By Asleen Mauthoor
Since 1897, St Patrick’s Cathedral has been a key focus for St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Although St Patrick died around 462, the new cathedral dean, the Reverend Werner Utri, believes the saint is still a significant figure.
“St Patrick was a person who suffered much, having been sold into slavery while still young,” he said. “Perhaps Patrick is still a model for us today as we face life’s trials and tribulations – perhaps we need to be reminded that God is with us.”
Fr Utri, who took up his position at the cathedral in January, finds the work quite different from usual parish appointments.
“It’s part of my brief from Archbishop Peter Comensoli that St Patrick’s Cathedral be a place of welcome and hospitality, a place where music, the arts, theology and faith intersect; a place of outreach and mission to the wider community,” Fr Ultri said.
“My hope is that all visitors will experience something of that hospitality and welcome, and some of the sense of peace that a beautiful place of prayer can instil in people.”
“We are planning to offer refreshments and hoping to have live Celtic music after each of the Sunday masses on St Patrick’s Day.”
Renowned for its excellent acoustics, the cathedral has always been a venue for fine ecclesiastical music and music will play a prominent part in the 11am mass on St Patrick’s Day.
“The St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir will sing a recently-commissioned work, entitled the Mass of St Patrick by Melbourne musician and composer Roger Heagney,” director of music, Paul Taylor, said.
Visitors can take a virtual tour by downloading the St Patrick’s Cathedral Melbourne Virtual Tour app.
Mass times: St Patrick’s Day Schools Mass – Friday, March 15 – 10.30am; Saturday, March 16 – 6pm; Sunday March 17 – 8am, 9.30am, 11am and 6.30pm.
Further details to be published at www.stpatrickscathedral.org.au