I came back last week from Nigeria after what felt like a reposeful holiday. One of the highpoints of my holiday was the Ordination of ten deacons from my diocese (Umuahia Diocese) by Archbishop Mark Coleridge. The cathedral was packed to the rafters and the atmosphere was that of joy and excitement. It took a fair bit of effort, at the beginning of Mass, to stop people from applauding the Archbishop who sang the introductory part of the Mass in Igbo. Everyone was enthralled and overjoyed to see an Australian Archbishop sing in Igbo. It felt like the experience of the new Pentecost!
It was an experience that will remain indelible in the annals of Umuahia Diocese. Be that as it may, when two particular churches come together to share gifts in the way that Brisbane and Umuahia have done and still do, what comes to light is the tangible expression of the communion and unity that Jesus prayed and worked for.
In this we a real manifestation of the conviction that God’s gratuitous gifts to us as individuals and dioceses are not treasures to be hoarded but gifts to be shared for the good of the Body of Christ, the Church. It is a thing of joy and thanksgiving that Brisbane and Umuahia are engaged in this mutual gift sharing and, hence, living out in a particular way, the communion that Christ prayed for. May this communion continue to grow; may it continue to bear fruit, fruit that will last! It is in the spirit of this mutual gift sharing that I say, “It’s good to be back to Brisbane!”; it’s good to be back in the thick of the communion between Brisbane and Umuahia.
May God’s grace be with us all as we continue to make his kingdom of love and unity come in Brisbane and in the Kangaroo Point East Brisbane parish.