A publication of the Archdiocese of Hobart
Vol 6:3 June/July 2010
Our Church moving forward together NEWS
The Mission launched
Immersion to East Timor
10 - 11
INSIDE THIS ISSUE The Mission reveals unique aspect of Church News in Brief Archbishop Doyle writes
Catholic Church Directory
Catholic Diocesan Centre 35 Tower Road New Town 7008, GPO Box 62 Hobart 7001 Phone: (03) 6208 6222 Fax: (03) 6208 6292
The Office of the Archbishop
Vale Sr Ona Kaukenas
Phone: (03) 6208 6222 Fax: (03) 6208 6293
Centacare celebrates 50 years
Peter Cusick CPA Phone: (03) 6208 6227 Fax: (03) 6208 6292
Vision and Mission Features Christian Initiation
Catholic Development Fund 8–9
Phone: (03) 6208 6260 Fax: (03) 6208 6290
Immersion to East Timor
Phone: (03) 6208 6257 Fax: (03) 6208 6299 Marriage Tribunal
Phone: (03) 6208 6250 Fax: (03) 6208 6297
International Scholar visits Hobart
Pregnancy Counselling and Support
Homelessness a national obscenity
Social Commentary Australia at the Crossroads
Feature Life as a Priest: Fr Tony Kennedy
Vicar General Fr Mark Freeman VG PO Box 62 Cygnet 7112 Phone: (03) 6295 1239 Fax: (03) 6295 1013 Chancellor Fr Terry Rush VF PP PO Box 42 Richmond 7025 Phone/Fax: (03) 6260 2189 Catholic Youth Ministry Chaplain Fr Richard Ross Phone: (03) 6326 1970
The Office of Church Life and Mission Phone: (03) 6208 6272 Fax: (03) 6208 6299 Tasmanian Catholic Justice and Peace Commission Phone: (03) 6208 6271 Fax: (03) 6208 6299 Towards Healing Help Line Phone: 1800 356 613 Museum and Archives Phone: (03) 6231 4740 Heritage Office Phone/Fax: (03) 6224 5920
Centacare Welfare Services Hobart 35 Tower Road New Town 7008 Phone: (03) 6278 1660 Launceston 201 York Street, Launceston 7250 Phone: (03) 6332 0600 Burnie 108 Mount Street Burnie 7320 Phone: (03) 6431 8555 Devonport 85 Best Street Devonport 7310 Phone: (03) 6423 6100
Recasting the leper’s bell
Hope and healing after abortion
Catholic Education Office 5 Emmett Place New Town 7008 Phone: (03) 6210 8888
The sounds of silence
Diocesan Ecumenical Commission
Vocations Ministry 99 Barrack Street, Hobart Phone: (03) 6234 4463
Caritas goes to school
Lifestyle Book and film reviews
School and College News Sacred Heart hosts Justice Forum
Lending a helping hand for Haiti
The Question Box
Rites of Passage Allan Sullivan and Mary Sullivan (Staunton)
Dermott Stevens and Sarah Smart David Morse and Fiona Excell Obituary Maurice Paul Mifsud SDC
Sr Monica Franklin MSS
35 Tower Road New Town 7008 Phone: (03) 6208 6000 Phone: (03) 6335 4708 A/H: (03) 6335 4826
Published six times per year by the Archdiocese of Hobart, The Tasmanian Catholic is distributed to Catholic schools, hospitals, retirement villages and parishes statewide. We welcome contributions, but no guarantee of publication can be given because of demands on available space. Hard copy versions of items for publication cannot be returned so please keep a copy. Photographs submitted will only be returned if accompanied by an addressed stamped envelope. Contributions, advertising or other enquiries may be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by mail to The Tasmanian Catholic, GPO Box 62, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001. All material in this publication is copyright and must not be reproduced without the written permission of the Archbishop of Hobart or his authorised delegate. Editor Pip Atkinson (on maternity leave) (03) 6208 6230
Printing Foot and Playsted, Launceston Production and Design (03) 6332 1400 Fax: (03) 6332 1444 Cherie O’Meara
In its annual show of solidarity for the Church and God’s people everywhere, Palm Sunday pilgrimage (shown above) embodies the new spirit of change via our Vision and Mission. See pages 5 and 9 for more detail. DEADLINE NEXT EDITION : July 27, 2010
The Mission reveals unique aspect of Church By Phil Pyke
Fr Felix Ekeh, Fr Christopher Igboanua and Fr Kene Onwukwe
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PHOTO: CINDY GODDEN
t could be said that the ABC Television series, The Mission, is the closest insight ever undertaken into the Catholic Church in Tasmania. The filming of the project was undertaken by Hobart documentary film-maker, Ms Varcha Sidwell and Roar Films and focuses on the first year of Fathers Kene, Christopher and Felix as they join the Archdiocese of Hobart. Varcha, herself a committed Catholic, was the director of the acclaimed documentary, The Abbey. She also directed Real Life Water Rats for the ABC on Tasmanian Police Marine and Rescue. A 94 minute feature documentary based around the four ABC Television episodes recently premiered at the State Cinema in North Hobart in front of an audience from the Archdiocese of Hobart, Roar Films and Screen Tasmania which provided funding for the project filmed in Tasmania and Nigeria. â€œI have had the privilege of seeing all four episodes and I believe that in offering us a colourful comparison between the Church in Tasmania and the Church in Nigeria, we are also challenged by the story you are about to see,â€? said Archbishop Doyle in his opening address at the premiere. â€œFor the three priests, the decision to come to Tasmania was no easy choice for them. Our island state is at the end of the world compared to Onitsha, Nigeria. Archbishop Okeke saw it as an opportunity to assist the Church here in Tasmania â€“ a mission in reverse so to speak and repayment for the Irish priests, including an ancestor of mine, who went there in the 1800s.â€? Archbishop Doyle said the story of a reverse mission does cause all to examine their own world view. As Fr Felix succinctly puts it in the film, â€œAustralia is not in Africa and then as the definition goes, it is at the end of the world, that concern that you are going to the end of the world you know, could make one shudder.â€? The Fathers didnâ€™t know what they were coming to and it was appalling weather on the day they arrived â€“ one of the wildest and coldest days in 2008. â€œIâ€™m sure they wanted to get straight back on the aircraft and head home,â€? said Archbishop Doyle. â€œBut two years on our three Nigerian priests have been widely accepted by the parishes across the State. They have assisted the Archdiocese of Hobart greatly and I thank them for their contribution and commitment as well as our own priests for welcoming them and mentoring them.â€? Varcha said that her experience had deepened her respect for the priests who, in her view, were really trying hard to do their best. â€œWith the Catholic Church at crisis point in Australia, working on this film has deepened my respect for those struggling on the front lines because we hear a lot of bad press about priests, but Iâ€™ve met a lot of guys trying really hard to give it their all.â€? The four part Compass series, The Mission, premiered Sunday May 30 on ABC1.
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2 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
NEWS IN BRIEF
Into new highways and byways T he Tasmanian-founded Missionary Sisters of Service are looking to the future with confidence as they prepare to launch the John Wallis Foundation. Named in honour of their beloved and visionary founder, the late Fr John Wallis, the foundation will seek to continue the work and further the outreach of the Missionary Sisters of Service, during and beyond the life of the congregation, in the highways and byways of this vast land. Through the foundation, the MSS will invite others to join them in a mission that goes “beyond” and which includes a continuing search for new ways of living and working together in the spirit of the Gospel. The John Wallis Foundation will be an incorporated body, set up as a philanthropic
association. It will invite financial donations and bequests so that it can support projects and initiatives that reach out to the marginalized and contribute to the dignity and development of individuals and communities. According to Congregational Leader Sr Bernadette Wallis, Fr Wallis’ long life of service to the Australian Church is the inspiration behind the foundation. “Our prayerful hope is that the John Wallis Foundation will enable others also enlivened by that desire to take up the mission to reach out to people beyond.” The chairman of the foundation’s inaugural board is Hobart’s Mr Christopher Smith, former principal of St Virgil’s College. The John Wallis Foundation will be
launched in Melbourne on Thursday, June 10, the e v e o f Fr Wallis’ 100th birthday; in Toowoomba on Sunday, July 11, and in Hobart on Tuesday, August 3, the ninth anniversary of Fr Wallis’ death. The Tasmanian function will be held at the Joyce Performance Centre at St Virgil’s College, Austins Ferry, at 7.30pm. All interested people are invited to attend. RSVP: Missionary Sisters of Service, P O Box 2075, Vermont, VIC 3132 or (03) 9073 5520 or email@example.com
Farewell to retiring Sr Kathleen Blueprint for a better S world exhibition T r Kathleen Kennedy RSC was recently farewelled by the Sandy Bay-Taroona Parish after 24 years as loyal and hardworking Parish Sister. She was trained to be sacristan by (then) Parish Priest, Fr Adrian Doyle and continued those duties until her retirement, always maintaining the church and sacristy to perfection. Her talent for floral displays was evident and her contribution to the parish Liturgy Group which operated in the 1990s was extremely generous. Until recent years, Sr Kathleen carried out First Communion preparation of Catholic children of the parish who attended state schools. As her list of duties expanded, she called on parishioners (especially CWL members) for assistance with altar linen, floral decorations and supplying refreshments for parents of children attending her First Communion classes.
Until her retirement, Sr Kathleen took Communion to sick and housebound parishioners every week and in earlier years was also involved with a Care and Concern group that was operating in the parish. Sr Kathleen has moved to Melbourne where she will spend her retirement with the Sisters of Charity. She is remembered in the parish with much fondness, admiration and gratitude.
he Blueprint for a Better World Exhibition,presented by AusAID and Caritas Australia, is an interactive exhibition that focuses on the Millennium Development Goals as a strategy for tackling poverty in the world. More information can be found at www.blueprintforabetterworld.org When: 21 June – 1 July Where: Hobart City Hall Cost: Free
Solemnity Friday July 16, 10.00am Sung Mass A Novena of Masses and Prayers July 7 – 15 Celebrant and Homilist: Archbishop Adrian Doyle Carmelite Monastery 7 Cambridge Street, Launceston Intentions may be sent to Mother Prioress.
Morning Tea after Mass
All are welcome
L’Arche may need you L
’Arche Beni-Abbes is an intentional faith based community in Hobart in which people with and without intellectual disability share life together. Life as a L’Arche live-in Assistant is a transformative experience and an ideal opportunity to explore a vocation within the disability field. L’Arche Beni-Abbes’ three households are situated in the suburbs of Newtown and Moonah and there are currently several vacancies for Live-In Assistants. To find out more about L’Arche, visit the national website - www.larche.org.au and for further information, contact Debbie Finlay on (02) 62283920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Clergy Healthcare Conference Hobart I
n April 2010 Tracy Hemmings, Clergy Healthcare Coordinator for Tasmania and member of staff at Calvary Health Care hosted the Annual National Clergy Healthcare Network Conference at Calvary’s Lenah Valley Campus. Coordinators from around Australia attended the two day gathering. The role of Clergy Healthcare Coordinator is relatively new in Australia, with the service commencing in Tasmania in 2009. The initial concept was to assist the Archbishop in his duty of care for sick and retired priests, however, services have now developed in many dioceses that take a proactive and holistic view of health and wellbeing as it applies to all clergy, active and retired. The aim of the Hobart gathering was ageing and retirement. Equally important was managing work pressures for priests when
demands upon them are ever increasing. A healthy balance between work and leisure is a significant issue facing priests on a daily basis as their numbers decline. Guest speakers were Fr Frank Devoy, National Chair, Clergy Life and Ministry (Lismore), Fr Laurie McNamara CM (Adelaide) and Fr Mark Freeman, Vicar General Launceston. The three guests spent a full day with the Coordinators, each contributing insights from their own life experience and involvement with and care of priests.
