Walking together

As the people of God, we are called to walk together through every stage of life’s journey, accompanying each other in times of celebration and in times of hardship and suffering.

On Saturday, the people of God in Melbourne gathered joyfully at St Patrick’s Cathedral to celebrate the ordination of three new priests and one transitional deacon and to show them their love and support.

This week, the Australian bishops released a new document on euthanasia. We take a closer look at some of the key points in the document, which gives important pastoral advice on how we might best accompany and respond to those who might be considering euthanasia.

We talk with Archbishop Peter A Comensoli about his experiences in Ukraine earlier this year, and how we can continue to support our brothers and sisters in this troubled part of the world through a special Advent Appeal being launched this weekend.

Also this week, we remember Melbourne’s ‘radio priest’, Fr Gerard Dowling, who died on Sunday aged 91. Eminent American liturgist Rev John Baldovin SJ joins us to talk about the vision of Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium—a document that celebrates its 60th birthday next week. As we prepare to mark International Day for People with Disability on Sunday, we hear about VMCH’s important work opening up job opportunities for people with disability. In the lead-up to International Volunteer Day, we meet David Moloney, a man who for more than 20 years has been quietly giving his time and talents to serve the homeless in his community. And last Sunday, on the feast of Christ the King, young people came together for a couple of special events—a Valedictory Mass and an ‘Encounter’ evening—as part of the annual diocesan celebrations for World Youth Day.

Finally, more than 100 family members of Dr Sr Mary Glowrey gathered earlier this month to celebrate their unique Catholic heritage and remember a remarkable woman of faith who dedicated her life to serving and walking with others.

