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An experience of unmistakable grace

Vocations Awareness Month Chatswood Parish – connecting and growing in faith Plenary Council Discernment themes released





An experience of unmistakable grace As you would know I have recently travelled to Rome with the Bishops of Australia on their Ad Limina Apostolurum – their pilgrimage to the tombs of Sts Peter and Paul and to meet with the Holy Father, Pope Francis. BY FR DAVID RANSON


hrough the dispatches that have appeared on our Diocesan website you will have been able to follow the events of that remarkable journey. On the day following the conclusion of the Ad Limina, many of us were able to gather in St Peter’s Basilica for the Mass on the Feast Day of Sts Peter and Paul, 29 June. It was at this occasion that the pallia (the liturgical garment worn around the neck of Metropolitan Archbishops) were blessed. There were some 30 archbishops who had been appointed over the last year that were present, including Archbishop Peter A Comensoli of Melbourne – an extraordinary demonstration of the

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universality of our Church that finds its source of unity in the See of Peter, Rome. During this Mass, Pope Francis spoke beautifully of the vocation of the apostles. It was a simple but profound reflection on the call that Jesus makes to each of us. He made the point that when we reflect on these two great apostles, we have to ask the question: why did Jesus choose these two men upon which to build his Church? They were hardly people with unblemished histories! Why did the Lord not choose John or Barnabas – men better known for their finesse

The Lord does not work miracles with those who consider themselves righteous, but with those who know themselves needy.

NEWS AND ISSUES and capacity? As the Pope remarked, “We may wonder why the Lord chose not to give us two witnesses of utter integrity, with clean records and impeccable lives? Why Peter, when there was John? Why Paul, and not Barnabas?” Yet, as the Holy Father went on to say, there is a great teaching here for us: “The starting point of the Christian life is not our worthiness; in fact, the Lord was able to accomplish little with those who thought they were good and decent. Whenever we consider ourselves smarter or better than others, that is the beginning of the end. The Lord does not work miracles with those who consider themselves righteous, but with those who know themselves needy. He is not attracted by our goodness; that is not why he loves us. He loves us just as we are; he is looking for people who are not self-sufficient, but ready to open their hearts to him. Holiness is not a contest, but a question of entrusting our own poverty each day to the Lord, who does great things for those who are lowly. What was the secret that made them persevere amid weakness? It was the Lord’s forgiveness.”

In knowing the Lord’s forgiveness, we discover who we really are, observed the Holy Father. Then we can truly witness to Him. He “is more than a historical personage; he is a living person: he is newness, not things we have already seen, the newness of the future and not a memory from the past. The witness, then, is not someone who knows the story of Jesus, but someone who has experienced a love story with Jesus. The witness, in the end, proclaims only this: that Jesus is alive and that he is the secret of life.” As Pope Francis commented, “Jesus does not care about polls, past history or statistics. He is not looking for religion editors, much less “front page” or “statistical” Christians. He is looking for witnesses who say to him each day: “Lord, you are my life”. May each of us find the humility and the courage to whisper this deep within our hearts. We continue to wait for the appointment of our new Bishop. It seems that we will be waiting for a few more months yet. In the meantime, let us continue to pray for one another that we may give witness to the Lord of our lives.




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Korean Catholic Community recognised with new Chaplaincy The Korean Catholic Community in the Diocese of Broken Bay was formally recognised 1 July 2019 with the implementation of the new Korean Catholic Chaplaincy.


ork toward the Chaplaincy began in late 2015, when Bishop Peter A Comensoli began discussions with the local

Korean Catholics about providing a more stable and enduring identity for the community. There are some 1,800 Korean Catholics in

the Diocese and more than 400 families who gather for worship each weekend. With the installation of Bishop Peter as Archbishop of Melbourne, Diocesan Administrator Very Rev Dr David Ranson has taken up the torch to see the Korean Chaplaincy through to completion. “It is my privilege to share with you that after more than three years of consideration, the Korean Catholic Community is now recognised as its own entity in the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay,” said Fr David. “The Korean Catholic Chaplaincy now has its own entity in the Diocese and the capacity to exercise its life and future under the authority of the Bishop.” Fr Simon Seong Kyeong Park has been appointed Chaplain, with pastoral responsibility for the Chaplaincy as well as the administrative governance of the Community. Fr Simon had joined the Diocese from the Diocese of Incheon, South Korea in January. “The Korean community is very pleased with the new chaplaincy,” explained Fr Simon, who is enjoying his new challenges as Chaplain. “As a newcomer to Australia, my love for this area is about more than the great weather. The Church and the local community have been very kind to me and to the Koreanspeaking congregations.” Supporting his transition to life in the Diocese of Broken Bay are fellow Korean Priests Fr Paul Kim of Manly Freshwater Parish, Fr Eliseus Shin at Wahroonga and Fr Andrew Kim, chaplain at the Royal North Shore Hospital.

CH AR TE R FO R TH E KO R EA N CATH O LI C CH APLA IN CY 한인 천주교회 담당 사제을 위 한 헌장

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The new Korean Chaplaincy will enjoy some months of trial and the opportunity for adjustments before presenting the Chaplaincy to the new Bishop for his confirmation, explained Fr David.

“In our single Diocesan family, we have many different cultures, all of whom are important to acknowledge, to nurture and to celebrate – for each of them is a powerful means by which God reveals himself,” “We ardently hope he will express his confirmation in a solemn and festive celebration which will be a grand moment not only for the Korean Catholic Community but for the whole of our Diocese.” The establishment of the Korean Chaplaincy has taken place exactly two months after the launch of the Diocesan Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy under the leadership of Deacon Roberto Corpuz. “In our single Diocesan family, we have many different cultures, all of whom are important to acknowledge, to nurture and to celebrate – for each of them is a powerful means by which God reveals himself,” said Fr David. “Each of them has something to teach us about the mystery of God and of faith. May this time be one of grace and blessing for us all as we celebrate the communion of life we share out of our rich diversity.” For a copy of the Korean Catholic Chaplaincy Charter, go to www.bbcatholic.org.au

Exploring our missionary outreach


Chatswood Catholic Parish

... connecting and growing in faith If there’s one thing you can be certain of when you connect with Chatswood Catholic Parish, it is that you will receive a warm, personal welcome and an invitation to connect and grow in faith. BY DEBRA VERMEER


ocated in the busy, multicultural hub of Sydney’s North Shore, Our Lady of Dolours Church sits amidst the rush, offering everything from a few quiet moments during the day to a warm community experience at weekend Masses. Connected to the same precinct as the Church are the three Catholic schools within the Parish: Our Lady of Dolours Catholic Primary School, Mercy Catholic College and St Pius X Catholic College. Parish Priest, Fr Jim McKeon, who is assisted by Fr John Puliparambil, says the Parish seeks to welcome all-comers and to engage them in the life of the Parish. “Many of the people who come to Mass here are just passing by – they’re here in Chatswood shopping or going out to lunch,” he says. “That’s great. We love visitors, but it does mean that some of the people at Mass have a lower level of engagement in parish life. And it poses the challenge of us asking, ‘How do we create real community in the midst of this part-permanent and part-transient population?’”

Bernadette Ho was employed this year as the New Parishioner Engagement Co-ordinator and the focus of her role is to help people who seek a connection with the Parish feel welcome and provide pathways for them to engage with the Parish and ultimately deepen their faith in Jesus Christ, wherever they are on their faith journey. “Through Bernadette we have organised a Welcoming Team, where parishioners welcome people at the door when they arrive for Mass,” Fr Jim says. “But it’s broader than that. It’s about working with families who approach the Parish through baptisms, and the sacramental programs, to reach out to them personally and to engage them with some part of parish life.” Bernadette says she sees her position as being a “connector of people”.