Letter to the Editor Dear Editor, Thank you for publishing Margaret Jones` letter inn the recent Tasmanian Catholic ( Volume 6.2 Easter ). The letter touched upon misgivings being expressed by some in the Catholic community regarding the new liturgical changes in the Mass. Given that change is always there with us, the issue is not so much as to change in itself. The concerns are that these new translations may be less conducive to full and active participation in the Mass. The Church community consists of every ilk, young through to old, unschooled
through to highly educated, different ethnic backgrounds and cultures and those with little English. As we, the people, are the Church, it would be discouraging and a real pity if language changes to the vernacular English do not include a pastoral focus for the diverse social mix that constitutes the Church . Simpler translation is indicated, enabling easier comprehension and prayerful participation for the greater number of the Church community. Lucia Werner, Hobart
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4 Volume 6 Issue 2 3 2010
Samaritan Projects helping people in need Y
ou would never know from looking at him, but uni student Joshua* was a child-soldier at nine years of age. Forced to join his country’s rebel army in a merciless war against its own and other neighbouring countries, Joshua then fled Sudan in his early twenties to arrive eventually in Tasmania as a humanitarian entrant. Joshua lost all contact with his family – neither side of the family knew if the other was still alive. Now, Joshua is now studying for a Bachelor’s degree and is living independently in Hobart. His life has turned full circle since he arrived in Tasmania, thanks to his own determination, resilience, faith and the support of many around him in his local parish, who have mentored him throughout life’s challenges dealing with a new language and a very different culture. Joshua, a very amiable fellow who makes friends easily, completed his Tertiary Entrance Score at a local Catholic school – an immense achievement for someone with very little formal schooling. He has also been able to reconnect with his mother back in Sudan, who he hadn’t seen since he was taken as a young child. There are many stories from our community, like Joshua’s, of people who have come to Tasmania to start a new life. Their journey is not an easy one, nor are they given endless “handouts” – contrary to some beliefs. The facts are that young men (and women) like Joshua
Samaritan Projects has given assistance to local families in need, Loui’s Van, Victorian bushfire victims, victims of the Samoan tsunami, Haiti’s earthquake... are proudly independent people who, nonetheless, face significant hardships everyday. This is where Archbishop Adrian Doyle’s Samaritan Projects can help. Samaritan Projects Tasmania is a special charitable foundation, set up and managed by His Grace, which can be used to respond to needs in the community with speed and certainty. In the past, Samaritan Projects has given assistance to local families in need, Loui’s Van, Victorian bushfire victims, victims of the Samoan tsunami, Haiti’s earthquake and many more not-for-profit organisations. Archbishop Doyle encourages you and your family to consider making a donation towards Samaritan Projects in the knowledge that you will be contributing to the welfare and loving care of your fellow community members. * not his real name.
call 1800 674 434
for more information Payment type
Card number Cardholder’s name Expiry date
Cardholder’s signature Name (s) Address Phone number * Please make cheques payable to: Samaritan Projects Tasmania (ABN 16 655 388 053) To be used where a tax deduction is NOT required For tax deductible donations
Samaritan Projects Welfare (ABN 16 088 936 310) Do you require a tax deductible receipt?
Samaritan Projects Tasmania is Archbishop Adrian Doyle’s own charitable foundation – which gives the Archbishop the means to respond to needs with speed and certainty.
Become a Samaritan today! Please give generously today to help people in need. www.hobart.catholic.org.au
please mail to: Samaritan Projects GPO Box 62, Hobart, TAS 7001
The Foundation has a register of supporters, whose membership subscriptions, as well as bequests, form the basis of the fund. Supporter status is offered at individual, family and corporate levels for as little as $25 a year!
Archbishop Doyle Writes Dear Friends in Christ,
nce again this year, in the first week of May, I attended the Conference of the Australian Bishops which was held at the Mary Mackillop Centre in North Sydney, where Blessed Mary Mackillop died. Her tomb is located in the church on the same site, and it was the venue for the daily celebration of the Mass by the Bishops during that time. Following the Conference of the Australian Bishops, we transferred to a different venue near the University of Sydney for the conference of the Bishops of Oceania. This is a gathering that takes place every four years, and it involves also bishops from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Noumea, Nauru, Papeete, French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Caroline Islands and Guam, Wallis and Futuna, Tuvalu and Tokelau. Bishops from some of these islands have to make part of the journey by sea, and the boat services are not very regular. In one instance, in the case of the Administrator of the small community on Tuvalu, there are only 143 Catholics in a total population of 11,000 and there is only the one priest who lives there on his own. The experience of being with Bishops from such a variety of different places in and around the Pacific, is very uplifting. During the week, we were all guests in one of a number of Sydney suburban parishes, where the people welcomed us warmly and offered us their very genuine hospitality. In my instance, I was invited to the Randwick Parish which has been in the care of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) for many years. Some of the priests I met have served here in Tasmania. Others have served for lengthy periods in places such as PNG. Bishop Anthony Burgess, formerly a priest of the Archdiocese of Hobart, and
“the programme (Our Vision and Mission) already exists: it is found in the Gospel...” now the Bishop of Wewak (PNG) attended the conference. It is but a further reminder of the unity of faith that we share with so many throughout this region of the world, and in the wider world as well. It is now possible for you to view the film The Mission which documents the first year of priestly ministry of the three priests from Nigeria, who came to Tasmania in June 2008 on a three year assignment from their own bishop to serve the Church here in Tasmania. As the film portrays, this was a huge relocation for them, from their homeland in
West Africa, to here in Tasmania. Not only are there extremes of weather and culture to contend with, there is a very different vitality in the two Catholic communities which is clearly identified in the film. I hope that many of you will have the opportunity to view this film which will be shown over four Sunday evenings on the Compass program in ABC1-TV, having commenced on Sunday 30 May. The day after I returned from Sydney, I was able to participate in the southern regional launch of the Vision and Mission Statements of the Archdiocese of Hobart. It was a very uplifting experience to see representatives from parishes, schools, agencies and organisations which make up the fabric of the Archdiocese. It is my expectation that the Vision and Mission Statements will become the focus and beginning point in all the planning and decision making processes that take place in the Archdiocese from now on. In my presentation, I referred to the words of Pope John Paul II in his very important letter, written at the beginning of the new millennium, in which he says: “It is not a matter of invention of a “new programme”; the programme already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and the living Tradition; it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its centre is Christ himself, who is to be known loved and imitated so that in Him we may live the life of the Trinity. This programme for all times is our programme for the 3rd millennium. (NMI 29) I am very grateful to the members of the Working Party who were able to prepared strong Vision and Statements, and I encourage everyone to take up the challenge and the opportunity they now provide for us. May God continue to bless us all. Yours sincerely in Christ ADRIAN L. DOYLE AM Archbishop of Hobart
We distribute to all Catholic schools, hospitals, retirement villages and parishes statewide. Closing dates for the next edition are: Editorial July 27, 2010 Completed advertisements July 27, 2010
Please direct your enquires to: Editorial: Editor (03) 6208 6230 Advertising: Vanessa Kaczorek (03) 6208 6243 www.hobart.catholic.org.au
6 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
Vale Sr Ona Kaukenas By Vicky Turvey
t was with great sadness that the Tasmanian Catholic community learned of the death of Sr Ona Kaukenas. Sr Ona had fought an aggressive cancer for the past 20 months, but ultimately lost her battle on Saturday April 10, 2010. Sr Ona was born in England, and her family sailed out to Australia when she was nine years old. She actually celebrated her birthday on board the ship, with the crew giving her a Rum Cake! Sr Ona attended Sacred Heart College in Launceston with Sr Doreen Williams as her first teacher. She eventually came to Hobart and her first teaching position was at St Mary’s College. She also taught at Sacred Heart School at George Town and was Religious Education Coordinator at St Patrick’s College, Launceston. She became Principal of St Mary’s College from 1994 to 1998 and continued to be a member of the St Mary’s College Management Advisory Board. One of Sr Ona’s greatest loves was Art and she received her Fine Arts Degree at the University of Tasmania. While further studying for her Masters Degree, Sr Ona also found time to tutor and lecture at the University. Sr Ona was a member of the Archdiocesan Justice Commission and Presentation Justice Society Network, as well as a member of the Congregational Leadership Team. To Sr Ona’s family, and to the Presentation Sisters, we extend our deepest sympathy and we thank God for her life, her creativity and her commitment to the education of young people in Tasmania.
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Centacare celebrates 50 years I
t was five decades ago in December 1959 that the Marriage Counselling and Family Welfare Centre was first set up in Hobart, sharing a waiting area with a dental mechanic in the rooms over the Catholic Bookshop in Macquarie Street. Known as the Catholic Family Welfare Bureau, all people regardless of race, religion or social status were welcomed in their time of need. According to the Director of Centacare Welfare, Mrs Georgina McLagan, Centacare, as it became known in 1977, delivers services to nearly 10,000 Tasmanians per year across around 22 programmes. “Today Centacare employs around 150 part-time and full-time staff supported by 100 volunteers mainly in the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy.” “The focus of the services of Centacare has always been the family. The agency began as a marriage counselling service and, 50 years on, that same service is still provided many other programmes.”
“Today Centacare employs around 150 part-time and full-time staff supported by 100 volunteers mainly in the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy.” Mrs McLagan said that in recent years Centacare services had refocused onto the needs of children and the future direction is to continue to offer quality services to those most in need. Today Centacare has expanded into the areas of social housing, child-care services in partnership with the Catholic Education Office and the operation of Annie Kenney Young Women’s Refuge. The 50th Anniversary coincided with Centacare’s Annual Conference – with keynote speaker well-known National Executive Director of Catholic Social Services, Frank Quinlan held in Hobart last month.
Vision and Mission T
he first three Saturdays of May saw the presentation of the Vision for and Mission Statement of the Catholic Church in Tasmania. Regional gatherings were held in Burnie, Hobart and Launceston. More than 200 people attended these presentations. The material presented arises from the deliberations of the Diocesan Assembly held at St Patrick’s College, Launceston on 15th and 16th November 2008. The Vision and Mission respond to the initiatives and strategic priorities identified at the Assembly. They are the result of the efforts of the Working Party established by Archbishop Doyle to follow up the work of the Assembly. At the regional gatherings, Archbishop Doyle commissioned representatives of parishes, schools, church agencies, groups and religious congregations to re-present
the Vision and Mission in their particular communities. The Archbishop expressed his hope that the Vision and Mission would form the basis for the approach of each and every organisation within the Archdiocese. He went on to say that Vision and Mission can be points of reflection and evaluation to ensure that we are all giving the same priority to the same things. The logo developed for the Vision and the Mission captures the essence of these documents. Its dynamic, circular shape expresses the ongoing nature of our mission as people of God. It indicates the communion of life and love to which we are called in Christ. The colours are those of flames. It is the fire of the Holy Spirit that inspires us and drives us on. The open centre of the circle points to the mystery of God as well as the possibilities awaiting us as people on a mission. www.hobart.catholic.org.au
The three colours reflect the three aspects of our Vision for the Church in Tasmania. The nine arms forming this dynamic circle invite us to consider our response to the nine action words that form the Mission Statement. Copies of material presented are available from the Archbishop’s Office. Phone Michele Boucher on (03) 6208 6222 or they can be downloaded from the Archdiocesan website www.hobart.catholic.org.au
8 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
Christian Initiation T
he Easter Vigil is the proper time when adults and children of catechetical age are initiated into the Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, as we celebrate the new life won for us through the Resurrection. This year, following a significant period of preparation ten people - men, women and children, were baptised in parishes around Tasmania, and many others who had been baptised in another tradition were welcomed into the Catholic community.
They each come from dif ferent backgrounds with their own unique stories, but through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process, they have found a greater sense of personal fulfilment and direction for their ongoing faith journey. Two of these newly baptised Catholics, Glen Brew (Cathedral Parish) and Jodie Jarvis (Kingsmeadows Parish) share something of their story and how the RCIA process has impacted their lives.
