Over the past few weeks, our parish communities have reflected on St Mark’s account of the calling of the first apostles. On hearing the Lord’s call, the apostles Peter and Andrew, James and John left everything and followed him. Laying down their nets, they left all they knew and joined Jesus on the journey of discipleship. St Mark tells us that they were ‘astonished at his teaching’ and ‘were all amazed’ at what they witnessed.

For the first disciples, God’s power to heal and restore was not a story passed on but was a truth witnessed first-hand. The mercy and forgiveness of God were not some abstract teaching but a lived experience.

By joining Jesus on the road—by listening to him, witnessing his power and getting to know him on a deeply personal level—they were transformed, and he was then able to send them out, ahead of him, to call others to their own transformative encounters.

To further the journey of discipleship in our own archdiocese this year, a new Discipleship Internship program is being launched for a small group of university students. Over the next two years, these young adults from across Melbourne will journey with each other and, through prayer, formation and individual mentoring, grow in their relationship with the Lord. Like those first disciples, they will then be sent out onto their university campuses and into the various youth and young adult ministries within the Archdiocese as heralds of the Gospel. Formed by their own encounter with the Lord, they will be his witnesses in this time, calling their peers into a deeper relationship with Christ.

Angella Francis (front left) with her youth group—St Peter's Young Adults (SPYA).

Angella Francis, a parishioner of Saint Peter the Apostle Parish, Hoppers Crossing, is currently studying for a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne. As a young adult leader in her parish, she successfully applied for the internship to grow in her faith and help others on their faith journey.

‘This internship is such a blessing for me,’ she says. ‘I’m so excited to learn how to truly be a disciple and share that with our campus and lovely parishes in Melbourne.’

We are pleased to welcome these discipleship interns onto the Proclaim team and look forward to introducing you to them over the coming months!