This year is the 175th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Melbourne, an opportunity for us to appreciate more deeply where we have come from, and the many people who have shaped where—and who—we are today. (It also happens to be the 125th anniversary of the consecration of our spiritual home, St Patrick's Cathedral!)

Desmond Cahill is Emeritus Professor of Intercultural Studies at RMIT University and he graciously set time aside to take us through the many waves of migrants that came to Australia, especially in the wake of the Second World War, for a deeper understanding of how Melbourne became a 'microcosm' of a global village.

Speaking of milestones, we hear from Melbourne Catholic John Anthony Bohan, one of our most recent centenarians! John shares fond memories of his childhood in South Geelong and his career as a surveyor. ‘I had quite a hand in building this city,’ he says with pride. He also once served as an altar server to Archbishop Daniel Mannix during a 1935-visit to Werribee.

Our Archdiocese is now home to a brand new statue of Pope John Paul II! Bishop Martin Ashe recently blessed the statue which resides at the Ta'Pinu shrine in Bacchus Marsh. The shrine has long been a site of pilgrimage and prayer for people of all ethnicities and nationalities, so it seems only fitting that it is now home to a statue of the "global pope".

Last Sunday, a pair of cyclists from Caritas Australia – Kristy Robertson and Richard Landels – finished their epic 900km bike ride from Sydney to Melbourne, where they were greeted by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli on the steps of St Patrick's Cathedral. The ride was gruelling but went towards raising almost $50,000 to help break the cycle of poverty.

Recently, the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation hosted renowned Australian literary critic Peter Craven to give its third annual Ramsay Lecture on the topic, 'Classics and why we must keep them alive.' Against the tendency to "cancel" or remove certain books from the curriculum, Craven argues that young people need to have a deeply classical education, for their own benefit and the benefit of our society.

Finally, since Mother's Day is just around the corner, we take a look at what some saints and Catholic theologians have said about the beauty and significance of motherhood, both biological and spiritual.

