Tomorrow, we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the consecration of St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1897—a high point in the life of the Church in Melbourne. As we prepare to gather at the Cathedral for a special anniversary Mass, we reflect on the origins of this beloved landmark, which has also been a place of inspiration, community and solace for generations of Melbourne’s inhabitants. The story of St Pat’s is one of bold vision, disheartening setbacks, passionate convictions, and remarkable generosity and patience.
As well as offering a wonderful opportunity to explore the Cathedral’s fascinating history, this anniversary year is a perfect time to discover the other cultural and historical treasures within the ‘Catholic precinct’ of East Melbourne and Fitzroy. The new Catholic Precinct Walking Tour App—which will be launched tomorrow following the Cathedral’s anniversary Mass—allows anyone with a mobile device to explore the riches of this beautiful and significant part of Melbourne. We talk to one of the app’s creators about its development and the many great features of this exciting new resource.
Just as the building of a cathedral requires persistence and faith in the face of crises, setbacks and human folly, so does the the life of faith. The letters of Catholic author JRR Tolkien reveal a man of formidable intellect, whose own brokenness and shortcomings brought him at one point to the brink of unbelief. This week we hear the moving story of the thing that brought him back.
Not too long ago, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli challenged the Catholic education community to be ‘bold and ambitious’ in its approach to educating our children and young people. Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) has responded to this challenge with the recent launch of its inaugural strategic plan, published after an extensive process of consultation and development. Central to the plan is the goal of forming lives of faith, hope and love in the light of Jesus Christ.
May the spirit of bold faith and selfless devotion that helped bring our beautiful Cathedral into being be abroad among us today, inspiring us to build lives and communities of faith that stand as ‘landmarks’ of God’s kingdom here in Melbourne.