Annual Wedding Anniversary Mass

Annual Wedding Anniversary Mass

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE, ON SUNDAY 24 JULY 2011 AT 11AM. INTRODUCTION Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today on this 17th Sunday of the Year we come to thank God for his many blessings.  The Readings themselves speak of the constant providence of God and this is nowhere more true than in our family life. We join with couples who have been married 25, 40, 50 and 60 years in praising the God who is the author of every good gift.  God’s plan, his law for us, is the thing that will bring happiness and enable parents to be good teachers in...

Funeral Mass For Father Gerald Paul Newman Ryan at Saint Bridget’s Church, Greythorn



Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As family members, parishioners and friends, we gather to pray for the repose of the soul and to bid farewell to Father Gerald Paul Newman Ryan, pastor of this parish for twenty-four years prior to his retirement in January 2008.

Last Saturday he died at Saint Vincent’s Hospital at the age of ninety-six; a few days short of his seventy-second anniversary of priestly ordination which would have occurred tomorrow.

Paul was a pioneer of the liturgical movement, gifted pastor, esteemed as being comfortable with children, teenagers, young marrieds, families and senior citizens.  His optimistic confidence, ready perspectives and great sense of humour have brought great vitality to this parish.

Today, as we thank God for the use of his gifts and value highly the bonds of friendship and esteem, we can recommend him to the Lord whom he served so well.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At the Last Supper Jesus instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross entrusted to the Church as the memorial of his death and resurrection.  On Holy Thursday in the Prayer over the Gifts we pray:  “As often as the commemoration of this sacrifice is celebrated the work of our redemption is being carried out”, in words taken from the Sacramentarium Veronense and reproduced in our present Missal.

For Paul the Eucharist was the powerhouse of grace for life.  In an interview in 2006, after he had been awarded the Order of Australia medal he said:  “For us, the unfinished business would be the formation of our Catholic people in the understanding of the liturgy as being their spiritual food:  that every Sunday you should have enough spiritual food and understanding to be carried into the following week.”

Paul was born at Malvern on 27th January 1915 and after initial education at the Brigidine Convent in Malvern and locally in Armadale, he went to Xavier College, Kew, entering Corpus Christi College early in 1932 to begin studies for the priesthood.  With the approach of the Second World War Father George Vill, a German Pallottine, was accepted by Archbishop Mannix, came to the Seminary and established a little group of seminarians who prayed the Office and studied the writings of European authors.  Those of Pius Parsch from Klosterneuburg Abbey near Vienna, who wrote his books on the liturgical year, were very popular and instructive in the Seminary for thirty years because of their readability of style and outreach to ordinary people.

By 1938 Father Henry Johnson had introduced the Dialogue Mass into the Seminary.  Paul’s initial interest in liturgy was later nourished by studying Jungman’s book, The Mass of the Roman Rite, and with the regular issues of the journal Orate Fratres, later Worship.

After his ordination in 1939 he was Assistant Priest in Armadale, Clifton Hill (1942), South Melbourne (1946), before being made the first Parish Priest of Blackburn in January 1954, Ormond in 1975, and Greythorn in 1984 until he retired at the beginning of 2008.

Paul was a highly intelligent man with wide interests, great capacity for friendship and was a true pioneer of the liturgical movement.  In 1953 when Father Colin Miller founded the first committee for music and liturgy Paul was a gifted contributor.

Archbishop Mannix commended his publication in 1950 of the small Roman Missal with the Knox translation for the Readings and Paul’s own translation of the liturgical prayers.  This sold 20,000 copies and later a booklet for First Communion sold over 180,000 copies.  He was also a contributor to The Church - House of the People of God in 1974 and a guide to preparing liturgies in the same year.

Mass for the commissioning of pilgrims for World Youth Day



My dear young Friends,

Today we have gathered in the Cathedral rather than in our parishes to celebrate the Lord’s Day, to ask the Lord’s help for our great pilgrimage to Madrid and to commit ourselves to the journey that he has marked out for us with its challenges and surprises, with the wonder of new friendship with Jesus and with so many others.

Let us call to mind our sins.


My dear young Friends,

Today we have just read the story of the seed sown in the earth, of the mustard seed – a tiny speck which grows into a great tree – and the yeast or leaven which is used as an essential quality in bread.

