‘Being united is the key’

In recent weeks, we have been invited once again to reflect on the unifying Spirit of God, who seeks to heal and reconcile not just the Church but all of creation.

In this week’s stories, as we mark National Reconciliation Week, we speak with Vicki Clark OAM about why—now more than ever—‘being united is the key’, and about the ways the Opening the Doors Foundation has been opening up opportunities for Indigenous students for more than 24 years.

As tens of thousands of children and adults gathered in Rome on the weekend for the Church’s first ever World Children's Day, Pope Francis reminded them that ‘Faith makes us happy’ and urged them to ‘pray always’.

And the latest Australian Catholic Mass Attendance Report sheds light on the changing nature of the Catholic Church in Australia, pointing to some concerning trends but also to encouraging signs of hope.

Vicki Clark OAM: reconciliation needed now more than ever
This week we observe National Reconciliation Week in Australia (27 May – 3 June)—a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. This year’s theme, ‘Now more than ever’, resonates strongly for Mutthi Mutthi Wemba Wamba woman Vicki Clark OAM. Having served as the founding coordinator of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria, Vicki is also a co-founder of Opening the Doors Foundation, which has been contributing to the work of reconciliation for 24 years by helping to ensure First Nations students from across the country have equal access to the education of their choice.
‘Always pray’: Pope gives kids life lessons at World Children’s Day
Always pray, and pray especially for an end to all wars, Pope Francis told children during Mass concluding the Church’s first ever World Children’s Day on 26 May. About 50,000 children and adults gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Mass, but the celebrations began the day before at Rome’s Olympic Stadium as thousands gathered for a sunny afternoon of music, dance and even a brief friendly soccer match. ‘Dear children, let us press ahead and be joyful,’ the Pope said. ‘Joy is healthy for the soul.’
National survey shows Australia’s Catholics are online and multicultural
The latest Australian Catholic Mass Attendance Report, released last week by the National Centre for Pastoral Research, sheds light on the changing nature of the Catholic Church in Australia, with more of the faithful shifting online and worshipping in languages other than English. However, the number of Catholics worshipping regularly in parishes across the country is declining.
Reconciliation is an ongoing journey
As Australians mark National Reconciliation Week, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council underscored the need for unity, saying, ‘Now more than ever, we need to place our trust and hopes in the Holy Spirit and come together as a nation, undivided.’ While acknowledging that the journey to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is not easy, Bishop Charles Gauci, Chair of the Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, says that the Catholic Church remains hopeful of healing.
Less maths, more dancing: a reflection on the Trinity
Many of the analogies for the Trinity that Lucy Davison encountered in her childhood left her feeling that, as Christian doctrines go, the Trinity wasn’t a particularly appealing one, just another conundrum that she somehow had to get her head around. But as she has since learnt, the Trinity can change the way we see everything, illuminating every aspect of our thinking about God and the world.
Caritas agencies on the ground assessing devastation in Papua New Guinea
Remote communities in Papua New Guinea have been devastated by a catastrophic landslide that struck the Enga province at 3am on 24 May, with fears the death toll could reach the thousands. As rescue efforts continue, Caritas Australia has launched an appeal to help provide those who have lost their homes with food, shelter and clean water in the weeks and months ahead.
Around our schools: a new school, a new uniform and new hope
In any given week, there are hundreds if not thousands of exciting things happening in Melbourne’s Catholic school communities. Here we share just three inspiring developments—a school opening and blessing, the launch of a new uniform, and an innovative sustainability program—that were celebrated in our schools over the past week.
Communion, creativity and tenacity: Pope speaks to national mission directors
‘Communion, creativity and tenacity’ were the three key words Pope Francis wanted the national directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies to consider as they gathered in Rome for their Annual General Assembly. Among them was Fr Brian Lucas, National Director of Catholic Mission in Australia, who said, ‘As always, the Pope’s words were full of encouragement and a reminder that the work of mission belongs to the whole Church.’
‘It’s wonderful to see our students taking their educational experience and their knowledge back into the community. And that’s because it’s been possible for the students to study from their own homes ... They had the beauty of family, culture, country, a good education experience, and then they’ve been able to stay and give back to their communities.’
Vicki Clark OAM
on the impact of the Opening the Doors Foundation’s support for Indigenous students
Upcoming events
Fiat 2024—A Weekend of Prayer
Friday 31 May 2024, 6.00pm
– Sunday 2 June 2024, 1.00pm
For the second year running, our local communities of grace across the Archdiocese of Melbourne will unite for a weekend of prayer from Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June 2024. The weekend coincides with the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the solemnity of the...
The Seeker of Souls: Understanding God’s intense search for you
Saturday 1 June 2024
9.00am–12.15pm
The Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga is hosting a women’s retreat with reflections by Fr Trevor Tibbertsma. The retreat is a great opportunity to meet a supportive community of women of faith and includes Mass, adoration, confession, an inspiring talk and a Q&A session. Morning tea will...
Melbourne Corpus Christi Procession
Sunday 2 June 2024
1.00pm–4.00pm
Join us on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) for Mass at Sacred Heart Church (Rathdowne and Pelham Streets, Carlton) followed by a Eucharistic procession to St Patrick’s Cathedral for Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. 1pm: Mass at Sacred Heart Church...
Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon: Prof Mary Finsterer
Tuesday 4 June 2024
12.00pm–2.00pm
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...
Mass of Thanksgiving and Celebration for members of religious congregations
Saturday 8 June 2024
11.00am–2.00pm
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli is pleased to invite congregational members to share in a Mass of Thanksgiving and Celebration. The theme of the Mass is ‘Synodal women and men—builders of hope’. Mass will be followed by light refreshments in the gathering space beside the church. Bookings are essential, and parking...
‘Poets and the Faith: RS Thomas’ presented by Archbishop Rowan Williams (via Zoom)
Tuesday 11 June 2024
6.00pm–7.30pm
St Peter’s Eastern Hill is hosting a series of talks about significant poets who have inhabited—or skirted the fringes—of the Anglican and Catholic traditions of Christianity. From Gerard Manley Hopkins to RS Thomas, from Emily Brontë to WH Auden, how did their poetry enrich and challenge their understanding of the...
‘A Serenade to Music’ featuring the Trinity Singers
Sunday 16 June 2024
3.00pm–4.00pm
The Trinity Singers present a program exploring the power of music through the ages. Spanning five centuries, and with Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music as its centrepiece, this concert will delight, excite and serenade the soul! Program: Byrd—Come Woeful Orpheus, Walmisley—Music, All Powerful, Vaughan Williams—Serenade to Music, Howells—King David, Todd—I...
Catholic Theological College online information session
Monday 17 June 2024
7.30pm–8.30pm
Join our online information session to learn more about study options at Catholic Theological College (CTC), and insights into student life. Whether you want to further your career or your knowledge of the Catholic faith, CTC has the right path or options for you. Meet our course advisors and...
Celebrating Liturgy Today: Exploring the Ritual Enactment of Faith
Monday 8 July 2024, 9.00am
– Thursday 11 July 2024, 5.00pm
Celebrating Liturgy Today: Exploring the Ritual Enactment of Faith (THLS606) is being offered through ACU’s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy. The unit will be taught by Prof Clare Johnson and guests over four full days (9am–5pm) and will be delivered live online via Zoom as a professional learning seminar and...

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

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

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