The joy of the Gospel

It has been a week of celebrations as we have marked important anniversaries for two of our local communities, both of them committed to sharing the Good News of Christ in their own distinctive ways. On Sunday morning, the people of St Martin de Porres Avondale Heights came together in a spirit of great thanksgiving to celebrate 60 years of sharing the joy of the Gospel in ‘the world's most liveable parish'. And we hear from Fr Vedran Lesic of the Croatian Catholic community in Springvale about how this community has been bringing together and faithlucfully serving Croatian Catholics in Melbourne over the past 40 years.

Internationally acclaimed Catholic philosopher Prof John Haldane recently concluded a four-year project exploring Catholic education and identity with Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS). Before flying home to Scotland, he discussed some of the nuances of this significant project, and the vital importance to Catholic education of recovering and passing on an authentic understanding of the Catholic faith.

As we welcome Vatican foreign minister Archbishop Gallagher back to Melbourne today as part of his Australian visit, we hear about the address he gave last week on how religious freedom is ‘indispensable’ to conflict resolution. Also last week, at ACU’s Melbourne campus, a lively Ethos 2023 panel discussion explored the housing crisis and how we might think about this pressing issue from the perspective of Catholic Social Teaching. And Brother Matthew Timonera tells us about his journey to consecrated life with the Capuchins, as well as the story behind his much-admired artwork.

Finally, recognising that every baptised Christian is called to share the joy of the Gospel, we preview the upcoming Proclaim 2023 conference, an opportunity to be inspired and equipped to take up this call with confidence and enthusiasm, whatever our context.

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‘World’s most liveable parish’ celebrates 60 years
St Martin de Porres Parish Avondale Heights was filled with joyful and proud parishioners on Sunday 5 November, as the parish marked its 60th anniversary. Archbishop Peter A Comensoli joined parish priest Fr Nhan Le and other local clergy to mark the occasion, with Fr Nhan saying he felt ‘humbled but extremely grateful’ to be part of a parish community built by generations of faith-filled men and women, many of whom had been in the parish since its inception in the early 1960s.
Croatian Catholic community celebrates 40 years in Springvale
Last weekend, the Croatian Catholic Community in Springvale celebrated the 40th anniversary of its centre in Braeside. Archbishop Peter A Comensoli joined local chaplain Fr Vedran Lesic for a special Mass and dinner, an evening filled with Croatian music, dance and food.
John Haldane: recovering Catholic identity and education
For the last four years, prominent Catholic philosopher Prof John Haldane has been working with Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) to explore the nature of Catholic identity and how it relates to the mission of education. Now that his time in Australia is coming to an end, he talks about how the recovery of the apostolic dimension of faith is essential to rediscovering an authentically Catholic identity.
Vatican foreign minister says religious freedom an ‘indispensable’ element to conflict resolution
Written by: ACU
As part of an official visit to Australia to mark the 50th year of diplomatic relations between Australia and the Holy See, His Excellency Archbishop Paul Gallagher, one of the Vatican’s top diplomats, has affirmed the importance of religious freedom in promoting peace and resolving global conflicts. Archbishop Gallagher, who is Secretary for the Relations with States and International Organizations for the Holy See, gave a lecture on religious freedom at Australian Catholic University’s North Sydney campus last week before travelling to Melbourne this week.
‘Everyday conversion’: Br Matthew Timonera’s journey to solemn profession
On 16 September, in the presence of family and friends, Br Matthew Timonera professed solemn vows at St Anthony’s Capuchin Friary in Hawthorn. As he begins life as a Capuchin friar, he is sustained by a commitment to daily prayer and Mass attendance, and by the conviction that as part of God’s creation, each of us is deeply loved. He shares with us some of the story of his journey so far—a journey of ‘everyday conversion’.
‘What sort of society do we want to be?’ Ethos 2023 panel explores ethical responses to the housing crisis
As part of their Ethos 2023 series of events, the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and the PM Glynn Institute recently hosted a thought-provoking panel discussion on how to achieve ethical housing policies. The evening also provided an opportunity to officially open ACU’s new Julien O’Connell Lecture Theatre and to celebrate the man in whose honour it is named.
Proclaim 2023: inspiring and equipping Catholics for mission
The inaugural Archdiocesan conference, Proclaim 2023, promises to be an inspiring and formative three-day event, with powerful keynote speakers and practical workshops to help you bring the joy of the Gospel to your local communities.
‘For the Christian, faith and joy do not depend on human estimations of how things are going, but are religious responses of trust in God, and joy at the prospect of salvation.’
Prof John Haldane
on the responses that will best help us meet the challenges and seek the opportunities surrounding Catholic education
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...
Proclaim 2023—Inaugural Archdiocesan Gathering
Thursday 16 November 2023, 6.30pm
– Saturday 18 November 2023, 4.00pm
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...
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...
The Choral Scholars of St John’s concert, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Friday 10 November 2023
Choral scholars from St John’s Anglican Church, Camberwell, under the expert directorship of Christopher Watson, bring to life a program of exquisite Renaissance music from the Continent. This program features Victoria’s Requiem and motets from Iberia. A relatively new vocal consort, these professional singers provide music every Sunday at St...
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...
‘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.
Grand organ recital featuring Anthony Halliday, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Friday 17 November 2023
Fresh from a standing ovation for his performance of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in Bonn, Germany, Dr Anthony Halliday returns to our magnificent Cathedral for an exciting program of Beethoven, Reger and Duruflé. Additionally, Anthony will present an extemporisation on three previously unseen musical themes. Halliday is invited annually to give...
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...
Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga Advent carols
Saturday 9 December 2023
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 ...

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

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