Being the Easter Octave, we took a short break last week from our e-newsletter . . . but we're back, and it's Eastertide! Fifty days in which we get to bask in the glory of the Resurrection and renew the "yes" we made to Christ in baptism.

The ability to gather in large numbers for the Easter liturgy was a truly life-giving experience, priests report, with catechumens across Melbourne making their own definitive and resounding "yes" to the Lord.

One of the great aspects of the Church in Melbourne is that it provides a snapshot of the global Church, with a diverse range of truly vibrant ethnic communities. Last Sunday, the Vietnamese community celebrated the 2022 Divine Mercy Congress. Melbourne's Croatian community gathered in huge numbers as well for the consecration of a new altar by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli. The Croatian community has been a staple of Australian life since the years following the Second World War.

With ANZAC Day just passed, we thought we'd explore the special role military chaplaincy plays in the armed forces. Monsignor Stuart Hall shares with us his experiences of Navy Chaplaincy, having spent 22 serving the spiritual needs of Australian soldiers.

Last Sunday we celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast instituted by Pope St John Paul II. We take a look at the legacy left by that great man and explore his special relationship to the Divine Mercy devotion and St Faustina. And in the wake of St Louis de Montfort's memorial (28 April) we also delve into his classic in Mariology, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, to glean three major takeaways.

Finally, as you'll see in the upcoming events, this Sunday 1 May (the feast of St Joseph the Worker), a special Thanksgiving Mass will take place at St Patrick's Cathedral for all those working in the aged and healthcare sectors. This is one of two Masses that will take place in May – the other being a Mass to commemorate all those we've lost during this time of the pandemic. All are welcome to attend.

