Events

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Watch talks from the 2019 Christian Leadership Series

The Christian Leadership Series is an annual offering for parish leaders and all those interested in exploring what Christian leadership looks and feels like in the context of 21st century Australia. This year’s four-week series offered participants a survey of key books, themes and figures from our biblical tradition. Guided by some of the country’s leading biblical scholars, a range of topics were explored from creation through to the prophetic movement, the Lukan narrative and the Pauline letters. Missed the series? Watch them online >
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Melbourne to host 4th APMN conference in October 2019

AOFE is proud to be supporting the fourth Australian Pastoral Musicians Network Conference, taking place in Melbourne from 1-3 October 2019. Preparations are underway for this conference that's open to all musicians, cantors, conductors, composers, choristers, teachers, catechists, campus ministers, clergy, liturgy teams … and all who love sung prayer! Special early bird registration is available until 30 June. Don't miss out!

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Upcoming liturgical formation workshops

19 June --- Those engaged in these ministries through local parish service and/or outreach to homebound or hospitalised sick or elderly will find this day enriching. The day includes formation for those involved in Ministry of Communion to the Sick, Readers of God’s Word and the Ministry of Welcome. Participants are welcome to attend one or more sessions to develop and assist their personal faith, knowledge and practice of these vital ministries.


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Sparks of Beauty: Film

1 May --- The Sparks of Beauty series is back for 2019! The series seeks to enter into dialogue with speakers from a variety of fields – art, science, music, literature, sport – and celebrate the intersections between faith and life while encouraging a new imagining to Catholic spirituality in 21st century Australia. The first gathering for 2019 will be a film screening of the Wim Wenders’ film, Pope Francis — A Man of His Word, which premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was screened as part last year’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).
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Alpha: A tool for encountering Jesus

Focusing on the Kerygma—the initial proclamation of the Good News—Alpha introduces participants to a personal encounter with Jesus. A series of sessions which explore the Christian faith, Alpha is typically run over eleven weeks, with the process comprising a shared meal, film and discussion exploring a different topic or faith question such as: ‘Is there more to life than this?' Does your parish want to know more about Alpha? Contact us.


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Parishioners attend planning day for Lent and Holy Week

Saturday 16 February --- More than 150 people from various parishes across the Archdiocese of Melbourne gathered at the Catholic Leadership Centre to attend a seminar in preparation for the Season of Lent and Holy Week. The day included two keynote presentations and 10 workshops for participants to choose from that focused on scripture, prayer, music, service and outreach.

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Liturgy of the Word with Children: Exploring Parish/School Connections

12 & 21 February 2019 --- This workshop will explore the liturgical principles underpinning the ministry of Liturgy of the Word with Children, offering practical strategies and creative techniques for sharing the Good News with the young. It will be offered centrally and in the southern region of the archdiocese.


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Mark your calendars! Upcoming formation events

In 2019, AOFE will continue to offer programs, events and resources that encourage and form parish leaders to a creative and imaginative approach to the proclamation of the Good News in their local settings. Here's a snapshot of what’s on offer in the first quarter, including the liturgy planning seminar, ‘The Lenten Jesus: Discerning the Way’.

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Best-selling author speaks on the impact of books in our lives

Michael McGirr is a best-selling Australian author, essayist and reviewer of over 1,000 books. Speaking at the recently held Sparks of Beauty event at the State Library of Victoria, he reflected on books and authors who have shaped his life. Michael is also the Dean of Faith at St Kevin's College Melbourne and says, "...the best thing you can do is to lead them (students) into the stories... the open-ended stories. The story of Elijah ... the story of Ruth and Naomi ... the story of Jacob... the story of the wedding at Cana ... these stories they are so richly textured. We are lucky, I think, to have such a religion of the book."

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Sparks of Beauty in Literature

Tuesday 30 October --- Great stories can be life-changing. They can feed your hungry mind and take your heart on a journey. Join us for the final Sparks of Beauty session for the year, "Stories that make us", where best-selling Australian author Michael McGirr takes us on a journey through stories—some ancient, some new—that have changed his life. In dialogue with speakers from a variety of fields – art, science, music, literature, sport – the Sparks of Beauty series seeks to encourage a new imagining to Catholic spirituality in 21st century Australia.


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Archbishop Comensoli on listening and discernment

The Plenary Council’s first stage of preparation is the Listening and Dialogue phase. During this time, people will have the chance to gather with friends, family and fellow parishioners to share their experiences of faith, life and the Church. As Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli describes in this video, the invitation to participate in this Plenary process is something many of us are already familiar with -- especially in our family relationships where listening is so essential. He also talks about discernment as an invitation to "look more and more like Jesus." 

