The five Precepts of the Church describe the minimum effort we must make in prayer and in living a moral life. All Catholics are called to move beyond the minimum by growing in love of God and love of neighbor.
The Precepts are as follows:
- Attendance at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation
- Confession of serious sin at least once a year
- Reception of Holy Communion at least once a year during the Easter season
- Observance of the days of fast and abstinence
- Providing for the needs of the Church
This is the Lord’s day, the day of His resurrection and a Holy Day of Obligation.
Believers should be helped to see it as a day of joy and freedom. Other celebrations shall not take precedence over this day, for Sunday is the foundation and the nucleus of the entire Liturgicial Year. (Vatician II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, 106).
The Sacrament of Confession is one of the Sacraments of Healing. Please do not be concerned about going to confession and worry about what the Priest will think about your sins, they have heard it all before and there is nothing new or so bad that they will be shocked! If it is some time since you have been to confession, tell the priest and he will help you through the process or make an appointment with a priest for Reconciliation at another time. Reconciliation times are on this website under the tab “Masses”
Refresher: Rite I: Enter the reconciliation room, you can either be face to face, or kneel behind the screen. The priest will greet you and invite you to make the sign of the cross. He then may share a prayer or reading. He will invite you to trust in God and might say something like “May the Lord be in your heart and help you to confess your sins with true sorrow” and you respond with “Amen” You can now say “Bless me Father for I have sinned, its been ____ since my last confession” Now you can give the priest some background information like your life circumstances and confess your sin(s) you can say how many times to have committed each sin, or sinful habits and attitudes. The priest will give you some advice and may ask questions to get clarification. The priest will then propose an Act of Penance for you to do. The priest will then ask you for an Act of Contrition – you can recite one, or pray from your own heart “Dear God, I am sorry for my sins and with your help I will not sin again” The priest will give you absolution. He extends his hands over your head and pronounces the words of forgiveness, at the end you say “Amen” The priest will dismiss you, free from sin and to go in peace.
Rite II – is usually held during Lent and Advent. There are many priests in the church. The service starts with prayers and hymns and then an invitation to approach a priest and confess your sins. You will receive advice and your penance, then Absolution. The Act of Contrition is generally made together at the end.
Sacramental Holy Communion is the climax of participation in the Mass. It is strongly recommended that the faithful receive Holy Communion when they come to Mass. People may receive communion again on the same day when they take place in the celebration of a second Mass. With good reason communion may also be given outside of Mass after a Liturgy of the Word.
Those who receive Sacramental Holy Communion are to abstain for one hour beforehand from all food and drink, with the exception of water and medicine. This does NOT apply to the elderly, the sick and those who care for them or to Priests celebrating a second or third Mass on a given day.
Holy Days of Obligation
In addition to Sundays, the Holy Days of Obligation in New Zealand are:
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas Day, 25 December)
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (15 August).
Days of Penance
Canon 1249 reminds all Catholics of their obligation to do penance.
This obligation comes from the Gospel. Because of the value of taking part in a common observance of penance, penitential days are prescribed for us. On these days we pray more extensively, do works of piety or charity, fulfil our responsibilities more faithfully, and sometimes fast or abstain from meat.
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence in New Zealand. All persons who have completed their fourteenth year of age are bound by the laws of abstinence. those who have completed their eighteenth year of age are bound by the law of fasting up to the beginning of their sixtieth year.
In the Catholic Church, all Fridays are days of penance. our Bishops’ Conference has stated that catholics in New Zealand may fulfil the law of common practise of penance by performing any one of the following acts of piety or charity:
a) Abstaining from meat or some other food.
b) Abstaining from alcoholic drink, smoking, or some other form of amusement.
c) Fasting from all food for a longer period tha usual.
d) Giving what is saved as a result of fasting and abstinence to the needy at home or abroad.
e) Going out of the way to help somebody who is poor, sick, old or lonely.
f) Making an extra effort in terms of family prayer, participating in the Mass, visiting the Blessed Sacrament, or praying the Stations of the Cross.