“This is a new role and I’m still feeling my way, but it’s a great way to connect with new people and help give them a sense of belonging and to help them know what’s happening in the Parish,” she says. “A lot of my job is to give people my time so they feel known and seen, and to hear their story and create a pathway into the community.’ When a family approaches the Parish for baptism, for example, Bernadette will visit them personally, usually in their home. “Some of these families may have been away from the Church for a long time,” she says. “They may not have thought about their faith and so I see these visits as making a personal connection and welcoming them back into the faith life of the Church.”

One answer to that was simple: provide name tags for regular parishioners. “When you’re seeking to build community, knowing each other’s name is a good start,” Fr Jim says. The second recent initiative in building community was the creation of a new staff position in the Parish. BROKEN BAY NEWS

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Exploring our missionary outreach

Families seeking enrolment in the schools of the Parish, particularly Kindergarten families, are invited to a Parent Gathering, where Fr Jim, Bernadette and members of the Parish team spend time getting to know them. Fr Jim says that under the leadership of Adult Faith Formation Co-ordinator Gail Gill, the Parish is trying to engage parishioners in initiatives to help grow their faith. Drawing from American author Sherry Weddell’s best-selling book, Forming Intentional Disciples, Gail leads small group programs as well as larger groups of faith formation opportunities. “For instance, we have started a book club. Last year we read Where the Hell is God by Fr Richard Leonard SJ and we’re now reading For Christ’s Sake by Bishop Geoffrey Robinson,” Fr Jim says.

for building up a culture of engagement, so we’ll be pursuing that.”

initiatives that have seen the Parish welcome and engage students into the life of the Church.

The Parish has a Youth Ministry Co-ordinator, Adrian Brannan, who seeks to engage young people with their faith through two youth groups – a Teen Youth Group and the Acclaim Youth Ministry for young adults.

“One such initiative has been a special invitation for Mercy and St Pius X College students to lead the ministries at the Sunday Youth Mass once a month,” Suzanne says.

“The Teen Youth Group recently went out busking to raise money for Project Compassion and I took them for a bush hike in the school holidays. They are also part of a teen choir,” Fr Jim says. The three Schools and the Parish have a close relationship in involving students and their families in the life of the Parish community.

“(Emeritus) Bishop David Walker has given talks on Luke’s Gospel and we will soon be doing (Ignatian) Spiritual Exercises in small groups.

“Essentially, the school is blessed to have the dedication and enthusiasm of the clergy who complement the Religious Education programs in their regular visits to every classroom and also in the way a spirit of welcome circulates,” says Phil Ledlin, Principal of Our Lady of Dolours.

“The Parish Pastoral Council has identified the importance of small groups for spiritual growth and

Suzanne Kavanagh, Principal of Mercy Catholic College, says the School and Parish share various

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“The Parish has also wholeheartedly supported our College in the formation of our students with the introduction of a fortnightly Chapel Mass providing a regular opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist as a community. “Fr Jim has shown a strong commitment to the faith development of our students by attending our College Senior Retreats to offer our students the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to celebrate Mass as a Year group.” Students from Mercy and St Pius X have also taken part in the Alpha for Youth Program, and students from all three schools have participated in events such as the Parish Feast Day and the Parish Good Friday Passion Play, as well as donating food for Parish social justice initiatives.

Exploring our missionary outreach

“We enjoy a wonderful partnership with the Parish, working very closely with Fr Jim and Fr John,” says John Couani, Principal of St Pius X College. “The Parish youth ministry works across the three Schools and has created a really wonderful sense of community.” John says the Alpha for Youth Program, run in conjunction with the Parish, was a tremendous opportunity for students to grow and deepen their faith, with “some beautiful testimonies” shared afterwards at the Sunday Youth Mass. “And the partnership between the Parish and the Schools has resulted in a rich, sacramental and catechetical life. We are very blessed,” he says. Meanwhile, for the very young members of the Parish, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is offered in the Parish ‘Atrium’, under the enthusiastic guidance of Children’s Ministries Co-ordinator Angela Hague. Angela also coordinates the Parish’s sacramental programs and the Sunday 9.00am Family Mass


which offers Children’s Liturgy of the Word and, on every third Sunday, a children’s choir. Catechist Co-ordinator Maricel Malapira leads a team of committed catechists who share their faith with Catholic children in the five State primary schools and one high school within the Parish. Deacon Kevin Hale is Liturgy Co-ordinator in the Parish and also celebrates weddings, baptisms and funerals, as well as leading the RCIA group, and assisting in the celebration of Mass. A social justice team headed by Trish Wilson, has, in conjunction with Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), organised Listening Circles for refugees and asylumseekers, where about 80 people came to share their stories. They’ve also overseen the collection of food for the JRS House of Welcome in western Sydney. Fr Jim says the Parish is also looking to reach out further to the local community through the introduction of Community Dinners from 14 September. “We will be offering a free weekly dinner for


people who tend to eat their evening meal alone,” he says. “Some might be parishioners and others will be lonely people from the wider community.” About 50 parishioners have signed up so far to help make the Community Dinners happen, and students from the Parish schools will also be involved. The Parish Mission Statement, which was recently re-adopted by the Parish Pastoral Council, contains three key focuses for parish growth: Relationship with God, Relationship with Each Other; and Relationship with the World. Fr Jim says the Parish will spend a year focusing on each of those areas and making practical efforts to bring them to life. The overall aim of these initiatives is to “identify what belonging is like and then identify pathways to belonging”. “We want people to experience our Parish as a relaxed, friendly place, where everyone belongs. It doesn’t matter where you are on your faith journey, you belong and we want to get to know you,” says Bernadette.

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The Catholic Church was there for my mother during her greatest trial Patricia was diagnosed with Stage Four Ovarian Cancer in 2014. Patricia struggled with this terminal diagnosis as she was caring for her family. Patricia’s daughter Sonia tells her mother’s story.


y mother was the glue that held the family together. She was the organised one and the one who controlled everything. Born on St Patrick’s Day 1945, Mum was named in honour of St Patrick and baptised “Patricia” in the Church of England. When Mum met my Dad, John, who was a Catholic, she did not bat an eyelid and agreed to follow the Catholic faith, raising her three children as Catholics and ensuring that we attended Mass and received the sacraments. Mum identified strongly as a Catholic and became the most Catholic of all of us. When she was diagnosed with cancer, she wrote “Catholic” as her religion on her admission papers at Gosford Hospital. This is how Peter Brown the CatholicCare Pastoral Care Practitioner at Gosford Hospital came to visit her when she was in hospital. I had worked with Peter at St Edward’s College, East Gosford for many years before he moved to the ministry of hospital pastoral care, so it gave me so much joy when I walked into Mum’s hospital room and saw Peter sitting with her.

Mum was in and out of Gosford Hospital over 18 months as she fought the diagnosis – first with surgery and chemotherapy and later was moved into palliative care. Peter was such a constant presence and would listen to her fears around her mortality and how her family would cope without her. As part of Peter’s role, he worked with the priests and the volunteer Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion from St Patrick’s Gosford, so that mum could receive the sacraments whilst she was in hospital. We were also so grateful for the volunteer Ministers of Holy Communion from her own Parish (St John the Baptist, Woy Woy) who brought this gift to Mum at home. When Mum was first diagnosed, she cried a lot and she was so angry with her diagnosis. I was trying to protect my daughters, her grandchildren, and trying to keep Mum positive and keep her spirits up. We didn’t want to talk about what would happen. We didn’t want to plan her funeral, we wanted her with us.

