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.

‘A time of grace’: Archdiocese unites through Fiat—A Weekend of Prayer
Fiat—A Weekend of Prayer brought parishes, communities and movements throughout the Archdiocese together to pray, to meditate on Mary’s total ‘yes’ to the Lord, and to reflect on how we might follow her example as individuals, parishes and as a local Church in Melbourne. We take a look at how some of our local communities of grace entered into this special time in the life of the Archdiocese.
Supporting the dignity of mothers: the Caroline Chisholm Society
The Caroline Chisholm Society works with young mothers and children who are struggling to find the help and resources they need. Founded in the 1960s by volunteers, and taking its inspiration and name from pioneering 19th-century social reformer Caroline Chisholm, it was built on the intuition that these women need more than just doctors. More than fifty years later, the Society’s work is still going strong, and CEO Dr Jennifer Weber says the need for its services continues to grow.
Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia announces move to Gregorian calendar
The Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia is officially moving from the Julian to the Gregorian liturgical calendar according to a decree published on 22 March by Bishop Mykola Bychok, Eparch for Ukrainian Catholics in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania.
Finding Christ in Beethoven’s Hammerklavier sonata
Written by: Fiona Basile
Last Sunday, we commemorated the 196th anniversary of the death of German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827). His music lives on, though, in performers like internationally acclaimed concert pianist, organist and composer Anthony Halliday, whose groundbreaking PhD thesis argues that a number of the composer’s later works follow the narrative of the gospels of Jesus Christ.
Good Friday Holy Land appeal: uniting Christians everywhere with ‘the Land of Jesus’
Each year, the Good Friday Holy Land Collection supports Christian people living difficult lives in Israel and Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Rhodes and Cyprus; it also provides for the upkeep of sacred places of pilgrimage. This year we are once again invited to give generously to the collection, which will be taken up in our parishes on Good Friday.
Mum’s mission to shine a light on diversity
Written by: VMCH
The mother of a neurodiverse child has penned a funny and heartwarming book based on her son, a student at VMCH's specialist school St Paul’s College in Kew. She hopes it will help create awareness around diversity and inclusion.
‘We should become broken ourselves and be poured out into the community.’
Fr George Feliciouz, Mansfield Catholic Parish
on the connection between Mary’s fiat, the Eucharist and our mission to proclaim Christ
Upcoming events
Chrism Mass, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Saturday 1 April 2023
10.00am–12.00pm
You are warmly invited to join us for the annual Chrism Mass, which will be celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Saturday 1 April at 10am. In this ancient and beautiful liturgy, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, together with all of Melbourne’s priests, will bless the oils being used in the...
Mothers who Pray for their Children: Wantirna and Region workshop
Friday 31 March 2023
7.30pm–9.45pm
Join Mothers who Pray for their Children in their first Wantirna and Region workshop. All welcome! Schedule: 7pm: Stations of the Cross7.30pm: Hymns7.35pm: Rejection and overcoming—the consciousness that before praying for our children we first need healing as women and mothers8.25pm: Break 8.45pm: Women from the Bible and the movement...
Walk for Justice for Refugees
Sunday 2 April 2023
1.00pm–4.00pm
In advocating for the just and humane treatment of people seeking asylum in Australia, the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) would like to invite you to walk alongside teachers, students, principals, parents, parishioners, priests and individuals from Catholic schools, churches, and communities across Victoria this Palm Sunday at...
The Melbourne Passion Play
Sunday 2 April 2023
1.30pm–2.30pm
Each year, for the past 23 years, the passion of Jesus Christ has been enacted in Melbourne by a group of volunteers. This is a scene-by-scene representation of the ministry of Jesus by people in real, open-air surroundings. Come and relive the passion of Our Lord, and meditate on the...
Combined Societies of Mary: Divine Mercy Novena
Friday 7 April 2023, 7.00pm
– Saturday 8 April 2023, 8.00pm
Join the Combined Societies of Mary in the 9-nights Divine Mercy novena, which will commence on Good Friday and end on the first Sunday after Easter—the Feast of Mercy. In the diary of St Faustina, it is recalled that Jesus told the Polish nun that, ‘on that day, the floodgates...
Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations, Victoria
Sunday 16 April 2023
(All day event)
Parishes across Victoria will be celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday on the first Sunday after Easter. Confessions will be available before Mass, and there will be recitation of the Holy Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. All welcome! Jesus said to St Faustina: ‘I desire that the Feast of Mercy be...
Divine Mercy Sunday, Basilica of Our Lady of Victories
Sunday 16 April 2023
12.30pm–4.30pm
Come and celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at the Basilica of Our Lady of Victories in Camberwell. Jesus said to St Faustina: ‘I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day, the very depths of my mercy...
Combined Societies of Mary: Feast of Mercy, with Polish priest Fr Kasper Gorski
Sunday 16 April 2023
1.00pm–2.00pm
Join the Combined Societies of Mary on the Feast of Mercy. Holy Mass will be followed by Adoration and Divine Mercy prayers. There will be first-class relics of St Faustina, St John Paul II and Bl Fr Sopocko, and we will be joined by Divine Mercy priest Fr Kasper Gorski...
Melbourne Catholic Professionals Luncheon
Wednesday 3 May 2023
12.00pm–2.00pm
Join us for the first Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) event of the year! MCP creates opportunities for Catholic professional men and women to network and support the life and mission of the Church in Melbourne. Through its program of luncheon events—hosted by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli—MCP draws people together from...

For more events, visit our website.

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

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