Holy Week is here, plunging us deeper into the story of Jesus’ passion and inviting us to see anew what he gave for us and how he loved us ‘to the end’ (John 13:1).

But Jesus’ story does not end in death. Even as we journey through the Triduum, we look forward to the joy of resurrection, to the glory of the risen Christ. In his 2023 Easter message, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli reflects on three important things that flow from the resurrection, reminding us that we are recognised, healed and sent to share the light of Christ with others.

Each year, the Chrism Mass helps to prepare the local Church for this mission. Celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral on the eve of Holy Week, this year’s Chrism Mass was strongly attended by lay faithful from across the Archdiocese. In his homily, Archbishop Comensoli reflected on the rich symbolism of the Mass, inviting those gathered ‘to be renewed in the fulness of Christ’ and to ‘participate in his forever-youthful life’.

One of the best ways to prepare for the Holy Triduum is through the sacrament of Reconciliation, where we encounter God’s mercy and forgiveness in Christ. This week we hear from some parishes who share what they have been doing to help people enter into the spirit of this beautiful sacrament.

St Damian’s in Bundoora has been hosting an exhibition of a striking set of Aboriginal Stations of the Cross—on loan from Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria—in an initiative that has introduced the Stations to a new and appreciative audience, inspiring and challenging many on their Lenten and Holy Week journeys.

Each year on Palm Sunday, the Walk for Justice for Refugees provides an opportunity for people to show support and solidarity for refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. This year was no different as hundreds of people from a wide range of backgrounds—including Catholic parishes, organisations and schools—gathered on the steps of the State Library of Victoria to help shine a light on the plight of refugees.

As we enter into the rhythms of Holy Week, we also reflect on the importance of being moved by Christ’s passion—opening our hearts to feel the agony of his love for us.

May Holy Week draw you deeper into the paschal mystery, as together we follow Jesus along the way of the cross, through the darkness of death and into the light of resurrection.

