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Reception & Solemn Mass of Installation of Archbishop Julian Porteous


Reception & Solemn Mass of Installation of Archbishop Julian Porteous News Story

The New Evangelisation has always been a major part of Archbishop Julian Porteous’ mission and will continue to be so in his new role as Archbishop of Hobart.

With the focus of reconnecting with the Gospel and drawing closer to Christ, Archbishop Porteous said the Church needed to face the challenges of the times with the New Evangelisation at its forefront.

“What I really want to focus on and emphasise is the call for all of us... to draw closer to Christ, to centre our own lives and hearts more on him, to be more attentive to his voice and to be more aware of living our daily lives in union with him,” he said.

“This is a universal call right across the entire Catholic world.”

Archbishop Julian Porteous officially took over the role of Archbishop of Hobart on Tuesday 17 September, at the Reception and Solemn Mass of Installation at St Mary’s Cathedral. The Mass was attended by more than 600 people including senior Australian Catholic clergy, the Governor of Tasmania His Excellency The Honourable Peter Underwood AC and Premier Lara Giddings.

Archbishop Porteous, who moved from Sydney to fill the position, takes over from Archbishop Adrian Doyle who is retiring from the post after 14 years of service.

After visiting Tasmania on many occasions to bushwalk and cycle, Archbishop Porteous said he had special place in his heart for the State.

“I believe [Tasmania has] very much its own identity and spirit and I’m very much looking forward to embracing that,” he said.

Archbishop Porteous said he was keen to take the time to travel through Tasmania to talk to all those doing wonderful work in the Church’s name including local priests and people working in health, education and welfare.

Born in Sydney in 1949 and baptised in Rose Bay Parish, Archbishop Porteous was ordained a priest in 1974. Throughout his ministry Archbishop Porteous has focused on evangelisation and the importance of connecting with the Gospel and with Jesus.

He said this focus was further clarified in recent years through the New Evangelisation by John Paul II and then more recently through Pope Benedict’s establishment of a new Pontifical Council for Promoting  the New Evangelisation in Rome and through the recent Synod of Bishops.

“It [The New Evangelisation] really does line up clearly with the where the church is heading which is encouraging,” he said.

Archbishop Porteous, who attended the recent World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro which attracted more than 2 million participants, said he was optimistic about the future of the church and its ability to connect with young people.

“I have great optimism for the future of the church particularly when it is faithful to its central mission, to proclaim Jesus Christ,” he said.

“I believe we are at a point in history where many young people are re-examining their lives and are discovering the beauty and the power of the Christian message in terms of knowing Jesus Christ,” he said.

“World Youth Day was eloquent testimony to the fact that basic presentation of the Christian message attracts and inspires young people.”

While the Church had a long history, the Archbishop said it was its traditions and experience that gave it so much to contribute to public debate and the world arena today.  And through the Holy Spirit, the Church would remain ever changing and ever new.

“I think one of the beauties of the Catholic Church is that it is ever old and ever new,” he said.

“The point of its newness is of the Holy Spirit [which] is an active agent all the time nourishing and nurturing the life of the Church.... it brings freshness [and] new vision”.

In his recent homily, given at St Mary’s Cathedral, Archbishop Porteous invited all Tasmanians to make a fresh and renewed connection with Jesus and the Gospel and to experience the joy of Christian life.

“The Christian life has meant for me a life full of hope and confidence.  With this experience firmly grounded within me, my ministry as priest and now as bishop has focussed on helping others to discover what I have discovered.  The Catholic faith is a great treasure.  I long that all may know what I have come to know.

“Let us all centre ourselves afresh on Christ.  Let us draw close to him.  Let us listen to him with hearts which long to hear his voice. Let us seek his mind and his will for us,” he said.

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