The longing for home is deeply human, and so much more than just the desire for a roof over our heads. We long for a place of deep connection, of warmth and rest, and for family. In a profound sense, we are homesick for God, who patiently calls us back to our true home in the Church.

This week, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli released a pastoral letter to the Church in Melbourne called ‘Welcome Home’. Reflecting on the sadness of being unable to gather physically in our communities during the pandemic, he pointed us towards Jesus Christ, ‘the Word who became flesh‘ and who ‘left for us his sacramental presence’. This bodily reality at the centre of our communities draws us in and binds us together.

In light of this, the Archbishop announced that the time has come for us to return home. As of the 1st Sunday of Advent, 27 November 2022, the general dispensation from our Sunday and Holy Day obligations will be lifted.

On Saturday 12 November, the people of God gathered at St Brigid’s in North Fitzroy to celebrate the recent canonisation of St Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, the Father of Migrants, with a Mass of thanksgiving. The Scalabrinians have been ministering to migrant communities in Australia since their arrival in the 1950s, providing important spiritual and practical care to those who come here in search of a new home. Many different communities and families gathered to celebrate and pray for the intercession of the Father of Migrants.

This past week, the Bishops of Victoria have also written to the Catholic community in Victoria, providing an election guide to help Catholics consider and navigate issues of significance in the upcoming Victorian election, particularly those relating to the common good. Acknowledging that ‘There is no Catholic political party and no single way that a Catholic should vote,’ the Bishops said that ‘Each of us are called to exercise our conscience, utilise our intellect and draw upon our faith in deciding how to vote.’

Following in the footsteps of Christ, the Church is particularly called to serve the most vulnerable. Last Sunday 13 November was World Day of the Poor. We hear from Michael McGirr from Caritas Australia about why we need a special day to see the poor and to hear their stories.

This week, we also hear the inspiring story of Olivia Chamoun, a young Melbourne jazz artist and Maronite Catholic who is soon to release her debut album. She talks with us about how she came to understand the rich relationship between her faith and her art, the history of jazz, and the healing power of music.

Finally, Scott Stephens, online editor for the ABC’s Religion and Ethics page, recently gave ACU’s annual Simone Weil Lecture. Reflecting on the influence of the media and social media on our culture, he argued that for the sake of the common good and the health of our democracy, we must attend to the ‘spaces between us’, relearning habits of grace in the way we talk with one another.

May God give us the grace to be the communities he truly calls us to be this week, providing a home for those in need, a place of family and connection, a place of grace.

