Archdiocesan Liturgy of Lament and Hope

We have come here tonight from pain and disillusionment, from anger and confusion, from sadness, looking for hope. We come together for one thing only: to raise our hearts and voices and very bodies to God, in the hope that the very act of raising them in lament yet in faith, they may be touched in their brokenness, and know the transforming and surpassing power of God’s love.

With this invocation, the Archdiocese conducted their Liturgy of Lament and Hope at St Christopher’s Cathedral in the evening of April 4, attended by approximately 200 people with a number of priests, deacons and religious present.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse led the liturgy which came about in response to the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, some of which happened at the hands of Catholic Clergy and lay people.

In a significant gesture of humility, the Archbishop (dressed in a black cassock) processed to the Sanctuary of the cathedral and for a few minutes lay prostrate right before a large prominent ‘Calvary’ Cross which was positioned before the altar.

He gave a reflection of his time spent at the recent ‘Listening Sessions’ which recently took place in Yarralumla, Temora, Goulburn, Narooma and Bega. It can be read in full at

A family member of a survivor also gave a reflection of the impact that the sexual abuse has had on their family.

The Sign of Peace, Litany of Healing, periods of silence, the praying of the Our Father, the lighting of candles and a blessing from the Archbishop added much to the evening due to their richness in symbolism.

Archbishop Prowse singled out Cathedral Administrator Monsignor John Woods and Ms Jaki Kane for their efforts in facilitating the Liturgy.

The Cathedral Choir, led by Ms Kane were thanked for making a dignified contribution to the gathering. Attende Domine, Be Still My Soul, Prayer of St Francis and Christ Be Our Light were the hymns sung throughout the evening.

The Liturgy of the Word contained the readings of Ezekiel 34:11-16, Psalm 51, Romans 5:5-11 and Luke 15:3-7.

Anyone who has been affected by sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy, or by any employee or volunteer for of the Church can contact Matt Casey on 0411 096 173 or the IPSS directly on (02) 6201 9872. Alternatively they may wish to send an email to


Painful Yet Hopeful

A common response to the recent Listening Sessions I have conducted throughout the Archdiocese was that they were painful yet hopeful. As part of our Lenten pilgrimage to the Easter Mysteries of our Faith, the invitation was offered to parishioners to share with me their experiences arising from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Read more