Sunday, January 14, 2007

McAuley and the Cardinal

I'm still in the middle of the biography The Heart of James McAuley by Peter Coleman and published by my mate at Connor Court. McAuley was a famous Australia poet and one of Australia's bets known Catholic converts. He was involved politically in the 50s and 60s in the Cold War battles that raged in Australia and the Labor Party. He was a close friend and confident of Bob Santamaria and was very scathing of his Archbishop, Cardinal Gilroy over his "betrayal" of the Movement and its work. So harsh was the relationship that Cardinal Gilroy refused his imprimatur to McAuley's first published hymn book which includes the often sung Help of Christians Guard this Land. (Australia is under the patronage of Mary, Help of Christians.) Archbishop Young of Hobart was happy to give his imprimatur to the publication.

The first verse is:

Help of Christians, guard this land,
From assault and inward stain;
Let it be what Christ has planned,
His new Eden where you reign.

It's a very stirring and upbeat hymn and infact you could easily march to it. We adopted it three years ago as ACSA's official hymn.

Links: Wikipedia's biography of McAuley

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Take from us the coward heart
Fleeting will, divided mind
Give us sight to play our part
Though the world around is blind!

Holy Mary pray for us!