Today we have with us Joseph Schaefer from the seminary. He was also with us during Holy week. He has come to speak to us for Good Shepherd Sunday, so I'll keep it short. I just want to say two things. First, last year when the archbishop appointed me both parish priest of St Mary's and vocations director, I asked for your prayers. I asked if you could to pray three decades of the rosary each day for vocations to religious life and to holy orders in Melbourne. So, the first thing I want to do is thank you for your prayers. Please keep them up. The second thing I want to mention is a concrete reality of shepherding. As we know, our bishop is ordained to be our shepherd. Like Christ, he has two responsibilities in this role: 1) to the flock and 2) to the other sheep. Each bishop is responsible for the life of the Church and for the mission of the church. Each bishop has to provide for the care of the people through the provision of the sacraments, and for the proclamation of the gospel to those who don’t know Jesus in the particular time and place.
Based on this, there is a major discussion occurring in our diocese. One that is no surprise to anyone, one that has been going on for 30 years, namely, the organisation of the diocese into parishes. As some of you know, this question of the organisation of parishes is one of the biggest parts of Fr Joe Caddy's role as Vicar-general. We should be praying about this too. In fact, at the end of Mass, I would like to note a few things on this front so that everyone is kept in the loop.
Now I would like to introduce Joseph Schaefer.