Broken Bay News December 2018

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Artwork by Bradi Barth. ©

Taking a fresh look at the Holy Family this Advent


Waiting… Frog was in his garden. Toad came walking by, “What a fine garden you have, Frog,” he said. BY FR DAVID RANSON


es,” said Frog. “It is very nice, but it was hard work.” “I wish I had a garden,” said Toad. “Here are some flower seeds. Plant them in the ground,” said Frog, “and soon you will have a garden.” “How soon?” asked Toad. “Quite soon,” said Frog. Toad ran home. He planted the flower seeds. “Now seeds,” said Toad, “start growing.” Toad walked up and down a few times. The seeds did not start to grow. Toad put his head close to the ground and said loudly, “Now seeds, start growing!” Toad looked at the ground again. The seeds did not start to grow. Toad put his head very close to the ground and shouted, “Now seeds, start growing!” Frog came running up the path. “What is all the noise?” he asked. My seeds will not grow,” said Toad. “You are shouting too much,” said Frog. “These poor seeds are afraid to grow.” “My seeds are afraid to grow?” asked Toad. “Of course,” said Frog. “Leave them alone for a few days. Let the sun shine on them, let the rain fall on them. Soon your seeds will start to grow.” That night Toad looked out of his window. “Drat!” said Toad. “My seeds have not started to grow. They must be afraid of the dark.” Toad went out to his garden with some candles. “I will read a story,” said Toad. “Then they will not be afraid.” Toad read a long story to his seeds. All the next day Toad sang songs to his seeds. And all the next day Toad read poems to his seeds. And all the next day Toad played music for his seeds. Toad looked at the ground. The seeds still did not start to grow.

“What shall I do?” cried Toad. “These must be the most frightened seeds in the whole world!” Then Toad felt very tired, and he fell asleep. “Toad, Toad, wake up,” said Frog. “Look at your garden!” Toad looked up at his garden. Little green plants were coming up out of the ground. “At last,” shouted Toad, “my seeds have stopped being afraid to grow!” And now you have a nice garden, too” said Frog. “Yes,” said Toad, “but you were right, Frog. It was very hard work.” Extract from Arnold Lobel, “The Garden,” in Frog and Toad Together (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), 18-30, cited in Megan McKenna, Parables: The arrows of God, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1994), p47-48 It is hard work indeed to simply wait. Like Frog we seek to take control over things, and we bring to them a frenetic effort that forces things to occur. And yet, of course, we realise that there are many things in our life that simply force us to let go, and to simply wait. Currently, our Diocese waits for the appointment of a new Shepherd to guide and lead us. We wait for our spouse to understand exactly what we are going through, and to accept our own difference, our own way of approaching issues in life.

“At last,” shouted Toad, “my seeds have stopped being afraid to grow!” And now you have a nice garden, too” said Frog. “Yes,” said Toad, “but you were right, Frog. It was very hard work.” seeking to communicate to them and to live into what we most deeply wish for them. We wait for our friends or members of our family to recognise that the choices that they may be making in their life are not the healthiest ones. We wait for the difficult situations in our life to resolve in the profound awareness that nothing we can do can really change them.

We wait for our children to understand what we are We wait for the right direction in our life to show itself. We wait to understand the meaning of an unforgettable painful experience in our life. We wait with the one we love as they enter the journey of serious sickness and even death. We spend a good deal of our life, in fact, waiting – perhaps much more than we might at first realise. Often during the day we are conscious of waiting in a queue at the bank or supermarket, in traffic, for something to come through the post or for an email. All these small moments of waiting, however, are but small reminders of the waiting which we cannot avoid when it comes to the most significant experiences in our life. Indeed, Simone Weil, once wrote we do not find the most precious things in our life by looking for them, but by waiting for them. The more precious something is in our life the more


ACROSS OUR DIOCESE it will demand that we wait. We cannot grab it like Toad tried to in regard to the growth of his garden. We have to let go and wait. One of the reasons why waiting is so difficult for us, I think, is because waiting hollows us out. Waiting empties us. In our waiting, we realise a certain powerlessness. We do not like the experience of powerlessness, but spiritually, it is a critical one. In the powerlessness of waiting we can, like Frog, double our efforts in the illusion that everything can be achieved by our own efforts, or in our powerlessness we can give over to something other than ourselves in surrender and trust. This is not a mere abdication of our own responsibility or own capacity to bring about change, but rather the profound recognition that we are dependent on a Mystery larger, more embracing, than ourselves in which everything is gathered up and discovers itself with its own unique timing. There is an unmistakable freedom in this type of surrender and trust. There is also surprise. When we live with this surrender born in the midst of our waiting, we discover ourselves becoming increasingly receptive in our life. We discover what we are waiting for not in the way that we may have

insisted upon, but in other ways beyond what we could have imagined. John the Baptist appears in our journey towards Christmas as a figure who waits. He waits in the desert, in the place of emptiness and surrender. He waits for his longing to be fulfilled. We too wait for that for which we long most deeply in our hearts

and lives, for something which will outstrip our own clumsy efforts and inadequate endeavours. When we enter into that waiting, rather than fight against it, then we might indeed discover, like Toad, that something has happened – yes, even despite ourselves. But all this is very hard work indeed.

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Taking a Fresh look at the Holy Family An Advent Reflection

I was approached recently by a familiar face who had, not long before, taken a new role with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). BY STEVEN BUHAGIAR


he took the opportunity to share the news that the beautiful artwork of Bradi Barth would feature on this season’s ACN Christmas cards. This was wonderful news especially when we consider that the contemporary take on communicating the Christmas message most often swings between two extremes: one which wilfully neglects the heart of the Christmas story whilst still accepting its material benefit, and the other, which produces a budget and often gawdy rendition of this most beautiful moment of human history. Why is this so? I would venture that it may have something to do with remaining in a relative state of comfort. What do I mean? The Christmas message is at its very heart a confronting one. It calls us to look at the very reality of a God who loves us to the point of wanting to be part of our life; a God who wants to be intimately united to us and to give us His all. This is what the first position cannot or does not want to comprehend and whose majesty, the later has not yet fathomed. Barth’s artwork, the ‘Nativity of Our Lord’, draws us into the human story of the Nativity. In fact, to be drawn into the reality of the Christmas story is not an optional extra for Christians. It is an absolute necessity. We need to look with fresh eyes at what and Who is being represented to our gaze. It takes effort. It means slowing down. It demands an atmosphere of silence and an attitude of reverent wonder and awe. So who do we see here in Barth’s work? Let us start with St Joseph. What an enigma we see in this descendant of King David. An


honest worker gazing down at his very Creator and who, although a helpless infant, upholds Joseph’s very being. What a moment this is for St Joseph. He knows well the history of his people and their centuries of waiting for the coming Messiah. And here He is dependent on Joseph for His warmth, His shelter, His protection, His very life. What a weight to carry and to be sure, Joseph knows and feels it. But he knows too the radiant love which emanates from the face of the Child and the striking fact that of all men, it was he, Joseph, who was called upon to care for the Child and His Mother Mary. ‘Mary’… what a beautiful name! St Mechtilde tells us that Our Lady had her understand that the name ‘Mary’ means ‘lady of light’… that God had filled her with wisdom and light like a shining star to light up heaven and earth. What an appropriate description when we reflect that in this Christmas scene Mary, like the moon, reflects the beauty and majesty of her Child who is the ‘Sun’, the Lord of all and the eternal ‘I Am’. As Mary looks down at the Child Jesus we call to mind the words of the Christmas song ‘Mary did you Know’ made popular by the a cappella group Pentatonix: “Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?” We know that Our Lady certainly pondered these things in her heart (Lk. 2:19) and she invites us to do the same. Pope Francis comments on this verse thus: “We need to remain silent as we gaze upon the crib. Pondering the crib, we discover anew that we are loved; we savour the real meaning of life. As we look on in silence, we let Jesus speak to our heart.”

