Archbishop of Sydney
17 October 2011
This evening we conclude the retreat day of the Ad Limina visit with both Mass in this renovated chapel of St. Peter Chanel and the consecration of its new altar.
I am not sure whether the chapel was ever consecrated previously by the Marist Fathers. But we can be sure that this place of worship has been made holy by the prayers and lives of all the Marist priests and seminarians who lived here during more than one hundred years.
As Jesus pointed out to the Samaritan woman, his followers, the true worshippers to which we belong, worship the Father in spirit and truth. It is the same Eucharist, the same seven sacraments that will continue to be celebrated here as in the Marist times, when we worship the Father through his only Son. Continue reading
Most Holy Father,
From the Antipodes, from Terra Australis de Spiritu Sancto, we come as pilgrims ad limina apostolorum, to the Tombs of the Apostles. The old map on the third loggia of this Apostolic Palace has Australia marked simply as Terra Incognita. But our land is no longer unknown to you, and its “joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties” (Lumen Gentium, 1) are intimately known to us as Pastors. All of these we bring to you now, confident that you have come to know not only our land but also its people in all their diversity. The land may be distant, but we know the people are close to your heart. Continue reading
AT THE BASILICA OF ST JOHN LATERAN
In the history of salvation God called extraordinary people to proclaim his revelation to the world. Patriarchs and prophets prepared the Chosen People, the Israelites, to grasp the reality of the one true God and to shape their lives according to his Will.
On the Feast of St John the Baptist we see in him the fulfilment of the centuries of preparation and the validation of all that had gone before. We hear in him the combined voices of all the prophets as he cried out “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths”. Continue reading
By Archbishop John Bathersby, Archbishop of Brisbane
My brothers and sisters it is a tremendous privilege to be present in this marvellous Basilica of St Mary Major. It brings us together, and brings together also Jesus, Son of God and Saviour, and His mother Mary, Our Lady, and mother of the Church. Mary has already played significant roles in all of our lives. I grew up in Stanthorpe in the 1940s, taught by the Sisters of Mercy who constantly encouraged me to pray for a vocation to priesthood. I tried to do so, but changed my mind when I thought the Air Force was a more interesting career, only to realise that the Sisters had kept on praying for me through the power of Mary, mother of Jesus. For me Mary seemed like a furnace of prayer and I turned to her whenever I needed support for myself, or needed support assist others who asked for my prayers. Continue reading
By Fr Brian Lucas and Beth Doherty
The Australian Bishops have begun their Ad Limina visit with a reception at the Vatican Museum which featured a presentation on the Australian indigenous collection.
The following is an extract from the homily of the president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Archbishop Wilson at the tomb of St Peter.
“Today we begin our Ad Limina visit. It is an act of pilgrimage. As bishops we come to be renewed in faith and love as we renew our unity with one another as successors of the Apostles and with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict; the successor of Peter. We come seeking peace in our lives as bishops. A peace fostered by our obedience; an obedience framed in different ways at different levels of our faith; an obedience framed firstly in our relationship with God; to Jesus’ rule of faith and love; then an obedience framed in our love and fidelity to the Holy Father and the Church. Finally, we come in an obedience of love to one another as brother bishops and to all our people, our sisters and brothers in the communion of the Church.”
The Bishops were joined at this Mass by a number of Australian religious workingin Rome and other Australian visitors. Continue reading