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Order of Malta Australia


Video: St Patrick’s Cathedral fills for the annual Lourdes Mass


Article by

Sunday 4 December 2016

Media and Communications Office.

Archbishop of Melbourne Dens Hart was principal celebrant again this year, for the annual Lourdes Day Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne.
Concelebrating with the Archbishop were Bishop Terry Curtin, Fr Brian Boyle, Fr Joe Caddy, Fr Gerald O’Collins SJ, and Fr Michael Kong from South Korea, presently at Box Hill parish.

The full solemn Mass was accompanied by cantor Paul Hughes and Dr Paul Taylor playing the St Patrick’s organ.

Prior to Mass, visiting musician Melina van Leeuwen played harp, while members of the Order of Malta and young people from many of Melbourne’s major Catholic schools assisted in seating and welcoming the large congregation.

Readers for the Mass were Professor David Kissane, Ms Margaret O’Donnell and Sir James Gobbo.

In his welcome, Archbishop Hart said, ‘I am delighted to be with each of you as we celebrate this Mass for the sick, accompanied by the blessing with Lourdes water.

‘Today in Advent we ask that the God of power and mercy may open our hearts in welcome, so that we may share his wisdom and become one with him.

‘Those of you who suffer are certainly one with his passion and witness to him. Our prayers are for you, as for everyone here. We ask that the Lord may give us hope that we can share with our world.’

During Mass, Archbishop Hart spoke of the joy in our hearts, united as we are with those who are sick, as we prepare to welcome Jesus at Christmas.

‘The integrity and faithfulness foretold by Isaiah,’ said His Grace, ‘ the justice and fullness of peace for which we pray in the Psalm and the invitation of John the Baptist to ‘prepare the way of the Lord’, that all people may see the salvation of God, ring in our ears, as we enter this special moment of pilgrimage.’

‘The pilgrimage is entitled, Lourdes Day, because of the blessing with holy water from Lourdes, which will occur at the end of Mass. Pope John Paul, himself ailing and a pilgrim, went to Lourdes some years ago and his words are great comfort to us as we celebrate this Mass.

‘We ask Mary, who carried the Saviour in her womb with love beyond all telling, to help us to ponder God’s love in our lives; through the Cross, through the hope it gives and through the call to resurrection. Truly with the Pope we can say, ‘We wish to learn from the lowly handmaid of the Lord an attitude of docility and openness to the Word of God and a generous commitment to welcome Christ’s teaching into our lives.’

‘From the time when Bernadette first received the Holy Mother in the grotto at Massabielle she began a dialogue between heaven and earth, which lasted through time and continues to this day – a procession, which asks that the Blessed Mother journey at our side along the pilgrim way of faith, hope and love.

‘In this Year of the Eucharist we remember that at Lourdes for more than a century Christian people have faithfully walked each day behind Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and each night amid songs and prayers in honour of the Lord’s Mother.

‘Like John the Baptist, who proclaimed the need to come to the Lord, we pray together with Bernadette, ‘Good Mother have mercy on me; I give myself entirely to you, that you may give me to your dear Son, whom I wish to love with my whole heart. Good Mother grant me a heart all aflame for Jesus.’’

Thanks to the members of the Order of Malta, two thousand packs had been especially prepared for the day, containing holy water from Lourdes, rosary beads and more. These were presented to all attendees at the Mass.

Later, Archbishop Hart and then the other celebrants gathered in the forecourt of the cathedral to bless those sick, infirm, and with special needs. Many elderly and disabled people in particular were blessed by the Archbishop, Bishop Terry and the celebrant priests.

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.