‘By way of the family’

St John Paul II said that ‘The future of humanity passes by way of the family’, and certainly the roles that our families play in shaping our lives and our faith cannot be underestimated.

Today we celebrate the feast of St Joseph the Worker, a man who modelled humble devotion to family and faith. To mark the occasion, we meet the team of ‘ethical tradesmen’ at the Joseph the Worker (JTW) Building Group, who strive to put faith and family first in all they do.

After 47 years of helping couples to start and plan their families, Dr Mary Walsh shares some of the joys and challenges of her life-giving work in fertility awareness and restorative reproductive medicine.

Also this week, at the inaugural Australian Mothers Who Pray for Their Children conference, the generations came together to hear a range of inspiring speakers pay tribute to the power of a mother’s prayers for her children. Jesus Youth Australia celebrated 20 years in Australia at their recent conference, where Archbishop Peter A Comensoli reminded the 700 people gathered that Christ walks with them always. And when children and families are wounded by domestic violence, CatholicCare Victoria—through their annual Sunday Appeal—is helping them rewrite their lives.

Finally, to mark the centenary of the ‘celebrity’ wedding of a First World War hero and his charming Belgian bride, their grandson visited St Patrick's Cathedral and shared some stories of his remarkable grandparents.

For more news and events, visit the Melbourne Catholic news and stories page and our events calendar, or follow us on Facebook.