Vietnamese community celebrates Divine Mercy Congress
More than a thousand members of the Vietnamese Catholic community gathered last weekend for the 2022 Divine Mercy Congress held at the St Vincent Liem Centre in Flemington. The theme for the three-day event was “Church of the Divine Mercy: Family, Society and the World” and included talks, Eucharistic adoration, Masses and keynote addresses by Fr Peter Hoang SDB and Bishop John Văn Ngân Đo from the Diocese of Xuân Lộc in Vietnam.
A resounding “yes” in this Season of Easter
After two years of the pandemic, it was a breath of fresh air to gather once more in large numbers with family, friends and fellow parishioners at the Easter liturgies held across the Archdiocese this year. Thousands of the faithful returned to their local parishes to participate in the liturgies and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Several parishes also welcomed new people into the Catholic faith, with one parish baptising up to 10 catechumens from two families.
‘Our second home’: Croatian community celebrates dedication of altar
On Saturday 23 April, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli officially blessed and dedicated the altar at the Croatian Catholic Centre of the Holy Spirit in Springvale. Saturday’s Mass drew a large number of the local Croatian Catholic Community – one of their largest gatherings since prior to the pandemic. ‘The church is not just a meeting place for spiritual needs. The entire centre was conceived to preserve our identity in our new Archdiocese and homeland of Australia,’ said Fr Vedran Lesic, Chaplain to the Croatian Catholic Community.
3 takeaways from St Louis de Montfort's 'True Devotion'
This week we mark the memorial of the French saint, St Louis de Montfort. His book 'True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin' is a classic in the genre of Mariology and, interestingly enough, wasn't discovered until 100 years after his death. We explore three key ideas that make this book worth the read.
“One of the crew”: Navy Chaplaincy with Mons. Stuart Hall
Monsignor Stuart Hall, a Navy Chaplain for 22 years, shares his story this ANZAC Day about the life and work of the military chaplain. ‘Was it a calling? I don’t think so . . . I saw a need and the Church was calling for people to help out with this particular mission of the Church,’ Mons. Hall reflects.
Love's second name: Pope John Paul II and the mystery of Divine Mercy
Pope John Paul II was a great advocate of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the devotion given to St Faustina by Jesus. Here we take a look at why the message resonated with him, and why we should take up the Chaplet today.
Bishops call for ‘a better kind of politics’
Australia’s Catholic bishops have called for a shakeup that focuses the country’s politics on the common good of all, including – and especially – those who struggle to participate in the community. The bishops have offered an election statement to encourage Catholics and people of good will to reflect on the good they can do for their community by using their vote for the good of all.
‘The emotions have not subsided yet. For most parishioners, this is the first time in their lives that they have participated in such a wonderful celebration. Many of them called me and thanked me with tears in their eyes, sharing how proud they are of that day.’
Fr Vedran Lesic, Chaplain to the Croatian Catholic Community
On the dedication of a new altar at the Croatian Catholic Centre in Springvale
Upcoming events
Mass of Thanksgiving for Health and Aged-care Workers
Sunday 1 May 2022
11.00am–12.00pm
As we emerge from COVID, and as we reflect as a community on the experiences of the past two years, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli will offer a Mass of Thanksgiving for Health and Aged-care Workers. Employees in the aged- and health-care service sectors are invited to attend this Mass, with...
Western Region Mass for Young Adults
Sunday 1 May 2022
5.00pm–7.00pm
Get together with other young people from the local area for Mass, dinner, and a conversation with Bishop Martin Ashe. This will be an awesome opportunity to meet other young Catholics from across the western region and share with Bishop Ashe your hopes, dreams, and expectations for the future of...
Engaging Your Faith: "Jesus Christ for Me Today"
Tuesday 3 May 2022
7.00pm–8.30pm
Rev. Dr Phillip Gleeson SDB will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation...
Engaging Your Faith: "The Lord is for the Body: The Theology of the Body Catecheses of John Paul II"
Thursday 5 May 2022
7.00pm–8.00pm
Associate Professor Adam Cooper will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation, Lectio...
Engaging Your Faith: "Prayer in the Gospel of Luke"
Monday 9 May 2022
7.00pm–8.30pm
Dr Rosemary Canavan will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation, Lectio Divina...
Engaging Your Faith: "Vatican II: Distant Memory or Unfolding Reality?"
Tuesday 10 May 2022
7.30pm–8.30pm
Rev. Dr Max Vodola will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation, Lectio...
Engaging Your Faith: "Why are Creation Stories in Genesis as Relevant as Ever?"
Wednesday 11 May 2022
7.00pm–8.30pm
Rev. Dr Kris Sonek OP will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation...
Southern Region Mass for Young Adults
Sunday 15 May 2022
6.00pm–8.30pm
Get together with other young people from the local area for Mass, dinner, and a conversation with Bishop Anthony Ireland. This will be an awesome opportunity to meet other young Catholics from across the southern region and share with Bishop Ireland your hopes, dreams, and expectations for the future of...
Engaging Your Faith: "Contemporary Ideas on Burnout in Ministry"
Monday 16 May 2022
7.30pm–8.45pm
Rev. Dr Jake Mudge will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation, Lectio...
Engaging Your Faith: "Spirituality: Wisdom and Compassion in Practice"
Tuesday 17 May 2022
7.00pm–8.00pm
Dr Christopher Morris will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation, Lectio Divina...
Engaging Your Faith: “A More Passionate Concern for the Protection of Our World” - Pope Francis in Laudato Si’
Wednesday 18 May 2022
7.00pm–8.30pm
Dr Frances Baker RSM will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation, Lectio...
Mass to commemorate those who have died during the COVID pandemic
Sunday 22 May 2022
11.00am–12.00pm
In recognition of the significant impact of COVID in our families and communities, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli will celebrate a memorial Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday 22 May for all those who have died during the COVID pandemic. This Mass will be offered for all the departed who...
P.S. Before you go. . .
4 of the weirdest stories from the Book of Acts
Throughout the Easter season, the liturgy takes us through the Acts of the Apostles, the narrative of the early Church as recorded by St Luke. If we approach the text with fresh eyes, what we’ll find is a story that is equal parts surprising, dramatic, and deeply challenging to modern sensibilities.

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

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