‘He is always with us’

In very exciting news, Melbourne pilgrims travelling to World Youth Day Lisbon in the ‘Italian Way’ and ‘Emerging Leaders’ groups were granted a surprise private audience with Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta, the papal residence, on Wednesday morning (Rome time).

Happily answering questions on topics ranging from education to evangelisation, the environment and caring for our common home, the Holy Father said the main message he wanted to give them was that ‘the Lord is always by your side—always. Even in the most difficult moments, he is always with us. He never tires of walking with us!’

In other WYD news, we share a touching letter from a Melbourne mother to her pilgrim daughter; hear from our Holy Land pilgrims as they set out in the footsteps of Jesus; and learn what Fr Steven Wang had to say to our Emerging Leaders about their journey through ‘the city of saints’.

Closer to home, we hear about the Sisterhood of St Vincent’s and their important work raising money and awareness in support of St Vincent’s Hospital; clergy and parish leaders explored ways to build vital and vibrant parishes at the recent Leading Missionary Renewal workshop; and a young member of the Victorian Bar, Jakub Patela, tells us why he thinks the Melbourne Catholic Professionals Luncheon series is such a valuable initiative.

Finally, as we journey deeper into winter, we take a look at God’s home among the snow gums: the Mt Buller Chapel. Throughout the chapel’s 30-year history, Fr Tony Kerin has been travelling up the mountain to celebrate Mass, serve the tight-knit Mt Buller community and occasionally hit the slopes.

This week, we invite you to keep our pilgrims in your prayers as they embark on an incredible overseas experience and seek to encounter Jesus anew.

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

‘The Lord is always by your side’: Pope Francis speaks with Melbourne pilgrims
Pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Melbourne met the Holy Father in Rome on Wednesday 26 July, in a special private audience as part of the lead-up to World Youth Day Lisbon. During the meeting, Pope Francis encouraged the pilgrims in their faith journey and happily answered questions on topics ranging from education to evangelisation, the environment and caring for our common home.
A letter from a mother to her pilgrim daughter
A Melbourne mother has written a letter to her daughter as she prepares to go on pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon. In it, she writes movingly of her hopes for her child and offers advice for the incredible journey ahead.
Holy Land pilgrims set out in the footsteps of Jesus
Some of Melbourne’s pilgrims to World Youth Day are travelling via the Holy Land, walking in the footsteps of Jesus and visiting sites associated with major events in his life and the life of the Holy Family. Before travelling on to Jerusalem, some of the pilgrims share their experiences so far, reflecting on how awe-inspiring it is to walk where Jesus walked.
‘This isn’t just a theory; it’s living history’: Fr Stephen Wang
As Melbourne pilgrims en route to World Youth Day begin their pre-pilgrimages in earnest, the Emerging Leaders program kicked off their immersion experience this week with an inspiring talk by Rev Dr Stephen Wang, Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome, on the ‘living history’ of Rome. ‘History is not just a theory,’ he told them. ‘You don’t have to learn it in a book. Here, you see your Catholic history all around you.’
Clergy and parish leaders gather for Leading Missionary Renewal workshop
Written by: Proclaim: Office for Mission Renewal
On Saturday 16 July, 160 people from nearly 40 parishes across the Archdiocese gathered at the Catholic Leadership Centre for a one-day workshop on leading missionary renewal, where clergy and parish leaders were told that keeping Christ at the centre is the key to growing vibrant and vital missionary parishes.
Professionals luncheon a chance to support other Catholics, member says
In the lead-up to the next Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) Luncheon, we hear from MCP member and Melbourne barrister Jakub Patela about what a positive and edifying experience the previous ones have been. According to Jakub, they’re a great reminder of how many people of faith exist in the business world.
Sisterhood of St Vincent’s raising much needed money and awareness
The Sisterhood of St Vincent’s is testament to the power of women getting together to support one another and to raise money and awareness for an important cause—the life-saving work of St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. In its 10th year now, the Sisterhood, together with St Vincent’s Foundation, has raised over $380,000 for research and programs related to heart health, mental health, palliative care and, more recently, addiction medicine.
God’s home among the snow gums: the Mt Buller Chapel
For three decades, Fr Tony Kerin has been making the trip up the mountain on winter weekends to say Mass at the Mt Buller Chapel. He tells us about the origins of the chapel, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and shares some stories about his time on the mountain and the tight-knit community who call it home each winter.
‘The main message I want to get across is that the Lord is always by your side—always. Even in the most difficult moments, he is always with us. He never tires of walking with us!’
Pope Francis
at a private audience with Melbourne pilgrims
Upcoming events
Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon
Thursday 17 August 2023
Join us for the second Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) event of the year! MCP creates opportunities for Catholic professional men and women to network and support the life and mission of the Church in Melbourne. Through its program of luncheon events—hosted by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli—MCP draws people together from...
Grand organ recital featuring Thomas Trotter, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Friday 25 August 2023
One of Britain’s most widely admired musicians and concert organists, Thomas Trotter, will visit our beautiful and inspiring St Patrick’s Cathedral in August with a recital program sure to please. Trotter has performed at more than 800 concerts in his international career, with recent tours to Europe, China and Australia...
CSS webinar: ‘First Nations Voices’
Thursday 27 July 2023
Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV), in conjunction with Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA), is pleased to invite you to join for a series of webinars to learn more about the upcoming referendum on Constitutional Recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and the Voice to Parliament. The webinars will...
Winter reflection afternoon, Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga
Saturday 29 July 2023
Step away from the busyness of life and join the Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga (CWLVWW) for an inspiring winter reflection afternoon. Anna Krohn OAM, CWLVWW general president and recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia, will provide insightful reflections on what it means to...
2023 Yarck to Yea Ride-Walk-Run
Saturday 19 August 2023
(All day event)
Join the Missionary Sisters of Service on the 2023 Yarck to Yea Ride-Walk-Run, and contribute to helping those experiencing disadvantage and exclusion in rural Australia. Registration at Yarck (for those participating in the 27km from Yarck to Yea or the 17km from Molesworth to Yea): Registration open time: 7.15amLocation: Giddy...
MGL Sisters Discernment Weekend
Saturday 26 August 2023, 7.00am
– Sunday 27 August 2023, 5.00pm
The Missionaries of God’s Love sisters are hosting a ‘Consecrated Life Weekend’. This is an opportunity for young single women aged 18–30 to spend some quality time with Jesus and discover their calling in life. There will be times of prayer, talks, sharing, sisterhood and more. For more information, email...
Directed retreat with the Sisters of St Joseph
Monday 9 October 2023
– Sunday 15 October 2023
Join the Sisters of St Joseph in a directed (live-in) retreat guided by Sr Therese Quinn RSJ and Jenny Scally—Spiritual Director at the Sisters of St Joseph. All retreats commence with the evening meal on the first date and close after breakfast on the last date unless stated differently. Cost...

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

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