Archbishop depicts St Patrick as model for modern missionaries
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll shared some of St Patrick's "trade secrets" with an ecumenical gathering in Canberra yesterday, suggesting that his strong personal conviction was instrumental in his ability to engage the people.
Archbishop Carroll delivered the homily at the St Patrick's Day ecumenical service held at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (pictured).
"His own totally authentic faith, his deep love of God and of the people he served, carried their own conviction. Somehow he engaged the very spirit of the people," said Archbishop Carroll. "He spoke to their deepest hungers, desires, and aspirations and so the Gospel message flowed into and transformed the very genius of the Irish without destroying or binding its energy."
"This was true inculturation, a truly incarnational entering of the Word of God into the culture and spirit of the people," he said.
Archbishop Carroll said that while we speak much of the inculturation of the Gospel today, this is "much more than a matter of language, the use of symbols and the adaptation of local customs".
"The Christian message must engage the very spirit of modern men and women, speak to their deepest aspirations and satisfy the real hungers of the human heart.
"In today's Church much energy is spent in pastoral planning, strategic thinking and professionalism in ministry. These have their place but do they leave sufficient room for the movement of the unpredictable Spirit who guided and energised Paul and Patrick," he said.
Meanwhile thousands of students from Catholic schools poured into St Patrick's Cathedral in East Melbourne for a St Patrick's Day Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart.
The Age reports that "there were so many students that stocks of communion wafers ran out and some of the 3500 young souls had to wait while officials rushed for more".
Archbishop Francis Carroll: St Patrick's Day Homily (17/3/05)
A time for the stout-hearted (The Age 18/3/05)
Bush to meet bereaved Irish family as Sinn Fein absent on St. Patrick's Day (Agence France-Presse/Yahoo 18/3/05)
St. Patrick's Day feted worldwide with parades, parties and politics (Agence France-Presse/Yahoo 18/3/05)
Cad é mar atá tú? (Sydney Morning Herald 18/3/05)
18 Mar 2005