Twenty four students and five staff enjoyed a wonderful ten day immersion in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Click here to read student reflection on the experience.
Save the Date – Mary Ward Justice Lecture
Date: Wednesday 26 October at 6:00pm at Loreto Normanhurst
On Sunday July 10, St Mary’s Cathedral was packed beyond capacity as hundreds of young World Youth Day pilgrims, their family and friends, joined the regular congregation for Mass, during which Archbishop Anthony Fisher officially commissioned us all for our pilgrimage to Poland. Mrs Berlage and Mrs Sircelj, Charlotte Alexander, Elizabeth Law, Tegan Burns, Carla Field, Harriet Nolan, Sophie Martin, Eliza Sheldon, Ceili Harding, Madeleine Clifford, Emma Steinborn, Emmanuelle Macken, Kara Wiltshire and myself will join more than 850 young people from the Archdiocese of Sydney taking the pilgrimage to attend World Youth Day in Krakow, from July 25 to 31, making it the biggest WYD overseas pilgrimage ever to leave the Archdiocese.
Archbishop Fisher told the congregation he was delighted to be commissioning the Sydney pilgrims and to be present to give them his blessing and wish them bon voyage.
“Sadly, due to my recent illness, my doctors will not let me travel overseas,” he said in his homily. “Happily, however, I have two new auxiliary bishops and have asked the youngest bishop in Australia, Bishop-elect Richard Umbers, who is concelebrating with me today, to accompany you in my place. Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady will also be taking a group. And I will be accompanying you all in prayer and watching from a distance.”
The Sydney Archdiocesan WYD group includes 654 students from Sydney Catholic Schools and 204 post-school aged pilgrims from across the Archdiocese.
Archbishop Fisher said he was thrilled to be commissioning so many WYD pilgrims from the Sydney Archdiocese.
“When I see so many young people fired with love of God, the Church and the world, ready to make the long journey of faith in company with two million other young people, thousands of bishops, priests and lay leaders, and one very happy Pope, my heart is truly warmed, and my hope for the future strengthened,” he said.
Preaching on Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan, Archbishop Fisher noted that the theme for WYD in Krakow, is ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy’ (Mt 5:7).
“If we show mercy, we will be given divine mercy in abundance; and when we receive divine mercy we should be ready to show it to others,” he said. “We must become the Good Samaritan.
“Baptism is for biography: for writing the story of God, here and now, as lived in you and me. And so, on your World Youth Day pilgrimage, each of you should ask yourself – what kind of character am I creating in the autobiography that is my life?”
Read the full text and video of Archbishop Fisher’s homily here.
Finally, as we commence Term 3 may God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that in this year of Felicity we may live deep within our hearts. NAIDOC Week was held in the first full week of July. As it is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society, it is timely that we ask God to bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for economic justice for all people. May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, hunger, homelessness and rejection, so that we may reach out our hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.
Sharon O’Keeffe (Ms)
Director of Mission (K-12)