Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli says the Church is at a “threshold of transition”, posing the challenge of finding healing, purpose and destiny through the domestic church — family households. Source: Melbourne Catholic.
Archbishop Comensoli delivered the 2022 Patrick Oration at the Catholic Leadership Centre in Melbourne yesterday, the feast day of St Patrick, patron saint of the archdiocese.
In his oration last year, Archbishop Comensoli drew parallels between the early Church and the experience of the Victorian community through the pandemic, describing the "state of ebb and flow" as the new normal and the place from which a renewed sense of gospel energy needed to emerge.
“We should not miss that COVID has shifted and sifted us,’ he said at the time. ‘How might we become the leaven needed for a more human way of living in this new world still emerging? Perhaps we can learn from our faith ancestors, in finding our identity by way of our households.”
The Archbishop continued to build on this theme of exile and domesticity at this year's Patrick Oration, homing in on the place of the domestic church – the family – as a place where generations could learn a sense of communion, formation and mission. "We might describe these vocational tasks by way of three active verbs: to pray, to learn, to love."
The home, Archbishop Comensoli proposed, remains the prime location within which faith can be formed and nurtured, especially in this time of increased isolation and fragmentation.
“There are many stories of the apostles going to households and neighbourhood communities to invite families into a common life in Christ,” Archbishop Comensoli said.
“There is virtually no evidence throughout the New Testament of the Church engaging in the politics of the day or seeking to plant the works of the Church in public structures. The focus was personal and familial and communal ... The early Church was a Church that assembled and passed on the faith in family homes.”
‘A threshold moment’: Archbishop Comensoli delivers the 2022 Patrick Oration. (Melbourne Catholic)