Mass for the silver jubilee of The Assisi Centre, Rosanna
Saturday 18 March 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today we thank God for the Assisi Centre and for the people who comprise it because the wonderful love of Italian families extends to and embraces all of the special people here at Assisi.
Assisi is very much a place where God’s love is with us, showing mercy and pity, helping our older members to still be part of our family and to know that they are cared for.
The return of the prodigal son to the bosom of his father is a reminder of how God cares for us at every moment of life.
I wish particularly today to pay tribute to the strength and love of Italian families, to the way in which so many of these elderly residents have nurtured their families and inspired faith, love and goodness in their younger members and are now enjoying the care of Assisi, surrounded by those who can provide the best professional help as well as the care they need.
I am so pleased that our faith, which shows us God’s love, is celebrated regularly in the chapel. The Rosary, the Sacraments, times of reflection and prayer help our people to know that they are not forgotten and to have family members knowing that they are quite sure that the love of God will encircle them, the prayers of Mary, our Mother, of Saint Anthony, Saint Pius of Pietrelcina and our other loved saints, who are seen as family members will encircle all who work here and who love here.
I do congratulate you for this special work of Assisi, which provides a welcome taste of Italy for people, many of whom have left their homeland fifty years ago, now are separated from family, but are surrounded by love.
Just as Assisi in Italy is a place of reflection, love and joy; so my prayer as we thank God is that this will always be a place where every individual is remembered and esteemed and the love of God is not forgotten.
May Jesus live in our hearts forever and sustain us when we are uncertain or afraid. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the light that darkness could not overpower.
+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne.