Members of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia should persevere in their prayers to the Mother of God, Bishop Paul Bird CSsR said on Friday morning.
The Bishop of Ballarat was the homilist during a Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary to open the final full day of proceedings.
Just like the early Christian community who gathered in prayer with the Blessed Virgin, Bishop Bird said, “the mother of Jesus is with us, as she was with those first disciples”.
Mary is “a model of Christian living” and the “mother of the Church” in all of her traditions.
“Our faith in Christ and our trust in the prayers of Mary unite us as one Catholic Church, East and West,” Bishop Bird said.
The Catholic Church’s perennial veneration of the Mother of God is exemplified by the many churches named after her, he added.
Many Eastern liturgies, too, venerate Mary in their prayers, and Bishop Bird shared some of the prayers from the Chaldean, Melkite, Ukrainian and Syro-Malabar rites.
“In all our Catholic liturgies, of East and West, we rejoice that God has looked with such kindness on Mary and blessed her as mother of the Saviour and we ask her to intercede for our salvation and the salvation of the world,” Bishop Bird said.
Throughout the Plenary Council journey, he said, the intercession of the Blessed Virgin has been invoked. The Church would “do well to persevere in such prayer”.
“May the Holy Spirit continue to lead us into a hope-filled future, may Christ continue to be our bread for the journey, and may Our Lady Help of Christians continue to pray for us, day by day,” Bishop Bird said.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP of Sydney presided at the Mass, celebrated at St Mary’s Cathedral, saying: “As we embark on our last full day of work at the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, we entrust the Church to [Mary’s] loving protection.”
Follow the second assembly at: https://plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/
Rewatch this morning’s Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary here or below.
With thanks to the ACBC.