Artwork by Bradi Barth. ©

Jesus – meaning “God saves”. A priest friend of mine visiting the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem paused and reflected at the time that he was called to believe that at this physical site, heaven truly kissed earth and that the Godman Jesus Christ was revealed to humanity in time and space. He was called to make an act of faith that ‘yes’, he truly believed all that this divine reality entailed. We are called to do the same as we come before the crib today. We must move beyond the mundane, the glitter and the novelty. We need to gaze at Jesus, at Mary, at Joseph and know them as our very family and to know Jesus as the very source and summit of our lives. Jesus, our God

who saves, waits for us every day in the Eucharist. This Advent season let us take a fresh look at the Holy Family. Let us seek out visual renditions which are ‘beautiful’ and which allow our children to be drawn in to the heart of God through wonder and awe and the example we give when we ‘slow down’ and give Jesus the time to speak to our hearts. Let us invite our children to pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary this Advent and teach them to ponder the spiritual realities which are presented to our gaze. Let us make our Christmas space anew with artwork like that of Bradi Barth and God will surely fill it with gifts beyond what we could ever imagine!

Exploring our missionary outreach


Corpus Christi St Ives

... a welcoming faith-filled community Corpus Christi Catholic Parish, St Ives, aims to be a community of missionary disciples where people are encouraged to grow in their faith and “to fall in love with Jesus”. BY DEBRA VERMEER


orpus Christi, located on Sydney’s North Shore, is in the care of the Discalced Carmelite Fathers.

Parish Priest Fr Greg Chee OCD, who is assisted by Fr Johny Arattukulam OCD and Fr Sunny Peackal OCD, says the Parish has pledged to be a “welcoming faith-filled community that makes Jesus Christ known and lived”. “We would like the people who come to Church here to fall in love with Jesus,” he says. “This has consequences in terms of ministry, how we care for each other, and how we go about things.” Fr Greg says there are three key focus areas in the Parish at this time – the Plenary Council 2020; Youth; and helping people to deepen their relationship with God.

Listening and Dialogue sessions to take part in the Plenary Council process. “Our youth goals are linked with the objectives of our Parish Pastoral Council and also this Year of Youth,” Fr Greg says. The Parish has recently held a ‘Come and Have Your Say’ pizza night. Team Leader of Catholic Youth Broken Bay, Kelly Paget, was invited to help facilitate the event and now a follow-up evening will ask the question, ‘Where do we go now?’ “At this stage, we’re looking to set up a structure in youth ministry, rather than a youth group as such,” Fr Greg says. “That way we can look at ways to invite the youth into all aspects of parish life. “You want them to grow and flourish, both in the spiritual life and in abilities, and have fun at the same time.”

“We see the Plenary Council as linking us with the Bishops of Australia who are, for the first time, providing an opportunity for everybody to have their say and formulate the agenda,” he says.

Some of the activities and ministry avenues for young people include a youth choir, ranging in age from 5-18, which sings at Mass on the first and third Sundays of the month.

Parishioners have been invited to come together in

When the CYBB Pilgrim Cross came to the Parish


earlier this year, the youth played a pivotal role in holding a Rock Mass, which also incorporated the ‘Stage 2’ Mass with students from Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School.



Exploring our missionary outreach

Principal, Barbara Yee says the Mass was an example of the “wonderful” relationship between the School and the Parish. “Apart from the students who were involved with the Mass, parents and one of the Parish Administration staff along with our Assistant Principal got together to formulate the music for the 10.00am Family Mass and it was unbelievable,” she says. “There were a lot of people there, lots of families, and the Mass was very upbeat. The students formed a guard of honour for the priests as they processed down and it was just lovely and warm. There was a dad on the drums, a mum singing, the Assistant Principal playing guitar and the school choir was there. It was such an uplifting Mass.” Barbara says the School is blessed to have been in the care of the Carmelite Fathers for the last decade or so. “They are men of great heart, great soul and humility and they share their gifts very generously with the school community. We are blessed.” While the Rock Mass reached out to students and their families, Parish Sacramental Coordinator Gerri Hadwen says the sacramental program also aims to help both children and


parents grow in their relationship with God and with the parish community. “Parents are very much part of the children’s preparation for the sacraments,” she says. “We encourage parents to have one-on-one time with their children as they prepare for the sacraments and we also keep the groups small so the family groups tend to get to know one another and go through to the next sacrament in the same group, whether they’re from the parish school or the public schools. “It forms a really lovely connection that the children are building themselves and we’re starting to see some families who haven’t been as involved with the Church coming back because they’ve encountered a real sense of community.” Young adults are active in the Parish, with a group meeting once a week to reflect on the Gospel. Various members of that group also contribute to the Parish in various ways, including one who is an acolyte, another who conducts the youth choir and another who’s a catechist. “When you get groups to get to know each other and build a community, there are spin-offs for the whole Parish,” Fr Greg says.

On the third parish objective of helping people to deepen their relationship with God, Fr Greg says it comes down to encouraging growth in missionary discipleship. “That means that a person has a transformational experience with God and freely chooses to respond,” he says. “Now, how do we do that in practice?” One path the Parish is providing for people is the opportunity to take part in an ALPHA course. Leaders will be trained early next year and the parishioners and also people who don’t come to Church will be invited to take part in the course, which presents the Christian faith in an engaging way. “The aim is not just to get knowledge, but for the head and heart to be one together,” Fr Greg says. Parish Faith Facilitator Jennifer Perrott says the ALPHA course is one of various ways that the Parish tries to build community in faith. “We try to provide opportunities for building community with the different groups, so that they grow and have a good time while they’re doing it,” she says.

Exploring our missionary outreach


“But people growing in relationship is an education process, a slow process. People are definitely looking for more though in growing in their faith and so we try to create pathways for that.”

Mass as well as a Healing Mass with the Sacrament of Anointing on the second Thursday of each month. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is available on Saturday mornings after Mass.

this, from the Parish and the wider community. They don’t make a fuss, just get on with it quietly. And there are other parishioners involved with different things like that.”

Jennifer says a Parish Ministry Fair held recently was another way of engaging parishioners in the life of the Parish and inviting them to become more involved.

Fr Johny says recent feast day celebrations have been well attended too, indicating a desire for such devotions.

Ecumenical relations are strong, with a group of parishioners and the priests involved in the local Inter-church Group. The Parish also has a meal together with the local Jewish community once a year.

Parishioners are active in all sorts of ministries at Corpus Christi, including liturgy as well as a team of 35 catechists helping to share their faith with 450 public school students in the area. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist visit people who are housebound or in nursing homes and take Holy Communion to them, while the priests also visit local nursing homes and hold ecumenical prayer services. The priests of the Parish are also chaplains at the nearby SAN Hospital in Wahroonga. A Seniors lectio divina group meets weekly to discuss the Gospel and get together for a cup of tea afterwards, and a craft group also meets once a fortnight. There are regular prayers and devotions in the Parish, including Morning Prayer of the Church on weekdays and praying of the Rosary after morning


“For the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, we had Mass followed by Adoration and many people attended and liked it. At the end, they suggested we could have it once a month, so we’re thinking about starting it in the Lenten season,” he says. A Parish social justice group is active, with a recent raffle raising about $3,500 for the Tibetan community and refugees. The group also supports the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, with one parishioner recently attending the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Commission’s conference in Perth. Parish Office Manager Belinda Camilleri says other social justice work is carried out by individual parishioners. “For example, we have parishioners who organise food once a month to go to Fr Chris Riley’s Youth Off the Streets. There are about 20 people involved in

Not surprisingly, the Carmelite charism is imbued in the life of the Parish. “We’re a Carmelite Parish, so for St Therese of Liseux’s feast day on 1 October, we put a little note in the bulletin about the feast day Mass and we had about 80 people turn up even though it was a public holiday,” Fr Greg says. “We made a little booklet of her approach to life – St Therese’s Little Way – and how they could implement this approach in practical ways in their own life and it was well received. “We don’t try to bash people over the head with Carmelite things, but where it can speak to people’s lives, and to their growing relationship with God, we do share it.”



Year of Youth comes to an end What a year it’s been! The Year of Youth officially started in December 2017 at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney and it’s been a massive year in for young people in Broken Bay. The CYBB Pilgrim Cross has weaved its way across the Diocese of Broken Bay throughout the year. From the North Shore to the Northern Beaches and the Central Coast, it is hoped that most, if not all, young people of faith across the Diocese were able to encounter the Cross when it visited their parish or school. Parishes took the opportunity to celebrate having the Cross in their community by holding Youth Forums, Praise and Worship events, special Youth Masses, picnics and barbecues. Halfway through the year of course, we lost our head CYBBie, Bishop Peter Comensoli, after he was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne. Archbishop Peter participated as one of the official Bishop delegates at the Synod on Youth in Rome in October, and was part of the team writing the final document presented to Pope Francis. The Year of Youth concluded on 24 November 2018, with a celebration and awards night held at the Light of Christ Centre. Coverage of this event will feature in the next issue of Broken Bay News. Thank you to all the young people and young of heart in the Diocese of Broken Bay that contributed and made the Year of Youth a special year in our Church.


