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.