On Tuesday, 25th February 2014 the Catholic Missions Office in Melbourne hosted a colloquium on the "[Pope] Francis Effect." It invited the Parish of South Yarra, representing parishes who already are following the pastoral model proposed by Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium, to speak about initiatives that have responded to the needs of the poor and the choice of being a Church for the poor.
Five members of the parish team made a twenty-minute presentation, followed by some time for discussion. The participants are Fr Abel van der Veer O.S.A., P.P., Joyce Flint as Pastoral Associate, a representative from SJOS (St. Joseph's Outreach Services), a catechumen presently going through the RCIA program who told about what attracted him to our parish and seeking to join the Catholic Church, and Carole McNally the business manager of the parish. The South Yarra team has now been invited to repeat their presentation in Sydney on 21st-23rd August 2014.
The R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) has for many centuries been a way that adults have been instructed in Faith, and led to the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and eucharist. It will be offered at South Yarra in a program called Journey to Easter, which is open to everyone, including persons already Catholic who desire a refesher course about what Catholics believe and practice. Sessions of the course usually take place late on Sunday afternoons. For details, the Parish can be contacted by phone on (03) 9826 9677 during working hours or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org On Saturday morning, 17th May a Mass for bereaved mothers and their families was held, and all those affected by the sorrow of miscarriages, stillbirth or neo-natal deaths were invited to attend. Similar Masses have previously been held in the Augustinian parishes of North Harbour (Sydney) and Coorparoo (Brisbane).
The South Yarra parish website is: http://www.parishofsouthyarra.org.au