Glen’s story Fifteen months ago, I made a decision that has changed my life. I attended a Catholic Mass. The next week, I was able to help change someone else’s life. I brought my daughter. My name is Glen Brew and my daughter Ella and I have recently been formally welcomed into the Catholic faith. I am forty years old and Ella is nine and we were initiated Glen Brew and Ella Brew through the Cathedral parishes’ RCIA process. For Ella, the journey in faith has come very naturally. With all the innocence of a child, she has never questioned the idea of God in her life and I like to think that this is indicative that God’s light shines brightly within all children. Ella is by nature a lovely, compassionate and happy person who makes parenting very easy and due to her nature, her commitment to the Catholic Ethos is both instinctive and inspiring. For me, the path to faith has been much more the road less travelled. Growing up in the central Queensland town of Gladstone, I became somewhat of an unruly teenager and was sent to St Peter Chanel College for some much needed ‘moral direction’. The influence and example of the Brothers and Sisters planted a seed of faith and I hold particularly fond memories of Sr Maria, my art teacher. In her boundless compassion, patience and empathy, she encouraged me to consider the bigger questions of life. After leaving the school, I continued on from her support and developed a keen interest in philosophy and ethics. From this, my upbringing as an atheist was challenged by the core argument of atheism itself. “There is no God, as His existence cannot be proven”. Given that atheists cannot also disprove the existence of God, it struck me that any rational atheist is compelled to be at least agnostic and any further belief in atheism after this realisation can only be fuelled by other agendas. Other indicators, such as the obvious design of the world and the innate idea of God in humankind of any time or place, along with Ella’s influence, led to my awakening to the subtle way God encourages us to faith by His actions. My subsequent
decision to become a Catholic Christian was based on my belief that Catholic virtues were most consistent with my secular values. The ongoing experience of spiritual growth, liturgical instruction and theological education through the RCIA in the very capable hands of our most wonderful catechist, sponsor and Godmother Ms Maria Walker, continues to be a wellspring for Ella and me. The process of initiation has shepherded us into attributing greater significance to the sacraments and deepened not only our faith, but our bond as father and daughter. Our journeys’ have made both Ella and I so very grateful that so many people have heard and acted on the call to exemplify God’s love through vocation. Be they clergy or cleaner, this selflessness born of the depth of their own faith allows people like Ella and I to also hear the Word and experience the joy that is to know God.
“The process of initiation has shepherded us into attributing greater significance to the sacraments and deepened not only our faith, but our bond as father and daughter.”
Jodie Jarvis I grew up in Hobart in a single parent family with little or no religion in my upbringing. I went to a public school and went on to complete a Science degree at the University of Tasmania, and later a Teaching degree. I met my husband at university, and we were married in 1995 in a civil ceremony at Franklin House in Launceston. We have three beautiful children, aged eleven, nine and four. When we moved our children to Larmenier Primary School last year, we decided to have the children baptised into the Catholic faith. We started attending mass at St Peter’s Church at Kings Meadows and were warmly welcomed into the parish and made to feel like part of the family. Initially, I wanted to be baptised to support my children, but after starting the RCIA it became more than that. It was something from within giving me the passion to continue with my journey. Coming from a non-religious background, I started the process with no pre-conceived ideas from other religious denominations, but I also had to start at the very beginning with almost no prior knowledge of the Catholic Church. After attending a few of the meetings with Fr John O’Connor and members from the parish, who selflessly gave up their time to guide and support me, I could see that God had been walking with me my entire life, leading me to the moment where I could accept and commit to the Catholic faith. What I had considered to be “coincidences” throughout my life, upon reflection, I could see were the interventions of the Lord. The process of preparation for my baptism, confirmation and receiving Eucharist was filled with meaning and spiritual growth. Fr John guided the RCIA process and proved to be a constant source of information, answering any questions that arose over the course of my spiritual growth. I had many questions but they were always answered with honesty and warmth. My Godparents and Sponsors shared their own journeys of faith, and it was an enriching experience to hear their insights and share in their beliefs. In the lead up to the Easter Vigil Mass when my baptism took place, many members of the parish came up to me to congratulate me and welcome my family and
Jodie Jarvis (L) with her family
me into the Catholic community. It was a warm, welcoming feeling, one of acceptance, and for me it made me feel safe in the knowledge that I was making the right decision. I look forward to attending mass, meeting my new friends, hearing the readings from the Bible, and learning how I can be a better person for my family, for the Church, and for society. I am now learning to become a whole person. While I am now a baptised and confirmed Catholic who is able to receive Eucharist, I consider this to be the first step in a lifelong journey in faith – one that I look forward to with wholeheartedness. I feel very blessed to be a part of the Catholic Church. Thanks to Glen and Jodie for sharing some of their journey with us. For any information on the RCIA process in your parish, contact your local parish priest, an RCIA team member, or Ben Brooks RCIA and Sacraments of Initiation Co-ordinator, GPO Box 62 HOBART TAS 7001. Ph: (03) 6208 6273. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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10 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
Immersion to East Timor C
atholic Youth Ministry and Edmund Rice Camps Tasmania, along with Young Vinnies, have been working together over the past 12 months in an effort to provide a unique immersion experience for Tasmanians. By working through Catholic Mission’s Getting Involved Globally programme, we were very pleased and excited to be able to open applications in January of this year for a special opportunity to join a Tasmanian immersion group to East Timor in September 2010. After completing an application and selection process, we are very happy with the fantastic and diverse group of thirteen that have come together to form the Tasmanian Immersion Group. This group meet for the first time on April 24 for their first official preparation day and were joined by Damian Nelson, from Catholic Mission, to get them on their way. The group will continue to meet up
as they get to know each other, get to know a little more about East Timor, and what this experience will mean for them and what this immersion can provide. It is the hope of the coordinating organisations that this immersion will provide experiential learning on global social justice issues, cultural differences, global
development and the work of the Catholic Church in living out the mission of Jesus Christ. We hope it will inspire participants to want to make a difference and contribute to their local and global society, to educate them on the current global condition and that this life changing experience will influence future life decisions and development.
Why I am going to East Timor Erica Sheldon-Collins
he opportunity to embark on this immersion experience took me by surprise more than anything else. I’ve always considered going to a majority world country, but was never aware of how to become a part of a group such as this one, in fact I was not aware that immersion experiences took place. Because of this I am very lucky for the connection I have with the Catholic Youth Ministry and Rachelle Smith who invited me to apply for this experience. The application process that followed left me feeling excited and anxious as I waited to find out if the dream I had created was going to come true. Now, as I sit here writing to you about this experience, all I can think of is how grateful I am to be given this opportunity, and how I am looking forward to September, considering what it is I can expect. It is hard to figure out exactly why I have chosen to go so far out of my comfort zone by going to East Timor. I can say that I have been largely influenced by my parents. It does sound like a cliché; however, my parents have actually been to a majority world country, living in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for two years. My house is now full of memories scattered around in all different forms, with
the most prominent being the stories and photos of PNG. Growing up with these things around me has always made me interested in going to PNG or somewhere similar to share in the experience my parents had. With this said though, it had never crossed my mind to go to East Timor, yet when the opportunity came around I could not let myself pass it up. I find myself wondering what to expect when our group leaves Tasmania this year. www.hobart.catholic.org.au
I hope, well I know that I’ll get a culture shock, and I am really looking forward to that. I don’t have any huge expectations though, simply because I can’t figure out what to expect and I don’t really want to know, I am going to enjoy the surprise. This is an educational experience for me, but it was also be quite spiritual, I hope I will be humbled by this experience and that I take with me so much more than what I came with, not physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I believe I have already started my immersion journey, having already met the group I will be going with and also trying to understand the country I am going into. Through watching the film Balibo I realised that there is so much that I do not know about East Timor that I want to find out which I believe will help me on this journey. With all this said, I now head towards my preparations. I will need to work with the group I am with to organise what we need, to fundraise for parts of the experience, and also to bond and become a close group who will be able to support each other along this life changing experience. I can see good qualities in everyone from the group which is to be expected but I can already see how we will be able to connect with each other and grow together.
first heard about the immersion opportunity to East Timor from Fr Richard Ross. My first thought was, “Hmm, I’d like to do that...” quickly followed by, “I have four kids under six, I won’t be doing that.” I put the thought out of my mind. Some time later it came up in conversation with my wife, Linda, who said, “You ‘re turning 40 this year, why don’t you go as a birthday gift?” I have done my best to put aside my well developed Catholic guilt and taken up Linda’s very generous gift. Linda has had to put up with a lot while being married to me. One example is that about ten years ago we had saved enough to travel. Most couples go to Paris, Rome, New York, or London – I took Linda to Calcutta. We spent a short period of time working with Mother Teresa’s sisters, but most of our time was spent at Gandhi Ashram School in nearby Kalimpong, operated by a Jesuit in his 70s. This wetted the appetites of both of us to engage in voluntary work again in the future. East Timor is about 640 kilometers northwest of Darwin. East Timor was once a colony of Portugal, and the Portuguese withdrew in 1975. It was invaded and occupied by Indonesian forces in the same year. In 1999, East Timor began a journey of independence that resulted in sovereignty in 2002. While Australia can be proud of its intervention and support of East Timor since 1999, the Australian government’s support of Indonesian rule in 1975 onwards is looking less defensible with each passing year. Is Australia still exploiting East Timor for oil reserves? I recommend
he 26th World Youth Day will be held in August 2011 in Madrid, Spain and preparations for this huge event are beginning to rev-up. Organisers are expecting two million pilgrims from many different countries across the globe to attend the event, the largest mobilisation of young people in the world! Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM) will once again be coordinating the Archdiocese of Hobart’s pilgrimage to WYD 2011. CYM has coordinated the past four Tasmanian Pilgrimages to World Youth Days in Rome, Toronto, Cologne, and, as we would all remember, Sydney.
“Most couples go to Paris, Rome, New York, or London – I took Linda to Calcutta.” The Timor Sea’s oil and gas: what’s fair? by Fr Frank Brennan as a clear perspective on this issue. Our group of travellers to East Timor is a very good mix of people, but most are aged under 30. There is little doubt in my mind that there is a new generation of outstanding Gen Y people who are the next generation of the Church. Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM) needs to be congratulated in helping to form this new group. If one can generalise about a whole generation, a couple of features of this group seem to be a strong urge to make the world a better place, particularly in the realm of social justice, and to ignore territorial boundaries such as denomination, Parish, organization and so forth. Eminently sensible choices, in my opinion. This immersion experience is being co-organised by CYM,
During May, CYM held Information Sessions around the state for anyone who might be interested in joining the Tasmanian Pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Madrid. If you missed these information sessions you should contact CYM for more information. Official registrations will start from July 1, 2010 and you will need to register early to ensure you don’t miss this unique opportunity. You MUST be 16 years old by December 31 2011 to be eligible for the pilgrimage. For more information call Rachelle on 0400 045 368 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsorship Opportunities CYM is seeking businesses or individuals who would be interested in providing financial or in-kind support to assist in www.hobart.catholic.org.au
11 Eddie Rice Camps, St Vincent de Paul and Catholic Missions. I also suspect that Gen Y might be more committed to justice outcomes than previous generations, which can only be a good thing. The Catholic Church and the gospels are unequivocal about the need to be on the side of the poor. The first words of Gaudium et Spes are: “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ”. There are more than 300 verses in the Bible which refer to God’s concern for the poor and social justice. As many have pointed out, the poor referred to are not only those materially poor – we all fall into this category. The materially poor have a wonderful ability to point out our own poverty. My experience in the past has been that you receive a lot more than you give when involved in outreach. I have a strong personal commitment to social justice; the fact that maybe as many as half the people in the world go to bed hungry each night is simply an abomination. I believe strongly that this is not fate, or destiny, or God’s will; it is largely to do with human choice, and human choices can go a long way to alleviate the suffering brought about by poverty. Sometimes it feels as though the Catholic Church is under constant attack at present, whether it be atheist movements, abuse scandals, unfashionable sexual ethics etc. No doubt the pendulum will swing back eventually. One way for this to happen is for Catholics to continue to stand in solidarity with those who do not have enough.
providing young Tasmanian Catholics with the opportunity to experience the pilgrimage to WYD 2011 in Madrid. We have sponsorship packages available for any interested businesses/individuals. If you are interested in supporting our young Tasmanian Catholics in this way, please contact Michael Hangan on 0407 533 925 or email michael.hangan@ aohtas.org.au for a sponsorship proposal.
