Last Sunday was Good Shepherd Sunday, also known as World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Seminarians from around the Archdiocese visited parishes and offered reflections on their experience of God's call and their journey of response. Speaking of responding to God's call, we hear from Fr Anil Mascarenhas, Assistant Parish Priest of St Kevin's in Hampton Park and one of the seven Vocations Promotors for the Archdiocese. Fr Anil says he was ‘born into a poor family’ but one that was rich in faith, and describes how he went from studying economics and social work to embracing the call to ‘serve beyond the Indian sea shore’.
If you've travelled along Upper Heidelberg Road in the past year, you might've noticed that Mary Immaculate Catholic Church has been undergoing massive redevelopment. This is actually part of a much bigger project that the Ivanhoe Parish community has been journeying towards for a good 20 years! Parish Priest Fr Bill Edebohls joined us to share some of his own journey of faith, and give an update on the latest developments. The project raises some thoughtful questions about the challenges and opportunities of parish life, and why discernment takes time and cooperation.
Next week is "Laudato Si' Week" (16-24 May), marks the seventh anniversary of Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si'. Sr Caroline Vaitkunas RSM, a member of the Laudato Si’ Animators Melbourne Group, shares some resources and local examples of how to get involved and care for God's creation. It builds on the resources provided by the ACBC Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace.
And in this Marian month of May, we explore the various Marian devotions from around the world, including the famous icons of Our Lady of Częstochowa, Our Lady Queen of Ukraine, and Our Lady of Zarvanytsia. Sr Paula Moroney OCDM also reflects on Mary's spiritual motherhood, and the role she plays as the ‘focal point of history, where the Old Testament is fulfilled and the New Testament begins’.
Lastly, if you're looking for a new movie to watch, you might try Father Stu, which opens today across Australia. It stars Mark Wahlberg and tells the true story of Fr Stuart Long of the Diocese of Helena, Montana, who suffered an awful degenerative muscle disease throughout his priesthood. The movie has been very well received internationally, offering a realistic, gritty account of human suffering, as well as the beauty and grace that remains possible through it.