Peter Brown, Pastoral Care Practitioner for CatholicCare, Broken Bay

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Sonia with her brother Philip and father John

That’s why Peter ‘s role was so important – he became a bridge for us. He would listen to Mum’s fears, her plans for her funeral and anything she wanted to share with him. Peter would also listen to our fears. I would always feel reassured walking into Mum’s room at the hospital and seeing Peter there with her. Communication in families can be difficult at the best of times, but under such pressure, we were so relieved to have someone there who could listen to both sides and reassure us in a way that only faith can. When you reach the end of your life, faith has such a strong presence. Peter’s strength of faith helped prepare us all – my dad, my brothers, my husband and our daughters. So many lives are touched when you lose a loved one and Peter treated us all with dignity and a quiet sense of strength. And whilst we were grateful for what he gave to us, we can never acknowledge enough that his greatest gift was providing Mum, through faith, with a sense of peace. The last few days of Mum’s life were hard – she was slipping in and out of consciousness and we took turns to sit with her. Peter was able to arrange a priest to administer the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and Dying for Mum. It had been days

Patricia and her husband John on Patricia’s birthday, St Patrick’s Day

since she had said anything and yet in the final prayer, mum prayed along saying aloud every single word. That gave us all such a sense of lightness and of profound faith. After fighting for so long, Mum died on 4 August 2015 full of love, full of faith and at last, at peace. The CatholicCare Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care Program is mainly funded by donations to the Charitable Works Fund. Any patients, family or staff in the seven acute care hospitals in our Diocese can use this service free of charge, thanks to your generous donations. Please ensure that you write “Catholic” as your religion on the hospital admission forms in order to access this service. Donations can be made using the envelopes in your local parish or by contacting 02 8379 1664 to obtain EFT details. Donations $2 and over are 100% tax deductible.


Richard on the road to become a Permanent Deacon Richard Houwing began his formation and journey to becoming a Permanent Deacon in the Diocese of Broken Bay early this year.

R The mission of a deacon is to share the good news in both actions and words ... to be a ‘herald of the Gospel’....

Permanent Deacons in Broken Bay Permanent Deacons play a special role in the Church in Broken Bay.


hey may be ministers alongside priests in parishes, they may be appointed as chaplains who are the face of Christ and the presence of the Church in various organisations, or they may take up pastoral or administrative roles within the Diocese. As ministers of the Word, deacons proclaim the Gospel, preach and teach in the name of the Church. As ministers of Sacrament, deacons baptise, lead the faithful in prayer, witness marriages and conduct funeral services. As ministers of Charity, deacons identify the needs of others, and marshal the Church’s resources to meet those needs. Whatever specific functions a deacon performs, they flow from his sacramental identity. In other words, it is not what a deacon does, but who a deacon is, that is important.

many blessed opportunities to make God’s love present to people wherever they are – through my ministries with young people in schools, at the Marriage Tribunal, in parishes and on the streets feeding the homeless. “The mission of a deacon is to share the good news in both actions and words – to be a ‘herald of the Gospel’ as it says in the ordination prayer. Welcoming babies into the family of faith at baptism, preparing couples for marriage and offering consolation and hope at funerals have also been special ‘Godmoments’ for me as a deacon.”

ichard is married and has two adult children and one grandson.

Richard has been actively involved in parish life for many years, but Religious life wasn’t something he had ever considered. “When I was younger, it seemed that joining the Religious was cutting yourself out of society, but from what I have seen, it is the reverse. The good Religious people I now know are very involved in the community.” Richard has had an interesting career so far in his life. “I have been heavily involved in business development,” said Richard. “I have a Bachelor of Economics and an MBA and along the way helped many businesses grow. For a little while there I was a business consultant to SMEs. Being good in business is a tough gig.” With Richard’s involvement in parish life, and some prompting from friends and Religious, he began his discernment for the Permanent Diaconate about 18 months ago. His family were surprised with his decision to enter this journey.

I want to share the hope and joy of life that we can carry with us outside of the walls of the Church “They were a little perplexed about the commitment at this late stage of life, it should be a time to start winding down, but they see my desire,” said Richard. When asked what he wanted to achieve from the Permanent Diaconate, Richard responded: “I want to share the hope and joy of life that we can carry with us outside of the walls of the Church. How we don’t need to live two personas, but one. How God reaches out to us every day as we go about our usual things. What life lessons Jesus can teach us for life today.” If you would like to know more about the Permanent Diaconate in Broken Bay contact Fr Jim McKeon jim.mckeon@bbcatholic.org.au

“The deaconate is about servant leadership of the People of God in the areas of charity, preaching and liturgy,” said Deacon Adrian Gomez. “Since ordination it has been a privilege for me to be welcomed into people’s lives as a representative of Jesus and the Church. I have had so BROKEN BAY NEWS

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During my football years I had more time to listen to our Lord and to discern what he wanted of me.

From Professional Football to Seminary Life Shayne D’Cunha is a first-year Seminarian at the Good Shepherd Seminary for the Diocese of Broken Bay.


hayne was born in India and moved to Australia with his parents and his baby sister Nadine when he was four years old in 2000. “Most of my life after high school revolved around football, I took it very seriously and I enjoyed it thoroughly,” said Shayne.

“During my football years I had more time to listen to our Lord and to discern what he wanted of me. And slowly I felt this calling to do something a little more for Him and his Church, and now I’m here.”

Shayne played football (or soccer as Australians say) for the Western Sydney Wanderers in the youth team for three years and then was selected to play as a professional.

Shayne was engaged in youth work at his home parish of St Agatha’s, Pennant Hills, which he found enjoyable and inspiring. He also became an altar server at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Normanhurst, and taught Catechism at a local school to a Year 2 class.

“That was a life-changing experience for me,” said Shayne. “To be in that kind of environment, it was very enjoyable but at the same time very difficult.”

“Slowly I saw our Lord drawing me to the Diocese of Broken Bay,” added Shayne. “I always remember one of the older Seminarians, Sam, quoting St Mary MacKillop:

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‘never see a need without doing something about it’ and I ended up seeing our Lord, through his providence, guiding me towards Broken Bay, and I felt him giving me the courage more and more to respond to that. That’s one of the primary reasons why I decided to apply to join the seminary for the Diocese of Broken Bay.” “During a silent retreat in August 2017 was the first time I experienced a ‘call’ to the priesthood. I wrestled with it for a few weeks, and then through the Lord’s relentless persistence I accepted it. Prayer was definitely pivotal in the process.” Shayne’s family were supportive of his decision to join the seminary.

“For my parents and sister, it was not so much as a shock at first, but difficult to try and get their heads around what a call entailed and also understanding what it meant for someone to be a seminarian, and then possibly a priest. How that worked for the family was something we needed to talk about, and I think what I understood from their reaction was just pure love, they wanted the best for me. “Through talking and prayer, my family are exceptionally supportive and loving. I’ve spent all my Saturdays off during my first year to see my parents and my sister.” Shayne and his sister Nadine have always been very close, and that has grown over the last few years.

