NER Advent Mass and Dinner 2020
The evening of 18th December 2020 saw the North Eastern Region of the Order of Malta celebrate our traditional Advent Mass. Principal celebrant was Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, the Chief Chaplain for our Order in Australia, concelebrating with Conventual Chaplain ad Honorem Bishop Ken Howell, Magistral Chaplain Fr Gerard McMorrow, Parish Priest Fr Grzegorz Gawel and Fr Stephen Camiolo. The Mass was held at the heritage-listed Church of Our Lady of Victories, Bowen Hills, overlooking the Brisbane River.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, numbers had to be limited this year. Twenty Members, the region’s six Candidates and several potential Aspirants shared the Liturgy with family, friends and Volunteers.
In his homily, Archbishop Coleridge inspired all not to despair in the pervasive challenges of 2020. In the midst of relentless hardships, the Archbishop reflected on Dante Alighieri’s enduring vision of Hell as a place without hope, “All hope abandon ye who enter here”.
The Archbishop contrasted this vision with the promise of the Prophet Jeremiah, to trust in the Lord as “Our Righteous Saviour”. His Grace reminded us to seek and embrace the love and wisdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, to humbly renew our faith and hope in God’s transcendent plan for Creation and our Salvation.
The President of the Order in Australia, The Hon. Justice James Douglas KHD and the North Eastern Regional Hospitaller Danny Higgins KMG, expressed a particular welcome to special guests H.E. Dr Monica Thomson DC*HS, Lieutenant of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Queensland and her husband Dr David Thomson KHS. Special welcome also to Mrs Sandra Micallef, Honorary Consul of Malta, and her husband Mr Michael Micallef.
Mass was followed by the traditional Advent Dinner where much of the discussion was the zeal to return to Hospitaller works in 2021.