Homilies

Mass celebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart for the fourth Sunday of Advent

Mass celebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart for the fourth Sunday of Advent

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HARTAT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE,ON SUNDAY, 18TH DECEMBER 2011 AT 11am(Fourth Sunday of Advent) INTRODUCTION Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today the Church speaks of Mary’s welcoming the coming of the Saviour.  The Preface says she does so “with love beyond all telling.” We welcome a God for all times and all places, who came to us in the person of Jesus.  As we long to commemorate his birth at Christmas, we remember he is just as near to us and to our lives as he was in Bethlehem. Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins and so...

Second Rite of Reconciliation celebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart at Good Shepherd Parish, Gladstone Park

SECOND RITE OF RECONCILIATION
CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART
AT GOOD SHEPHERD PARISH, GLADSTONE PARK,
ON WEDNESDAY, 15TH DECEMBER 2011 AT 7pm

INTRODUCTION

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am honoured to be with your parish priest as together we make our journey towards Christmas, opening our hearts to the God who comes to show his presence and activity in our lives.

We who witness to the coming of God into our lives, to his passion, death and resurrection, know that in the words of Scripture we will have our sins forgiven through his name.

 HOMILY

“There is more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine just men who have no need of repentance.”
(Luke 15:7)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Tonight we come to be embraced by the forgiving love of God.  We have just heard in the Readings how God transforms our lives.  Saint Paul says:  “For anyone who is in Christ there is a new creation.  The old creation has gone and now the new one is here.”  (2 Cor 5:17)  This shows us that if we are living truly with Christ then forgiveness is always possible.  This makes us new and gives us hope for the future.  

This is why Jesus came; to reconcile the world which was dead in sin with himself and to help us to know that we can rise from former habits and the things with which we struggle to a new authentic life and integrity in the future.  So often we know our own weakness and we feel afraid lest we fail.  However, this beautiful sacrament not only forgives us, but gives us grace and strength to persevere.  This perseverance is the great gift which assures us of a future.  That is why Jesus took on the burden of our human nature:  “He made the sinless one into sin”, so that we might become the goodness of God.  Here there is always hope.  Here in confronting our weaknesses there is always light.

St Matthew, of course, follows the same theme about facing wrongdoing and the words later on, “whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven”, show that in the beautiful sacrament of Reconciliation we receive God’s forgiveness.  This is just so important.  And at the end we remember that because we as two or three meet in God’s name, he will be there with us.”  (Matthew 18:20)

Let us be sure and confident ourselves that our forgiving, merciful God reaches into the depths of our uncertainty, fills us with hope because God is faithful to his promises, and joy which is no mere human happiness but an enduring knowledge that God loves and forgives us, his people.


+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

Mass celebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart for the third Sunday of Advent

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE, ON SUNDAY, 11 DECEMBER 2011 AT 11Am (Third Sunday of Advent)

INTRODUCTION

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Welcome to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on this third Sunday of Advent when we recall that God’s coming is a source of our joy.  We live in continual joy and hope because God is near and no one and nothing can take him away from us.

The Mass today invites us to turn our lives into a pointer to our Saviour so that by what we are and do we will show the way to him.

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

HOMILY

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Each of the Readings today encourages in us the theme of joy.  John comes as a witness to speak for the light.  Saint Paul reminds the Thessalonians to thank God constantly.  Isaiah acknowledges that the Spirit of the Lord has been given to bring good news to the poor.  Each of these texts calls forth our joy.  Unlike happiness, which is a temporary response to something that happens in life, joy is a keen awareness of the presence of God.

Roland Faley said:  “Joy is more than merrymaking, a fleeting laugh or a bit of euphoria.  True joy retains composure, a peaceful smile in fortune or misfortune.  It looks at mountains and oceans and sees God’s imprint.  It looks at teeming metropolises and sees an immense amount of good.  Joy looks at Christ and knows he is there.”  (Roland Faley, Footprints on the Mountain, Paulist Press 1994)

When Moses stood before the burning bush and was challenged to liberate his people, when Mary was challenged to accept an infant by the power of the Holy Spirit - despite their insecurity they went towards the joy that grows deeper and stronger each time it is tested.  Like Moses and Mary, when confronted with a challenge we go at first uncertainly and then we come to full joy.

Saint John the Baptist bore witness to the coming of Jesus, who as the living light dispelled the darkness of the human condition in order to enable humanity to find its power in God.  Even at times when we do not feel joyful or excited, celebrating the great, joyful event of the coming of God reminds us that we do live in the hope of a reality which will be revealed without condition and without end.


By the virtue of hope we are able to see and move beyond our present difficulties because the Jesus who came humbly in our fleshly form will come in the future in glory and power.  We press to that future and hope and rejoice and deal courageously with the present because we know that the future for us does not consist just in more of the same, but is an eternal communion with God.  “One whom we have heard, whom we have seen with our own eyes, and whom we have touched with our hands – Jesus the Word of life.”  (1 John 1:1)

It is possible for us then, even in moments of great suffering, to experience the joy of God’s coming because there is a hope that all will be revealed, that our world will be transformed and that our prayers and deeds will be effective for eternal life.

The Communion Verse today reminds the anxious to be strong and fear not, our God will come and save us.  This is the certainty promised in our life and times.

+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

Mass celebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart at Tarrawarra Abbey, Yarra Glen, for the ordination to the priesthood of Br Samuel Chua, O.C.S.O and Br Jospeh Chua, O.C.S.O

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT TARRAWARRA ABBEY, YARRA GLEN, FOR THE ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTOOD OF
Br SAMUEL CHUA, O.C.S.O. ANDBR JOSEPH CHUA, O.C.S.O. ON SATURDAY, 10TH DECEMBER 2011 AT 10.00 A.M.


