2016 Patronal Feast Day Dinner

The Feast Day of St Thomas More will be celebrated on 22 June 2016 with a Mass and Dinner.

Fr Brendan Purcell
Mass will be celebrated at 6.15pm in the Crypt of St Mary's Cathedral by Fr Brendan Purcell, an Irish philosopher. Fr Purcell is Adjunct Professor in Philosophy at Notre Dame University, Sydney. Having studied philosophy at University College Dublin, theology at the Pontifical Lateran University Rome, and psychology at the University of Leuven, Fr Purcell lectured in logic, psychology and philosophical anthropology at University College, Dublin. Fr Purcell was ordained a priest of the Dublin diocese in 1967, and is presently assistant priest at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.

The choral accompaniment at the Mass will be by the Capella Sublima, directed by Richard Perrignon, Master of Sacred Music at St John's College within the University of Sydney. Please note altered Mass time.

Following Mass, the Patronal Feast Day Dinner will be held at Doltone House, Level 3, 181 Elizabeth Street, Sydney (across from Hyde Park) at 6.45 for 7.15pm.

Justice Stephen Gageler High Court of Australia
The guest speaker will be Justice Stephen Gageler of the High Court of Australia. Stephen John Gageler was appointed to the High Court in October 2012. At the time of his appointment, he was Solicitor-General of Australia. He is a graduate of the Australian National University and has post-graduate qualifications from Harvard University. He was admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1989, and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2000. Before his appointment as Solicitor-General in 2008, he practised as a barrister extensively throughout Australia, principally in constitutional law, administrative law and commercial law.

St Thomas More (1477-1535)
The story of St Thomas More is worth repeating.

St Thomas More was born in London, the son of a judge, and himself became an eminent lawyer. He married twice, and had four children. He was a humanist and a reformer. His book, Utopia, depicting a society regulated by the natural virtues, is a classic of English literature.

Thomas More was a close friend of King Henry VIII. As a judge, he was famous for his incorruptibility and impartiality, and he was made Lord Chancellor – the highest legal position in England – in 1529.

When Henry VIII demanded a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, Thomas More apposed him. He resigned the chancellorship in 1532, and retired from public life; but he could not retire from his reputation, so it was demanded that he take an oath to support the Succession Act, which, effectively, repudiated papal religious authority. Thomas More refused, and was imprisoned in the tower of London.

After the execution of Bishop John Fisher, Thomas More was tried on the charge of high treason for denying the King’s Supreme Headship of the Church, found guilty and sentenced to death. He went to his execution on 6 July 1535. With a clean conscience and a light heart; he told the spectators that he was still “the king’s good servant – but God’s first”, and carefully adjusted his beard before he was beheaded.

Thomas More wrote a number of devotional works, some of the best of them while in prison awaiting trial. He fought his fight without acrimony, telling his judges that he wished that “we may yet hereafter in heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation.”

As numbers are limited, there is no guarantee for late bookings.

Date: Wednesday, 22-Jun-2016

Time: 6.45pm for 7.15pm

Venue: Doltone House, Level 3, 181 Elizabeth Street, Sydney (across from Hyde Park)

Dinner: Canapes on arrival, unlimited premium drinks throughout the evening and 3-course executive dinner

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