When we approach a new year, our minds often turn to new beginnings and resolutions, but the passing from one year to the next is also a time of remembering and farewelling. Christians have always had a sense of living on a threshold—treasuring the memories and stories of God’s presence with us in all the days that have gone before while stepping hopefully into a new day. This was perhaps especially the case as we marked the beginning of this new year.
On 31 December, we received the sad news of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, otherwise known as Josef Ratzinger. And last Sunday, almost a month later, a memorial Mass was celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral, in which Archbishop Peter A Comensoli reflected on the great gift that Benedict was—and will continue to be—to the Church. One of the most significant Catholic theologians of the last century, Benedict also faithfully showed us that Christ is ‘the light by which to live’, as Archbishop Comensoli observed in his homily. We have also republished a tribute from Australian Professor Tracey Rowland, an international expert on the theology of Josef Ratzinger, in which she reflects on Benedict’s legacy, his rich theology and his simple, childlike piety. And Christian Bergmann shares three ways in which Pope Benedict changed his approach to faith altogether.
Recently at St Patrick’s Cathedral, three men embarked on their own new beginnings as they were ordained to the priesthood. This week we hear from Fr Huy Nguyen, whose journey has led him from Vietnam to Melbourne to follow God’s call. He talks about this vocation, about what it means to become the person God is calling us to be, and the message that he hopes will be central to his ministry.
The late Leopoldine (‘Poldi’) Mimovich was also someone who knew about vocation, and about what it means to relinquish an old life in order to take hold of a new one. As part of our ongoing ‘Moments of Grace’ series, we hear the inspiring story of a faithful and gifted artist, whose capacity to see and uncover the beauty hidden in ordinary things and circumstances continues to bless and inspire the people of God in Melbourne and beyond.
Finally, as students return to schools this week, we look ahead to Safer Internet Day, which will be observed on Tuesday 7 February with the theme of ‘Connect. Reflect. Protect.’ It’s an opportunity to talk with our loved ones about some of the benefits, but also the dangers, of the online world, so the Archdiocese of Melbourne’s Safeguarding Unit has pointed us to a few resources that might help us with these important conversations.
As we launch into this new year, we look forward to sharing more inspiring stories of the life of faith—stories that we hope might open up some of the rich treasures of our tradition, keep you informed and connected to the life of the Church and point always to the God who makes all things new.