Blessing of organ in Sacred Heart Church, Carlton, celebrated by...

Blessing of organ in Sacred Heart Church, Carlton, celebrated by...

BLESSING OF ORGAN IN SACRED HEART CHURCH, CARLTON,CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART DURING SOLEMN VESPERS FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY OF LENT ON SUNDAY, 25 MARCH 2012 AT 4pm HOMILY My dear Friends of Corpus Christi, Today we celebrate at Vespers the Blessing and Inauguration of the new organ in Sacred Heart Church.  The large organ in the gallery has long been used for recitals and for professional training.  The presence of this small organ, geared particularly to the abilities of the Seminary community, is in no small way a fulfilment      that we should all appreciate the sacredness of...

Mass celebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart for the Catholic Mission Conference Geelong



Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am very pleased to be with the Diocesan Director, Father Pat Harvey and the Executive Officer, Kevin Meese, as we celebrate this Catholic Mission Conference.

Lent is a time of mission and renewal.  The challenge is not only for ourselves and our own spiritual life, but it is a time when the whole Church walks with the Catechumens to newness of life and to a realisation that the mission we have from Christ is to be reconciled to God.

In our own life we seek one mind and one heart with Jesus Christ, so that we may go forth for the future in extending the love and knowledge of Jesus in which we have been so privileged to share.

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


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In this part of Lent we constantly see Jesus giving physical healing to those who have suffered for a long time.  Indeed, one of the greatest reflections of Our Lord’s public ministry is his involvement with ordinary people, his healing of physical and spiritual suffering, his readiness to answer the desires of people who were longing for someone who would give them lasting answers and permanent awareness of the goodness of God.

We can see Jesus as a teacher; his wonderful parables which made the people hang on every word.  We can see the role of Catholic Mission is above all to provide resources and means and to accompany with prayer the work of spreading the Gospel in the world of today.

The touching story of the sheep pool in Jerusalem shows a man who for thirty-eight years had been suffering, but was never quick enough to get into the pool when the water was disturbed.  Yet Jesus healed him.  This to me says that whatever may be our challenges and burdens because he is the holy one of God because the mighty Lord is with us the God of Jacob is our refuge then we have wonderful works to perform.

Indeed, the fact that we may be baptised, receive the Eucharist, love Jesus, read the Scriptures, pray to Our Lady and her powerful care, shows us that what God is giving us is not just something for ourselves.  Cardinal Newman said:  “God has created me to do him some particular service.  If I am in sickness, my sickness may save him.  If I am in perplexity, my perplexity may save him.  My sickness of perplexity or sorrow may be causes of some great end.  He knows what he is about.”

God’s love for each of us is unique and God picks us out, each of us, to fulfil our particular mission in the world and all of us as the Church to reach out with something to offer - the goodness of the Gospel.  Indeed, in the New Testament when Peter was going out for the first time to preach the Gospel when he was asked for money he said he had none, but then he like the Master performed a cure of a sick person.

We all live and work under the Gospel and we can be reminded that the Gospel is our rule of life because of the overwhelming joy and hope that we have from what we have received.

Dear friends, I do congratulate you on this Conference and on the work of mission that you will engage with here.  What is most important is that each of us realise that we can influence others.  Saint Francis even put it:  “Preach often and if necessary use words.”  The power of your example, the goodness of what God has given to you and you pass on to others is indeed a powerful witness to the Gospel and this is part of the mission of the Church in the world of today because we have been given a love and a faith that comes from God, a love that is not to be squandered, a love that only God can show to others.

Thank you for your work, thank you for your witness, thank you for your rea

Fourth Sunday of Lent



Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Many people are asking is there light in the world after September 11th or after Bali? Why such hatred, such bloodshed, such tears? These have been part of the human story. And yet Nicodemus comes by night to Jesus and finds light and he has to live this light by putting the truth into action.

We see the Cross of Christ as the great instrument of light and life and as we call to mind our sins we remember there is room for growth and being made new. If we believe, we can have eternal life.

Let us call to mind our sins.


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

During the Depression of the 1930s a boat captain managed to make a modest living by piloting his boat up and down the Mississippi River. His boat was old and in poor repair. The engines were grimy, spewing forth soot and smoke, as the boat made its endless way up and down the river. The captain was untidy, his manner often surly and rude. As it happened once he met a travelling missionary, who introduced the captain to Christ and his Gospel; his conversion was profound and authentic.

One of the first things the Captain did was to clean up his boat and repair its engines. The deck and deck chairs were freshly painted, all the brass fixtures were polished. His personal appearance and demeanour were transformed. Clean shaven and with a smile he greeted his customers who remarked about the pleasant changes. In reply, the captain said, "I have got a new glory and it shines out in all I do. That is what Christ does for a person, he gives him a glory."

Saint Paul reminds the Ephesians that God loved us with so much love that he was generous with mercy. If we are dead in sin he has brought us to life. That goodness is ongoing and that is why the Jews wanted always to remember the importance of belief in Christ.

Notice too the comparison between the serpent which the Jews lifted up in the desert and Christ lifted up on the cross. One a small indication, the other, Jesus, a great sign and reality that what he did on the cross is not just a sign, it does something, it forgives us our sins.

We can stand by and read the words of the Gospel. God loves the world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life. Or, the Son of Man must be lifted up so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. The man who lives by the truth comes out into the light.

We can look at those things and we can say, yes that is very nice. There is a difference, however. God sending Jesus to save us was not just some wonderful deed that we looked at. It is something that saved us. It is not just a knowledge that we are saved, it is a living as a person who is saved. That is what Jesus wants of us as we seek forgiveness for our sins and live in newness of life.