VOCATIONS AWARENESS MONTH “We talk a lot and share a lot, and for us to be apart is sometimes difficult,” said Shayne. “She has made a sacrifice too, it’s not just me. The family is very much involved in my vocation. I think what is beautiful is that I’ve brought my first year brothers, and also my Broken Bay brothers, back to my house, and I can see my parents trying to take them on as their sons, it really becomes familial in that sense.” Seminary life doesn’t always allow for much spare time, but if he does have a break, you’ll find Shayne out on the soccer field or out running. “I like to keep active so It’s always nice to have physical exercise to release stress,” said Shayne. Shayne also has a keen interest in music. “I like playing the guitar and piano, and I like to sing,” said Shayne. “I should say I try to sing. I love the Schola, the choir at the Seminary. They sing beautifully and we get to participate in the liturgy, and I love joining them in singing.” Shayne still enjoys socialising, like any other 23-year-old. “I love spending time with my family and friends,” said Shayne. “Both now with my brothers in the seminary and my friends that I had prior to entering the seminary. “I still see my friends. They have always been supportive; they were happy for me and prayed for me. My soccer friends, even though they don’t fully understand, are accepting and respectful of my decision. We still have good chats every now and then. It’s nice to be open about all these things. We try and discuss what is priestly life and faith, what is God, what does the Catholic Church teach? Although it’s difficult at times, I think as our Lord says it’s almost necessary.” Shayne has been fortunate to have many wonderful mentors and guides on his discernment journey so far. “Having good priests around me in the various aspects of my life has been wonderful,” said Shayne. “Firstly, my Parish Priest Fr Paul BROKEN BAY NEWS

Durkin, who just happens to be the Vocations Director for Broken Bay. Seeing his example and just talking to him was very helpful and inspirational to me. I was also blessed with a good spiritual director Fr Alessandro at Kellyville. He helped me with my prayer life. That was very important and will continue to be important for the rest of my life.” Shayne has enjoyed the enforced technology fast that first year seminarians undertake. “Prayer life for me has been taken to another level in a sense, in terms of my communion with God and everything that that entails with the Eucharist and also with prayer,” said Shayne. “Not having as many distractions with my phone is a real blessing, and I can see more now that every moment of the day is more directed towards God, and the relationship is getting closer and closer to our Lord.” Joining the Catholic Church and entering the Seminary can be challenging, especially in the era we are living in now in Australia. Shayne doesn’t back down from the challenge.

Shayne has some advice for other young men discerning priesthood or considering any type of vocation. “Firstly, you’re never alone,” said Shayne. “There’s always comfort in knowing that vocational discernment is not an individual journey. My advice would be to talk to someone you can trust. If you feel that there might be something stirring within you, it can be difficult for you to look at that stirring and analyse it by yourself. I was very fortunate to have good friends and good priests around me that I spoke to that guided me. “Secondly, spend time with our Lord, by yourself. There’s a certain grace that comes with silence, when you listen to what our Lord wants of you. When I started to do this, I saw tremendous clarity start to develop with my sense of call. “Thirdly, frequent the sacraments. I remember once being told that our Lord desires you to come and receive him in the Eucharist. To go to

…spend time with our Lord, by yourself. There’s a certain grace that comes with silence, when you listen to what our Lord wants of you. confession for me was a great grace that I missed out on during my high school years. That really changed my life in terms of growing closer to our Lord and hearing His voice. Those things are really important when discerning a vocation.”

“The Church has always been under persecution, you only have to look at the early centuries of the Church and you look at the Gospel itself, and you see the Lord and the Disciples under persecution by the Pharisees. You see our Church crucified and once again our Lord rises. We see it throughout the whole history of the Church, we will always be under persecution, we will just have to deal with it and take courage and hope in that is how the disciples lived and how the Lord lived. “People are feeling distant and rightly so, in this point in time people need healing, and that will take time and for us a Church. It’s important for us to continue to pray for that. It’s very important that we recognise this and do our best to always preach this message of healing because it needs to happen. AUGUST 2019 11


The Augustinians

Our witness of the common life The Augustinians are members of the Order of St Augustine, a community of brothers and priests present in over 40 countries around the world.


nspired by the spirituality of St Augustine, we profess to “live together in harmony, being of one mind and one heart on the way to God.” Our common life is built on mutual acceptance and respect, kindness and concern, as well as a willingness to listen to others and to open oneself to them. Community, friendship and hospitality are at the heart of our way of life. St Augustine believed that God could be best discovered in the company of friends, and that is how we have chosen to serve God. In our communities and places of ministries, we seek to foster St Augustine’s ideal of uniting people in the communion of mind and heart for the glory of God and the service of God’s people. In Australia, we serve in various ministries in North Queensland, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Our ministries include parishes, schools, Indigenous Connections and ministry to Youth and Young Adults. We also have missions in Korea and Vietnam. In our witness of the common life,

How to stay married

In an orchestra there are many different instruments. But all are tuned so carefully and played in harmony that the audience only hears one melody. This must be our ideal to be one orchestra for the Lord. St Augustine we journey together in search of the truth that is God, we hold all things in common, and we support one another as brothers and friends united in charity. Whatever form our work takes, we bring with us our personality as Augustinians. Among those we serve, we try to create what we seek in our Order’s own houses:

a community of love and respect, where the presence of God can be recognised in each member. If you feel God is calling you to religious life, we invite you to join in our service to God and His Church as consecrated religious brothers and priests. Please call us at 02 9938 0200 or email Fr Percival OSA at psevare@osa.org.au


We, the , seek to share life and ministry together in friendship and community as religious brothers and priests.


f your vocation is Marriage, then the Diocese of Broken Bay is offering a wonderful opportunity to grow in your vocation. In September, the Diocese of Broken Bay will host a special SmartLoving Marriage Weekend Seminar for married couples. Facilitated by Dr Byron and Francine Pirola, this seminar is time for all married couples, whatever stage you are at, to connect. Whether your marriage is solid and loving, or stressed and fragile, you will be equipped with the most up-to-date ideas and skills on offer to help you in your marriage.

Contact Fr. PERCIVAL SEVARE OSA Mobile: 0439 111 932 Email: psevare@osa.org.au www.osa.org.aut

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You will be able to identify your unique love profile and learn ways to love more effectively. You can consolidate strengths, overcome barriers and move closer to being the couple you want to be.


He Is Enough My destiny was to be a Religious Sister! My destiny was to be a Josephite! BY MAJELLA O’SULLIVAN RSJ


y mother prayed to St Gerard Majella, patron of Religious, for one of her children to be a Religious. Our house was a house of welcome to Josephite Sisters, Priests and Religious Brothers. I had two uncles who were Marist Brothers. So, I became a Josephite Sister and have been for some years. My question now is ‘Why do I stay?”

Date: 21-22 September 2019 (commences 8.30am Saturday and concludes 4.30pm Sunday) Venue: St Joseph’s Spirituality Centre, 33 Barina Downs Rd, Baulkham Hills Cost: $445 per couple, includes accommodation and all meals Facilitators: Dr Byron and Francine Pirola of the Marriage Resource Centre. Spaces are limited to just 25 couples. Book your spot now at www.trybooking.com.au/BDEKL

For more information, contact events@bbcatholic.org.au


My final words to anyone who is ‘wondering’ about their future life is to practise the art of ‘Listening’ to oneself, others and especially to God who may be calling you to live life to the full as a Religious Sister, Brother or Priest. I have, and I would not change my life for any reason!

My God to whom I committed myself all those years ago has indeed been ‘enough’ for me.

I am committed each day, as a Sister of St Joseph, to live wholeheartedly the Vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience

My relationship with my God, who I call Jesus, sustains me through thick and thin in my life adventures.

