We want to see Jesus
Address Of Archbishop Denis Hart
At The Blessing And Opening Of Classrooms And Library At St Gerard's School, North Dandenong,
on Friday, 9th November, 2001, at 10.00am
My dear young Friends,
I am delighted to be with you, with Fathers Van Kooy and Kennedy, with Mr. Dalton and your teachers, as we bless your new classrooms and library, which I have already had a chance to visit earlier in the year.
Your parents have chosen St Gerard's as a Catholic school because above all they want you to know and love Jesus Christ. Pope John Paul wrote to us all in the Church early this year to say that our lives as we begin the new millennium have to begin with "we want to see Jesus". We have to realise who he is and learn about him. We have to be united with him in the Mass and Sacraments and prayer and then, with Jesus walking beside us, we go to bring his truth and love to the world.
As Archbishop I hope there will be many things in your classrooms which will remind you of God. Jesus on the cross to show the wonderful act of love by which he saved us. Mary, the Mother of God, who brought Jesus to us. Other pictures and books, especially the book of the Word of God, the Bible, which is God's own word given to us through human persons who wrote under his inspiration.
Today we will bless your library, which will be filled with books and other resources that will build up your knowledge and faith. May they give you a broad experience of all that is needed to prepare you for life. Here at St Gerard's we want you to have the best preparation of all, so that as you go into life you will have a proper understanding of life and work and what happens at the end of your life and so keep close to your God.
We believe and explain God's love for us and we come to him at Mass and in prayer throughout our lives so that we will learn what kind of people we are and this comes from our families, from our teachers, above all from God.
When we go to work God comes with us. When many of you will marry and have children, God is with you again. Do not forget him.
In a few moments I will bless the library. The word library means a collection of books and I know that it will open to your hearts many things that you are able to learn. The Bible, God's book, is also really a collection of books. In the Old Testament Moses, prophets (people who spoke out about God), poets who wrote the Psalms and prayers, and so many others prepared our hearts for the coming of Jesus. In the New Testament we have the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the letters of Saint Paul to the different communities in the early Church, and Saint John, Saint James, Saint Jude, Saint Peter. All of these are letters from the first leaders of the Church chosen by Jesus to teach us how to live.
As we bless this library I want you to remember that the Bible is the most important collection of books of all, because the Bible helps us to know who we are, what gifts we have and to live all of our life in God's presence. It is most important that with our new religious education programme we come to know our faith and love it. What the archbishop has tried to do is to have all the young people in Melbourne know much more about their faith so that they will be led on to love God, to follow him and find true happiness.
My prayer, as I congratulate you all on what has been achieved here, beginning with Father Van Kooy, Mr. Dalton, the teachers, the builder, and you young people who have put up with a lot of inconvenience, is to remind you that what you learn here will be the most important preparation of all for your life. May this be a place where Jesus is loved and faithfully followed. May the prayers of Saint Gerard for families guide you and may your priests and teachers and other helpers lead you always along the way of Jesus Christ as we have tried to show in our new religious texts. Thank you for listening.
+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne.