A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Domus Australia

from the Address at the Opening of Domus Australia in Rome, 19 October 2011

“Our earthly lives”, the Holy Father said, “are spent journeying towards that ultimate goal, where ‘no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’. Here on earth, the Church’s long tradition of pilgrimage to holy places serves to remind us that we are heavenward bound, it refocuses our minds on the call to holiness, it draws us ever closer to the Lord and strengthens us with spiritual food for the journey. “Many generations of pilgrims”, he added, “have made their way to Rome from all over the Christian world, in order to venerate the tombs of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and thereby to deepen their communion in the one Church of Christ, founded on the Apostles. In so doing, they strengthen the roots of their faith; and roots, as we know, are the source of life-giving sustenance. In that sense, pilgrims to Rome should always feel at home here, and the ‘Domus Australia’ will play an important part in creating a home for Australian pilgrims in the city of the Apostles. Yet roots are only a part of the story. According to a saying attributed to a great poet from my own country, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, there are two things that children should receive from their parents: roots and wings.

"From our holy Mother, the Church, we too receive both roots and wings: the faith of the Apostles, handed down from generation to generation, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, conveyed above all through the Sacraments of the Church”.

“My prayer today is that the pilgrims who pass through this house will indeed return to their homes with firmer faith, more joyful hope and more ardent love for the Lord, ready to commit themselves with fresh zeal to the task of bearing witness to Christ in the world in which they live and work. And I pray too that their visit to the See of Peter will deepen their love for the universal Church and unite them more closely with Peter’s Successor, charged with feeding and gathering into one the Lord’s flock from every corner of the world. Commending all of them, and all of you, to the intercession of Our Lady, Help of Christians and Saint Mary MacKillop, I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of the joys that await us in our eternal home.


Collegio Internazionale Marista

The refurbished building in Via Cernaia opened by Pope Benedict as Domus Australia was for generations the House of Studies for Marist students around the world known as Collegio Internazionale Marista.  Many eminent Australian and New Zealand Marist priests studied from there, as well as nearly all the present Marist staff of Good Shepherd College, Auckland 

Australian Marists who studied from Via Cernaia include Frs Tony Corcoran, Jim Esler, John Thornhill,  Laurie Hannigan, Fred Limeburner, Jim Murphy,  Wilf Radford, Austin Woodbury, Brian Murray, Barry Miller,Jack Bettridge.  

New Zealand Marists still living who studied from Via Cernaia are  Gerald Arbuckle, Phil Cody, Grahame Connolly,, Tim Costello, Merv Duffy , George Duggan, Peter Janssen, Craig Larkin, Brian Montgomery, Michael O’Meeghan, John Owens , Neil Vaney, , Kevin Waldie, Paul Williamson. All of the above have written for the Messenger.

The old college was less well appointed than it is at present. Stories abound of hardships e.g. if the fountain next door at the SM Italian house garden was running water there was no pressure on the top floor for a shower. One NZ student (Bill Haase RIP) used to sneak down and turn it off at night. This caused great indignation to the brother in charge. 

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