Christ is everything

It has been an exciting week in the Archdiocese!

The inaugural Proclaim Gathering, dubbed Proclaim23, was a grace-filled three days of inspiring speakers, worship, prayer, workshops and fellowship. Hundreds of participants from across the Archdiocese were encouraged and equipped to proclaim the Gospel and seek renewal in their local communities. We share some of the highlights.

In anticipation of tonight’s Night of the Witnesses prayer vigil at St Patrick’s Cathedral, three of the featured guest speakers share the plight of persecuted Christians around the world: Xavier Bisits, Head of Projects for Aid to the Church in Need in the Middle East, Sr Majella Dogonyaro OP from northern Nigeria, and Patriarch Joseph Absi of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.

Also this week, St Patrick’s Cathedral was brimming with joy as Melbourne’s Vietnamese community gathered in huge numbers to remember and celebrate the Vietnamese martyrs. The community at St Ambrose’s Brunswick came together to celebrate 150 years, with Mass, lunch and a beautiful concert. Christopher White, Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, gave a lecture at Newman College on the topic, ‘Will our faith have children?’ And two significant mergers have recently been announced: between the Ballarat Catholic Development Fund and CDF Melbourne, Sale and Bunbury, and between VMCH and Corpus Christi Community Greenvale. In the lead-up to the Holding a Light vigil service next week (30 November), we speak with Sr Nicole Rotaru RSM about her important work serving and advocating for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

Finally, we chat with the four seminarians who will soon give their ‘yes’ to the Lord at this Saturday's Ordination Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral—three to the priesthood, and one to the transitional diaconate. Don’t forget to keep them in your prayers! 🙏 The Mass begins at 10am and will also be livestreamed on our Archdiocesan YouTube Channel for those who can’t be there in person.