Lent is a penitential season of prayer, self-denial and helping others. In this way, the whole Church prepares for Easter with those who are to be baptized. Other celebrations in Lent (e.g. marriage) must take account of the spirit of penance, musical instruments are only to be used to sustain singing and floral decorations are very simple.
The three pillars of Lent are: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence. The law of fasting binds those who have completed their eighteenth year, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. The laws of abstinence bins those who gave completed their fourteenth year (CCL 97,1251-52).
Catholics are obliged to receive Holy Communion at least once a year, in Australia and New Zealand between Ash Wednesday and Trinity Sunday.
Throughout Lent, our parish collects new winter pyjamas, warm socks, dressing gowns etc for clients of Catholic Social Services. It is one of our outreach projects in the parish. The donations can be left in the foyer of the church with the food donations. Any large donations can be left at the parish office during office hours.
Planned Giving is a system through which parishioners contribute to the support of our parish and its works and the support of the Priests in a planned and regular way.
It is a way of acknowledging that giving and sharing are essential parts of our total Christian living. Planned Giving is an informal arrangement, not a legal agreement. It is a way of planning your giving. it is a pledge, not a solemn promise which can’t be changed. It works like this: you decide the amount of money that you are able to give each week and you do your best to offer that amount each week.
You will receive set of envelopes from the parish office, once a year. Each week you put into the envelope for that week the weekly amount which you have decided that you are able to contribute. The envelope is placed in the collection basket at Sunday Mass. At the end of the financial year a receipt will be issued. Because planned giving is not a legal agreement, but an expression of what you decide that you are able to contribute, you are always free to reduce or suspend your payments if you encounter difficult financial times.
If you are not part of our Planned Giving Programme but would like to be, please contact the parish office (Phone 376 4303). Alternatively, instead of using weekly envelopes you may choose to contribute to the support or your parish by way of an automatic payment banking facility.
If you know that you are going to be a patient in hospital then you may contact the Chaplin before you are admitted.
Auckland City Hospital and Greenlane
Catholic Chaplin’s Office : 307 4949 ext 23375
1. When you are admitted and are filling in the Admission or Registration form, please anser the question “wish to see a Chaplin?” with a tick or a ‘yes’, and the question about religion with “Roman Catholic”
2. While you are in hospital, please ask to see the Catholic Chaplin. Relatives and friends are able to ask to see the Catholic Chaplin for themselves or on behalf of a relative or friend who has given consent to see a Chaplin.
These responses on your part will enable the Chaplin to give you spiritual and religious support while you are in hospital.
CATHOLIC COMMUNITY CONTACTS
City Deanery Parishes
City: Cathedral of St Patrick and St Joseph
Wyndham Street, City, 09 303 4509
Sunday Masses: 8am, 11am, 4:30pm, 7pm
Grey Lynn: St Joseph’s 454 Great North Road 1021, 09 376 4318
Saturday Vigil: 5:30pm
Sunday Masses: 8:30am, (English), 10:30am (Samoan)
Herne Bay: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 84 Kelmarna Ave, 1011, 09 360 5946
Sunday Mass: 8:30am
Newton: St Benedict, 1 Saint Benedicts Street, Eden Terrace, Newton 1010, 09 379 0624.
Saturday Vigil: 6pm – Reconciliation Saturday 5pm.
Sunday Masses: 9:30am, 5:30pm
Other Catholic parishes : http://www.aucklandcatholic.org.nz/parishes
Beginning Experience, grief resolution 360 3054
Catholic Caring Foundation 360 3045
Catholic Social Services 378 9650
Charismatic Renewal Centre 489 5613
De Paul House, emergency housing 480 5959
Monte Cecelia Housing Trust, residential housing programme for homeless families 275 6661
GIFT centre, religious Education for intellectually disables 620 9524
Life Line – 24 hours counselling line 522 2999
Pregnancy Counselling line 370 6745
Pregnancy Help 373 2599
Pregnancy and Family Support 629 4360
Project Rachel, support for baby loss for any reason 629 4360
Women’s Refuge (Auckland central) 378 7635
Supportline, Women’s Refuge 849 5692
Crisis Service- 24hour phone line 378 1893