We've got a bumper issue for you this week! On Wednesday, St Patrick's Cathedral was floodlit red to mark Red Wednesday, a global initiative of Aid to the Church in Need. During a special prayer vigil at St Patrick's Cathedral, Monsignor Thair Sheikh of Our Lady Guardian of Plants Chaldean Catholic Parish shared his own harrowing experiences of religious persecution in Iraq, before coming here to Melbourne.
This week also saw the introduction of the Religious Discrimination Bill into federal parliament after three years of drafting and consultation. The Australian Catholic Bishops have welcomed the Bill, saying it will provide basic human rights protections for Australians of all faiths (and none), and protect the ability of religious organisations to hire people who share their faith and values.
We also chat with Diocesan Archivist Rachel Naughton, who this year celebrates 25 years of service to the Archdiocese. Speaking with Melbourne Catholic, Rachel reflected on her role as custodian of our Church's oldest artefacts—‘items of great beauty and importance,’ she says—and painted a fascinating picture of the "Catholic story" here in Victoria.
And finally, we meet our five ordinands: Deacons Alexander Chow, Hoang Dinh, Jaycee Napoles, Joseph Nguyen and Samuel Pearson, whose Ordination Mass will take place on Saturday 4 December at St Patrick's Cathedral. The Mass will livestreamed to the Archdiocesan YouTube channel and broadcast to community TV channel C31. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for their ordination. 🙏
All this and more below...