The Final Word

The Final Word The Final Word

The Final Word

September 2016

Recently I spent some days with three other bishops at the Royal College of St Alban in Valladolid, Spain. The college was founded in 1589 for the training of priests for England and Wales, who often returned to almost certain death. It numbers six saints and 16 beati among its alumni. Valladolid is the ancient Spanish capital and the place where Christopher Columbus and Cervantes lived.

The Final Word

August 2016

In this month of August we celebrate the Assumption of Mary, our Mother and Mother of the Church.

Many of us, since we were children, have prayed the Hail Mary almost effortlessly: it is so much a part of our Catholic way of life. As adult disciples we need to continue to grow in our relationship with the Mother of Jesus.

The Final Word

July 2016

July is a month of special memory for Catholics in Melbourne. Three hundred young people from Victoria will join Pope Francis in Krakow from 25 to 31 July, having made a pilgrimage journey on their way to Jesus Christ.

The Final Word

June 2016

One of the joys of my ministry as Archbishop is visiting our parishes. It is always so consoling to be reminded of how central parishes are to the flourishing of faith, community and mission for our lives.

Of course, we older Catholics who been around for a while very much understand our debt to the parish in our lives. We have been deeply formed by the nurturing experiences of our early years—when in the parish we were initiated into the Sacraments and the family of God.

The Final Word

May 2016

Recent attacks like the ones in Brussels and Lahore can increase a climate of suspicion in our society. They can create fear, resentment and alienation, which in turn make us more protective of ourselves and less open to outsiders, particularly those who seek safety and protection at our doors. 

This has been true of our nation’s response to threats of terrorism. While Australia prides itself on being a diverse, multicultural, inclusive and generous nation, it has increasingly displayed symptoms of what Pope Francis calls a ‘throwaway culture’ in respect of those who come to seek shelter from harm. These symptoms are attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalisation. They are also shown in punitive and harsh policies and conditions to which people seeking asylum are being subjected. As disciples of Jesus, we are committed to building a better, a more humane, welcoming and inclusive society, not by giving in to fear and suspicion, but by fostering a culture of encounter, respect and acceptance.