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We’ll meet again


Many have been the tributes, reflections and expressions of gratitude for the life of our late Queen Elizabeth II. All have reflected a deep sense of gratitude for a life of tireless service, well-lived. One of the most touching, to me, were those which commented on her role as a mother. Mother to her family; to a nation; to a Commonwealth; mother to so many in a myriad of ways.

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It was of interest to me that the Queen’s birthday into eternal life, September 8, was also the birthday of Mary, the Mother of God.

Essential to the Queen’s life and service was the centrality of her faith in God. In a speech in 2011 the Queen quoted a proverb from one of our First Nations people, which read: ‘We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love…and then we return home.’ A very poignant summary of both our purpose in life and our goal in death, somewhat reminiscent of St Mary of the Cross’ reminder, ‘we are but travellers here’. A purpose-filled life, a service-oriented life, one driven by hope and a desire to make things better in God’s image.

Some may remember the Queen’s 2020 address to Great Britain about COVID. In it she praised Britain’s ‘national spirit’ in facing the challenge of coronavirus. She said: ‘While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal…We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us’.

She added: ‘We should take comfort that, while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again’.

A mother’s encouraging and hope-filled words, applicable to us all. Eternal rest grant her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace and rise in glory.

(As a postscript, at the Queen’s funeral, I noticed that the Archbishop of Canterbury also referred to this address as well.)

One year on

Last year we promised that we would hold a second Diocesan Assembly. It hardly seems possible that it is now over a year since that first Assembly was held. Since that time at the national level, the Diocesan level, parish and community level, and each family level I hope, we have sought to not only listen more deeply to what God is asking of us, but also to begin to consider and implement some of the recommendations from both our Diocesan Assembly and to consider the fruits of the recently concluded Plenary Council of the Church in Australia.

In just a few short weeks we take the next step in bringing together our Diocesan family again for our second Diocesan Assembly. It will be a rather different experience, yet just as hopeful and encouraging as the first.

Of the many lessons we have been reminded of during these experiences are such things as the importance of collaboration, literally working together. Being the body of Christ means that we are in this together. With Christ as our Head surely, but we also as the Body. While it might, in some people’s minds, be easier to hand down decrees from on high, Jesus was remarkably short on issuing such commands. He preferred to remind people that He is the Way, Truth and Life. It was by drawing us into his life that we actually have life. We have established a Diocesan Pastoral Council and our Council of Priests has recently met.

We still have much to do, yet together, with God’s help, we can journey on the way. Please pray for our gathering on October 21 and 22.

Couldn’t have done it without God

On the weekend of September 17/18 around the Archdiocese we gave thanks for those who were having marriage anniversaries this year. While there is certainly many more couples celebrating anniversaries this year it was with joy that I signed certificates for 170 couples celebrating anniversaries. While there was a range of years being celebrated there was one couple who were celebrating 70 years of marriage.

Before the anniversary weekend I happened to be visiting one of our parishes and met one of the couples celebrating their 60th anniversary. I asked them if they had any thoughts. Only one, they said. ‘Couldn’t have done it without our God, the beginning, middle and end’. How very true, and what a wonderful example of what it means to put God at the centre of our lives.

God is good, good indeed.



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