Nurturing relationships of compassion, justice, mutuality and healing

Women of Healing and Hope For more information please visit www.sosj.org.au or email katrina.brill@sosj.org.au

170169 NVAW BBNews


I truly believe in my heart of hearts that I am called to be here in this place, in this time, I am ‘home’. My relationship with my God, who I call Jesus, sustains me through thick and thin in my life adventures. I try each day to do as Mary MacKillop encourages us all to do ‘Listen to the Whisperings of God in your heart” (1868). This listening encourages me to know who God is for me, this then helps me to understand and know what life means for me. God is my wellspring, and I draw on this spring each day of my life. At times the ‘spring’ can be dry, but I go back to listening.

that I proclaimed ‘yes’ to over 40 years ago. I am sometimes asked how can I be celibate in the world in which we live. It sounds odd, but I have engraved on my commitment ring ‘He is Enough’. My God to whom I committed myself all those years ago has indeed been ‘enough’ for me. My Josephite Community, my extended family, my many friends draw me closer to God by my interactions through their friendship.

AUGUST 2019 13


My vocation is to love! Rachel Vala is the newest member of the Catholic Youth Broken Bay team, starting in late May in the role of Parish Formation and Resource Coordinator. BY RACHEL VALA


rowing up in a big Catholic family, my father was the main source of income and my mother was the primary caregiver. So, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my response was well in line with what I was familiar with – I wanted to be a mum.

But the question became more and more frequent the older I got, and I realised – with no husband on the immediate horizon – maybe I needed a backup plan. Having strong foundations in the faith, I always knew that my ‘vocation’ was not limited to my relationship status (married life, single life, consecrated life) but rather, it included a plethora of career options too. But what does that look like if all you want to be is a mum? I graduated from high school unsure about what would come next, so I unenthusiastically began a Bachelor degree majoring in Theatre and Theology at the University of Notre Dame. I wasn’t planning on making it to Broadway, nor was I interested in being a Theologian but maybe I would find my mystery vocation – whoever or whatever that was – while I was there, and I would finally start my life! But looking back now, I realise that through my searching and constant self-seeking, I was actually stalling my vocation of the present day, and it was only when I was not searching at all that I was truly living my vocation. The more I kept my eyes on God, the more He revealed to me that my vocation is to love. Love attentively and love purposefully. When I get to heaven, will God ask me how successful I was in my career? Or will He ask me “Rachel, how much did you love?” I don’t deny that

The more I kept my eyes on God, the more He revealed to me that my vocation is to love. I am a sinner, but with His infinite waves of mercy, He is pulling me closer and closer to the fulfillment of my vocation, daily. He is making me into the saint I was called to be! Now, if I were asked what I want to be when I grow up – because let’s be real, even though I’m technically an adult, I never will really be finished growing up – my response is this. I want to be a saint! I desire holiness and unity with God in all aspects of my life. Perhaps I will be called to married life, to motherhood, maybe to religious life – that future is unknown. But what is not, is my vocation to holiness. And the Call of tomorrow does not outweigh the Call of today. Today, just like every other day, my vocation is to love.



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE PHONE 1300 1 LOWES OR EMAIL: schoolwearenquiries@lowes.com.au * Each year, one scholarship up to the value of $5000 will be awarded to every secondary school (for a year 12 student) to which Lowes is the official Schoolwear supplier.

14 AUGUST 2019


National Themes for Discernment announced At Pentecost, the Plenary Council announced that after almost 17,500 submissions reflecting the views of more than 222,000 people were assessed, reflected upon and prayed about, the National Themes for Discernment had emerged.


he themes invite people to reflect, pray and consider how God is calling the People of God to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is: • Missionary and Evangelising • Inclusive, Participatory and Synodal • Prayerful and Eucharistic • Humble, Healing and Merciful • A Joyful, Hope-Filled and Servant Community • Open to Conversion, Renewal and Reform In June and July, a snapshot report on each theme was released, giving some more detail on the responses from the people of Australia. A comprehensive report on the voices of participants BROKEN BAY NEWS

was released on 28 July 2019. You can read it on the Plenary Council website. Discernment and Writing Groups have been formed and will play a critical role in helping the Catholic Church move forward in considering the Council’s six National Themes for Discernment. Each Discernment and Writing Group will be composed of people — lay, religious, priests, and bishops — gifted with faith, knowledge, skills and attributes suited to the role. The groups are tasked with reviewing the responses made during the Plenary Council’s opening Listening and Dialogue stage, including people’s questions and stories. The groups will also consider their relevant theme in light of Church teaching, of Church tradition, of Scripture and drawing from contemporary best practice within and outside the Church.

homes and other settings to pray, reflect and discern how we, the people of God in Australia, are being called to be a Christ-centred Church in those many critical areas. Communal Discernment Guides will be made available in early August. To keep up with the latest news on the Plenary Council visit plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au

During this period there will also be opportunities for people in parishes, schools, Catholic Ministries, AUGUST 2019 15


Office for Evangelisation EVENT CALENDAR The Diocese of Broken Bay exists to evangelise, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, gathered as friends in the Lord and sent out to be missionary disciples. The Office for Evangelisation serves this mission and promotes the growing missionary outlook of parishes, faith communities and individuals.


Mass will be celebrated at Cathedral Parish, presided by Very Rev Dr David Ranson. After Mass, refreshments and live entertainment will follow.

Presented by Dr Anthony Maher Date: Saturday 28 September 2019 Time: 1:30pm – 4:30pm Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills RSVP: By Monday 23 September 2019 to faith.formation@bbcatholic.org.au

We invite you to bring a plate to share from your cultural community, and to wear multicultural dress. All warmly invited.

Broken Bay Bible Conference “The Holy Spirit Through the Pages of Scripture”

Date: Saturday 17 August 2019

Presented by Dr Debra Snoddy and Rev Assoc. Prof. Ormond Rush Date: 11-12 October 2019 Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills RSVP: By Friday 4 October 2019 to www.trybooking.com/BCKBE Enquiries: www.bbcatholic.org.au/bible or email faith.formation@bbcatholic.org.au or Tania Rimac 8379 1629

Celebrating Disciples of All Nations Join us for this special Diocesan Multicultural event to celebrate the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

Time: 5.00pm Multicultural Mass; 6.00pm – 7.00pm Refreshments and live entertainment Venue: Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Hornsby Cathedral Parish, 23 Yardley Avenue, Waitara Enquiries: faith.formation@bbcatholic.org.au

Putting Rungs on the Ladder Hosted by the Diocese of Parramatta Join Catholics from the Diocese of Parramatta, the Archdiocese of Sydney, and the Diocese Broken Bay for a dinner event to celebrate our social justice work and reflect on the themes of this year’s Social Justice Statement “A Place to Call Home: Making a home for everyone in our land.” Date: Thursday 29 August 2019 Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm Venue: Cathedral Hall, Marist Place, Parramatta RSVP: By Thursday 15 August 2019 to faith.formation@bbcatholic.org.au or Pina Bernard 8379 1627

Making Disciples in the Catholic Parish: Discerning Our Mission Presented by Sherry Weddell, author of Forming Intentional Disciples A day for all committed to parish life and evangelisation, in particular parish leaders and all involved in ministry, to discuss:

• The nature of intentional discipleship and the thresholds of discipleship • Practical ways that ministries and parish activity can foster intentional discipleship • The importance of discerning our gifts and using them to live the mission of Jesus

