13 November 2022
Message Of His Holiness Pope Francis For The Sixth World Day Of The Poor: For your sakes Christ became poor (cf. 2 Cor 8:9)
May this 2022 World Day of the Poor be for us a moment of grace. May it enable us to make a personal and communal examination of conscience and to ask ourselves whether the poverty of Jesus Christ is our faithful companion in life.
24 August 2022
Social Justice Statement 2022-23 Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Costelloe introduces the 2022-23 Social Justice Statement – Respect: Confronting violence and abuse on this YouTube video
Archbishop Costelloe says ‘our relationships should be marked by equality and reciprocity rather than domination and violence, respect and freedom rather than coercion and control’. We know that most often those who suffer violence and abuse in homes and families, in workplaces, and in communities, are women and children while the perpetrators are most often men. We support women in calling for respect in relationships; their lives and those of their children are sacred.
21 August 2022
Fr Frank’s Homily – 21 August 2022 By Fr Frank Brennan SJ Striving to enter through the narrow gate requires more than just common sense and self-interested political savvy. We all have a history. We are all part of a history – a history of society, of nation, and of Church and other institutions. Our sense of right evolves, and in hindsight, we wonder how we or our forebears could have been so blind.
8 June 2022
Opening the Doors Foundation June Newsletter is out now! “Colby has been awarded School Captain for 2022. She is the first Indigenous School Captain in their history and it is the first time that 2 females are captain ….” Read more about how our many amazing students like Colby are doing in 2022. You can also read about highlights from the year so far.
27 May 2022
Archdiocese of Melbourne Synthesis Report. Our local Church in Melbourne has brought together this Report in response to Pope Francis’ invitation for the universal Church to reflect upon: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission; the theme of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which will take place on October 2023. The Report will now take its part in a combined national report, which will be sent to the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops to be considered alongside contributions from other parts of the Church around the world. Please be encouraged to read the voices from our people, and the introductory message from Archbishop Peter.
19 May 2022
Podcast: Unlocking Us with Brené Brown
Spirituality, Certitude, and Infinite Love, Part 1 of 2 with Richard Rohr
Spirituality, Certitude, and Infinite Love, Part 2 of 2 with Richard Rohr
Anyone who knows me or my work knows the immeasurable influence Father Richard Rohr has had on my life. Rohr is a Franciscan friar and ecumenical teacher, and his words live on Post-it notes all around my house; his numerous books are tattered and torn, as I’ve returned to them time and again, especially in the past couple years. In this magical two-part conversation, Father Richard graciously expands on just a few of the quotes that have turned my world upside down, sharing his thoughts on what it means to be humbled by the mysteries of faith; how we often misinterpret God as a dictator, not a lover; and how we’re ill-equipped to grasp the infinite nature of God and his love. This truly unforgettable conversation left me speechless—and filled me to the brim with love and connection. Brené Brown
As Christians we are called to create a community of radical inclusion by Sister Patty Fawkner SGS. A “preferential option for the other” is at the heart of the Gospel, and what it means to be Christian, while also offering a fresh way of thinking about love. Sourced from The Good Oil (Sisters of the Good Samaritan)
National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week by Andrew Hamilton SJ Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week are two aspects of the same mission. Sorry Day marks one of the worst episodes in the mistreatment of Indigenous Australians by the descendants of the colonial invaders. It records the forced removal on ideological grounds of children from Indigenous families and the lasting suffering inflicted both on the children and their families. Sorry Week was initiated in 1998 after the publication of the Bringing Them Home Report. It led eventually to the Apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008 and the Parliamentary commitment to close the gap between the lives of Indigenous and other Australians.