The Church in Australia

Making Room in the Inn The story of our Church has always been one in which those outside of a friendship with Jesus come to faith through personal encounter and conversion, enter the Christian community and build up the life and mission of that community by their God-given gifts and discipleship to Jesus. BY DANIEL ANG


he spiritual writer John Shea offers us a beautiful image of this Catholic tradition, as ‘hands clasping hands stretching back in time until they hold the hand of Jesus who holds the hand of God.’ This is the evangelising nature of the Church, of our community of faith as nothing less than a life being passed on. As we enter Advent and approach Christmas – and as we continue to reflect through the Plenary Council on what God is asking of us at this time – we are invited to renew our vision for and commitment to outreach in faith. Indeed, this Christmas our faith communities will welcome many who attend our churches only occasionally and even some who will come for the first time in a long time, or on account of curiosity or family tradition. It is a prime time to invite Catholic relatives or friends to our communities, with some 28 per cent of Australians reporting ‘Yes, if someone invited me to church I would go’. They would do so because they value the friends or family members who ask (NCLS Research 2018 Australian Community

Survey). This opportunity sharpens our antennae to the need of our Church to evangelise through invitation, accompanying relationships, generous welcome, hope-filled community, and compelling preaching of the Gospel in word and deed. We can recognise even on the basic level of survival that the future of our parishes depends on those who currently do not believe or are not currently engaged. There is no future without the lost or the unchurched. Evangelisation is a necessity to maintain what we have, and it is also essential to our future growth. When we bring others to Jesus, it plants energy and life in our communities. We know this from those who enter our community through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), who come to personal faith in the midst of the Church. More significantly, a focus on those who are unchurched neatly aligns with Jesus who comes not for the righteous but for sinners, who places the needs of the outcast and ailing

before his own flock. In the Gospel of Luke, we see Jesus walk through Jericho and reach out to Zacchaeus, a tax collector and operator for the Romans. Jesus steps into Zacchaeus’ house as a guest of a sinner, scandalising the watching crowd, and rejoices in Zacchaeus’ conversion, declaring “Today salvation has come to this house… for the Son of Man has come to seek out and to save the lost” (Luke 19:9-10). We see this pattern throughout his ministry – Jesus challenges the insiders and he comforts the outsiders. The lesson we draw from Jesus’ ministry can be summarised in this way – the Church is not for Christians. The Church is Christians and it is for those who are not. The Church is not for ourselves rather, in Pope Francis’ language, it is a ‘field hospital’ serving those who most need help now, the wounded and the lost. This is the antithesis of the self-referential Church. We are called to leave the 99 to find the one, or increasingly in our Australian reality, to leave the one to find the 99.

A challenge we recognise is that as essential as this outward focus is to our survival, as faithful as it is to the mission of Jesus himself, as urgent as this mission is to our health and growth, when we start changing things to better reach out, accommodate and actively welcome outsiders (whether that’s our Mass times, our language, our carparks or our own position in the pews), people can start to become uneasy precisely because the focus is now on others and change may be called of them. The reality for our Church is that any change tends to be ‘big’ change because of the weight of our culture toward maintaining the status quo. When we proclaim that our parishes are not about us but about the unchurched, some in community can even feel a little like the older brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The older brother has been utterly loyal and committed and served his father’s house with heart and devotion. However, when he realises it is not about him but the one who has been lost, the older

At Christmastime, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and our friends and families get together, share stories and make plans for the year ahead. In October 2020, the Catholic Church is gathering to make plans and decisions for the future. Your voice is needed to help create the agenda. What are your experiences of God in your life, your faith and the Church? What do you think God is asking of us in Australia?

I think God is asking us to....

10 DECEMBER 2018

PLENARY COUNCIL 2020 brother struggles to rejoice at the one who had not earned his welcome but whom the father nevertheless embraces and lavishes upon with love. We know in the mind of Jesus that the older brother is just as lost because everything the father has is for the older brother too. What the father seeks from his first son is a largeness of heart to rejoice when the lost are saved, a heart for his younger brother who was dead but is now alive. As Pope Francis has highlighted, in our ecclesial culture it is all too easy for the people inside the Church to become a higher priority than reaching those outside the Church. It is understandable to some extent as the ‘insiders’ form our existing community, lead our ministries and even pay the bills. However, for fear of making insiders unhappy, we can feel pressed to hold onto programs and practices even if those programs and

practices are not bringing our current people or any new people to a real and fruitful faith. This can keep our house small and sparing rather than open and welcoming. In contrast, if we do as Jesus invites us to do and seek out and reach the lost and the unchurched, the life of the ‘older brother’, if you like, is also renewed. So, it is for our parishes: outward focused Churches create the healthiest insiders. In fact, inward looking Churches tend to create consumers with preferences, while outward looking Churches create missionaries with larger hearts and stories to tell, stories about how Jesus has changed their life. This is the heart of an evangelising parish culture – one beggar telling another beggar how he found bread. What are the concrete signs that we have moved toward a culture of outreach? It is that we should expect

…if everyone in our Church is comfortable with who is showing up then our front doors may not be wide enough.


to encounter more people who have made a mess of some aspect of their past. If we find ourselves working with these people in our parishes, it is a sign we are doing something right. We sometimes think we need to go out and make people Christians and then bring them to Church. We often want to ‘clean’ the fish before we ‘catch’ them but that’s not how being a fisher of men and women works! What we hope to do as disciples is to bring them near in the complexity of their situations, accompany them in their wounds, open up the promise of the Gospel for their life,


and lead them toward an encounter, a surrender and a decision to follow Jesus who is the fullness of life. We are most like Jesus himself when we spend increasing time with people farthest from him. In a word, if everyone in our Church is comfortable with who is showing up then our front doors may not be wide enough. This Christmas invites us to renew our heart for the outsider, to ‘make room in the inn’ for others who are looking for a place to call home. May the newborn Christ, who is the hospitality of God, bless us and keep us in this mission.


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Remembering the Lutz-Manrique family ‘Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you O Lord know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart).’ 1 Kings 8:36 BY JO KARAOLIS


he Chaplain’s homily was in Spanish and his task was a difficult one at this memorial Mass held in a school chapel in Bogota, Colombia on 20 October this year. He was speaking to the family and friends of Maria Claudia Lutz Manrique and her children Elise and Martin and also to the relatives of her husband, Fernando Manrique, who two years before tragically took the lives of his family and himself by distributing gas through their home at Davidson while Maria and the children obliviously slept. I had travelled to Bogota a few days before to be with Maria’s family for the second anniversary of her and the children’s tragic deaths. I felt a compulsion to be with them at what I knew would be a very difficult time; in a sense, I owed it to Maria. I first met Maria when she enrolled her elder daughter Elise at St Lucy’s. Elise was then just five years old and had a diagnosis of autism. She was effectively non-verbal but had a powerful means of expression through her drawings and art works which were remarkable for her age. Later her younger brother Martin joined our school. More introverted than Elise, his autism was also ameliorated by

12 DECEMBER 2018

his extraordinary gift for art, a gift inherited from his grandmother, Alicia, herself an artist as I learned on this visit to Colombia. Maria herself was an extraordinary person. She was an outstanding student at her leading Catholic girls’ school in Bogota where she graduated with the highest award the school bestowed. She became a gifted lawyer with a passion for helping the underdog and fighting against injustice and intimidation. At just 16 years of age she fell in love all-consumingly with her husbandto-be and after their marriage, gladly moved with him to Australia, giving up her own very close family to do so. As a mother of two children with autism, Maria saw only their gifts and endured sleepless nights and the other challenges of such children with humour rather than complaint. Maria’s outpouring of unconditional love spread beyond her own children to all the other children at St Lucy’s. Each of them knew and loved Maria and would run to her as fast as to their own mothers at the end of each school day. For me she was also a friend and ally who helped me to establish a support group for parents with a child with a

disability and to advocate for them in any available forum. ‘She was a warrior,’ her father Ernesto says. She was also beautiful, charismatic and funny. In my experience, fathers can sometimes find it more difficult to accept having a child, or two, with significant disabilities, especially if their self-regard is tied to their paternity. As Maria’s brother Ricardo says, ‘no man can know another man’s thirst’. Maria’s death and the death of her children shook her family in Colombia to its roots. Her father and mother, Ernesto and Alicia, live the tragedy every day and worse, every night. The questions of why, and what if, and if only, are unceasing. And yet from the time the awful news first reached them, they have insisted on treating their son-in-law’s death as no less tragic than the death of their daughter and beloved grandchildren. ‘I leave it to God,’ Ernesto says. Back in Australia, some of Maria’s friends feel angry that Fernando is not outed as a control-driven perpetrator of domestic violence. But in this beautiful glass chapel at his former school in Bogota, the family of four is immured together with a simple plaque bearing the names and dates of each.

