Media and Communications Office
This Sunday marked Catholic Mission Sunday where parishes across Melbourne stood as one to reflect upon what they are called to do as missionaries of God.
As a part of Catholic Mission Sunday, speakers addressed congregations in parishes at Masses across the Archdiocese including Sr Margaret Bentley and students of English Language Studies for Pastoral Ministry (ELSPM) at St Xavier Francis and St Clare’s in Greater Box Hill, Barry Howard and Fr Zaher Almhnna from Syria (and chaplain at St Vincent's Melbourne) who served his first mass at St Francis’ Church in Melbourne, among a variety of others.
Pictured above: Fr Zaher at St Francis' Church Melbourne Photo Credit: Anthony Nguyen
The theme of this year’s observance is ‘Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.’
Parishioners across the state heard stories of mission work changing lives in Myanmar, India and other parts of the world.
Pictured above: Barry Howard at St Francis Church, Melbourne
Pictured above: Student of ELSPM and Sr Margaret Bentley at St Franis Xavier Catholic Church in Box Hill, Photo Credit: Greater Box Hill Parish
Additionally, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Pope Francis announced that October will be an Extraordinary Mission Month.
The Extraordinary Month of Mission events were initially launched by Catholic Mission on the feast of St Therese of Lisieux with a spirituality day led by Sr Rachel McLoughlin IBVM.
Catholic Mission reflected on the broader understanding of vocation to which all are called, but respond to differently through a series of events such as a day of spiritual reflection.
Pictured above: Spirituality Day Credit: Catholic Mission
‘This was a gentle day of contemplation using Ignation Spiritual Exercises which led to a deeper meaning of mission,’ described Catholic Mission Diocesan Director, Kevin Meese.
‘For our NGV (National Gallery Victoria) David Menzies (NGV Educator) shared his expertise and knowledge so that the two hours seemed to fly by. The time spent reflecting on paintings and artwork through the lens of mission was enjoyed by all,’ he said.
Many participants expressed gratitude for their time at the NGV.
Pictured above: NGV Day Credit: Catholic Mission
‘Thank you so much for organising such a wonderful morning at the NGV. The story behind each work of art was beautifully recounted by David Menzies. What a story teller,’ said visitor Rita.
‘Just wanted to say how fantastic Saturday's session with David Menzies was at NGV. I got a lot out of it and feel a lot more confident to unpack scripture through art with students. Thank you for the opportunity to attend and look forward to another at NGV,’ said Connie, another attendee at the NGV reflection day.
Kevin also described the creative workshop held at Abbotsford Convent.
‘Another beautiful spring day for our creative workshop held at Abbotsford Convent,’ he explained.
Just entering the spaces and surroundings and into the room, immediately set the mood to explore and write personal stories. Our participants were led through a series of exercises which allowed them to experiment and try out different styles of writing. From homilies to Gospel commentaries, as well as fiction and travel blogs – the time together was truly inspiring.’
World Mission Day Sunday was first instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926. Held annually, the day encourages and reminds Christians of the missionary character of the Church and all who are baptised.