This Sunday we celebrate World Day of Mission—an opportunity to think more deeply about the ways we share the Good News of God’s love with other people. In his prayer intention for October, Pope Francis prays for a Church that is ‘ever faithful to, and courageous in preaching the Gospel ... a community of solidarity, fraternity and welcome’.

In this spirit of Gospel boldness, we’ve compiled a list of five great reads—perfect for anyone seeking to renew their understanding of what it means to be missionary disciples, and to engage with others in truly meaningful ways.

And since our families are so central to the Church’s mission—ideally the place where we first experience and begin to understand the depth of God’s love for us—we hear from Matt MacDonald, a counsellor and psychotherapist who has worked closely with couples and families over many years to help them become the ‘masterpieces’ that God made them to be. We hear Matt’s thoughts on the connections between theology and psychotherapy, especially in relation to the thought of St Pope John Paul II, whose feast day we celebrate on Saturday.

In recognition of this feast day, and also of next week’s 125th anniversary celebrations of the consecration of St Patrick’s Cathedral, we also revisit the story of Pope John Paul II's visit to our beautiful Cathedral during his Australian tour in 1986.

Last Thursday at the Cathedral, a Pontifical Requiem Mass was held for Bishop Hilton Deakin, a man who dedicated his life to the mission of the Church. Mourners gathered from across Melbourne and beyond, representing many of the communities with which Bishop Deakin had formed special bonds over his years of ministry, to participate in a beautiful liturgy and to remember a singular man of God.

This week is also Anti-Poverty Week, an opportunity to deepen our understanding of poverty and to think about the ways we might respond—another important aspect of our mission to proclaim God's love. We share the story of Tony Huang, an older migrant who arrived in Australia from China in 2014 and soon found himself living in a tiny room in an overcrowded share home. He was isolated, in poor health and struggling financially. Then he met case manager Amy Yuen from VMCH, and his life turned around.

May the Spirit guide and inspire you this week to pursue God's mission of love in your own families, communities and neighbourhoods.

