During the fourth annual Patrick Oration—delivered last Friday, on the feast day of our patron St Patrick—Archbishop Peter A Comensoli reflected on a question on the hearts of so many people in the Church: ‘Where have all the young people gone?’
He suggested that perhaps we have been asking the wrong question. Instead of asking, ‘When did the young lose Christ?’ (he doesn’t think they truly have), maybe we should be asking, ‘When did we lose being young in Christ?’ Pointing to Christ’s eternal youthfulness, and to just some of the ways young people in our Archdiocese are embracing Christ’s mission with boldness and joy, he encouraged us to ‘rediscover the young Church’ and reclaim a faith that will ‘lead us out into the world’.
You can read or watch the whole Oration here.
The Cathedral was brimming with youthful energy last Friday morning when some 2,000 students, teachers and dignitaries from across the Archdiocese gathered for the annual Mass of St Patrick for Schools. In his homily, Archbishop Comensoli reflected on the life of St Patrick and how, no matter how young or old we are, we are all invited to be part of God’s amazing mission. We just need to trust him and say ‘yes’ .
Speaking of which, this weekend we are all invited to participate in Fiat—A Weekend of Prayer, when parishes and communities around Melbourne and beyond will be joining together in prayer and reflecting on Mary’s total ‘yes’ to God. In the lead-up to what promises to be a moment of grace for the local Church, we look at a few parishes’ and communities’ hopes and plans for the weekend, from the suburbs to the prisons. As the days count down, don’t forget to keep an eye on our regularly updated schedule of events for a prayer opportunity near you. (Some useful prayer resources have also been included for communal and individual use during the Fiat weekend.)
As we seek to rediscover together a Church energised by Christ’s own eternal youth and vitality, may we be encouraged by the words of the Prophet Isaiah, quoted by the Archbishop last Friday: ‘those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will grow wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, walk but never tire’ (40:30–31).