‘She was a warrior,’ her father Ernesto says. She was also beautiful, charismatic and funny. As the Mass proceeds and the two families and their friends prepare to receive the body of Christ, I see Ernesto and Alicia standing straight and perfectly still. I marvel that two people who have been dealt what must be the worst blow parents could suffer at the hands of another, have the strength and the grace not just to say, but to live with the utmost dignity the words we at that moment join in repeating together, Perdona nuestras ofensas, como también nosotros perdonamos a los que nos ofenden. ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”


The Entrance Parish celebrates Night of Light The Night of Light came about as an initiative to reclaim Halloween. By Alison Meilak


he origins of Halloween – or All Hallows’ Eve – as it is originally known, is the evening before All Saints Day. The Saints followed Jesus – the Light of the World – in their own generation and we are called to do the same in our own time. For far too long, the true and original meaning of Halloween has been hidden by our society’s celebration of images of death, horror and darkness (skeletons and bloody crime scene reconstructions anyone?) Surely our children deserve to know the truth about this holy night! The idea of a Night of Light party came from watching a YouTube clip featuring a previous Night of Light event, posted by its founders, the Cor Et Lumen Christi (the Heart and Light of Christ) community, based in the United Kingdom. It is a celebration which is about light, not darkness, and life not death. Alicia Klein-Schiphorst and I, as coordinators of the Our Lady of the Rosary, The Entrance Kids Club, wanted to offer the children and families of our parish a similar

experience. The opportunity to learn about the true meaning of Halloween, and to offer them a better time than if they were out trick or treating. From a safety viewpoint, this makes a lot more sense. Parents are always instructing their children not to take food from strangers, yet on Halloween night parents do the very opposite and send their children out TO strangers to collect food treats. At the Night of Light party, lots of fun games had been organised for the children to take part in and they enjoyed these games tremendously. The children were bubbling with excitement and it was such a joy to hear the never-ending laughter coming from them. The children were encouraged to dress as their favourite Saint. The idea being that as the parents were helping their children prepare their Saint costume, the child would get to learn more about that Saint. Alternatively they could dress in white. White is a symbol of Light. By wearing white, the children were reminded that this is a day of Light.

barbecue dinner to the families that were present. This helped to build a greater sense of community and during which, many of the parents expressed their gratitude for their children having the opportunity to attend the Night of Light and all it represented. The room in which the Night of Light party was held, had previously been set up with images of Saints (and a short biography on their life) around the walls of the room, as well as candles brightly lit. Following the barbecue, the children were invited to walk around the room and read the Saints’ biographies. Then all were invited to share about their favourite Saint, or one of the Saints they had just read about – and why.

We talked about how these Saints were to be a reminder to us of those that have lived before us. They lived their life for God, and were a beacon of His Light in their generation. They are now the witnesses to God’s Glory in Heaven. The lit candles are a reminder of how our lives must also shine bright in the darkness of this world, as we are witnesses to our generation of God’s Love for this world. To illustrate this point, all present stood in a circle holding a candle. The lights were turned out and starting from Fr Bill, all lit their candles, one after the other, symbolising the passing of Christ’s Light from one person to another. Everyone took the candles home, as a continuing reminder of this message.

After the games, we served a



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DECEMBER 2018 13


Wahroonga Parish celebrates 70th Anniversary Things have been busy at Holy Name Parish at Wahroonga in the last month.


o celebrate the Parish’s 70th Anniversary, the commissioning of a new Bell Tower took place on Sunday 28 October in the grounds at Holy Name. Parish Priest Fr David Ranson officially opened and blessed the

new bell tower. The bell has been at Wahroonga for 70 years, just sitting in the grounds, waiting for a tower so it could be hung. The project has been in the works for some time, and it was finally made possible thanks to the generosity of the Sullivan family, in honour of John Sullivan, who passed away in 2010.

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Following the official ceremony, parishioners were treated to a delicious gourmet lunch in the gardens. On Sunday 11 November 2018, on the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day, a Remembrance Garden was officially opened and blessed

at Holy Name. The garden was made possible through a generous bequest left to the Parish by Marie Shortis, who passed away in November 2017. Marie was a much-loved parishioner and organist at Holy Name for many years and the garden is a lovely way to honour and remember her.


Broken Bay Catechists celebrated at Annual Mass Catechists from the Diocese of Broken Bay were celebrated for the wonderful volunteer work they do across the Diocese at the Annual Mass held on 3 November at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara.


uring Mass, a special ceremony was held to honour those catechists we lost in the past year. A rose was placed with a book of remembrance for each catechist who passed away, 19 roses in total this year.

the Word of hope, of possibility and of promise. As bearers of the good news to the children with whom we share the story of grace, we seek, in the Spirit, to awaken a hope, a possibility and a promise in their hearts.

In his homily, Fr David Ranson, Diocesan Administrator, paid tribute to the catechist volunteers.

“To be sent forth with such a Word, that Word which opens new vistas for the imagination, is no easy task, however. It is not easy precisely because of the changing and challenging times in which we live. “

“The ministry of catechesis is the ministry of sharing

After Mass, Service Awards were given to long-serving volunteer catechists. A special mention goes to Leonie Monteleone from Pittwater Parish who received her 40 Year Service Award. An amazing effort and proven dedication to her ministry! Congratulations to all the Award Recipients and thank you for your dedicated work in bringing Special Religious Education to the children in our public schools in Broken Bay.

Award Recipients 15 Year Service Award Tomislav Beram.....................................................St Ives Souad Camilleri.....................................................Chatswood Alain Corne...........................................................Gosford Cecilia Cornejo......................................................Terrigal Mary Harrison........................................................Pymble Anne Horsley.........................................................Lindfield Killara Maria (Marybelle) Ignacio.......................................Pennant Hills Jan McCrae..........................................................Pittwater Andree Nash.........................................................Pymble Louise Michelle Wareham......................................Manly Freshwater 20 Year Service Award (Papal Blessing) Loenor Maria (Nina) Deacon...................................Epping Carlingford Deacon Roberto Corpuz.........................................Hornsby Daniela Da Silva....................................................Pennant Hills /Epping Carlingford Christine Kocsis.....................................................Pittwater Mary O’Connor......................................................Pittwater Tom Ryan..............................................................Pittwater


25 Year Service Award Val Schmidt...........................................................Kincumber Bishop Patrick Murphy Award (30 Year Service Award) Jan Donnelly.........................................................Frenchs Forest Cheryl Anne Barany...............................................Gosford Lesley Faye Highfield.............................................The Lakes Janette Kachel......................................................Ku ring-gai Chase/Hornsby John Quirk............................................................Lindfield Killara Maureen A Rutlidge...............................................The Lakes Maureen Wooldridge..............................................Pittwater 35 Year Service Award Wendy McGowan...................................................Hornsby Therese Adamski...................................................Pymble / Hornsby 40 Year Service Award Leonie Monteleone................................................Pittwater DECEMBER 2018 15


The best part was watching the children enjoying themselves, singing together, working as a team. Choir Games 2018: A Magnificent Treasure! St Philip Neri Church at Northbridge in the Lower North Shore Parish was the venue for this year’s Diocesan Children’s Choir Games, held on Sunday 21 October. BY PATRICIA SMITH, 2018 CHOIR GAMES DIRECTOR


his fun, exciting event gathers young people from different parishes throughout the Diocese once a year for an afternoon of singing, socialising and games. On arrival the young people are formed into

three separate choirs which then take part in workshops, rehearse together and then compete against each other in a concert setting for family and parishioners. This year the participants learned songs in four different languages other than English and competed enthusiastically in a

Skills Challenge where they had to add dance movements to their singing. The three choirs were directed by Adeline Kassis, cantor from Lower North Shore Parish, Anjali d’Cunha from Willoughby Girls High School and Abbie Truman from Oxford Falls Grammar who together with Alicia Fiedler, from Mater Maria, Warriewood, directed the winning Green Choir. I was particularly impressed with the way that the young directors had their newly-formed choirs singing in parts, with actions and dancing, after only a short time for preparation. The Choir Games, sponsored by the Office for Evangelisation, came to Lower North Shore Parish this year through the support of Parish Priest, Fr Brian Moloney and Parish Director of Music, Lisa Lewis, who acted as overall Coordinator for the 2018 Games and brought everything together brilliantly on the day. Special guest, Fr David Ranson, our Diocesan Administrator, was moved to describe the Games as a ‘magnificent treasure’ for the Diocese, bringing together as it does young people active in music ministry from different parishes, to learn together and share good times. The audience was impressed by the wealth of talent among the children and young adults who participated. As one parent shared, “The best part was watching the children enjoying themselves, singing together, working as a team. It’s a great platform for greater involvement in parish life.”