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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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Letter to the Faithful of Melbourne

Pope Francis has overnight written a letter to all People of God, expressing his heartfelt concern for the suffering endured by many due to sexual abuse, and the ecclesial cover-up that often has accompanied it. Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli echoed these sentiments, saying "...looking ahead, it falls to me, as your Archbishop, to ensure that our local Church in Melbourne is unequivocally committed to attending to the harm done, prioritising the dignity and care of all who are young and vulnerable, rebuilding trust among our people, and creating safe environments in our communities, agencies and organisations." Read Archbishop Comensoli's message to the church of Melbourne >

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Sparks of Beauty in Sport

3 September @ Fed Square --- A conversation on the role of sport in building community, celebrating diversity and imparting worth—and not just the monetary kind. Featuring voices from Melbourne’s other religion: Footy! Come and hear from three-time premiership player for the Richmond Tigers Mervyn Keane and premiership winner and AFLW star Emma Kearney.

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ACU Short Course: Listening to the Spirit: Towards the 2020 Plenary Council

1, 8, 15 & 22 August --- ACU is hosting a four-week short course on exploring the future of the Church in Australia, with a specific focus on the 2020 Plenary Council. Topics covered include the future of Catholic education (by Dr Paul Sharkey Director, Catholic Education Services, Catholic Education Melbourne), the mission of the Church in the 21st century, and a week four listening and dialogue session led by Dr Joel Hodge.

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Watch talks from the Christian Leadership Series

A selection of talks from the Christian Leadership Series are available to watch and are ideal for personal learning or formation tools for members of parish pastoral councils and leadership teams. Each video is accompanied by speaker notes and points for reflection/group discussion. Topics covered include the challenge of exercising an adult faith in a pluralistic environment, the principles of Christian dialogue, re-discovering our rich biblical heritage and the sensus fidei.

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Plenary Council 2020

The last time the Catholic Church in Australia held a Plenary Council was in 1937. It has been more than 80 years since we gathered all of the Church together and much has changed. In 2020, we will have a Plenary Council about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. What are we called to do? Who are we called to be? How do we need to change?

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Christian Leadership in the 21st Century

Wednesdays 9, 16, 23, 30 May --- The Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation Melbourne is hosting a four-week lecture series on Christian leadership for the 21st-century context. Explore scripture, church history, pastoral research and the joys and challenges of leading in a changing environment. Speakers include Dr Trudy Dantis, Ms Cathy Jenkins, Rev. Dr Kevin Lenehan, Rev. Dr Francis Moloney SDB and Rev. Dr Max Vodola.  

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‘Your God is too small’: The Pope’s astronomer putting faith in science

Thursday 26 April --- "Your God is too small," Br Guy Consolmagno posited to his audience. Br Guy is the President of the Vatican Observatory, one of the oldest astronomical research institutions in the world. "Now we have a universe that is 13.8 billion light years in every direction and bigger than that is the God that made it. But it’s still a God that acts out of love, beauty and joy. ... It’s not because of my science I believe in God but it is because of my God I believe in science."
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Sparks of Beauty Program 2018

In his message at the annual meeting of Pontifical Academies, Pope Francis spoke of ‘sparks of beauty and love’ as necessary to heal and mend humanity. In dialogue with speakers from a variety of fields – art, science, music, literature, sport – the Sparks of Beauty series seeks to encourage a new imagining to Catholic spirituality in 21st century Australia. In 2018, the Sparks of Beauty program has taken place in some of Melbourne's most notable locations – the purpose of which is to encourage conversations about spirituality and faith outside of the usual spaces and 'in the marketplace'.

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Sparks of Beauty kicks off at the NGV

Saturday 10 February --- The Sparks of Beauty series kicked off at the National Gallery of Victoria, with David Menzies noting that for some, art galleries are 'the cathedrals of the modern world'... These spaces provide a portal into the spiritual world too, as they offer an entry point to pondering the great mysteries of life. 
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Professional Development opportunities for Lay Ecclesial Ministers

Lay Ecclesial Ministers, just like the ordained, need and deserve formation of high standards that will provide them with the necessary skills and resources to adequately minister to the community they serve within. These professional development days and retreats cover a range of topics including responding to family violence, praying with the psalms, developing a spirituality of encounter and accompanying those on a journey of grief and loss.
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