Raffle We will also be coordinating a major state-wide raffle in an effort to raise funds for WYD11. If you are able to assist with a major (or a minor) prize for this state-wide raffle, please also contact Michael on the above details.
RESPONSIBLE INVESTING ISN'T JUST ABOUT
Call 130 0 550 273 or visit www.csf.com.au Authorised by the Trustee of Catholic Super, CSF Pty Limited (ABN 30 006 169 286) (AFS L246664) (RSE L0000307) (RSE R1000597). Information is about the Fund and is not intended as ﬁnancial advice. It does not take into account speciﬁc needs, so members should consider their personal position, objectives and requirements before taking any action.
International scholar visits Hobart By Mary-Anne Johnson
n April 24, Sr Majella Kelly welcomed a capacity audience to the Murphy Room at the Archdiocesan Centre to hear renowned scholar Dr Sandra Schneiders I. H. M. who was brought to the state by CRITAS (Catholic Religious In Tasmania). Sr Sandra was introduced by Dr Mary Coloe P.B.V.M. of the Australian Catholic University. Sr Mary has been travelling around Australia with Sr Sandra, informing her of the Australian situation and re-acquainting her with some of her former students such as Sr Gabrielle Morgan and Sr Valerie Burns, both of whom have studied under Dr Schneiders in the U.S. Dr Schneiders has a very impressive academic background including a Doctorate from Rome in 1975 and five honorary doctorates since then and is currently Professor of New Testament Studies and Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University, California. Under the topic, Discipleship in the 21st Century ‘The Word in the World’; she explored the different ways the ‘world’ has been defined by the Church and how the church has related to the ‘world’. She certainly packed in a lot of church history within a couple of hours as the audience was led on a tour from the time of the New Testament through to the last two millennia and into our time! As Jesus is preparing to ascend to His Father after the Resurrection in John’s Gospel, he says to the disciples: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you. John 20:21”. They are sent into the world, and we are sent into the world, but what is this world? Who are the disciples and how are we to mission to this world? Is the best approach to remain true to our ideals as an often persecuted minority, or to join the ruling elite to gain power and influence – but perhaps at the sacrifice of integrity? Should the aim of Christians be to save people from the world or to transform the world? Dr Schneiders examined the various approaches taken by the institutional Church over the centuries. At times the Church has been the persecuted minority, at other times a minority stressing their compliance with the secular order. The Middle Ages were the Golden Age of the Church as a political institution when Christendom reigned on earth. The Church was in the majority, had massive economic, military, political, spiritual and moral power, but became
Dr Sandra Schneiders
Human history is the raw material of the reign of God and God in Jesus is one of us. increasingly secular. After the upheavals of the Renaissance, the French and American revolutions, the Enlightenment and the Protestant Reformation, the Church lost much of its temporal power and retreated to a position of isolation. Reason, not revelation, was now the supreme measure of truth and the Church no longer could dictate what was read or studied or thought or believed. In the Post-enlightenment era, Catholics have often kept to themselves. In most countries the Church and State have occupied quite different spheres and generally not interfered with each other, although there have been some conflicts on particular issues such as divorce, abortion and legitimacy of wars. Catholics aimed to catholicise the secular order. Catholic Action movements, such as the Australian Movement which led to the Democratic Labor Party, were attempts for the laity to exert influence in the political arena. These were mostly an extension of the church hierarchy. The Second Vatican Council is a watershed in the relationship between the Church and the World. One of the documents from that council, Gaudium et Spes , the Pastoral www.hobart.catholic.org.au
Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December 7, 1965. It was addressed to the whole of humanity and begins: “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts. For theirs is a community composed of men. United in Christ, they are led by the Holy Spirit in their journey to the Kingdom of their Father and they have welcomed the news of salvation which is meant for every man. That is why this community realises that it is truly linked with mankind and its history by the deepest roots.” Thus a new attitude to the world was signified. Solidarity with the world is now the catch-cry – not isolation or domination or antipathy. The world is now seen as the proper sphere for living out one’s faith. The distinctive vision we can offer the world is that God is manifest in matter and in history. Creation comes from God. All created reality is precious. Human history is the raw material of the reign of God and God in Jesus is one of us. In the Incarnation, God who is transcendent is also manifest as immanent. The ultimate reality and mystery is now accessible! Christians do not aim to escape history, but to be involved in this world which Teilhard de Chardin sees as now shot through with divinity. Christians are called on to act ‘in persona Christi’, since they have, by baptism, been made one body with Christ. As written in Lumen Gentium: the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, also from Vatican II: “The faithful are by baptism made one body with Christ and are constituted among the People of God; they are in their own way made sharers in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world... The laity consecrate the world itself to God.” Dr Schneiders then examined the ramifications of this view for eco-spirituality and the Christian contribution to the ecological issues of our time. Thank you to CRITAS for giving us the chance to hear this erudite and inspiring speaker.
14 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
Pregnancy Counselling & Support F
or 35 years, Pregnancy Counselling & Support Tas. Inc. (PC&S), formally Pregnancy Support Service, has provided a listening ear and compassionate support to women and their families who are experiencing difficulties due to pregnancy. All services are provided free of charge. These include telephone and face to face counselling, referral to support services, pregnancy testing, post abortion grief and loss counselling, ongoing support, help in the home and provision of baby clothes from premature to 3 months. “I’ve just found out I’m pregnant and I’m really scared. My boyfriend’s left me and I have nobody to turn to. Can you help me?” ”I had an abortion last year and I thought I was over it. Now I can’t sleep and I can’t face going to work. My friends don’t know what’s wrong and I don’t want to tell them.” “I think I’m pregnant and I feel really shocked. Our two children are teenagers now and I can’t see how I could cope with having another baby at this stage. I need someone to talk to.” The rooms at the McDougall Building, Repatriation Complex, Ellerslie Rd are open from 10am till 2pm weekdays. Phone: counselling (03) 62242290, office (03)62242291 Website: www.pcstas.org.au We are partially funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. At a time of crisis a person needs: time to think someone who listens but does not criticize or direct information practical help and a relationship of trust. When she is provided with this, a pregnant woman who feels she is in a crisis situation is helped to reach a calmer state, and begins to think more clearly. Then she can evaluate her situation, understand her feelings, her relationships, the pressures upon her, her physical and emotional needs and her own strengths. This process will often lead her to feel more confident about continuing with the pregnancy. She may continue with regular contact throughout the pregnancy, or move on, having her own network of family and friends to support her. If her decision is to proceed with an abortion, she is assured
Join our team. Help us to save a life…change a life…heal someone. that in no way do we abandon her, but rather encourage her to return if she is distressed or simply needs to talk about the experience and her feelings after the abortion. Sometimes there is no one in her life in whom she feels she can confide. Since its inception in 1975 there have been some changes in service focus at PC&S due to the changes of society. In the early years the problems presented by an unwanted pregnancy
to our target population were mainly severe f inancial hardships and social censure. More recently the associated problems of an unwanted pregnancy have shifted towards lifestyle issues: money management and relationship and emotional issues, and the emergence of a demand for postabortion counselling. The gap in providing for the pregnant woman’s needs continues. PC&S aims to fill these gaps. PC&S is one of 22 centres affiliated with Pregnancy Help Australia, a non-denominational and nonparty political organization founded in June 1979, for the purpose of uniting life affirming pregnancy support centres in Australia. www.pregnancysupport.com.au Around 100,000 women in Australia, experience an abortion each year. We are working to help change this shocking statistic. Join our team. Help us to save a life…change a life…heal someone.
How can you help? Share your expertise and interest in advertising, governance of communit y organisations, being a good listener and upgrading this by training as a counsellor, distributing brochures, approaching organisations, business or government for funding, lobbying, management of baby clothes, computer technology or other skills you have. Perhaps you can help with the costs. Donations over $2 are tax deductible and can be sent to Pregnancy Counselling & Support, McDougll Building, 9 Ellerslie Rd, Battery Point, 7004. When we bring God’s loving care and encouragement to mothers, babies thrive, and Australia benefits. www.hobart.catholic.org.au
a l l
Homelessness a national obscenity P
rime Minister Kevin Rudd labelled homelessness as a national obscenity and nowhere has that been more evident recently than at Annie Kenney Young Women’s Shelter. Operating through Centacare Tasmania, Annie Kenney provides emergency and crisis accommodation for young women between the ages of 13 to 20 years. “What has been identified is the lack of suitable emergency accommodation for young women in this age group across southern Tasmania,” said Andrea Witt, State Manager of Centacare’s Housing and Homeless programmes. “Between January and March this year, Annie Kenney turned away 70 young women who needed assistance. This highlights a critical shortage of accommodation for youth at risk in the greater Hobart area.” Andrea said that a number of young women seeking support were also from the North and North-West which indicates shortages are across the state. The service is only able to house up to seven young women at any one time and is funded to provide emergency accommodation for between six to eight weeks. Due to lack of long term safe accommodation options some clients have had to remain with the service for up to three months . “Because of the long term homelessness many young people are now faced with, we are finding that the young people are presenting with increased needs which we are finding difficult to meet within our current resources,” said Andrea.
“The aim is to make Annie Kenney more than just an emergency shelter,” said Team Leader, Phoebe. “It is hoped that this place will also become a transition point for young women, offering them access to counselling and welfare services through Centacare, short courses, fitness programmes and perhaps undertaking volunteer work outside. “If we offer these courses and opportunities, the young women may be empowered to actively seek a new direction in their lives,” said Phoebe. To make this transition, Annie Kenney needs assistance in a range of areas, especially the upgrading of furniture and facilities. In the longer term, the programme hopes to move from a one to a two worker model which will provide increased therapeutic responses to young women who present with a multitude of issues and support needs. “We are seeking a helping hand from any areas within the wider Church, including schools,” said Andrea. “There are little things that can also be done to assist, such as donations of canned or packaged food, clothes (sizes 6-20), shoes, toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps, deodorants), pyjamas, art and craft supplies, painting services, carpet cleaning or upholstery repairs as a start – so if anyone has the equipment, skills and time to donate, that would be greatly appreciated.” Anyone who may be able to assist Annie Kenney can contact Andrea at Centacare Tasmania on (03) 6278 1660 or Phoebe at Annie Kenney (03) 6272 7751.
“We are seeking a helping hand from any areas within the wider Church, including schools.”
