This issue of News and Notes is much briefer than I intended, because my wife has just been stung on the nose by a wasp. First things first, you know :-)
During the week members of the 'kiwicath' forum received news of the document "Ecclesia in Oceania", outlining the priorities for the Church's mission in Oceania in the coming decades. In effect this document is the "report and recommendations" of the Special Assembly of the Synod of bishops for Oceania (November-December 1998) which had as its theme: "Jesus Christ and the Peoples of Oceania: Walking His Way, Telling His Truth, Living His Life".
Along with the relevant links, I had intended to write a fuller description of the Special Assembly for Oceania but, thanks to the wasp, it was not be. However you can read all about the Special Assembly on our bishops' Web site, including its "Instrument Laboris" (working document), a very thorough review of the history, problems and prospects of evangelisation in our region in the new century, at: http://www.catholic.org.nz/cathcom/jubilee/synod/synod.html
On the Special Assembly's News page, at: http://www.catholic.org.nz/cathcom/jubilee/synod/news.html you will find summaries of our New Zealand bishops' addresses to the Assembly, giving an idea of what they felt were the pastoral priorities for Oceania. You might like to compare them with those outlined in latest document.
"Ecclesia in Oceania", full text: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_j\ p-ii_exh_20011122_ecclesia-in-oceania_en.html
A summary of the key points in "Ecclesia in Oceania" (about 25 paragraphs): http://zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=13005
A report of the presentation of the document by Pope John Paul in which he expresses regret that he could not come in person to promulgate it: http://zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=12998
Further reports about "Ecclesia in Oceania":
Nuclear Contamination of Oceania Denounced. Pope Calls for Respect for Environment http://zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=13047
Australian Aborigines Thank Pope for Apology In Response to His "Mea Culpa" in Exhortation "Church in Oceania" http://zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=13045
Pope Asks for Aborigines´ Forgiveness for Abuses by Priests. "Mea Culpa" Expressed in Apostolic Exhortation " Ecclesia in Oceania" http://zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=13044
Now, I have to buzz off, but I assure you everything will be back to normal next week.
Every best wish and all God's blessings, Mike Leon 'kiwicath' forum manager