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).

New Vocations Director asks, ‘What do you want to give God?’
The new Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Melbourne is Fr Dishan Candappa, a Sri Lankan-born priest who, even after 13 years of priesthood, says that his joy in being a priest is ‘still growing’. Fr Dishan shares some of his story and his advice for young people discerning their vocation. He wants to show people the heights of true, authentic happiness they are called to in God.
WYD pilgrims gather together for the first time
Written by: Proclaim: Office for Mission Renewal
As more than 500 young people came together for the first time on Sunday 30 April in preparation for Melbourne’s pilgrimage to World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, Portugal, the Fitzroy campus of Australian Catholic University came alive with joy, music and the Holy Spirit. Archbishop Peter A Comensoli greeted pilgrims via livestream from Rome, and Dutch priest Fr Michel Remery, author of Tweeting with God, helped pilgrims to understand the true meaning of pilgrimage, encouraging them to follow Jesus—not just to Lisbon but throughout their lives.
Listening to the wisdom of the people of God
Written by: Proclaim: Office for Mission Renewal
The Take the Way of the Gospel journey continues 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.
Lao Catholic community celebrates their New Year
Members of the Lao Catholic community within the Archdiocese of Melbourne recently celebrated their New Year. Though the community is small—consisting of about 50 members—the celebration brought together a wider circle of family and friends to share in the occasion, which included Mass, traditional ceremonies and dance, and plenty of good food.
Engaging your faith: CTC’s online faith formation series returns
Catholic Theological College’s popular Engaging your Faith series of online faith-formation sessions is returning once again this May. The latest series is running from 1 to 29 May, with 18 different sessions to choose from, including Lumen Gentium, spirituality, biblical studies, Christian meditation, theology, interfaith relations, the implications of future technology, and the relationship between science and religion.
Our Lady around the World (Part 5): Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador
In May last year, we began an exploration of Marian apparitions, images, stories and devotions from various locations around the globe as part of the ‘Our Lady around the World’ series. This May, we continue the journey, delving into the rich history of Marian apparitions and devotions in other locations, starting with Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ecuador.
No vocation without mission: Pope Francis’ message for 60th World Day of Prayer for Vocations
In his message for the 60th World Day of Prayer for Vocations (Good Shepherd Sunday), Pope Francis reflects on how vocation is both a ‘grace’ and a ‘mission’, an experience of Christ that leads us to go out and share the Gospel with others.
Retreats bring people closer to Jesus at Mordialloc and Aspendale
Written by: Proclaim: Office for Mission Renewal
A series of recent retreats at St Mary of the Cross Parish in Mordialloc and Aspendale has helped parishoners become ‘more confident in their discipleship and articulating their faith with each other,’ according to Parish Priest Fr Andrew Jekot.
‘The gift of vocation is like a divine seed that springs up in the soil of our existence, opens our hearts to God and to others, so that we can share with them the treasure we ourselves have found.’
Pope Francis
in his message for the 60th World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Upcoming events
God and Beer: ‘Divine Renovation’
Monday 8 May 2023
6.30pm–8.30pm
An initiative of the Knights of the Southern Cross, God and Beer brings together people of all ages from across the south-east suburbs several times a year. By drawing on the truth, beauty and goodness of the Catholic tradition, God and Beer aims to inspire and strengthen Christians through ideas...
Engaging Your Faith: Imagining the Church today: a synodal Church as a pilgrim Church with Rev Dr Jake Mudge
Monday 8 May 2023
7.30pm–8.30pm
Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium offered several ways to imagine the Church, including the image of the Church as ‘Pilgrim’. This session surveys various images for the Church, and discusses how Pope Francis’ call for a synodal Church might enrich the notion of the Church as Pilgrim. Engaging Your Faith is...
Engaging Your Faith: The Resurrection and the Life with Dr Catherine Playoust
Tuesday 9 May 2023
7.30pm–9.00pm
One of the best-known parts of St John’s Gospel is the raising of Lazarus. We explore the story in detail in this Easter-season class, to discover what it shows us about the salvation that Jesus brings. Engaging Your Faith is a series of short online presentations that invite participants to...
Engaging Your Faith: Walking the tightrope between faith and reason with Br Paul Creevey
Wednesday 10 May 2023
7.30pm–9.00pm
This talk investigates how one can understand the mystery of faith and the mystery of science as mutual enhancement. Paul Creevey uses his background as a theoretical physicist and as a Johannine Scripture scholar to encounter the notion of mystery. Engaging Your Faith is a series of short online presentations...
St Patrick’s Cathedral Mother’s Day concert: Michael Petruccelli
Sunday 14 May 2023
3.00pm–4.00pm
Australian operatic tenor Michael Petruccelli and internationally recognised pianist Coady Green will visit St Patrick’s Cathedral on Mother’s Day for a vocal recital guaranteed to warm the heart. A joyous family event and a perfect way to spend your Sunday afternoon! All welcome. Tickets: $30 (adults) | $25 (concession) at...
St Vincent’s College Bendigo Reunion
Sunday 21 May 2023
(All day event)
Past students of St Vincent’s College Bendigo and their partners are invited to attend the 65th Anniversary and Sports Hall of Fame Dinner, followed by Mass and BBQ at Catherine McAuley College. For all enquiries and booking details, email timothycoates@gmail.com or call Tim Coates on 0407 403 574.

For more events, visit our website.

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

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