Thursday, 13 October 2011

Soho to Sydney

What a great joy it has been for the Church in Sydney to welcome Fr Alexander Sherbrooke of St Patrick's parish, London, on a week long visit. Fr Alexander was invited by the Archdiocese to give the main address at a colloquium which was titled "Parish renewal and the New Evangelisation". He addressed first the nature and significance of the New Evangelisation and then spoke about the Eucharistic Heart of the parish. These addresses together with a "pub talk' in the evening, in which he spoke about his work in London, were very well received. In the photo below Fr Alexander is speaking with Bishop Julian Porteous of Sydney who organised the colloquium. Below that is a photo of myself speaking at the event on the theme of the laity of the New Evangelisation.

The following day we were delighted to welcome him to the Seminary where he spoke, in an informal setting (photo below), about the need for priests to be alive in Christ and to keep His light alive in the Church. He spoke to us also of the freedom which faith and the language of faith still has in Australia, and how repressed are these dimensions of life in the UK; a call to these priests-to-be to promote and defend the faith in the public arena. Fr Alexander then made an overnight visit to the seminary in Melbourne to meet the seminarians there.

The following day he was welcomed at "Theology on Tap" in its pub venue in Parramatta. He spoke to over three hundred young people (photo below), calling them to participate in the New Evangelisation by seeking to develop their Christian formation, by adoring Christ in his Eucharistic Heart, and by being open to the poor and the way that God speaks to us through the poor.

We are extremely grateful to Fr Alexander for taking the time and the trouble to make the long return journey to Sydney and to give of himself to so many.

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