The making of a masterpiece: psychology and theology with Matt MacDonald
Written by: Christian Bergmann
Families can be messy—figuratively and literally. Part of this comes down to the fact that we are not always the people we wish we could be. Matt MacDonald, counsellor and psychotherapist, joins us to talk about where modern psychotherapy compliments the Church’s theology of the body, and how we’re all incomplete works of art, needing a master craftsman to turn us into the masterpiece we were made to be.
5 great reads to help you share the Good News of God’s love
October is the Month of Mission—an opportunity to step back and think about why and how we share the Good News of God’s love with other people. We’ve compiled a short list of great reads—perfect for anyone seeking to renew their understanding of evangelisation and to engage with others in truly meaningful ways.
Pontifical Requiem Mass celebrated for Bishop Hilton Forrest Deakin
On Thursday 13 October, the Pontifical Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Most Rev Hilton Forrest Deakin AM DD (1932–2022), Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne. Among those gathered in the Cathedral were representatives of many of the cultural and national groups that Bishop Deakin served and befriended over his many years of ministry, and in his homily, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli paid tribute to a man with ‘an innate sensitivity to the tears of God’s people’.
Focusing on housing support for older migrants in Anti-Poverty Week
Written by: VMCH
Anti-Poverty Week, from 16 to 22 October, is about increasing society’s understanding of poverty and encouraging people to respond. Months after arriving in Australia from China, Tony Huang found himself living in a tiny room in an overcrowded share home, isolated, in poor health and with limited finances. Then Tony met case manager Amy Yuen from VMCH, and his life turned around.
Sacred moments at St Pat’s
Written by: Jim Clarke, Dr Michael Costigan
The pope visited St Patrick's Cathedral on Friday 28 November 1986, to pray and address a national gathering of clergy and seminarians. In this extract from John Paul II: Journey Through Australia, the official publication of the pope’s 1986 visit, we hear about this special moment in the history of our Cathedral.
‘If we treat the human being as just psychological and material, we haven’t understood a thing because we’re spiritual. We have an infinite dimension to us. And you can never ever heal a person entirely unless you look at all three dimensions.’
Counsellor and psychotherapist Matt MacDonald
Upcoming events
‘The Future of Humanity Passes by Way of the Family’ Public Conversation
Tuesday 25 October 2022
12.30pm–2.00pm
In conjunction with Australian Catholic University, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli is delighted to be hosting American speaker and author, Mary Eberstadt, for a public conversation on the topic ‘The Future of Humanity Passes by Way of the Family.’ Speaker Mary Eberstadt holds the Panula Chair in Christian Culture at the...
World Youth Day 2023: information sessions
Thursday 20 October 2022
7.00pm–9.00pm
Join us this October at our regional youth gatherings to hear more about the four exciting pilgrimage options on offer for World Youth Day 2023! Perfect for parish leaders, priests, parents and, of course, young people. The evenings will cover: What to expect at World Youth DayTavel itineraries with indicative...
St Patrick’s Cathedral 125th anniversary of consecration
Thursday 27 October 2022
1.00pm–2.00pm
As we celebrate our 175th anniversary year as a Diocese, we also mark a significant milestone for our Cathedral. Archbishop Peter A Comensoli warmly invites you to join him for Mass to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the consecration of St Patrick’s Cathedral. This is a beautiful opportunity to come...
St Patrick's Cathedral concert: Thomas Heywood
Friday 28 October 2022
6.00pm–7.30pm
St Patrick's Cathedral presents internationally renowned Australian organ virtuoso Thomas Heywood in a grand organ recital to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Diocese and the 125th anniversary of the Consecration of St Patrick's Cathedral. The program is a homage to music from an earlier point in Melbourne's history, with...
2022 National Online Conference for Evangelisation
Thursday 20 October 2022
– Saturday 22 October 2022
Catholics around Australia are invited to a unique, national event, that will inspire, transform and revitalise faith communities. With presentations and workshops hosted by some of Australia’s most renowned Catholic speakers, ‘Evangelise’ will cover a range of mission and ministry topics, from cultural engagement to liturgy and Sacraments. Plenary sessions...
Sea2Sea Marian pilgrimage
Saturday 22 October 2022
11.00am–4.00pm
Join the Dominican Sisters on the feast of Pope Saint John Paul II for their annual Catholic historic Melbourne Marian pilgrimage! Meet for 11am Mass at St Mary Star of the Sea, West Melbourne, then follow a 5k pilgrimage route through the CBD and stop to pray at some of...
2022 Walter Silvester Memorial Lecture
Tuesday 25 October 2022
6.30pm–8.30pm
Join Bishop Vincent, Bishop of the Diocese of Parramatta and chair of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service, to discuss the outcome of the Australian Plenary Council in a public lecture. The lecture is titled ‘Inverting the Ecclesial Pyramid. 60 Years after Vatican II: Evolution of a...
Engaging Your Faith: ‘The Church as a Community of Missionary Disciples’ online lecture
Wednesday 19 October 2022
7.00pm–8.30pm
‘Engaging Your Faith’ is a series of short online presentations that invites participants to reflect on what it means to be people of faith in the contemporary world. Experienced lecturers from Catholic Theological College present on a variety of topics including: theology, spirituality, biblical studies, pastoral studies, Laudato Si’, Christian...
Engaging Your Faith: ‘Why Be a Catholic? A Response that Satisfies the Human Heart’ online lecture
Thursday 20 October 2022
7.30pm–9.00pm
‘Engaging Your Faith’ is a series of short online presentations that invites participants to reflect on what it means to be people of faith in the contemporary world. Experienced lecturers from Catholic Theological College present on a variety of topics including: theology, spirituality, biblical studies, pastoral studies, Laudato Si’, Christian...
Engaging Your Faith: ‘Does Mindfulness Work?’ online lecture
Tuesday 25 October 2022
2.00pm–3.30pm
‘Engaging Your Faith’ is a series of short online presentations that invites participants to reflect on what it means to be people of faith in the contemporary world. Experienced lecturers from Catholic Theological College present on a variety of topics including: theology, spirituality, biblical studies, pastoral studies, Laudato Si’, Christian...

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