Making all things new

As Easter draws to a close and we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Church at Pentecost this Sunday, we are reminded that we worship a God of exciting new beginnings—a God whose Spirit is abroad in the world making all things new.

In this week’s stories, we hear about a mother’s joy at learning of her son’s vocation to the priesthood. Pope Francis encourages us to be joyful heralds of hope as he releases the Bull of Indiction proclaiming the Holy Year 2025. And thousands from Australia’s Maronite Catholic community joined a procession through the streets in Western Sydney to celebrate the unveiling of a new Australian sanctuary dedicated to St Charbel, one of the world’s most popular saints.

‘So, so happy’: a mother’s joy at her son’s vocation
When asked how she felt six years ago on learning that her son John would be entering the seminary to train for the priesthood, Maddalena Vespa says she was ‘so, so happy’. With John now in his sixth year of formation, she reflects on the joy of watching her youngest son grow in his faith and vocation over the years.
People need truth, goodness, hope, Pope says after proclaiming Holy Year
In the run-up to the Holy Year 2025, Pope Francis appealed to the world’s Christians to become joyful heralds of hope. ‘Everything, within and outside of us, cries out for hope and continues to seek the closeness of God, even without knowing it,’ he said in his homily during an evening prayer service in St Peter’s Basilica for the feast of the Ascension. The service was preceded by a ceremony in front of the basilica’s Holy Door, during which the Pope released the ‘Bull of Indiction’ proclaiming the Holy Year 2025.
Thousands gather to witness historic moment in Western Sydney
Australians will be able to experience a new sacred site in their own backyard, without having to travel to Europe or the Holy Land. On 8 May 2024, a new sanctuary opened in Western Sydney dedicated to one of the world’s most popular saints, St Charbel. The Maronite Catholic community in Australia hosted the unveiling of the newly constructed sanctuary, with a procession of 10,000 people following the coffin of St Charbel as it made its way through the streets of Punchbowl, culminating in a Mass at the site of the sanctuary.
The miracle of words: a Pentecost reflection
Words are slippery things, but as shifting and unwieldy as language can sometimes be, we persist in our imperfect attempts to connect with each other and to express ourselves truly. In light of the recent World Day of Social Communications, and as we prepare for Pentecost this Sunday, St Luke’s strange, revealing account of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church gives us a glimpse of what true communication—and community—might look like.
Seminary makes guests feel ‘at home’ as Knights launch Archbishop’s Dinner
The Very Rev Dr Cameron Forbes, Rector of Corpus Christi College, welcomed about 85 dinner guests to the seminary on Wednesday 8 May, encouraging them to feel at home. They had come together for the official launch of the Archbishop’s Dinner, the main fundraising and social event organised each year by the Knights of the Southern Cross Priests Support and Education Fund.
‘Through prayer and action’: Catholic Women’s League members gather at 2024 national conference
The Catholic Women’s League Australia (CWLA) has long ministered to the needs and dreams of Catholic women around the country. Almost a century later, the CWLA continues to gather regularly to pray together and discuss key social issues. The recent 2024 national conference, held in Sydney from 3 to 5 May, was no exception, with nearly 100 league members from six states gathering for thought-provoking sessions ranging from bioethics to Christian hope.
‘We were actually at St Peter’s Basilica in front of La Pietà. That’s exactly where he said, “Mum, I just would like to tell you that I’ve applied to enter the seminary next year.” It was an amazing experience. I was so, so happy for him.’
Maddalena Vespa
on the moment her son John told her he would be entering the seminary
Upcoming events
Awaken: Pentecost 2024
Saturday 18 May 2024
1.00pm–6.00pm
Transformed by the presence of God A regional gathering for our Church, drawing close to the presence and power of God. Awaken gathers Catholics from around Melbourne for a dynamic and inspiring afternoon, including contemporary worship and prayer experiences, talks, workshops and hospitality. With special guests Sam Clear (Walk4One) and...
Launch of the Australian Hymn Association
Sunday 19 May 2024
4.00pm–5.30pm
All are welcome to the launch of the Australian Hymn Association (ASA) at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral. Worship will led by the the Very Rev Dr Andreas Loewe (Anglican Dean of Melbourne), Ms Megan McLaughlin (president of the ASA), noted hymn composer Rev Dr Christopher Willcock SJ and the musicians...
‘The Women in the Gospel of Luke’ presented by Dr Rosemary Canavan
Monday 20 May 2024
7.00pm–8.30pm
The Gospel according to Luke actively engages women in the narrative, making them visible and often pairing male and female together as examples. This session explores Luke’s inclusion of women in the life and ministry of Jesus, points to his further inclusion of women in Acts, and investigates the implications...
‘Interculturality: reflections for the mission of a parish today’ presented by Rev Dr Jake Mudge
Tuesday 21 May 2024
7.30pm–8.30pm
This session will introduce participants to the topic of interculturality—the mutual exchange of cultural ideas. We will discuss how it relates to various church contexts and the challenge of mission. Engaging Your Faith is a series of short, online, presentations that invite participants to reflect on what it means to...
‘Can a scientist believe in God?’ presented by Rev Dr Christopher Mulherin
Wednesday 22 May 2024
7.00pm–8.30pm
Many people say (or fear?) that God and science don’t mix. ‘I believe in science …’ is often a reason people give for not taking Christianity seriously. In faith-based schools, 60 per cent of secondary students say Christianity and science are in conflict. This session is an introduction to the...
Fiat 2024—A Weekend of Prayer
Friday 31 May 2024, 6.00pm
– Sunday 2 June 2024, 1.00pm
For the second year running, our local communities of grace across the Archdiocese of Melbourne will unite for a weekend of prayer from Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June 2024. The weekend coincides with the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the solemnity of the...
The Seeker of Souls: Understanding God’s intense search for you
Saturday 1 June 2024
9.00am–12.15pm
The Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga is hosting a women’s retreat with reflections by Fr Trevor Tibbertsma. The retreat is a great opportunity to meet a supportive community of women of faith and includes Mass, adoration, confession, an inspiring talk and a Q&A session. Morning tea will...
Melbourne Corpus Christi Procession
Sunday 2 June 2024
1.00pm–4.00pm
Join us on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) for Mass at Sacred Heart Church (Rathdowne and Pelham Streets, Carlton) followed by a Eucharistic procession to St Patrick’s Cathedral for Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. 1pm: Mass at Sacred Heart Church...
Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon: Prof Mary Finsterer
Tuesday 4 June 2024
12.00pm–2.00pm
Join us for the next Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) event, where Prof Mary Finsterer—composer in residence with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra—will join us as guest speaker. MCP creates opportunities for Catholic professional men and women to network and support the life and mission of the Church in Melbourne. Through its...
‘A Serenade to Music’ featuring the Trinity Singers
Sunday 16 June 2024
3.00pm–4.00pm
Program Byrd—Come Woeful OrpheusWalmisley—Music, All PowerfulVaughan Williams—Serenade to MusicHowells—King DavidTodd—I Sing Because … 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! About...
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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