Pope Francis says we all need to listen Dear brothers and sisters, last year we reflected on the need to “Come and See” in order to discover reality and be able to recount it beginning with experiencing events and meeting people. Continuing in this vein, I would now like to draw attention to another word, “listen”, which is decisive in the grammar of communication and a condition for genuine dialogue. sourced from Majella Media
The Importance of Listening by Derek Boylen Communication is the foundation of a strong relationship. There are a lot of pitfalls that go with communication, but there’s also a lot of practical things that people can do that actually work to help. sourced from Majella Media
Keep working on love by Sr Patty Fawkner The 2016 Social Justice Statement from Australia’s Catholic Bishops focused on the value and dignity of older people. In her address at the launch of the Statement, Good Samaritan Sister Patty Fawkner asked: “what do the elderly of our world teach me for the journey of life?” Sourced from The Good Oil (Sisters of the Good Samaritan)
27 February 2022
Honouring the strength of religious women By Andrew Hamilton Pope Francis’ February Prayer Intention for religious sisters and consecrated women reminds us also of all the other women without whose generosity the Catholic Church would wither. They include the women who lead Catholic agencies, ensure that churches remain open and clean and safe for children, teach children their faith, lead choirs and shape the Catholic community.
18 February 2022
Faith leaders stand in solidarity with asylum seekers Despite the debacle that was the “Djokovic affair”, one of the things it highlighted was the grossly unjust situation asylum seekers have been trapped in by the Australian government, some of them having been detained at Carlton’s Park Hotel for up to nine years. The ecumenical #SetThemFree campaign continues to gain momentum, and we look at how faith leaders stand in solidarity with the detainees. Catholic Social Services Victoria
14 February 2022
Anniversary to an Apology by Andrew Hamilton The anniversary of the Apology is a cause for celebration. The aftermath has also revealed, however, how deeply dispossession, discrimination and poverty have affected Indigenous communities, the weak commitment of non-Indigenous Australians to change that might embarrass or cost them, and the complexity of the path to equality.
‘The most poignant and telling test of progress after the Apology lies in whether there is any reduction in the marked discrepancy between the proportion of Indigenous children who are forcibly separated from their family and the proportion of the children of other Australians.’
Healthcare workers are ‘beyond burnout’ ’ There is ‘the Great Resignation’ amongst workers, and people have even left the healthcare profession altogether because of the pandemic. One of the heavy burdens placed upon workers, something they were unprepared for, was needing to be with their patients during their final hours. Patients were isolated from their families, and caregivers, nurses especially, found themselves holding the hands of their dying patients so they had someone beside them, all while being garbed head-to-toe in protective equipment. Or, heartbreakingly:‘…holding iPads so that people could say goodbye . . .’ Melbourne Catholic
5 November 2021
Pope appoints first female secretary general at Vatican by Christopher Lamb Pope Francis has appointed the first female secretary-general of Vatican City State. The appointment of Sister Raffaella Petrini follows that of Sister Nathalie Becquart, and Sister Alessandra Smerilli to senior roles.
Were the good old days in the Catholic Church really that good? by Claire Victory Some positives emerged from the Plenary Council and those strengths should be acknowledged. But some displayed a nostalgia for a past time when the pews were full on Sunday and marriages didn’t end.
8 October 2021
Bishop Terry Curtin, celebrating a life of service Bishop Terry Curtin, who recently celebrated 50 years of priesthood takes us down memory lane and shares how his vocation began at an early age and was prayerfully encouraged by friends and family.
7 October 2021
Brisbane-Archbishop-backs-Uluru-Statement-and-an-indigenous-voice-in-the-Constitution – Mark Bowling Archbishop Mark Coleridge has publicly endorsed the Uluru Statement From the Heart – an historic commitment by the Catholic Church to back indigenous leaders from across Australia demanding a constitutional voice. Read the statement here Uluru_Statement_From_The_Heart
Opening the Doors Foundation Activity report 2021 The Opening the Doors Foundation is excited to share their Activity Report of 2021. See what the Foundation has gotten up to this year. As this year marks 20 years since the Foundation began, the Activity Report also shares their journey since opening our doors and what they have been able to accomplish in that time.