INTRODUCTION

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

With the wonderful welcome of Abbot Tomlins and the Monks of Tarrawarra, joined by Bishops Costelloe and Tomlinson and my brother priests and family members, it is with joy that I come to ordain Brother Samuel and Brother Joseph as Cistercian priests in the Catholic Church.

Each has had a continuous seeking of God’s presence in his life and a desire to live the contemplative life.  Their call will be enriched as they offer Mass, minister to the needs of the community and by prayer benefit the whole of the people of God.

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

HOMILY

“This is my Commandment:  love one another as I have loved you.  A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.”
(John 15:12-13)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are privileged to join Brother Samuel and Brother Joseph on this day of their Ordination to the Priesthood.  Since a young age both have been called to seek continuously God’s presence in their lives and are called to prayer with a desire to live the contemplative life.

Their choice of Catholicism, the studies they undertook, the search to find Tarrawarra, have all been mature and constant.  Perhaps it can be said that they are firsts of a new generation who came to learn of the existence of Tarrawarra through the internet and by living with the community, followed by vows and solemn profession, to see God’s purpose in a call to a deeper union with God through monastic life to benefit the whole people of God.

In the monastic tradition the call to priesthood is a slightly different journey from that of a young man who feels a personal vocation, enters a seminary and is accepted by a bishop of major superior for ordination.  In the monastic life this call is made manifest through the Abbot and always in order to serve the needs of the community.
    
The role of contemplative religious is to engage in the deepest way with the Divine and through prayer and outreach to help the people of our time to see their God present and active in their daily lives.  

In his Rule Saint Benedict said that the Abbot may ask the Bishop to ordain monks to the priesthood to serve those needs.  A monk who is ordained a priest is in no way released from his vows, but exercises his priesthood as part of the life and witness of the monastic community.  Saint Benedict says a priest who is a monk should use the priesthood to grow even closer to God.

In my brief conversation with Samuel and Joseph it was quite evident that they were drawn by the magnetic love of Christ to contemplative prayer and saw its purpose in thus serving the whole people of God.  

Saint Paul already has spoken in the second Reading of the overwhelming love of Christ and the transforming power once we know Christ.  “And for anyone who is in Christ there is a new creation; the old creation is gone and now the new one is here.  It is all God’s work.”  (2 Cor 5:17-18)

The constant prayer of a monastic community and indeed the deeper insertion of monastic priests into a relationship with Christ reaches out beyond the monastery to all who come in contact with its powerful work of intercession for our needs.

The purpose of our knowledge in Christ of course is that we are witnesses to the resurrection and to the fact “that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name”.  (Acts 10:43)

Here at Tarrawarra the loving activity of Christ, the witness to the power of his resurrection in human lives and indeed the work of our diocese, our parishes an

Mass Celebrated By Archbishop Denis Hart for the Centenary of St Patrick's School, Geelong West

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART
FOR THE CENTENARY OF ST PATRICK’S SCHOOL, GEELONG WEST,
ON SUNDAY, 11 DECEMBER 2011 AT 2.30PM


INTRODUCTION

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this Sunday when we welcome the fact that the Lord is near, we seek to live in the joy that comes from his promises; a joy which is not mere human happiness, but a joy that God is near to us in our lives and his promises will be fulfilled in us.

I am delighted to be with Fr Gerard Keith, Fr Mick Fitzpatrick, your Principal Basil Flynn, your teachers and pupils and so many friends, spanning the one hundred year history of Saint Patrick’s School.

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

HOMILY

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The voice of John the Baptist inviting us to prepare a way for the Lord is the watchword of Saint Patrick’s as we celebrate one hundred years.  Like the best of teachers here at Saint Patrick’s God is being patient over many, many years to see us grow into the people he has called us to be.  A God who offers to comfort us and speak to our heart and to show us that the sole purpose of Saint Patrick’s school is to show that God is near, to make us turn to the Lord, as we said last Sunday, to see his kindness and to know that we will be saved.

This is the difference between joy and happiness.  Joy in what we have been given by God, in leading our life under the promise of God and in knowing that unlike happiness, which passes sometimes to sadness, joy endures through all the circumstances of life because God is near to his people and he will call us home at our death on the last day.  This vision of God, life, school as a preparation for life and death, reminds us that God is at the centre of every Catholic school.

This is what Saint Patrick lived and died for as the great apostle of Ireland.  This is what we have inherited from him and from his countrymen a hundred years ago here at Saint Patrick’s.  This is the difference between a Catholic school where God, prayer, preparation for life and our ultimate destiny are the focus of what we seek to give our children as things which will not pass away.

Dear friends, I know that the history of your hundred years, summed up as a century of perseverance, a history of achievement, is something of preparing young people for their future.  The words of Saint Augustine:  “Our hearts were made for you O God and they will never rest until they rest in you”, show us that the preparation for life offered in a Catholic school has its primary focus upon God, upon prayer and Sunday Mass, and upon leading children and families to being active in sharing with others the values and the skills they have received.

On your website I read of all of the wide range of items in your curriculum.  The provision for sport and adventure programme, the vegetable garden, the mural and stained glass windows; all of these things God, art, sport, practical learning, prepare the life of the young believers of the future that Jesus Christ will be at the centre of all that they have and do.

I wish to thank and congratulate Mr. Flynn and the present staff of Saint Patrick’s, together with Fr Keith and Fr Fitzpatrick and others who have been part of the school’s long history.  It is a story of which we can be justly proud.  However, we must remember that the invitation is not merely to look at the past, but rather to see the past and the present as constructing a wonderful future, of which every one of us here can be part; pupils, teachers, parents, grandparents.

A future which is summed up in the wonderful words of Saint Patrick:  “Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me.  Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in

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