This Sunday we celebrate Migrant and Refugee Sunday. In this year’s message, Pope Francis reflects on the hard but necessary work of building a society that welcomes migrants and refugees, encouraging us to ‘build the future today!’

As we reflect on the rich cultural tapestry of our Archdiocese in this our 175th year, we cannot overlook the enormous positive influence that post–World War II immigration has had on our city and on Australian society more broadly. Arthur Calwell—informed and inspired by his Catholic faith—was instrumental in bringing this transformation about. We hear from his daughter, Mary Elizabeth Calwell, about the man who would come to be known as Australia's ‘father of multiculturalism‘.

With estimates that more than four billion people tuned in to watch the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, it is clear that her loss has been keenly felt right around the world. Reigning for more than 70 years, always with grace and dignity, she leaves a legacy that we will cherish for many years to come.

Her significance for Christians is something that has been especially talked about. This week, we are joined by Dr Miles Pattenden, a Senior Research Fellow with the Australian Catholic University, to discuss the queen’s quiet, welcoming Christianity, and how her example is one to be admired by all, no matter their religious or political persuasion. Dr Pattenden says that her dedication to service, to powerful symbolic gestures and to forming friendships across the political divide were hallmarks of her style.

We also speak with Lesa Meese, a natural fertility educator with Natural Fertility Services Melbourne, about her deeply rewarding work with couples, assisting them to achieve or avoid pregnancy within the ethos of Christ’s teachings and the Catholic faith—a mission in which she feels privileged to participate.

And this week, as we mark Dementia Action Week, we hear how VMCH‘s award-winning specialist dementia unit, Lady Lourdes House, is providing a welcoming and caring environment for those living with dementia—including Mary, whose daughter Jenny believes that if there were more units like Lady Lourdes House, people living with dementia and their families could have much more quality time together before the disease takes hold.

The quiet, welcoming Christianity of Queen Elizabeth II
The legacy of Queen Elizabeth II is one we will continue to reflect on, discuss and cherish for many years to come. Dr Miles Pattenden, a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University, spoke with Melbourne Catholic about some aspects of her legacy, especially what she meant to Catholics.
Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees
Written by: Pope Francis
On Sunday 25 September, we celebrate the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Earlier this year, on 9 May, Pope Francis delivered a message exploring this year’s theme, ‘Building the future with migrants and refugees’, in which he encourages us to ‘grow in our common humanity and build together an ever greater sense of togetherness.’
Arthur Calwell, Australia’s father of multiculturalism
Written by:
Mary Elizabeth Calwell was a school girl when her father, Arthur Calwell, was sworn in as Australia’s first federal minister for immigration in 1945. She shares with us her recollections of a man whose life and work were shaped by a deep Catholic faith, and who would come to be known as ‘the father of multiculturalism in Australia’.
Lesa Meese, sharing the gift of natural family planning
Lesa Meese is a natural fertility educator with the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. Working under the auspices of Natural Fertility Services Melbourne, she regularly speaks with couples online, over the phone or in person, assisting them to achieve or avoid pregnancy within the ethos of Christ’s teachings and the Catholic faith. It’s a mission that she feels privileged to serve in, and which she finds deeply rewarding.
New approach to dementia care improves lives
Written by: VMCH
The theme of this year's Dementia Action Week (19–25 September) is ‘A little support makes a big difference’, pointing to the fact that many people living with dementia can live well for years after their diagnosis. VMCH’s award-winning specialist dementia unit, Lady Lourdes House, is helping a number of people do just that—including Mary, whose daughter Jenny believes that if there were more units like this, people living with dementia and their families could have much more quality time together before the disease takes hold.
‘Queen Elizabeth can be an inspiring figure for Catholics who see the value of modesty, toleration of difference, and calmness in the face of turbulent events ... whatever our political persuasions, we ought to recognise her unique success in creating a common ground for friendships to form and civilised debate to flourish.’
Dr Miles Pattenden
on how the example of Queen Elizabeth II might unite us
Upcoming Events
Migrant and Refugee Sunday Mass
Sunday 25 September 2022
3.00pm–4.00pm
Join with migrant communities from all over Melbourne at St Patrick’s Cathedral to celebrate World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Mass celebrated by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli and migrant chaplains of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Rosary in various languages at 2pm.
Doxa's 50th Jubilee Celebration
Sunday 2 October 2022
(All day event)
Join Doxa in its 50th Jubilee celebration! Activities include a giant swing, a climbing wall, pony rides and a roving magician. The Melbourne Cup will also be on display at the event, and sporting personalities will attend the celebration. Buses to the event will depart from Southern Cross Station—bus terminal—...
Music concert: a tribute to Richard Connolly
Sunday 9 October 2022
4.00pm–5.00pm
Join the Bayside community in a tribute to Richard Connolly (1927–2022). The event will be an opportunity to celebrate Catholic hymnody, along with musicians from the Bayside Mission and broader Melbourne area. For any queries, email baysideoffice@cam.org.au or call (03 9593 1703). Photo kindly provided by the Archdiocese of Sydney.
ACU lecture: does the Catholic sacrament of marriage have a future?
Monday 10 October 2022
10.00am–11.30am
A Catholic understanding of marriage is distinct. It asks couples for depth of intimacy, fruitfulness and contribution to the common good, and insists on the presence of grace in this most ordinary of human relationships. It pushes against a private view of marriage, calling family a ‘school of deeper humanity’...
Knox lecture: 50 years of theological education
Wednesday 12 October 2022
7.30pm–9.30pm
The annual Knox Public Lecture is an important date in the calendar of Catholic Theological College. It commemorates the life and ministry of the founder of the College, the late James Robert Cardinal Knox, fifth Archbishop of Melbourne. As CTC marks its 50th anniversary as a College and a member...
‘Following the Way of St Mary MacKillop’ pilgrimage
Monday 17 October 2022, 9.00am
– Wednesday 26 October 2022, 5.00pm
In collaboration with Harvest Journeys, Fr Jacob Raju and the parish team at Holy Trinity Parish Bentleigh are coordinating a parish pilgrimage, Following the Way of St Mary MacKillop, our first Australian saint. You are invited to join Fr Jacob and others as they travel from Melbourne to Adelaide on...
‘In the Footsteps of St Mary MacKillop’ pilgrimage
Tuesday 17 October 2023
– Saturday 28 October 2023
Led by the Sisters of St Joseph, this pilgrimage is an invitation for prayer and reflection. Today, the Sisters of St Joseph recognise that each of us is on a daily journey of faith but there is a time in life when we feel called to join with others; seeking...

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

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