On this Australia Day Weekend I would like to welcome the return of the Principal Micheal O’Sullivan, the teachers and students of St Joseph’s as Term One of the School Year resumes this week. I know that Micheal and the teachers have already been hard at work last week, and are all enthusiastic about the start of the school year.
I look forward to working with Micheal, the teachers, parents, students and friends of the school in the coming year. May it be a time of learning and the getting of wisdom for us all.
This past week all parish priests received a letter from our Archbishop, which accompanied a copy of Pope Francis’ most recent substantial teaching document, the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel. Archbishop Mark says, in part, of the Pope’s teaching:
“He is unafraid to speak the truth, not just as he sees it but as he hears it from the lips of Jesus. He also speaks with a spiritual and pastoral wisdom which suggests his background as a true son of St Ignatius Loyola and an experienced pastor through difficult years in his native Argentina. The Exhortation is challenging, even confronting at times. ... But it is also encouraging, as the Pope writes like a man who knows and understands the difficulties we face. The whole thing is suffused with a sense of humanity and mercy. It is simple but profound, humble but strong.”
Further, Archbishop Mark focuses on the missionary nature of the Pope’s writing. The latter calls the whole Church to a new missionary impulse for every aspect of the Church’s life: “everything must be seen in a missionary key and informed by a missionary spirituality.” In light of the Pope’s call to mission, Archbishop Mark concludes his letter by saying: “That is why I want The Joy of the Gospel to be regarded as the charter for the Archdiocese of Brisbane as we seek to plan the kind of future that Christ wants.”
As we look to the future as the Parish of Kangaroo Point/East Brisbane we will take the lead of the Pope and our Archbishop and seek to make The Joy of the Gospel our charter. As the Pope says of the parish in this work:
“The parish is not an outdated institution; precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different contours depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community. ... The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelisers.”
I look forward to being at your service as we seek to be the parish Church which is and is becoming the Joy of the Gospel.