Australia's fifth Plenary Council is finally underway, with all 278 members gathering online from across the country for daily discernment and discussion on the Council's 16-point agenda. If you've missed the daily livestreams, catch up on some of the key themes and stories below. Also in this week's round up of stories is our interview with Bishop Terry Curtin, who recently celebrated 50 years of priesthood. He takes us down memory lane and shares how his vocation began at an early age and was prayerfully encouraged by friends and family.

This weekend we celebrate Life, Marriage and Family Sunday in our Archdiocese. It's a time to celebrate the vital role that families play in building up flourishing homes, parishes and societies. While we cannot gather physically, parishes may like to share these special prayers with their community. Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has also recorded a special video message, in which he highlights the central role of the family and offers a blessing for all those celebrating significant wedding anniversaries.

Finally, next Thursday we begin the free virtual lecture series "The Catholic Contribution", presented by one of the most pre-eminent thinkers in moral philosophy and education, Professor John Haldane. The six-part lecture series will explore the development and self-understanding of Roman Catholicism and its contribution culturally, historically and philosophically to the understanding of human nature. Don't miss out!

Bishop Terry Curtin, celebrating a life of service
Bishop Terry Curtin recently celebrated 50 years of priesthood, though he said it was many years before his actual ordination that he felt a ‘deep call’ to serve and do something profound with his life. In this article, we give thanks for the life and service of Bishop Terry and pray that he can continue to enjoy good health and be a vessel of God’s love and mercy to all he encounters.
Exploring the Catholic Contribution with Prof. John Haldane
This six-part series will explore the development and self-understanding of Roman Catholicism and its contribution culturally, historically and philosophically to the understanding of human nature. The virtual lecture series offers the opportunity to hear from one of the world's leading thinkers in moral philosophy and education.
Integrating Indigenous Spirituality, a focus of the Plenary Council
During the first General Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, where 278 members from across the nation are gathering online between 3-10 October, a small group of members is focusing on the important agenda questions: How might the Church in Australia open in new ways to Indigenous ways of being Christian in spirituality, theology, liturgy, and missionary discipleship? And how might we learn from the First Nations peoples?
Contemplation is 'a first-order priority' says Council expert
One of the questions on the agenda for this week's Plenary Council focusses on how we might become a more "contemplative people, committing more deeply to prayer as a way of life". Dr Nigel Zimmermann, one of the Council’s several theological experts, says the question of contemplation is a ‘first-order priority’ for the Church, and essential for its mission.
Quick Histories: the Plenary and Vatican II
Among the periti (experts) present at the Plenary Council for consultation is Melbourne priest and historian Fr Max Vodola, who specialises in the history of the Second Vatican Council. According to Vodola, this Council is about ‘calling together a range of voices and experiences across our vast continent to reflect, discern, discuss and shape new strategies for pastoral engagement and missionary outreach.’
Fratelli Tutti: One year on
Earlier this week we marked the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Fratelli Tutti. This encyclical was an important contribution to the documents that make up Catholic Social Teaching, a series of teaching documents that began with Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (1891).
Continue reading: Fratelli Tutti: One year on
'God is at work in the world, and part of the challenge of faith is to see where God is at work.'
Bishop Terry Curtin
On celebrating 50 years of priestly ministry
Stories you might have missed
Synodality: A Guide for the Perplexed
From October 2021 to April 2022, the first phase of a two-year synod begins: The Synod on Synodality. The theme of this Synod is: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission. Pope Francis has long called for a more "synodal" Church, that is, a church ‘which listens, which realises that...
The Lessons of ‘Heal Country’ and the Season of Creation
This year’s Season of Creation may have come to an end, but the need to reflect on the 2021 theme: “A Home for All? Renewing the oikos of God” continues. Romina Martiniello of Caritas Australia recently spoke with Sabrina Stevens, the Youth Representative of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander...
St Francis’ Church: A place of pilgrimage in the heart of Melbourne
St Francis’ Church on Lonsdale Street has been a much-loved sacred space in Melbourne’s CBD for the past 182 years. It has also been a place of Eucharistic pilgrimage since 1929, when St Francis' was placed under the pastoral care of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, who travelled to...
St Theresa’s, Albion: Do small things with great love
St Theresa’s parish community in Albion, in Melbourne’s west began its rich history in 1951 with a community of young migrant families from Malta and Poland. By the end of the 1950s, the real estate within the parish boundaries was filled with families who were also from Germany, Czechoslovakia and...
Upcoming events
"What does it mean to be Catholic?" with Prof. John Haldane
Thursday 14 October, 2021
4:00pm – 5:00pm
The Catholic Contribution is a virtual lecture series by Professor John Haldane, Professor of Philosophy of Education, Australian Catholic University (Melbourne). Presented by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS), the aim of this series is to understand the nature, development and self-understanding of Roman Catholicism...
Life, Marriage and Family Sunday
Sunday 10 October, 2021
(All day event)
This weekend we celebrate Life, Marriage and Family Sunday. One way of commemorating the joy of marriage has been the marking of significant wedding anniversaries through the annual Anniversary Mass celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Unfortunately due to the lockdown, this will not be possible this year. Instead, parishes may...
Christian Faith and World Religions: Online Information Session
Wednesday 20 October, 2021
7:00pm – 8:00pm
This information session, offered by CTC, is about a learning unit that is designed for all who wish to contribute in a practical way to the multi-faith and multi-cultural society which Australia has become. It is designed specifically for teachers, for those in parishes, in hospitals, in welfare and so...
2021 Walter Silvester Memorial Lecture: ‘Truth, Treaty and Transformation’
Tuesday 26 October, 2021
5:30pm – 7:00pm
The Victorian Government set in train a process towards Treaty, with the passage of the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Act 2018 and subsequent election of the First People’s Assembly of Victoria. Other states are watching these developments, while the “Uluru Statement from the Heart” is yet to...
2021 Knox Public Lecture (Save the date)
Thursday 4 November, 2021
7:00pm – 8:00pm
This year's Knox Public Lecture will be delivered by Professor Eleanor Bourke, Chair of the Victorian Yoo-rrook Truth-Telling Commission. She will speak on the aims and work of the Commission. The annual Knox Public Lecture is an important date in the calendar of Catholic Theological College. It commemorates the life...
This newsletter is published by the Communications Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

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