St Catherine’s College, Armagh
St Patrick’s Cathedral
Most Reverend Seán Brady
16 October 2007
I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to you at this Mass for the opening of your school. I hope that this is going to be a very good year, a very happy year, for each and every one of you.
I hope that you enjoy coming and praying in this beautiful Cathedral. Just look at the sheer magnificence of it. You have to admit that your ancestors of the 19th century had class. They had taste, they had style. It is indeed cool, real cool. No wonder the people of Armagh are very proud of their Cathedral. I see it first and foremost as a proof of their faith in God, a sign of their belief that the Cathedral is a place of prayer and that the highest and best thing that anybody can do on earth was to give praise and glory to God. This is the Faith we have received, we cherish, we live and we hand on.
So I hope that as you admire the sheer beauty of this Cathedral, your minds will turn to the all-important question. Where does beauty come from? What is the source and origin of such beauty.
I am sure that during the coming year you are going to study and learn a lot of new facts but whatever else you do I hope that you will continue to grow in beauty and wisdom, as Jesus did when he went down from the temple with his parents when he was twelve years of age. I hope that whatever else you learn you will, over the next year, come to know Jesus a bit better and that you will learn to put your trust in Him, to share your faith in Him. We declare our faith in God when we say the Creed. ‘I believe in God the Father and mighty creator of heaven and earth.’ It has been well said that the Creed is a wonderful gallery of the marvellous works of art, which God has made for our benefit. Let me emphasise that fact. God has created the world and all its beauty, for our benefit, for our use, for our advantage. God has sent His Son into the world to show His love for us. That Son, Jesus Christ, loved each one of us so much that He died for us. And so it is one marvellous work after another for our benefit. God raised Jesus from the dead, for our sake. He sent the Holy Spirit for us. He founded the Church for us. That is the profession of faith. That Creed, that profession, is like a tablet. It only fizzles, sparkles, bubbles when it is dissolved in the water of life and I hope that you will definitely immerse your faith in the Water of Life in your parish, in your home and in your Church at Sunday Mass using your talents, the great talents within you. If you don’t do this you don’t know what your are missing. I hope that this year you will discover the joy of following Christ. That is what the Pope said to us Bishops last year. Help your people to discover the joy of following Christ. Each one of us is on this earth to do some good, to carry out some definite service. God has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. You and I have our mission. We may never know it in this life but we will be told it in the next. We are links in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He hasn’t created us for nothing. I hope that during the coming year you will discover what that good is and that you will carry it out and choose your career wisely.
The good that you and I are here to do is to know Jesus and to embody in our lives the values which he has. I want to assure you, that is where you will find real joy. I invite you to join me in a crusade to find the joy of following Jesus and to pass it on to others.
Next year World Youth Day is being held in Sydney. The theme will be one of witness: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses. (Acts 1:8).
This morning the Holy Father announced my appointment as Cardinal. I ask your prayers and the prayers of your parent.