Together with your priests I rejoice in celebrating this Mass to thank God for the gifted and sensitive work which you perform in God's service. Truly it can be said that Pastoral Associates are often the first point of meeting with the Church and the most articulate and gentle instruments of the Lord's care for us in times of need.
I rejoice in the flourishing of Pastoral Associates in this Archdiocese. I am delighted with what has been done to prepare our new Pastoral Associates and through Liz Crowe and her Committee, to support Pastoral Associates who are often working in parishes in very challenging positions. I offer this Mass to God for you today on the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, who proclaimed Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
When we come to Mass we bring all of our abilities and gifts to God. What you learn at school this year will be a development of the gifts that you place at God's service through what you do for members of the community.
Tonight brings thanksgiving for all who make Mazenod the great College it is, for the work of Masters and for others who are working with you to provide a truly well-rounded Catholic education, where your relationship with Jesus Christ is paramount.
The Scriptures at Mass today remind us of the real existence of sin. In our world and in our lives the tragedy of September 11th, the hatred and violence which exists in our city, are all reminders that we cannot deny the existence of real personal sin.
A greater time and attention for prayer will fix our hearts on Christ. Fasting from bodily food, from pleasure, from the things in which we indulge will give us an appetite for prayer and a love of Jesus Christ. This is the basis of all religion. Works of love will then bring our gratitude for what we have received into the lives of others. In the words of Jesus, "You received without paying, give without pay." (Matthew 10:8)