Category Archives: Homilies

The Catholic Church Walks Alongside Aboriginal Rebirth

Archbishop Prowse, Elder Tony and Archbishop Yllana.

Archbishop Prowse, Elder Tony and Archbishop Yllana.

HOMILY at St Christopher’s Cathedral, Canberra on the First Sunday of Advent and the 30th Anniversary of St John Paul II’s Speech at Alice Springs.

We have now entered into a new Liturgical Year focussing on the Gospel of Matthew. We begin today our Advent Season.

The Gospel calls us to STAY AWAKE in anticipation for the Lord’s coming. We are to be ‘READY,’…for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour’. It is a time of hope.

Not only is Jesus to come unexpectedly in time, but he comes unexpectedly in appearance. Who would have expected the Almighty Son of God to come unexpectedly as a fragile child in a Bethlehem stable, at an unexpected time of Roman Imperialism in the chaotic religious culture of Judea.

Also today, we welcome Pope Francis’ representative in Australia, our Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency, Archbishop Yllana, as our Principal Celebrant. He is with us because it is a special day for all Australians. We look back to the Pastoral Visit 30 years ago of St John Paul II to Australia. In this 1986 visit, the Pope visited all States of Australia. It was however, his monumental speech in Alice Springs (29th November 1986) that we recall today. Continue reading

Now is the time of mercy, Cardinal Dolan told Aussie pilgrims

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

When it comes to god we are all Olympic gold medalists at putting things off, when it comes to critical things in life, we are experts at putting things off. That’s why today’s catechesis, ‘Now is the Time of Mercy‘ is so critical at this time, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, told hundreds of Aussies pilgrims during World Youth Day.

‘We live on Gods mercy. We don’t and shouldn’t delay with God. We should’t put things off.’ 

Quoting St Augustine, the Cardinal said, ‘we will always have God’s mercy, we might not have tomorrow but we will always have God’s mercy. Haunting, isn’t it? That’s why now is the time of mercy’.

Gathered in a packed tent on Wednesday 27 July, Cardinal Dolan delivered an engaging, urgent and compassionate talk to young people at the english speaking catechesis site. Continue reading

Opening Mass at World Youth Day, Krakow

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Photos by Emilie Ng, Catholic Leader

Welcome message to pilgrims at World Youth Day.

My dear friends!

The moment we have been waiting 3 years for has arrived.

We have been waiting since the day Pope Francis announced in Rio de Janeiro that the next World Youth Day would take place in Poland – in Krakow. We are pleased to welcome the Cardinal and delegation from Rio de Janeiro. I thank you for coming to us to pass the happiness of World Youth Day.

The clock fitted on the facade of St. Mary’s Basilica in the heart of historic Krakow counted the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the moment which we are now experiencing. 

But a more important clock, registering the thoughts and feelings in our hearts, spiritually prepared us for the meeting that we are beginning today of young disciples of the Master of Nazareth from all over the world. Continue reading

Bishop Long’s homily during Mass of Installation

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Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM ConV and Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP.

Dear friends,

The clergy and Catholic people of Parramatta have been waiting for long and here I am, only five feet and a half though. After 19 months without a bishop, you have been given one in the person of a Vietnamese Australian and a former boat person. Perhaps, you can add my appointment to the list of surprises that Pope Francis has done.

I am very honoured and humbled by this appointment and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Church in Parramatta during this time. As guided by my motto “go further into the deep” (Lk 5:40), I have taken many leaps of faith before, including the one that launched me literally onto the Pacific Ocean. Now I am about to be cast into the deep interior of Western Sydney, all the way to the beautiful Blue Mountains and the fertile plains of the Hawkesbury River. I cannot help but feel daunted by what lies ahead. Nevertheless, I make bold to move forward, trusting in the sustaining power of God and the support of many people and fellow ministers of the Gospel. Continue reading

The Ascension of the Lord | Cardinal George Pell’s Homily | 12 May, 2013

http://www.sspeterpaulukrchurch.us/

http://www.sspeterpaulukrchurch.us/

The Ascension of the Lord
Acts 1:1-11; Eph 1:17-23; Lk 24:46-53

By + Cardinal George Pell
Archbishop of Sydney
12 May 2013

Today is unusual not merely because Ascension Thursday, forty days after the Lord’s resurrection, is celebrated on this Sunday before the feast of Pentecost, but also because it is the only occasion when we have two excerpts from Luke, from the Acts of the Apostles, which he also wrote and from his Gospel. We are all well aware that in this year the cycle of gospel readings is taken predominantly from Luke, although we have not had Lucan gospel texts for a few weeks.

Luke’s gospel is written in the best Greek in the New Testament according to the experts. Luke was a Gentile not a Jew, probably an early Christian convert and physician from Antioch, with Greek as his first language. Greek was then the common language all around the Eastern Mediterranean just as English is now used in Asia and Africa, where there are many local tongues. As well as giving us this information St. Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin in the fourth century also told us Luke was a follower of St. Paul, the great missionary apostle and companion on Paul’s journeys.

Legend describes Luke as a portrait painter, especially of Our Lady and the Christ Child. The portrait we know and venerate as Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which is found in the Redemptorist Church in Rome was one such ascribed to St. Luke in my youth in country Victoria. Alas, this painting comes from the 11th – 12th century and Our Lady is dressed as a Byzantine noblewoman from the Eastern part of the Roman Empire which continued until 1453 in Constantinople, about one thousand years after the Roman Empire collapsed in Western Europe. Continue reading

Diocese of Wilcannia Forbes

Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes

Media Release 13 February, 2013

President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Archbishop Denis Hart today received a letter from Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, regarding the future of the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes.

The Congregation has been considering various proposals relating to the Diocese including the possibility that some parishes might be attached to other neighbouring Dioceses.

The Congregation has recommended that the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes continue as a Diocese, and has advised that a Bishop will be appointed in due course. Continue reading

Bishop Paul Bird – Christmas Message 2012

Bishop Paul Bird

Charles Dickens is famous for his novels such as The Adventures of Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. He also wrote a little book called The Life of Our Lord. He wrote this especially for his own children and he used to read it to them every Christmas. The book begins with these words:

“My dear children, I am very anxious that you should know something about the history of Jesus Christ. For everybody ought to know about Him. No one ever lived who was so good, so kind, so gentle, and so sorry for all people who did wrong, or were in any way ill or miserable, as He was.” Continue reading

Bishop Robert McGuckin – Christmas Message 2012

Bishop Robert McGuckin, source, ABC

Dear Brothers and Sisters

This time of year brings about a change of pace in the day to day pattern of our lives.  Schools are on holidays, there are work functions and many families look to a respite as they prepare for a break.  For those who have lost a loved one during the year, this Christmas will have moments of sadness.  Financial stress is a reality as many struggle to make ends meet.  We should remember these people and encourage and support them.  Continue reading

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe – Christmas Message, 2012

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe

This Christmas Message from Archbishop Costelloe was first published in the Record.

In the Christmas story, when the angels appear to the shepherds to tell them of the birth of Christ the angel’s first words are “do not be afraid” (Luke 2:10). They are the same words with which the angel Gabriel greets Mary when he tells her of God’s plan that she should be the mother of the messiah (Luke 1:30).

As Mary’s child grows up and begins his life’s work, he too will say these words many times. When his disciples are caught in a dangerous storm out on the lake he comes to them through the raging wind and waves, walking across the waters, and encouraging them not to be afraid (Matthew 14:27). When he realizes how insecure and unimportant people feel, he reminds them that because God knows and loves them they have no need to be afraid (Matthew 10:31). And when he encounters the women at the empty tomb after his rising from the dead he says also to them, “Do not be afraid” (Matthew 28:10). Continue reading

Monsignor John Woods – Christmas Message 2012

Monsignor John Woods – Diocesan Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn

Christmas is over too quickly. We spend days shopping, then exchange gifts, eat and drink before watching the Boxing Day Test or shop for a bargain or head to the coast or do whatever. Enjoyable, but is that it?

To get perspective on the significance of Christmas, the Church bookends it with 4 weeks of Advent, followed by the 2 weeks of the Christmas Season. While we are watching the cricket, the Church commemorates the Martyrdom of St Stephen (26 December) and then the Slaughter of the Holy Innocents (28 December), sobering counterpoints to an overly sentimentalised and commercialised understanding of Christmas. The baby grows up. The light of Christmas foreshadows the transformation from death to life at Easter.

To engage with Christmas, I encourage you to go to the nativity scene in quiet wonder. Reclaim your lost innocence in the eyes of a baby, so powerless and yet so engaging. The eyes of that baby smile on all of us and on Calvary they will look on both a good and a bad thief. This baby will confound, comfort and challenge and be rejected as too good to be true as he reconciles that which still divides us – life and death, light and dark, heaven and earth, victim and perpetrator, the refugee and the citizen, partisan politicians and the common good, the sick and the healthy, the rich and the unemployed, the loved and the lonely, all of us. Christmas is God’s proclamation that God is with us and loves us not because of who we are or what we do but because God love us. To claim our dignity in Christ and to afford others theirs is to be formed in a healthy community. To deny that dignity through child sexual abuse or any act of unmitigated violence such as the recent shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, does not invalidate the message of Christmas but it does call for a more engaging witness to it in truth and love. One hopes that our Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse and the call for gun law reform in the US will enhance the dignity of all.

Continue reading

Archbishop Denis Hart – Christmas Message 2012

Archbishop Denis Hart

At Christmas, in the person of Jesus, God comes to us.  We not only recall an event two thousand years ago, which changed the course of human history and linked God and human beings in an embrace of love, every Christmas we know God is near.  Jesus was born in a humble stable into a poor family.  Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event.  In this poverty heaven’s glory was shown to human beings.

Many families this Christmas are facing an uncertain financial future.  Some are concerned about care for their children, caring for those who are sick, adequate schooling to prepare them for the modern world.

God’s coming emphasises the dignity of each human being from conception to natural death.  God’s coming is an act of love reminding each of us that no matter what may be the challenges we face we are loved and valued.

All of us, old or young, can learn to value the people that surround us, respect their different points of view and learn that greater peace and happiness comes from giving of our time to others rather than indulging ourselves in food, drink and pleasure. Continue reading

A Day Made Possible by Vatican II

By Devett O’Brien, Secretary-General of the International Young Christian Students reporting from the Synod in Rome

Devett O'Brien

Tomorrow will see massive celebrations in Rome and around the world to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Council. As majestic as the celebrations may be, the events in the Synod in the last 24 hours emphasise the impact of the Council, the seemingly commonplace things that would not have been possible before Vatican II.

The good news coming out of the Synod from last night and today was an increasing focus on hearing the voice of the laity.

Cardinal Ouellet presented yesterday evening on the reception by the Church of “Verbum Domini,” the outcome document of the last General Synod which was on the Word of God. In his closing summary last night he was reportedly extremely animated in saying that many Priests were not effective in their preaching and that to improve this they should not only look to preaching aids and other Priests but more importantly to ask the lay people to tell them how to improve. Continue reading