The call to be saints

Yesterday we celebrated the solemnity of All Saints, a feast that reminds us that we are being cheered on to eternal life by a great heavenly host, and that each of us is called to be a saint.

On another All Saints Day, 10 years ago, the parish of Sacred Heart in Croydon celebrated the return of a cherished first-class relic—that of St Edmund Abingdon, a 12th-century Archbishop of Canterbury—after it was nearly thrown out! And we look at how, before it became associated with pumpkins and trick or treating, Halloween—or All Hallows Eve—was an important liturgical season reflecting on life beyond death.

Last weekend, at the inaugural Benedict Conference, more than 300 people gathered to explore the legacy of the late Pope Benedict XVI and to hear from local and international speakers, including Bishop Robert Barron, on the themes of truth, goodness and beauty.

On Sunday, the historic first session of the Synod of Bishops wrapped up with members gathering for a final Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, having adopted the synod’s synthesis report the day before. Caritas India’s Babita Pinto recently visited Melbourne to speak on the many challenges faced by women in India and about Caritas’ important work to serve and empower them. And we hear about the launch of the Ukrainian Eparchy’s new website, as well as a couple of significant anniversaries that the Eparchy has celebrated recently.

This year marks 50 years since the beginning of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Australia. To mark the occasion, His Excellency Archbishop Paul Gallagher (Vatican Secretary for Relations with States) will be spending time in Australia this month, including a visit to Melbourne on Thursday 9 November with a special Mass for all at St Patrick's Cathedral.

Finally, don't forget to keep our seminarians in your prayers as they prepare for their ordaination on 25 November—three to the priesthood and one to the transitional diaconate.

For more, visit the Melbourne Catholic news and stories page or follow us on Facebook.

