In the life of faith, we are called to look back as well as forward. During Lent, we’re drawn back to basics, back to the earliest stories of the Bible as a way of preparing for what’s to come: the mystery of Easter.

This week we also look back at significant milestones and anniversaries, all as a way of finding courage and inspiration to live as disciples of Jesus Christ now and into the future.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 40th International Eucharistic Congress, hosted by Melbourne. This Congress attracted global media attention, not least because it was the first time a Catholic liturgy was celebrated incorporating Aboriginal symbols and spirituality. We remember what happened and reflect on what it meant for Aboriginal Catholics.

Last Friday, large crowds gathered to pray for peace in Ukraine on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion. Led by Bishop Mykola Bychok CSsR, and joined by bishops, politicians and representatives of communities across Victoria, hundreds gathered to pray at Sts Peter and Paul’s Cathedral before many proceeded to Federation Square for a candlelight vigil. In his homily, Bishop Mykola encouraged people not to lose faith but to see that ‘God is there suffering with us.’

And on Sunday, at St Patrick’s Cathedral, many of those converting to Catholicism celebrated an important milestone at the Rite of Election. With 200 catechumens and candidates, and over 50 parishes represented, it was the biggest Rite of Election since the pandemic began.

Earlier this month, Melbourne farewelled Pasquale ‘Pat’ LaManna OAM, a much admired Melbourne businessman and philanthropist. Devoted husband for more than 60 years, and beloved father and grandfather, his beautiful legacy of courage, service and generosity continues to inspire. During his funeral, his family spoke about the man himself and how he chose ‘a life that matters’.

Finally, Catholic Mission share with us the story of a grade 4 student from Melbourne’s south whose artwork has been sent to the Vatican for possible perusal by the Pope.

As the journey of Lent continues, we pray it remains a graced season for you, a time for looking back and looking forward to the joy of Easter.

‘God is suffering with us’: prayer for peace in Ukraine draws crowds
On Friday 24 February, hundreds of people gathered at Sts Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, North Melbourne, to commemorate the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, before proceeding to Federation Square for a candlelight vigil.
Ancient and new: remembering the first Aboriginal Catholic liturgy, 50 years on
Last Friday was the 50th anniversary of a momentous event in the life of the Australian Church. On the afternoon of Saturday 24 February 1973, the first Australian Aboriginal Liturgy was celebrated as part of the 40th International Eucharistic Congress in Melbourne, an event that simultaneously drew on ancient traditions and broke new ground. We look back and celebrate this significant moment.
The journey to Easter: catechumens and candidates celebrate the Rite of Election
On Sunday 26 February 2023, an important milestone in the journey of conversion took place at St Patrick’s Cathedral: the Rite of Election. Hundreds of people gathered joyfully at the largest Rite of Election since the pandemic began, as 200 catechumens and candidates prepared to enter full communion with Christ’s Body, the Church.
Pat LaManna, choosing a life that matters
Written by: Fiona Basile
One of Melbourne’s most famous businessmen and philanthropists, Pasquale ‘Pat’ LaManna OAM, died peacefully on 10 February 2023, aged 90, surrounded by his loving family. A devoted husband to his wife of more than 60 years, Helen, he was also a loving father to Vince, Lisa, Angela and Greg, grandfather of 10 and great grandfather (‘Big Nonno’) of nine. His requiem Mass was held at St Peter’s Catholic Church, Toorak, on 16 February 2023.
Melbourne student’s illustration may catch Pope’s eye
Written by: Catholic Mission
When year 4 student Peter, from Melbourne’s south, submitted an entry to an international drawing competition last year, he may never have thought it would reach the Vatican. But after his illustration was selected as Australia’s winning entry, it is now set to gain the approval of Pope Francis.
‘Amid tragedy, if you want to find God, look where the suffering is. God is there suffering with us. This is the message of the Incarnation, that God is with us. So don’t look at the heavens and shake your fist. Look at the dirt and the earth, and dig your hands in. For that is where God is, with us in the midst of it all.’
Bishop Mykola Bychok CSsR
on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Upcoming events
Six30 Holy Hour
Thursday 2 March 2023
6.30pm–7.30pm
Join with young Catholics from across the city for a time of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, music and an opportunity for confession. For any queries, email udisciple@cam.org.au or call (03) 9926 5677. Please note change of location for this week.
St Patrick’s Cathedral concert: Elyane Laussade
Friday 3 March 2023
6.30pm–8.30pm
To open the St Patrick’s Cathedral 2023 Concert Series, acclaimed concert pianist Elyane Laussade brings her distinctive virtuosity and finesse to this beautiful and inspiring space. In a program which is sure to please, Elyane will present several gems of the classical repertoire, including Liszt’s Liebestraum and Mozart’s famous Variations...
Lenten retreat for lawyers: ‘Interior Freedom’ with Fr Cameron Forbes
Sunday 5 March 2023
9.30am–2.00pm
Take time to reflect and deepen your faith with God during this season of Lent. Join ‘Interior Freedom: The Secret to Living a Calm and Fulfilling Life in Times of Stress’ led by Fr Cameron Forbes, Rector of Corpus Christi College.This retreat for Catholic lawyers offers a wonderful setting, inspiring...
CTC: 50th anniversary solemn celebration
Sunday 5 March 2023
3.30pm–4.30pm
The Master of Catholic Theological College, Very Rev Dr Kevin Lenehan, invites you to join the College community at a solemn celebration of evening prayer and occasional address to celebrate 50 years of theological education—occasional address by Dr Graeme Blackman AO, Chancellor, University of Divinity. For all enquiries, email sarah.styring@ctc.edu.au...
CatholicCare Victoria: FOCCUS Facilitator Training
Wednesday 15 March 2023
– Thursday 16 March 2023
FOCCUS is a valuable pre-marriage preparation aid for all marriage celebrants, marriage educators and others interested in supporting couples build fulfilling, life-long relationships. It supports individual couples to concentrate on the strengths and areas for growth in their relationship. Facilitators assist couples to learn strategies and skills that will support...
‘Walk with Jesus to Calvary’: St Agatha’s Church Lenten retreat for children
Saturday 18 March 2023
– Sunday 19 March 2023
Join St Agatha’s Church Lenten retreat for children: ‘Walk with Jesus to Calvary’. For ages 5–15, the retreat will feature praise and worship, activities and games, group discussions, Holy Mass and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Guest speakers: Fr Aurelio FragapaneFr Joseph AbutuFr Paul Zaher Bookings are essential. Food will...
Jesuit Social Services Annual Dinner
Saturday 25 March 2023
7.00pm–11.00pm
Jesuit Social Services is a social change organisation working to build a just society where all people can live to their full potential. They accompany people and communities to foster and regenerate the web of relationships that sustain us all, and work to change policies, practices, ideas and values that...

For more events, visit our website.

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

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