On Sunday 22 May, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli celebrated a Memorial Mass for all those who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar Masses were held in parishes around the Archdiocese and more than 1,100 names were inscribed in the Book of Remembrance, with more likely to be added in the coming weeks.

And as the community continues to emerge from the pandemic, we are hearing so many stories of loss, including that of Miray Wehbe, who thought her father-in-law had died from septiscaemia but later discovered it was from COVID.

Among the many events happening in the life of the Church is the Synod on Synodality, a global and collective discernment of how the Church can become more synodal in character. Over 500 people were represented in the Melbourne submission, which will now form part of the national submission. Along with the report, we’ve provided three key takeaways to guide you through it.

As we approach the 175th anniversary of the Diocese of Melbourne, we continue our exploration of the many migrant communities who have made Melbourne their home. This time we look at the life and history of the Mandarin-speaking Chinese Catholic community of Melbourne.

Kevin Donnelly AM recently joined Melbourne Catholic for a discussion of his new book, Christianity Matters: In These Troubled Times, and shared the impetus behind it, and what signs of hope Australia has for the future of Christianity.

Since it remains the month of May, we continue our look at Marian devotions, shrines and apparitions around the world. Last week we explored Vietnam, China and the Philippines. This week we take a look at some popular devotions across Malta, Egypt, and Sri Lanka. This week was also the Solemnity of Our Lady Help of Christians, patroness of Australia. We take a brief look at some of the Jewish origins of Marian devotions with the help of Brant Pitre's book Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary (2018).

3 key takeaways from Melbourne's Synod report
After the closing date for the submissions to the Synod on Synodality, a working group in Melbourne synthesised the many ideas presented into a report that could be handed to the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference. Here are 3 key takeaways from the port.
More than 1,100 names remembered at Memorial Mass
On Sunday 22 May, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli celebrated a Memorial Mass for all those who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar Masses were held in parishes around the Archdiocese and more than 1,100 names were inscribed in the Book of Remembrance, with more likely to be added in the coming weeks.
‘He loved his family’: Remembering those lost during the pandemic
‘We didn’t even know he had COVID,’ says Miray Wehbe, whose father-in-law Mikal Wehbe, 79, died at St Vincent’s Hospital in late 2021. Mikel is one of the thousands of Victorians who sadly died of the virus during the last few years. And while the community slowly continues to emerge from the pandemic, there remain a number of stories just like Mikal’s that are only being shared now.
Kevin Donnelly AM: ‘Christianity matters in these troubled times’
Recently, leading conservative voice and senior research fellow at ACU Kevin Donnelly AM launched his latest book, "Christianity Matters in These Troubled Times" (Wilkinson). He kindly joined Melbourne Catholic for a discussion of the book, the impetus behind it, and whether or not there was any hope for the future of Australia.
A long history of keeping the faith: Chinese Catholics in Melbourne
As we approach the 175th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, there is much to celebrate, not least the contributions of the many immigrant communities that have enriched and helped shape the Church of Melbourne. As part of our series celebrating these communities, we hear about the long history of Chinese Catholics in Melbourne, some of the challenges they have faced and the many gifts they have brought to the life of our Church.
Our Lady around the world (Part 3): Malta, Sri Lanka and Egypt
During this month of May, we continue our look into different Marian devotions, shrines, and sites of apparition around the world, and the unique stories and miracles associated with them. This week we travel to Malta, Sri Lanka and Egypt to gain insight into some of their incredible stories.
Help of Christians: Understanding the Jewish origins of Catholic devotion
What does it mean to call Mary "Help of Christians"? In Matthew's Gospel, there is a surprising key to understanding Catholic devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary: the ancient figure of Rachel, mother of the tribes of Israel.
‘I heard a lot of other stories of family members who died and they had no one around them’
Miray Wehbe
On losing her father-in-law during COVID
Upcoming Events
Northern Region Mass for Young Adults
Sunday 29 May 2022
5.30pm–7.30pm
Get together with other young people from the local area for Mass, dinner, and a conversation with Bishop Terry Curtin. This will be an awesome opportunity to meet other young Catholics from across the North and share with Bishop Curtin your hopes, dreams, and expectations for the future of the...
Mothers who Pray for their Children Seminar
Sunday 29 May 2022
2.00pm–5.30pm
Come for an afternoon of prayer and talks hosted by the Mothers who Pray for their Children Movement. The day includes: 2pm: Hymns - La Salette Statue2.10pm: Rosary for the children2.30pm: How to be a mother in the light of the Bible (Daily gospel and responding prayer - Lectio Divina)3.10pm...
Ablaze Pentecost @ St Catherine's Caroline Springs
Sunday 5 June 2022
10.30am–2.30pm
St Catherine of Siena Catholic Parish in Caroline Springs invites the community to Ablaze Pentecost, a day of prayer, food and fellowship. The day will include Mass followed by lunch, adoration of the Blessed Sacraments and a prayer rally (with confession and prayer teams available during this time). Join the...
Celebrating 50 Years of CTC: ‘How Do We Know Christ Now?’
Friday 17 June 2022
9.30am–12.30pm
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Catholic Theological College (CTC) is offering a free online conference focussed on the critical question: ‘How do we know Christ now?’. Explore how we know the same Christ more authentically and powerfully today through a special keynote presentation and workshops led by the CTC staff...
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Workshop with Fr Elio Capra sdb
Saturday 18 June 2022
10.00am–3.30pm
Is your RCIA making disciples of your catechumens and candidates? After two years of pandemic, is it time for your parish RCIA practice to be reenergised and refreshed? Does your parish have a missionary culture of accompanying catechumens and candidates? Clergy, all parish RCIA team coordinators and members—emerging and experienced—and...
Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre open days
Saturday 18 June 2022
10.00am–4.00pm
Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre (MMHC) East Melbourne a place of inspiration and vitality, manifests and promotes the spirit and charism of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop and the Sisters of Saint Joseph. MMHC provides, through education, hospitality and charitable works, opportunities for all to experience and be challenged by...
The Outsider Pope: Where is Francis Leading Our Church?
Monday 11 July 2022
5.00pm–6.30pm
This latest Helder Camara lecture will feature The Tablet’s Vatican correspondent Christopher Lamb. Founded in 1840, the weekly journal is a hugely influential voice amongst the 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide. Joining in 2009 from the Daily Telegraph, Christopher Lamb also appears regularly on TV news around the world. In his...
NCEC Conference: The Future is Listening (Save the Date)
Sunday 4 September 2022, 10.00am
– Wednesday 7 September 2022, 5.00pm
The 2022 National Catholic Education Conference is taking place this September, and a limited number of Super Early Bird registrations are now available. The National Catholic Education Commission hosts a conference every four or five years in a major Australian city. Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) is proud to host...
P.S. Before you go . . .
‘Keeping silence’: 5 quotes on the art of listening
Sunday 22 May was the 56th World Day of Social Communications. This year the theme is: “Listening with the ear of the heart,” and Pope Francis urges us to be more attentive to the practice of listening in a world that no longer knows how to. Here are five quotes to inspire you to listen more deeply, not only to others but to the presence and voice of God.

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

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