We know there's been an absence in your inbox. Maybe there's even a touch of sadness that your weekly dose of Melbourne Catholic took a Christmas break with the rest of us. Well, fear not! We are back and gearing up for an excellent year ahead, with more stories and formative content for you to read and share. We're excited and it's a privilege to have you along for the journey.
In the wake of the volcanic eruption in Tonga, we spoke with the chaplain to Melbourne's Tongan Catholic community about the disaster and how Melburnians can support the recovery efforts. We also hear from Sr Brigid Arthur CSB and other religious leaders who spoke at the recent launch of the #SetThemFree campaign, advocating the release of refugees and asylum seekers still being held in detention.
This Sunday 6 February is Word of God Sunday, and we have a bunch of different resources to help refamiliarise yourself with the Word that is 'alive and active' (Hebrews 4:12). Melbourne's Emporium is also doing something totally unique by hosting 34 massive projections of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes. Obviously it doesn't match the feeling of entering the Sistine Chapel itself, but it does a mighty job of introducing us to some of the world's most revered artistic masterpieces. Speaking of enduring artistry, this year marks the 170th anniversary of the casting of the bells at St Patrick's Cathedral, which remains one of the only surviving sets from the Murphy foundry in Dublin.
Finally, Friday 4 February is the third anniversary of Pope Francis' historic signing of the Abu Dhabi peace declaration with the Grand Imam of Al-Alzar. We take a look at what the document is, what it says, and why it matters.
All these stories and upcoming events below...