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16 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
Australia at the crossroads A time to set new rules
Summarised from Australian Catholic Social Justice Council: A pastoral Letter for the Feast of St Joseph the Worker. by Margaret Donaghy, TCJPC Resource Officer.
esponding in part to the excesses of the market that caused the financial crisis, Pope Benedict XVI, in his 2009 Encyclical “Charity in Truth”, highlighted the needs of vulnerable and unemployed workers and their families. In particular he spoke of how the global trend to deregulate and downsize presents a “grave danger for the rights of the worker, for fundamental human rights and for the solidarity associated with the traditional form of the social State”. Every day support agencies such as St Vincent de Paul provide support to families who are struck by unemployment, the grind of poorly paid jobs, or insecure or intermittent work. They experience firsthand the poverty caused by a market economy that has not provided worthwhile
employment opportunities or training. Public policy has sought to increase worker productivity by deregulating workplaces and to lift participation in the workforce by imposing restrictions on social security. These changes may have benefited some but have had little benefit for those who have minimal bargaining power. The clearest indication of this is the declining value of minimum wages and income support. The submission by the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations (ACCER) to the current Annual Wage Review showed that safety net wages have not kept pace with the cost of living and not prevented families falling into poverty. The decline in the value of the safety net wage means trade qualified workers and those on the minimum wage
Addressing the logic of disparity At this time especially, we must be wary of a narrow view of national economic performance that lacks concern for those who are struggling. The burden of the financial crisis has not been distributed proportionately. The Australian Fair Pay Commission imposed a wage freeze on safety net workers with the aim of preventing job loss and promoting economic recovery. The Productivity Commission dismissed suggestions of tougher restrictions on executive remuneration because getting this wrong could damage our national economic interests. Low paid
workers are now bearing the cost of a financial crisis that was not of their making. Australians should be concerned about a notion of “national economic interests” that fails to adequately consider human dignity, social wellbeing and equity. At a time when the world is dealing with the economic crisis, Pope Benedict reminds governments especially that “the primary capital to be safeguarded and valued is man, the human person in his or her integrity.” He reasserts that the person is “the source, the focus and the aim of all economic and social life”.
Australians should be concerned about a notion of ‘national economic interests’ that fails to adequately consider human dignity, social wellbeing and equity. Danny Hammontree
have effectively been denied the rewards other workers have received for increased productivity over the last decade. The ACCER message to the new wage setting body is clear: “The obligation on Fair Work Australia to set a fair safety net of wages means, in our submission, that it should be satisfied that poverty is not only avoided, but that workers should have a wage that is substantially above poverty.” Just as pressing is the need to assess the adequacy of unemployment benefits. People on the lower rate of unemployment allowance, who have not received a decent increase since the 1980s, recently had their single rate lifted by only $1.35 to a paltry $228.
The new rules Drawing from the Holy Fathers recent encyclical: Five key challenges for government and business decision makers: International competitiveness and long term development must include protection for low paid and unemployed workers. To restore trust in society by reducing disparity in wealth and ensuring the market is not where the strong subdue the weak. Equity and justice must be built into the very operation of the market and be respected. Industry must be accountable to workers, clients, suppliers, and the community as well as shareholders. The God-given dignity of each person must be respected. Justice should be based on social solidarity, generosity and compassion. Australia is at a crossroads. How we respond to the needs of the poorest individuals and families will characterise the spirit of this nation. For further information please contact Margaret Donaghy, TCJPC Resource Officer on (03) 6208 6271 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
YEAR OF THE PRIEST
Fr Tony Kennedy sm I
am the eldest of six children and I grew up on a farm near Gunnedah in north western NSW. When I was born Dad went along to Mum’s parents to tell them that I had arrived, that I was a boy, and that I had red hair. Pop didn’t believe Dad. He reckoned it was impossible for any grandson of his to have red hair. So Pop went down to the hospital to see for himself. Later on they discovered that there had been red hair on both sides of the family a number of generations before. And it has been passed on to the next generation. I have a nephew with red hair. Our farm was 20 miles from town and on Sundays we used to gather for mass at the Kelvin Church. A clear memory for me is that the priest used to bring the Sunday papers from town. My family had its own seat, along with my grandparents and other relatives and some of our neighbours. I went to a boarding school called “Woodlawn” near Lismore in northern NSW. That was where I first met the Marist Fathers. At school I thought for a little while about becoming a priest, but then I quickly changed my mind. When I left school I went to Sydney to university to study medicine and become a doctor. However after a while the idea of becoming a priest came back, and this time it didn’t go away. So I decided to do something about it, and began in the Marist seminary in Hunter’s Hill in Sydney in 1985. I never really thought about joining a diocese or another religious order. I knew the Marists and thought that would be the place for me. Throughout the seven years of formation I never really lost the conviction that this was the life that God was calling me to, and what I wanted to do. There were times when it was a struggle. But that was only for a little time. Since I was ordained in 1992 I have been involved in a number of different parishes in Victoria and Queensland. I have spent time in West Sunshine in Melbourne, in Gladstone in central Queensland, and in St John’s Wood – The Gap in Brisbane. I was the parish priest of St John’s Wood – The Gap until the middle of 2005 when I was asked to go overseas to prepare for a role in the formation of new Marist priests. I spent time in Ireland and in Rome before taking on a role at Marist Seminary in Auckland at
“I believe that my task as a priest is simple: to work with people, to help the Catholic community to take more and more responsibility for the life of the parish, to grow in faith, and to bring the gospel to more people in our area. “ the beginning of 2007. The course in Dublin was very interesting. There were 26 men and women from 16 different countries who were all preparing to take on jobs in the formation of priests and religious throughout the world. More than half the group were African or had worked in Africa. In many ways this was the most rewarding year of my life, and at the same time a most challenging experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the three years in Auckland. The work with the seminarians was challenging and very different from my previous ministry in parishes. The seminarians came from many different countries in the Pacific and I was fortunate in being able to visit a number of those places. In 2009 I was in charge of the seminary as the Rector was away for the year on sabbatical. We had a community of ten and there were people from Bougainville, Tonga, Fiji, Japan, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands and Australia. I thoroughly enjoyed the various challenges of that year. I felt a bit sad on leaving formation but the provincial asked me to come back to Australia to return to parish work again, this time in the BurnieWynyard parish in Tasmania. This is my first time living and working in Tasmania. I arrived in mid-January and have been pleasantly surprised by the weather. I have heard some stories! One of the challenges for me in coming to the Burnie-Wynyard parish was that I knew nobody. However this was the case in other places and at other times for me, and my
“... I was asked to go overseas to prepare for a role in the formation of new Marist priests.”
experience tells me that I have been able to deal with that in the past. Another challenge has been succeeding Fr Bernie McFadyen who had ministered in Burnie for many years at Marist Regional College and in the parish. I find parish ministry a wonderful experience for a priest. It has been a privilege to have been accepted into so many families at those special times like weddings and baptisms and funerals. The welcome people give me is something that I hope to never take for granted. The trust and friendship and support that many people have shown me have been of great assistance to me through the years. It has been through the hard work, lots of prayers and the generosity of those who have gone before us that the Catholic community has grown. In particular I believe we need to acknowledge the efforts of the pioneers of our parishes. We are grateful to our grandparents and those who showed us the way. What legacy will we leave for future generations? I believe that my task as a priest is simple: to work with people, to help the Catholic community to take more and more responsibility for the life of the parish, to grow in faith, and to bring the gospel to more people in our area. Wherever I have worked as a priest we have faced numerous challenges, some harder than others. However it has been my experience that working together the community has been able to face up to those challenges and forged a way ahead. I am slowly coming to understand some of the challenges here in the Burnie-Wynyard parish and hope that we can face them honestly.
18 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
Recasting the leper’s bell By Annie March, Cathedral Parish
’ve been reading a fascinating book, The Madness of Adam and Eve: how schizophrenia shaped humanity. The author, David Horrobin, argues that ‘madness’ and ‘normality’ aren’t separate categories but a continuum with nerves of steel at one end, autism and schizophrenia at the other, and conditions like dyslexia, Asperger syndrome, psychosis and depression in the middle. He believes that the genetic mix responsible for ‘mental illness’ is linked to high levels of creative, religious, scientific and political intelligence; and that without this genome, which has given humankind its artists, its psychotic, charismatic leaders and its prophets and priests, we’d probably still be ambling about in the tundra. Einstein’s son and Jung’s mother were schizotypal, as were Darwin, Wagner and Schubert. Michelangelo, Dickens, Van Gogh and Handel were bi-polar. Famous dyslexics include Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein and Winston Churchill. The hells of schizophrenia and autism are outside my lived experience. I can, however, write with authority about my lifelong companions, depression and anxiety.
Mental illness is invisible There’s no empirical measure - no blood test or scan - for psychic pain. Part of the problem is linguistic. Depression means everything from ‘having a bad-hair day’ to ‘howling and malevolent anguish’. Anxiety covers both ordinary worry, and the state described by the philosopher Kierkegaard: “And no Grand Inquisitor has in readiness such terrible tortures as has anxiety. which never lets him escape, neither by diversion, nor by noise, neither at work or at play, neither by day or by night.” Depression and anxiety can be exogenous (triggered by external stresses), or endogenous (hard-wired). Those of us with endogenous depression share a broad spectrum of temperamental factors. Perhaps the most crucial of these is summed up in the statement, “The opposite of depression isn’t happiness but robustness”; the ship has no ballast, the piano goes out of tune, the cloth keeps fraying.
We tend to be introverts, for whom solitude is as essential as food. We drown in crowds, parties, big cities, too much of any stimuli. We’re porous, and absorb other people’s emotions like a sponge. Self-consciousness, shyness and fatigue are common. By dint of getting it wrong a lot, I’ve learnt to recognise the tipping points that can lead to a full-scale breakdown. Anxiety becomes hair-trigger. Self-esteem plummets. Tears are unstoppable. Sleep is broken and angst-ridden. Exhaustion takes over. Life feels overwhelming, meaningless and full of dread, and the inner voices – the B-grade movie scripts all human beings have in their heads – become strident, obsessive and dire. Sometimes it’s possible to pull back from the abyss. If it’s not, and I go over the edge, it’s similar to being in a major car accident – but this disintegration is internal. Despair, exhaustion and toxic paralysis are the only realities. The mind becomes a subset of all the horror in the world, of terrorism, war, crucifixion, genocide, slavery and torture. Hell years are longer than light years. I still don’t know if a breakdown is ultimately a breakthrough, if it’s a pathology or a healing crisis. I do know that as dreams lead me into the pit, they also lead me out, and that somehow, in the chaos, hell is harrowed and redemption happens. Is this what Jung meant when he talked about making the darkness conscious, about bringing into the light those parts of ourselves that do not know God? How does it relate to the mystical experience of ‘the dark night of the soul’? Must God not be as present in the darkness as he is in the light?
Canaries in the mine? When I visited a friend in the psychiatric ward recently, she said, “How can I not be in despair about clearfelled forests, poisoned rivers, acid oceans, climate change, and fellow species extinct for ever?” She’s right. Where has sanity got us? To a world dying of ecocidal greed. Is it time to listen to the mad-folk, the edge-dwellers, the canaries in the mine who may also be poets
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and prophets and visionaries?
Living well regardless Affirm your own unique selfhood; claim, name and map inner geography, including the monsters. Give up shame, guilt, worthlessness and secrecy. Disclosure, invoking trusted others, is crucial. Be wary of outside experts touting patronising, reductionist and profitable solutions. Medication is clumsy but lifegiving. I take mine like a sacrament. Know what undoes you. Some common triggers are viruses, tiredness, stimulants, chemicals (including household), stress, crowds, even watching the news. Lots of rest, plenty of exercise, good diet, beloved community and nourishing solitude are essential. Explore and celebrate the gifts that go with this temperament, particularly mysticism, imagination and creativity. Find what therapy works for you. I see a psychologist regularly via the GP mental health care plan. Acupuncture and cranial osteopathy not only validate and make sense of my oscillations, but allay and rebalance them. Yoga, Reiki, prayer, and gardening also help. Breathwork and singing radically recode anxiety. Practise recasting the leper’s bell as a celebration of this particular way of being human, its bane and blessing. Mad and proud of it. If you are experiencing depression, anxiety or helplessness, please consult your GP, or visit: Beyond Blue - the National Depression Initiative at www.beyondblue.org.au or (03) 9810 6100, SANE Helpline – mental illness information, support and referral via 1800 18 SANE (7263) or Lifeline (24 hours) 13 11 14.
