Mercy that transforms

At the heart of the Christian proclamation is the extravagant, transformative mercy of God—a mercy we are called to reflect in our own communities and relationships.

In the lead-up to the feast of Divine Mercy last Sunday, we spoke with Director of Divine Mercy Publications, John Canavan, about how the experience of God’s mercy changed his life, how it can change ours, and how the feast instituted by Pope John Paul II has been transforming lives around the world. On the feast day itself, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli led the parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes, Bayswater, in consecration to Divine Mercy, reflecting on how the resurrection of Christ is ‘God’s most merciful act of creation’.

As this joyful Easter season continues, a convert who entered the Catholic Church at Easter six years ago shares her advice for the newly initiated on how to stay connected to God through the ups and downs of life.

Also this week, a new document from the Vatican reflects on the ‘infinite dignity‘ of the human person, and the global trends that threaten that dignity. We hear from Gavin Purcell about his experience volunteering in Timor-Leste with Palms Australia. Church leaders in Sudan call for a global response to a ‘forgotten crisis’. The Australian bishops release a new national code of conduct to nurture and support integrity in the Church’s pastoral work. And as we mark Autism Awareness Month, we hear about VMCH‘s Employment Pathways program and how it has brought participant Cody a step closer to his dream job.

Finally, we share the moving story of how a parish in Baltimore, in the United States, is building ‘bridges of mercy and love‘ in the wake of a recent tragedy.

