The Easter season

As Saint John Paul II once said, '...we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery—the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”.' (Angelus, Adelaide, Australia November 1986, Pope John Paul II) To help mark the Easter season, parishes are invited to download these weekly prayer sheets and print-ready templates.

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Resourcing parishes for Lent

Lent offers an invitation to actively reorientate ourselves to God, because for Christians, God—and the one who was so loved, Jesus—is the heart and the soul of life. We are offered beautiful and ancient tools to help us enter into this time—tools of being prayerful, of living more simply and living more generously. Parishes are invited to download these free and easy-to-use resources for prayer and discussion throughout Lent, including these weekly podcast episodes exploring the gospels through art and prayer.
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2019 Planning Calendars

To assist parishes in planning and promoting formation in their communities, we have prepared a '2019 calendar planning tool' which can be downloaded and adapted by month (MS Word). These templates have been prepared as a free, editable resource and are pre-designed and populated with the liturgical calendar dates, such as liturgical seasons, memorials and major feast days; national programs/events, Victorian public holidays.

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2018 Annual Report

One of the gifts of the Melbourne Church is the wonderful diversity that is found in parish life and in the way our parishes are responding to the call to be witnesses in their local communities. It is our hope that the activities outlined in this report have enabled the many people with whom we have engaged to strengthen and deepen their relationship with Jesus, and have supported in them a desire to continue the work of spreading the Good News of Jesus in their corners of the world. 

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Any ordinary day

Director's message (November 2018): "November calls Catholics to remember. Throughout the world, parish communities are setting about the wonderfully sacred task of remembering and praying for the dead. It can be painful to remember. Our thoughts may return to those first awful days after the death of a loved one—they can be days filled with a terrible silence. ... The ordinariness of our life has been disrupted. In the face of death and tragedy, we look for ways to make sense of what has happened. We lay our flowers, light our candles and call upon our God. And we remember. This is the gift that November offers Catholics. We remember that our God is a God of presence, blessing and goodness." 
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Betwixt and Between

Director's message (Oct 2018): "We may sometimes feel that we’re living in a betwixt and between time. Something we have longed for may come to fruition but end up being mildly disappointing, forcing us to do more soul-searching. As one family member rejoices in a life event or achievement, another family member may be struggling with disappointment and heartache—why is it that we are not all happy at the same time? ... Some of us may feel that we are in an in-between time in the church at the moment. As we work towards shaping the Plenary Council agenda, it can be frustrating for some, worried that the ‘wrong views’ will be listened to, or apprehensive about what lies ahead. ... it is at times like this, I think, that we can look to spring for inspiration. Spring shows us that everything blossoms in its own time, at its own pace and after the necessary work has been done.

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The weight of it all

Director's message (September 2018): "Along with our joyous memories, all of us carry some heavy memories in our hearts. There is a heaviness that is reshaping the collective Catholic memory at the moment, I suspect. ... And some mornings, after reading about the latest revelations, I wonder if the weight of this painful time is going to break the spirits of the people of God. How will they hold the weight of these shameful memories and continue the work of proclaiming the good news? Because when we use the word ‘church’, we are talking about people—all the baptised in whatever role they may hold in this institution that began with a man who was one with God and whose every action sprang from this relationship. But then I remember that we are not alone. This church is built upon the shoulders of the generations of God’s people who have gone before us. The prayers of their experience pave the way for ours." 
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VIDEO: Creating inclusive environments for people with disability

In 2017, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, through the Bishops’ Commission for Pastoral Life released a document providing Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with People with Disability. The guidelines draw upon the Church’s rituals and experience in ministering to or with people with a disability. To help unpack and implement the Principles, a number of practitioners working in parish, school, healthcare and pastoral care networks across the Archdiocese of Melbourne were invited to reflect on how parishes and workplaces can work towards creating more inclusive environments for people with disability. 

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A Change of Heart

Director's message (August 2018): "Disruption is a term that is being increasingly used by sociologists and analysts to describe what is happening in the world. We may feel this way about the church. And yet. Our hearts would have been touched, I’m sure, by the stories of suffering and loss as a result of the recent bushfires in Greece and California. Or by the stories of heroism that emerged from the Thai cave rescue. The human capacity for empathy, awe and wonder has not really changed. And when we enter into the texts of the ancient peoples we realise that the universal questions about life remain." 
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Leaning Into...

Director's message (July 2018): "The Israeli museum holds in their permanent collection the hauntingly beautiful painting by Rembrandt van Rijn of St. Peter in Prison (or St. Peter Kneeling). St Peter has been arrested and is painted in a prison cell in Jerusalem. The figure of St Peter is bathed in soft light although his surroundings are in darkness. ... All is not dark; all is not lost. There is a potential for transformation." 
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The presence of grace

Director's message (June 2018): "And now it is Ordinary Time. A time when, for those with the imagination to see and the ears to hear, God continues to be revealed in the events of daily life. The faithful imagination has this capacity, I suspect. A capacity to be inspired by the Word of God that is daily offered to us and to see how it forms our work in the world. To not just read the words of Scripture but to hear them. To listen. To be formed by them and to act."

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The face of good news

Director's message (May 2018): "As we journey through this Easter Season time we have the opportunity to take into our minds and hearts the stories of the very earliest Christians. And how dramatic they are! Saul the persecutor of the followers of Jesus becomes Paul the messenger of the Good News, his life forever altered as a result of his encounter with Jesus. His travel was rigorous and the invitation he offered into the world of the Good News came at great cost. ... I wonder if Paul might have been the earliest person accused of perpetuating fake news!"
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