Our desire for happiness goes deep. As humans, we long to be happy, and when we give ourselves to God, we find our true happiness, our true joy.
Having just celebrated the World Day of Prayer for Vocations on Sunday, we meet Fr Dishan Candappa, Melbourne’s new Vocations Director, who asks the question, ‘What do you want to give God?’ Fr Dishan’s own journey to the priesthood embodies Pope Francis’ recent message on vocation, an experience in which ‘God calls us in love and we, in gratitude, respond to him in love.’
To start preparing for Melbourne’s largest ever overseas World Youth Day pilgrimage in August, our pilgrims gathered together yesterday for the first time. There was a buzz of excitement as they converged on the Australian Catholic University’s Fitzroy campus, where Archbishop Peter A Comensoli greeted them via livestream from Rome, and Dutch priest and author Fr Michel Remery helped them to explore the true meaning of pilgrimage.
This month, Catholic Theological College’s popular Engaging your Faith series of online faith-formation sessions has returned, with 18 different sessions to choose from—a great opportunity to learn more about the Catholic faith and to deepen your relationship with God.
We also hear about how the Take the Way of the Gospel journey is continuing in 2023 with a series of regional consultation sessions, providing an opportunity for clergy and laity in parish communities to come together, learn from each other and inform the process that will help reorient our communities of grace towards missionary renewal.
The Lao Catholic community in Melbourne is small but faithful, meeting each month to share the Eucharist, friendship and a meal. Recently they gathered at St Martin’s Parish in Avondale Heights to celebrate the Lao New Year at a special Mass, followed by a celebration combining traditional dance, a Lao New Year ritual and, of course, great food.
Finally, this May—the Month of Mary—we continue the ‘Our Lady around the World’ series, exploring Marian apparitions, images, stories and devotions from various locations around the globe, starting with Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ecuador.
As we respond to the call of Jesus this week, in our own communities and circumstances, may his joy be in us, and may that joy be complete (John 15.11).