Archbishop Comensoli’s Easter Message 2023: ‘Recognised, healed and sent’
In his Easter message this year, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli draws our attention to three important things that flow from the resurrection. Like Mary, we are recognised by the risen Christ, who knows us intimately; we are invited to share in his healing peace; and we are sent out in his name, so that we might share these gifts with others, living ‘each day illumined by his resurrection, as the reason for our hope’.
‘Renewed in the fullness of Christ’: Chrism Mass celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral
On Saturday 1 April, faithful from across the Archdiocese of Melbourne gathered at St Patrick’s Cathedral for the Chrism Mass. In his homily, Archbishop Comensoli reflected on the symbolism of him breathing on the oils before blessing them, ‘a gesture reproducing the “Holy Breath” poured out at the beginning of creation’.
Reconciled together: parishes enter into the spirit of Holy Week
One of the best ways we can enter into the mystery of Holy Week is by celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation—returning to God with our whole hearts and receiving the grace of forgiveness. We hear from some parishes who are helping people come together to prepare their hearts and enter more fully into the spirit of the sacrament.
Hundreds gather on Palm Sunday for annual Walk for Justice
On Sunday 2 April, hundreds of people gathered on the steps of the State Library of Victoria for the 2023 Walk for Justice for Refugees, an event that is held each year on Palm Sunday. Walkers came from a wide range of backgrounds, all showing support and solidarity for refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia.
Aboriginal Stations of the Cross visit St Damian’s Bundoora
Parishioners at St Damian’s Bundoora have recently been given an opportunity to pray the Stations of the Cross in a way that helps them connect to the culture and experiences of Aboriginal people. One of the treasures of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria (ACMV), the Aboriginal Stations of the Cross are currently visiting St Damian’s in an initiative that has introduced them to a new and appreciative audience, inspiring and challenging many on their Lenten and Holy Week journeys.
Feeling the agony of his love: a Holy Week reflection
Written by: Christian Bergmann
Holy Week is a time to remember and be moved by Christ’s suffering. The more we dwell on Christ’s passion, the more it will work its way into us, opening us to glimpse its significance. This might be one of the hardest and most important aspects of Holy Week. Opening our hearts is risky.
‘May our lives be filled with the energy, joy and youthfulness of the risen Jesus, knowing that, in him, I am recognised, I am healed, and I am sent.’
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
in his 2023 Easter message
Upcoming events
The Melbourne Passion Play
Friday 7 April 2023
10.00am–11.00am
Each year, for the past 23 years, the passion of Jesus Christ has been enacted in Melbourne by a group of volunteers. This is a scene-by-scene representation of the ministry of Jesus by people in real, open-air surroundings. Come and relive the passion of Our Lord, and meditate on the...
Melbourne City Churches in Action: Way of the Cross
Friday 7 April 2023
10.00am–12.15pm
Join the Melbourne City Churches in Action (MCCIA) for the Way of the Cross, which will begin at St Francis Church. From there, the procession will move from church to church around the city in commemoration of Jesus’ journey from the Last Supper to the crucifixion and resurrection. All are...
Combined Societies of Mary: Divine Mercy Novena
Friday 7 April 2023, 7.00pm
– Saturday 8 April 2023, 8.00pm
Join the Combined Societies of Mary in the 9-nights Divine Mercy novena, which will commence on Good Friday and end on the first Sunday after Easter—the Feast of Mercy. In the diary of St Faustina, it is recalled that Jesus told the Polish nun that, ‘on that day, the floodgates...
Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations, Victoria
Sunday 16 April 2023
(All day event)
Parishes across Victoria will be celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday on the first Sunday after Easter. Confessions will be available before Mass, and there will be recitation of the Holy Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. All welcome! Jesus said to St Faustina: ‘I desire that the Feast of Mercy be...
Divine Mercy Sunday, Basilica of Our Lady of Victories
Sunday 16 April 2023
12.30pm–4.30pm
Come and celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at the Basilica of Our Lady of Victories in Camberwell. Jesus said to St Faustina: ‘I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day, the very depths of my mercy...
Combined Societies of Mary: Feast of Mercy, with Polish priest Fr Kasper Gorski
Sunday 16 April 2023
1.00pm–2.00pm
Join the Combined Societies of Mary on the Feast of Mercy. Holy Mass will be followed by Adoration and Divine Mercy prayers. There will be first-class relics of St Faustina, St John Paul II and Bl Fr Sopocko, and we will be joined by Divine Mercy priest Fr Kasper Gorski...
God and Beer: Reflections of an Australian Catholic exorcist
Monday 14 August 2023
7.30pm–8.30pm
This month's speaker is Fr Michael Shadbolt, officially appointed exorcist for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for ten years. He was the much-loved parish priest of Holy Family Doveton for many years, and is the recent author of a book 'Exorcism: Reflections of an Australian Catholic Exorcist.' An initiative of the...
menALIVE Men’s Weekend
Saturday 29 April 2023
– Sunday 30 April 2023
When was the last time you felt fully alive? Hosted by the Brunswick-Moreland Catholic Community, the menALIVE Men’s Weekend is an opportunity for men to explore what makes them feel fully alive. During the weekend, the menALIVE team will share about their lives, the challenges they face and the hope...
St Patrick’s Cathedral concert: Johann Vexo—Choir Organist at Notre-Dame, Paris
Friday 21 April 2023
6.00pm–7.00pm
Join us at St Patrick’s Cathedral for the next concert in our 2023 Concert Series: a recital by acclaimed international organist Johann Vexo, the Choir Organist at Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris. Taking full advantage of our impressive cathedral organ, this performance will include masterworks by Bach, Franck, Vierne, Messiaen and Duruflé...
Melbourne Catholic Professionals Luncheon
Wednesday 3 May 2023
12.00pm–2.00pm
Join us for the first 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...

For more events, visit our website.

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

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