Let there be the Lights of Christmas

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St. Mary’s Cathedral shone brightly in the heart of Sydney on Thursday 10 December, kicking off the 11th annual Lights of Christmas festival before a crowd of around a thousand faithful and onlookers.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and other distinguished guests opened the event with speeches calling on Sydney to embrace the festival’s theme of ‘Hope’.

Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady watching on for the opening of the 11th Annual Lights of Christmas. Photo: Giovanni Portelli.

“There was a real risk this event wouldn’t go ahead in 2020,” said the Archbishop. “But I’m very gratified that it has, because I think it’s exactly the shot-in the-arm we all need after this strangest and most challenging of years.

“Tonight the gifts of light and technology, of Church architecture and art, and of very clever modern design allow us to give voice to the Gospel messages of hope, peace and joy.

“Of a Light in darkness that the darkness could not overcome, of a Life that even death could not snuff out, of a Love that conquers all.”

“Whatever your present challenges, Christmas says to you: there is hope, you are infinitely loved, there is joy to come.”

This year the Lights of Christmas partnered with St. Vincent’s Hospital to raise funds for one of Sydney’s oldest and most respected medical institutions.

Auxiliary Bishop Richard Umbers watching on for the opening of the 11th Annual Lights of Christmas. Photo: Giovanni Portelli.

Dr. Nicholas Babidge, Clinical Director, Mental Health at St. Vincent’s Hospital said that they were grateful for the support they receive from the event.

“St. Vincent’s is thankful to be the Charity Partner of Lights of Christmas for the third year,” said Dr. Babidge. “The support of the community allows us to continue developing our services in regional NSW.”

Also attending the event was New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, who said it was wonderful to celebrate the event.

“Christmas reminds us of the most important part of society,” said the Treasurer. “To be here tonight to open this event, not only creates a great vision for our city and our state, but importantly provides a great hope for our people.

New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perottet speaking before the opening of the 11th Annual Lights of Christmas. Photo: Giovanni Portelli.

“There are many people here tonight, and there will be many people over the course of this Christmas period, who come and see the lights of St. Mary’s Cathedral which will provide great hope and a great vision, for many people right across our state.”

Moments before the Lights illuminated the face of the Cathedral’s south entrance, beginning the annual Lights of Christmas, Archbishop Fisher took a moment to  remind those present of God’s love and the hope it brings.

“Whatever your present challenges, Christmas says to you: there is hope, you are infinitely loved, there is joy to come.”

Fr Lewi Barakat and Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP watch as St. Mary’s Cathedral is lit up for the beginning of the 11th annual Lights of Christmas. Photo: Giovanni Portelli.

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