Hope and healing after Abortion: a true story I
t happened when I went to University away from home and you would never have guessed it. I was always a very well behaved girl, a good student, responsible, nice and sweet. I had wonderful loving parents and was a very good student, even winning a scholarship because of my good grades. My boyfriend told me, “It’s up to you, we can get married but you know my parents will kill me.”. On my part I felt the same. In that state of confusion, I felt that if I had gone through with the pregnancy, I would be disappointing my parents. I was their perfect daughter! Plus I had a great future to live. So, I did not tell them and simply went to the doctor. In a matter of fact way, he told me not to worry and scheduled an appointment for the following week. I proceeded with the abortion. I was relieved. During the one week, all I could think about was getting rid of the “problem” that was in my stomach. After the abortion, I thought I could continue with my life where everything was fantastic: I kept on being the good girl I always was, only that I had that secret that NOBODY knew. Nobody knew except for my boyfriend, the doctor... and God. Although things continued to be great in my life, I became suddenly very depressed without any particular reason about 15 years after the abortion. I would cry without really knowing why I was crying, and was constantly overwhelmed with waves of sadness and helplessness. Psychologists whom I visited did not make the link between the abortion and my depression. They traced my psychological history. No family history of depression. They asked about my environment. No real difficulty with my job. I was mystified. In his providence, the Lord sent yet another psychologist. For some reason, I mentioned to him that I had terminated my pregnancy many years ago. It suddenly ‘clicked’ for him that the abortion was the source of the depression. Knowing that I was Catholic, he advised me to see a priest, one whom I can talk to honestly about this. He seemed to recognise the need for the spiritual in these circumstances. I approached Fr Leslie Raj SJ and had a long conversation with him. He was kind and sympathetic and he recommended Rose Boon, coordinator of Pregnancy Crisis Service. She too was very kind and listened sympathetically. She loaned me Dr Theresa Burke’s book Forbidden Grief, a book that describes the mental and emotional distress faced by women after an abortion. That was the turning point of my life. As I read the book, practically everything mentioned in there spoke deeply to my heart. The symptoms, the repressed grief I experienced and the depression I had sunk into were all vividly described in the book and I found myself saying, “That’s me”. The author, Dr Theresa Burke, was also a founder of “Rachel’s Vineyard”, a retreat for women who had gone for abortions and who needed a safe, non-judgmental environment to work through their spiritual, emotional and mental distress and begin the journey towards forgiveness and healing. The retreat helps women to confront the issue of their abortion forthrightly and seriously, giving the weight due to the seriousness of the act. The grace of God is always stronger than
whatever sin or horrible deeds which we might have committed. I cried so much during the retreat. But this time they were not tears of hopelessness, not knowing why I was crying. This time I knew. I was grieving for my dead child. They were also tears of joy. Knowing that I can be forgiven by God and that his grace is more powerful than any crisis. The final stage of my healing process was when I plucked up the courage to tell my parents. I expected them to scream at me but they did not. Instead they reassured me of their love. “It is part of the past. You are and will always be our beloved daughter, and we love you so much.” God must have planned this to happen for my father (God bless his soul), passed away shortly after I told him. I know that this was God’s timing. I cannot imagine not having been totally honest with my Dad. I am sharing this story in the hope that people will realise that yes, having a baby is a life changing experience – but please know that having an abortion is also an experience that changes your life (and not for the better). Having a baby is not the end of the world: yes, it changes your life but most surely you will be able to cope with it. We learn things to share with others, and hopefully my sharing would be a learning experience for everybody. The above story is from “Pauline” (not her real name) who attended a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat. She shares this story in the hope that women who have experienced the pain of an abortion will find hope and healing as she did.
Rachel’s Vineyard – Post Abortion Healing Retreat Many women and men who suffer from an abortion decision remain locked in their own internal prison, afraid of anyone knowing their deep secret. Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreats are a beautiful opportunity for any person who has struggled with the emotional or spiritual pain of an abortion. The retreat is a specific process designed to help you experience the mercy and compassion of God. It is also an opportunity to release repressed feelings of anger, shame, guilt, and grief in a safe environment. The weekend will help your spirit find a voice, and transform the pain of the past into love and hope. Rachel’s Vineyard can help you begin the healing process. Suitable for anybody who has experienced the pain of abortion. Our next weekend is from the July 16 - 18 2010. For confidential enquiries, call Anne Sherston on (03) 6229 8739 or email email@example.com
20 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
The Sounds of silence By Judy Redeker, Kingston-Channel Parish
“We have had such a blessed weekend,” wrote Danielle Pacaud.
he was reporting on the annual retreat offered by the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Christian Meditation Community, held at the Maryknoll Retreat Centre at Blackmans Bay. The thirty participants, both new and experienced meditators, were invited to see the retreat as “a renewal of their spiritual journey” and were led in the Benedictine monastic tradition of contemplative spirituality by Benedictine Oblate Trish Panton. Trish is the International Coordinator of the Oblate Community. In drawing on teachings from the Rule of St Benedict, she noted their similarities to the teachings of Fr John Main and Fr Laurence Freeman who have been instrumental in reviving the age-old contemplative tradition of the early Christian church. Trish also led the group in a shortened Liturgy of the Hours and Lectio Divina, both disciplines practiced by the order since the time of St Benedict. Danielle demonstrated Qi Gong breathing and relaxation exercises, which enhance our capacity for stillness and help focus the mind on meditation. For thirty participants at differing stages of experience in Christian meditation, the weekend was a good balance of solitude and community. There were opportunities for prayer in the chapel, quiet contemplation in the serenity of the Maryknoll gardens and walks on the nearby beach and cliff top. Thus the sounds of the weekend’s silence included birdcalls, crashing waves, rustling of the shrubs lining the pathways, and even traffic and children’s chatter as they played on the beach. “Jesus did not teach any particular method of prayer, but we can see by what he says of prayer in the Sermon on the Mount that meditation is a way to find him and to follow him,” writes Laurence Freeman. He lists seven teachings of Jesus on prayer that are put into
practice in meditation: humility, interiority, silence, trust, spirituality, peace and attention. Laurence Freeman has continued the work begun by John Main who died in 1982. John Main worked to revive the Christian tradition of meditation, as practiced by the Desert Mothers and Fathers of the early church. Laurence Freeman says, “He realized that in this simple and ancient tradition of prayer, modern people of all walks of life could find a spiritual daily discipline adaptable to their ordinary lives.” John Main also saw meditation as a tradition shared by all the world’s great religions, and as such a meeting point for people of good will. The Maryknoll retreat culminated in a celebration of the Eucharist by retreatant Fr Aidan which offered opportunities for quiet contemplation throughout. “We have been strengthened … on our journey to become our true selves, confident and self-forgetful in our capacity for love,” said Danielle Pacaud, “ (and) we have been touched to know the unfailing love of God within us.” Anyone who would like to join a local Christian meditation group can phone: South – Danielle (03) 6224 8496 or North – Marie (03) 6344 4793.
“Jesus did not teach any particular method of prayer, but we can see by what he says of prayer... that meditation is a way to find him and to follow him“
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Caritas goes to school By Baillie Schneider, Year 11, Guilford Young College
uilford Young College recently hosted Caritas Lenten visitor, Chanthea Nou, to come and speak about Project Compassion and the programme helping to eliminate poverty in Cambodia. Each year Caritas Australia educates students about where money from Project Compassion goes. Project Compassion is Caritas Australia’s most important annual fundraising and education campaign which began on Ash Wednesday, February 17 until Easter Sunday. Chanthea Nou is from Phnom Penh in Cambodia. He came to speak to around eighty of the students here at Guilford Young College about his country and his work with Caritas Australia. Chanthea, like most of the children in Cambodia, did not come from a rich family. Education was something he greatly valued and which his family did their best to give him, including private lessons to learn English. In Cambodia people believed that the only way to have a successful career was if you could speak English. Chanthea says, “If I had the education to change my life no one would look down on me.” He finished school after year twelve in 1998. Chanthea started out working for World Vision in a joint project with the Ministry of Tourism on the prevention of child trafficking project. He is now a program coordinator for Cambodia and the Philippines and has been living in Australia for three years and working for Caritas Australia for two years. He also worked for Save the Children Australia for three and a half years in a project that supported orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS. Chanthea obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Management and completed his Masters in International Relations from Cambodia. He is currently doing a post graduate Certificate in Human Services with the Australian Catholic University as part of Caritas Australia’s staff capacity building program. From 1975-1979 Cambodia was devastated by civil war. Twenty percent of the country’s population was killed – approximately two million people died. Communism was being forced into Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge regime, schools, hospitals and banks were closed, the country was isolated from all overseas authority, and people were moved to the countryside and forced to work. People were worked to the point of exhaustion up to twelve hours a day and many died from illness, exhaustion and starvation, or were shot by the government on what was known as ‘The Killing Fields’. Although the war in Cambodia has come to an end, the country is still suffering from poverty, crime and rape. Cambodia remains one of the poorest, least developed countries in Asia. Its standard of health, level of education, and care for the environment all need to be improved. Chanthea explained to us about the living conditions in Cambodia and compared them with the living conditions in Australia. People in Cambodia don’t have access to the simple things like sanitation facilities and water; only 36% of the population in Cambodia have access to safe drinking water. Only 73.6% of the overall population in Cambodia is able to read and write compared to Australia where 99% of our population is literate. Females in Cambodia often can not even go to school with the dangers of being taken, raped and murdered. Caritas Australia’s development programme aims to improve the living conditions and health of people in Cambodia by eradicating hunger and poverty for vulnerable families. The development programme is managed by its local partner Salvation Centre Cambodia which is committed to contributing positively towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The aim of the development
Chantea Nou with Baillie
programme in Cambodia is to help improve healthcare, education, housing, water supply and sanitation. With the support of Caritas Australia the Salvation Centre Cambodia assists families in the community to gain better access to water. They also provide health services, nutrition classes and provide organic gardening lessons to help ensure food security in the community. The programme is aimed to help those most in need in Cambodia; the orphans, children living with HIV/AIDS and farmers in very poor communities. After years of war Cambodians are now living in peace. Although the majority of the population are still struggling in extreme poverty, the programme is well on its way to helping those most in need to build a sustainable future with the proceeds from Project Compassion. Chanthea Nou regularly visits Cambodia to see if there is progress or any issues and if there is anything more Caritas Australia can do to help the community.
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22 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
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24 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
Between the lines
About Angels – Companions in our Search for God Author: Michael Trainor ISBN: 978-1-921472-07-7 Publisher: St Pauls, 2009 RRP: $12.95
his book was a revelation to me. What does the present generation know about angels? There is a fascination with the supernatural in popular culture and perhaps
With Grateful Hearts - Mary MacKillop and the Sisters in Queensland, 1870 – 1970 Author: Sr Margaret McKenna, rsj ISBN: 9780-6465-29455 RRP: $27.00
s the time draws closer to the canonization of Australia’s first Saint, Blessed Mary MacKillop, Australians throughout the country, not only Catholics but those of other religions, are seeking more information about this far sighted woman. Several important books have been written about her and her work with the co-founder
Most books are available from Fullers, and the Window on the World Bookshop in Ulverstone.
angels fit in somewhere with vampires, werewolves and ghost whisperers. The angels of popular myth are easily confused with fairies. Little girls love dressing up with the sparkly wings and slide-on haloes. There are vague stories of angels saving people’s lives by appearing as humans and intervening in potential tragedies; Mary and Joseph had encounters with angels and Jacob even wrestled with one; sweet people are told they are angels, Lucifer was the fallen angel. But are they real or just new age and folksy nonsense? Fr Michael Trainor, a lecturer in theology from South Australia, shows that angels are real and provides really helpful insights into their value. The popularity of angels shows the human desire for the transcendent – for God. Angels exist to express God’s closeness to humanity, while respecting God’s transcendent otherness. Angels are the intermediaries moving between humans and God.
