It has been a week of looking back and looking forward for our Church.

Hot on the heels of our celebrations for the 175th anniversary of our Diocese, we have, very fittingly, celebrated a special Mass for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday at St Patrick’s Cathedral, where Sherry Balcombe, Coordinator of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria (ACMV), was presented with the 2022 NATSICC Service to the Community Award. It was a time to give thanks for the rich gifts we receive as a Church from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters, the inheritors of a culture and spirituality stretching back more than 60,000 years, and to commit ourselves to walking more closely with them into the future.

ACMV has played an integral role in bringing people on this journey of accompaniment, and as part of our ‘Moments of Grace’ series, we hear about the early days of ACMV, and the remarkable people whose faith and vision planted the seeds of this important ministry.

As well as marking the beginning of NAIDOC Week, last Sunday also marked the beginning of the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council in Sydney, where Members from around Australia are gathering with our bishops to pray, discern and vote on a number of topics of significance to the future of the Church in Australia. In this issue, we explore the Council’s endorsement of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and also reflect on the role of rituals of lament in our response to the tragedy of sexual abuse within the Church. We also hear from Dr Nigel Zimmerman, one of the periti, or theological advisors to the Plenary Council, about the important role each of us plays in making disciples.

As the Plenary Council continues the important and sometimes difficult work of discerning and voting on the motions before it, let’s continue to pray for the proceedings and for all participants, that the Spirit might lead the Church in Australia on the path to God’s promised future.

