The journey home

As he arrived in Lisbon for World Youth Day, Pope Francis reminded the gathered pilgrims, ‘You are not here by accident. The Lord has called you … Indeed, he has called you by name.’

This week, Melbourne’s pilgrims begin their journey home. With some beautiful parting words from Pope Francis and estimated crowds of 1.5 million people, this was an experience they are unlikely to forget.

Some of them have already been talking to us about their highlights. The sleep-out on the Field of Grace along with Eucharistic adoration was certainly a standout; pilgrims also share how God really spoke to them through their World Youth Day experiences, from a private audience with Pope Francis to visiting the Basilica of St Clare in Assisi.

Also this week, new research released by the National Centre for Pastoral Research reveals the social profiles of dioceses around the country; in honour of St Mary Mackillop’s solemnity, we learn about how Mackillop Family Services carries on her vision by caring for children and families across Melbourne and Geelong; and as the FIFA Women’s World Cup keeps us on the edge of our seats, the Socktober 2023 campaign launches in schools across Melbourne, helping kids and families to engage with the problem of global poverty through the unifying power of the world game.

Last Sunday 6 August, the feast of the Transfiguration, was the beginning of National Vocations Awareness Week, an opportunity for each of us to reflect on what it means for God to call us by name. We hear the story of Emma Llewellyn, who first felt a calling to religious life at 18 and recently renewed her first vows with the Sisters of Mercy. We also explore how a sense of vision and vocation can help us chart our path through life.