LIFE MARRIAGE AND FAMILY SmartLoving Marriage Weekend Seminar A seminar that will equip you and your spouse to identify your unique love profile and learn ways to love more effectively. Whether you are in a stable marriage or a stressed one, you can consolidate strengths, overcome barriers, and move closer to being the couple you want to be. When: 21-22 September 2019 Venue: St Joseph’s Retreat Centre, 33 Barina Downs Rd, Baulkham Hills Time: 8:30am Saturday – 4:30pm Sunday Registration: www.trybooking.com/BDEKL Enquiries: events@bbcatholic.org.au

CATHOLIC YOUTH BROKEN BAY PRAISEFEST Catholic Youth Broken Bay invites all young people to PRAISEFEST! Join young people (youth & young adults) from across the Diocese to catch up with friends, enjoy our Festival consisting of different activities and a free BBQ, encounter God through vibrant and honest worship, and receive spiritual nourishment through an inspiring and relevant message. Dates: Friday 23 August 2019 Time: 6:00pm–9:00pm Venue: St Peter’s Catholic College School Hall, 84 Gavenlock Rd, Tuggerah

Date: Saturday 14 September 2019

Twilight Talks

Time: 9:30am – 4:00pm

Catholic Youth Broken Bay invites you to Twilight Talks. Join Young Adults (18+) from around the Diocese to connect, share a meal, pray and be nourished by inspiring speakers. In September, we will break open Pope Francis’ latest exhortation, Christus Vivit and listen to reflections from friends who have found inspiration from the Pope’s letter to young people. In October, we will be welcoming our Diocesan Administrator, Fr David Ranson as he speaks on The Holy Spirit, Discernment & Discipleship for our last instalment of Twilight Talks for 2019. Date 1: Tuesday 17 September 2019 Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm Venue: Hotel Pennant Hills, 352 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills Date 2: Tuesday 15 October 2019 Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm Venue: Hotel Pennant Hills, 352 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills

Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills RSVP: By Monday 9 September 2019 to faith.formation@bbcatholic.org.au

Genuine Encounter in the Digital World This formation event marks Social Justice Sunday and will allow participants to begin to engage with the 2019-2020 Social Justice Statement “Making it Real: Genuine Human Encounter in Our Digital World”. The Statement discusses the advances and the challenges posed by the digital world. It shares Pope Francis’ challenge to us to ‘boldly become citizens of the digital world’ and to play an active role in shaping it to ensure it is a place of genuine human encounter.




Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) CCD training and formation opportunities serve those involved in the mission of Special Religious Education (SRE) in our State Schools but are also open to those in catechesis and evangelising outreach in our Diocese. The Office for Evangelisation offers CCD training to all interested people providing formation that enables the Gospel to be taken into the lives of others. Contact CCD Registrations Phone: 8379 1643 Email: registrations@bbcatholic.org.au

Level 1 Workshop: Tools for teaching in the SRE Classroom – for all catechists Level 1 consists of 6 x 2-hour units and is complementary to the CCDMI. The units offered provide tools and strategies for the SRE classroom. During Term 3 there are two units on offer.

Central Coast Region – Course Type: CCD Level 2 Location: Lecture Room, Our Lady of the Rosary, 12 Ashton Ave, The Entrance Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch Date: Friday 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 August & 6 September 2019 Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm

1. Using Stories and Visual Resources

Register by: Friday 26 July 2019

2. Using Drama in the Classroom

Northern Beaches Region

North Shore, Hornsby and Northern Beaches Regions – Course Type: CCD Level 2

Course Type: Level 1 Workshop

Location: Corpus Christi, St Ives Parish Hall, 263 Mona Vale Road, St Ives

Location: Our Lady of Good Counsel, 9 Currie Road, Frenchs Forest

Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch

Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch

Date: Monday 5, 12, 26 August and 2, 9 & 16 September 2019

Date: Friday 16 August 2019 Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm Register by: Friday 9 August 2019

North Shore Hornsby Region Course Type: Level 1 Workshop Location: Caroline Chisholm Centre, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills (Vehicular entry via City View Road)

Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm Register by: Monday 29 July 2019

School Holiday In-Service: Teaching the Authorised Curriculum – for Green card catechists Experienced catechists are required to attend In-Service Training every three years in 1) Classroom Management, 2) Authorised Curriculum and 3) Safeguarding Children. During the spring school holidays, the training being offered is Teaching the Authorised Curriculum.

Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch

Central Coast Region

Date: Friday 23 August 2019

Course Type: Teaching the Authorised Curriculum

Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm Register by: Friday 16 August 2019

Central Coast Region Course Type: Level 1 Workshop Location: Meeting Room, Our Lady Star of the Sea, 165 Serpentine Road, Terrigal Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch

Location: Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish Hall, 165 Serpentine Road, Terrigal Date: Monday 30 September 2019 Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm Register by: Monday 23 September 2019

North Shore & Hornsby Region Course Type: Teaching the Authorised Curriculum Location: Caroline Chisholm Centre, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills

Date: Monday 26 August 2019

(Vehicular entry via City View Road)

Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm

Date: Wednesday 2 October 2019

Register by: Monday 19 August 2019

Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm

CCD Level 2: The Church in the 3rd Millennium – for all catechists

Register by: Wednesday 25 September 2019

Consists of twelve 2-hour units. Units offered cover the teachings of the Catholic Church. A certificate is awarded on successful completion of Level Two.

Northern Beaches Course Type: Teaching the Authorised Curriculum The Lakes Parish Hall, 21 Lagoon Street, Narrabeen

• Catechist Spirituality

Date: Friday 4 October 2019

• Vatican II and Renewal in the Church

Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm

• Development of the Child and Adolescent II

Register by: Friday 27 September 2019

• Catholic Sacraments of Initiation

Discerning Discipleship in Ministry with Children – presented by international speaker and author Sherry Weddell

• Tools for Catechesis: The Catechism and General Directory for Catechesis • The Natural World and Religion • The Old Testament: The Story of the Faith Community – Exodus/Sinai

An invitation to SRE Catechists, Sacramental Teams and all those working in Children’s Ministry. An opportunity to reflect on your role as a Catechist.

• The History of Liturgy

Date: Friday 13 September 2019

• The New Testament: Jesus the New Covenant

Time: 10.00am – 2.30pm

• Catholic Social Teaching • Interfaith Dialogue and Ecumenism

Location: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills

• An Australian Perspective on World Religions

Morning tea and lunch provided. RSVP essential: registrations@bbcatholic.org.au




SHOUT A MATE A Mary Mac’s supplies a two course sit down lunch daily and a place to shower and to wash clothes.

Fresh surplus food is available daily for those in need, in addition to food hampers.

We are open from 7.00am to 1.00pm Monday – Friday. Lunch is served from 11.00am.

More than 70 volunteers prepare over 2,000 meals each month to those in need.

We offer friendly, non-judgmental support and companionship.


We provide access to outreach services like Legal Aid, Homeless Connector, emergency relief and counselling.

Ethel Cox Centre 100 Blackwall Road WOY WOY NSW 2256 P: (02) 4341 0584 E: marymacs@catholiccaredbb.org.au W: www.catholiccaredbb.org.au





$6 PLATE MARY MAC’S PLACE IS OPEN TO ANYONE WHO IS HOMELESS, LONELY OR NEEDING A HELPING HAND. Conquering homelessness and social isolation is a community responsibility. Mary Mac’s costs over $150,000 per year to run. We provide more than 24,000 meals a year at a cost of $6 per meal. WE RELY 100% ON COMMUNITY SUPPORT. We are aiming to raise funds to cover the costs of these meals and keep this essential service running. We are incredibly thankful for all donations. Without your generosity we would need to turn many people away.