Our story of faith ‘through the eyes and hearts of Indigenous Christians’
Written by:
On Sunday 3 July, at a special Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday, Sherry Balcombe, Coordinator of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria, was presented with the 2022 NATSICC Service to the Community Award.
Making disciples is not ‘for a privileged few’: Dr Nigel Zimmermann
On Wednesday 6 July, Members of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia heard reflections from the periti, the theological advisors to the Council. One of these was given by Dr Nigel Zimmermann from the Archdiocese of Melbourne. He invites the Council to reflect on the need for formation in discipleship.
‘Rituals of lament’: Plenary Council mourns for those suffering because of abuse
One of the more significant items on the agenda of the Plenary Council has been the Church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis. On Tuesday, it was announced that all motions relating to this theme had been passed by an overwhelming majority.
Plenary Council officially endorses Uluru Statement from the Heart
In a recent announcement, the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia has revealed that the Uluru Statement of the Heart has been officially endorsed by the Council.
Gathering people together: the early days of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria
The story of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria's earliest days gives us a glimpse of the way the Spirit often starts small, moving powerfully through unexpected moments of grace. Aub and Barb Kinchella have a special place in this story. While they are no longer with us, their steadfast faith and vision continue to bring people together.
‘It is not a task for a privileged few, but for all of us. To serve the Lord faithfully, we must be prepared and taught, humbly learning the craft of sharing the Good News.’
Dr Nigel Zimmerman
addressing the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council
Upcoming Events
2022 NAIDOC Mass at St Francis' Church
Sunday 10 July 2022
Join the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) and Aboriginal Catholic Ministry for Victoria (ACMV) in a Mass to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. After Mass, there will be time for a light snack, tea and coffee in the pastoral rooms, as well as for checking...
Stella Maris Seafarer’s Centre Open Day
Sunday 10 July 2022
Join Stella Maris Seafarer’s Centre on their Open Day and learn more about their missionary work for the Catholic Church. Free bus tours to the Port of Melbourne followed by afternoon tea.
The Outsider Pope: Where is Francis Leading Our Church?
Monday 11 July 2022
This latest Helder Camara lecture will feature The Tablet’s Vatican correspondent Christopher Lamb. Founded in 1840, the weekly journal is a hugely influential voice amongst the 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide. Joining in 2009 from the Daily Telegraph, Christopher Lamb also appears regularly on TV news around the world. In his...
God and Beer Presents: How Can Failure Bring You Closer to God (with Dr Adam Cooper)
Monday 11 July 2022
Join God and Beer and hear from Dr Adam Cooper how failure can be used to grow closer to God. Dr Cooper is a theologian, lecturer and sometime mountain climber and weight lifter. He formerly worked at the John Paul II Institute and the University of Durham. He now teaches...
2022 Ordination Mass at Patrick's Cathedral
Friday 15 July 2022
Join us for the Ordination to the Priesthood Mass of transitional deacons Andrew Kwiatkowski, Brian Muling and Ignatius Tan at St Patrick's Cathedral. As St Alphonsus Liguori once said, ‘The happiest man in the world is he who abandons himself to the will of God and receives all things, whether...
Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mass
Sunday 17 July 2022
Join the Carmelites in celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. To include the names of any mothers, living or deceased, in the Mass, please email David Hofman at or call (03) 9690 8822.
Anniversary Mass for Couples at St Patrick’s Cathedral
Sunday 17 July 2022
Are you celebrating 25, 40, 50, or 60–70 years of marriage this year? Or did you celebrate one of those milestones in the last two years of lockdown? You and your family are invited to join us for the Anniversary Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Couples who register will receive...
Celebrating Catholic Funerals in the Face of Secularism, COVID-19 and Other Challenges with Rev Dr Paul Turner
Monday 18 July 2022
Join Rev Dr Paul Turner, Pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri, and Director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City, and the ACU Centre for Liturgy in an online public lecture to discuss how the culture surrounding Catholic...
Udisciple Focus Fridays
Friday 29 July 2022
University students across Melbourne are invited to join the uDisciple Team for a time of study, fraternity and prayer. Schedule 9:30am - Mass 10:00am - Coffee and Catch-up 10:15am - Study Block I 12:00md - Angelus and Rosary 12:20pm - Lunch Break (Lunch provided) 1:00pm – 3:00pm - Study Block...
St Patrick's Cathedral Concert Featuring Thomas Grubb
Friday 5 August 2022
Having worked as a producer for many of Australia’s major orchestras and musicians, Thomas Grubb presents an exciting Grand Organ Recital at St Patrick’s Cathedral. The program will include selected works by Buxtehude, Froberger, Bach, Greenbaum, Mendelssohn and Newcombe. Cost: $25 tickets online, or at the door. Children under 1...
Jesus in the Eucharist
Sunday 14 August 2022
Explore the centrality of the Eucharist at this afternoon event organised by Holy Eucharist & St Mary's Parish in Malvern East. Be inspired and guided in prayer and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Timetable 1:45 pm - Arrive, 2:00 pm - The Eucharist in the Context of the Mass with...
The Archbishop's Dinner: An Initiative of the Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria
Friday 19 August 2022
Join the Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria to celebrate the 22nd 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...
NCEC Conference: The Future is Listening (Save the Date)
Sunday 4 September 2022, 10.00am
– Wednesday 7 September 2022, 5.00pm
The 2022 National Catholic Education Conference is taking place this September, and a limited number of Super Early Bird registrations are now available. The National Catholic Education Commission hosts a conference every four or five years in a major Australian city. Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) is proud to host...
‘In the Footsteps of St Mary MacKillop’ pilgrimage
Tuesday 17 October 2023
– Saturday 28 October 2023
Led by the Sisters of St Joseph, this pilgrimage is an invitation for prayer and reflection. Today, the Sisters of St Joseph recognise that each of us is on a daily journey of faith but there is a time in life when we feel called to join with others; seeking...
P.S. Before you go ...
St Benedict’s invitation to everyday holiness
Written by: Andrew Hamilton SJ
On 11 July, we celebrate the memorial of St Benedict. Benedict wanted to establish a community in which flawed and damaged people could live together peaceably and sustainably while focusing their everyday lives on the love of God. We can understand Benedict only if we see life in a monastery as life in the real world. He does not offer us a recipe for leaving our world but a way of seeing and living in it.

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