Posts by OLV Parish

Fr Graeme Blackburn 2 March 1984 – 15 January 2018

Father Graeme Joseph Blackburn 2 March 1984 – 15 January 2018   A loved and respected priest of the Christchurch Diocese and Assistant Priest, at Our Lady of Victories for six months.   Passed away as a result of a tragic motor accident in Christchurch on Monday January 15, 2018. Aged 33 years   Requiem Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, 373 Manchester Street, Christchurch, on Saturday, January 20, at 11.00am. A Vigil Service will be held at Our Lady of Victories, 106 Main South Road, Sockburn, on Friday, January 19, at 7.00pm
Read More

Let What You Have Said Be Done to me….

On this forth and last Sunday of Advent, the figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary appears in our Gospel Reading.   It is the scene of the Annunciation.  Mary’s true greatness lies in her total surrender in faith to God. When the angel brings to Mary God’s message and asks Mary to become the mother of Jesus, Mary accepts the Divine will with loving joy. ‘Let what you have said be done to me‘.  Her heart was opened to receive the greatest of all God’s gifts, His own Son.  It is for her faith that she is praised by her kinswoman
Read More

Why The Pink Candle?

(3rd Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday)   Advent occurs at a time of the year where many people have the relief of breaking from both education and work. Yet this liturgical season still asks of us a penitential disposition. Like Lent, it is a time of fasting and prayer as we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. However, the Church in this third week of Advent affords us some reprieve as the mood is ‘lightened’ somewhat to encourage us in our spiritual preparation. ‘Gaudate’ Sunday (Latin for ‘rejoice’) is symbolised through the lighting of the pink candle and the
Read More

Prepare the Way for the Lord

(Second Sunday of Advent – Year B) St John the Baptist’s word’s: ‘‘Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight’’, ring out to us as we start the Second week of Advent (Mark 1:1-8).  He is the Patron Saint of the Diocese of Christchurch.  Perhaps his words and his personality are very apt for us in the week when we have been blessed with the appointment of a new Bishop (see page 3).  John comes to prepare for Christ’s coming. He appears in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism for the repentance of sins.  His very person embodies the
Read More

Breaking News: Habemus Vescovo – We have a Bishop

It was announced today that Pope Francis appointed Fr. Paul Martin SM as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Christchurch. Bishop-elect Paul Martin was born in Hastings in 1967, one of five children.  He entered the Marist Seminary in February 1985 and studied theology and art at Victoria University, Wellington.  He taught English and Religious Education in NZ, and has held the roles of Rector at St Patrick’s College, Wellington and Deputy Director in Pastoral Care at St Bede’s College, Christchurch.  He has also served as President of the Wellington Secondary Schools’ Principals Association and was part of the
Read More

Advent

(1st Sunday of Advent – Year B) Here we go. The festive season is upon us yet again. Importantly it is also the start of the new liturgical year. Our liturgical cycle this time around takes us through Mark’s Gospel, which scholars believe to be written around the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roma ns in 70.A.D.  During this period Mark was writing to an audience that were living in some tough times, socially and politically. But this was to be expected, Jesus frequently warned his followers that to be a follower of Christ would bring adversity.
Read More

Christ the King of the Universe

We priests have just come out of 5 days of Spiritual Retreat, led by Bishop Hugh Gilbert OSB (i.e. a Benedictine monk) of the Diocese of Aberdeen, Scotland.  During the retreat, Fr Graeme mischievously set me up for a confrontation with the bishop.  He knew I have no time for the Monarchy, and when he discovered that the Bishop is very much a Monarchist, challenged me to confront the Bishop.  Not one that is shy for a fight, that I duly did……  Why am I not a Monarchist?  You may have heard me preach the reason.  It is simple. I
Read More

What is a Talent?

33rd Sunday in Ordinary time Perhaps the most common understanding of the word talent is a certain ability or gift that God has given each one of us. Yet we should be careful to remember that what a talent means in the ancient Biblical sense is different to how we understand it today.  A talent in ancient times was a measurement of something weighty, like silver or Gold.  Thus to the ancient reader, the use of the word talent would instantly bring to mind something heavy. But more than this, to the mind of a Jew, the heaviness of a
Read More