When we approach a new year, our minds often turn to new beginnings and resolutions, but the passing from one year to the next is also a time of remembering and farewelling. Christians have always had a sense of living on a threshold—treasuring the memories and stories of God’s presence with us in all the days that have gone before while stepping hopefully into a new day. This was perhaps especially the case as we marked the beginning of this new year.

On 31 December, we received the sad news of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, otherwise known as Josef Ratzinger. And last Sunday, almost a month later, a memorial Mass was celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral, in which Archbishop Peter A Comensoli reflected on the great gift that Benedict was—and will continue to be—to the Church. One of the most significant Catholic theologians of the last century, Benedict also faithfully showed us that Christ is ‘the light by which to live’, as Archbishop Comensoli observed in his homily. We have also republished a tribute from Australian Professor Tracey Rowland, an international expert on the theology of Josef Ratzinger, in which she reflects on Benedict’s legacy, his rich theology and his simple, childlike piety. And Christian Bergmann shares three ways in which Pope Benedict changed his approach to faith altogether.

Recently at St Patrick’s Cathedral, three men embarked on their own new beginnings as they were ordained to the priesthood. This week we hear from Fr Huy Nguyen, whose journey has led him from Vietnam to Melbourne to follow God’s call. He talks about this vocation, about what it means to become the person God is calling us to be, and the message that he hopes will be central to his ministry.

The late Leopoldine (‘Poldi’) Mimovich was also someone who knew about vocation, and about what it means to relinquish an old life in order to take hold of a new one. As part of our ongoing ‘Moments of Grace’ series, we hear the inspiring story of a faithful and gifted artist, whose capacity to see and uncover the beauty hidden in ordinary things and circumstances continues to bless and inspire the people of God in Melbourne and beyond.

Finally, as students return to schools this week, we look ahead to Safer Internet Day, which will be observed on Tuesday 7 February with the theme of ‘Connect. Reflect. Protect.’ It’s an opportunity to talk with our loved ones about some of the benefits, but also the dangers, of the online world, so the Archdiocese of Melbourne’s Safeguarding Unit has pointed us to a few resources that might help us with these important conversations.

As we launch into this new year, we look forward to sharing more inspiring stories of the life of faith—stories that we hope might open up some of the rich treasures of our tradition, keep you informed and connected to the life of the Church and point always to the God who makes all things new.

A pope for our times: Memorial Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Many hundreds gathered in St Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday 29 January 2023 in celebration of the life of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, otherwise known as Josef Ratzinger. In his homily, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli observed that Pope Benedict's important legacy is one we will be reflecting on for many years to come.
The piety of Pope Benedict XVI and his passion for the truth
Written by: Tracey Rowland
Professor Tracey Rowland reflects on the life, theology and legacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, observing that ‘he may be remembered as one of the greatest scholars ever to occupy the Chair of Peter, a master of fundamental theology—but, nonetheless, a man who never lost the piety of his Bavarian childhood.’
Three things Pope Benedict XVI taught me
Written by: Christian Bergmann
Much has been written recently about the life and legacy of Pope Benedict XVI. While others have spoken about his importance in the life of the Church and on the world stage, though, Christian Bergmann has been reflecting on how Pope Benedict’s writings shaped his own faith in lasting and powerful ways.
Fr Huy Nguyen: nurturing faith in the family and community
Fr Huy Nguyen is one of three newly ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. As he commences his priestly ministry at St Andrew’s parish in Werribee, the 30-year-old is looking forward to sharing the love he’s received from God with others.
Seeing beauty: the calling of Leopoldine Mimovich
In 1949, as she packed for a new life in Australia, sculptor Leopoldine ('Poldi') Mimovich had to decide between bringing her cutlery or a large block of wood. In a moment of grace, she chose the wood, which—on arriving in her new home—she transformed into beautiful nativity scene, a powerful image of new life and hope.
Safer Internet Day: connect, reflect, protect
Written by: Safeguarding Unit
Tuesday 7 February 2023 marks the 20th Safer Internet Day—an opportunity to reflect on how we might create safer online environments for the children and young people under our care.
Those who are blessed in God’s eyes are the poor in spirit, the gentle, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers. Pope Benedict was particularly good in reminding us of this—to turn to Christ, and to find in him the light by which to live.
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
remembering Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Upcoming events
Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia: ‘Lamps Alight’ women’s retreat
Saturday 18 February 2023
(All day event)
Join the Dominican Sisters and Anima Women’s Network for a one-day retreat to explore Pope St John Paul II’s beautiful and profound thought on the dignity of women and the order of love. The retreat will feature Fr Paschal Corby OFM. There will be Mass at 9am, followed by adoration...
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School: 100th anniversary
Sunday 12 February 2023
All past students and staff of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School, Prahran East, are invited to celebrate their centenary with a Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, followed by an open school, morning tea and memorabilia display. Please RSVP by Monday 6 February 2023 to the...
Mass for the Repose of the Soul of His Eminence George Cardinal Pell AC
Friday 3 February 2023
A Mass for the Repose of the Soul of His Eminence George Cardinal Pell AC, seventh Archbishop of Melbourne, will be celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Friday 3 February 2023 at 6.30pm by Most Rev Peter A Comensoli. All are welcome to attend.
St Mary’s Parish Thornbury: 100th anniversary
Saturday 11 February 2023
– Sunday 19 February 2023
Join the St Mary’s community to celebrate their 100th anniversary! To mark this special occasion, the parish will host a series of events: Saturday 11 February (2–4pm): musical prelude, followed by a talk on ‘Our Lady of Lourdes: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’ by Professor Joan Barclay Lloyd Wednesday 15 February...
CatholicCare Victoria: FOCCUS Facilitator Training
Wednesday 15 March 2023
– Thursday 16 March 2023
FOCCUS is a valuable pre-marriage preparation aid for all marriage celebrants, marriage educators and others interested in supporting couples build fulfilling, life-long relationships. It supports individual couples to concentrate on the strengths and areas for growth in their relationship. Facilitators assist couples to learn strategies and skills that will support...

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