Celebrating the liturgy well is a core commitment of the Blessed Sacrament community at St Francis’. The Altar Society is an association of people dedicated to the provision of support for the proper celebration of the liturgy. Good liturgy requires a wide range of material resources such as vestments, liturgical books, hymnbooks, flowers, candles and altar linen, not to mention a clean and well-cared-for church. The members of the Altar Society pledge themselves to make a regular contribution towards the cost of these essential items.
Membership in the Society is a minimum of $5.00 per annum, and is open to all people. All members share in a Mass offered at St Francis' each Thursday throughout the year, as well as in the prayers offered for friends and benefactors by the Blessed Sacrament Community. Loved ones who have died may also be enrolled. Further information is available in the Altar Society leaflet in the church porches and the Pastoral Centre or by contacting the Director.
Contact: The Director of the Altar Society or the Pastoral Centre receptionist
Phone: 9663 2495
During the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent, Bible study groups are organised with weekly sessions in the Pastoral Centre. All are welcome to attend and participate. See the St Francis’ Newsletter and the church and Pastoral Centre noticeboards for further information.
Enquiries: Pastoral Centre receptionist
Phone: 9663 2495
The Eucharistic Associates are those baptised faithful who are inspired by our eucharistic spirituality to associate themselves formally with the Blessed Sacrament Congregation. They form an organised group directed by one of our religious. They meet monthly for prayer, reflection and instruction and annually for a spiritual retreat. They commit themselves to the regular practice of eucharistic adoration, and they seek to become apostles of the Eucharist in their own sphere of life and work.
St. Francis', Melbourne, St. Francis' Pastoral Centre
St. Peter Julian, Haymarket Brent Pinner, C/o St. Peter Julian
Jesus Youth is an international Catholic youth movement with a charismatic spirituality and the motto 'At the Service of the Church'. Active in more than 25 countries, they are a network of small but vibrant groups of young people; in Australia they are present in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The group gathers every Friday evening in the MacKillop Room at St Francis' Pastoral Centre from 6.30-8.30 pm (except for Good Friday) for rosary, praise and worship and Bible sharing. Members can attend the 5.30 pm Mass before meeting.
If you would like to visit the prayer group or learn more about the movement, visit their website: www.jesusyouth.org
Contact: Gavin Besterwitch: 0431 108 887 or Suzette Morris: 0417 398 258
The Legion of Mary is a lay Catholic organisation whose members give service to the church, under ecclesiastical guidance, on a voluntary basis. It has been active in Melbourne for over 70 years. Its twofold purpose is the spiritual development of its members through prayer and apostolic work and advancing the reign of Christ through Mary. Members of the Legion of Mary at St Francis’ visit people in nursing and special accommodation homes and in hospitals and carry out a Rosary Crusade. There are two branches (praesidia) that meet at St Francis’ and everyone is welcome to either one of the meetings:
The Mother of Christ praesidium meets every Tuesday at 6:30 pm (Contact Patrick on 9528 5321).
The Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament praesidium meets every Thursday at 6:30 pm (Contact Peter on 0439 388 331).
The Rev. Robert Rousseau, SSS, created LITE I in l989. It uses the theory and principles of adult religious education to introduce laity and clergy to the three essential elements of contemporary eucharistic spirituality: the celebration of the Eucharist (the Mass); the contemplation of the Eucharist (Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament); and communion-with-the-suffering (the relationship between Eucharist and Justice).
The three main aspects of the Eucharistic Mystery - celebration, contemplation, and communion - are examined using five specific themes. The first three of these five themes, Eucharist: God's Love as nourishment, reconciliation, and transformation in Jesus Christ, explore the celebration of the Eucharist. Eucharist: God's Love as the abiding presence of Jesus Christ focuses on the contemplation of the Eucharist. Lastly, the relationship between the Eucharist and Justice investigates the theme of Eucharist: God's love as liberation in Jesus Christ. The five themes comprise the essential content of the LITE I seminar.
The proper celebration of the liturgy calls for full, conscious and active participation on the part of all. It also requires the service of a range of ministers: servers, readers, extraordinary ministers of Communion, collectors, ushers and choristers. With the number of celebrations held every day at St Francis’, and especially on Sunday, there is ample opportunity to exercise one of these ministries. Some are more specialised than others, but all require training. Everyone is welcome to apply. Forms are available at the Pastoral Centre desk.
Contact: Deacon John Pugh SSS or Pastoral Centre receptionist
Phone: 9663 2495
Melbourne City Churches In Action (MCCIA) is an ecumenical coalition of sixteen Christian churches located in and around the City of Melbourne. Church ministers and members work together and support each other in their common mission of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in the city. Meetings open to all are held every two months on a Wednesday evening. The major event of the year is the annual Way of the Cross around the churches on Good Friday morning. Other activities include shared Bible studies, publicising all the churches’ regular and seasonal services, and events such as the blessing of the Christmas proclamation. Further information is available at www.vicnet.net.au/~mccia/ or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Fr Jo Dirks SSS or Pastoral Centre receptionist
Phone: 9663 2495
Alongside the celebration of the liturgy St Francis’ hosts a range of pastoral activities. Many of these are only made possible by the generosity of volunteers. There are opportunities to participate as a volunteer in the pastoral life of St Francis’ as a member of one of the hospitality teams operating on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays in the Pastoral Centre.
Contact: Pastoral Centre Coordinator
Phone: 9663 2495
Servitium Christi is a Secular Institute in the Catholic Church. Membership is open to LAY women who seek to live and share their Christian faith, in association with one another and to a basic rule of life, thus identifying themselves as a Christian Lay Community.
A programme of initial formation is provided in order to accompany candidates to a clearer discernment of their vocation, and to prepare them for the expression or personal commitment to the values and vision inspired by the Gospel, expressed through the profession or the vows of evangelical poverty, celibacy and obedience.