23 September 2021
A wall that still divides – Majellan Media The Australasian Catholic Press Association (ACPA) last week awarded Majellan first place for Best Feature Content. Editor David Ahern’s story ‘The wall that still divides’ appeared in the Spring 2019 issue and is an intimate examination of Northern Ireland 20 years after the ‘Troubles’ ended. On a visit to Belfast, David observed the obstacles to peace that remain, as well as the reconciliation process and the people who have dedicated their lives to mend the fences between Protestants and Catholics.
Catholic Care Supports Afghan-Australians Many of us will be aware of the devastating news from Afghanistan these past few weeks. After the government takeover from the Taliban, many fear for their lives and their livelihoods, and the civil and political rights of Afghans, particularly women, are in threat. Many Afghan-Australians living here in Victoria have family stuck in Afghanistan, and they fear for the safety of their loved ones.
17 September 2021
Tom-OLoughlin_Giving-or-Sharing_How-we-think-about-the-Eucharist_Sept-21 Eucharist is an action of the whole Church. By contrast, sharing assumes that ownership and control is common between all involved. It is because it is ours – not mine or yours – that we share it.
Christopher-White_Visiting-Orbans-Hungary-pope-delivers-implicit-rebuke-of-political-strongmen_Sept-21 “We too would prefer a powerful Messiah rather than a crucified servant,” said the Pope in presence of the country’s ultranationalistic Prime Minister Viktor Orban, encouraging the majority Catholic nation to mirror the example of Christ’s humility and eschew the temptations of power. “Religious sentiment has been the lifeblood of this nation, so attached to its roots. Yet the cross, planted in the ground, not only invites us to be well-rooted,” said Francis. “It also raises and extends its arms towards everyone.”
Patty-Fawkner_Sexual-and-Gender-Minorities-excluded_Sept-21 One thing for certain we can say about Jesus, and therefore about God, is that Jesus is very comfortable with diversity and hanging out with those on the margins. Where society and individuals exclude, Jesus goes out of his way to include. Jesus takes his disciples on a journey of ever-increasing inclusion.
9 September 2021
Michelle Goh RSM, bringing a different perspective to the Plenary Council Michelle Goh (a volunteer with our St Therese’s Parish music ministry) reflects on her role as a delegate of Melbourne Archdiocese to the Plenary Council.
Niall-Leahy-SJ_Dear-Greta_Sept-21 In this Season of Creation, we are celebrating the integral web of relationships that sustain the well-being of the earth. One of the most prominent voices in the ongoing drive to protect and restore those relationships is not a Christian one, but Niall Leahy SJ thinks it belongs to some whose life ‘corresponds in significant ways to the lives of holy people.’
3 September 2021
Bishop Vincent Long:_Our moral duty towards Afghan refugees_Sept 21
I was one of the boat people who escaped from South Vietnam. The escape happened after South Vietnam had fallen to the Vietnamese communist forces in 1975, and my world descended into total chaos with an international embargo, wars against China and Cambodia, forced collectivisation and the insidious spread of what were termed ‘re-education camps’ — but were really communist gulags. My siblings and I grew up in a world of poverty, isolation, oppression and constant fear of what might happen to us or our loved ones.
Andrew Hamilton:_Why Afghanistan matters_Sept 21
In occupying Afghanistan the United States & Australians politicians portrayed the Taliban as violent, enslaving & authoritarian, in contrast to the civilisation building, freedom loving &democratic spirit of the invaders. In such a conflict, who could not salute the flag of freedom and democracy, even if it was flown on the frigate of self-interest? When you act out of self-interest, you face three dangers in promoting such a self-congratulatory account. The first is that you will believe it yourself, and so carry your actions far beyond what self-interest dictates.
Sense of the Faithful Newsletter No 8
22 July 2021
Fr Frank Brennan SJ: Homily for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday
‘There’ll be no healing of the country, there’ll be no constitutional recognition, and there’ll be no truth telling unless more of us hear the call: ‘The spirit came into me and made me stand up, and I heard the Lord speaking to me.’’
