Where would we be without our mothers?

This week, in the lead-up to Mother’s Day, we are delighted to share the stories of some inspiring mums—as well as a grandmother and great grandmother—women whose gifts, faithfulness, prayers and loving perseverance are a blessing to their families, their communities and the Church.

Carolina Cetenareski is a Brazilian mother, a recent immigrant to Australia and a member of Mothers who Pray for their Children, a 70,000-strong movement that began in the Portuguese-speaking world but that—thanks to Carolina’s attentiveness to God’s call—is branching out into English-speaking communities, including right here in Australia. Carolina tells us about this exciting development.

Associate Professor Natasha Michael is a leading palliative care physician and Director of Palliative Care at Cabrini Health, as well as a wife, mother and woman of deep faith. Dr Michael gave a moving address at the recent Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon, which was attended by more than 200 people. Drawing on her fascinating life story, she shared her insights on how we might live out our faith in our own lives and workplaces, including a reminder to ‘always listen to your mother!’

We also meet Guiditta Marson, a parishioner at St Mary’s in Thornbury. St Mary’s might be celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year—a tremendous milestone—but it is yet to catch up to its oldest parishioner, Guiditta, who at 102 is still embracing life with the spirit and energy of a much younger woman. Originally from Italy, Giuditta shares the inspiring story of how she found a rich and fulfilling life in a new land.

As always, there is plenty going on in the life of our Archdiocese and beyond—signs of grace and life are all around us. Make sure you check out the rest of our news, stories and events below.

And don’t forget to offer a prayer for mothers everywhere this Mother’s Day.

Mothers who Pray for their Children: restoring families by the power of prayer
Mothers who Pray for their Children is a rapidly growing international movement that began in Brazil and that—thanks to Carolina Cetenareski’s ‘yes’ to the Lord—is now branching out to English-speakers for the first time, including here in Melbourne.
Work as a mode of prayer: reflections of a palliative care physician
Written by: Associate Professor Natasha Michael
In her address at the latest Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon, Associate Professor Natasha Michael reflected on her life’s journey, the joys and challenges of her work as a palliative care physician, and the deep solace she derives from her Catholic faith and from the life of prayer.
Giuditta Marson: 102 years young and going strong
St Mary’s parishioner Giuditta Marson may be 102 years old, but she’s still going strong after more than 55 years in her much-loved Thornbury home—a place where family, food, faith, community and a thriving dressmaking business have all contributed to long and happy life.
‘Surround yourself with greatness’: over 200 attend professionals luncheon
More than 200 Catholic professionals gathered at the Park Hyatt for the second ever Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) luncheon, where the guest speaker, palliative care physician Associate Professor Natasha Michael, encouraged her audience to surround themselves with ‘greatness of mind, greatness of heart, greatness of spirit’.
Learning to speak the truth in love: World Communications Day 2023
This Sunday, the Catholic Church in Australia marks the 57th World Communications Day, an opportunity to reflect on how we might foster ‘communication that kindles hearts, that is balm on wounds and that shines light on the journey of our brothers and sisters’.
Maronite Eparchy welcomes bishops during jubilee year
Written by: Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC)
More than 30 bishops concelebrated Mass at Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral in Sydney’s west on Sunday, taking part in ongoing celebrations for the 50th jubilee of the Maronite Eparchy in Australia.
Our Lady around the World (Part 6): USA and Ireland
As we continue to celebrate the Month of Mary, we hear in this week’s instalment of the ‘Our Lady around the World’ series about some strange, surprising and life-transforming Marian encounters in the USA and Ireland.

For more great stories like these, visit our website.

