Pointing to God

There’s a lot going on in our Archdiocese and the broader Church this week. At the heart of this rich variety of events and initiatives is the call to nurture faith—our own and that of others.

In this week’s stories, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, along with other Victorian faith leaders, wrote to our state parliamentarians to affirm and defend the practice of reciting the Lord’s Prayer in Parliament, describing it as a way of ‘recognising that we, alone, are not the sole arbitrator of our destiny’. We hear from one of three university students whose faith was nurtured at John Paul II House in Carlton, culminating in two baptisms and a confirmation. And as the Vatican and wider Church prepare for the first ever World Children’s Day this weekend, Kate Moriarty reflects on the experience of walking beside a wriggly gang of preschoolers, and on what she has learnt about pointing them to Jesus.

Archbishop joins religious leaders to write letter on prayer in Parliament
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli joined representatives of Victoria’s faith communities in signing a letter sent to each member of the Victorian Parliament expressing ‘the fundamental and ongoing importance of prayer in Parliament’ and calling on them to ‘ensure its practice continues to play an integral part of our democratic tradition’. Pointing out that the majority of Victorians ‘believe in a God or a Higher Power other than themselves’, the Archbishop, along with representatives of the Anglican, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish communities, asked Members of Parliament ‘to respect these beliefs and the rich, long-held traditions on which our parliamentary system has been built’.
John Paul II House leading university students to the Catholic faith
John Paul II House, located in Grattan Street, Carlton, across the road from the University of Melbourne, has become a place of welcome and friendship for many university students who drop in for a coffee or chat with each other or chaplain Fr Peter Fitzsimons, as well as for Mass, adoration or confession. For three students who regularly visit John Paul II House, it became their pathway into the Catholic Church, with two being baptised and one confirmed at St Mary’s Star of the Sea in West Melbourne at the Easter Vigil Mass this year. One of the newly baptised, Zilon ‘Zeuxis’ Wu, shares his story.
Sundays with SpongeBob
In the lead-up to the Church’s first-ever World Children's Day, Kate Moriarty reflects on the chaotic joy of leading Children’s Liturgy in her parish and what she has learnt from walking beside a small, wriggly gang of preschoolers at the beginning of their faith life.
Continue reading: Sundays with SpongeBob
Pentecost awakens the spirit of faith
In a spirit of joy and prayerfulness, hundreds of parishioners from across Melbourne gathered for the 2024 Awaken Pentecost event held on Saturday 18 May. Hosted by a group of parishes and communities in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, Awaken offered participants a dynamic and inspiring afternoon of worship, prayer, talks, workshops and hospitality.
Interactive exhibit celebrates 170 years of volunteering
As Australia celebrates National Volunteer Week from 20 to 26 May, the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria (SVDPV) invites Victorians to come and celebrate the invaluable contributions of more than 11,000 volunteers in a very special way. From Tuesday 21 May to Friday 24 May, SVDPV will host an interactive exhibition, including an 8-metre-long timeline powered by AR (Artificial Reality) at Xavier College in Kew.
‘Seeds of hope’: Catholic Earthcare releases resources for Laudato Si’ Week
This year, Laudato Si’ Week (19–26 May) invites us to consider how we might plant and nurture the ‘seeds of hope’ that our world so desperately needs. Caritas Australia is helping parishes and schools to participate in Laudato Si’ Week through a range of Catholic Earthcare resources telling the story of Chiquito, a farmer in Timor-Leste, as well as through its Together We: Tree of Life campaign.
Pastoral palliative care a vital support
For 21 years, 90-year-old John found a home at Corpus Christi Community Greenvale (CCCG), a residence for marginalised older men run by for-purpose aged and disability organisation VMCH. Late last month, John passed away, surrounded by his friends from the CCCG community. As we observe Palliative Care Week (19–26 May), John’s story illustrates the importance of making high-quality palliative care and pastoral support available to all those in our community who might need it.
Archdiocese of Melbourne releases latest Synod Consultation Report
