Pilgrimage, and surviving winter the Benedictine way

This coming Sunday is the Commissioning Mass for Melbourne’s World Youth Day pilgrims at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Gathering in full force, our young people will be blessed and sent forth by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, ready to begin their pilgrimage to Portugal. As the days count down, we hear about how some of our local parish and school communities have also been blessing their pilgrims and preparing to send them on their way, and about their hopes for World Youth Day 2023.

Also this week, we take a journey through the Holy Land to see what some of our pilgrims will see; the Australian Catholic Students Association gather for their annual conference; Catholic Social Services host another webinar exploring the Voice to Parliament, this time with input from Fr Frank Brennan SJ; and we hear about the cross-section of people who will be representing Oceania’s diverse Church at the upcoming Synod of Bishops.

Finally, as the cold weather closes in, we reflect on how the Rule of St Benedict might inspire us to establish habits that can sustain us not only through the depths of winter but in every time and season of our lives.

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Connected with them in prayer: parishes and schools bless WYD pilgrims
Special Masses and gatherings have been held in a number of schools and parishes across the Archdiocese in recent weeks to bless pilgrims who are preparing to head to World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, Portugal. Sixty-one parishes, 57 schools and 16 communities and movements will be represented in the Melbourne pilgrimage group of close to 600 people, one of the largest groups to ever attend a World Youth Day outside Australia.
ACSA Conference encourages young Catholic students to ‘be not afraid’
Last week, the Australian Catholic Student Association (ACSA) hosted their annual conference at Queen’s College in the University of Melbourne. An opportunity for Catholic students from around the country to gather and hear formative talks on theology, philosophy, and spirituality, the weekend also included a soccer match and culminated in the Mannix Ball.
WYD destinations: in the footsteps of Jesus
Some of Melbourne’s pilgrims to World Youth Day 2023 will be travelling to Lisbon in ‘The Footsteps of Jesus’, making a pilgrimage through the Holy Land that will put them in touch with famous sites associated with the birth, life, ministry and death of Jesus Christ. We take a look at just some of the sacred sites they will explore.
Finding our winter rhythm, the Benedictine way
This week we celebrate the feast day of St Benedict of Nursia (c. 480–543), founder of Western monasticism and a man who knew a thing or two about forming good habits. As the days grow shorter and the winter weather drives us indoors, we reflect on what ‘The Rule of St Benedict’ might teach us about establishing the kinds of routines and habits that can sustain us not only through the depths of winter but in every time and season.
Fr Frank Brennan SJ speaks on Catholic Social Teaching and the Voice referendum
Recognising the need for thoughtful and well-informed discourse in the lead-up to the referendum on the Voice to Parliament, Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV) and Catholic Social Service Australia (CSSA) recently hosted the second in a series of three webinars, this time featuring Fr Frank Brennan SJ, a prominent lawyer, human rights activist and long-time advocate for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Oceania’s diverse Church to be represented at Synod of Bishops
Written by: Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania
The president of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania says the 10 non-bishop members from the region chosen for the upcoming Synod of Bishops will help amplify the voice of the Catholic population. Pope Francis chose 10 members from each region from the list of nominees, seeking to create a cross-section of the Church in terms of age, sex, vocation and other demographic factors.
‘We called all of them up and gave each a Rosary and prayer card, and a letter from our parish saying how we are praying for them ... We will be connected with them in prayer.’
Fr Simeon Antony, Assistant Priest at St Peter the Apostle, Hoppers Crossing
on the blessing of WYD pilgrims at recent weekend Masses
Upcoming events
Celebrity organ recital featuring Roger Sayer, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Friday 14 July 2023
Award-winning organist and former Director of Music at London’s Temple Church, Roger Sayer will visit St Patrick’s Cathedral in July to present a grand organ recital. Sayer is at the forefront of British choral and organ music, known also for his performance as organ soloist for Hans Zimmer’s Oscar-nominated score...
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: workshop day
Saturday 22 July 2023
An in-person seminar to explore reasons and ways to place the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) at the heart of parish renewal. Clergy, RCIA teams and interested parishioners are warmly invited to attend. Rev. Dr Elio Capra is a priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He is...
Melbourne Catholic Professionals luncheon
Thursday 17 August 2023
Join us for the second Melbourne Catholic Professionals (MCP) event of the year! MCP creates opportunities for Catholic professional men and women to network and support the life and mission of the Church in Melbourne. Through its program of luncheon events—hosted by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli—MCP draws people together from...
Grand organ recital featuring Thomas Trotter, St Patrick’s Cathedral
Friday 25 August 2023
One of Britain’s most widely admired musicians and concert organists, Thomas Trotter, will visit our beautiful and inspiring St Patrick’s Cathedral in August with a recital program sure to please. Trotter has performed at more than 800 concerts in his international career, with recent tours to Europe, China and Australia...
Chorus Ecclesiae presents Byrd’s ‘Gradualia’ at Newman College
Saturday 15 July 2023
In honour of the 400th anniversary of William Byrd’s death this year and his significant contributions to liturgical music, Chorus Ecclesiae proudly presents a performance of a selection of four-part motets from his Gradualia at Newman College’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit. William Byrd’s Gradualia is one of the most...
God and Beer: Reflections of an Australian Catholic exorcist
Monday 14 August 2023
This month's speaker is Fr Michael Shadbolt, officially appointed exorcist for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for ten years. He was the much-loved parish priest of Holy Family Doveton for many years, and is the recent author of a book 'Exorcism: Reflections of an Australian Catholic Exorcist.' An initiative of the...

To learn more about upcoming events and opportunities, visit the Melbourne Catholic events page.

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