Pilgrims of hope

This week we are powerfully reminded of what it means to walk with each other and with Jesus. Each of us is called to be a pilgrim of hope, bearing witness to Christ’s presence with us as we make our way through a world that longs for healing and wholeness.

In this week’s stories, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli returns from a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands of Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon, where ‘Christ walked and ministered, and where, today, the great Abrahamic religions and historical cultures live side by side in very complex, and presently tragic ways’. Nevertheless, he says, each person he met ‘expressed their belief in a hope-filled future’.

More than 1,500 people walked together through Carlton’s streets and gardens, praying and singing, in a moving display of public devotion to the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus.

And Fr Tony Feeney celebrates his 50th anniversary of ordination, reflecting on his priestly call to live with God’s people, sharing in their hopes, joys and sorrows.

A letter to Clergy and Laity of the Archdiocese of Melbourne
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli recently returned from a pilgrimage of solidarity to the Holy Lands of Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. In a letter to the clergy and laity of the Archdiocese, he says the pilgrimage ‘allowed for significant opportunities in prayer, engagement and learning through that part of the world where, in the past, Christ walked and ministered, and where, today, the great Abrahamic religions and historical cultures live side-by-side, in very complex, and presently tragic ways’. In all this tragic complexity, he says, ‘there are nonetheless signs of hope, actions of goodness and people of welcome and hospitality.’
‘Following Christ’: Melbourne Corpus Christi procession draws more than 1,500
Last Sunday, on the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus (Corpus Christi), more than 1,500 people walked together along Drummond Street and through the Carlton Gardens on a crisp, clear winter’s afternoon, praying and singing, in a powerful public demonstration of Christian faith and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
Fr Tony Feeney, celebrating 50 years of ordination and being ‘with’ the people
Fr Tony Feeney was the guest of honour at his former parish of St Anthony’s in Noble Park recently at a special celebration of the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. During the anniversary Mass, held on Trinity Sunday, 26 May, Fr Tony spoke about how humbled he felt and how moved he was to see so many come together to celebrate this ‘happy occasion’ with him. He shared that at the heart of his priesthood was Jesus, and the call to convey God’s unfailing love for his people by being with them, sharing in their hopes, joys and sorrows.
Fiat 2024 brings communities together in prayer
The second annual Fiat—A Weekend of Prayer wound up on Sunday as more than 1,500 people gathered for Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Carlton, before joining in a Eucharistic procession through the surrounding streets and gardens. The weekend brought communities together across the Archdiocese to pray in a variety of ways but with a common purpose: to affirm and join in Mary’s wholehearted ‘yes’ to the Lord.
Deaf Catholics celebrate 100 years of faith and community at John Pierce Centre
Chrissy has been attending Mass at the John Pierce Centre (JPC) in Prahran for 23 years. As a Deaf person who grew up in the Philippines, she says ‘it was such a blessing’ to come to Melbourne and find the JPC. Members of the Catholic Deaf community in Victoria recently gathered at the JPC to celebrate its 100th anniversary of foundation with a special celebratory Mass on Pentecost Sunday, followed by an annual general meeting and lunch, providing an opportunity to remember and celebrate the long history of Deaf Catholics in Australia.
Priest, scholar and friend: symposium honours Prof Austin Cooper OMI
The ministry of the late Rev Prof Austin Cooper OMI had a significant and often transformative impact on the lives of many, not to mention on the landscape of theological education in Australia and beyond. Last month, Catholic Theological College (CTC) hosted a symposium exploring Fr Austin’s various contributions to Christian scholarship and formation, and as a spiritual friend to so many.
‘Be a servant and a light to the nations’: Couples for Christ weekend retreat
More than 700 Couples for Christ (CFC) members and their families from across Australia gathered for a retreat in Watsonia on the weekend of 17–19 May. Inspired by the theme of this year’s retreat—‘Be a servant and a light to the nations’ (Isaiah 49:6)—participants were encouraged to embody the principles of service to God, Church and community in their everyday lives, and to be beacons of hope in a world yearning for light.
First visit to Poland led to Iron Curtain’s fall, historians say 45 years after St John Paul II’s landmark trip
