Homilies

Mass celebrated by Archbishop Hart for the Vigil of Christ the King

Mass celebrated by Archbishop Hart for the Vigil of Christ the King

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HARTAT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE,FOR THE VIGIL OF CHRIST THE KINGON SATURDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2011 AT 6PM. INTRODUCTION Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today we gather to celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, acknowledging that Jesus is the one in whom our life finds fulfilment, who will guide our lives and hearts. We will offer Mass, and as a consequence of the perfect sacrifice carry the Lord in adoration in procession and then proceed to Benediction.  May Christ live in our hearts now and always. Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our...

Mass celebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart at All Hallows Church, Balwyn

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART
AT ALL HALLOWS CHURCH, BALWYN,
FOR THE CLOSURE OF ALL HALLOWS SCHOOL, BALWYN,
ON FRIDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2011 AT 7PM.


INTRODUCTION

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Together with your Parish Priest, Father Brendan Reed, and Mr. Michael O’Riley, your Principal, I welcome you to this Mass of thanksgiving and remembrance of so many great things which have been part of the life of All Hallows School, Balwyn, since its opening in February, 1942, which had been preceded by the regular celebration of Mass since 15th May, 1941, and which continued until the opening of the new church in July, 1962.

I believe that it is appropriate that we gather to thank God for all that has been done so well at All Hallows and to ask God’s help in this time of transition and in the hope which he offers all of us for the future.

Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.


 
HOMILY


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

For a few months short of seventy years All Hallows School has sought to provide careful tuition and a full Catholic education to the young people of Balwyn.  The fact that your church and school are dedicated to All Hallows, or All Saints, means that the primary focus of our membership of the Catholic Church and of Catholic education is that we become saints.

From humble beginnings in February 1942 with two classes and two teachers, there has been constant expansion; the construction of the existing modern school in 1976 and the complete refurbishment of the B.E.R. project.  Pupils of All Hallows have spoken of clear memories; portable classrooms, the old weatherboard house full of mosquitoes, the Nuns from Mary’s Mount, Peter Knights, the Hawthorn footballer who was teller at the local bank and came and talked to the children about savings, the adventure playground and above all the friendships for which we thank God.

    Because we have experienced the mercy and love of God we gather tonight to thank him for the ways in which that love has been developed by the hard work and skill of Mr. O’Riley and his staff, by many teachers over the years, who have sought to prepare young people to live as followers of Jesus Christ after the example of the magnificent men and women who have gone before and who are now saints at the altar of God.

Particularly we notice in the life of Jesus Christ that thirty of his thirty-three years were spent doing the ordinary works of everyday.  In the same way the constant hard work of educating children, the wonderful surprises as they grow, learn and develop and the individual attention which can be given in a small school are all remarkable characteristics of the education here at All Hallows.  Indeed, when I visited sometime ago for blessing of extensions I was amazed at what has been provided here from the very humble beginnings not so many years ago.

On your behalf I want to thank God for his many blessings.  I believe that it is important that we all remember with affection what we have learned here and how it has contributed to our growth and development.  In this particular area of Melbourne, with a number of schools reaching into primary classes, sustaining a viable school has been very difficult and finally the decision has been made to close All Hallows School and to offer greater educational opportunities for our children at Our Lady of Good Counsel, where receiving a Catholic education and mixing with a larger number of children they will be well prepared for life and engaging with a greater variety of young people.

In Christian parlance this is a day of precious memory.  We thank God for the wonderful people who have helped educate our children, for the families who have contributed so generously to the school, and for the young people whose beauty and grace is a fine exa

Mass celebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart for the solemnity of Christ the King

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART
FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING
AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE,
ON SUNDAY, 20 NOVEMBER 2011 AT 11AM.


INTRODUCTION

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King knowing that he has come as our Redeemer and will certainly come as our judge at the end of our life and at the end of time.

In acknowledging Jesus as Lord of our life we are challenged to live our life as befits those who await the call by Christ, the Good Shepherd.

Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.

HOMILY


Dear Brothers and Sisters,


The Gospel we have just read confronts us with the knowledge that we will most certainly die and that our recognition will be to the extent we have fed the hungry, nourished the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, visited the sick and aided the prisoner.

If Jesus is the Lord of our life raised from the dead, who breaks the power of evil and is to be King of our hearts, he must also be King of our lives.  

Through his Church Jesus shows himself to be the Good Shepherd who leads us to true pastures.  The Readings, however, say more than this.  They challenge us to keep a clear vision of Christ every day of our lives.  His own resurrection is so that we who have been configured to him in Baptism may rise again to eternal life and may rise in the general resurrection on the last day.  Death and the subsequent personal judgement are the greatest reality of our lives.  Jesus himself passed through death to resurrection.  He invites us through the lives we lead to prepare for both death and newness of lives.

William Barclay says this:  “This is one of the most vivid parables which Jesus every spoke and the lesson of it is crystal clear.  The lesson is this – that God will judge us in accordance with our reaction to human need.  God’s judgement does not depend on the knowledge we have amassed, nor the fame that we have acquired, or the fortune that we have gained, but on the help that we have given.  The simple things listed in the Gospel show us that in giving of ourselves we must be quite uncalculating, taking people as they are and seeing that if we do give help it is given to Christ.”

In the Prayer after Communion we ask that Jesus will help us to live by his Gospel and bring us to the joys of his kingdom.  This, of course, will mean that we need to have the vision of his kingdom here on earth, to be united with him in heart and mind through prayer and this in itself will be peace-giving.  Christ the Good Shepherd will certainly watch over us, bringing back the lost and the stray, strengthening the weak and bandaging the wounded, but he will only do this through people and therefore our example is important.

