Let me begin by wishing you all a very happy and holy Feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, our home-grown saint, Patron of the Catholic School System here in Australia, and a special favourite in this Joey school and parish.
HOMILIES AND STATEMENTS
When Mary MacKillop was about 20 years old, living in Portland, Victoria, she was accidentally locked in the church overnight. You might think that was a rather spooky thing to happen to someone
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I was not lucky enough to have Rev. Professor Paul Ryan as one of my philosophy teachers when I was in the seminary. But I do recall with gratitude many things I learnt in philosophy that underpinned my theology, pastoral life and administration ever since.
The miracle of the loaves and the fishes is the most reported of all Jesus’ miracles: it appears in all four Gospels and in two of them twice! John’s account (Jn 6:1-15) underlines the connection with the mystery of the Eucharist.
When the great art historian, museum director and broadcaster, Kenneth Clark, finally entered the Catholic Church on his deathbed, he fulfilled an earlier prediction. He had said that when that time came it would be like a painting entering the Louvre: “It would find itself in some pretty queer company, but at least it would be sure that it had a soul.”
Thank you, Fr John, for your gracious words; you are over-generous to me. God bless you for all you and your brothers do to model faith and vocation to young people throughout Australia. My thanks also to Fr Goonan and St Paul’s publications.
When I was a young ‘seminarian’ and then priest in Melbourne Gerard was a rising star in the educational scene. When I was director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family he was one of the first students, eventually ‘doctored’ and one of the lecturers there. When I came back home to Sydney and got involved with UNDA, he was soon contributing here too, now as Associate Professor …
Where do hymns come from? Well, the ancient Egyptians, Jews, Hindus and Greeks all had their religious songs. Christians were from the start great ones for singing, whether in private devotions or corporate worship (e.g. Mt 26:30; Mk 14:26; Acts 16:25; 1Cor 14:26; Eph 5:19; Col 3:16; Jam 5:13). Early hymns are recorded in the Scriptures, such as the Benedictus, Magnificat, and Nunc Dimittis …
Silence. It can be oppressive, as in today’s Gospel when the people of Jesus’ hometown effectively gag his words and miracles (Mk 6:1-6). Silence can be angry or indolent, as when people sulk or neglect to speak up when they should. It can even be a weapon of passive resistance. The Anglican divine, Adam Ford, tells of a husband and wife he met who hadn’t spoken a word to each other in twenty years.
Before my conversion I was a proper little pagan. I lived for my next drink or other sensory experience, for the satisfaction of my baser passions. I cared nothing for other people’s needs and never gave a thought to worshipping God or serving humanity. I didn’t turn my mind to the great mysteries of God, creation and ourselves. I just wanted pleasant experiences and a quick fix to anything unpleasant.