Staff and teachers of the Catholic Education Office Sydney extend their heartfelt congratulations to Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP on the anniversary of his installation as Archbishop of Sydney.
Over the course of the past year, Archbishop Fisher has actively worked with Sydney Catholic schools in order that they may take up the opportunity to be the new evangelisers of the Church, encouraging students and families in all areas of faith.
Since 25 March, the Angelus bells have rung out daily across the Archdiocese, as Catholic schools and offices stop to pray the Angelus. Sydney Catholic schools have openly accepted the invitation of Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP to embed this prayer within the daily life of their communities. Archbishop Fisher has reflected that the Angelus “honours Mary’s great yes to God; offered humbly, faithfully and obediently. Through it we reflect upon and celebrate the great mystery of God sharing in our humanity, becoming one of us in the person of Jesus Christ.”
Archbishop Fisher publicly opposed the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, which took place in Indonesia on 29 April 2015. In his opposition to the impending execution, the Archbishop strongly sought to protect the lives of the two men, rigorously supporting Church teaching on the dignity of the human person, the basis of Catholic Social Teaching. At the same time he provided a positive example of strong leadership and guidance in the face of adversity.
Held in May, The Archdiocesan Gathering Day was a valuable event, providing an opportunity for collaboration and information sharing between Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Sydney Catholic school leaders, and members of the Catholic Education Office Leadership Team. Archbishop Fisher clearly articulated his vision for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese, taking time to listen to school and system leaders on the day.
In the Euthanasia Debate with Peter Singer, Archbishop Fisher used his extensive knowledge of bioethics and church teaching, as well as his ability to articulately explain his thinking, in order to uphold the dignity of all human life. Archbishop Fisher once again showed an example of strong moral leadership for the gathered audience, many of whom were Catholic school teachers and leaders. It was great to see rigorous defence of Catholic values on such a controversial issue.
On 25 July, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP was invested with the Pallium, a liturgical vestment that symbolises the communion between the See of St Peter and those chosen to carry out the Episcopal ministry as Metropolitan Archbishop. This investiture represents the strong connection of the leader of the Archdiocese of Sydney with the Holy Father, Pope Francis. This communion with the Papal See is of great importance to Catholic Schools across the Archdiocese, who as part of the Church, strive to foster a personal encounter with Christ.
28 October marked the 50 Year Anniversary of Nostra Aetate (In Our Time), a declaration of the Second Vatican Council. Archbishop Fisher attended the great Synagogue in Sydney with other leaders of Religious faiths, in order to celebrate this Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions. The Archbishop showed great love and compassion in meeting with leaders and members of other non-Christian religions in order to foster understanding amongst the different communities. His level of understanding and the willingness that Archbishop showed towards working with his counterparts shone through clearly on the night. This is a great example of how we should all live our lives.
Archbishop Fisher, your collaborators in Catholic Education wish you God’s continued peace and blessings as Archbishop of Sydney. Thank you for being a shepherd for Sydney after the heart of Jesus Christ. We look forward to working with you in the future, in building up God’s Kingdom.