Yesterday, on the feast of the Visitation, we marked 50 days until our first pilgrims depart for World Youth Day. We invite you to use this time to pray for the 500+ pilgrims who have been busy preparing for the journey ahead.

And last night, hundreds of people—including bishops from Australia, India, Europe and the United States—gathered at St Thomas the Apostle in Campbellfield, in Melbourne’s north, for a very special occasion: the ordination of Bishop John Panamthottathil as Australia’s second Syro-Malabar Bishop.

As part of Reconciliation Week, we hear from Catholic Social Services Victoria about a webinar series that is helping to educate participants about the upcoming referendum on the proposed Voice to Parliament, with the aim of promoting informed and generous conversations about this important moment in the life of our nation.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity—which we celebrate this week—is an opportunity to pray, with Christ, that the Church will be ‘one’. As well as providing warmth to the homeless on Melbourne’s cold nights, the Sunbury Winter Shelter offers a beautiful example of ecumenism, with several Christian communities coming together in service and friendship.

Lastly, we’d like you to meet Melbourne Catholic Shirley Calnin, who recently turned 100 years old! She shares her story with us, as well as her beautiful faith. ‘At the end of the day, it’s no good feeling sorry for yourself, you have to keep laughing—that’s what it’s all about,’ she says.

PS Don’t forget to scroll down for some great events happening around town, including a concert with British organist Colin Andrews at St Patrick’s Cathedral in June. Happy reading!

WYD: 50 days to departure!
The feast of the Visitation marks 50 days until Melbourne’s pilgrims join a million others in Lisbon for the Church’s largest international youth gathering: World Youth Day. As we embark on 50 days of prayer for our pilgrims, we take a look at what’s happened so far, what’s to come and what some of the leaders are getting out of their formation experiences.
Continue reading: WYD: 50 days to departure!
Hundreds gather for ordination of second Syro-Malabar Bishop
Written by: Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC)
Hundreds of people gathered on Wednesday evening to celebrate the ordination of Bishop John Panamthottathil CMI as the second shepherd of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle in Melbourne.
‘Voice’ webinar series seeks to inform and encourage meaningful debate
Written by: Catholic Social Services Victoria
In the lead-up to the referendum on the proposed Voice to Parliament, Catholic Social Services Australia and Catholic Social Services Victoria are hosting three public webinars. At the first webinar, held last week, Professor Melissa Castan and Sherry Balcombe shared their perspectives, helping participants to engage in informed and meaningful conversations about an important issue for all Australians.
Shirley Calnin, celebrating life and love
Mother’s Day this year was particularly special for Shirley Calnin, who was also celebrating her 100th birthday. The great grandmother and long-time parishioner at St Luke’s Wantirna reminisces with us about family, faith, friends, laughter and what it means to live a ‘good life’.
Sunbury Winter Shelter: offering warmth on Melbourne’s cold nights
Since 2019, Sunbury Winter Shelter—an ecumenical initiative involving six different churches—has been offering overnight accommodation to those without a home, in addition to a hot meal, friendship and other practical supports.
New guide supports local reflection on Plenary Council outcomes
Written by: Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC)
Catholic communities across the country are being invited to consider how the outcomes of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia can be integrated into local contexts with the help of a new study guide.
‘Leading for mission’: first Take the Way of the Gospel report released
Over the course of April and May 2023, four ‘Leading for mission’ consultation sessions were held in parishes across the Archdiocese as part of the Take the Way of the Gospel process. The resulting report provides an illuminating summary of these consultations, which invited and called our clergy and lay leaders to listen, learn and walk together.
5 takeaways from Vatican II’s decree on ecumenism
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a chance to pray with Christ that his Church might be ‘one’. Here are five takeaways from the Second Vatican Council’s decree on ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, which outlines many helpful principles Catholics can draw on in their work on ecumenism.
Our Lady around the World (Part 9): Laus and Pontmain, France
Along with some of the better known Marian apparitions associated with France, there are other more obscure stories, including those of Laus and Pontmain. Here we learn about two occasions when Our Lady appeared in out-of-the-way places to deliver messages not to the mighty and influential but to the poor and humble.
‘Please walk with us, join us on this journey … We do want our culture to be a gift to this country. We want everybody to be proud that they live in the country with the longest continuous culture on the planet. We want everybody to share in it.’
Sherry Balcombe, Manager of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria
inviting us on the journey of reconciliation
Upcoming events
Jesuit Mission’s webinar: ‘Hope for Families Fleeing Ukraine’
Thursday 1 June 2023
6.00pm–7.00pm
Join the Jesuit Mission’s webinar: ‘Hope for Families Fleeing Ukraine.’ During the 45 minute webinar, special guest Fr Marius Talos SJ, Project Partner of Jesuit Mission Australia and Director of Jesuit Refugee Service Romania, will provide an update on the Jesuits’ emergency response, uplifting vulnerable families who fled to Romania...
St Patrick’s Cathedral concert: celebrity organ recital featuring Colin Andrews
Friday 2 June 2023
6.00pm–7.00pm
International recipient of many awards, and with a distinguished performing career globally, British organist Colin Andrews will visit St Patrick’s Cathedral to present a virtuosic program spanning the centuries, employing the full resources of the Cathedral organ. A specialist in the music of Messiaen, Andrews is only one of four...
Understanding Divine Mercy with Fr Chris Alar MIC
Friday 2 June 2023
7.00pm–9.30pm
Mentored by the world’s leading experts in Divine Mercy and author of the bestselling books Understanding Divine Mercy and After Suicide: There’s Hope for Them and for You, Fr Chris Alar MIC is a former wrestler and engineer with a Master’s in Business Administration, and the current Provincial Superior of...
Xavier Social Justice Network Dinner to support Jesuit Refugee Service
Thursday 9 June 2022
6.30pm–10.30pm
The Xavier Social Justice Network invites the community to the 2023 Xavier Social Justice Network Dinner in support of Jesuit Refugee Service. Speakers for the evening include Director of JRS, Tamara Domicelj, and JRS’ Policy, Advocacy and Communication Head, Shuja Jamal, with the evening moderated by Chris Runciman (Old Xaverian)...
‘Find Your Path’ at Catholic Theological College
Monday 19 June 2023
7.30pm–8.30pm
The ‘Find Your Path at Catholic Theological College’ online information session provides a helpful first step on your path to religious education. You are invited to attend the information session to discover the face-to-face and online offerings. Of particular interest might be the units: Life in Christ: Foundations for Theological...
God and Beer: Jesus and Jazz
Monday 11 September 2023
6.30pm–7.30pm
An initiative of the Knights of the Southern Cross, God and Beer brings together people of all ages from across the south-east suburbs several times a year. By drawing on the truth, beauty and goodness of the Catholic tradition, God and Beer aims to inspire and strengthen Christians through ideas...
Great South-West Walk with the Missionaries of God’s Love
Tuesday 4 July 2023
– Saturday 8 July 2023
Join the Missionaries of God’s Love for a 90-km hike over four nights (three full days) along the south-west coast of Victoria, journeying as brothers and seeking the Lord along the walk. The journey will unpack the four last things: death, judgment, heaven and hell. Meet in Melbourne on the...
The Archbishop’s Dinner: an initiative of the Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria
Friday 1 September 2023
7.00pm–9.00pm
Join the Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria to celebrate the 23rd annual Archbishop’s Dinner. The dinner is held each year to raise funds for the Priests Support and Education Fund. This fund was established by the Knights of the Southern Cross to assist in the funding and education of...

For more events, please visit our website.

This newsletter is published by the Communications Office
of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

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