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

‘God really spoke’: Pilgrims coming home reflect on WYD
The Melbourne pilgrims to World Youth Day 2023 are making their way home! Despite sweltering temperatures, the pilgrims’ time in Lisbon, Fatima, Rome, Assisi and the Holy Land was a deep immersion in the story of Catholicism, and a great chance to meet other young Catholics from around the world who are excited about their faith. A few pilgrims share with us about how ‘God really spoke’ to them through this experience.
Next WYD in Seoul! Pope Francis closes World Youth Day 2023
The 16th international World Youth Day officially came to a close on Sunday with a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on the Campo da Graça, the Field of Grace, where he encouraged the huge crowd to ‘be not afraid.’ We hear from Melbourne’s pilgrims about their incredible WYD experiences, and a Melbourne priest from Seoul, South Korea, shares his excitement for WYD 2027.
‘Have no fear’: Pope Francis’ homily for World Youth Day 2023
Written by: Pope Francis
On Sunday 6 August 2023, as more than a million people gathered at the Parque Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, for the Closing Mass for World Youth Day 2023, Pope Francis encouraged young Catholics to have no fear: ‘To all of you, dear young people, who are the present and the future, yes to all of you, Jesus now says: “Have no fear,” “Do not be afraid!”’
Emma Llewellyn, ‘at home’ with the Sisters of Mercy
Having taken first vows with the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) in January 2020, Emma Llewellyn renewed her vows in November last year—her second significant milestone. While she is still in the process of initial formation and discernment towards making her final vows in the next few years, Emma already feels ‘completely at home with the sisters’.
MacKillop Family Services: carrying on the vision and mission of its namesake      
On Tuesday, we celebrated the Feast Day of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia’s first saint. One of St Mary MacKillop’s famous quotes, ‘Never see a need without doing something about it,’ underpins the work of MacKillop Family Services, a not-for-profit organisation that has grown from its origins in Melbourne and Geelong to serve thousands of children and families in need across Australia.
Discovering our vision and vocation
Looking back on a period of aimlessness in his life, a young father reflects on what it means to have a sense of vision, discovering that vision and vocation often go hand in hand, so that even when we don’t know what we want to do with our lives, a vision of who we want to be can help us chart a path and discover our vocation.
Socktober: uniting Catholic schools to score big for social justice in Timor-Leste
Written by: Catholic Mission
As the superstars of the FIFA Women’s World Cup kick their goals, Socktober 2023 will have students across Australia kicking their own, and for a good cause. The schools-based community-engagement initiative of Catholic Mission, which launched this month, seeks to show students and their families the injustice of global poverty, especially for young children.
Social profiles of Australia’s Catholic dioceses published
Written by: Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC)
The National Centre for Pastoral Research has recently published Diocesan Social Profiles for all 28 geographical dioceses in Australia, based on data from the 2021 Australian Census. They follow the release of the National Social Profile earlier this year, offering a glimpse of the overall Catholic population.
‘This is the best way to live my life, where I feel most at home, and where I find a great sense of peace and joy. It’s like when you meet the love of your life and you feel that inner love and peace. This is where I find I can live life to the full.’
Emma Llewellyn
on discerning a call to religious life with the Sisters of Mercy
Upcoming events
Benedict Conference: Truth, goodness and beauty
Saturday 28 October 2023
(All day event)
This inaugural event will bring together local and international speakers to reflect on the life and legacy of Pope Benedict XVI. The conference will build its conversations around the themes of truth, goodness and beauty. Gathering the people of God from all over Melbourne and beyond, it seeks to engage...
Mothers who Pray for their Children: Greater Box Hill workshop
Saturday 12 August 2023
7.00pm–8.15pm
Join Mothers who Pray for their Children at their first Greater Box Hill workshop. All welcome! Schedule: 7pm: Welcome message and introduction of the movement in Australia7.15pm: Learning to be free—before praying for our children, we first need to heal as women and mothers7.45pm: Mothers who Pray for their Children...
Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon
Thursday 17 August 2023
12.00pm–2.00pm
Join us for the second Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) event of the year! MCP creates opportunities for Catholic professional men and women to network and support the life and mission of the Church in Melbourne. Through its program of luncheon events—hosted by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli—MCP draws people together from...
Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga Annual Dinner
Tuesday 22 August 2023
6.30pm–10.30pm
All are welcome to attend the Annual Dinner of the Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga Inc. Guest speaker Fiona Power, Curator or the Mary Glowrey Museum, will speak on ‘Fr William Lockington SJ: Know yourself and the heritage that is yours’. William Lockington (1871–1948) was a prominent...
‘Holiness and Humanity—the life of St John Henry Newman’ with Fr Roderick Strange
Thursday 24 August 2023
5.00pm–7.00pm
Newman College is pleased to host a public lecture by Fr Roderick Strange: ‘Holiness and Humanity—the life of St John Henry Newman.’ Fr Roderick Strange is an international expert on the life and works of Cardinal John Henry Newman. He has been Catholic Chaplain at the University of Oxford and...
Grand organ recital featuring Thomas Trotter, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Friday 25 August 2023
6.00pm–7.00pm
One of Britain’s most widely admired musicians and concert organists, Thomas Trotter, will visit our beautiful and inspiring St Patrick’s Cathedral in August with a recital program sure to please. Trotter has performed at more than 800 concerts in his international career, with recent tours to Europe, China and Australia...
MGL Sisters Discernment Weekend
Saturday 26 August 2023, 7.00am
– Sunday 27 August 2023, 5.00pm
The Missionaries of God’s Love sisters are hosting a ‘Consecrated Life Weekend’. This is an opportunity for young single women aged 18–30 to spend some quality time with Jesus and discover their calling in life. There will be times of prayer, talks, sharing, sisterhood and more. For more information, email...
Gangland to Promised Land: John Pridmore Melbourne tour (Caroline Springs)
Monday 28 August 2023, 7.30pm
– Wednesday 30 August 2023, 8.30pm
John Pridmore was a serious face in London’s East End, living the ‘high life’ until he found himself nearly killing a man. What happened next can only be called extraordinary. Don’t miss his incredible conversion story when he visits Melbourne in August and September. John has spoken to millions around...
The Archbishop’s Dinner: an initiative of the Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria
Friday 1 September 2023
7.00pm–9.00pm
Join the Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria to celebrate the 23rd annual Archbishop’s Dinner. The dinner is held each year to raise funds for the Priests Support and Education Fund. This fund was established by the Knights of the Southern Cross to assist in the funding and education of...

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

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

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