OPENING OF THE CATHOLIC LEADERSHIP
CENTRE BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART ON TUESDAY 27TH MAY 2014 AT 11.30 A.M.
As we gather this morning to bless our
Leadership Centre, we are invited to reflect on the nature of a leadership
defined by the values of our faith.
in our faith we are afforded no better model of leadership than the example
that our Saviour Jesus Christ has left us through the Gospel. Tearing apart the traditional notions of
autocratic rule and of a society guided by the practices of distinct class
separations, Jesus tells his disciples that among them it will be
different: “Whoever wants to be a leader
among you must be your servant. And
whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not
come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for
many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)
Centre stand as a testament to the generations of Catholic leaders in our
community who have gone before us – leaders who have not come to be served, but
to serve in the tradition of Christ.
are men and women who have entered into the service of the Church’s service
organisations with a capacity for compassion, openness to the people they serve
and for love. Each and every one of them
continues to have my great confidence in their talents and their role in
shaping the wider community.
Catholic Leadership Centre has been built to support future generations of
Catholic leaders in education, health and the social services to continue to
serve in the same tradition. It is my
responsibility to ensure that the emerging leaders of our Church are properly
supported to take on these roles.
world is infinitely more complex today than it was when many of today’s Church
leaders emerged. The challenges that the
next generation of leadership will face will be equally as complex. That is why we have made provision for this
it is fitting that it stands on this spot.
over 144 years Saint John’s Primary School helped shape the minds of thousands
of students from around this area.
Coming from a variety of cultural backgrounds, it is true that they were
not always Catholic, but they were taught by teachers imbued with a love of
Christ, guided by his values.
will be far too easy for the wider world to see the Catholic Leadership Centre
as an edifice – bricks and mortar, glass and steel – a beautiful and functional
multi-million dollar investment by Catholicism in Catholicism.
is, therefore, our responsibility to make this Centre live. That beyond the facade of the building is a
thriving culture and faith imbued with the love of God and with the men and
women we share our community with.
who have helped shape the wonder of this project have understood our need to
build on the capacities of the Church.
This Centre will serve to balance the competencies of leadership and the
competencies of the Church, to best serve the people in our schools, our
hospitals and in all the parts of society touched by the work of our Church.
believe that the Church’s future leaders are to be those men and women totally
committed to our faith, and totally competent to provide the stewardship to the
organisations they will one day lead.
leaders will need to have the practical skills to not only run our schools, or
manage our hospitals in a day to day context, but be able to respond
effectively to the needs of a changing community, and to a growing complexity
of government regulation.
who put what is right above what is easy or politically expedient, and men and
women who are not afraid to fight
for a cause and a vision that is more infinite than the whole of our
these are the men and women who are on fire with the love of Christ, with a
vision to bring love to our world, and help shape young men and women to use
their gifts to build up the foundations of society formed by Jesus Christ and
the Word of God.
messages that emerge from the classes, seminars and lectures here at the
Catholic Leadership Centre should serve to remind our leaders of the words of
Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the
interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
example, we hope, should serve as persuasive an influence in the communities
they serve, as Jesus’ has been for the whole world.
will serve humbly and with humility.
will lead by influence and example.
will be true servant leaders.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.