Welcome Home: a pastoral letter from Archbishop Comensoli
Written by: Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
Archbishop Comensoli has written a Pastoral Letter entitled, 'Welcome Home', encouraging us to gather together again at Mass and explaining some changes regarding our Sunday and Holy Day obligations and the streaming of Masses.
Jesus, jazz, and the healing power of music with Olivia Chamoun
Olivia Chamoun is a young artist striving to keep jazz alive in Melbourne. A 23-year-old Maronite Catholic, Olivia often plays in jazz clubs around Melbourne with her band, the Olivia Chamoun Quintet. On Sunday 20 November, she will release her debut album, ‘Still’, just in time for the feast of St Cecilia, patron saint of music. She speaks with us about her journey of faith, her music and what it’s like to be a young artist at the beginning of her music career.
Voting for the common good: Victorian Bishops release election guide
Written by:
The Bishops of Victoria have written to the Catholic community in Victoria, providing an election guide designed to help Catholics consider and navigate issues of significance, particularly those related to the common good.
Celebrating the Father of Migrants at St Brigid’s, North Fitzroy
Many migrant communities gathered at St Brigid’s Catholic Church in North Fitzroy last Saturday 12 November to celebrate the canonisation of St Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, the founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St Charles Borromeo. Known as ‘the Father of Migrants’, the Blessed was canonised by Pope Francis on 9 October 2022, and Archbishop Peter A Comensoli was present at St Brigid’s to celebrate the Mass of thanksgiving.
‘The spaces between us’: the ABC’s Scott Stephens on relearning the art of gracious conversation
Written by: Christian Bergmann
On Tuesday 8 November, Scott Stephens, online editor for the ABC’s Religion and Ethics page, delivered the 2022 Simone Weil Lecture on Human Value in Melbourne. Stephens reflected on the state of modern conversation, arguing that by attending more carefully to ‘the spaces between us’, we might nurture a healthier democratic culture and learn to converse in more respectful, constructive and hospitable ways.
Why we need a special day to see the poor
Written by: Michael McGirr
There are many special days in the year, says Michael McGirr, but one day that really deserves special attention is the World Day of the Poor. This year it was observed on Sunday 13 November. It asks us to see the world for what it truly is, and it is not always a pretty picture.
The Call of Guadalupe: popular Christian musical returns to Melbourne
Written by:
Since its debut in Melbourne in 2005, the musical The Call of Guadalupe has been seen by more than 30,000 people in Australia and the Philippines. It returns to Melbourne in late November for four performances. We hear from some of the people involved in this new production about the musical’s origins, the strong sense of Christian community experienced by cast and crew, and some of the ways it has touched people’s lives over the years.
‘There’s so much power in music ... so much of it is still unexplained. And I think that also points to a deeper meaning … I believe that mysteries such as this that exist in our world point to an ultimate mystery, a higher power: God.’
Jazz artist Olivia Chamoun
reflecting on jazz, faith and the power of music
Upcoming Events
2022 Ordination Mass at Patrick’s Cathedral
Saturday 19 November 2022
10.00am–11.30am
Join us for Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral to celebrate the ordination to the priesthood of transitional deacons Huy Nguyen, Vinh Do and An Le, and the ordination to the transitional diaconate of Thomas Christie, Tien Tran and Peter (Ngoc) Nguyen. As St Alphonsus Liguori once said, ‘The happiest man...
Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon
Tuesday 22 November 2022
12.00pm–2.00pm
Since their establishment in Australia over a decade ago, the Catholic Professionals events have quickly become premier networking opportunities. These events engage a broad range of industry leaders, while providing a place to meet people, listen to exceptional speakers and address issues and trends in the life of the Church...
Red Wednesday Prayer Vigil, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Wednesday 23 November 2022
7.30pm–8.30pm
Join Msgr Joselito Asis, Episcopal Vicar for Migrant and Refugees, in an evening of prayer and recollection to mark ‘Red Wednesday’ and stand in solidarity with the +200 million Christians who are being persecuted for their faith. Joining many other cathedrals and churches around the world, St Patrick's Cathedral will...
2022 Advent McKinney lecture: ‘An Indigenous Voice’
Tuesday 22 November 2022
7.30pm–8.30pm
Banyule Churches Together is featuring Fr Frank Brennan, SJ AO, a Jesuit priest and Rector of Newman College at the University of Melbourne, to discuss ‘An Indigenous Voice’ in the context of the 2022 Advent McKinney lecture. Fr Frank is a distinguished fellow of the PM Glynn Institute at Australian...
Musical: ‘The Call of Guadalupe’
Thursday 24 November 2022
7.00pm–8.30pm
The Call of Guadalupe musical is an entertaining, uplifting Christian musical that celebrates life, love and hope. Based on a story by Anne Lim, the musical was created by playwright and artist John Lee, with music composed by Peter Foster. St Joseph’s Parish is thrilled to have the participation of...
Ecumenical service: ‘Holding the Light’
Sunday 27 November 2022
2.30pm–3.30pm
St Peter’s Eastern Hill will be hosting an ecumenical service to remember the victims and survivors of family domestic violence. The focus this year will be on how family violence has impacted male survivors and perpetrators. Jesuit Social Services will speak about their work with men and adolescents. For all...
Advent retreat: ‘Prepare the Way’, Holy Family Church
Saturday 3 December 2022, 10.00am
– Sunday 4 December 2022, 4.00pm
Holy Family Church and Divine Kids Ministry invite you to join their Advent retreat ‘Prepare the Way’ for children aged 5–15. There will be Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, praise and worship, group discussions, activities and fun games! Guest speakers Fr Ajin AlbarnasFr Aurelio FragapaneFr Joseph AbutuFr Michael Shadbolt...
Theology @ the Pub: ‘New Wine of the Gospel—a Drink Called Happiness’
Monday 5 June 2023
6.00pm–8.30pm
Theology @ the Pub is a monthly event for those aged 18–35. It is a chance to listen to terrific guest speakers talking about theology, history, apologetics, faith and prayer, relationships, ethics, society and much more. This month’s speaker is Sr Mary Helen OP. Sr Mary Helen will talk about...

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