In this week's round up of news and stories, we meet St Damian's Bundoora parishioner Thach Ly who with his family, fled Vietnam in the late 1970s and eventually settled in Australia. Thach shares his inspiring story as part of our lead up to Migrant and Refugee Sunday (26 September). We also speak with Frank Brennan SJ, whose latest book, Observations on the Pell Proceedings, reveals some startling insights into the events that led to the conviction and later acquittal of Cardinal George Pell.

We're also inching closer to the first Assembly of the Plenary Council (3-10 October). A number of the country’s leading Catholic thinkers have been appointed as Advisers to support the Plenary Members as they seek to discern the 16 questions on the Plenary's agenda.

Finally, this weekend marks Social Services Sunday, an annual opportunity to acknowledge and raise awareness of the important works that take place to help those who are marginalised and vulnerable, especially during this time of the pandemic. 🙏

Giving thanks for Catholic Social Services in 2021
On Sunday 19 September the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne marks Social Services Sunday. On this day the Catholic community of Melbourne are invited to give thanks and pray for all who stand with and provide support to those who are marginalised and vulnerable within our communities.
Thach Ly, learning the greatest lesson in life
On 26 September, we commemorate Migrant and Refugee Sunday. It is an opportunity to reflect upon and delve deeper into the lives of migrants and those seeking refuge among us. To mark this day, Thach Ly shares his inspirational story of how the greatest lesson he learnt in life is that of love, shown by way of an almost-90-year-old Christian man who gave his time each week to teach English to a young, unknown refugee boy.
‘People are comparing Kabul and Saigon—it was exactly like that for us. I’ve lived through it.’
Thach Ly
Reflecting on his experience as a refugee
Frank Brennan SJ: Pell was a sting operation
Cardinal George Pell’s conviction of five criminal offences relating to child sexual abuse was one of the most dramatic moments in Victorian legal history and the history of Australian Catholicism. He was later acquitted by the High Court of Australia in an equally dramatic 7-0 verdict. In his latest book, Frank Brennan SJ outlines why the legal process failed all Victorians, and what reforms need to take place for the Church to continue along the path of the Gospel, a path of humility, openness, and transparency.
Advisers, chairpersons named for Plenary Council
Some of the country’s leading Catholic thinkers have been engaged to support the members of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia when they gather for the first general assembly early next month. These include Sr Dr Frances Baker RSM, Rev. Brendan Byrne SJ, Rev. Prof. Francis Moloney SDB, Prof. Tracey Rowland, Rev. Dr Max Vodola and Dr Nigel Zimmermann, to name a few.
Growing in marriage
Many couples will tell you that a joyful marriage does not just ‘happen’, but requires the concerted effort of both spouses to grow, heal, forgive and pursue each other in the vocation of marriage. One couple in Melbourne’s west, Fergus and Renee Prien, have started St Anthony's Married Couples, a group for married couples that is dedicated to fostering and supporting thriving marriages in their community.
Continue reading: Growing in marriage
Holy Cross and St Joseph's Parish: A prayerful family community
The quiet parish community of Holy Cross is located in Caulfield South, in Melbourne’s inner-east. It is a combined parish with St Joseph’s in Elsternwick. Fr Varghese Kattikattu, parish priest of six years and Joanna Lam, parishioner of 14 years, both describe the parish as ‘prayerful’ with a particular on focus on family, and its service of ministry to the sick and elderly.
Church Fathers 101: St John Chrysostom
In the early years of the Church’s history, a singularly formidable character who became famous for his rhetorical power was St John Chrysostom. Chrysostom, as is commonly known, was a posthumously given title meaning “golden-mouthed”, precisely because of his unique way with words. In this next instalment in our series on the Early Church Fathers, we explore the world John lived in and how it was perhaps his gift of rhetoric that brought about his untimely demise.
Stagnation and death in the Church
In this second instalment of reflections in the lead up to the Plenary Council, Nigel Zimmermann says that acknowledging stagnation and death in our Church is a necessary starting point for renewal: '...the pragmatic culture of contemporary Australia ends up focussing on what we ought to “do.” And while our work for the Gospel is crucial, it can only be fruitful when borne of contemplation and prayer.'
Upcoming events
“Triple C” Annual Raffle Night hosted by Corpus Christi College
Friday 17 September 2021
7.00pm–8.00pm
Every year the regional seminary of Victoria, Corpus Christi College Seminary, hosts a special raffle night. This year the event will be held online and promises to be a fun night of music, comedy and entertainment. Tune in to the “Triple C Show” this Friday via the Seminary’s YouTube channel...
Social Services Sunday
Sunday 19 September 2021
(All day event)
On 19 September 2021, we mark Social Services Sunday within the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. On this day we invite all to give thanks and pray for all who stand with and provide support to those who are marginalised and vulnerable within our communities. We recognise with deep gratitude, those...
Stand With Her: A Conversation with Lulu Mitshabu
Tuesday 21 September 2021
10.00am–11.00am
Caritas Women for the World Ambassador Lulu Mitshabu will share her personal experience and pathway out of Congo DRC. She will offer stories from her work with Caritas Australia in supporting women and girls around the world who face gender discrimination, inequality and poverty.Women for the World is an annual...
Reasons for Hope in a Disrupted Church
Thursday 23 September 2021
7.30pm–8.30pm
Hosted by the Arete Centre for Missionary Leadership, this virtual session features Archbishop Peter A Comensoli as well as Fr Chris Ryan MGL (Director, Arete Centre) and Daniel Ang (Director, Sydney Centre of Evangelisation). The panel discussion and Q&A session is open to all but registrations are essential.
Leading a Missionary Parish — Signs of Hope with Ron Huntley
Thursday 23 September 2021
7.30pm–8.45pm
Missionary parishes transform lives and yield a growing army of disciples for whom worship and sacraments come to life and whose ministry and service flourishes. Hosted by Ron Huntley, this series of live online talks and interviews explores signs of hope in our Church – globally, nationally and locally. From...
Lockdown Light

A weekly series bringing ‘light’ to this time of lockdown

Not interested in another DIY project? To help fill the void during lockdown, Proclaim: The Office for Mission Renewal has provided some inspiring content to bring ‘light’ to this difficult time. Pop on the kettle and check out these recommendations.

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

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