OUR COMPANIONS HAVE MANY FACES These faces include homeless people, couch surfers, train sleepers, rough sleepers, and people sleeping in cars or residing with family or friends in overcrowded situations. We’re seeing more women and children who are escaping domestic violence and sleeping in their cars because it’s not safe at home. We have families where the main income earner has fallen ill needing surgery or treatment and cannot afford rent and food. We see pensioners that lose a partner and now cannot afford rent, food or bills on a single pension and people who simply cannot afford the rising cost of rent. People also come simply to have a chat and for the friendship opportunities as they are lonely or isolated.


Building a School from the ground up In 2017, when staff and students from Mercy Catholic College at Chatswood travelled to Vietnam to lay the foundations for a primary school, they were not sure if they would be there to see the project to completion.


group returned to the village of Lai An last year to build the walls and then, in January this year, Mercy staff and students were there when the school was finally completed. The village had a local school named St Francis Xavier prior to the Vietnam War, but it was co-opted by the government when Vietnam

became a communist country. The new school will honour the previous one and adopt the same name, with the classes beginning in the new school year this September.

The classrooms will provide local children with the opportunity to attend school, many for the first time, as well as providing a community space for the villagers.

Each student raised her own money to purchase building supplies before leaving for Vietnam. When they arrived, they worked hard to build the school.

The social justice program at Mercy is focused on moving beyond words and putting the values of respect and compassion into action.

…moving beyond words and putting the values of respect and compassion into action

Building the walls in 2018

The completed school in 2019

Brand New Precinct at St Peter’s The brand new library precinct at St Peter’s Catholic College was blessed in June by Very Rev Dr David Ranson.


he facilities, which cost $8m, include a state-of-the-art library and learning centre, breakout flexible teaching areas, extensive outdoor precinct and a new theatre space with room for three hundred students. The precinct was designed by

20 AUGUST 2019

Sydney architects Stanton Dahl, and Gosford construction firm Artel completed the work. Senator Jim Molan opened the facilities, with ex-St Peter’s students Emma McBride MP (Member for Dobell) and Scott Lester (Project Manager at Artel) also in attendance.

These wonderful new facilities will assist further with teaching and learning under the St Peter’s Learning Framework. This framework recognises that the wellbeing of learners is paramount to their success; wellbeing and learning

are inextricably linked. Learners who are successful, happy, healthy and productive enjoy high levels of wellbeing. This positive wellbeing in turn promotes success and generates high levels of resilience and learner commitment.


National Poetry Prize Winner Sebastian Lee, a Year Four student at St Gerard’s Catholic School Carlingford, has been awarded the 2019 National Poetry Prize at Primary Level.


is teacher, Mary Hunt, offered her students an opportunity to enter their poems into the competition, which was run by Reading Australia. She said his winning poem, ‘My Difference,’ was “so powerful” and had a “simple message which oozes of resilience and confidence.” “I remember reading it aloud in the photocopying

room at school with other staff when Sebastian first shared it with me,” she said. “I love how he has started with a wondering and finished with a simile. I feel very proud of Sebastian, for his wonderful listening and love of learning. The world is his oyster.” Sebastian won two poetry books and a duplicate set for the school library. His winning poem is printed in full here.

My difference I wonder if people feel different when they’re deaf. Maybe they are hard of hearing on their left ear, just like me. I feel different from the others but I don’t want to take cover. Deafness doesn’t make me who I am. I put my differences aside and glide… like a majestic eagle.

Learning through play Before they turn five, every child goes through a stage of rapid brain and skill development.


n the early years, a child’s main way of learning and developing is through play. While children play for fun, it also lets them explore, observe, experiment, solve problems, collaborate and learn from their mistakes. Learning Together Playgroups is a new initiative which combines children’s love of play with their need to learn. Held at Catholic primary schools


across the Diocese, this initiative offers children under five a wide range of early learning activities. These playgroups are different to others because they have been developed by educational specialists and are run by a Kindergarten teacher from each Catholic primary school. The focus of each playgroup is on helping children learn about the world, make friends and develop the

skills needed for ‘big’ school. They also give children and parents a chance to become familiar with the primary school setting. “My daughter particularly enjoyed the outdoor play in the infants’ playground and having some Year 6 students interact with them,” said Vanessa, a mum who attended the Learning Together Playgroup at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School at Waitara. AUGUST 2019 21


MacKillop students help kids in Ghana Students and staff at MacKillop Catholic College in Warnervale donated their books, stationery, clothing and sporting equipment to schools in Ghana.


avis and Dennis Amoina-Gyamfi, local parishioners whose children attend MacKillop, return to their birthplace in Ghana every year to bring supplies to local schools there. Last year the College helped out by holding a charity drive as part of Mary MacKillop Feast Day. Students from Kindergarten to Year 12 contributed,

with five schools in Ghana receiving books, clothes and supplies. Mavis and Dennis raised the transportation costs themselves and travelled to Ghana to deliver the donations. “It was a selfless act of kindness,” said Mavis and Dennis’ son, Gerald Ampoma-Gyamfi, a Year 9 student at the school.

“It was a selfless act of kindness,” “The Ghana Appeal means a lot to us because it gives back to the community that our family and ancestors grew up in. The result and gratitude is great motivation and is one of the things that keeps us going.”

Students shine at St John the Baptist


Students from St John the Baptist Catholic School in Freshwater are making waves – quite literally, in the case of the senior girls’ relay team, which scored a bronze medal at the NWPSSA Swimming Championships in May.

he team, made up of Zara Kasprowicz, Ava Sycamore, Ruby Lovell and Izzy Bromford, broke a 15-year drought to take out third place.

local newspaper, the Manly Daily, looked at the combined Year 3 and Year 5 results for reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation; and numeracy to determine how schools ranked overall.

in Tumbling in NSW, and was also selected for the National competition. Sadly, a broken leg kept him from competing. Sienna Kupceric represented the State at the Australian Athletics Championships.

It’s not just sport, the students at St John the Baptist are also excelling academically with the school being recently highly ranked among Northern Beaches Primary Schools for 2018 NAPLAN. The

The school continues to enjoy a banner year across the board for sporting achievements. In AFL, Wilson Casey represented NSW while fellow Year 6 student Louis Abraham came first in the U13 Men’s division

PE teacher Niki Frost said that it was the best year for sport in the school’s history. “In past years we’ve had one student per year at state level but there’s never been as many as this year.”

22 AUGUST 2019


Brigidine wins the Battle of the Chefs 2019


The fifth annual Battle of the Chefs competition was held recently, with six colleges from across the Diocese taking part.

t Peter’s Catholic College at Tuggerah hosted the event and the winners were first-time competitors Brigidine College, followed by Mater Maria Catholic College in second place and MacKillop Catholic College in third. “Each year the standard improves,” said Phil Cox, the Vocational Education Officer at the Catholic Schools Office. “This year was no different and as always the students were a real credit to their schools.”

Teams of three Year 11 or 12 students work together to prepare and serve a three-course meal in just three hours. The judges, Dimitris Aronis and Kurt Sonneman from the Commercial Cookery and Hospitality Services department at the TAFE NSW Ourimbah Campus, examined personal presentation, hygiene, technical skills, work flow and final product. Mr Cox added, “I know that the teams made the judging very hard for them this year as the overall quality was so high.”