16 DECEMBER 2018


Charity Race Day raises money for our Hospital Chaplains The 15th Annual Broken Bay Charity Race Day was held on 1 November at The Entertainment Grounds, Gosford and was once again a fantastic day.


his year, all funds raised went to the CatholicCare Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care services. With thanks to our generous sponsors and patrons on the day, $27,239.56 will go directly to the program. Pastoral Care in the hospital setting is the ministry of presence, “being for others” to patients, families and staff. That often includes; building relationships, engaging a Catholic priest, listening to life stories without judgment, articulating empathy and respect, nourishing, sustaining and guiding, particularly in times of grief and trauma, enlivening the spirit and providing Sacraments, ritual and prayer when requested. In an average year, our Pastoral Care Practitioners make around 7000 visits which include some 4000

individuals, most of whom are patients, many family members, friends of patients and some hospital staff as well. These professionals work alongside our Priests and volunteer Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion from local parishes who provide sacramental support at each hospital. Every week Extraordinary Ministers bring Holy Communion to the sick and are often the first point of contact with the patient. This is a most profound participation in the healing ministry of Jesus because it reaches out to maintain a connection for people with their community of faith. Together, as a team, they offer dignity and hope to those in hospital, in confronting, isolating and unknown environments and restore a sense of belonging and community. Many thanks to our Charity Race Day major

sponsors WN Bull Funerals, Makinson d’Apice Lawyers, Paynter Dixon, Pitcher Partners, Artel Constructions, B-MAC Constructions and Modular Building Systems. Your continued support year after year is very much appreciated! Also special thanks to our Table Challenge sponsor Blue Moon Accounting & Finance and our raffle sponsors Black Belt Martial Arts Hornsby, Virtunet, Dell, Lowes Schoolwear, Captain Cook Cruises, Popolate, Featherdale Wildlife Park, Julie’s Place, diggers@theentrance and the Australiana Pioneer Village. A big thank you to Hazel Lim, Event and Conference Coordinator, Diocese of Broken Bay, who organised this wonderful event. See you all next year!

DECEMBER 2018 17


Sporting Prowess Two students from the Diocese have made great progress in sport this year.


nnika Boyd, a Year 11 student at MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale, was selected to play in the All Australian Girls Golfing team and won a Bronze medal for the 36-hole stroke event at the School Sport Australia Golf Championships in Coffs Harbour. She also won the Match Play competition as a member of the NSW Girls team. “I thank everyone at MacKillop for their encouragement and support as I achieved this major goal,” said Annika, who plans to move to the USA to pursue her golfing passion after school.

Opal Bird, a Year 6 student from St Kieran’s Catholic School, Manly Vale, was selected into three PSSA (Primary Schools Sports Association) NSW sports teams in 12 months. Last year, when she was still in Year 5, Opal was chosen for the State basketball team and competed in the Pacific School Games in Adelaide. This year, Opal was chosen for both the netball and basketball teams, as well as being Team Captain for both. “I have met wonderful friends, learnt so much from my coaches and had a lot of fun playing sport,” said Opal.

St Joseph’s win Oztag Championship The Oztag team at St Joseph’s Catholic College, East Gosford took out the Central Coast Regional Tournament this year, qualifying to play at the NSW Oztag Champion of Champions tournament in Penrith.


hen the Penrith games clashed with the National Touch League finals in Queensland, St Joseph’s realised they would be short two of their most experienced players and their coach, Jo Kelleher. But younger students stepped up and with Principal Tony McCudden standing in for Ms Kelleher, the team won three out of four of their games.

winning the Champion of Champions tournament in 2017. Ms Kelleher, the PDHPE teacher at St

Joseph’s, is a former Australian Oztag player and very enthusiastic coach.

They made it through to the semi-finals, where they were defeated in a very close match (3-2) by Woolooware High School. St Joseph’s has a great Oztag history including

Flying High for Socktober Students, teachers and even the Parish Priest pulled up their craziest socks at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic School, Forestville to raise money for Catholic Mission in October.


s part of Mission Month, the whole school participated in their annual Socktober celebration, with students wearing their most eccentric sock designs to school. “It really outdid our expectations,” said Stefanie Thom, Religious Education Coordinator at the school, who organised the event. “We had a gherkin pair of socks and a few of the students stitched their own designs. It was great to see them getting so creative.” The whole school took part in a Mass where Fr Jose

18 DECEMBER 2018

Philip reminded the teachers and students of God’s Mission of helping and supporting others in need. The Year 6 Liturgy and Social Justice Team organised a ‘Create, Make and Fly’ Paper Plane Competition where students used recycled paper to create elaborate flying machines. Students competed to fly their planes and even Fr Jose tried his hand. The school raised $650 from these two initiatives which was given to Catholic Mission to support the education of children in Myanmar.


Teaching in Cambodia In October, three teachers from the Diocese of Broken Bay held a teaching conference in Cambodia for local teachers.


irsty Thorpe, Assistant Principal at Our Lady of Dolours, Chatswood started the project this year through her close ties with a rural village in Cambodia where she has formerly lived and worked. Ms Thorpe travelled to Cambodia with Natalie Ingrim from St John The Apostle, Narraweena and Nicole Adeline, also from Our Lady of Dolours, to hold the conference which covered topics including effective behaviour management, English phonics and teaching literacy. More than 30 teachers from across Cambodia attended the conference, which

Ms Thorpe described as “life-affirming and life-altering” for both the Diocesan teachers and the conference attendees. The great success of the conference sees Ms Thorpe planning another conference in the October 2019 school holidays, with more teachers from Broken Bay. Kirsty first worked in Cambodia at a Child Rescue Centre in 2015, housing around 30 children with traumatic pasts of family abuse and abandonment. Since then, Kirsty has continued to support the children and village by visiting each year and fundraising.

Our Lady of the Rosary Wins at Wakakirri


Students from Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School, Wyoming took out three of the top prizes at the annual Wakakirri dance competition this year with their production, ‘Fly, Little Birdy, Fly.’

he School was awarded Best Teamwork, Best Backstage Team and Best Public Speakers which was especially exciting being the first year the School had entered the Wakakirri Competition. They also won the Best History Biographical Story Award in the New Schools Category. BROKEN BAY NEWS

The Wakakirri Story Dance Competition is the largest school performing arts competition in Australia and is open to all schools across the country. Teachers Mahalia Keevers-Ryles and Georgia Kevin were responsible for the performance,

which told the story of Australian aviation pioneer Nancy Bird-Walton, who became Australia’s first female commercial pilot. Judge Katie Kermond said, “Excellent set, storytelling and commitment from all cast and crew. Highly entertaining. Wonderful work.” DECEMBER 2018 19


You Can Sit With Me This year, Holy Cross Catholic School, Kincumber have introduced the ‘You Can Sit With Me’ kindness and anti-bullying initiative.


he school chooses 14 ‘Kindness Ambassadors’ from the student body every term to wear a highly visible wristband and hat which allows children to approach them in the school yard.

Max Judd, a student at the school, said, “I was so proud to be a Kindness Ambassador. I’ve encouraged a Year 4 student to join in a game and I also paired two students who were on the Buddy Bench and they became friends.”

