Throughout his time on earth, Jesus frequently took himself aside to pray and to spend time with the Father. For us, too, the way of the Gospel is the way of prayer.

Across the Archdiocese of Melbourne, our local communities of grace are invited to unite for a weekend of prayer from Friday 24 March to Sunday 26 March 2023. This weekend coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation, and Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has said that it ‘promises to be a moment of grace for the local Church, as together we meditate on Mary’s fiat, her total “yes”.’

Fr Cameron Forbes was announced as the new rector of Corpus Christi College last year. In the role now for two months, he shares with us some thoughts on his experience so far and the core elements of good formation. He also tells the story of his own calling to serve God. Being a priest, he says, is ‘an incredible privilege’.

This week we also hear from a woman whose life is dedicated to upholding the dignity of women and children. Melinda Tankard Reist is a speaker, activist and founder of Collective Shout, a grassroots organisation committed to raising awareness about the harmful effects of pornography. Melinda tells us about some of their victories and about why she remains hopeful, while pointing out that there is still much work to be done.

This week, we continue our exploration of the 40th International Eucharistic Congress, hosted right here in Melbourne 50 years ago this year. Among the participants were Mother Teresa, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (later Pope John Paul II) and a significant number of Ukrainian Catholics, who brought the plight of their people to the world’s attention. We cover all of this, and some other highlights, in our rundown on what happened.

Finally, at the Rite of Election last week, catechumens and candidates affirmed their readiness to embrace the Catholic faith more fully. We hear some of their stories about why they converted and their journeys to this point.

We pray that your own Lenten journey has been a fruitful one so far. In coming weeks, may we all travel further and more faithfully along the way of the Gospel and the way of prayer.

Fiat—A Weekend of Prayer
Written by: Proclaim: Office for Mission Renewal
Parishes, communities and individuals across the Archdiocese of Melbourne will unite for a weekend of prayer from Friday 24 March to Sunday 26 March 2023. Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has said that this weekend, which coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, ‘promises to be a moment of grace for the local Church, as together we meditate on Mary’s fiat, her total “yes”.’
Continue reading: Fiat—A Weekend of Prayer
Fr Cameron Forbes, ‘hopeful’ as new rector of Corpus Christi College
Written by: Fiona Basile
Corpus Christi College, the regional seminary for Victoria and Tasmania in Carlton, has welcomed two new faces this year. Fr Cameron Forbes, former parish priest of Mentone and Parkdale, officially started in his role as rector of the seminary on 22 January, and with him came Felix, an 18-month-old, soft-coated Wheaten Terrier puppy, affectionately now referred to as ‘the seminary dog’.
Melinda Tankard Reist: speaking up for women and children
Melinda Tankard Reist—activist, speaker and founder of Collective Shout—is driven by deep concern for the women, children and men she advocates for, and by a tenacious sense of hope. For more than ten years, Melinda and her organisation have been raising awareness about the destructive effects of pornography. She speaks with us about her work and why she is still hopeful.
What happened at Melbourne’s 1973 Eucharistic Congress?
In February 1973, Melbourne hosted the 40th International Eucharistic Congress. One of Melbourne’s biggest ever Catholic events, it attracted global media attention and respected international figures. Who was there? What happened? And why was it significant? We take a look at some highlights of this historic Congress.
Coming home: catechumens and candidates share their stories
During the Rite of Election last week, people from all walks of life affirmed their readiness to embrace more fully the Catholic faith. We share a few of their stories as a way to nourish us on our Lenten journey. What motivated their conversion? What paths have led them to this moment? Each story is unique, reflecting each person's dignity, individuality and beauty.
‘I felt a great sense of peace that I had cooperated with God in the only way I knew how. That sense of peace remains with me to this day.’
Fr Cameron Forbes, Rector of Corpus Christi College
recalling the moment he decided to train for the priesthood
Upcoming events
Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate
Saturday 11 March 2023
10.00am–12.00pm
Join us for the Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate of Stephen Fernandes and Hoa Tran at St Patrick's Cathedral on Saturday 11 March. The Mass will be broadcast live on our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/archmelb). As St Alphonsus Liguori once said, ‘The happiest man in the world is he who abandons...
2023 Patrick Oration
Friday 17 March 2023
7.30pm–9.30pm
Please join us online or via C31 for the fourth annual Patrick Oration, presented by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli. Archbishop Comensoli will be reflecting on the pathways that illumine our future as the people of God. The event will be broadcast live on our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/archmelb) and via free-to-air...
Fiat—A Weekend of Prayer
Friday 24 March 2023
– Sunday 26 March 2023
Our local communities of grace across the Archdiocese of Melbourne will unite for a weekend of prayer from Friday 24 March to Sunday 26 March 2023. Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has said that this weekend, which coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord on Saturday 25 March...
Nightfever
Friday 24 March 2023
6.00pm–11.59pm
Join youth and young adults of the Archdiocese of Melbourne as they gather at Sacred Heart Church, Carlton, for the first event of the FIAT weekend of prayer. Adoration | Song | Evangelisation | Confession For all enquiries, email proclaim@cam.org.au or call (03) 9926 5713).
CatholicCare Victoria: FOCCUS Facilitator Training
Wednesday 15 March 2023
– Thursday 16 March 2023
FOCCUS is a valuable pre-marriage preparation aid for all marriage celebrants, marriage educators and others interested in supporting couples build fulfilling, life-long relationships. It supports individual couples to concentrate on the strengths and areas for growth in their relationship. Facilitators assist couples to learn strategies and skills that will support...
‘Walk with Jesus to Calvary’: St Agatha’s Church Lenten retreat for children
Saturday 18 March 2023
– Sunday 19 March 2023
Join St Agatha’s Church Lenten retreat for children: ‘Walk with Jesus to Calvary’. For ages 5–15, the retreat will feature praise and worship, activities and games, group discussions, Holy Mass and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Guest speakers: Fr Aurelio FragapaneFr Joseph AbutuFr Paul Zaher Bookings are essential. Food will...
God and Beer: Reflections of an Australian Catholic exorcist
Monday 14 August 2023
7.30pm–8.30pm
This month's speaker is Fr Michael Shadbolt, officially appointed exorcist for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for ten years. He was the much-loved parish priest of Holy Family Doveton for many years, and is the recent author of a book 'Exorcism: Reflections of an Australian Catholic Exorcist.' An initiative of the...
Jesuit Social Services Annual Dinner
Saturday 25 March 2023
7.00pm–11.00pm
Jesuit Social Services is a social change organisation working to build a just society where all people can live to their full potential. They accompany people and communities to foster and regenerate the web of relationships that sustain us all, and work to change policies, practices, ideas and values that...

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