For many of you it will be your first journey overseas.  You will go into a different country and society.  You will go with people who will be not known to you at first and yet who will be firm friends at the end of this pilgrimage.

Today’s Commissioning Mass is to help us to understand what it is to be a pilgrim.  Those words in the Gospel highlight it for us.  Jesus offers us an experience of his Word and his presence as we journey together. 

Today as we read the Scriptures the Word of God is described as seed which falls on ground.  We are invited to listen to that Word, to receive it and take it to our heart.  At first perhaps our ability to receive it will be fairly small, like the tiny mustard seed and yet that seed shows us how powerful is growth and development. 

Being a pilgrim will encompass deeper and constant prayer, listening to the Word of God, being open to God’s plan for our lives, which alone will make us happy.  It means too being part of a journey with other people, which will not always be comfortable and encouraging, which will involve some tiredness, but will involve also the support of many friends and a realisation of the wonder and magnitude and nearness of God’s love. 

God loves each of us as if we were the only person in the world and beginning today with this Commissioning Mass when we are sent forth as ambassadors of the Melbourne Archdiocese, allow God to speak in your heart.  Allow him to show you a new perspective on life, on happiness and on truth.  Allow him to show you his wonderful love through the Eucharist and through what you learn and experience during this time.

This will be my fifth World Youth Day and on every occasion I have seen people open to God, experiencing the wonder of his call, whether to a special vocation or ministry, or whether to married life.  It does emphasise for us what we are and what we can become with God guiding us.  This is the thing alone which will give us happiness.  It reminds us too that if we are built and planted, founded in Jesus Christ, then our faith will be firm and we will be equal to all the situations which we will encounter in our life.

Although there are many joyful and sightseeing opportunities and friendships which we will develop, these are not the major purpose of a pilgrimage.  A pilgrimage is to know Jesus and his Blessed Mother, to bring our lives to him and to discover what he wants for our life and to embrace it with joy and hope.

Today I pray for you that you will freely open your hearts to Jesus and find in that opening true freedom, joy and hope, because then you will firm in faith, you will be built and planted in Jesus Christ, you will be authentic human beings and will offer so much to your fellow pilgrims and when you return.

I am proud of you in your readiness to say yes to this invitation.  Allow God to speak in your heart and know that he will never desert you.  May Jesus live in your heart forever.

+ Denis J. Hart,

Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Carmelite Convent, Kew



My dear Sisters and Brothers,

I am honoured to be with Mother Ellen, the Sisters and each of you, as we come to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

In this celebration we thank God for all the gifts and graces that he has given to those who are devoted to Our Lady; members of the Order, those who wear the Scapular and so many friends of Carmel. 

May the Scapular given by Our Lady, its protection and invitation to prayer and penance, be our watchword as we call to mind our sins.


Dear Sisters and Brothers,

In the Mass today we are reminded about the prophet, Elijah, who lived nine hundred years before Christ and two thousand years before the first Carmelites appeared on Mount Carmel.

Elijah has been the concrete model and ideal of the Carmelite Order from the beginning.  Early Carmelites saw in Elijah, who had his home at Mount Carmel, because he was a great prophet and a man of prayer, someone whom they would imitate. 

With the contemplative gifts of Carmel they looked at Elijah’s life and the events associated with it and they interpreted what happened to him in the light of their own experience.

We read in the Book of Kings that Elijah looked for a sign that the drought which he had brought down on the people might be over because it had been a punishment from God for the infidelity of king and people.  Elijah looked for a sign that the drought was ending, went up to Carmel and saw a tiny white cloud and in it he saw the announcement that the drought had ended.

Throughout the ages Carmelites see in that cloud an image of Our Lady.  She is the harbinger of good news.  Indeed, it must be remembered by all of us that God waited for the ‘yes’ of a human being before he came to redeem us and this woman was Our Blessed Lady.  She is our spiritual Mother and is like a lightning rod in the history of the Carmelite Order.  She draws God’s graces and gifts and blessings wherever she is.  Wherever we look to her as our Mother we can be touched by God’s grace.

In the early 1200s for nearly thirty years hermits lived on Mount Carmel praying and celebrating the Eucharist together.  As it was for them, it is for us.  At the Eucharist being our contact with God and coming from the Eucharistic faith was faithfulness to the love of our Blessed Lady and devotion to the brown Scapular.