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

Discovering the grace of Divine Mercy with John Canavan
John Canavan has been promoting the message of Divine Mercy for nearly 34 years. From a humble 1940s weatherboard house in Camberwell, and with a group of volunteers that keep the gears turning, John and his team at Divine Mercy Publications have devoted their lives to spreading what they believe to be the most important message of all: that of God’s infinite mercy, especially as communicated through the Polish saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.
A time of ‘spiritual renewal’: Archbishop leads consecration to Divine Mercy in Bayswater
On Sunday 7 April, hundreds gathered at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bayswater, where Archbishop Peter A Comensoli celebrated Mass and led the community in the consecration to Divine Mercy.
Staying connected to God: tips for the newly initiated
Six years ago, Janet and her husband completed RCIA and had the joyful Easter experience of being welcomed into the Catholic Church. For those who have just been initiated this Easter—and those of us who have been on the journey a bit longer—Janet shares some of the practices and ideas that have sustained and nourished her faith, helping her stay connected to God.
New Vatican document outlines attacks on human dignity
Being a Christian means defending human dignity, and that includes opposing abortion, the death penalty, gender transition surgery, war, sexual abuse and human trafficking, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith says in a new declaration, ‘Dignitas infinita’ (‘Infinite Dignity’).
Gavin Purcell, putting faith into action in Timor-Leste
When Gavin Purcell ‘threw his hat in the ring’ to volunteer with Palms Australia last year, he wasn’t sure what the outcome would be, or where he might end up. He recently departed for Timor-Leste, where he’ll spend the next year (possibly two) mentoring others in the finance team of a Jesuit-run teacher training college just outside Dili. Gavin hopes that by sharing his knowledge and expertise, he might be able to put his faith into action in a meaningful way.
Building bridges of mercy and love: a Baltimore parish’s response to tragedy
The recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States, has left the city reeling with shock and grief. The tragedy has had a profound impact on the community, both emotionally and economically. As the city grapples with the aftermath, one local parish has emerged as a beacon of hope and support for those affected.
Church leaders in Sudan call on international community to respond to ‘forgotten crisis’
Following the outbreak of conflict in Sudan nearly a year ago, 25 million people—including 14 million children—now need humanitarian assistance and support, according to the United Nations. Nine million have been displaced from their homes, making Sudan the largest displacement crisis in the world. Church leaders in Sudan have urged the international community, through the Caritas network, to respond to this 'forgotten crisis' so that a looming famine might be averted.
National code of conduct key to improving integrity
A national code of conduct has been released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for people ministering in Catholic dioceses around Australia. The 32-page document, ‘Integrity in Our Common Mission’, was approved by the bishops at their plenary meeting in November 2023, as a means of furthering the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s ongoing commitment to the safety of children and vulnerable people.
Opening the door to employment for people with disability
April is Autism Awareness Month, promoting awareness, acceptance and inclusion of people with autism, and highlighting the need to provide them with meaningful opportunities, including employment opportunities. Thanks to VMCH’s Employment Pathways program, Cody, 23, is one step closer to realising his dream of working in the IT industry.
‘We hold on to the hem of Jesus’ garment because we know the end of the story. We know that the tomb does not contain Jesus. And we know that Jesus is the one who is going to comfort us and who is going to guide us through situations like these.’
Fr Fr Ako Walker CSsR
on responding with hope and mercy to those affected by the recent Baltimore bridge collapse
Upcoming events
Cathedral grand organ recital featuring Mark Slavec
Friday 12 April 2024
St Patrick’s Cathedral Melbourne is proud to open its doors to the community and offer an experience of the sacred through uplifting music from some of Australia’s most talented musicians. Mark Slavec attained his AMusA in piano in November 2014 and currently serves as the assistant organist at St Paul’s...
‘Answering the Call to Go Make Disciples’
Saturday 13 April 2024
Experience transformation at ‘Equipped for Mission: Answering the call to Go Make Disciples’ hosted by Our Lady Help of Christians Parish. Tailored for parish leaders and priests, this event features a keynote by Dan O'Rourke, President of Divine Renovation. Participate in interactive workshops led by Barb Conlon, Catholic Engagement Specialist...
God and Beer: ‘Divine and Human Fatherhood’ with Brendan Triffett
Monday 15 April 2024
What does it mean to be a good father? What is God’s plan for fathers and children? What does it mean to be a child of God the Father? This is an especially important topic in today’s world, where fathers are often seen as unnecessary or problematic. Dr Brendan Triffet...
Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon: Prof Mary Finsterer
Tuesday 4 June 2024
Join us for the next Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) event, where Prof Mary Finsterer—composer in residence with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra—will join us as guest speaker. MCP creates opportunities for Catholic professional men and women to network and support the life and mission of the Church in Melbourne. Through its...
Making time for God: Back to basics (women’s retreat)
Saturday 20 April 2024
The Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga is offering a free, one-day retreat for women at St Mary’s Church in Castlemaine. The day includes Mass, adoration, confession, two spiritual reflections by Fr Dean Mathieson and a Q&A session, and concludes with the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm. Lunch...
Fiji Catholic Community of Victoria monthly Mass
Saturday 15 June 2024 6.00pm –7.00pm
Join the Fiji Catholic Community of Victoria for Mass the third Saturday of every month. Mass will be followed by dinner and talanoa in the hall. All welcome! For more information, contact Kolaia Waibuca on 0405 511 185.
Mothers Who Pray for Their Children Australian conference
Saturday 27 April 2024
Mothers Who Pray for Their Children will hold their first Australian conference, in Melbourne, at the Catholic Leadership Centre. Immerse yourself in a day-long program, beginning with adoration and Holy Mass. Gather for enlightening talks from local, interstate and international speakers. Listen to the uplifting melodies of acclaimed Catholic musicians...
Compline service and Reconciliation, Newman College
Thursday 2 May 2024
Compline is a peaceful evening ritual, with hymns sung by the Newman College Choir. It offers a serene way to wind down the mind, body and spirit before sleep. With soothing prayers, calming music, and moments of reflection, it provides a break from the hustle and busyness of daily life...
Information session for the permanent diaconate
Saturday 4 May 2024
Do you feel called to serve? The permanent diaconate is open to single and married men who want to serve God and the Church as ordained ministers. Come and see! Learn more here and watch Pope Francis’ prayer Intention for deacons.
Symposium: Austin Cooper OMI—priest, scholar and friend
Friday 10 May 2024
Catholic Theological College (CTC) is hosting a symposium in honour of Rev Professor Austin Cooper OMI AM (1931–2023), founding Master of CTC, historian, formator and ecumenical friend. The symposium will feature speakers exploring Fr Austin’s various contributions to Christian scholarship and formation, and as spiritual friend to so many. Speakers...

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

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