It is with a deep sigh of relief and grateful thanks that from this weekend, our churches can begin to welcome back larger groups of parishioners for the celebration of the Eucharist. As Archbishop Peter A Comensoli said in a recent video message, 'There's a bodily reality that has been missing during the lockdown that may now come about again.' And in preparing for that gathering, he suggested to 'pause at the door of your church. Pause there for a moment in silence… allow the Lord to welcome you back in, and allow that moment to be filled with His grace and His peace.'

Also in this week's round up of stories is a snapshot of two talks recently delivered at an online gathering of Melbourne clergy. Together with visiting Professor John Haldane, Fr Michael Casey OCSO from Tarrawarra Abbey and papal biographer Austen Ivereigh offered some reflections on the missionary impulse driving Pope Francis and the nature of authentic renewal in the life of the Church. We also spoke with Dr Tracey Rowland about her latest book, Beyond Kant and Nietzsche: The Munich Defence of Christian Humanism, which explores the work of German theologians who made a stand against Nazi ideology and whose thought shaped that of Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI.

And finally, early next week we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints (1 November) followed by All Souls' Day (2 November). In preparation, we revisit the origins of these two days and why November is a special time in the life of the Catholic Church.

Preparing to come back and receive our Lord
This weekend, churches across Melbourne will thankfully be able to welcome back larger numbers of parishioners for Masses after months in lockdown. As local communities of faith gradually begin to re-gather, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli offers a few ways in which individuals and families might prepare to once again receive the Lord in the Eucharist.
Austen Ivereigh: Synodality a 'new future' for the Church
One of the guest speakers at this week's online clergy conference was Austen Ivereigh, the UK-based journalist, author and biographer for Pope Francis. His talk focussed upon understanding Pope Francis' pontificate and the nature of authentic renewal in the life of the Catholic Church, of which synodality is key.
Emerging from COVID for mission in a brave new world
Fr Michael Casey OCSO, a Cistercian monk from Tarrawarra Abbey in the Yarra Valley, recently provided some reflections on ‘emerging from the chrysalis of lockdown into a brave new world’. Speaking as part of an online gathering for Melbourne clergy, Fr Michael unpacked several themes from the teachings of Pope Francis and his vision for renewal.
Proposed new laws cut to the heart of religious faith in Victoria
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli says proposed reforms to the Equal Opportunity Act (Religious Exceptions) will seriously diminish the rights of religious organisations to manage their activity according to their faith and conscience. He said it is 'one more unneeded attack by the Government upon people of faith in Victoria.'
To be human in a dehumanising age: Tracey Rowland
Dr Tracey Rowland's latest book, "Beyond Kant and Nietzsche: The Munich Defence of Christian Humanism", provides robust monographs of six German theologians of the twentieth century who made a stand against Nazi ideology and whose thought shaped that of Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI. Tracey recently spoke with Melbourne Catholic about her new book and why, despite the darkness of their time, the authors surveyed offer much hope for modern-day readers.
Church to take part in COP26 in Glasgow
The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will take place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November. Sr Caroline Vaitkunas RSM from the Laudato Si' Animators Melbourne Group explains what's at stake for the world and its leaders at this gathering, and why the Vatican is sending its own delegation.
Celebrating All Saints' Day and All Souls’ Day
In the Catholic tradition, November is traditionally a month of remembrance of the dead. The month begins with the Solemnity of All Saints on 1 November and the Commemoration of the All the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day), on 2 November. While no longer holy days of obligation in Australia, the Church has consistently encouraged prayers for the faithful departed and, in the early years, a list of the names of the dead was placed in the church so that the community would remember them in prayer.
‘Pope Francis insists that the Church is a church on mission because the world has changed and is changing; we are now as it were, in a foreign country. We are a missionary church.’
Fr Michael Casey OCSO
Speaking to Melbourne clergy on living in a change of epoch
Upcoming events
Book launch: Shadow of the Cross
Thursday 18 November 2021
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli invites you to the launch of Greg Craven’s latest book, in which he argues that Catholic social teaching remains an important resource for addressing the challenges of Australian politics. The launch features former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott. In Shadow of the Cross, Craven's...
2021 Knox Public Lecture: Truth Telling & the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission
Thursday 4 November 2021
This year's Knox Public Lecture will be delivered online by Professor Eleanor Bourke, Chair of the Victorian Yoo-rrook Truth-Telling Commission. She will speak on the aims and work of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission, the first formal truth-telling process into injustices experienced by First Peoples in Victoria. The word ‘Yoo-rrook’ comes...
Virtual Information Session: Study at YTU
Wednesday 10 November 2021
Yarra Theological Union (YTU) is hosting an online information session. YTU was originally founded in 1971 by the Carmelites, the Franciscans, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and the Passionists. Over the years other orders joined: the Redemptorists (Australian and New Zealand Provinces), Pallottines, Dominicans, Divine Word Missionaries, the Discalced...
Care for Our Common Home: A forum for parishes
Tuesday 16 November 2021
Organised by the parishes of Our Lady of the Assumption, Cheltenham, and St Agnes', Highett, together with the Justice and Peace Group of St Dominic's Parish in Camberwell, this online forum invites participants to: reflect on the message of Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato si', and developments since its release; share...
Consultation for National Youth Ministry Network
Thursday 25 November 2021
Representatives of Australian Catholic youth and young adult ministries are invited to take part in a consultation to explore the establishment of a new national network. Hosted by the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry (BCELM), with the Australian network of diocesan youth ministry coordinators (ANDYMC), this online consultation...

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