Today on this great feast as we honour Jesus as Lord and Saviour, let us acknowledge the importance of being one with him in mind and heart and being the instruments of his care, glory and peace among those with whom we share our lives.  Only if the Lord is our Shepherd, then we will want nothing.


+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

Thirty third Sunday in Ordinary Time

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART
AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE,
ON SUNDAY, 13 NOVEMBER 2011 AT 11.00 A.M.


INTRODUCTION

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Welcome to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral where today we will celebrate Confirmation.

After being nourished by God’s Word the Sacrament will challenge us to see whether we are living just in complacency with what happens at present or are ready to open our hearts and our minds to the power of the Holy Spirit which makes new the face of the earth.

HOMILY

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today as we celebrate Confirmation we are challenged to see the possibilities of leading a truly Christian life in the modern world.  Confirmation is always preceded by a renewal of Baptismal commitment, which sees faithfulness to God, a constant relationship in prayer, and acts according to the mind of Christ as the basis of all that we do.

In writing on this Gospel William Barclay makes the challenging words:  “Jesus tells us that there can be no religion without adventure and that God can find no use for the shut mind.  It tells us that God gave men differing gifts … God never demands from a man abilities which he has not got, but he does demand from us that we should use to the full the abilities which we do possess.  It tells us that the reward of work well done is more work to do.  The two servants who had done well are given greater tasks and responsibilities.  The man who is punished is one who will not try.”  (W. Barclay, The Gospel of Saint Matthew, Vol. 2. P. 3537)

The purpose of our presence here today is to derive a Christian perspective and strength for the deeds which are to inspire our life this week.  In a few moments after they renew their baptismal vows the candidates for Confirmation will be anointed by the laying on of hands, which is the gift of the Holy Spirit making them adult Christians and responsible for Christian love and deeds in their lives.

They will be given the gifts of:  wisdom – judging things as God does; understanding – the awareness that God has given to us a particular way of serving him; right judgement – the invitation to judge things as God does; knowledge – of God which leads to love; courage – reminding us that God’s grace will support us in every challenge in life; reverence – because God loves each of us uniquely; and wonder and awe - at the power of God in the lives of those who say yes to him constantly.

As we congratulate and pray for the candidates for Confirmation, let us all remember the day when we too promised our rejection of satan, our belief in Father, Son and Holy Spirit, our oneness with the Church and the strong hope of eternal life which sustains us on our journey.


+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

Centenary Mass of St John the Baptist Parish, Ferntree Gully

CENTENARY MASS OF
SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, FERNTREE GULLY,
CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART
ON SUNDAY, 13 NOVEMBER 2011 AT 2.30 P.M.


INTRODUCTION

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

With great hope and congratulations I welcome you to this Centenary Mass of Saint John the Baptist Parish.

The proud history of the last hundred years and the carrying of the Catholic faith in the Dandenongs, which has been undertaken in such a dynamic manner by the parishioners of Saint John the Baptist is recognised with esteem as we gather together all our prayers of thanksgiving with our parish priest, Father Alan Fox, and so many friends on this day of God’s grace and rejoicing.

Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.

 
HOMILY

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are here today to thank God for the blessings of one hundred years of faith and Catholic life in Ferntree Gully Parish, which originally extended from Wantirna to Gembrook.

The work of the pioneer priests who often journeyed on horseback and the deep faith planted here is a motive for tremendous thanksgiving as we review the last one hundred years.

God’s beauty and constant giving is timeless and lasts from age to age.  We thank him today for his providence of Mass, Sacraments, pastoral care, education and outreach to the aged, to the poor and to those in need throughout this parish.

I rejoiced in reading your parish history ‘Witness to the Light’ and I do commend it to you.  The words of Monsignor John Hartigan (John O’Brien) typify the scene on countless Sundays:  “When the holy morning strung its beads upon the grass, you would see us driving – old and young – the tall, white graceful trees among, on every road to Mass.”  Many of the now well-established parts of the parish were accessible only on horseback.

From the first entry in the Baptismal Register on 30th April 1911 we move through the tenure of Father Tim O’Sullivan, Father John O’Brien, Father Tom Little (uncle of Archbishop Little), Father Tim McCarthy, who later was a military chaplain, Father Flynn and Father Harman, with many others acting as Assistant.

The stories of Wantirna, Belgrave, Emerald, Cockatoo, South Belgrave, Mount Dandenong, Olinda, Gembrook, The Patch, One Tree Hill and Ferny Creek are all joined together here at Saint John’s, where since 1890 there had been a small wooden church on the Burwood Highway, where the Repco Auto shop now stands, with later the move to the centre of Belgrave with a red brick church in 1926.

What touched me as I read the parish history was the contribution to the community made by Catholics – 15% in 1891, 13% in 1947.  After the Second World War “Sunday Mass services, the focal point of Catholic worship were available at Mass Centres across the Dandenongs, an amazing feat of logistics.  Similarly, the challenge of providing Catholic education was taken up.  The famous artist, Sir Arthur Streeton, was converted to Catholicism shortly before his death in 1943.  After the Second World War this church was one of the first in the Archdiocese to receive the International Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

The legendary service of Father Timothy Flynn in the 40s and 50s and his great love of children accompanied by lemonade and ice-cream brought the Mass to practically every area of the Dandenongs.  Father Flynn brought to the parish on Sunday priests from many religious orders so that the people could have Mass.

Father Frank Harman will be remembered for his constant efforts driving the school bus from all around the Dandenongs to provide a Catholic education for the children.  He always described the years in Ferntree Gully as the happiest of his life.  He remembered “organising cars, Mass kits, drivers, priests and Sunday notices was like General Montgomery planning a c

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