Getting wisdom

‘Get wisdom,’ the book of Proverbs tells us. ‘Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you’ (4:7).

This week, we celebrate Catholic Education Week. This year’s theme—‘In the light of Christ’—reminds us that Jesus illumines everything our Catholic schools do, helping our young people to grow not just in knowledge but in wisdom.

We speak with two inspiring educators who embody this vision and who were recently awarded Australia Day honours. Dr Margaret O’Donnell OAM speaks about the place of education in her life from her earliest years, and the joy she has found in her vocation as a teacher, principal and Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools Board member. Similarly, Vincent Feeney OAM shares the story of his journey from rookie teacher to principal of St Francis Xavier College in Melbourne’s south-east, and his commitment to ‘seeing’ his students, forming strong relationships and putting Jesus at the centre.

Also this week, as Round 1 of the AFL season kicks off, we speak with Carlton footballer Matthew Kennedy about how faith and family have sustained him in his life and sporting career. Prof Neil Dodgson draws on his considerable expertise in computing, maths and engineering to provide some insights into AI’s implications for human society, and how we might engage with these questions from a Christian perspective. And we hear how, more than ever, your generous donations to this year’s Good Friday Holy Land Collection will help the Franciscan Friars to continue their vital, 800-year ministry among the people of the Holy Land, even in the chaos of war.

Finally, as we approach St Patrick’s Day—and the Patrick Oration next Monday 18 March—we go ‘time travelling’ with St Patrick, who shows us that wisdom can come from waiting, and that even when we can’t see the way forward, we can confidently entrust ourselves to ‘the One in Three and Three in One’.

For more news and events, visit the Melbourne Catholic news and stories page or our events calendar, or follow us on Facebook.

