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Also of interest….
We are in the midst of Easter, of celebrating life over death! As Fr Andy Hamilton SJ reflects, "the point of Easter is to assure us that our hopes lie beyond all those seasons and beyond the youth and ageing of the world we live in. ... Easter represents our hope that even after the winter to which the year is heading greenness will return. The memory of Easter is food for a testing journey.  It is about both memory and hope."
 
The annual Jewish and Catholic Friendship Dinner will be held on Sunday 26 May, 7pm for 7.30pm start, in St Kilda. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy good food, wine and company. Archbishop Peter Comensoli will be attending for the first time and is the main speaker. Former Chair of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria and Rabbi of the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation, Yaakov Glasman will respond.
Holy Week journey commences on Palm Sunday. In his reflection, Fr Andy Hamilton SJ reminds us that this day is just as important today as 2000 years ago: "As we imagine the scene of the first Palm Sunday, we can’t miss the disconnection between what we see with our eyes and the high meaning it proclaims. We see a man seated precariously on a barrel-like ass, accompanied by a raggle-taggle group of bystanders waving green tree fronds, as he makes his way through the dust into town.
 
"... This contrast between appearance and reality makes Palm Sunday the right day to remember people who have sought protection in Australia. They, too, have come to Australia in mockeries of boats and have tried to enter through its sea gates. They, too, have been captured on arrival and hung out in prisons in order to deter others."
 
Many of us know someone or are aware of someone who is experiencing housing stress or homelessness. A Place to Call Home, the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement 2018-19[i] is a call for all of us to take action on this growing social crisis. Between 2011 and 2016, homelessness in Australia increased by 14 per cent, rough sleeping increased by 20 per cent and overcrowding increased by 23 per cent. The demand for homelessness services increased by 22 per cent[ii]. Homelessness is outpacing population growth and housing demand is outstripping supply. As with many social issues – the people most affected are those who face disadvantage or who are vulnerable.

The Plenary Council 2020 seeks to build the future of the Church in Australia.

 Here is a link to a short (10 minute) on-line survey to collect views that will be collated and submitted to the Council, particularly from people who are not now connected to the Church.

 

 

 Pope Francis said that "every person ought to have the awareness that purchasing is always a moral - and not simply an economic - act."


 

Author James Boyce’s award winning book 1835 presents a vivid picture of white settlement in Melbourne. James Boyce will explore the themes in his book at an event on  Sunday 24 March 2019 at 3:00pm. The book traces the settling of land by squatters, the power play in Hobart, Sydney and London and the dispossession of Aboriginal peoples. With his fresh approach to the nation’s history, Boyce asks the question: could it have been different? With his first book, Van Diemen’s Land, Boyce introduced an utterly fresh approach to the nation’s history. “In re-imagining Australia’s past,” Richard Flanagan wrote, “it invents a new future.” 1835 continues this untold story.
 
The annual Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees will take place on Sunday 14 April, from 2pm at the State Library (corner of Swanston Street and La Trobe Streets), Melbourne. Show your support for a fair and welcoming society, particularly for those refugees still on Manu and Nairu.
To raise money for the Walk, three films are being shown over three nights on 28 February; 14 March and 4 April.
Spend a day with Northern Irish theologian, poet and peacemaker, Pádraig Ó Tuama, on Tuesday, 12 February 2019. Pádraig will lead two sessions across the day addressing the theme 'Conflict, Reflection and Creativity'. People can attend one or both sessions.
A public lecture is also being held on Monday evening, 11 February 2019.
In his 2018 Christmas Message, Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli reminds us that it is in Jesus that our hope is born. "He is good for us now; we can find our future in Him; our trust is assured through Him; and we are invited to work with Him." Watch or read the Christmas message below.    
Please note that the 9pm Christmas Eve Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral in East Melbourne will be live streamed on the Melbourne Catholic Website.
 

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