Melbourne News

Knights of the Southern Cross celebrate 92 years in Victoria

Communications Office, Thursday 27 February 2014
ON the Feast Day of the Chair of St Peter, the Knights of the Southern Cross VIC (KSC) celebrated their 92nd year in Victoria with Mass and Brunch at St Martin de Porres, Avondale Heights.  The Order’s Chaplain, Father Tony Kerin, EV PP (pictured right), celebrated Mass and delivered the homily.

In his homily Fr Tony said that “things” had changed with Pope Francis. There are signs that the future is already present and the Knights have to be ready to undertake a flexible, creative and missionary-like future.  In that role connection with Parish is important. The current Parish Men Project fits comfortably into that future.

In 1919, when the Order was established in NSW there was a 'need' for the Order and as time has evolved those “'needs' have changed.  The 'Tools for Timor' project undertaken just over a decade ago and the raising of money to fund the Military Prayer Book are examples of what the Order has achieved.

But, into the future, the Order needs to follow the ‘Country Fire Authority’ model rather than the ‘Metropolitan Fire Brigade’ model - in essence to be community volunteers, rather than paid professionals. The challenge for the “Order amateurs” is the Parish. It can’t be a place of comfort – rather somewhere where Members skills and experience can facilitate change, recognise new challenges and strive for effective outcomes.

Fr Tony made reference to the new Bishop of Marquette, Michigan, USA.  Bishop John F. Doerfler who was ordained and installed as the 13th Bishop of Marquette on 11 February, 2014. At 49 years of age Bishop Doerfler is one of the younger bishops. He has initiated a pastoral plan for the Diocese seeking to engage the Catholic community in his vision.  Like Bishop Doerfler, Fr Tony suggested that the Order should adopt a simple, three point plan –

1.    Get to know Jesus through prayer, discernment and participation

2.    Make new friends; and

3.    Introduce your friends to Jesus

“That’s what we’re called to do. Simple!” he said.

After Mass all present gathered in the Parish hall to enjoy refreshments and listen to guest speaker, Mr Chris Bergin (pictured right), Director of Catholic Voices Australia.

Mr Bergin spoke about the three principal aims of Catholic Voices – to train people to become “Catholic Voices” and address the media and other speaking engagements; to offer Catholic Voice workshops that explain the “art of good communication”; and to be a positive presence on social media.

All who attended on the day left with a better understanding of the Knights of the Southern Cross’ role in contributing to the mission of the Catholic Church into the future.

Photo and story by John Bruce