When we mark and celebrate significant anniversaries, we have an opportunity to take a longer view, to pause and pay attention to the ways our faithful God has been active in our lives and our world, often in surprising ways, and sometimes in ways that we only recognise or appreciate after the event. It’s a chance to trace God’s gracious, loving plan for us through our whole history to the present moment, and to look with hopeful anticipation to the future.
In the coming weeks, we will be celebrating a significant milestone in the life of the Church in Melbourne: the 125th anniversary of the consecration of St Patrick’s Cathedral—a building of remarkable beauty and a place of spiritual nourishment and inspiration for many generations of Melburnians. This week we hear about the extravagant three-day celebration that took place 125 years ago on the occasion of the cathedral’s consecration, and about the many thousands of people, from all walks of life, who flocked to the new cathedral to marvel at its beauty and grandeur.
The people of St Peter Apostle Mission Parish in Hoppers Crossing also recently celebrated their own significant milestone as they gathered for a golden jubilee Mass, marking 50 years since the dedication and blessing of their church. We hear the story of how, from humble beginnings in a windswept paddock in our city’s south-west, a vibrant and fruitful community of grace has grown and flourished through the years.
A new initiative that also seeks to trace and document our past so that it might inform and enrich our future is the Australian Religious Archive. Recently established in Box Hill in cooperation wth the University of Divinity, the Archive will initially house and preserve valuable materials from five Australian congregations so that future generations can continue to honour their story, vision and history.
With Catholic Theological College’s regular Engaging Your Faith series of online lectures returning this month, we enjoyed a fascinating conversation with Rev Dr Chris Mulherin, who coordinates the series and will be presenting lectures on the topics ‘Can a scientist believe in God?’ and ‘An Introduction to AI and transhumanism for Christians’. Among other things, the conversation explored how the relationship between faith and science raises some profound questions about what it means to be human.
Finally, speaking of looking to the future with hopeful anticipation, we are aiming to send 500 young people from our Archdiocese to Lisbon next year for World Youth Day 2023. So to start inspiring you, we take a look at Pope Francis’ World Youth Day message—and for those who are interested in going on this truly life-changing pilgrimage (or know someone who might be), we provide the details of some upcoming information sessions.