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

‘Bold witnesses to Christ and hope’: Proclaim23 concludes on a high
On Saturday, the inaugural Proclaim Gathering, dubbed Proclaim23, came to a conclusion after three jam-packed days in which hundreds of people came together to explore how the Gospel can come alive in our communities. As the conference concluded, keynote speaker Karen Doyle suggested that each person there had been born ‘for a time such as this’, challenging them to be ‘bold witnesses to Christ and to hope’.
‘Christ is everything’: faith and suffering in Lebanon and Nigeria
For the second annual Night of the Witnesses in Australia, Archbishop Georges Bacouni of Beirut is travelling the country with Sr Majella Dogonyaro OP, a Dominican sister based in Northern Nigeria. They share with us their experiences of Christian persecution and hardship, as well as how their own faith has been shaped by a life of trusting in God’s providence.
‘Be courageous’: seminarians prepare for ordination this Saturday
As they prepare for their ordinations to the priesthood this Saturday 25 November, we speak with Deacons Thomas Christie, Peter Nguyen and Tien Tran, and with Jean-Sebastian Gery, who will be ordained to the transitional diaconate. They share with us some of what they are feeling, a few of the experiences and people who have helped to shape their journeys, and their advice for those who might be contemplating their own vocation.
Almost 2,000 gather for annual Vietnamese Martyrs Mass
There was hardly a seat available at this year’s Vietnamese Martyrs Mass held at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday 19 November. Almost 2,000 people from around Melbourne gathered for the joy-filled celebration, giving thanks for the gift and witness of faith of generations of Vietnamese Catholics, both here and in Vietnam. The Mass is typically celebrated on the Sunday closest to the official feast day of Vietnamese martyrs (also known as the feast of St Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions), which takes place on 24 November.
St Ambrose’s Catholic Church celebrates 150 years of faith and mission
On Sunday 19 November, St Ambrose’s Catholic Church in Brunswick celebrated an incredible milestone of 150 years since the church’s completion. The church was packed to overflowing as the community reflected on their rich history and their ongoing life as part of a larger mission.
Sr Nicole Rotaru RSM, shining a light on violence
On 30 November, an ecumenical interfaith service, Holding the Light, will be held to remember victims and survivors of domestic and family violence. At this service, a bell will toll for each woman ‘known’ to have been murdered by a perpetrator of violence bringing home the horrific regularity of such tragedies. It is this reality that impels Sr Nicole Rotaru RSM, an experienced and passionate advocate, to shine a light on the devastating impact of domestic and family violence.
Journalist Christopher White shares ‘scenes’ of the Synod of Bishops
On Thursday 16 November, the latest Dom Helder Camara Lecture was delivered at Newman College by US journalist and Vatican insider Christopher White from the National Catholic Reporter. Fresh from covering the Synod of Bishops in Rome, White shared images and moments from the synod to explore the topic ‘Will our faith have children?’
Ballarat Catholic Development Fund merges with CDF Melbourne, Sale and Bunbury
A merger has officially been entered into between the Ballarat Catholic Development Fund (MCDF) and the Catholic Development Fund of Melbourne, Sale and Bunbury, according to a statement released on 20 November by their respective bishops. The merger is set to be finalised by early 2024.
Partnership to support older men at risk of homelessness becomes official
Written by: VMCH
Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has formally endorsed the merger of Catholic organisations VMCH and Corpus Christi Community Greenvale (CCCG), as they unite to support older men at risk of homelessness. Guided by Catholic Social Teaching, the two organisations have a long history of working together, and their merger will ensure the critical work of CCCG can continue for years to come.
‘Make sure that Christ is everything, the centre of everything. If you are a teacher, teach as if it’s Christ that is teaching so that people will see you and admire the Christ in you. If you are a doctor, minister as if it’s Christ that is ministering to the sick.’
Sr Majella Dogonyaro OP
on how a strong focus on Christ sustains and transforms her ministry in Northern Nigeria
Upcoming events
Night of the Witnesses
Wednesday 22 November 2023
7.00pm–8.30pm
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...
‘Growing Vital Parishes’: Southern and Eastern Region gathering with Ron Huntley
Thursday 23 November 2023
7.00pm–9.00pm
Ron Huntley, international coach of parish clergy and leadership, is visiting Melbourne this November. Drawing from his experience and knowledge from working with parishes, hear how we can foster parishes of vitality. There will be three opportunities to hear this address, and a question and answer session will follow. Open...
Ordinations to the Priesthood, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Saturday 25 November 2023
10.00am–11.30am
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...
Valedictory Mass
Sunday 26 November 2023
11.00am–1.30pm
As another academic year ends, so does the university journey for graduating students across Melbourne. Whether moving on to full-time work or further study, this annual Valedictory Mass is an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful achievements of graduating students. Join Archbishop Peter A Comensoli for Mass with a blessing of...
2023 Knox Public Lecture: ‘Truth and Peace—Timeless Twins’
Tuesday 28 November 2023
7.30pm–8.30pm
Dr Susan Connelly, a Sister of St Joseph, will reflect on the critical challenges to truth telling in public life in the light of Catholic Social Teaching on justice and peace. She is the author of East Timor, René Girard and Neocolonial Violence: Scapegoating as Australian Policy. Sr Susan is...
Holding the Light: an ecumenical service
Thursday 30 November 2023
5.00pm–6.00pm
The Holding the Light ecumenical service remembers victims and survivors of domestic and family violence, and will this year be held at Wesley Uniting Church (Lonsdale Street), with special guest speaker Sr Nicole Rotamu RSM.
2023 SummerFest
Thursday 30 November 2023
6.30pm–9.00pm
Come and join the young people of Melbourne as Archbishop Peter A Comensoli leads this special Six30 Holy Hour at St Patrick’s Cathedral, to be followed by a summer barbecue, live music and fiesta to celebrate the year’s end.
‘Sacrosanctum Concilium Sixty Years On’, presented by Rev John Baldovin SJ
Sunday 3 December 2023
5.00pm–6.30pm
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...
Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga Advent carols
Saturday 9 December 2023
2.00pm–4.00pm
The Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga will be hosting Advent carols at St Mary’s, St Kilda East. Led by Fr Jerome Santamaria and featuring tenor Matthew Bennett, this is an afternoon not to be missed! Carols will be followed by afternoon tea at 3pm. Register by ...
Christmas Carols, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Sunday 17 December 2023
3.00pm–4.15pm
Come along for a family concert of traditional and modern Christmas carols in the beautiful and inspiring space of St Patrick’s Cathedral. Featuring Cathedral Brass, Cathedral Schola and the Grand Organ, this performance will include plenty of audience participation, a children’s segment and ‘special guest’ appearance. Tickets: Adult—$30 Concession—$25 Children...
Christmas concert, St Dominic’s Church
Sunday 17 December 2023
7.00pm–8.00pm
St Dominic’s Church, Camberwell East, will be hosting a Christmas concert featuring composers from the 12th to the 21st century. The concert will also be broadcast live by the Australian Digital Concert Hall. Tickets can be booked via TryBooking link. For further information, call 0468 584 309.

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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