Joy, hope and trust: Dr Margaret O’Donnell OAM’s advice for teachers
When Dr Margaret O’Donnell—MACS Board member, former principal and current parishioner of St Gregory the Great Parish in Doncaster—was recently awarded an Order of the Medal of Australia (OAM), the citation read, ‘for service to education and to the community’. Behind those eight words lie years of experience and the accrued wisdom of a woman who holds a deep sense of gratitude and love for her Catholic faith, her family and a vocation that, more than 50 years on, continues to enliven her.
Seeing the people: Vincent Feeney OAM’s legacy of service to Catholic education
In the recent Australia Day honours, one of the recipients of the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), for his service to secondary education, was Mr Vincent Feeney, principal at St Francis Xavier College, Berwick, Officer and Beaconsfield. He shares with us some of his story within Catholic education, his driving convictions and how the roots of his service go all the way back to the witness of his parents.
Carlton’s Matthew Kennedy on faith, family and footy
This Thursday night, Carlton footy player Matthew Kennedy will be lining up in the AFL Round 1 match against Richmond Football Club at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. After coming so close to making the grand final last year, the 26-year-old midfielder is committed to being part of his team’s effort to claim the 2024 premiership flag. And while football is a key priority for Matthew, so too is his commitment to faith and family. We get to know a bit more about Matthew Kennedy the man, who is ‘much more than just a football player’.
The AI revolution: can the Gospel speak to artificial intelligence?
Ever since ChatGPT exploded onto the scene in 2022, questions about the ethics of using new artificial intelligence (AI) systems have become more pressing than ever. Professor Neil Dodgson of Victoria University of Wellington, who has 25 years at Cambridge University behind him and a specialisation in computer graphics, discusses the primary question we must ask in thinking about the AI revolution from a Gospel perspective.
Holy Land Collection more vital than ever as conflict continues, commissary says
Two years ago, it was the global COVID pandemic that was causing havoc for people in the Holy Land. Now ‘there is a new and more dangerous threat through the ongoing conflict,’ says Friar Bernie Thomas OFM, Commissary of the Holy Land (Australia). He is asking the faithful to give generously to this year’s Holy Land Collection on Good Friday, to ensure the ongoing and vital work of the Franciscan Friars, who have been walking with the people of the Holy Land and sharing their often difficult lives for 800 years.
Time travelling with St Patrick
Re-reading old letters and journal entries allows us to experience things that belong to another time in our lives—to briefly re-inhabit a past in which the circumstances of our current life, so familiar to us now, were a complete mystery. Like St Patrick—who looked back on his tumultuous early years and was able to trace God’s plan—Lucy Davison travels back to St Patrick’s Day 2011 and discovers that God was there all along.
‘It’s a privilege, a responsibility—but it’s also a joy. I would say to teachers: be joyful, be hopeful, and trust in God. Know what a privilege this is ... You have these children’s lives in your hands. You’re forming their lives.’
Dr Margaret O’Donnell OAM
on the joy of teaching in Catholic schools and helping children to encounter Jesus
Upcoming events
Catholic Education Week 2024
Sunday 10 March 2024
– Sunday 17 March 2024
Catholic Education Week is an opportunity for all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne to celebrate their Catholic identity, the pivotal role they play within their local community and the strength of the sector. The theme for Catholic Education Week 2024 is ‘In the light of Christ’. Drawn from...
‘AI x Christianity: Gospel Wisdom for an AI World’
Saturday 16 March 2024
7.00pm–9.15pm
Artificial intelligence is changing the world. How can the Bible guide our understanding of this evolving landscape? Be equipped to engage with AI at ‘AI x Christianity: Gospel Wisdom for an AI World’ on 16 March 2024. Across two hours, three speakers, and a discussion panel, this ambitious event will...
Lenten meditation on the cross, St Dominic’s
Sunday 17 March 2024
3.00pm–4.00pm
A meditation on the cross with polyphony will be presented by the Melbourne Octet and broadcast live by Radio Maria. The veiling of the Cross will take place during the hour of music, prayers and readings. Featuring compositions by Gesualdo, Duruflé, Pärt, Tallis, Casals, Rautavaara, Lajos and Purcell. For more...
Via Crucis by Franz Liszt, St Mary Star of the Sea
Sunday 17 March 2024
7.30pm–8.30pm
An invitation choir and soloists directed by Jonathan Baker, with Fr Nicholas Dillon as organist, will present Franz Liszt’s dramatic musical meditations on Christ’s way to Calvary during Stations of the Cross at 7.30pm on Sunday, 17 March, at St Mary Star of the Sea Church, West Melbourne. For more...
The Patrick Oration 2024
Monday 18 March 2024
7.30pm–8.30pm
Join us on the feast day of St Patrick, the patron saint of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, for the fifth annual Patrick Oration to be delivered by the Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne. Watch the live broadcast on TV or online: On TV via C31 (digital...
Compline Service and Reconciliation, Newman College
Thursday 21 March 2024
8.30pm–9.30pm
Compline is a peaceful evening ritual, with hymns sung by the Newman College Choir. It offers a serene way to wind down the mind, body and spirit before sleep. With soothing prayers, calming music, and moments of reflection, it provides a break from the hustle and busyness of daily life...
Encounter Evening, Hoppers Crossing
Sunday 24 March 2024
5.00pm–8.00pm
This unforgettable evening is tailor-made for high-school students, offering a unique opportunity to encounter Jesus with prayer, fellowship, food and, of course, a whole lot of fun. Let this Encounter Evening mark a significant step in your spiritual journey—a night filled with encountering Jesus that promises to leave a lasting...
Holy Week and Easter at St Patrick’s Cathedral
Sunday 24 March 2024, 11.00am
– Sunday 31 March 2024, 8.00pm
All are welcome to St Patrick’s Cathedral for this year’s Holy Week and Easter liturgies, some of which will be broadcast to TV and livestreamed for those unable to attend: Palm Sunday (24 March): 11am*Holy Thursday (28 March): 7.30pm* (please note: ‘The Watch’ will continue via our Archdiocesan YouTube channel)Good...
Marriage Encounter Weekend: Live Your Best Married Life in Love
Friday 12 April 2024, 10.00am
– Sunday 14 April 2024, 5.00pm
Every relationship is a journey, and the grind of everyday life can easily cause you to lose touch with your spouse. Presented by Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), this live-in weekend gives married couples time to nurture their relationship and some tools to keep passion alive in a gentle, supportive environment...

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.

Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. Melbourne Catholic team will work hard to deliver good quality information in the fields you have specified upon subscription. However, if you decide that you no longer want to receive such emails from us, feel free to click the link below.