Our reflection on history challenges us about this moment.  We are not here to indulge in nostalgia, but to see that the past challenges the way in which we are living.  Today through the Scapular we are challenged.  Many men and women go to hell because they freely choose not to live in Christ’s way.  The promise of the Scapular given by Our Lady to Saint Simon Stock, that no one would go to hell who wore faithfully the Scapular, is a challenge about the way in which we lead our lives today.

We are invited to live the way God calls us this day.  That way is to be a person of faith like Our Lady, a mystic a person of faith.  A person of faith is someone who is constantly willing to entrust themselves to God and to believe that God is in the realities that happen about our own life.

Thirty-two years ago the great theologian Karl Rahner died and he made the statement “that the Christian of the future would either be a mystic or would be nothing at all”.   He was convinced, and I reiterate, that the Christian who simply follows the patterns of society will not survive because Christianity is becoming increasingly counter-cultural.

We are either going to live from the inside out with a powerful faith or we are going to lose our way because the markers of faith, Church, family and society are not there now in the way they used to be.

Notice that Our La

Funeral Mass for Fr Kevin Manning PE



Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Welcome to this Mass which we celebrate for the repose of the soul of Father Kevin Manning, a devoted pastor and a caring priest. 

Last Thursday morning, a few months short of his 80th birthday and with an approaching 54th anniversary of priestly ordination, Father Kevin Manning passed to his true home in heaven.  We are here above all to perform with honour the greatest Christian duty of prayer for the dead, which accompanies them as they go to be with God. 

Kevin was a quiet, dutiful, sincere priest whose first thought was always for God and for the people for whom he cared.  As we bid him farewell and comfort those who knew and loved him, we remember him with esteem as a dedicated priest in our Archdiocese.


“Happy are those who die in the Lord.  Now they can rest forever after their work, since their good deeds go with them.”
(Revelation 14:13)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have come to thank our loving God for the life and fifty-four years of priesthood of Father Kevin Maurice Manning.  Kevin was the only child of Albert Manning and Gladys Ross.  After primary education at Holy Cross, South Caulfield, he completed secondary education at C.B.C. East St Kilda, before going to Werribee to study for the priesthood in March 1950.  Living classmates include Bishop Joe O’Connell, Monsignor Aldo Rebeschini, Father Rom Murphy and Father Jake Wells from Tasmania.  He was a loved and respected member of his Seminary Year.  Even when Father Tric exaggerated his ocker English accent to shock Kevin, he remained unmoved.  It would be the same Father Tric, as Parish Priest of Elsternwick, who would keep a watchful eye on Father Kevin in later years.  Kevin was always private, never known to excess.  Only once was he known to use course language of one of his companions.

In those days the philosophers’ library would have been filled with pious books written at the beginning of the last century; such as ‘The Ideal Priest’ or ‘The Priest as a Gentleman’.  Although Kevin was quiet and private, in a way he typified the virtues of the priest as a gentleman.  God and the people came first, his own self and activities were second.  A man of cultured voice and language, who mastered the Robert Peterson pronunciation of words, Kevin was quiet, organised, and precise, with great attention to detail.  This endeared him to the people wherever he was.

After his ordination in the Cathedral on 28th July 1957 by Archbishop Simonds, he was appointed to Geelong where he remained until October 1968, in which time he built churches at Leopold and Portarlington.  The people of Drysdale remember him with affection.  He was very kind to Dean Francis Greenan, who never drove a car and used Kevin’s goodness to ferry him round wherever he wanted.  When Dean Greenan died Father Vin Willis of Moonee Ponds must have thought this was a good idea and Kevin was transferred to Moonee Ponds, where a similar fate befell him. 

The following year in 1969 he went to East Kew for two years and then for nearly a year was Administrator in Brighton before being made Parish Priest of Mooroolbark on 4th March 1972.  Just over three years later he was moved to the busier parish of Macleod, which he found rather burdensome.

Kevin’s father was a sheep buyer; he always wore a vest with watch and chain.  One experienced priest made a remarkable visual contrast between the rough, practical way in which he handled a sheep and the polished, restrained manner of Father Kevin, his son.

Kevin’s father owned a sheep property and it was from Kevin’s visits there that he contracted Brucellosis and the disease, Infectious Hepatitis.