Children know that if they approach a Kindness Ambassador they will be welcomed and invited to sit or play, no questions asked. Ambassadors also look for children who appear to be alone or who are sitting on the Buddy Bench.

Recently, Holy Cross also held a ‘Random Act of Kindness Day’ where students were given secret missions to show kindness, and paper chains were joined whenever students witnessed an act of kindness.

…Holy Cross also held a ‘Random Act of Kindness Day’ where students were given secret missions to show kindness…

Public Speaking Grand Final 2018


In September, Year Six students from across the Diocese of Broken Bay competed in the Tony Whelan Public Speaking Grand Final at St Patrick’s Catholic School, Asquith. abriella May from Sacred Heart, Mona Vale took out the gold medal for her speech on ethical fashion.

Second place went to Cholet Murray from Sacred Heart, Pymble for her speech entitled “a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z: only 26 characters, but they can make you laugh or cry, fall in love or go to war.”

20 DECEMBER 2018

The bronze medal was given to Isabella Mortimer, also from Sacred Heart, Pymble, who was inspired by a quote from Mahatma Gandhi for her speech on strength. The audience enjoyed a piano recital by a Year Six student from Prouille, Wahroonga while the adjudicators made their decisions. Other finalists included Fraser Ball (Holy

Cross, Kincumber), Zannah Dixon (Maria Regina, Avalon), Ashley Haydon (Our Lady of the Rosary, Waitara), Vanesa HeienRamos (St John’s, Narraweena), Madison Homan (St Brendan’s, Lake Munmorah), Harry Mangos (Holy Cross, Kincumber), Sophie McGrath (Prouille, Wahroonga), Emily Morris (St Cecilia’s, Balgowlah), and Finlay Smith (St Mary’s, Toukley).


Mission Project Day Students from schools across the Northern Beaches came together in October to celebrate Mission Project Day at St Paul’s Catholic College in Manly.


ixty primary students from various schools attended a workshop to address the mission focus of “Education – a right for all children.” The students developed a plan to take back to their schools. Eighteen secondary students from St Paul’s and Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood were

mentors for the primary students during the workshop and also developed a school action plan.

Penh during the July school holidays teaching English and Maths to orphaned children.

The key presenters included Ms Kirsty Thorpe, Assistant Principal at Our Lady of Dolours, Chatswood, who spoke about her volunteer work in Cambodia, and St Paul’s students from Year 10 and 11, who spoke about their charity work in Phnom

Jack Berne, a Year 4 student at St John the Baptist, Freshwater and the founder of the Fiver for a Farmer initiative, shared his experiences visiting children in the country. His short but powerful presentation was about his desire to help farmers in need.

Broken Bay students receive Fred Hollows Humanity Awards Three Year 6 students of Our Lady of Dolours Catholic School, Chatswood, each recently received the Fred Hollows Humanity Award at NSW Parliament House.


personalised cards and attached them to sandwich bags for those in need, and got their classmates involved in helping make the cards.

Hope from Our Lady of Dolours participated in a charity walk to raise awareness of animal cruelty and became a vegetarian for her love of animals.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes directed his speech towards the importance of education in forming excellent citizens and that it is vital to have awards dedicated to humanitarian achievements. The awards encourage students to show compassion, integrity and kindness and make a positive difference in their school and/or the wider community.

hree Year 6 students of Our Lady of Dolours Catholic School, Chatswood, and two students from Our Lady of Good Counsel, Forestville, all recently received the Fred Hollows Humanity Award at NSW Parliament House.

Ryan and Lucas shaved their heads for cancer and raised money for this cause. The boys were motivated out of their comradery for a friend’s mother who has cancer. These three young people have demonstrated great citizenship through their actions for others. Daniel and Mark were recognised for their compassion and dedication to a project that seeks to improve the lives of the homeless. They made


Gabi Hollows, wife of the late Fred Hollows and the founding director of his Foundation, also addressed the students with words of wisdom. Gabi said that Fred’s kindness to others started with his family. He then followed his dreams to become a dedicated humanitarian who championed the rights of all people to access affordable, high-quality eye care.

He used his skills to restore sight to thousands of people around the world and worked hard to improve the health of Indigenous Australians. “The greatest attribute of mankind is our ability to help one another.” Fred Hollows

DECEMBER 2018 21


Bishop’s Religious Visual Arts Prize showcases talent in Broken Bay This year, 2018 artworks were received and judged on the first day of the ‘Sweeter than Honey’: Teaching Scripture Summit on 25 July at the Northside Conference Centre, St Leonards.


tudents were invited to create a visual artwork inspired by Scripture related to the theme, “Sweeter than Honey”. Students from Year 3 to Year 10 were invited to prayerfully select a favourite verse of Scripture from the Old or New Testament and to decorate and/ or illustrate it using a traditional or contemporary form of illumination. Students from Kindergarten to

Year 2 could submit an illustration of a Biblical story or verse that they liked. All were asked to share a reflection on the meaning and significance of the verse and to include it with their submission. Each year sees an increase in the number of artworks submitted as entries to the Bishop’s Religious Visual Arts Prize Exhibition. The Diocesan level artworks

were judged by a panel of experts including Mervyn Soares, Professional graphic designer and Illustrator, Jenny Langford, Former Education Officer Diocese of Parramatta and Jillian Young, Senior Secondary art teacher at MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale. All three judges commented on the high quality of the art works and the thoughtfulness

of the students’ interpretations of the theme. The artistic and spiritual reflections included by the artists also contributed to the judging decisions. On 23 October 2018, prizes were presented to the winners by Very Rev Dr David Ranson, Diocesan Administrator and Mr Peter Hamill, Director of Schools, at the Caroline Chisholm Centre in a special awards ceremony.

2018 – Bishop’s Religious Visual Art Prize winners Early Stage 1 (Kindergarten) 1st Place




Holy Family


Joseph the Dreamer

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher



St John the Baptist


Jonah and the Whale

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher



Maria Regina


Noah’s Ark

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher



St Joseph’s


Noah’s Ark

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher



St Joseph’s


Noah’s Ark

Stage 1 (Year 1 & Year 2) Evie


St Rose

Collaroy Plateau

Let the Children Come

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher



St Rose

Collaroy Plateau

Where Two Or More Are Gathered There…

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher


Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

1st Place



St Agatha’s

Pennant Hills


Our Lady of Dolours


Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand



Holy Family


Where Two Or More Are Gathered There…



St Mary’s


“The Last Supper” Luke 22:7-20


St Philip Neri


“Love is Patient, Love is Kind” Corinthians 13:4

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher Isabella Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher

Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4) 1st Place


Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher Charlotte Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher



St Rose

Collaroy Plateau

“God looked at what he had done and it was good” Genesis 1:12

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher



St Rose

Collaroy Plateau

“The Lord is My Strength and My Shield” Psalm 28:7



St Mary’s


“O Lord Your Words are sweeter than Honey” Psalm 119





“Your eyes are like a window for your body…” Luke 11:34-36

Stage 3 (Years 5 & 6) 1st Place


Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher Jonathan McCann



“Fear not for I am with you ….” Isaiah 41

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher



St Kieran’s

Manly Vale

“Do not be afraid I am with you” Isaiah 43:5

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher



St Mary’s


“From deep in the world of the dead, I begged for your help…” Jonah 2:2



Mercy College


“Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey him” Mark 4:41

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher



Mercy College


“I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener” John 15:1

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher



Stella Maris College


“Through him God made all things…” him” John 1:3

Stage 4 (Years 7 & 8) 1st Place


Stage 5 (Years 9 & 10) Rose

MacKillop College


“He Makes Beauty Out Of Ashes” Isaiah 61:3

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher Samuel

1st Place


MacKillop College


“Be On Your Guard; Stand Firm In Faith; Be Courageous Be Strong” 1 Cor 16:13

Honourable Mention $30 Art Supplies Voucher Jessica


St Leo’s College


“For God So Loved The World He Gave Us His Only Son” John 3:16

22 DECEMBER 2018



EDUCATION 2018 – Bishop’s Religious Visual Art Prize winners (cont.)