Forty-five years ago, on 2 June, St John Paul II started his first papal pilgrimage to his native Poland, then shackled by a communist dictatorship. The visit not only had an enormous impact on the spiritual renewal of the Polish nation, paving the way for democratic changes, but also inspired future freedom fighters in other parts of the Soviet empire.
‘In all the tragic complexity of what is occurring politically, and the wounds that are festering consequently, there are nonetheless signs of hope, actions of goodness and people of welcome and hospitality—of us, and of each other.’
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
on his ‘pilgrimage of solidarity’ to the Holy Lands of Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon
Upcoming events
Mass of Thanksgiving and Celebration for members of religious congregations
Saturday 8 June 2024
11.00am–2.00pm
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli is pleased to invite congregational members to share in a Mass of Thanksgiving and Celebration. The theme of the Mass is ‘Synodal women and men—builders of hope’. Mass will be followed by light refreshments in the gathering space beside the church. Bookings are essential, and parking...
‘Sant’Egidio in Australia’: a talk by Claudio Betti
Sunday 9 June 2024
11.00am–12.00pm
The Community of Sant’Egidio is a Christian community born in Rome in 1968 in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. It is active in over 70 countries, and a community is beginning in Melbourne. Prayer, friendship with the poor and work for peace are the community’s foundations. Claudio...
Sacred relics of St Anthony of Padua: St Peter Apostle Mission Parish, Hoppers Crossing
Sunday 9 June 2024
3.30pm–6.00pm
Join us in veneration and celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday 9 June at our church in honour of the sacred relics of St Anthony of Padua. Fr Bortolino Maistrello from the Pontifical Basilica of St Anthony in Padua, Italy, will bring two first-class relics of St Anthony of Padua...
‘Poets and the Faith: RS Thomas’ presented by Archbishop Rowan Williams (via Zoom)
Tuesday 11 June 2024
6.00pm–7.30pm
St Peter’s Eastern Hill is hosting a series of talks about significant poets who have inhabited—or skirted the fringes—of the Anglican and Catholic traditions of Christianity. From Gerard Manley Hopkins to RS Thomas, from Emily Brontë to WH Auden, how did their poetry enrich and challenge their understanding of the...
‘A Serenade to Music’ featuring the Trinity Singers
Sunday 16 June 2024
3.00pm–4.00pm
The Trinity Singers present a program exploring the power of music through the ages. Spanning five centuries, and with Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music as its centrepiece, this concert will delight, excite and serenade the soul! Program: Byrd—Come Woeful Orpheus, Walmisley—Music, All Powerful, Vaughan Williams—Serenade to Music, Howells—King David, Todd—I...
God and Beer: ‘Religious freedom in Australia’ with Daniel Simon
Monday 17 June 2024
6.30pm–9.30pm
At the next God and Beer, we will hear from Daniel Simon of the Human Rights Law Alliance on current challenges to religious freedom in Australia. As Australia becomes more secular, Christians and people of other faiths find themselves increasingly having to function in environments that might be unsympathetic or...
Catholic Theological College online information session
Monday 17 June 2024
7.30pm–8.30pm
Join our online information session to learn more about study options at Catholic Theological College (CTC), and insights into student life. Whether you want to further your career or your knowledge of the Catholic faith, CTC has the right path or options for you. Meet our course advisors and...
Celebrating Liturgy Today: Exploring the Ritual Enactment of Faith
Monday 8 July 2024, 9.00am
– Thursday 11 July 2024, 5.00pm
Celebrating Liturgy Today: Exploring the Ritual Enactment of Faith (THLS606) is being offered through ACU’s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy. The unit will be taught by Prof Clare Johnson and guests over four full days (9am–5pm) and will be delivered live online via Zoom as a professional learning seminar and...
Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon: Prof Helen Alvare
Thursday 15 August 2024
12.00pm–2.00pm
Join us for the third Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) event for 2024, where Prof Helen Alvaré, international author and Catholic scholar, will join us as guest speaker. Prof Alvaré is the Robert A Levy Endowed Chair in Law and Liberty at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University. She publishes...
Knights of the Southern Cross—Archbishop’s Dinner 2024
Friday 30 August 2024
7.00pm–11.30pm
Join the Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria to celebrate the 24th annual Archbishop’s Dinner. The dinner is held each year to raise funds for the Priests Support and Education Fund. This fund was established by the Knights of the Southern Cross to assist in the funding and education of...

To learn more about upcoming events and opportunities, visit the Melbourne Catholic events page.

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

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