God’s infinite mercy

In 1993, John Pridmore, a gangster in one of London’s largest crime networks, encountered Christ in a powerful and life-changing way. Now he is an international missionary, dedicating his life to helping others discover the same divine love he did.

John is currently in Melbourne, taking part in a number of parish missions. He talks with us about his conversion, his spiritual life, and why his parish missions are so unique.

Also this week, we speak to Fr Brendan Lane, who just celebrated 50 years of priestly ministry, about the places his vocation has taken him and the importance of ‘saying yes’ to God. In the wake of St Augustine’s feast day, we hear from the Friends of St Augustine, based at St Joseph’s in South Yarra, about their relationship to this remarkable saint. A Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub opens in Northcote. Mackillop Education celebrates the opening of its third Specialist School campus. And a courageous little girl undergoes life-changing surgery at St John of God Berwick Hospital.

Finally, if you haven’t yet heard about the upcoming Benedict Conference, Fr Dean Mathieson talks with us about the thinking behind the event and how exploring the legacy of the late Pope Benedict XVI might help to deepen our faith and enrich our lives right here in Melbourne.

For more, visit the Melbourne Catholic news and stories page or follow us on Facebook.

Gangster, gardener, missionary: John Pridmore’s incredible life
Visiting Melbourne for a series of parish missions, John Pridmore shares with us the powerful story of his conversion from London gangster to international missionary, providing an insight into his spiritual life and why his highest priority is to connect people with Jesus and his transforming love.
We’re just clay pots: Fr Brendan Lane reflects on 50 years of priesthood
Fr Brendan Lane remembers feeling ‘rotten’ on the day of his ordination, but as he lay on the floor of St Patrick’s Cathedral, he says the peace of God came over him and he was ‘alright’. Fifty years later, he still loves being a parish priest. On Sunday, he celebrated his golden jubilee at a special Mass at St Mary’s Dandenong. He spoke with us about all the ways God has guided and sustained him, ‘an ordinary bloke’, though 50 years of priestly ministry.
Benedict Conference to explore what a ‘Church of faith’ can offer a searching world
On 28 October, the Australian Catholic University (ACU) Melbourne campus will host the 2023 Benedict Conference—the first of its kind here in Melbourne. This inaugural event will bring together international and local speakers to explore the life and legacy of Pope Benedict XVI (otherwise known as Joseph Ratzinger), building its conversations around the themes of truth, goodness and beauty. Fr Dean Mathieson, the event’s organiser, talks to us about the thinking behind the event.
To talk and laugh: becoming friends with St Augustine
The Friends of St Augustine are a lay movement here in Melbourne and around Australia, born from an association with the Augustinian Friars of Australia. Founded in 1999, the movement continues to bring lay people together to be formed by the texts and spirituality of St Augustine. We spoke with a few of its members, including its two new national leaders, about what they love so much about St Augustine and how they have become friends with this remarkable saint.
Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub opens in Northcote
On Wednesday 23 August, local staff and supporters of Cabrini Outreach, a service of Cabrini Health, gathered for the official blessing of the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub in Northcote. The hub provides access to a range of primary healthcare and mental health services for people seeking asylum and for newly arrived refugees. In blessing the new premises, Bishop Anthony Ireland praised the hub's work and recounted how Mother Cabrini herself ‘went to the ports seeking to care for the migrant people who landed in a new country in need of medical care’.
MacKillop Education’s Caulfield campus officially opens
Written by: MacKillop Family Services
On Tuesday 15 August, MacKillop Education’s Specialist School officially celebrated the opening of its third campus. Situated on the site of the former St Aloysius Primary School, North Caulfield, the campus is a place where students who are disengaged or at risk of disengaging from school can get the academic and social support they need to flourish.
Taking a stand to help a brave little girl walk
Written by: St John of God Health Care
Last January, seven-year-old Gerisha travelled to Melbourne from Vanuatu to undergo life-changing surgery at St John of God Berwick Hospital. Born in Vanuatu with bilateral talipes, commonly known as club feet, Gerisha faced even greater challenges when one of her legs needed to be amputated. But now, thanks to a collaboration between Children First Foundation, St John of God Berwick Hospital and Professor Ton Tran, she is wearing shoes for the first time—ever.
‘God’s mercy is bigger than anything I’ve ever done in my life. It’s bigger than anything we can ever do.’
International missionary and ex-gangster John Pridmore
on the immensity of God’s mercy
Upcoming events
Annual Father's Day Appeal
Sunday 3 September 2023
(All day event)
Each year on the first Sunday of September, Father's Day, the Priests Retirement Foundation runs its annual appeal, which goes towards the care of retired and sick priests by providing suitable accomodation, medical assistance and a comfortable standard of living for them. Donate now.
Online launch to celebrate the Season of Creation 2023
Monday 4 September 2023
6.00pm–7.00pm
To celebrate the Season of Creation, Caritas Australia invites Catholic communities nationwide to attend an online launch, offering participants an enriching and informative experience through its Catholic Earthcare program. With this year’s theme being ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow’, participants at the launch event will have the opportunity to learn...
Growing Good Men: father and teenage son weekend experience
Friday 8 September 2023
– Sunday 10 September 2023
Growing Good Men is an experientially based program that encourages and enables fathers and sons to strengthen their relationship and to explore important issues of growing into manhood. It is designed for fathers or significant male role models and their teenaged boys aged 12–16 years. Set over a weekend, the...
Gangland to Promised Land: John Pridmore Melbourne tour (Burwood)
Monday 4 September 2023, 7.30pm
– Wednesday 6 September 2023, 8.30pm
John Pridmore was a serious face in London’s East End, living the ‘high life’ until he found himself nearly killing a man. What happened next can only be called extraordinary. Don’t miss his incredible conversion story when he visits Melbourne in August and September. John has spoken to millions around...
Catholic Women’s League Retreat: Finding happiness through the Beatitudes
Saturday 9 September 2023
9.00am–12.15pm
Discover the beauty of authentic friendship rooted in faith as you join our Catholic retreat, where you’ll find a safe space to share, grow and deepen your relationship with God, together with a supportive community of women. Come join us. This retreat offers Holy Mass, inspiring talks, time for personal...
Gangland to Promised Land: John Pridmore Melbourne tour (Corio and Lara)
Monday 11 September 2023, 7.30pm
– Wednesday 13 September 2023, 8.30pm
John Pridmore was a serious face in London’s East End, living the ‘high life’ until he found himself nearly killing a man. What happened next can only be called extraordinary. Don’t miss his incredible conversion story when he visits Melbourne in August and September. John has spoken to millions around...
An invitation to connect with Aboriginal spirituality
Wednesday 13 September 2023
10.00am–2.30pm
In the light of the Uluru Statement of the Heart and the upcoming referendum on a Voice to Parliament, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria (ACMV) are inviting interested parishioners to spend some time at Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in Thornbury, where they will lead a session exploring social justice and Aboriginal spirituality...
Cathedral Music Festival (weekend)
Friday 15 September 2023, 7.30pm
– Sunday 17 September 2023, 4.30pm
From 15 to 17 September, St Patrick’s Cathedral is hosting a special weekend music festival that will feature a range of genres, from medieval plainchant to extravagant choral pieces, First Nations songs, folk music and organ classics. Director of Music Dr Philip Matthias sees the weekend as an opportunity for...

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

This newsletter is published by the Communications Office
of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

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