A pilgrim and proclaiming Church

On Sunday 16 July, St Patrick’s Cathedral was packed to the rafters as Archbishop Peter A Comensoli officially commissioned and blessed Melbourne’s nearly 600-strong group of World Youth Day pilgrims, encouraging them to be open to God’s word on their overseas journey.

An exciting aspect of this year’s WYD pilgrimage is the new Emerging Leaders program, an immersive formation experience that will ground more than 80 participants in what it means to be a Christian leader. We learn about the amazing efforts of parishioners at St Kevin’s Hampton Park to recruit, fund and support a whole busload of WYD pilgrims. And for those of us remaining behind, we share some hints on how to be a ‘stay-at-home’ pilgrim, finding spiritual refreshment at some of Melbourne’s most beautiful shrines and Catholic sites while keeping our WYD pilgrims in our prayers.

As a new document on evangelisation from the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry encourages us to ‘preach all the Gospel, to all the world, all the time’, visiting Catholic speaker Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers shares with us the story of his journey from US law enforcement to global evangelist. And in the lead-up to World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, we hear from VMCH about the Star Café in Torquay, an inspiring new social enterprise that is bringing aged-care residents, young families and a group of trainees with disability together in joyful, life-giving ways.

Finally, as winter deepens, we turn our minds to those most affected by the plummeting temperatures: the homeless. The new CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria explains why supporting this year’s Winter Appeal is more urgent than ever, and we hear how Diana’s harrowing experience of homelessness became a story of hope and resilience.

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Pilgrims blessed and commissioned for World Youth Day Lisbon
St Patrick’s Cathedral was filled to the brim on Sunday for the official commissioning Mass and blessing of the largest ever contingent from the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne to attend an overseas World Youth Day. Almost 600 pilgrims gathered with family and friends in an atmosphere of joyful anticipation as Archbishop Peter A Comensoli encouraged them to ‘pick up the word of God and journey with it.’
Melbourne’s emerging leaders to ‘let Rome be the teacher’ this WYD
Among the almost 600 pilgrims travelling from Melbourne to World Youth Day (WYD) this year are the more than 80 participants in the Emerging Leaders immersion program. They will travel with Archbishop Peter A Comensoli via Rome for a unique experience of learning and formation designed to ground them in what it means to be a Christian leader.
The ‘stay-at-home’ pilgrim: shrines to visit in Melbourne this WYD
Just because you’re not going to World Youth Day doesn’t mean you can’t go on a little pilgrimage of your own right here in Melbourne. A number of sacred shrines around Melbourne provide opportunities to spiritually refresh ourselves and pray for Melbourne’s WYD pilgrims. Here we suggest a few local sites to visit on your ‘stay-at-home’ pilgrimage.
A parish endeavour: St Kevin’s Hampton Park heads to World Youth Day
Melbourne’s World Youth Day journey officially gets underway this week, with the first pilgrimage group —the Footsteps of Jesus—scheduled to fly out on Wednesday 19 July. Fr Anil Mascherenhas, Assistant Parish Priest of St Kevin’s Hampton Park, is one of the bus leaders on the pilgrimage, and has more than 30 parishioners from St Kevin’s in tow. It’s one of the largest parish groups to attend an overseas World Youth Day from the Archdiocese.
Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers: ‘We have a part to play’ in evangelisation
On a recent tour of Oceania, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, the ‘Dynamic Deacon’, stopped in Melbourne for several talks. The popular Catholic speaker, writer and television host spoke with us about the incredible welcome he received in Papua New Guinea, how his career in law enforcement and anti-terrorism influenced his approach to public speaking, and his perspective on effective evangelisation.
Café serves up intergenerational fun for residents, trainees and children
Written by: VMCH
As World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly approaches, we hear from VMCH about a unique social enterprise café on Victoria’s surf coast that has become a thriving community hub for aged care residents, trainees with disability and young customers. Star Café opened in December 2022 at Star of the Sea Aged Care Residence in Torquay, providing people with disability with invaluable work experience and helping to forge life-giving connections between older residents and young families.
‘The gaps are widening’: being homeless in Victoria this winter
For a growing number of Victorians, winter is not something to look forward to, as homelessness continues to rise at alarming rates. We speak to Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald AM, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria, about the current homelessness crisis, and we also hear from Diana, whose harrowing story of homelessness became one of courage and hope.
Catholics reminded to preach the Gospel always, everywhere
Written by: Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC)
Catholics are being urged to ‘preach all the Gospel, to all the world, all the time’ and to consider encounter, discipleship and mission from their Catholic foundations in a new document from the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry. Noting that the task of proclaiming the Gospel ‘has increasingly been seen as the work of all the baptised’, Archbishop Christopher Prowse describes the new document as ‘something of a blueprint for evangelisation in our current context’.
‘Might we be like Mary, our Mother and fellow pilgrim, welcoming God’s word into us, and journeying on the path towards life in Christ.’
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
at the commissioning Mass for Melbourne’s pilgrims to World Youth Day 2023
Upcoming events
Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon
Thursday 17 August 2023
Join us for the second Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) event of the year! MCP creates opportunities for Catholic professional men and women to network and support the life and mission of the Church in Melbourne. Through its program of luncheon events—hosted by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli—MCP draws people together from...
Grand organ recital featuring Thomas Trotter, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Friday 25 August 2023
One of Britain’s most widely admired musicians and concert organists, Thomas Trotter, will visit our beautiful and inspiring St Patrick’s Cathedral in August with a recital program sure to please. Trotter has performed at more than 800 concerts in his international career, with recent tours to Europe, China and Australia...
CSS webinar: ‘First Nations Voices’
Thursday 27 July 2023
Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV), in conjunction with Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA), is pleased to invite you to join for a series of webinars to learn more about the upcoming referendum on Constitutional Recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and the Voice to Parliament. The webinars will...
Winter reflection afternoon, Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga
Saturday 29 July 2023
Step away from the busyness of life and join the Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga (CWLVWW) for an inspiring winter reflection afternoon. Anna Krohn OAM, CWLVWW general president and recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia, will provide insightful reflections on what it means to...
2023 Yarck to Yea Ride-Walk-Run
Saturday 19 August 2023
(All day event)
Join the Missionary Sisters of Service on the 2023 Yarck to Yea Ride-Walk-Run, and contribute to helping those experiencing disadvantage and exclusion in rural Australia. Registration at Yarck (for those participating in the 27km from Yarck to Yea or the 17km from Molesworth to Yea): Registration open time: 7.15amLocation: Giddy...
MGL Sisters Discernment Weekend
Saturday 26 August 2023, 7.00am
– Sunday 27 August 2023, 5.00pm
The Missionaries of God’s Love sisters are hosting a ‘Consecrated Life Weekend’. This is an opportunity for young single women aged 18–30 to spend some quality time with Jesus and discover their calling in life. There will be times of prayer, talks, sharing, sisterhood and more. For more information, email...
The Archbishop’s Dinner: an initiative of the Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria
Friday 1 September 2023
Join the Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria to celebrate the 23rd annual Archbishop’s Dinner. The dinner is held each year to raise funds for the Priests Support and Education Fund. This fund was established by the Knights of the Southern Cross to assist in the funding and education of...

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

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