Children's Week is a national celebration that recognises children and their rights. The theme for this year's Children's Week is drawn from Article 15 of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC): Children have the right to meet together and join groups and organisations as long as it does not stop other people from enjoying their rights. In exercising their rights, children have the responsibility to respect the rights, freedom and reputations of others.

'During this Children's Week, our focus is on encouraging the rights of children', said Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, 'their right to feel safe and to be listened to, to grow in their faith and their right to contribute to our communities.

'Here in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, we are committed to creating a culture of safety and care for all children and adults, and we know that our communities will only flourish when everyone is enabled to flourish.

'Our young ones have had a pretty tough year – haven't we all! – but they've been unable to enjoy the usual experiences of being at school with their classmates and peers, or being outside in significant numbers and so on. As we begin to come out of this time of isolation and look to a new way of being together as a community, I pray that our young ones will have their voice heard, that they can contribute to this new way of being – continuing to care for one another, just as Jesus cares for us.'

Children and young people are at the heart of our parishes within the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, and Children's Week provides the opportunity to reflect on the ways in which this is made manifest in our communities – the ways in which we support our young people, ensuring that they feel welcome, safe and able to grow in your faith.

Children's Week Activity: "Just as I have loved you"

As people of faith, we strive to live by Jesus’ message to his disciples: 'Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.' (John 13:34) Jesus' commandment reminds us that we are each loved by God, who created us in his own image and likeness. We are then invited to show that same love to our neighbours - within our families, our local parish, school communities and the wider community.

How to participate

To celebrate Children’s Week this year, we are inviting all children and young people (from the ages of 4 years to 17) to participate in an activity. We want you to share with us what the words “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34) mean to you through a drawing or artwork (mixed media).

Along with your artwork, please include an answer (150 words or less) to the following question:

In what ways do you feel part of the parish community and how do you try to make others feel welcome?

Entries should include the completed submission form and can be sent to on or before 5pm on 18 December 2020.

Parents are welcome to answer the question on behalf of their child/ren if they are too young to do so.

It is important to note that this is not a competition, but a reflection and an opportunity for adults to hear the voice of our young ones. Those who participate will be invited to an online gathering with Archbishop Peter A Comensoli following the activity.

Liturgical resources to celebrate Children's Week 2020

Ready, Set, Pray! - Children’s liturgy of the Word

The Ready, Set, Pray! Children’s Liturgy of the Word @ Home video series has been created to provide an engaging space for families to encounter Jesus through the Sunday gospel. Each week includes an invitation for families to create and gather in their own prayer space, to sing, hear the Gospel, pray and respond creatively through an activity. This weekly resource has been developed by Proclaim: The Office for Mission Renewal and follows the familiar Children’s Liturgy of the Word format provided used in many parishes for an online setting. Each weekly session runs for 15-20 minute duration and is available via the Archdiocesan YouTube channel.

Suggested Prayers of the Faithful

  • We pray that all children, who are among the most vulnerable in society, receive the love and support they need to grow and flourish.
  • We pray that all people recognize children as a gift and blessing from God, and find in our little ones a source of joy and thanksgiving.
  • We pray that children receive the guidance and instruction they need to help them grow in the ways of righteousness and virtue.
  • We pray that we may see in our children an example of faith, and that through their joyful witness we may grow in wonder and awe at the gift of creation.
  • We pray for those who have lost a child, that God may meet them in the hurt and suffering and bring healing, peace and comfort.

Ideas for Parish Masses

  • Include a child as proclaimer of the word
  • Include a child to read the prayers of the faithful
  • Ask a child(ren) for a personal testimony to Archbishop Peter’ questions
  • Organise a Zoom session with your parish children to celebrate (e.g. trivia, "drawasaurus")

Share a scripture story with your child

Read from your Children’s Bible as a bedtime story:

  • Jesus as a child (Gospel of Luke 2: 41-52)
  • Jesus’ birth (Gospel of Matthew 1: 18-2:23; Luke 2:1-20)
  • Jesus’ invitation to live happily (the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12)

Simple prayer practices for home and blessings

Bedtime routine:

  • Bless your child with a small cross on the forehead + as you kiss them goodnight saying ‘may God/Jesus bless you’ – invite them to bless you (and to all family members) too.
  • Say a simple examen with your child:
    • Recall a moment when you smiled/laughed/felt great today? We thank God.
    • Recall a moment when you felt sad/cross/disappointed today? We give it to God to bless.
    • Bring to God anyone on your heart and mind, ask God to bless them
  • Share a prayer together – Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Grace before meals:

  • Say a simple grace before your night time dinner:
    • Thank you God for our families and friends,
      thank you for our work and play,
      thank you for our food.
  • Include a prayer for anyone on our heart and mind:
    Jesus, my friend _________