‘We remind our children of the need to use their gifts for others, to serve and seek solace through prayer. As they become young adults, I enjoy watching them discern decisions and make choices of faith, significant others and career paths. This is their journey. As a mother, I have learnt to pray for them and accompany them.’
Associate Professor Natasha Michael
on the journey of motherhood
Upcoming events
Mothers who Pray for their Children: Frankston and region workshop
Saturday 13 May 2023
9.00am–5.30pm
Join Mothers who Pray for their Children at their Frankston and region workshop. All welcome! Theme: Prayer: ‘Teach us to pray!’ Schedule: 9.15am: Holy Mass10am: Welcome and opening prayer10.10am: Our Lady of La Salette honouring and memorise prayer10.15am: Rosary for the Children10.35am: ‘Our Father who are in heaven, hallowed by...
St Patrick’s Cathedral Mother’s Day concert: Michael Petruccelli
Sunday 14 May 2023
3.00pm–4.00pm
Australian operatic tenor Michael Petruccelli and internationally recognised pianist Coady Green will visit St Patrick’s Cathedral on Mother’s Day for a vocal recital guaranteed to warm the heart. A joyous family event and a perfect way to spend your Sunday afternoon! All welcome. Tickets: $30 (adults) | $25 (concession) at...
Engaging Your Faith: Preparing for Pentecost with Dr Catherine Playoust
Monday 15 May 2023
7.30pm–9.00pm
At Pentecost, we celebrate the Holy Spirit coming to the Church. In this session, we take an advance look at the Pentecost Mass readings, to reflect on how the Holy Spirit moves in our lives. Engaging Your Faith is a series of short online presentations that invite participants to reflect...
Engaging Your Faith: Jesus Christ for me today with Rev Dr Phillip Gleeson SDB
Tuesday 16 May 2023
7.00pm–8.30pm
How can a man born 2,000 years ago have implications for me today? What possible relevance can he have for my life? What is the relationship between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith? Engaging Your Faith is a series of short online presentations that invite participants to...
Catholic Earthcare: Laudato si’ Week online event
Wednesday 17 May 2023
4.00pm–6.00pm
This year to celebrate Laudato si’ Week, Catholic Earthcare is hosting an online ‘action’ event. The theme for Laudato si’ Week this year is ‘Hope for the Earth, Hope for Humanity’. And what better way to have hope and give hope than through action. In 2 hours, participants will engage...
Engaging Your Faith: The breath in prayer and meditation with Dr Christopher Morris
Wednesday 17 May 2023
7.00pm–8.00pm
The breath has profound meaning in spirituality and meditative prayer. Anthony of the Desert said, ‘always breathe Christ.’ Research also shows the central place of the breath as a source of healing and nourishment. This session will explore these connections and offer a breath practice. Engaging Your Faith is a...
Engaging Your Faith: Bringing the ‘hidden exiles’ home: Disability in Catholic theology and social teaching with Rev Dr Justin Glyn SJ
Thursday 18 May 2023
7.00pm–8.30pm
Pope Francis described disabled people as ‘hidden exiles’ in today’s society (Fratelli Tutti 98). This seminar will look at the Church’s theology of disability and how it intersects with understandings of the image of God. We will then consider the ways in which this is changing and directions for future...
St Vincent’s College Bendigo Reunion
Sunday 21 May 2023
(All day event)
Past students of St Vincent’s College Bendigo and their partners are invited to attend the 65th Anniversary and Sports Hall of Fame Dinner, followed by Mass and BBQ at Catherine McAuley College. For all enquiries and booking details, email timothycoates@gmail.com or call Tim Coates on 0407 403 574.
‘Awaken’: Pentecost 2023
Saturday 27 May 2023
1.00pm–4.30pm
Celebrate Pentecost at this regional gathering of our Church, drawing close to the presence and power of God. There will be worship, prayer, talks and workshops, with special guest Rob Falzon from MenALIVE (Brisbane) Schedule: 12.30pm: doors open1pm: rally2pm: workshops and afternoon tea3.15pm: closing rally Free entry, but registration is...
Understanding Divine Mercy with Fr Chris Alar MIC
Friday 2 June 2023
7.00pm–9.30pm
Mentored by the world’s leading experts in Divine Mercy and author of the bestselling books Understanding Divine Mercy and After Suicide: There’s Hope for Them and for You, Fr Chris Alar MIC is a former wrestler and engineer with a Master’s in Business Administration, and the current Provincial Superior of...
St Patrick’s Cathedral concert: celebrity organ recital featuring Colin Andrews
Friday 2 June 2023
6.00pm–7.00pm
International recipient of many awards, and with a distinguished performing career globally, British organist Colin Andrews will visit St Patrick’s Cathedral to present a virtuosic program spanning the centuries, employing the full resources of the Cathedral organ. A specialist in the music of Messiaen, Andrews is only one of four...

For more events, visit our website.

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

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