Sunday, November 7, 1999

Dear 'kiwicatholics',

Noeline Sapwell, the faithful maintainer of the 'kiwicatholic' prayer
ministry, wrote:

>This week I am asking you all
>to please say a prayer for me :)

>I will be making my Secular
>Carmelite profession at a Mass this Sunday at
>I would really appreciate your prayers.

You shall have them Noeline! May God bless your pilgrimage of faith under
the banner of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross.

Three stories from this weekend's 'NZ Catholic' newspaper on the bishops'
Web site at:
'Nelson is site for new college'
A new Catholic co-educational college is to break new ground - it will be
the only Catholic college in the South Island part of Wellington
archdiocese. On October 14 Cardinal Thomas Williams and the mayor of the
Tasman District Council, John Hurley, formally signed a sale and purchase
agreement for land for the new college ... [U.S. readers: a "college" is a
high school]

'Poor housing highlighted in new report'
Wellington - The Government's housing policies have led to more than
115,000 people, including 50,000 children, living in crowded conditions,
says a report by the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services ...
[Link to the Ministry of Housing's home page where you won't find the CCSS

'Newcomers given warm welcome in Hastings parish'
Some applied innovation and creativity have made sure that visitors and new
parishioners always feel welcome at Sacred Heart parish in Hastings. The
parish has a "New Parishioners" stand in the lobby of the church, staffed
every Sunday by parishioner Angela Minton (right) ...
Now at this point, due to a technical hiccup, on looking right you *might*
see a picture of Brother Richard Dunleavy, the new secretary general of the
Marist Brothers, whose picture appeared in the previous issue. Click your
browser's 'Refresh' or 'Reload' button to get the true picture. I am on to
this glitch now and will take steps in future to ensure that only the latest
photos appear with the latest stories. Oh, and Brother Dunleavy wishes it to
be known that he is not now - nor has he ever been - Angela Minton.

The reason there's no link to the text of the CCSS housing report is that no
Web site has a copy of it. I spoke to the Council's Secretary about this and
explained the advantages of publishing on the Web: there's nothing more to
do after putting it up, but anyone interested can read, print out and
photocopy the report in unlimited quantities, so there's never a shortage
and you get a very wide audience. Alas, the Council hasn't the staff to
maintain a Web site and apparently couldn't find an existing one to put the
report on.

Our eldest son Michael (25) wrote this week about his experiences as
assistant manager at the Wellington Men's Night Shelter. Mike jnr is also
the manager of the Wellington City Mission foodbank and a budget adviser
there. Pauline has already responded to his post. He stays at the Night
Shelter from Saturday evening to Tuesday evening so his next opportunity to
respond will be Wednesday evening.

The topic of schools came up during the week. It happens that this weekends'
'NZ Catholic' newspaper also has two items from the Hamilton diocesan
Catholic schools' conference: one by the Treasurer, Bill English and the
other by the chief review officer of the Education Review Office (the
government's school performance watchdog) Dr Judith Aitkin.

Bill and Mary English's children attend Sacred Heart convent school in
Wellington. He writes that "when people go to a Catholic school they believe
the teachers [there] should believe in God ... I know there are teachers who
pray with the children but who don't believe in God - my children have had
that experience and it confuses them".

What is the legal position regarding religious belief and the employment of
teachers in the Catholic school system? I know from the advertisements for
staff that applicants "must be willing to take a full part in" all aspects
of school life. But is it legal to refuse employment on the grounds that
someone doesn't believe in God? What if they said they did, and later "I've
thought about and now I don't!"

In the other item Dr Aitkin writes about a young girl whose mother is "
single, a Catholic by baptism, alcoholic by profession .... It is her
integrated Roman Catholic school .. that has keep her father and her aunts
and uncles and grandmothers in touch with her, paid her bus fare, given her
lunch, not minded about her unofficial uniform, fostered her intelligence."

A few lines below there's a copy of a letter in this weekend's 'NZ

Every best wish and all God's blessings.

Mike Leon
'kiwicatholic' list manager

I am writing in the hope that through your paper I might be able to make
contact with individual women and groups of women who are already - or who
would like to - form a Catholic women's network.

I believe that it is time for Catholic women in New Zealand to be united in
bringing attention to the need for women to have an environment in the
Church which gives them the ability to explore their spirituality as women.
We also need to influence the Church to form structures that will give just
recognition to the leadership roles of women within the Church and to the
way in which women experience leadership.

The aims of such a group would be mainly to share resources that feed and
nourish women; to promote education for women in theology, Scripture and
Church teaching; and to promote the formation of structures that will
recognise and foster the use of the special gifts and talents of women in
leadership roles within the Catholic Church and society.

I am aware of groups of women which are already doing this but believe it is
time for women to call for change in the Church with one united voice. Too
many women have left the Church because they have no place within it. I
believe we are called as women to effect change for future generations.

Teresa Homan,
10 Garnet Grove,
Upper Hutt.