On Monday 2 November, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli celebrated All Souls' Day Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Before celebrating Mass, he recorded a brief video message for the Melbourne Catholic community, inviting us to pray for all our faithful departed in this month of remembrance. He also gave a brief update on a number of key works that have taken place recently in our local church, and how each generation of believers seeks to bring the Gospel to life in their own time and place.
'Hello friends. I'm perhaps a little bit more dressed up than normal because I'm about to just commence the All Souls’ Day Mass here at the Cathedral today. And it's our custom in the Archdiocese of Melbourne for the Archbishop—the current Archbishop (me)—to offer this Mass for the repose of the souls of my predecessors (archbishops) and that’s why I'm located in this place at the moment; it's the location within our Cathedral where the crypt is. You can see in front of me this beautiful memorial monument for the deceased archbishops of Melbourne and behind me you can see a little bit of the commemorations for each of them. Most of our archbishops are buried within the crypt but we have a couple who are also buried in other locations in the chapels of our cathedral.
As we begin this time of November and on this day of All Souls, just if I can encourage you and remind you to remember the communion of saints, that are a part of our church — and we just got there a little bit of a cathedral organ as well in amongst that (laughs) — ... and friends, in remembering our brothers and sisters in faith, those that we trust and believe that the Lord welcomes as a mark of the sign of their faith, family members, friends, people that we've known who have showed to us examples of living a Christian life... For all people though, for all of us are sinners in need of the Lord's mercy and forgiveness. So this time of November is a time of prayer, especially for those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, and I encourage you to in your families and circumstances to remember them; to pray for the repose of their souls, and also to ask for their intercessory prayer in your own lives.
Over the last couple of weeks there has been a considerable amount of public decisions that have been made in terms of the ongoing life of our Archdiocese of Melbourne. Two in particular I would like to just draw to your attention.
Two weeks ago it was announced that all of the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese are to come together in one entity to be known as Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS). So you'd be aware that at the moment, all of our schools are governed and operated through parishes, and because of the needs of changes, all of that will now come under the new structure, and that will begin at the beginning of next year, in January next year. But we've announced now this, what is an historical shift and change for, please God, for the good of the Catholic education of our young ones into the future.
The other monumental change is in the area of our social services and charity. You’d be all familiar with our local CatholicCare Melbourne. But the various ‘CatholicCares’ throughout Victoria — so CatholicCare Melbourne, Sale, Sandhurst, Ballarat — are all coming together as one entity throughout Victoria so that the services and care of the vulnerable and those in need of assistance, can be done more effectively. And that too will begin at the beginning of next year, but we announced last week that this would be happening.
So, in a matter of two weeks to quite historical decisions for the life of our archdiocese. And I'm particularly mindful of my brother predecessors; that each of them and each generation of the local church has undertaken its own acts of reform and change so that the Gospel might be brought to life in the particular circumstances of each of our days.
So I ask you to keep all of these works of the church in your prayers, and I hope they might be also works that have an effect, a great effect, in your own lives.
Let us pray for those who have died and gone before us marked with the sign of faith. Eternal life grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.'
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli22 February 2021
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli15 February 2021