As we approach Holy Week, we draw closer to a significant encounter with Christ in his passion and resurrection. Of course, we encounter Christ through the rest of the year, too, not least when we come together in prayer and to celebrate the sacraments.
Last weekend, as part of Fiat—A Weekend of Prayer, parishes, communities and movements across the Archdiocese gathered to pray and mediate on Mary’s unconditional ‘yes’ to the Lord, and on what saying ‘yes’ might mean for us in our own lives, parishes and local Church. It was inspiring to see so many different communities united in prayer, and many parishes reported encouraging levels of engagement and profound encounters with God. Our round-up of the weekend provides a snapshot of just some of the parishes and communities who got involved, and of the different ways they participated in this grace-filled event in the life of our Archdiocese.
Over the weekend, we also marked the anniversaries of the deaths of two important historical figures, both of whom encountered Christ through their work—though in very different ways.
The anniversary of the death of pioneering Catholic social reformer Caroline Chisholm fell on 25 March, so this week we take the opportunity to learn about the important work that the Caroline Chisholm Society does today in her name. CEO Dr Jennifer Weber spoke to us about the very practical ways the Society supports vulnerable pregnant women and children across the western suburbs of Melbourne and in Shepparton, regardless of their social or economic situation.
And 26 March was the 196th anniversary of the death of German composer Ludwig von Beethoven. We spoke to Anthony Halliday, Associate Director of Music and Principal Organist at St Francis’ Church in Melbourne’s CBD, about his research into Beethoven and what it has revealed about how Christ-centred his later works were—discoveries that have both deepened Anthony’s own faith and changed his approach to performing Beethoven’s music.
Recently, Bishop Mykola Bychok, Eparch for Ukrainian Catholics in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, decreed that Ukrainian Catholics in Australia will soon be switching from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian, the same liturgical calendar as their Western sisters and brothers. We find out what this historic move means and how Bishop Bychok hopes it might bless both the Ukrainian faithful and the broader Church.
Next week, the annual Good Friday Holy Land Collection will take place in Catholic parishes and communities around the world, including here in Melbourne. We hear about the important work that the collection supports in ‘the Land of Jesus’ and encourage you to give generously if you are able to.
In the coming week, as we draw nearer to the cross of Christ, may we continue to encounter him in profound and surprising ways.