The main thesis of Trainor’s book is that “angels are the tangible presence of God’s selfcommunicating love that seeks to embrace human beings”. Each angel reveals a different characteristic and quality of God. The Hebrew word “El” is often in the name of angels and means “God”. Gabriel means “the strength of God”; Raphael means “God heals” and Michael means “who is like God”. They function as archetypes and they really are God acting in our lives. This little book is easy to read and handy to dip into. There are beautiful colour illustrations from Christian art over the centuries. It is a valuable book because as well as giving information about the angels and their roles, it provides questions for contemplation to help the readers notice and accept the angelic presences in their lives. Reviewer: Mary-Anne Johnson
of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Most Sacred Heart, Fr Julian Tenison Woods, at the time Parish Priest of the large parish of Penola, in the south-east of the Diocese of Adelaide. These books, while very comprehensive, give many details of foundations of the Sisters in South Australia and New South Wales, with less detail of other States. One of these States is treated in a sparkling fashion in With Grateful Hearts, a story written by a Sister of St Joseph, Sr Margaret M. McKenna, RSJ, who spent almost nine years researching and writing the Queensland chapter of Josephite history. With Grateful Hearts has only been recently released and provides a very important part of the Josephite history in Queensland. Mother Mary MacKillop arrived in the Diocese of Brisbane in 1869 with the majority of her Sisters came in the following year. The then Bishop of Brisbane was Dr James Quinn, an Irishman and brother of the Bishop of Goulburn. Bishop Quinn was a firm believer that Religious in his diocese should come under his jurisdiction as diocesan rather than centrally governed from Sydney. Mother Mary
was of the opposite view that for the Sisters of St Joseph to be effective they should be subject to central government. This led to a strong difference of opinion between the Sisters and Bishop Quinn which resulted in a few of the Josephite religious agreeing to live under local diocesan rule. Because of this, in 1880, those loyal to Mother Mary left the Diocese of Brisbane and the Sisters would not return for 20 years. With Grateful Hearts not only describes this painful period but also the history of the Order in Queensland after the return of those Sisters loyal to their Josephite foundress. For those seeking to learn more about the Josephite Sisters in Queensland and in so doing become better acquainted with Australia’s first Saint, this unique book should be given outstanding priority. It is written in a most interesting style and is highly recommended. It costs $27 and can be obtained from good Catholic bookstores or by contacting the Josephites’ Administration Centre, phone (07) 3266 1300, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Reviewer: Br Michael McMurray, CCS
Lights, camera, action! Avatar Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang. Director: James Cameron. Rated M. 156 min.
ow the highest grossing film of all time comes to DVD. The story of the film is a little familiar. In the year 2154, a struggle exists between humans on Earth and the Na’vi who populate the planet, Pandora, far away. Australia’s Sam Worthington plays the part back on Earth of a paraplegic and a former patriotic Marine, Jake Sully, who travels through space and time to Pandora to help save his planet. Pandora has a mineral which Earth needs to solve its energy
Bran Nue Dae Starring: Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Geoffrey Rush, Ernie Dingo, Missy Higgins,Tom Budge, Dan Sultan, Magda Szubanski, Deborah Mailman, Ningali Lawford-Wolf. Director: Rachel Perkins. Rated PG (medium level coarse language). 85 minutes.
ran Nue Dae has been adapted for the screen by director Rachel Perkins (Radiance, One Night the Moon). Set in Broome in 1969, young Willy (Rocky McKenzie), who attends a Catholic mission school in Perth, is back home briefly, doing his best to fit in and enjoy life with his friends and other members of his generally carefree community. Willy is in love with Rosie (Jessica Mauboy), with whom he grew up, but Rosie has caught the eye of the local Lothario Lester (Dan Sultan). Rosie’s mother Theresa (Ningali LawfordWolf) wants Wally to become a priest, and to this end she sends him back to the mission school, where to his chagrin, Willy, by virtue of his compliant behaviour, is singled out by the school principal Fr Benedictus (Geoffrey
Fr Richard Leonard SJ presents new to DVD titles. He is the director of the Australian Catholic Film Office
crisis, but Pandora’s atmosphere is lethal. To cope with that problem, Earth has created the Avatar program in which humans living on the planet, Pandora are tied in their consciousness to an Avatar, which is a biological organism, remotely controlled, that is able to exist in the planet’s toxic air. Avatars are genetically engineered humanoids disguised to look like the Na’vi. When Jake arrives at Pandora, now transformed into a humanoid, he finds he can walk again, and he infiltrates the Na’vi, who are protecting the vital mineral resource by defending it against the invaders. Working as a spy in the Na’vi camp, Jake falls in love with the native princess, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), and his commitment to the Na’vi and their cause deepens as his relationship with Neytiri grows. He realizes the Na’vi are a peace-loving race which is facing destruction. For him, the Na’vi represent the good in life, and the humans
represent the dark side, which is spoiling that goodness. Jake joins their side and gives the Na’vi crucial intelligence to assist them. The movie ends by Jake leading the Na’vi in an epic battle that will decide their fate and the future of the world, thus setting the stage for sequels that will undoubtedly follow in epic Star Wars fashion. James Cameron, who gave us Titanic and Aliens directs it all with much aplomb. What is most notable about this lengthy film, which is a fast moving tale of high adventure, is the radically different technology that lies behind it. Cameron uses synthetic, computer-generated actors, who appear to be real, but who do not exist in any physical sense. The film is bound to have great adult appeal. Reviewer: Peter W. Sheehan
Rush), as the Aborigine most likely to succeed (i.e. enter the priesthood after graduation). When Willy along with others raids the tuck-shop at night, Benedictus is enraged. Wally avoids punishment by running away. But too ashamed to return to Broome, he spends the night under a Perth bridge with a group of Aboriginal vagrants, one of whom (Ernie Dingo), identifies himself as Wally’s uncle ‘Tadpole’. Fr Benedictus gives chase in his car. From here on Bran Nue Dae becomes (mostly) a rollicking fast-paced, at times slap-stick musical comedy, more in the mould of Chaplin and the Keystone Cops than conventional road movies.
Yet despite the surface jollity of Aboriginal music Broome-style, if one listens closely, ironically defiant lyrics are embedded in the vibrancy of the music that relate starkly to the demeaning treatment endured by most Aborigines during 200-odd years of White Settlement (‘Nothing I would rather be, than to be an Aborigine…’). The Catholic clergy are stereotypically represented by the pompous and preposterous Fr Benedictus, which is offset by the film’s cathartic final scene, which pricks the balloon of prejudice and exclusivity by showing that as human beings we are all related, irrespective of class, nationality or race. Reviewer: Jan Epstein
26 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
SCHOOL AND COLLEGE NEWS
Sacred Heart College hosts Justice forum O
n May 7, 2010, the Justice Action Network held a forum at Sacred Heart College with representatives from government. The Justice Action Network consists of students and teachers from schools around Hobart from the Public, Catholic and Independent sectors along with representatives from communit y organisations. The Network aims to increase awareness of human rights and social justice issues. Towards this it usually organises an event once a term. This Network has existed for about 12 years and has been recognised with the inaugural Tasmanian Schools Human Rights Award in 2008.
Given that there will be a federal election in the next 12 months, the Network decided to organise a forum where politicians representing the major political parties were invited to give their party’s position on justice issues and to take questions from students on these issues. The politicians who attended were Nick McKim from the Tasmanian Greens, Duncan Kerr from the Australian Labour Party and Vanessa Goodwin from the Liberals. The students who attended were from Guilford Young College, Fahan, The Friends School, Hobart College, and Sacred Heart College. Each politician spoke for four minutes and then questions were received from students. The questions included discussion of issues
Hon. Nick McKim and Hon. Duncan Kerr MHR
such as the Millennium Development Goals, Indigenous issues, immigration and the environment. Perhaps the highlight was Nick McKim making a promise to look into prioritising intensive language opportunities for humanitarian entrant students. Nick was invited to attend Justice Action Day on August 25, to report back on progress made on this promise. Thanks and congratulations go to all students from the various schools which helped to organize this event.
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SCHOOL AND COLLEGE NEWS
Lending a helping hand for Haiti T
he students of Dominic College used the medium of music to bring hope to Haiti with a concert at the Tolosa Park Music Bowl on Wednesday 21 April. People the world over were deeply affected by the news of the devastating earthquakes that shook the nation of Haiti. Being a Salesian school, Dominic College was particularly conscious of the devastation in Port-au-Prince. “Our Salesian brothers and sisters in Haiti have been directly affected by the earthquake,” says Dominic College Principal, Ms Beth Gilligan. “Six Salesian schools and residences have been completely destroyed along with the lives of between 300 – 500 Salesian students, their teachers and Salesian Fathers.” Students found it hard to conceive the scale of such loss after seeing photos of the destruction and immediately wanted to help. “It would be unimaginable for Dominic to experience the devastation of losing hundreds of students like that,” says College Captain, Rhea Cornelius. “We would want all the help we could get, so that’s why we’re holding this concert.” In February, the Dominic College community immediately set to work on devising a variety of fundraising activities to help aid the relief effort in Haiti. The student leadership group opted to end the term-long fundraising effort with a music concert. Student leaders were pleased to find that others in the wider Hobart community were eager to assist, including Tasmanian actor and local personality Mr John X, who joined Rhea Cornelius as the MC of the event. “I am very excited and more than happy to be involved in such a worthy cause. I am always amazed at the generosity of our young people who are always ready to give their time and energy to help others who are less fortunate than ourselves,” says Mr X. “If I can add to their efforts in any way, I’m more than ready to oblige.” Year six students opened the concert with a reworking of We Are the World and then a number of talented students performed a wide variety of music catering to every conceivable musical preference. Prior to the concert at 1.30pm students had the opportunity to buy lunch from the student run sausage sizzle and snack items donated by local businesses, while being entertained by roaming student clowns and buskers. Money was also raised via a ‘plain clothes day’ donation.
All money raised on the day will go directly to Haiti. Other initiatives in place to raise money for Haiti have included students collecting money during Lent in money boxes they made, selling pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, and a raffle for a beautiful art piece which Dominic College Art Teacher and local artist Ms Gaye Spencer donated. The Parents and Friends Committee (P&FC) also helped out with a spring bulb fundraiser and plans are in the works for a Dominic Old Scholars versus current students football day. Many thanks to the Glenorchy City Council for the use of Tolosa Park and to all the sponsors who graciously donated time and produce to make the day the great success that it undoubtedly was. Takings amounted to an impressive total of $6,650 and we still have the P&FC bulb fundraiser and the art raffle to add to this total!
28 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
Question Box – Questions about the Catholic faith Q A
How do I know God exists?
We are capable of knowing God’s existence by the exercise of our intelligence, by reason. Many arguments suggest themselves which completely convince us of the existence of God. 1. God is the first Cause of all things. Look around you, at the sun above, and in the evenings at the planets and stars. See the earth on which we live, the plants, trees, birds, animals and human beings. Then spend a little time in reflection. Who brought these things into existence? Who maintains them? 2. In the world about us there are many examples of Order. But order of this kind demands an intelligence to produce it. Therefore the world was made by an intelligent Orderer. Think of the eye, that wonderful camera which takes each day thousands of colour photographs developing them immediately; of the ear, that marvellous
telephone exchange; of your heart, which pumps the blood to the various parts of your body, even while you sleep. Reflect on the instinct of the animals, on the growth of a tree from seed to flower. Who is the great artist who has arranged that that seed, which comes from a foreign country, should grow into a tree which is so perfect an imitation of the parent tree? 3. The voice of conscience and of this we have all had experience. There’s a voice in our head which insists that I must do this, and must not do that. Conscience speaks of a necessary duty which we owe. It brings us face to face with an obligatory law. That there is a law implies a lawgiver. A command implies a superior who issues the command. That lawgiver, that superior, is God. Conscience is His voice speaking to me. God is the infinitely perfect Being, supremely One. He is a spirit. He is changeless, yet essentially active. God is eternal. To all things that are, God is Present,
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because He is the source of their being, and yet the universe cannot contain Him. His Power, infinite as are all His perfections, extends immeasurably beyond the limits of the things that He has made. The clear evidence in Nature of a universal design, the firm assertion of a moral law within my conscience, all impel me joyfully to acknowledge the existence of God my Creator. My girlfriend is Catholic while I am not. Do I need to convert in order for us to marry? Thanks.
