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Archbishop Peter A Comensoli delivers the Patrick Oration in Melbourne last night (Melbourne Catholic)

Taking his audience on a journey from Nick Cave to St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli used his 2024 Patrick Oration to map out the possibilities of inviting people into a life with Christ. Source: Melbourne Catholic.

Speaking to a gathering of civic, religious and community leaders at the Greg Craven Centre in Australian Catholic University’s new Kolkata Building – and many more who tuned in via community TV Channel 31 or YouTube – Archbishop Comonsoli delivered the fifth annual Patrick Oration last night for the feast day of the archdiocese’s patron, St Patrick.

The oration is an annual opportunity for the archbishop to speak to the wider community and to present a pathway forward for the Church in Melbourne.

Archbishop Comensoli began by describing a recent interview with Australian musician Nick Cave, noting how important the image of Christ in Gethsemane has been for Cave, and “how Christ, in the garden, is tethered to the earth, yet reaching beyond. For in the midst of the loss that came from that shattering silence, Jesus yearns. It is a yearning that leads to his most creative deed: his surrendering to death on a cross”.

The archbishop said he is often struck by those making their way each Thursday “through the doors of St Patrick’s to gaze on Christ” at Six30 Holy Hour. Each week, about 160 mostly young people attend, “making their way to a spiritual doorway onto the love of Christ present among them”.

Archbishop Comensoli has also wondered about those who walk past the Cathedral’s doors on a Thursday evening but don’t come in: “Do they know they are welcome to enter?”

Consecrated 127 years ago, Archbishop Comensoli said St Patrick’s Cathedral is due for “major renewal” with some construction work to begin on the site in coming months.

He said each Catholic has a responsibility to ensure that those who encounter St Patrick’s Cathedral might find a home with Christ among us, and a light to guide their way.


A light for those who yearn: Archbishop Comensoli delivers 2024 Patrick Oration (Melbourne Catholic)