbride said.   SOURCE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/8711323/Warning-of-suicide-elder-abuse

Roger Gilbride to be Ordained

Dear attendees and friends of the Eucharistic Convention Bishop Denis Browne, Emeritus Bishop of Hamilton, will ordain Deacon Roger Gilbride, FSSP, to the priesthood and Mr Brendan Boyce, FSSP, to the diaconate on Saturday, October 3 2020, with the Mass starting at 10.30am. Some may remember American singer Annie Karto encouraging our local “Young and Prolife Group” to get up on the stage with her to share some of their music with the audience.  Roger Gilbride was part of that group so he has a tangible connection with our Eucharistic Convention. See the video below of the groups performance that year, Roger is the tallest of the group. What a blessing for this young man to have gone on to be ordained into the Catholic priesthood. We congratulate you Roger and please be assured of our prayers to support your incredible life choice. Roger sent an open invitation to anyone wanting to attend his ordination.  With COVID 19 restrictions in place numbers will be restricted to 100 so a large attendance will not be possible.  I know Roger will appreciate your prayers so please remember him in a special way on Saturday. Click this link to view the ordination poster With every blessing for the month of October Deacon Mark Rivalland

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