Dr Mary Walsh on faith, family and fertility awareness
Dr Mary Walsh has been a medical doctor for 47 years. In that time, she has become a passionate advocate for teaching and sharing the joys of fertility awareness methods (to avoid or achieve pregnancy) and restorative reproductive medicine among her patients. She shares some of the many facets of her rich and life-giving work, and her desire to see fertility awareness and restorative reproductive medicine continue to grow in Australia.
The ‘ethical tradesmen’ who model themselves after St Joseph the Worker
The Joseph the Worker (JTW) Building Group has been operating for nearly 11 years, renovating homes in the southeast suburbs of Melbourne. Having nearly left the industry altogether because of poor industry conditions and instability, Joe Van Strijp, the group’s founder, strives to lead a team of ‘ethical tradesmen’. He shares how he seeks to honour God and St Joseph the Worker through his work renovating homes.
A mother’s love: generations gather for inaugural conference
More than 150 mothers, grandmothers, religious and clergy gathered at the Catholic Leadership Centre on Saturday 27 April for the first Mothers Who Pray for Their Children conference in Australia.
The war hero and his Belgian bride: grandson marks centenary of wedding at St Pat’s
Monday 29 April was the 100th anniversary of the wedding of Lt Frank McNamara VC, to Hélène Bluntschli, whom he first met in Cairo during the First World War. Their grandson Rev Mike McNamara visited Patrick’s Cathedral to mark the occasion and give thanks for their remarkable lives. He shared with us some of the colourful stories his grandmother used to tell him over Sunday lunch.
‘Christ walks with you’: Jesus Youth celebrates 20 years in Australia
From 25 to 28 April 2024, more than 700 people gathered each day at Belgrave Heights Convention Centre to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Jesus Youth in Australia. Archbishop Peter A Comensoli celebrated Mass in a packed-out auditorium for the feast of St Mark the Evangelist, where he encouraged everyone to ‘Know that Christ stands behind you and walks with you. In his name we are saved.’
CatholicCare Sunday Appeal: supporting children to rewrite their stories
No child should bear witness to the chaos of domestic violence, yet hope perseveres even in the darkest of circumstances. With the right support and intervention, children like Mason can be empowered to transcend their trauma and rewrite their narratives. Your generous donation to CatholicCare Victoria's annual Sunday Appeal can help transform children's lives.
‘It makes you very grateful for those opportunities to learn and grow, and to understand more fully, God’s love and the human condition.’
Dr Mary Walsh
on experiencing love and loss in her life
Upcoming events
Information session for the permanent diaconate
Saturday 4 May 2024
10.00am–11.45am
Do you feel called to serve? The permanent diaconate is open to single and married men who want to serve God and the Church as ordained ministers. Come and see! Learn more here and watch Pope Francis’ prayer Intention for deacons.
2024 Jesuit Mission Maytime Fair
Saturday 4 May 2024
9.00am–5.00pm
The 2024 Jesuit Mission Maytime Fair at Xavier College includes entertainment for parents and children with a huge array of food, music, rides, arts and crafts, games, plant stalls, book stalls, a wine auction, sport, face painting, raffles, showbags and lots more to support the work of Jesuit Mission. All...
Symposium: Austin Cooper OMI—priest, scholar and friend
Friday 10 May 2024
10.00am–4.30pm
Catholic Theological College (CTC) is hosting a symposium in honour of Rev Professor Austin Cooper OMI AM (1931–2023), founding Master of CTC, historian, formator and ecumenical friend. The symposium will feature speakers exploring Fr Austin’s various contributions to Christian scholarship and formation, and as spiritual friend to so many. Speakers...
Mother’s Day concert featuring Craig Everingham and Coady Green
Sunday 12 May 2024
4.00pm–5.00pm
Treat mum to an unforgettable Mother’s Day musical experience at St Patrick’s Cathedral, featuring Craig Everingham (baritone) and Coady Green (piano). Come for an enchanting evening of music, where soul-stirring melodies will fill the sacred time and space. Ticket holders can also enter a competition for a performance of your...
God and Beer: ‘The Bikie Priest’ with Fr Geoff McIlroy
Monday 13 May 2024
6.30pm–9.30pm
There’s a lot more to Rev Geoff McIlroy than a life of prayer and preaching. Sure, as the parish priest at St Macartan’s in Mornington, Fr Geoff spends a lot of his time doing God’s work, but when he does get some spare time, he often swaps his priestly vestments...
‘Religion and ethics: exploring some connections’ presented by Dr Frances Baker RSM
Tuesday 14 May 2024
7.00pm–8.30pm
Exploring some connections between religious belief and ethics, this session considers the implications of these for both personal and societal ethical decision making in the Australian context. Engaging Your Faith is a series of short, online, presentations that invite participants to reflect on what it means to be people of...
‘Incarnating transcendence in our secular age’ presented by Dr Paul Sharkey
Wednesday 15 May 2024
7.00pm–8.00pm
This session we will consider Charles Taylor, a philosopher whose cultural analysis helps those of us who want to understand why belief in God is more difficult today than it was 500 years ago. His analysis can be used as a foundation for breaking open the Gospel in a school...
Awaken: Pentecost 2024
Saturday 18 May 2024
1.00pm–6.00pm
Transformed by the presence of God A regional gathering for our Church, drawing close to the presence and power of God. Awaken gathers Catholics from around Melbourne for a dynamic and inspiring afternoon, including contemporary worship and prayer experiences, talks, workshops and hospitality. With special guests Sam Clear (Walk4One) and...
Fiat 2024—A Weekend of Prayer
Friday 31 May 2024, 6.00pm
– Sunday 2 June 2024, 1.00pm
For the second year running, our local communities of grace across the Archdiocese of Melbourne will unite for a weekend of prayer from Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June 2024. The weekend coincides with the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the solemnity of the...
The Seeker of Souls: Understanding God’s intense search for you
Saturday 1 June 2024
9.00am–12.15pm
The Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga is hosting a women’s retreat with reflections by Fr Trevor Tibbertsma. The retreat is a great opportunity to meet a supportive community of women of faith and includes Mass, adoration, confession, an inspiring talk and a Q&A session. Morning tea will...
Melbourne Corpus Christi Procession
Sunday 2 June 2024
1.00pm–4.00pm
Join us on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) for Mass at Sacred Heart Church (Rathdowne and Pelham Streets, Carlton) followed by a Eucharistic procession to St Patrick’s Cathedral for Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. 1pm: Mass at Sacred Heart Church...

To learn more about upcoming events and opportunities, visit the Melbourne Catholic events page.

This newsletter is published by the Communications Office
of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

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