The Archdiocese of Melbourne has released its Consultation Report to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC), compiled in preparation for the second stage of the 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (or ‘Synod on Synodality’). Summarising the results of consultation with leadership and stakeholder groups in the Archdiocese on key questions and on future pathways and tools for mission, the report was one of 41 submissions (including 25 diocesan submissions) to the ACBC, who recently submitted their Australian Summary document to the Vatican.
‘It is a very good place to meet other Catholics, to be with people who believe in the same thing, and to practise your faith.’
University of Melbourne student Zilon ‘Zeuxis’ Wu
on spending time at John Paul II House and learning more about the Catholic faith
Upcoming events
‘Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo’ presented by Rev Dr Joseph Vnuk OP
Tuesday 28 May 2024
7.30pm–9.00pm
St Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo (‘Why God became human’) is justifiably famous, but rarely read and often misunderstood. It is not about an angry God who needs someone to punish. Rather, directed against non-believers who refuse to worship a crucified God, it talks of the cross as a place of...
‘An Introduction to AI and Transhumanism … for Christians’ presented by Rev Dr Christopher Mulherin
Wednesday 29 May 2024
7.00pm–8.30pm
‘Young people today can expect to live forever, but AI will run the world.’ At least that is the view of some techno-optimists. This session is a brief introduction to artificial intelligence, including ChatGPT, and transhumanism, in which Fr Christopher Mulherin will reflect on how Christians might think about future...
‘Beauty and the Word of God: experience and reverence’ presented by Rev Dr Jerome Santamaria
Thursday 30 May 2024
6.00pm–7.30pm
An introduction to beauty as an approach to the mystery of God. We will look at how the experience of beauty helps us understand some theological concepts, and also how, therefore, the Church has understood the place of art. Engaging Your Faith is a series of short, online, presentations that...
Fiat 2024—A Weekend of Prayer
Friday 31 May 2024, 6.00pm
– Sunday 2 June 2024, 1.00pm
For the second year running, our local communities of grace across the Archdiocese of Melbourne will unite for a weekend of prayer from Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June 2024. The weekend coincides with the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the solemnity of the...
The Seeker of Souls: Understanding God’s intense search for you
Saturday 1 June 2024
9.00am–12.15pm
The Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga is hosting a women’s retreat with reflections by Fr Trevor Tibbertsma. The retreat is a great opportunity to meet a supportive community of women of faith and includes Mass, adoration, confession, an inspiring talk and a Q&A session. Morning tea will...
Melbourne Corpus Christi Procession
Sunday 2 June 2024
1.00pm–4.00pm
Join us on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) for Mass at Sacred Heart Church (Rathdowne and Pelham Streets, Carlton) followed by a Eucharistic procession to St Patrick’s Cathedral for Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. 1pm: Mass at Sacred Heart Church...
Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon: Prof Mary Finsterer
Tuesday 4 June 2024
12.00pm–2.00pm
Join us for the next Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) event, where Prof Mary Finsterer—composer in residence with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra—will join us as guest speaker. MCP creates opportunities for Catholic professional men and women to network and support the life and mission of the Church in Melbourne. Through its...
Mass of Thanksgiving and Celebration for members of religious congregations
Saturday 8 June 2024
11.00am–2.00pm
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli is pleased to invite congregational members to share in a Mass of Thanksgiving and Celebration. The theme of the Mass is ‘Synodal women and men—builders of hope’. Mass will be followed by light refreshments in the gathering space beside the church. Bookings are essential, and parking...
‘Poets and the Faith: RS Thomas’ presented by Archbishop Rowan Williams (via Zoom)
Tuesday 11 June 2024
6.00pm–7.30pm
St Peter’s Eastern Hill is hosting a series of talks about significant poets who have inhabited—or skirted the fringes—of the Anglican and Catholic traditions of Christianity. From Gerard Manley Hopkins to RS Thomas, from Emily Brontë to WH Auden, how did their poetry enrich and challenge their understanding of the...
‘A Serenade to Music’ featuring the Trinity Singers
Sunday 16 June 2024
3.00pm–4.00pm
The Trinity Singers present a program exploring the power of music through the ages. Spanning five centuries, and with Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music as its centrepiece, this concert will delight, excite and serenade the soul! Program: Byrd—Come Woeful Orpheus, Walmisley—Music, All Powerful, Vaughan Williams—Serenade to Music, Howells—King David, Todd—I...

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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