Oscar Chen

Evie Murphy

Eloise Taylor

Alexea Mullan

Caitlyn McNally

Stage 5 winner – Melanie Rose

A new local Christmas Concert resource for schools


Huge congratulations to Mrs Brigid McNally, Music Teacher at Holy Family Catholic School, Lindfield, who has launched her Christmas Concert CD “Born in a Lowly Stable” (A Complete Christmas Concert CD).

he resource includes a CD with 9 Nativity based songs the children will love to sing (with backing tracks) and a resource book with music scores, lyrics and the choice of two scripts for the concert. There is also a power point presentation for the children to learn the words. The students at Holy Family were invited to submit a Nativity picture for Mrs McNally to use in the resource. Holy Family students will be performing Mrs McNally’s Christmas concert this year at the Carols night on 7 December.

You can check out the website www. to see the children’s art and hear a snippet of the songs on the CD. For schools who have already organised their Christmas Concert for this year, keep this fantastic resource in mind for 2019! BROKEN BAY NEWS

DECEMBER 2018 23


St Rose Parishioners celebrate 70th Wedding Anniversary St Rose parishioners Cliff and Joan Parker of Collaroy Plateau, aged 96 and 95 respectively, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on 6 November 2018.


liff and Joan were inaugural foundation members of St Rose Parish Church in Collaroy Plateau, which is now part of The Lakes Catholic Parish. When they moved from Wagga Wagga in January 1967 with six children aged 17 to 3 years, there was no church on the Plateau and Mass was held in the hall in Hall Ave until funds were raised to commence building of the current church, St Rose of Lima, which was completed in 1967. Both have been involved in various voluntary roles in the parish community for over 40 years. Cliff was a member of the finance committee for 14 years, in which time funds were raised to build the rear timber verandas at St Rose Catholic School and to pay off the Parish debt from the Parish contribution to the establishment

of Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood. Cliff’s last volunteer role was as the school gardener in 2016-18 for the Year 3 class to impart his knowledge of composting and growing your own vegetables, a hobby he continues to enjoy. Joan in earlier years was secretary of the Catholic Women’s League and secretary of the Catechist group. She also assisted Cliff with parish finance duties as needed which included weekly banking. Joan later became a Eucharistic Minister and is now grateful to be receiving Communion from one of the ministers now that she is less mobile and visually impaired. Cliff and Joan have received three different Papal Blessings for milestones of their marriage and this year their Parish Priest Fr Robert Borg blessed them at their home on their anniversary. Joan


Cliff and Joan have received three different Papal Blessings for milestones of their marriage… has always believed in the power of prayer and is grateful for their married life, the blessing of six healthy children and their extended families. She continues to pray for all her family. They were also part of the St Rose

Parish family group for some years. Due to their age, they are no longer able to be active members of the Parish. Their contribution over the years is very much appreciated. Congratulations Cliff and Joan on a wonderful 70 years of marriage!

…serving the Diocese of Broken Bay since 1967 Rebecca Pincott Michael Bolton

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Annual Mass and Dinner for Religious On 7 November 2018, the Religious who serve in the Diocese of Broken Bay were invited to a special Mass and dinner to thank them for their ongoing work to serve the people of God. This year, Fr David Ranson, Diocesan Administrator, invited Sisters, Brothers and Priests belonging to Religious orders to his parish at Holy Name, Wahroonga. Guests were treated to a lovely dinner at the Priory, organised by Chancery Staff. The plan was to hold a garden party in a marquee in the grounds, but the weather decided that wasn’t to be, with constant rain all day. Instead, guests were seated at tables around the Priory, on verandas, in the sun room and inside in the dining room. All agreed it was a lovely night! “Thank you for being prophetic agents in our own local Church of Broken Bay,” said Fr David in his homily.

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Your words O LORD are sweeter than honey.

Sweeter than honey Teaching Scripture Summit ‘Tasting and Teaching Scripture’ was the theme of a professional learning initiative for 300 teachers from Broken Bay Catholic schools held in July 2018.


he two-day gathering at Northside Conference Centre, St Leonards took its inspiration from Psalm 119: Your words O LORD are sweeter than honey. Over two days, participants were immersed in the riches of God’s Word, honing practical strategies for exploring Scripture in the classroom. Acclaimed biblical scholar, Fr

Nicholas King SJ (Oxford University), was keynote speaker, joined by several well-known Australian educators including Dr Michele Connolly, Bishop David Walker, Mr Martin Scroope, Dr Margaret Carswell, Dr Dan White and Rabbi Gad Krebs, as well as 20 Broken Bay teachers who stepped up to the podium to share ‘best practice’ in the classroom. Between them, 48

workshops were offered, presenting approaches as diverse as lectio divina, Ignatian spirituality, historicalcritical methods, traditional Jewish approaches, the use of music, art, drama, technology and of course the liturgical context. The Summit was enriched by the presence of State School catechists and parents. Liturgies came

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Virginia Ryan, Assistant Director at Catholic Schools Office Broken Bay, points out that the Summit forms part of a broader formation focus. “We deliberately called this a ‘Summit’, because it included a considerable lead-up and has a continuing follow up. ‘Coming down’ from the Summit we have sent teachers away with resources to take their experience of the Word back to their schools. A number of schools have already implemented training days to share the fruits of the Summit with their staff. In 2019 we hope to repeat the Summit experience for a new group of participating teachers.” Teaching resources emerging from the 2018 Teaching Scripture Summit are being made available in print and online

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alive with the dramatic talents of students, along with musicians and singers, from the Diocese of Broken Bay. The two-day event included an art prize and book-website launch on the Summit theme. A joyful, festive spirit prevailed.

Sweeter Than Honey: Teaching Scripture Summit was generously made possible with the help of a number of key sponsors including Australian Catholic Superannuation, Scholastic Australia, Bible Society, John Garratt Publishing, and LivingWell Media.


St Pius X Chatswood raises money to support drought-stricken Communities St Pius X College Chatswood encourages all people to build community and recently raised and donated $30,000 to the support the drought-stricken Coonabarabran community.


he funds were raised through local donations and by running a Drought Relief Jewellery raffle. $20,000 was donated to Coonabarabran’s St Vincent de Paul Society to be distributed to those in need and $10,000 donated to Coonabarabran High (CHS) to be used to buy vouchers from local businesses to be put in ‘Treat the Land’ care hampers. The College also collected, and hand delivered, a truck load of ‘Treat the Land Hampers’, consisting of everyday goods and special treats that were distributed to Coonabarabran High families. Ms Mary Doolan, CHS relieving Principal, said, “we feel quite overwhelmed by St Pius X College’s generosity and are certain that their care baskets will make a difference to the families of our school community.” “The College values developing ongoing and mutually rewarding partnerships with communities such as Coonabarabran, so it was heart-warming to see so many students and members of our community getting behind this project to support Australian farmers, their families and the wider community during these tough times,” said St Pius X College Principal John Couani.

“It was only possible through the generous jewellery donation by Bowerhaus and the hard work of Social Justice Co-ordinator, David Blake who was instrumental in developing a close working relationship with Coonabarabran High and St Vincent de Paul, to ensure the money goes to supporting the greater community, with a particular focus on connecting with the young people who may be missing out because of the drought.” Coonabarabran High Prefect Sam Abbott in a letter of thanks to St Pius X College said “My family has farmed this land for generations and we sure have seen the best and worst of times. It is truly amazing when our country unites and stands together in times of need. Your contribution to our pupils shows the true meaning of Australian mateship, it inspires hope and promise for the future and gives a smile to the faces dimmed by this terrible drought.” BROKEN BAY NEWS

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Family Day Care ... a home away from home Family Day Care, for many working parents, is the next best thing to being at home themselves with their children. Family Day Care is approved child care that focuses on each individual child’s development, while providing high quality early learning in an Educator’s own home. Children enjoy a natural approach to play and discovery, and form genuine, lasting bonds with their qualified and passionate Early Childhood Educator, while you enjoy peace of mind, knowing your child is happy in a nurturing, natural and flexible home learning environment. It is often thought of as a home away from home. Each of our Educators has been carefully selected and all are qualified Early Childhood professionals. We have a team dedicated to providing continuous support, mentoring and monitoring of the care. If you want close relationships for your child, CatholicCare Family Day Care is a great fit. Other benefits are: • •

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Children are nurtured in a small group setting with Educators caring for a maximum of 4 children at a time. Children are cared for in a home environment and have the consistency of the same nurturing Educator each time they are in care. This aids settling, building close relationships and a sense of belonging. Children receive a more personalised and targeted program, tailored to their interests and developmental needs. Flexibility of hours and care arrangements. Hourly fees start from $10.20 (this can vary from Educator to Educator). Our services are Child Care Subsidy (CCS) approved.

