Back to God with all our hearts

In a year, and a season, when we are called to deepen our commitment to prayer, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli invites us—in his video message for February—to journey back to God using the prayer Jesus taught us, the Our Father, which encourages us both to praise God and to depend on him for everything we need: love, forgiveness, protection, even our ‘daily bread’.

There is an intimate connection between our prayers and our actions, as we saw in the encouraging response to the Archdiocese’s recent Advent Appeal, where parishes raised $150,000 for the people of Ukraine.

The Church continues to play a vital role in serving society’s most vulnerable and has a valuable part to play in the wider social services sector, according to public policy expert Prof Mark Considine, who spoke at the recent Catholic Social Services National Conference.

Also this week: We hear about the most recent Encounter event, where young people came together in prayer and adoration to draw closer to Jesus. The upcoming ‘Mercy Melbourne’ night (19 March) similarly promises to bring more than 40 parishes across the city together in a powerful night of prayer, bearing witness to God’s forgiveness through the sacrament of Reconciliation. We also recall the story of how seminarians at Corpus Christi College were moved, in the years after the Second World War, to reach out to brother seminarians in Cologne, Germany, in their hour of need. And we find inspiration for our Lenten prayer journey in a Carthusian’s short letter on the vastness of God’s love.

For more news and events, visit the Melbourne Catholic news and stories page, our events calendar or follow us on Facebook.

Praying our way through Lent: returning to God our Father
As we travel through the season of Lent, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has offered some reflections on the simple but powerful words that Jesus taught us through the Our Father. It follows the Archbishop’s earlier reflections on how to enter into this Year of Prayer. In his latest video reflection, the Archbishop draws on the words spoken by the prophet Joel, which marked the beginning of our Lenten journey: ‘come back to me, with all your heart’ (Joel 2:12).
Archdiocese of Melbourne raises $150,000 for the people of Ukraine
A total of $150,000 has been raised by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne as part of a special Advent Appeal and will go towards providing aid and practical assistance to those displaced by the war in Ukraine. It comes as the country marks two years since Russia’s invasion.
From ‘choice’ to ‘voice’: Prof Mark Considine’s vision for social services
At the recent Catholic Social Services National Conference, public policy expert and keynote speaker Prof Mark Considine said Australia’s current approach to social service delivery is failing the most vulnerable people in our communities. Drawing on years of research, he argued that the so-called ‘service market’ model should be overhauled in favour of an approach that puts vulnerable clients at the centre—a move from ‘choice’ to ‘voice’ in which, he says, ‘mission-driven’ service providers such as the Catholic Church’s can play a vital role.
Inaugural Mercy Melbourne night to witness to the power of forgiveness
On Tuesday 19 March, the feast of St Joseph, a host of churches across Melbourne will be open for an evening of prayer and the sacrament of Reconciliation as part of the inaugural ‘Mercy Melbourne’ event. We speak with Fr Dean Mathieson, who is helping coordinate the event, about why this sacrament matters and how parishes can get involved.
‘Closer to Jesus’: young people gather to encounter the Lord
Written by: Proclaim: Office for Mission Renewal
On Sunday 26 February 2024, youth from across the Archdiocese of Melbourne gathered at St Christopher’s Church in Syndal at the first Encounter event of 2024, an evening designed to help youth gather in fellowship, encounter Jesus anew and deepen their friendship with him.
How Corpus Christi helped seminarians in post-war Germany
In 1947, the students at Corpus Christi College seminary started an initiative that would not only help seminarians suffering from tuberculosis in post-war Germany but would continue, in different ways, to serve those desperately in need around the world.
Discovering ‘the vastness of love’ with the Carthusians this Lent
As we journey through Lent, there are a few things we could learn from the Carthusians, a mysterious religious order tucked away in the French Alps, and from one short letter, only 17 pages long, which points us towards a greater appreciation of God’s love and a deeper life of prayer.
‘Our Lenten invitation is indeed a journey back to the merciful Father, to experience his embrace. Jesus taught us this when he taught us how to pray. The Lord’s Prayer, as we know, is both a personal and a communal prayer. It is to God and with others.’
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
on how praying the Our Father in Lent can draw us back to God
Upcoming events
Great Women of Faith: Portrait exhibition by Barbara Skorupa
Friday 1 March 2024, 9.00am
– Sunday 10 March 2024, 4.00pm
This unique exhibition in St Patrick's Cathedral will feature 24 beautiful portraits of extraordinary women of faith by Cologne-based artist Barbara Skorupa. The portraits have been selected from the artist's collection of more than 100 paintings of extraordinary women from different cultures and eras, including Australians St Mary of the...
Holy Trinity Parish presents: A Lenten retreat with Fr Glenn Morris OP
Saturday 2 March 2024
10.00am–4.00pm
Hosted by Holy Trinity Parish (Bentleigh East, Bentleigh and Moorabbin), this Lenten retreat offers an opportunity for spiritual growth and personal reflection. Led by Fr Glenn Morris OP (prior of the Angelicum convent in Rome), the day will include talks, prayer, Stations of the Cross, personal reflection, exposition of the...
Meet the Artist: Barbara Skorupa and the Great Women of Faith
Wednesday 6 March 2024
4.00pm–5.00pm
The Great Women of Faith portrait exhibition will be on display at St Patrick’s Cathedral from 1 to 10 March. At this afternoon session, the artist Barbara Skorupa will be interviewed by Professor Emeritus Gabrielle McMullen AM, followed by a Q&A session. The conversation will include discussion of Barbara’s method...
Catholic Education Week 2024
Sunday 10 March 2024
– Sunday 17 March 2024
Catholic Education Week is an opportunity for all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne to celebrate their Catholic identity, the pivotal role they play within their local community and the strength of the sector. The theme for Catholic Education Week 2024 is ‘In the light of Christ’. Drawn from...
‘AI x Christianity: Gospel Wisdom for an AI World’
Saturday 16 March 2024
7.00pm–9.15pm
Artificial intelligence is changing the world. How can the Bible guide our understanding of this evolving landscape? Be equipped to engage with AI at ‘AI x Christianity: Gospel Wisdom for an AI World’ on 16 March 2024. Across two hours, three speakers, and a discussion panel, this ambitious event will...
Celebrating 50 years of Worldwide Marriage Encounter in Australia: ‘Love and respect’ formation day
Saturday 16 March 2024
8.30am–5.15pm
A special formation day is being offered to mark the 50th anniversary of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) in Australia. WWME is a weekend away offering married couples a special kind of ‘time out’—a different kind of ‘weekend getaway’. Based on Catholic values, the ministry started in Spain in the...
The Patrick Oration 2024
Monday 18 March 2024
7.30pm–8.30pm
Join us on the feast day of St Patrick, the patron saint of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, for the fifth annual Patrick Oration to be delivered by the Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne. Watch the live broadcast on TV or online: On TV via C31 (digital...

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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