The love that binds – Daily Prayer
In Pope Francis’ Catholic vision, the aged should not be regarded and treated as if they are dispensable, like relics or as damaged goods which have passed their use-by date. They have a place of honour for themselves.
20 December 2020
Sense of the Faithful Letter to Delegates
We write as a group of ordinary Catholics committed to the renewal of our church, and to the full recognition of the voices of the laity, priests and religious in our communities in that process. By this letter, we thank you for your willingness to serve on behalf of the People of God. We encourage you to continue on the path of genuine renewal, guided by the Holy Spirit and drawing inspiration from Vatican II and from Pope Francis.
23 November 2020
Waiting for God – Andy Hamilton
In Latin, an advent is an arrival; in the Church year it is a time of waiting. In the early Church it was both.
5 November 2020
Pope Francis’ Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship
This study guide offers key points and quotes from each chapter of Fratelli Tutti, along with reflection questions and the two prayers that Pope Francis includes at the end of the encyclical. Published by the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, the guide enables individuals and small groups to learn Pope Francis’ teachings and use them to build peace and solidarity in their relationships, community, and world.
Good intentions are not good enough
The absence of women in the language of the Church matters enormously. Invisibility in words equates with invisibility in consciousness and significance, writes Sister Patty Fawkner SGS.
The effects of Corona – the virus not the beer!
While Society seemed to continue on as normal in many ways, the Churches seemed to have lost their role.
13 October 2020
Five keys to understanding the encyclical Fratelli tutti
Issues-for-Consideration-at-the-Plenary Council – Fr Terry Kean
The Plenary Council has of course been delayed because of COVID- 19, but the issues have probably only become more urgent. As to how we will regather as a Church, not only in Australia but across the world, is a question that all of us will find very challenging.
7 October 2020
Pope releases apostolic letter on sacred Scripture – Junno Arocho
In an apostolic letter dedicated to Sacred Scripture, Pope Francis said that even today, Christians can learn new things
from the countless translations of the Bible that exist.
Five things to look for in Pope Francis new encyclical Fratelli Tutti – Thomas Reese
Fratelli Tutti (“Brothers all”), the new papal encyclical on fraternity and social friendship, is an important teaching document that must be read by anyone who wants to know where Pope Francis is coming from.
Keep Walking – Gillian Bouros
We have to acknowledge and accept that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost everything in life. But it also has to be admitted that some unexpected changes are for the better.
Sense of the Faithful Reflection on the Working Document – Oct 2020
The Plenary Council process has moved to the critical stage of preparing the documents and agenda for the first assembly, to be held in October 2021. As a result, four individuals have the challenging, indeed daunting, task of preparing the Working Document (or Instrumentum Laboris) for the Council.
2nd October 2020
Looking to Future Governance of our Church – Fr Frank Brennan
A Journey of Discernment (The Plenary Council) – Rev Timothy Costelloe
24th September 2020
Busting myths you might believe about Aboriginal Australia – Creative Spirits
Whither the Christian Church – In search of a ‘new normal’ (without the pointy hats) – Chris Ahrends
An aged perspective – Andrew Hamilton
22nd September 2020
Pope Francis and the idea of progress – Giandomenico Mucci, SJ
Some simple but urgent guidance to get us through these next months – Richard Rohr
15th September 2020
A rich inner life might be only upside of this invincible pandemic – Waleed Aly
Aged Care as part of a National Care Service – Ray Bricknell
Praying for ourselves and our planet – Fr Andrew Hamilton
The Vatican and the post-pandemic world order – Massimo Faggioli
3rd September 2020
COVID-19_ an opportunity for cultivating a fresh approach to spirituality_ _ The Sisters of The Good Samaritan
Love Alone Overcomes Fear Richard Rohr 19 March 2020