Statue of St John Paul II unveiled at Ta'Pinu Shrine
The Archdiocese of Melbourne is now home to a new statue of St John Paul the Great, which was officially blessed and unveiled by Bishop Martin Ashe on Saturday 30 April at the Ta'Pinu Shrine in Bacchus Marsh. Also known as the All Nations Marian Centre, members of the Maltese, Italian, Filipino, Hispanic, Sri Lankan, Indian, Portuguese, Slovenian, Vietnamese, Polish, Croatian, Mauritian and Indonesian communities were present at the Mass and unveiling on the weekend. And just like the Polish pope, all of them share a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Melbourne Archdiocese: A microcosm of the global village
For the last 175 years, Melbourne has been graced by God through migration, says Prof. Cahill, Emeritus Professor of Intercultural Studies in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University. Prof. Cahill recently sat down with Fiona Basile to discuss the various waves of migrant and ethnic communities from across the globe who have helped shaped Melbourne into the rich and multicultural society that we enjoy today.
Riders arrive in Melbourne after 900km cycle to help end poverty
On Sunday 1 May, Kirsty Robertson (CEO of Caritas Australia), and Richard Landels (Caritas Australia's Advancement Director) arrived at St Patrick's Cathedral after a 900km bicycle ride from New South Wales. Upon their arrival, the pair were greeted by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli at the steps of the pilgrim path at St Patrick's Cathedral. It was the culmination of more than a week's hard work, having braved some less-than-ideal weather conditions along rural and regional highways in a bid to help raise funds and awareness of the work of Caritas.
John Anthony Bohan: 100 years young
At 100, Melbourne Catholic John Anthony Bohan is full of life and a fount of information and stories, particularly those that relate to his early family life, his parents and grandparents. ‘My father was born in the Mallee district of Victoria and had three brothers and four sisters, and mum was born in a large house, at least seven bedrooms, next to the house where Charles Dickens was born in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, England,’ he explained.
The beauty of motherhood: 3 quotes to nourish your vocation
Motherhood is a vocation and a gift. In celebration of Mother's Day, we take a look at what St Edith Stein, St Zelie Martin, and Alice von Hildebrand, have said about the beauty of motherhood.
Peter Craven on the "cancelling" of classics
Why is a classical education important? Why should we resist the "cancelling" of the great books of our inheritance? In an exclusive lecture for the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, Australian literary critic invites us to consider the greatness and value of the classics.
Australia needs to hear these words from Pope Francis
Recently Pope Francis spoke about the urgent need to rediscover the joy and beauty of the family. The family is the 'vital cell' of society, the 'source and origin' of social order. Once we uproot the tree of the family, Francis said, the decline of civilisation becomes 'unstoppable.'
Bishops prepare to elect new Conference president
The bishops of Australia will soon meet for their first plenary in person since before the pandemic. The meeting also marks the end of Archbishop Mark Coleridge’s tenure as president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. ‘It’s been a great privilege to serve the Bishops Conference as president through a turbulent time,’ Archbishop Coleridge said.
‘What else is there?’
100-year-old John Anthony Bohan
When asked about the importance of faith in his life
Upcoming Events
Six30 Holy Hour
Thursday 30 May 2024 6.30pm –7.30pm
For more than 20 years, young people from all over Melbourne have gathered at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Thursday evenings for an hour of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. We invite all young adults to join us for this weekly evening of prayer.
Young Organists' NextGen Concert @ St Patrick's Cathedral
Friday 6 May 2022
6.00pm–7.00pm
Presented by the Australian & New Zealand College of Organists (ANZCO), the GALA NextGen Organ Concerts give audiences the chance to hear tomorrow’s leaders today and give young organists the chance to perform on some of Australia’s finest pipe organs. Every NextGen Organ Concert features a variety of young organists...
Engaging Your Faith: "Prayer in the Gospel of Luke"
Monday 9 May 2022
7.00pm–8.30pm
Dr Rosemary Canavan will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation, Lectio Divina...
Engaging Your Faith: "Vatican II: Distant Memory or Unfolding Reality?"
Tuesday 10 May 2022
7.30pm–8.30pm
Rev. Dr Max Vodola will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation, Lectio...
Engaging Your Faith: "Why are Creation Stories in Genesis as Relevant as Ever?"
Wednesday 11 May 2022
7.00pm–8.30pm
Rev. Dr Kris Sonek OP will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation...
Southern Region Mass for Young Adults
Sunday 15 May 2022
6.00pm–8.30pm
Get together with other young people from the local area for Mass, dinner, and a conversation with Bishop Anthony Ireland. This will be an awesome opportunity to meet other young Catholics from across the southern region and share with Bishop Ireland your hopes, dreams, and expectations for the future of...
Engaging Your Faith: "Contemporary Ideas on Burnout in Ministry"
Monday 16 May 2022
7.30pm–8.45pm
Rev. Dr Jake Mudge will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation, Lectio...
Engaging Your Faith: "Spirituality: Wisdom and Compassion in Practice"
Tuesday 17 May 2022
7.00pm–8.00pm
Dr Christopher Morris will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation, Lectio Divina...
PSU Risk Assessment Workshop: Parish Events
Wednesday 18 May 2022
11.00am–12.30pm
Organised by the PSU, this online risk assessment workshop is focussed on parish events. It is designed for Clergy, Safeguarding Committee members and those working directly with children and young people in parish groups/programs/ministries. Learning Outcomes: Increase your understanding of the types of safeguarding risks within your parish.Gain practical experience...
Engaging Your Faith: “A More Passionate Concern for the Protection of Our World” - Pope Francis in Laudato Si’
Wednesday 18 May 2022
7.00pm–8.30pm
Dr Frances Baker RSM will present this session as part of the Engaging Your Faith series from Catholic Theological College. These online short sessions offer an opportunity to explore your faith through a variety of topics including Theology, Spirituality, Biblical Studies, Vatican II, Pastoral Studies, Laudato Si, Christian Meditation, Lectio...
PSU Risk Assessment Workshop: Service & Outreach Programs
Thursday 19 May 2022
11.00am–12.30pm
The Professional Standards Unit (PSU) is hosting an online risk assessment workshop focusing on Service and Outreach Programs. These workshops are designed for Clergy, Safeguarding Committee members and those working directly with children and young people in parish groups/programs/ministries. Learning Outcomes: Increase your understanding of the types of safeguarding risks...
Mass to commemorate those who have died during the COVID pandemic
Sunday 22 May 2022
11.00am–12.00pm
In recognition of the significant impact of COVID in our families and communities, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli will celebrate a memorial Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday 22 May for all those who have died during the COVID pandemic. This Mass will be offered for all the departed who...
P.S. Before you go . . .
5 things the saints NEVER said
There are many quotations floating around the digital ether that are not only fake but teach us some wrong ideas. Here we take a look at 5 of them as found in Trent Horn's book, 'What the Saints Never Said' (2018).

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

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