Most Fridays in the same corner table at a favourite family trattoria in East Melbourne sits His Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne enjoying lunch with an informal court of colleagues. Denis Hart is a tall gentleman with an easy smile. He is friendly and nods fraternally to the other patrons. He chats warmly with the nonnas in Italian. His table is a happy one. A local regular life-affirming Friday institution.
Denis is as East Melbourne as anyone could be. He was born in the suburb and ordained in St Patrick’s Cathedral East Melbourne. He served in various roles in the Church institutions around East Melbourne, and in 2001 he succeeded George Pell as Archbishop and is still based in Albert Street, East Melbourne. He is 76 and may soon retire after many years of service to his local and wider community.