First Sunday of Advent — Vigil Mass
Saturday, 30 November 2013 — Year A
May God Bless each and every one of you.
First Reading: Isa 2:1-5 Second Reading: Rom 13:11-14 Gospel: Matt 24:37-44
Dear Parishioners and visitors,
During the four weeks of Advent there will be Confessions before and after Mass in Te Rapa and after Mass in Hillcrest. Also, please take note of the Rite II Reconciliation times in the city overleaf.
Next Friday there are Confessions on the hour during the Adoration for Priestly Vocations at Te Rapa from after Mass to 7.30 pm.
Advent is a wonderful time to go to Confession and adults find it easier to do an examination of conscience at home, asking the Holy Spirit to assist them to know their sins. You can write them down on a piece of paper so you don’t have to worry about recalling them when you go and just read them.
The best Confessions are when people are honest and humble about their sins and it’s a wonderful opportunity to receive God’s grace, healing and peace. Please do come.
Kind regards and God bless,
Fr Eamon Kennedy
For priestly vocations go to: thepriesthood.org.nz
St Peter Chanel Prayer
Heavenly Father, from the First Companions of the Society of Mary, you sent St Peter Chanel to bring the light of faith to the people of our islands.
In hardship and afflictions he gave understanding testimony to Christ by his words, his life and the shedding of his blood.
May our celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection make us also faithful witnesses to the new life he offers us.
Honoured in New Zealand
In New Zealand there are six parishes, four primary schools, one college, a National Shrine and a Diocesan centre dedicated in honour of St Peter Chanel, the Bi-Centenary of whose birth was on 12th July 2003. How is it that a saint of French origin is so honoured in this land?
Father Peter Chanel was one of the early group of Catholic missionaries to the South West Pacific which set out from France in December 1836. The group was destined to found the Catholic Church in Western Oceania and New Zealand. Father Chanel and a Marist catechist Brother Marie-Nizier were placed on the island of Futuna, north of the Fijian Islands, in November 1837 and laboured there for three and a bit years. It was a difficult mission: learning the language, coping with isolation, different foods and customs, eventually beginning to bear some fruit.
On 28th April 1841 Peter Chanel was killed by a group of warriors incited by the leading chief of Futuna, in hatred of the Faith which threatened his control over the people.
Eventually the earthly remains of Peter Chanel were brought to New Zealand and remained at Russell for eight years before being sent to France. Peter Chanel was acknowledged as a martyr and declared Blessed in 1889.
He was canonized in the Marian Year 1954 by Pope Pius XII. St Peter Chanel is recognized as the first martyr of Oceania and the Patron Saint of this region. As a foundation member of the Society of Mary he is acknowledged by the wider Marist family - Marist Brothers of the Schools, Marist Sisters (Peter Chanel had a sister in this congregation), Marist Missionary sisters - all of these religious groups contributing to the development of the Catholic Church in New Zealand.
As a Marist, a missionary, a martyr and a Saint, Peter Chanel is of significance to New Zealand. We celebrate the anniversary of his death as a Church Feast day and the Bi-Centenary of his birth will give further opportunity for Russell, Manukau, Te Rapa, Whakatane, Hamilton Diocese, Hastings, Masterton, Otaki, Motueka, and Green Island (and indeed - all parishes and schools) to celebrate, remember and gain strength by Peter Chanel's intercession as the lives of Peter's spiritual descendants continue.