To celebrate the Season of Advent and Christmas, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne is hosting a TV carols special entitled “Jesus is Christmas” on Sunday 20 December at 7pm.

Presented in partnership with ACU, Mercy Health and VMCH, the one-hour program features a stellar line up of local and internationally acclaimed artists including singer and performer Silvie Paladino, ARIA Award winning artist and X-Factor Australia Vocal Director Gary Pinto, international opera singer Michael Petruccelli, Melbourne's own The SAGA, and a host of other local artists and parish choirs.

Much has been said about what a COVID Christmas will look like but as Archbishop Peter A Comensoli reflects, there is something undeniably comforting about the sound of carols.

‘Gathering with family and friends for carols in our local parishes and schools is normally one of the highlights of the Christmas season,’ he said.

‘This TV special is a chance for us to gather, from the comfort of our homes, and listen to the familiar and joyous sounds of Christmas. It’s a reminder that despite the challenges we’ve all faced this year, we are a people of hope. And that hope has a name: Jesus.

‘Jesus is Christmas—then, now, always.’

Silvie Paladino and Gary Pinto

The TV special will also feature St Patrick’s Cathedral cantor Larissa Cairns, members of the CBD Virtual Choir of the Camberwell, Balwyn and Deepdene Parishes, the Tongan Choir of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Sunshine and Melbourne family act, the Sullys.

Accompanied by wife Lisa and daughters Seri and Eden, Pat said it was an honour for his family to take part and perform the classic, “Little Drummer Boy”.

‘I’ve often been moved to tears when listening to how the little drummer boy surrenders all his troubles to the infant Jesus,’ Pat said. ‘I pray that others too may be drawn deeper into the mystery of the incarnation and unconditional love of Jesus.’

Twelve-year-old Eden said she can’t wait to see the TV special.

‘I was so grateful to be able to sing at the Cathedral. It’s an experience I will never forget.’

The Sully Family

The Jesus is Christmas Carols Special will be aired on Sunday 20 December at 7pm on local community channel C31 (channel 44 on digital TV) and streamed online via the Archdiocesan YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/archmelb).