The short answer is no. If you do get married in the Catholic Church your girlfriend will be asked to give an undertaking that any children you might be gifted with are to be brought up according to God’s Law. But no, you do not have to become a Catholic to marry a Catholic or marry in the Catholic Church.
RITES OF PASSAGE
llan Sullivan and Mary Staunton met in Hobart a little over 50 years ago and have been together ever since. At Melbourne’s Xavier College Fr Stephenson, Fr Terry Sullivan and Fr Dew joined them in Holy Matrimony. Mary was working at the Queen Alexandria Hospital as a trainee midwife when she first met Allan in 1958. These two well–known parishioners renewed their marriage vows, recently at Holy Redeemer, Deloraine. In front of about 70 friends and relatives. Fr Terry Yard officiated while the altar servers were Mary and Allan’s grand children. They were Lewis , Grace and Myles. Sam Kirkman, and Myra Sullivan carried the posies in the Offertory Procession. Allan’s sister Jane from Perth, WA and brother Paul from Melbourne flew in for the great occasion. Luncheon was followed at no other place, of course, but Sullivan’s restaurant. A happy experience for everyone.
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The CDF is not subject to the normal requirements to have a prospectus and trust deed under Corporations Law and has not been examined or been approved by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). However, a CDF deposit or investment is designed for those persons who wish to promote the educational and other activities of the Catholic Community, and for whom the consideration of profit is not of primary relevance in their investment decision. Your deposit/investment is guaranteed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Hobart through CDPF Limited which is a company established by the Australian Catholics Bishop’s Conference.
30 Volume ume 6 Issue Is 3 2010
Dermott Stevens and Sarah Smart. Married at St Josephâ€™s in Yolla (Burnie-Wynyard Parish). Saturday, March 6, 2010. Celebrant, Fr Richard Ross.
David Morse and Fiona Excell. Married at Avi Flora and Fauna Gardens in Margate. Saturday, March 20, 2010. Celebrant, Fr Peter Oâ€™Loughlin.
The Tasmanian Catholic accepts for publication photographs of Catholic weddings. Every effort will be made to publish such photographs at the first opportunity, but delays may occur due to limited space. Original photographs sent by mail will be returned if requested. Digital photographs should be submitted on disk with a minimum resolution of 300dpi.
Maurice Paul Mifsud SDC May 2, 1926 – February 8, 2010
fter leaving Hobart in April 2009 and returning to his birthplace of Malta, Maurice Mifsud passed from this life on February 8, 2010. Maurice arrived in Hobart in 1961 and built up the work of the Society of Christian Doctrine (SDC), in the area of catechesis, ministering to countless young people and adults during this time. Maurice entered the SDC in 1944, when the world was at war. He learnt much from the early members – his mentor being Eugene Borg, the first Superior General. Maurice was one of the original six chosen by the Founder, now St George Preca, who was canonized in 2007, to officially establish the SDC in Australia. Maurice, together with two other members, arrived at Melbourne’s iconic Station Pier on the MV Surriento on April 18, 1956, with another three members arriving later. The members settled into West Melbourne and began their work in faith formation from the crypt of St Mary Star of the Sea Church. Their contact with the administrator of the parish, Coadjutor Archbishop of Melbourne, Justin Simonds, a previous Archbishop of Hobart, was most cordial. The members attended liturgical functions in the Church, and assisted in the parish. Archbishop Simonds was familiar with Malta and the Maltese. In 1945, he was commissioned by the Australian Bishops to undertake an extensive and difficult tour of post-war Europe with a view to facilitating migration. This trip included a visit to Malta. The members had to find employment, fit in with the Australian psyche and were often misunderstood for the way they expressed their faith. Maurice was elected to lead the group – he appreciated the difficulty of working between varied cultures and always considered this in his decisions. Following the request of the Archbishop of Hobart, Sir Guilford Young, Maurice, along with two other members, came to Hobart in 1961. Maurice was drawn to Tasmania and never tired of the beautiful environs of Preca House on Sandy Bay Road, the SDC’s centre, that overlooks the Derwent. Maurice led the SDC as Regional Superior in Australia from 1975 through to 1997. The SDC grew in Australia under Maurice’s leadership. He was instrumental in establishing a centre in Queensland and encouraged members to be generous in relocating between states, to assist in the work in parishes and centres of the SDC.
Maurice Mifsud with Archbishop Adrian Doyle in 2009
Archbishop Guilford Young with Maurice Mifsud
“anything built on injustice would not survive”, drawing from the teachings of St George Preca which were based on the notion that everything we do should be done with the highest motive.” Maurice had a wealth of knowledge relating to church history, the lives of saints and apologetics. During his life, he had many pearls of wisdom which he was only too eager to share. He maintained that “anything built on injustice would not survive”, drawing from the teachings of St George Preca which were based on the notion that everything we do should be done with the highest motive. Maurice continued with the idealism and spirit of St George Preca up to his final days but very much aware of the Australian setting and culture. He always thought that both could merge quite successfully. His aim was for the SDC to contribute to the Australian Church. He was strident in his efforts to preserve the spirit of the Founder, St George Preca, in the prayer life of the Members. He had a concern for poverty-stricken families and chose to be with them whenever possible, but believed the greatest poverty was to be without faith in Jesus his brother. Daily Mass was the hallmark of his spiritual life. Making extraordinary efforts to be present, even late in life, Maurice was a regular worshipper for daily Mass at St Joseph’s Church, Hobart. The last few months of Maurice’s life were lived at the SDC Samaritan Centre, St Venera in Malta, supported by members and his family. He was buried from his parish church in Attard, Malta. Memorial Masses were held at Holy Spirit Church, Sandy Bay and St Paul’s Chapel, Parkville, Melbourne, giving thanks for his life. Deeply aware of the precious nature of vocation, Maurice lived out his commitment in total freedom. He showed a deep and convinced religious spirit and apostolic consciousness. Maurice Mifsud is survived by sisters, Mary, in Malta and Tessie in Sydney.
32 Volume 6 Issue 3 2010
Sower of compassion, humanity and faith: Monica Franklin MSS A
woman of strong faith, a deep sense of mission, and a seemingly inexhaustible love for people was farewelled in a Mass of Christian Burial at Church of the Holy Spirit , Sandy Bay, on Monday, May 17. Sr Monica Franklin, who died peacefully on Sunday, May 9, had been a Missionary Sister of Service for 65 years. The eighth woman to join the then Home Missionary Sisters of Our Lady founded by Father John Wallis in Launceston in 1944, she arrived on October 6, 1945, from her hometown, Melbourne. “She doesn’t get mentioned with the founding group, but we know that she must have played a significant part in the shaping of the congregation’s spirit and mission,” leadership team member Sr Corrie van den Bosch MSS, said during the Mass. “Those early years were challenging. The Sisters were pioneers in a new kind of ministry, pastoral in nature, going out into the highways and byways, seeking out people, supporting, counselling, teaching; living in sacristies, CWA rooms, caravans, or in people’s homes … camps and summer schools, halls transformed into Mass centres for an hour or two.” It would be hard to estimate the miles she travelled and the number of people she influenced over those years, Sr Corrie said, as Sr Monica had ministered in four arch/dioceses: Hobart (based at Longford, Ellendale, Lindisfarne, North Hobart and Claremont), Wilcannia-Forbes (Parkes, Mathoura and Broken Hill), Toowoomba (Toowoomba) and Townsville (Chartres Towers and Townsville). Sr Corrie recalled her first memories of Sr Monica, which went back to 1952. “My family had just moved onto a farm in Tullendeena, in the Derby parish (north-eastern Tasmania). “I was home from school, washing the breakfast dishes on a bench behind the house – we had neither plumbing nor electricity at the time – when around the corner appeared two women in grey. “They seemed to appear from nowhere, as I had not heard a vehicle come up the lane. The priest had dropped them off at the road and they had walked up. They were Monica and Agnes (Sr Agnes Ryan, now in Melbourne).
...love for the people and her interest in the families were “without limit”. “At that time we knew Monica as Sr Joseph. She was a regular visitor during the twice yearly missions of the Sisters to the parish. She prepared my younger siblings for their first confession and first communion.” Sr Corrie described Sr Monica as a ‘people-person’ whose love for the people and her interest in the families were “without limit”. “I remember one particular mission with her in the far north-west of NSW. “We had been visiting station homesteads for several days and were due back in Wilcannia by a certain time, but there was one more family – 50 miles further, on atrocious tracks that went by the name of roads. “We went to visit that family, arriving back at Wilcannia around midnight, to find the parish priest frantically trying to organise one of his parishioners who flew a small plane, to go out and look for us!
There were no mobile phones in those days!” Sr Corrie said that someone once likened the MSS Sisters to sheepdogs. “Monica certainly fitted that description. No ‘sheep’ would be left out or untended if she could help it!” In recent years at Guilford Young Grove, Sandy Bay, Sr Monica radiated a quiet, joyful serenity, at peace with herself, her companions and her God, Sr Corrie said. “Some people go through life and leave behind monuments of achievements. “Monica went through life sowing seeds of compassion, humanity and faith. “If we were to visualise those seeds sown along the pathways of her life, we would see the verges dotted with colourful flowers, the flourishing of the seeds she has sown in the lives of people. “The flowers live, seed and die, generation after generation, long after the one who first sowed them is gone. So may be the seeds of Monica’s life and ministry! “Monica … thank you for the woman you have been among us, for your contribution to the spirit and mission of our congregation, and for the witness of your unfailing fidelity.” The Mass of Christian Burial was conducted by Archbishop Adrian Doyle and concelebrated by several priests including Fr Denis Allen who delivered the homily. The Tasmanian Missionary Sisters of Service -- Sisters Barbara Hateley, Carmel Hall, Paul Coad, Frances McShane and Lorraine Groves -- were joined by the congregational leadership team, Sisters Bernadette Wallis, Stancea Vichie and Corrie, and Sr Julianne Dunn, from Melbourne, and members of Sr Monica’s family, from Victoria and Queensland, and well as many Religious and other friends from Tasmania.
With the 150th anniversary of the death of the Curé of Ars, St John Vianney - the patron saint of priests - Pope Benedict XVI invites all Catholics to celebrate the Year for Priests which began on the 19th of June 2009. A unique way to support this cause would be to help with the training of our future priests from countries where the Church is poor, persecuted or threatened. Over the past 10 years Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has helped one diocese in every six around the world, and supported every seventh candidate to the priesthood. In today’s economic crisis many seminaries are struggling to survive. The poverty is great and often means suitable candidates being turned away, since neither their families nor their bishops have the funds to support their training. Meanwhile for the ones who are accepted into the seminary, it is a journey of great sacrifice; food and books are scarce with several students often sharing small rooms in dilapidated and unheated seminaries. It is vital to the future of the Church that not one vocation to the priesthood goes astray due to lack of finance. They are Seminarians at prayer in Sudan the future of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church.
Join us in prayer with the Pope to honour the service offered to the Church by her priests. Anyone able to help this cause will be sent a complimentary Rosary blessed by Pope Benedict XVI, and a holy card with a prayer for priests. We ask you to join the Holy Father and the Catholic community to pray for our priests and pray that many more will respond to the call to priesthood. A new rosary has been designed by the Vatican’s Rosary Makers for the Year for Priests. The centerpiece features the hands of the priest during the Consecration with the reverse side beautifully depicting the Merciful Jesus by St Faustina Kowalska. The Cross takes inspiration from the Gospel story about the call to Priesthood where Christ says “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few..”. The labourers are those who work in the vineyard of the Lord. In our time it refers to our priests. To send your donation please fill out the coupon below and tick the box* if you would like to receive the complimentary Rosary and Holy card.
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Published on Feb 28, 2010