Advent is a hopeful season—the beginning of a new liturgical year and a time to focus on the vibrant and joyful future that God promises. Too often, though, when we think about the future, we start speculating, worrying, strategising, as a way to fend off the disconcerting sense that we’re not as firmly in control of our lives as we would like to be.

But God calls us to think about the future in a very different way: as a kind of homecoming, a coming to rest in the place where we most truly belong and are most ardently loved. As we launch into the season of Advent, then, our stories this week all touch in some way on this idea of ‘home’ in the life of faith.

Fr Justin Glyn SJ, who has been legally blind since birth, firmly believes that the Church should be a home for all the people of God. Recently, in preparation for the upcoming Synod on Synodality, he travelled to Rome to help shape a document on the experiences and roles of people with disability in the Church. In anticipation of International Day of People with Disabilities this Saturday, we hear from Fr Justin about his experiences as a priest, a lawyer and a passionate advocate for people with disability.

We also hear from Christian Bergmann, who recently made the journey back to Melbourne after two years in Perth. He reflects on what it really means to come home, and how a biblical understanding of home might help us enter more fully and generously into the season of Advent.

As Christian observes, a home is ultimately a place to be shared, a place where we are able to connect deeply with others. Last week, at a luncheon hosted by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli at the Park Hyatt, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne launched the Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) network, with the aim of helping people to find their true home in the Church through opportunities to encounter other like-minded people, build professional relationships, form new friendships and live out their Catholic faith and values.

Today, on St Andrew’s Day, we also hear about the launch of another exciting initiative, the St Andrew’s Network, which aims to support men and women who are interested in the Catholic Church, especially those with a non-Catholic but Christian or religious background. One of the network’s co-founders, Nigel Zimmerman, tells us about his own experience of coming to the Catholic Church from a background and ministry in another faith tradition, and about how the idea for the network came about. ‘We felt ourselves coming home when we entered the Catholic Church,’ he says. ‘The peace we found in the Catholic tradition motivates us to have open hearts and minds to others on similar journeys.’

While our homes should be places of security and freedom, sadly there are many around the world whose homes, lives and families are threatened by conflict and persecution. Last week, St Patrick’s Cathedral was bathed in red light for Red Wednesday, as people from across the city gathered inside to pray and stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians around the world. And this week, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference launched an Advent Appeal for the Ukrainian people, with the aim of providing financial support to people in the war-torn nation as winter arrives.

When we contemplate the brokenness of our world, it’s encouraging to remember that our true home, the kingdom of God, is unlocked for us by the coming of the Christ Child—the one who came to make his home among us so that we might find our way home to him. May God bless you richly on your homeward journey this Advent.

Melbourne Catholic Professionals: furthering the mission of the Church
On Tuesday, 22 November, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne launched the Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) network at the Park Hyatt as an opportunity for business and professional leaders to gather in an atmosphere of fellowship and faith. The aim of the MCP is to provide a platform for people to actively participate in the life and mission of the Church and to encounter other like-minded people, build professional relationships, form new friendships and be encouraged to live out their Catholic faith and values.
Fr Justin Glyn SJ: ‘We’re all Church together’
On 3 December, we mark International Day for People with Disabilities. Legally blind since birth, Jesuit priest Fr Justin Glyn has a strong commitment to ensuring people with disabilities have a voice and meaningful roles in the Church. It’s this advocacy work that saw him travel to Rome in September to help shape a document for the upcoming Synod on Synodality.
The St Andrew’s Network: walking alongside those entering the Catholic Church
Today we celebrate the feast day of the apostle St Andrew, known as one of those who followed Jesus to become a ‘fisher of men’. In John’s Gospel (1:40–42), Andrew help bring his brother, Simon Peter, to Jesus. It is in this spirit that St Andrew was chosen as the patron saint for the St Andrew’s Network, which was officially launched today and which seeks to help and support men and women who are interested in the Catholic Church, especially those with a non-Catholic but Christian or religious background.
The candle in the window: an Advent reflection
There’s a lovely Advent tradition, originating with the Irish, of leaving a burning candle in the window—a sign for anyone in need of shelter or food that this home is open and they are welcome. Reflecting on the notion of home—in his own life, in literature and in the Bible—has helped Christian Bergmann to see the season of Advent in a new light.
Australian bishops back local Advent appeal for Ukrainian people
Written by: Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC)
The country’s bishops are encouraging Catholics to respond to the call from the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia to provide financial support to people in the war-torn nation as winter arrives.
Persecuted Christians remembered at Red Wednesday Prayer Vigil
On the evening of Wednesday 23 November, the familiar silhouette of St Patrick’s Cathedral took on a striking red hue. It was one of hundreds of churches, cathedrals and monuments around the world taking part in Red Wednesday, an initiative of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the international Catholic charity and pontifical foundation dedicated to supporting suffering and persecuted Christians.
‘We are all part of the body of Christ. And to the extent that we cut off any part of that, we lose. We’re all Church together.’
Fr Justin Glyn SJ
on making the Church a home for all
Upcoming events
Cathedral concert: ‘Rejoice! A Star is Risen, the Light has Come’
Friday 2 December 2022
Cathedral Organist, Dion Henman, presents a program of Advent and Christmas music played on the grand organ of St Patrick’s Cathedral. A meditation on the journey from Advent to Christmas, this concert features music based on traditional carols, including ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’, ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’...
Cathedral concert: ‘A Christmas Celebration’
Sunday 18 December 2022
Join us as we celebrate the spirit of Christmas with carols across space and time, including an Acknowledgement of Country through music. A family concert of traditional and modern Christmas favourites, featuring Brass, organ and choir in the beautiful and inspiring space of St Patrick’s Cathedral. Performance will include audience...
St Dominic’s Parish: ‘Mary, Mother of Mercy’
Friday 2 December 2022
Join St Dominic’s Divine Mercy prayer group in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament the first Friday of every month. Mary, Mother of God, said to Sr Faustina: ‘Your lives must be like mine, quiet and hidden, in unceasing union with God, pleading for humanity and preparing the world for the...
Advent retreat: ‘Prepare the Way’, Holy Family Church
Saturday 3 December 2022, 10.00am
– Sunday 4 December 2022, 4.00pm
Holy Family Church and Divine Kids Ministry invite you to join their Advent retreat ‘Prepare the Way’ for children aged 5–15. There will be Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, praise and worship, group discussions, activities and fun games! Guest speakers Fr Ajin AlbarnasFr Aurelio FragapaneFr Joseph AbutuFr Michael Shadbolt...
‘The Australian Nativity Scene’, St Elizabeth’s Parish
Monday 5 December 2022
– Friday 13 January 2023
St Elizabeth’s Parish invites you to visit its Australian nativity scene on its 19th year of display. The nativity scene was created by artist Wilson Fernandez, and it has been regarded as one of Australia's most traditional nativity scenes and the largest of its kind in the country. The nativity...
Theology @ the Pub: ‘New Wine of the Gospel—a Drink Called Happiness’
Monday 5 June 2023
Theology @ the Pub is a monthly event for those aged 18–35. It is a chance to listen to terrific guest speakers talking about theology, history, apologetics, faith and prayer, relationships, ethics, society and much more. This month’s speaker is Sr Mary Helen OP. Sr Mary Helen will talk about...
CTC information session: ‘Find Your Path’ 2023
Monday 5 December 2022
The most telling step in a journey is the next step. That’s the step that determines the path ahead. Join the Catholic Theological College (CTC) in an online information session to learn more about making the next step in theological studies; the right step for you. Expert presenters will...

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