‘You are part of Australia and Australia is part of you. And the Church herself in Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received by others.’ These words, spoken by Pope John Paul II, now a saint, on November 29 1986 in Alice Springs, form part of a longer address he gave that day to Aborigines and Torres Straight Islanders in Blatherskite Park. Even though he did so 37 years ago, they are well worth reading and meditating by every Australian Catholic, particularly in the lead up to the referendum on October 14.
The Gospel from Matthew Chapter 15 for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary time Year ‘A’, which we proclaimed recently, featured the Canaanite woman ‘taking Jesus on’. Of the many elements in this Gospel, one that struck me this year was that of perseverance and persistence.
In the lead up to the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, some were unsure about the process, thinking it was perhaps a backdoor way of implementing some sort of Church Parliament. Similarly with the coming first session of the Synod on Synodality. Thankfully, not so.
In the years since I have been in Adelaide, the May Marian Procession has been held three times. Three different experiences; three prayerful experiences.
St Joseph, the patron of the universal Church, was many things. In particular, he was a dreamer. God’s plan for him was revealed in dreams. God sustained him in his mission through his dreams.
It is a feature of our current times, in large cities especially, that people do not know their neighbours. Such is the pace of modern life; such is the transitory nature of people’s stay in one place that the sheer time needed for such bonds to develop is often not there.
During December 2022 and in January 2023 the streets of Adelaide were awash with two different kinds of races. Both attracted record crowds. The first was the Adelaide 500 for Supercars, the second the Tour Down Under. Both events recommencing after not having been held for a couple of years.