One of the great joys of Christian discipleship is that we are not simply followers of Jesus but his friends. ‘I call you friends,’ Jesus said, ‘because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father’ (John 15:15).
The world was shocked to hear of Cardinal George Pell’s sudden death last month following hip surgery. On Friday, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli celebrated a Memorial Mass at St Patrick’s for the repose of his soul. Recalling some of the Cardinal’s hidden, quiet works of charity, the Archbishop reflected on the ways his life showed that ‘Life in God’s kingdom, and eternal life upon death, is not dependent on role or status’ but rather, ‘on living one’s life as founded in Christ’.
Last week, the Archdiocese of Melbourne was delighted to host Sr Nathalie Becquart XMCJ, Undersecretary to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, for a conversation on what it means to journey together as a synodal Church. In an enlightening conversation, Sr Nathalie explained that synodality and evangelisation are ‘two faces of the same coin’.
The ‘Red Mass’ is an annual event marking the beginning of the legal year. It’s a tradition that goes back centuries and that helps to remind us that true justice is a work of hope. At last week’s Red Mass, about 160 members of Melbourne's legal community gathered at St Patrick’s Cathedral to seek God’s grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
It is with great sadness that we heard of the recent death of Rev Tao Xuan Pham—a true friend of Jesus. Fr Tao’s remarkable story of faith through adversity has inspired many, bringing hope that no matter how deep our suffering, God is always faithful. Fr Michael McEntee, a good friend of Fr Tao, delivered the homily at his funeral.
This week, we also hear from another of Melbourne’s newly ordained priests, Fr An Le. Fr An shares the story of his vocation and what he hopes will form the heart of his ongoing ministry. Fr An says that he is determined to keep Christ at the centre of everything, as he has throughout his life.
A few weeks ago, the Archdiocese of Melbourne hosted Made for More, two evenings of art, animation, live music, humour and powerful talks by Theology of the Body expert and speaker Dr Christopher West and singer-guitarist Mike Mangione. Dr West’s presentation helped his audience to appreciate more deeply that they are, body and soul, created in the image and likeness of God.
Finally, CatholicCare Victoria are launching their 2023 Pastoral Care Appeal (formerly known as the Chaplaincy Appeal) to support the work of healthcare chaplains across the Archdiocese. With your generosity, they can continue to be messengers of God’s love, mercy and compassion to those in need.
May you know the deep joy and comfort of Jesus' friendship through all the ups and downs of the coming week.