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.