God has not only given us a wonderful invitation, he has called us forth to a new life. Cardinal Newman speaks of us in these words, "Weak, ignorant, sinful, sorrowful man gains the knowledge of an infinitely merciful protector, a giver of all good, most powerful, the worker of all that is right; at what price? At the price of a mystery." "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we saw his glory." And he laid down his life for the world. Wonder, thanksgiving, a resolve to walk with Christ, in belief and faith and love and deed. We do believe. We do want eternal life. We want to live with Christ!

+ Denis J. Hart,

Children’s Mass For the Feast of Saint Patrick



My dear young Friends,

Today we celebrate a man who was so in love with Jesus Christ that he endured hardship and captivity, fasted for forty days, and never lost sight of the knowledge and love of God, his good parents had given him.

Saint Patrick lived fifteen hundred years ago and here in Melbourne we remember the Irish people who planted faith in Jesus Christ in our land and who built this beautiful Cathedral.

In the life of every one of us there is remembering the past, living the present and knowing what we can do for the future. Saint Patrick saw God as someone whom he loved. He allowed God to walk with him throughout his life.

As we celebrate this Mass and thank God for Saint Patrick, let us ask that we too will remember; live the present fully and make our contribution to the future as Saint Patrick did. Let us call to mind our sins.


My dear young Friends,

Over sixteen hundred years ago a young boy was born in Roman Gaul. He loved his God and his family, but he did not take a great deal of notice of how important God, our Maker, is in the life of each of us.

When he was sixteen he was captured as a slave and taken away and forced for six years to mind sheep on a mountainside. There was very little food; no one else was there very much, and while he looked after the sheep he developed a wonderful friendship with God. He said, "Constantly, I used pray in the day time. Love of God and his fear increased in me more and more and as my faith grew and my spirit was stirred up. I said as many as one hundred prayers, and at night nearly as many, so that I used to stay with God even on the mountain."

After six years he heard a voice in his sleep asking him to be ready for something especially brave, which would bring him back to his home and family. When he ran away from his master, he travelled two hundred miles, led on by a magnificent idea that there would be a ship to take him home. After a voyage of three days they came to land and still had to journey for a month. His companions knew that he was a man of God and yet, because they were very hungry, they mocked him, and this young man, Patrick, said, "Turn with all your heart to God. With him everything is possible." They came upon some pigs and journeyed on so that at the age of twenty-three he was restored to his people.

This young man was our Saint Patrick. He spent some time studying in France, came back and taught his people of the love of God that he had known. This man, Patrick, became a great leader and teacher. To help him in this work he spent much time in prayer, because prayer was a conversation of love with his God. At one stage he spent forty days and forty nights fasting up on the mountain and he came to the Irish people to teach the Gospel because he loved God so much. He became the Archbishop of Armagh in Northern Ireland and his love of God was infectious.

We young Australians often look at our footballers or cricketers, our athletes and swimmers and tennis players, we rejoice when Australia is doing well because we admire courage and bravery. Patrick was someone who was brave and courageous in God's service and he invites us to a greater and deeper courage. Like Patrick, we want (1) to know our God as a friend and to see prayer as our conversation with him, (2) to know that God loves us and asks us to be courageous in work and in play, but to be constant and faithful to God in all that we think and say and do, (3) Patrick invites us to value ourselves because we are precious to God and by honesty, truth and directness to be worthy of what Saint Patrick gave the Irish people who then brought to Australia the love and care of God.

I do ask each of you young peo

Second Rite of the Sacrament of Penance at the Holy Cross Monastery, Templestowe.



Dear Brothers in the Priesthood,

With wonder at the Lord’s constant readiness to forgive and his ability to make new our hearts and lives through Lent we come to this celebration, begging the Lord that we will be in Christ and that by becoming the new creation we will be transformed in what we are and as instruments of God’s care, love and reconciliation for his people.


My dear Brothers in the Priesthood,

    The two Scripture Readings give us a picture of the abundant mercy of God.  Our Day of Prayer, and indeed our whole Lenten season, in which we accompany the catechumens and those ready for full communion, is a time of openness to the work of God.

Saint Paul stresses that in our work of priesthood ultimately we must come to a state where it is all God’s work; God who has reconciled us to himself through Christ, and we are the ministers of that reconciliation despite our faults and weaknesses.  To be “in Christ” means, as Saint Paul reminds the Ephesians, to have that mind which was in Christ Jesus.  It means to be other Christs, high priests as he is, and it means humbly to place ourselves under the Word of God to allow it to reshape us and make us bear abundant fruit.

Jesus’ own invitation as the vine for us to be the branches is a gentle challenge to remain in him.  As we prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation Our Lord’s own words:  “You cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me.  Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it.”

As priests this is a wonderful bargain that God makes with us that his mercy and his care for our lives goes far beyond any expectation we might have.  As we examine our conscience and receive this Sacrament we can face the big question as to the extent that we are “in Christ” – one in mind, one in heart, one in love.

As we think of the day of our Ordination when the priesthood was our great desire we think of the wonderful work of God transforming our weakness and inviting us yet again to be reconciled to God.  The beautiful hope given in the Psalm:  “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption”, is a reminder of how complete and total is God’s giving for us, which takes away fear and unites us in perfect love.  Though we may be afraid of our faults and our weakness, the abundance of God’s mercy is the grace of his love and the hope that he offers to us, to our brother priests and to our people for the future.

May we grow to be “in Christ”.  May Christ be in us and may he renew us and our lives, so that we will be his instruments, humbly giving every fibre of our being to the God who knows, loves, understands and reconciles us.

+ Denis J. Hart,