Funeral of Emeritus Archbishop Leonard Faulkner

May 14, 2018

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Archbishop Leonard Anthony Faulkner died a beautiful death. He moved towards his death in a peaceful way and breathed gently as he came to the end of his life on earth. I was fortunate enough to spend time with him before he died and it gave me the extraordinary experience of being able to speak and pray with him, even though he was unable to communicate directly, but I noticed that during prayers and especially whilst praying the Rosary, he responded in a personal way. 

The experience of his death was a very peaceful one and it struck me as being characterised by a lot of the elements of his life and the way he lived day to day. The room in which he died was a very simple one, not very much in terms of personal possessions except some photos of his family and a few remnants of his previous life. I would imagine that his most treasured possession was a photograph and a letter that was next to him as he laid in his bed. It was a photo of Pope Francis and the letter Pope Francis wrote to him on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee as a Bishop – a rare and extraordinary distinction to be a bishop for 50 years. All Pope Francis said in the letter adequately sums up everything you would want to say about Archbishop Faulkner, in that he was a dedicated and faithful servant of the church who loved God and loved his people in every way that he could.

Archbishop Leonard Faulkner was surrounded by the church in a special way at the moment of his baptism. When presented by his parents for his entry into his life in the church, he was welcomed into his first church family that he belonged to, and it was that family that formed him and made it possible for him, alongside his brothers and sisters, to develop and grow in faith. This family helped foster and allow his vocation to serve the Lord as a priest. Archbishop Faulkner had the great blessing of being able to be formed in faith at that level, within a family that provided such a strong foundation for what was to follow later in his life.

The second time  he was surrounded by the church and all the saints was as he lay on the floor of the College Chapel in Propaganda to be ordained to the priesthood in 1950. On the day he was ordained the angels and saints were invoked to come to him, he received the Holy Orders of Priesthood at the hands of Cardinal Pietro Biondi, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. After his initial training here in Adelaide, Archbishop Faulkner had the blessing of being formed for the Priesthood at Propaganda College, that great institution that has existed in the centre of the church’s life over 400 years. The Chapel is dedicated to the Three Wise Men, the Magi, and I have always thought that choice e implied that the founders of the College knew they were dealing with those from the East, West, North, and South to bear their gifts for the Lord, but also that they had been gifted by the College the opportunity to give their lives as a gift to the Lord as they became priests who worked in glory of his name.

Leonard Faulkner returned to the Diocese as a newly ordained priest and became deeply involved in the diocese, especially in his early appointments to the Parish of Woodville, where he was well known for his zealous nature of care for the people in a new and developing area. This was a pattern that would continue for the rest of his time as a priest in the Archdiocese of Adelaide. One monumentally important event occurred in his life then, and that was his exposure to the YCW movement, the movement of lay apostolic life that had been created by Cardinal Cardijn in Belgium, and which had become such a strong characteristic of life in the Archdiocese of Adelaide. The pattern of See, Judge and Act was a pattern of  apostolic activity that not only characterised his life as a priest, but also went on to influence and colour his ministry as bishop.

The process of See, Judge and Act, the reality of that movement of lay leadership and of lay involvement in the ministry of the church and its mission was something that became a very important aspect of the way Archbishop Faulkner lived his life as a priest, as Bishop of Townsville and Archbishop of Adelaide. The process of See, Judge and Act, that belonged to the YCW movement characterised the life of the church in Adelaide during the early days of Archbishop Faulkner’s time and it is still an influence to this day. So many of the people who have made a huge contribution to the life of the Archdiocese were people who were formed and experienced faith within the context of the YCW movement. See, Judge and Act is still with us as we live our lives as Disciples of Christ in the present world.

All that we are engaged in at present in the Archdiocese, in terms of renewal, trying to establish the eight characteristics of Christian discipleship in the midst of our life of the Church, is in fact an extension of that pattern of See, Judge and Act and a continuation of that program that began so long ago, and that was so actively encouraged and developed by Archbishop Faulkner during his time and his leadership of the Archdiocese. I might add as well that as the Church in Australia moves towards the new experience of the Plenary Council in 2020, it is that pattern of See, Judge and Act which is the core of what we are trying to do as a community. We will look and see what the Lord is asking us to do, Judge what we need to do in order to respond to the Lord, and Act in his name to carry out his wishes for the way we live our lives in his name in the world today.

Today, as we go through the experience of Archbishop Faulkner’s funeral, it is an opportunity for us to turn to Christ in union with the Archbishop. At the moment of his death, Jesus came to him and brought the fulfilment of his whole life together. What began at the moment of his baptism, which was confirmed later at his ordination to the priesthood and episcopate, came to its high point at the moment when Jesus came to lead him in love from this world into the next. The Archbishop was ready to receive what it was that Christ wanted to give to him because of the way he lived his life. His life was a pattern of always striving to be faithful to Jesus in every way he possibly could, and as a result of that he was ready for the moment of his death when he could enter into the glory of eternal life.

Today, along with the Archbishop who has now gone beyond us into eternal life, we stand looking squarely at Jesus with the understanding that He is everything in our lives. All the experiences we have and wherever we go and whatever we do, Jesus is the one who gives us life and meaning and brings to us that love, which is so strong that not even the experience of death can stop it.

In the Eucharist today, we stand in the presence of the mortal remains of Archbishop Faulkner and along with him we celebrate the Eucharist and the recognition that we are involved in the saving ministry of our Lord’s death and resurrection – praying that we will all be more deeply involved in that as we commit Archbishop Faulkner to its fullness on this the day of his burial.

May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Bishop Murphy memorial Mass

April 26, 2018

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On Sunday week at St Patrick’s Church Hill in Sydney, the Archbishop of Sydney is going to celebrate a special Mass to mark the events of 1818 when the priest was taken away by the authorities and before he left was unable to dispose of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Blessed Sacrament was kept in a tabernacle in one of the houses near St Patrick’s. There was no priest in the colony so for two years, people would gather, mostly on Sundays, and adore the Blessed Sacrament, say the rosary and pray. When finally after two years a priest did come and he opened the tabernacle, and removed the lid of the ciborium, they found that the hosts were as pure and as fresh as they were on the day that they were consecrated.

The news of this spread right through the early Catholic community in Sydney and it was regarded as a Eucharistic miracle that nourishes and nurtured the faith of the Catholic people of the day.

Bishop Murphy was the first person to be ordained a bishop in Australia. He was ordained by Archbishop Goulding, Bishop Wilson and Bishop Pompallier who was on his way to Tahiti, in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.

Download pdf below to read full homily.

 AB homily on Bishop Murphy.docx


Homily – Holy Week Chrism Mass

Monday March 26, 2018

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My sisters and brothers,

At the conclusion of the first gulf war the United States held a parade in Washington DC to proclaim their victory. As part of their parade they held a huge military display on the mall in the centre of the city and on the mall they put tanks, armoured cars and aeroplanes that they flew in and landed on the mall so that people could see the weapons that they used to win the war. By the middle of the display there was a field hospital that they created. The technology was such that they could create the field hospital out of a pre-fabricated building that was blown up, made up of plastic and glass. It contained in it everything that was needed to be able to provide the best care that they could provide for the people who had been wounded.


 The Church as Field Hospital.pdf



Audio recordings of selected homilies by Archbishop Philip Wilson in St Francis Xavier's Cathedral.

 Feast of the Assumption.mp3
 Migrant and Refugee Sunday.mp3
 Secondary School Student Awards .mp3


50th anniversary of the Cardinal Joseph Cardijn's death

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Mass was celebrated in St Francis Xavier's Cathedral on Monday July 24, 2017.

Students from Cardijn College and Blackfriars attended the Mass, a few are pictured here with Archbishop Wilson.

Click on the file below to hear Archbishop Wilson's homily.

 Cardijn Mass July 24.mp2


Pentecost 2017

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Archbishop Wilson's homilies at two Pentecost Vigils:

  • Mass for Pentecost blessing and ending of the Mystagogies
  • Pentecost Vigil for adults and young adults



 Penecost Vigil June 3.mp2
 Pentecost Vigil Mass June 3 2017.mp2