APOSTOLIC nuncio Archbishop Paul Gallagher during his recent visit to Brisbane conveyed a message from Pope Francis of his “love, concern, affection and solicitude for the Church in Australia”.
Archbishop Gallagher delivered the message at a Mass celebrated in St Stephen’s Cathedral on July 3.
His homily drew on the example of St Thomas, the saint whose feast day was celebrated, to give encouragement to the congregation.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Archbishop Emeritus John Bathersby, and auxiliaries Bishop Brian Finnigan and Bishop Joseph Oudeman were among clergy concelebrating the Mass.
In his homily, Archbishop Gallagher said he had come “because Archbishop Coleridge invited me to take part in the meeting of the bishops of the province of Brisbane”.
“Because the Bishop of Townsville Michael Putney is unwell it was decided we should have a meeting there,” he said.
He said he had been impressed by the city’s Sacred Heart Cathedral on a hill, made particularly prominent at night due to its lighting.
“Bishop Putney said he was happy his cathedral was lit up because it reminded people who looked up on the hill that God exists, that people believe in God, that Christ has risen,” Archbishop Gallagher said.
“We are celebrating the feast of St Thomas, the saint for which we all have a very special affection because he was a doubter, and it is part of belief to also have a little bit of Thomas in each one of us.”
Archbishop Gallagher said after seeing Christ’s wounds, Thomas “flips like a coin from being the doubter to being an ardent believer”.
“But Jesus chastises Thomas ‘You believe because you have seen, happy are those who have not seen and yet believe’.”
Archbishop Gallagher acknowledged “the beautiful St Stephen’s Cathedral is a testimony to the faith of the people down the generations and it does an excellent job I have no doubt”.
“But at the same time we all know that the cathedral, a building, a church, a chapel is only as good as the people in it,” he said.
“And therefore it has always been the belief of the people in the church that indeed we can see the Lord in his body which is the Church.”