St Paul’s Cathedral and Pax Christi Australia collaborate to provide an Ecumenical Service of Lament, Repentance and Hope for the Centenary of the First World War at St Pauls Cathedral, Melbourne at 11AM on ANZAC Day, 2018. The Preacher for this year’s service will be Fr. Claude Mostowik, MSC.
Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.
When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federated nation for only 13 years, and its government was eager to establish a reputation among the nations of the world. When Britain declared war in August 1914 Australia was automatically placed on the side of the Commonwealth. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.
The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. More than 8,000 Australian soldiers had died in the campaign. Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.
Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the actions of Australian and New Zealand forces during the campaign left a powerful legacy. What became known as the “Anzac legend” thereafter became a profound part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways in which they viewed both their past and their future.
ANZAC DAY SERVICE
PRAYERS FOR PEACE IN
TO-DAY’S THREATENING ENVIRONMENT
An Ecumenical Service of Lament, Repentance and Hope for the Centenary of the First World War,
Remembering 1918 and the ending of the “War to End All Wars”
Those whose lives were taken
Those who returned broken in mind or body
those who said no to war,
the Aboriginal wars.
11 am St Paul’s Cathedral
This year, the preacher will be Father Claude Mostowik MSC. Fr Claude attended the Non-violence & Just Peace Conference in Rome in April 2018 to explore Pope Francis’ call for a new paradigm of “Just Peace” to replace the old paradigm of “Just War.