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2018 International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking - Thursday 8 February

 More photos: CLICK HERE

"… the trade in human beings, a modern form of slavery, violates the God-given dignity of so many of our brothers and sisters and constitutes a true crime against humanity." Pope Francis 

In 2015, Pope Francis declared 8th February each year (the Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita of Sudan) to be the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking. About 40 million people around the world today are victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. On Thursday 8th February 2018, around 200 people gathered in St. Patrick's Cathedral for Holy Hour and Mass as a means of fulfilling Pope Francis’ desire to end this scourge. The Principal Celebrant was Fr Joe Caddy, Episcopal Vicar of Social Services and Justice and was joined by Fr Stephen Majwok of the Diocese of Malakal, South Sudan, Deacon George Piech Meat, Chaplain to the South Sudanese Catholic Community and Deacon Jim Curtain, Diocesan Director of Caritas Australia. Each of those present, individually, committed themselves to making ethical choices to end modern slavery as well as collectively, as the Archdiocese will move towards ending modern slavery.

Thank you to the South Sudanese Catholic Community including St. Bahkita Choir, Archdiocesan Office for Youth, Australian Catholic Religious against Human Trafficking and the Melbourne Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office for helping to put on a such wonderful celebration for St. Josephine Bahkita's Feast.

 For further information on this important issue visit:



Palm Sunday, 9 April 2017
Melbourne Catholic article - 2017 Palm Sunday March 
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees and the prayer service. Your support was immense despite the rain and wind. 
Resources for further action, including the Toolkit that was launched at the Prayer Service: CAPSA - Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum


On 13 October 2016, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference released a statement supporting the "Bring Them Here" campaign urging the government to close the offshore detention centres in Nauru and Manus Island and allow asylum seekers to stay in Australia while their claims are being decided upon.
The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart says, "The Australian Catholic Bishops also deplore the detention of our brothers and sisters on Nauru and Manus Island. While recognising the effort of the Government to find a solution, we say that enough is enough. We call on the Government to bring offshore detainees to Australia while awaiting further decisions on their future.

"We endorse the campaign to ‘Bring Them Here’ to Australia. We pledge the help of our Catholic communities and institutions to welcome and support these refugees when they arrive, including Catholic health, education and social services." 


2017 Rerum Novarum Oration

Full text of Fr Frank Brennan's Oration: 
Watch the 2017 Oration HERE 
110 years after Justice Higgins decided that wages at a factory in Sunshine should be based on the cost of living for a worker and his family, our annual social justice lecture will focus on the just wage. Open to all those concerned with the Church’s Social Teaching on the Dignity and Purpose of Human Work. It will be of particular interest to teachers and students of Economics, Politics and Religious Studies. 


Social Justice Statement 2017/18

Everyone’s Business:
Developing an inclusive and sustainable economy


In this year’s Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2017–18, the Bishops call for an economy that is founded on justice and offers dignity and inclusion to every person.

Australia has experienced a quarter of a century of continuous economic growth, but the benefits of this good fortune have not been distributed equally. In our workplaces, conditions and security of employment have been eroded, while those who are unemployed subsist on incomes well below poverty levels. Australia is experiencing a housing crisis. And our Indigenous brothers and sisters struggle with economic and social burdens that most Australians cannot imagine.

In the light of these challenges, the Statement calls us to build an economy founded on true solidarity with those who are most vulnerable. Such a society will reject an ‘ideology of the market’ that forgets the principles of justice and equity. Justice must be built into the very foundations of our community, and business can work for everybody’s benefit, not just for shareholders. The excluded and vulnerable must have a voice in decision-making. God is calling us to use his bounty wisely, for the good of all and of our planet.

Ahead of Social Justice Sunday on 24 September, Susan Pascoe AM, Commissioner of Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, and Fr Joe Caddy, Episcopal Vicar of Social Services, Justice and Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, launched the Statement in our Archdiocese at the St. Francis' Pastoral Centre in Melbourne CBD. Photos HERE. Article HERE.

Each one of us has a responsibility to place Catholic Social Teaching in action in the economic life of our community!

To order copies of the Statement for your parish, school or community, and to download useful resources to assist in putting the statement into action visit the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council website. (

Information on the Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Bill: – Archdiocesan website: Promote Care, Oppose Euthanasia - HOPE: Preventing Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide

You are encouraged to read the Social Justice Statement 2016/17: “A place at the table: Social Justice in an ageing society”


Student Social Justice Day – 29 May 2017 


Thank you to all the schools who participated in Student Day at the Australian Catholic University. Thank you also to Michael Walter from the St. Vincent De Paul Society, who gave a very thought-provoking opening presentation based on his life experiences and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, and to all the organisations who held workshops. We hope that the students and teachers were inspired and ready to do great social justice works in their schools.

Schools represented:
Emmanuel College
Simonds Catholic College
Antonine College
Mount St Josephs Girls College
St. Joseph's College Geelong
Parade College
Assumption College
MacKillop College
Sacred Heart Kyneton
Presentation College Windsor
Killester College
Aquinas College
Marymede College
Mercy College Camperdown
Sacred Heart Geelong
Santa Maria College
Siena College
St Joseph’s College Ferntree Gully
St Kevin's College
St Monica's College
Sacred Heart Girls College

Organisations represented:
Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Melbourne
The Benenson Society
Caritas Australia
Catholic Care
Catholic Mission
St Vincent de Paul Society
Young Christian Students