2023 Benedict Conference a coming together of great minds
At the 2023 Benedict Conference, over 300 people gathered to hear local and international speakers unpack the themes of truth, goodness and beauty, and their relevance for the world today. Pre-recorded and livestreamed international speakers included Bishop Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire Ministries, Prof Iain Benson, Jason Evert and Fr Joseph Fessio SJ, a former student of Pope Benedict. It was a coming together of great and curious minds.
Vatican Secretary for Relations with States to visit Melbourne
This year marks 50 years since the beginning of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Australia. To mark the occasion, His Excellency Archbishop Paul Gallagher (Vatican Secretary for Relations with States) will be spending time in Australia this month, including a visit to Melbourne on Thursday 9 November with a special Mass for all at St Patrick's Cathedral.
Hallowtide: the ‘other’ triduum
Before the 1955 liturgical reforms, Hallowtide was a ‘triduum’ in the Church’s liturgy, beginning with All Hallows Eve (or Halloween). It is a season with deep Christian roots, encouraging us to pray for the dead and to ask them to pray for us.
‘Creating ripples’: Caritas India’s Babita Pinto on how to improve women’s lives
Babita Pinto is the first woman in the history of Caritas India to be appointed to the position of Head of Programs. In Melbourne recently as a guest of Caritas Australia, she gave an address at the Australian Catholic University reflecting on the obstacles she has overcome in her career, the significant challenges faced by women in India and how, by ‘creating ripples’, we can improve the lives not just of women but of whole communities.
Lost and found: how the relic of St Edmund Abingdon in Croydon found its way home
Ten years ago, on the solemnity of All Saints, the parish of Sacred Heart in Croydon celebrated the return and deposition of a relic of St Edmund of Abingdon (AD 1175–1240). This item was nearly thrown out before being identified as a first-class relic of the 12th-century Archbishop of Canterbury and opponent of King Henry III. Bishop Peter J Elliot gave the homily for the Pontifical Mass celebrating its return, reflecting on All Saints, the universal call to holiness and how St Edmund can inspire us today.
Hungry for good news: Ukrainian Eparchy launches new website
The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Australia, New Zealand and Oceania recently launched its new website, focused on sharing the word of God and acting as a ‘bridge to our people’, according to its Eparch, Bishop Mykola Bychok CSsR. The launch follows the anniversaries of two significant events in the life of the Eparchy—65 years since its establishment in Australia and 60 years since the blessing of their local cathedral.
Synod concludes with call for a Church that ‘welcomes, serves, loves, forgives’
Written by: Carol Glatz (CNS) with Melbourne Catholic
To reform the Church is to put God first and adore him, and to love and serve others, Pope Francis said at Mass as the first session of the Synod of Bishops on synodality concluded, after an unprecedented four weeks in which laypeople and women religious were able to take part as voting members for the first time.
Synod synthesis shows agreement, divergences, including on ‘synodality’
Written by: Cindy Wooden (CNS)
A report summarising discussions at the assembly of the Synod of Bishops, entitled ‘A Synodal Church in Mission’, says the Church may need more welcoming pastoral approaches, especially to people who feel excluded, but also acknowledges fears of betraying traditional Church teachings and practices.
‘We are always at risk of thinking that we can “control God”, that we can confine his love to our own agenda. Instead, the way he acts is always unpredictable and consequently demands amazement and adoration.’
Pope Francis
in his homily for the closing Mass of the first assembly of the Synod of Bishops
Upcoming events
Visit of His Excellency Most Rev Paul Gallagher—Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral
Thursday 9 November 2023
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Vatican, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli is pleased to welcome His Excellency Most Rev Paul Gallagher and the Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, His Excellency Most Rev Charles Balvo, to Melbourne. As part of the...
Praise and Lamentations: A concert of sacred choral music
Saturday 11 November 2023
The Parish Choirs of Melbourne invite you to a sacred choral music concert featuring pieces by Mozart, Lotto, Tchaikovsky and more. Bookings essential. Concert entry by donation, with a wine and cheese reception afterwards (optional). Entry to the reception is $10 (children enter free). For more info, contact or...
God and Beer: ‘Beauty, Art and the Cult of Ugliness’ with Fr Francis Denton
Monday 13 November 2023
Should Christians really care about beauty or art? Aren’t there more pressing moral issues for our culture to contend with than the plague of ugliness we see around us? At this month’s God and Beer event, Fr Francis Denton will put forward the case for the absolute necessity of beauty...
Proclaim 2023—Inaugural Archdiocesan Gathering
Thursday 16 November 2023
Over three days, the Catholic Leadership Centre will host a vibrant gathering, where sojourners will be inspired, engaged and equipped to go out and proclaim the joy of the Gospel in their local communities. Encounter Jesus through prayer, music and fellowship; hear from inspiring local and international speakers; participate in...
‘Will our Faith Have Children?’ Public lecture with Christopher White, Vatican Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter
Thursday 16 November 2023
Join Christopher White, Vatican Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, at the Helder Camara Public Lecture: ‘Will our Faith Have Children?’ Christopher will share reflections on the health and dynamism of global Catholicism after October 2023 Synod on Synodality. Limited places. Register here.
Night of the Witnesses
Wednesday 22 November 2023
Night of the Witnesses is an evening of testimony, prayer, song, adoration and reflection to honour the witness of modern-day Christian martyrs and to stand in solidarity with Christians around the world who are suffering persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. With its origins at Notre Dame and Sacre...
Ordinations to the Priesthood, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Saturday 25 November 2023
On Saturday 25 November, three deacons will be ordained to the priesthood: Rev Tien Van Tran, Rev Doan Ngoc (Peter) Nguyen and Rev Thomas William Christie. Jean-Sébastien Géry will be ordained to the transitional diaconate. Please pray for them as they embark on their priestly ministry in the service of...
‘Sacrosanctum Concilium Sixty Years On’, presented by Rev John Baldovin SJ
Sunday 3 December 2023
Presented by Rev John Baldovin SJ, this public lecture will discuss questions relating to the Sacrosanctum Concilium. Fr Baldovin will explore how the Constitution has been received, the vision of the Reform, recent statements of Pope Francis in light of the liturgy, and prospects for the future. Fr Baldovin is...

To learn more about upcoming events and opportunities, visit the Melbourne Catholic events page.

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