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 Cafe 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 and 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 story of homelessness became one of hope and resilience.
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