Each of our Educators is unique, as are their programs. We help to match you with a placement that best meets your child’s needs. Once you have chosen your child’s Educator, orientation visits will be organised to allow for a smooth transition for your child. Our Educators are located in: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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Enrolments open for our Early Learning Centres Our Early Learning Centres are contemporary purpose-built preschools located on the grounds of our local primary schools. We pride ourselves on providing supportive and safe environments, where play and discovery allows for children to become confident and aware, explore new interests, problem solve and think creatively. Fees start at $20 per day, and all our ELCs are Child Care Subsidy approved. We currently have five ELCs located at: Forestville Our Lady of Good Counsel ELC 11 Currie Road P: (02) 9452 3069 E: Lake Munmorah St Brendan’s ELC 29a Carters Road P: (02) 4358 1102 E: Terrigal Our Lady Star of the Sea ELC 165 Serpentine Road P: (02) 4365 3222 E: Waitara Waitara ELC 29 Yardley Avenue P: (02) 9488 2400 E: Woy Woy St John the Baptist ELC 21a Dulkara Road P: (02) 4344 1173 E:

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Local emergency personnel honoured On 21 September, Toukley-Lake Munmorah Parish took time out to thank local emergency workers, volunteers and their families at the annual Thanksgiving prayer service and morning tea at St Brigid’s Catholic College, Lake Munmorah.


tudents from St Brigid’s and St Mary’s Catholic School, Toukley joined the Clergy and Parish Council to thank local Police, volunteers and State Emergency Service (SES) members for the time and bravery they show in the line of duty. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to hear from those who defend us and support us in times of crisis and why they do what they

do. This may spark in young people a desire to be an active community member. Volunteers, members of the emergency services and several students were invited to a sumptuous morning tea afterwards.

taken to hosting the thanksgiving morning tea and prayer service to show their support.

The Central Coast is sometimes exposed to natural disasters and other events such as bushfires, storms, floods, serious car accidents and crime. For the past six years, the Parish has

Police officer Beth said it was a “great opportunity for me to share how much I love being a police officer and what it means to me to be helping and protecting people.”

SES member Vivian described the morning as a “wonderful experience.”

A prepaid funeral to honour a very special life The celebration of a life takes careful planning and is too important to leave to just anyone. In the 125 years WN Bull Funerals has been serving the people of Sydney there has been significant growth and change in the community. We are proud to have been able to readily adapt to these changes and remain compassionate, sensitive and responsive to the needs and wishes of our client families. The recommendation of a tailored prepaid funeral plan is part of WN Bull’s proud heritage of providing real comfort and personalised care for the deceased and their families. A WN Bull prepaid funeral will ensure that every detail is attended to so that the life lived is the life celebrated. Paid in today’s prices it’s also a sound financial decision. When the care you seek is unconditional – talk to us.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones for the Christmas season. 30 DECEMBER 2018

NEWS AND ISSUES DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY Diocesan Office: Tel (02) 8379 1600 Caroline Chisholm Centre Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd Pennant Hills NSW 2120 (Access off City View Rd) PO Box 340 Pennant Hills NSW 1715

CHANCERY OFFICES Diocesan Administrator Very Rev Dr David Ranson Office of the Diocesan Administrator Senior Advisor, Director, Communications Annie Carrett Chancellor Jo Robertson Diocesan Financial Administrator, Director, Office for Stewardship: Emma McDonald Director, Office for Evangelisation: Daniel Ang Director, Diocesan Office for Safeguarding Jodie Crisafulli Tel: (02) 8379 1605 Director, Marriage Tribunal: Adrienne Connaghan Tel: (02) 8379 1680 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Alison Newell

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS OFFICE Director: Peter Hamill Tel (02) 9847 0000 PO Box 967 Pennant Hills NSW 1715

CATHOLICCARE Executive Director: Lyn Ainsworth Tel: (02) 9481 2600 PO Box 966 Pennant Hills 1715 Children’s Services: Tel: (02) 9481 2660 Family Centres: Brookvale – Tel: (02) 8968 5100 Naremburn – Tel: (02) 8425 8700 Waitara – Tel: (02) 9488 2400 Warnervale – Tel: (02) 4356 2600 Foster and Residential Care: Tel: (02) 4320 7700

Religious freedom should not be taken for granted Through the eyes of one young woman, this series will explore what it means to be Catholic in the modern world. Starting with what it means to be a single Catholic and ending with social issues such as SameSex Marriage, this series hopes to provide a fresh perspective on the issues that are all too important. BY CATHERINE DAY


e are lucky to be living in Australia. We are lucky because we are free to say what we want, do what we want and be who we want. In Australia, we have laws that protect our freedoms, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I believe that far too often, we take for granted our freedoms, and assume that people all over the world are afforded the same. This is far from the truth. As we inch closer and closer to Christmas, we need to take a moment to consider our Christian brothers and sisters who are living in fear, for simply being Christians. Here is a fact that, when said in Australia, always seems impossible: Christianity is the most persecuted religion around the world. Back in 2015, it was estimated that around 7,100 Christians died for their faith. We might get upset about a figure like this for a few hours or days, but then we get on with our lives because, let us be honest, it does not affect us. But truthfully, we need to be outraged! On Friday 2 November 2018, there was a bus attack in central Egypt. Two busloads of pilgrims were heading home after having visited a monastery when gunmen opened

fire. Seven people were killed. This is not the first nor the last attack on Coptic Christians this year. But while we should be demanding that governments need to do more, we need to also pay attention to what is happening in countries like Egypt. I do not mean politically what is happening, but rather what the Christians are doing in response to the persecution. As far back as the early Church, Christians have been persecuted. This is nothing new. What is new is, perhaps, a lack of understanding for why it is happening. This can often lead to the question, why does God let bad things happen to good people? Truthfully, God is intimately involved with every aspect of our lives, but He does not control it. Ultimately, we make the choices in how we lead our lives. To be guided by our faith will enable ‘right’ choices to prevail. In countries like Australia, when something bad happens it almost becomes a sign that there is no God. However, in many countries the more bad things happen, the stronger the Church becomes. Despite ongoing pressures and hardships placed on the faithful, they become united in their defiance, tragically for many of them, it is a matter of life or death.

Because of our freedoms, it is extremely difficult for us to understand what it means to die for one’s faith. Religion and faith have become things that are more often than not, pushed to the back of our lives. Religion-wise, people go to church once a week (if at all) and once they leave the building, they go back to living a worldly way. Faith-wise, we have allowed cultural changes to chip away at our core beliefs. As a result, we have created a Santa God – he has a beard, is jolly and has little to do with us throughout the year. This God does not seem to want much from us, let alone die for Him. Yet, dying for their faith is what Christians are doing around the world. They understand that their religion, their faith, has to be at the forefront of everything they do. This is why when something bad happens, rather than turning their backs on God, they fall to their knees, worship, and glorify Him with every fibre of their being. We, as fellow Catholic Christians, need to not only understand the incredible hardship they are going through, but also, we need to copy their dedication to God. They are the examples we should be following; they are the beacons in the dark.

Mission, Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care (02) 9481 2658

BROKEN BAY NEWS Editor: Melissa Loughlin Tel: (02) 8379 1618 Design: Chris Murray Printed by NCP Printing 18,700 copies of the Broken Bay News are distributed monthly through 26 parishes and 44 schools in the Diocese of Broken Bay. The Broken Bay News is a member of the Australasian Catholic Press Association. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply diocesan endorsement of products or services advertised.

Bishop Emmanuel Bishay, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Luxor, in the burnt St George’s Coptic Cathedral, Luxor – burnt in a mysterious fire EGYPT / THEBES ET LOUXOR-CPT 16/00029. Renovation of Coptic Catholic Cathedral in Luxor (ROACO EGT. 196- II/2016 ). © Aid to the Church in Need.


DECEMBER 2018 31

Christmas Mass Times All are invited to join us this Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, 23 Yardley Ave, Waitara Christmas Eve 5.00pm Vigil 8.30pm Vigil Midnight (Carols from 11.30pm)

Christmas Day 8.00am 9.30am

For a full list of Christmas Mass times in parishes across the Diocese of Broken Bay, please visit: