Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD STL, Bishop of Parramatta
Address at The Bells of St Patrick’s Cathedral Appeal
St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta
15 October 2019
It is with great joy that we have gathered here for the peal of bells for St Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Cathedral is a church for everybody, not just a particular group. It is the mother church and the greatest symbol of our unity as a diocese.
We are so blessed to have such a magnificent Cathedral, one of the architectural and artistic achievements, certainly in the City of Parramatta.
Even now, it is somewhat overshadowed by a sports stadium, this soaring edifice remains not only a spiritual oasis but also a reminder to the people of deeper and greater beauty and meaning.
It is a call to live life to the full and to be in right relationship with all who are the children of God.
Important to remind us of this call is the bells; they will mark time, summon to prayer, toll for funerals and rejoice in the risen Lord.
The peal of the great bells will ring a sound of solace.
For the elderly and lonely, dwelling within the circle of these bells’ sway, its tolling might become, in time, a familiar echo, evoking remembered joys.
For those burdened by life’s heavy stresses and strains, they will instil some sense of inner peace that no one can snatch away.
For our Catholic sensibilities, the sounding of Church bells ring out a clarion message of good news: we are redeemed, even us sinners, and summoned by the bells to a close intimacy with God and to live the gospel of joy.
Each midday, the bells remind us of Mary’s fiat and our call to emulate her Yes.
On behalf of all our faith community, I give heart-felt thanks to the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, the Baiada Family, the Keltek Trust, the Malouf Family, the North Eastern Branch of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers and the Vassallo Family who have most generously donated bells to St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Their benevolent legacy will resonate daily, calling us to worship, and in glory to God.
Most Rev Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv
Bishop of Parramatta