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

‘An instrument of grace’: Three new priests and a deacon ordained in Melbourne
Three men were ordained to the priesthood at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Saturday 25 November—Fr Thomas Christie, Fr Peter Nguyen and Fr Tien Tran. Jean-Sebastien Gery was also ordained to the transitional diaconate, the penultimate step in the journey to becoming a priest. It was a joyous occasion in the life of the local Church, with the ordinands surrounded by family, friends and Melbourne’s community of faith.
Melbourne’s ‘radio priest’, Fr Gerard Dowling OAM DE, dies at 91
Reverend Gerard Patrick Dowling OAM DE passed away on 26 November 2023, aged 91 years. Fr Gerard followed his priestly calling in a variety of ways, including in parish ministry, as Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, and as a gifted counsellor, writer and radio broadcaster, hosting the popular radio program ‘The Family Counsellor’ for more than 50 years. We remember and give thanks for a remarkable life.
Archbishop Comensoli to launch Advent Appeal for Ukraine
After 643 days of continued conflict, millions of Ukrainians have been displaced, the number of causalities on the frontline and among civilians continues to climb and the need for humanitarian aid remains high, especially as winter approaches. In response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli is launching a special Advent appeal on 3 December, the first Sunday of Advent. Funds raised will go towards providing aid and practical assistance to those who have been displaced and who are without basic supplies, especially the sick and the elderly.
5 takeaways from the ACBC’s new guide on euthanasia
On 27 November 2023, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) released a document called To Witness and to Accompany with Christian Hope. It guides priests, chaplains and pastoral workers in how to pastorally support and accompany Catholics considering euthanasia. We discuss five important takeaways from the document.
Glowrey family members gather to remember ‘Aunty Mary’
Written by: Fiona Power
Descendants of three siblings of pioneering medical missionary Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ and their cousins came from interstate and across Victoria for a unique family day at Cathedral Hall in Fitzroy on 12 November. History came to life for the Glowrey family as more than 100 family members gathered to explore the life and achievements of their ‘Aunty Mary’, a remarkable Victorian woman of faith.
The liturgy is ‘a gift from God’: Prof John Baldovin SJ on ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’ 60 years on
This year marks 60 years since the promulgation of ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’, the Second Vatican Council’s landmark Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. To mark this anniversary, the ACU Centre for Liturgy is hosting Prof John Baldovin SJ to give a lecture on how the constitution has been received and what more needs to be done. In the lead-up to the lecture, Prof Baldovin speaks with us about the history of the reform and about helping Catholics today to appreciate the full vision of what ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’ offers.
Growing critical job opportunities for people with disability
Written by: VMCH
Sunday 3 December is International Day of People with Disability, a day to promote community awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. VMCH has set itself the target of helping 100 people to find and sustain meaningful open employment by 2025. Since February this year, 19 have found work, six of them with VMCH. Tyson Ballinger, 28, is one such employee.
David Moloney, taking action to serve his neighbour
On 5 December, we mark International Volunteer Day, an opportunity to raise awareness of the important role that volunteers play in our local communities and to thank them for the valuable contribution they make. David Moloney, a parishioner at St Anne’s Catholic Parish in Seaford, has been involved in volunteering initiatives throughout his life, particularly within a parish setting. Though reluctant to be in the spotlight, David shares his reflections on the importance of hearing the Gospel message to serve our neighbour.
Local World Youth Day gatherings celebrate Christ the King
Written by: Proclaim: Office for Mission Renewal
On Sunday 26 November, young people gathered in different ways—including a Valedictory Mass for graduating tertiary students and an ‘Encounter’ evening for secondary school students—to mark the diocesan celebration of World Youth Day, which since 2021 has coincided with the Solemnity of Christ the King.
‘The laying on of hands and kiss of peace ... [are] a reminder that we are not ordained for ourselves, but to work alongside our priests in the Archdiocese in the common mission of serving God’s people.’
Newly ordained priest Fr Tien Tran
reflecting on his shared priestly ministry
Upcoming events
Holding the Light: an ecumenical service
Thursday 30 November 2023
5.00pm–6.00pm
The Holding the Light ecumenical service remembers victims and survivors of domestic and family violence, and will this year be held at Wesley Uniting Church (Lonsdale Street), with special guest speaker Sr Nicole Rotamu RSM.
2023 SummerFest
Thursday 30 November 2023
6.30pm–9.00pm
Come and join the young people of Melbourne as Archbishop Peter A Comensoli leads this special Six30 Holy Hour at St Patrick’s Cathedral, to be followed by a summer barbecue, live music and fiesta to celebrate the year’s end.
20th anniversary of the Australian Nativity Scene (ANS): Mass with Archbishop Comensoli
Saturday 2 December 2023
6.30pm–8.00pm
Australian Nativity Scene (ANS) marks 20 years—a great moment for St Elizabeth’s Parish in Dandenong. To mark this occasion, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli will be celebrating the Vigil Mass on the first Sunday of Advent (Saturday 2 December). Following the Mass, Archbishop Comensoli will bless the nativity. Light refreshments to...
‘Sacrosanctum Concilium Sixty Years On’, presented by Rev John Baldovin SJ
Sunday 3 December 2023
5.00pm–6.30pm
Presented by Rev John Baldovin SJ, this public lecture will discuss questions relating to the Sacrosanctum Concilium. Fr Baldovin will explore how the Constitution has been received, the vision of the Reform, recent statements of Pope Francis in light of the liturgy, and prospects for the future. Fr Baldovin is...
Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga Advent carols
Saturday 9 December 2023
2.00pm–4.00pm
The Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga will be hosting Advent carols at St Mary’s, St Kilda East. Led by Fr Jerome Santamaria and featuring tenor Matthew Bennett, this is an afternoon not to be missed! Carols will be followed by afternoon tea at 3pm. Register by ...
Christmas Carols, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Sunday 17 December 2023
3.00pm–4.15pm
Come along for a family concert of traditional and modern Christmas carols in the beautiful and inspiring space of St Patrick’s Cathedral. Featuring Cathedral Brass, Cathedral Schola and the Grand Organ, this performance will include plenty of audience participation, a children’s segment and ‘special guest’ appearance. Tickets: Adult—$30 Concession—$25 Children...
Christmas concert, St Dominic’s Church
Sunday 17 December 2023
7.00pm–8.00pm
St Dominic’s Church, Camberwell East, will be hosting a Christmas concert featuring composers from the 12th to the 21st century. The concert will also be broadcast live by the Australian Digital Concert Hall. Tickets can be booked via TryBooking link. For further information, call 0468 584 309.

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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