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.

Melbourne prays for the repose of Cardinal Pell, brother in Christ
On Friday 3 February at St Patrick’s Cathedral, a solemn Mass was celebrated for the repose of the soul of Cardinal George Pell AC, who served as seventh Archbishop of Melbourne from 1996 until 2001. In an event that saw the Cathedral filled to capacity, Catholics from across the Archdiocese gathered to pray, mourn and commend him to Christ.
Synodality as mission: in conversation with Sr Nathalie Becquart XMCJ
On Tuesday 31 January, the Archdiocese of Melbourne was delighted to host Sr Nathalie Becquart XMCJ, Undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, for a conversation on what it means to journey together as a ‘synodal’ church. Her talk was an opportunity to discuss the meaning and relevance of synodality for the mission of the local and global Church.
Faith in the victory of life: the story of Fr Tao Xuan Pham
With great sadness, we share news of the death of Rev Tao Xuan Pham, Assistant Priest to the parishioners of Greensborough, Greensborough North and Diamond Creek. Fr Michael McEntee, a good friend of Fr Tao, delivered the homily at his funeral, which tells some of the story of Fr Tao’s life, his suffering and his remarkable faith, which has strengthened the faith of so many.
Bringing hope: CatholicCare Victoria’s Pastoral Care Appeal 2023
Written by: CatholicCare Victoria
Catholic chaplains provide a compassionate presence and spiritual care to thousands of Victorians in hospitals, prisons and youth justice centres every year. They have recently launched the 2023 Pastoral Care Appeal (previously known as the Chaplaincy Appeal).Your generosity will ensure that chaplains can continue to bring hope to more Victorians, and be messengers of God's mercy, love and compassion.
Fr An Le: keeping Christ at the heart of ministry
Fr An Le was one of three priests ordained at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 19 November 2022. As Fr An commences his priestly ministry for the Archdiocese of Melbourne, he is determined to keep Christ at the centre—as he has throughout his life.
Melbourne’s legal community gathers for annual Red Mass
About 160 members of Melbourne’s legal profession gathered at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne on Monday 30 January for the annual Red Mass to mark the official opening of the legal year. With its name deriving from the red vestments worn by the celebrants to signify the Holy Spirit, the Mass is an opportunity to request guidance for all those who seek justice.
Made for More: exploring the Theology of the Body
Written by: Proclaim: Office for Mission Renewal
Last month, hundreds came from across the Archdiocese of Melbourne and beyond to experience Made for More—an evening of art, animation, live music, humour and powerful talks by world-renowned Theology of the Body expert and speaker Dr Christopher West and singer-guitarist Mike Mangione.
‘The aim of the Church is ... to be an outgoing Church that serves the people, to be a missionary Church.’
Sr Nathalie Becquart XMCJ
on journeying together as the Church
Upcoming events
RCIA online seminar series: ‘Abide with Me’
Wednesday 8 February 2023
7.30pm–9.15pm
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults online seminar series with Fr Elio Capra SDB is aimed at equipping parish clergy, staff and RCIA teams. ‘Abide with Me’—The Rite of Enrolment of Names, Rite of Election and Lent is the third session in this series and will include: celebrating the...
Southern Stars Social Club Party
Thursday 9 February 2023, 8.00pm
– Thursday 16 February 2023, 10.00pm
Join the Southern Stars Social Club Party for single Catholics in the 28–60 age group. Cost: $13, includes supper and ‘lucky door prizes’ For all enquiries, call Peter on 9885 2167.
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...
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School: 100th anniversary
Sunday 12 February 2023
11.15am–1.15pm
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...
God and Beer: ‘Faith, Family and Football’
Wednesday 15 February 2023
6.30pm–8.30pm
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...
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...
Rite of Election 2023
Sunday 26 February 2023
3.00pm–4.00pm
The Rite of Election is a significant occasion in the life of our local Church in Melbourne. It marks the beginning of the final preparations of our catechumens and candidates towards receiving the sacraments of initiation. Join Archbishop Peter A Comensoli and the Proclaim team at the Rite of Election...
RCIA online seminar series: ‘Into the Deep’
Tuesday 28 February 2023
7.30pm–9.15pm
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults online seminar series with Fr Elio Capra SDB is aimed at equipping parish clergy, staff and RCIA teams. ‘Into the Deep’—Easter Vigil and the Period of Mystagogia is the fourth session in this series and will include: the Easter Vigil—sacraments of initiationmystagogialife-long discipleship...

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

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