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.