Today is Australia Day,
on which we proudly celebrate the founding of our nation with the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. It is a public holiday here.
Our Church Community celebrated with a Holy Hour, followed by the Mass for the day, with Australian hymns – which we are always so proud to sing and which are so befitting for the occasion.After Mass, we recited prayers for Australia and a consecration of ourselves and our land to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Help of Christians.
The words are especially relevant to all the remnant faithful in the church today, and also to our own dear country. (see words below). We processed outside to the grotto of Our Lady in the garden to sing our National Anthem. Note the last verse. Unfortunately this verse is never sung in public places.Then we gathered for Morning Tea – belated breakfast for most of us.
The picture above is that of Mary, Help of Christians,
who is the Patroness of Australia. This statue is found in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. It was donated in the 19th century. The Cathedral was dedicated in her honor by the Irish pioneer priest, Fr. John Therry who arrived in Sydney in 1820 and who planned and constructed the Cathedral.
We Stand for God
and for his glory;
The Lord Supreme and God of all;
Against his foes we raise his standard;
Around the Cross we hear his call.
Strengthen our faith, Redeemer;
Guard us when danger is nigh;
To thee we pledge our lives and service;
For God we live, for God we’ll die.
- We stand for God! Jesus our Master
has died to save with love untold;
His law divine and truth unchanging
In this our land their place must hold.
- We stand for God! In ages olden
He placed ‘the Cross’ our stars beside;
Oh may our land gracious and golden
Be faithful to the Crucified.
(J.P. O’Daly O.P.; Vs. 3 by John O”Brien 1878-1953)
Help of Christians guard this land
From assault or inward stain;
let it be what Christ has planned,
His new Eden where you reign.
Teach us that in Christ your Son
Lies the wisdom to be free;
For the Cross, which we would shun,
Is man’s Tree of Liberty.
Should the powers of hell arise,
And our peace be trampled down,
In that night of blood and lies
Show us still your twelve-starred crown.
Take from us the coward heart,
Fleeting will, divided mind,
Give us sight to play our part,
Though the world around is blind.
Image of the risen life
Shining in eternity
Glimmer through our earthly strife,
Draw us to your victory
The third verse of our National Anthem: (Advance Australia Fair)
With Christ our head and cornerstone,
We’ll build our nation’s might.
Whose Way and Truth and Light alone
Can guide our path aright.
Our lives a sacrifice of love
Reflect our Master’s care.
With faces turned to heaven above
Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.