Caring For Our Common Home


Students at Sacred Heart Catholic School, Mona Vale have been responding to Pope Francis’s call in Laudato Si’ to “care for our common home” by introducing several environment initiatives for World Environment Day.

he Student Representative Council have been promoting Waste Free Wednesday with the aim that children will bring little or no packaging from home in their lunchboxes.

composting, worm farming, sustainable crops that support the school canteen, use of rainwater tank systems and general enrichment of local bee and bird populations.

Children have also been recycling soft plastic, collecting containers and taking part in the Return and Earn program to enhance Waste Management Systems.

Mrs Garey, the Principal at Sacred Heart, said the project “provided an authentic learning context for a real world challenge.”

Year 1 celebrated World Environment Day by planting seedlings in old recycled boots.

She said that “it has multiple wellbeing benefits, as well as strengthening home-school connections.”

Students in Years 5 and 6 undertook a Challenge-Based Learning unit to understand sustainable and biodiverse practices, designing a successful gardening model to promote school

Students will present their work on sustainable and biodiverse practices as part of a STEM Fair held in collaboration with Northern Beaches Catholic Schools.


AUGUST 2019 23


Peter Hamill appointed Deputy Director of NCEC It is with regret that the Diocese of Broken Bay announces that Mr Peter Hamill has resigned as Director of Schools.


eter will take up a new role as Deputy Director, National Catholic Education Commission commencing Monday, 5 August 2019. “Peter has made a magnificent contribution to the Diocese of Broken Bay and has been instrumental in developing what is a first-class Diocesan Schools System with remarkable leadership,” said Very Rev Dr David Ranson, Diocesan Administrator. “He has negotiated the school system through significant challenges, and always with careful discernment and astute management. In so doing, he has enjoyed the confidence of

the leadership of the system at every level. His attention to school staff and their issues has been exemplary, as has his collaboration with all stakeholders in the field of education, particularly clergy and especially government.” Peter has had the significant role of overseeing 44 schools and their more than 11,000 staff and 16,000 students, who in concert with teachers, students, their parents/ guardians, their priests and parish communities, work tirelessly to educate and form young people in Catholic life.

genuine endeavour, and to ensure that students not only achieve their academic best, but that their wellbeing and advancement in Catholic faith is nurtured,” added Fr David.

“A key focus for Peter has always been to ensure in our school system a sense of hospitality, enthusiasm and

Peter initially commenced work with the Diocese in early 2010 as the Assistant Director of Administration

A key focus for Peter has always been to ensure in our school system a sense of hospitality, enthusiasm and genuine endeavour...

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for the Catholic Schools Office (CSO). In February 2012, he was appointed to the role of Director of Schools by Bishop David L Walker, a position subsequently reaffirmed by Bishop Peter A Comensoli in 2018. During his time as Director of Schools, Peter has been responsible for the more than 120 staff of the CSO as well as the 46 Principals of the Diocesan Schools System. Beyond the Diocese, Peter has also held significant roles. Currently he serves as a Director of CEnet and is Chair of the Conference of the NSW and ACT Diocesan Directors of Schools and he was a member of the Catholic Education Commission of NSW. He has been on a number of inter-diocesan committees, boards and has undertaken reviews for other dioceses. Whilst the Diocese of Broken Bay is in a period of waiting for a new Bishop and, given the critical role of our Diocesan Schools in the mission of our Diocese, the appointment of a new Director of Schools will be delayed until a new Bishop of Broken Bay is appointed. In the intervening period, Dr Tony Bracken, Assistant Director School Improvement, will take on the role of Acting Director of Schools.


Faith in God helps Michael every day On Sunday 26 May 2019, the biennial Hope Mass was held at Holy Name Church, Wahroonga for families who have children with disabilities, led by St Lucy’s School in association with St Edmund’s.


he music for the Mass was provided by present and past students of the two schools, led by Vanessa Dillon, REC at St Lucy’s.

Fr David Ranson’s homily was Giles Andreae’s story of Gerald the Giraffe who finds he is able to dance once he learns to hear ‘his own music’, the music which Fr David explained to the children, is the Holy Spirit. One of the highlights of the Mass was a talk by Michael Buzinskas, a parishioner of Holy Name. Michael set the scene for the Mass by speaking of his own experience with a range of disabilities. As he spoke, his mother and father stood on either side of him to give him the confidence to tell his story. Michael has autism. His talk is reproduced below. Good morning everyone. My name is Michael Buzinskas and I am 28 years old. I am going to talk about some of the difficulties that life presents to a person with disabilities. It is quite hard for me to talk about my struggles today but I am fortunate that I have a voice so it important that I speak for those who are limited or have no ability to communicate. As a child, I was integrated into mainstream schooling at Prouille School and St Leo’s. I have had a good education but it was difficult because I felt that I never belonged anywhere. I have been diagnosed with several conditions over the course of my life. Depression and anxiety dominate my day to day living and determine the direction that life takes me. I was diagnosed with high functioning autism in 1995. My mother first observed depression

Most important of all, is my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving power that keeps me going and helping me see light at the end of the tunnel... symptoms in me around the age of 5, and things peaked when I was 16. I have a lot of different medications to take. One has caused problems with my thyroid and has a flow-on effect on my depression and anxiety. So, the last six months with this condition have been exceptionally difficult. I have always felt that I have a strong will and intelligence to do things but not the physical or mental health to do so. Consequently, tasks take longer to learn and complete and goals take longer to reach. This can be very frustrating for me. I have many things in place to make my daily life as positive as possible. I like to start my day by having coffee on my back verandah. I find that peaceful and I like coffee outings to Wahroonga Village. I have dinner with friends every Thursday night and

meet up with them on some Saturdays as we share common interests. On Mondays and Tuesdays, I have been going to Boonah Art at West Pymble since 2016, a program run by CatholicCare’s Disability Futures. I love it there, the staff are kind and helpful and I’ve made friends with the clients there. I mostly paint colourful abstracts. I have sold many of my paintings and also some commission pieces. Art is the core activity of keeping me well. I come from a very supportive and caring family. I’ve always felt blessed and lucky having a mother who is a teacher by profession. She has guided and supported me the whole of my life, especially when the going is tougher than usual. I love going out with Aunty Doris and I love going with my Dad on Fridays when he has pick-ups and deliveries to do with the business. We like having bacon and egg rolls at Condell Park when we go there and I’ve gotten to know many of Dad’s clients. I also attend social outings on some Saturdays with CatholicCare and have a one-to-one disability worker named Jean who I see on Wednesday mornings. I come from a faith-centred family which enriches my life. Most important of all, is my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving power that keeps me going and helping me see light at the end of the tunnel when I find myself in a black hole with no purpose to keep going. It flows on with love and having a higher regard for those other than myself. Basically, it’s a reason, incentive and motivation to get me through the struggles of each day. Faith gives life all meaning and despite my difficulties, having faith means that I can get through anything. Life’s challenges are very hard for someone like me and God gives me the strength to face them each day. Life is impossible without faith.


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Unlocking Church Renewal Kerygma Good News worth Living and Sharing “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.” (EG 164) BY TANIA RIMAC


any have not heard of the word kerygma, a term which is being used more widely within the Catholic Church in recent years. The revival of the word is due to a reminder that we need an ongoing focus on Jesus. The term kerygma is a Greek word meaning proclamation and is the initial and necessary proclamation of the Gospel to awaken faith. “Nothing is more solid, profound, secure, meaningful and wisdom-filled than that initial proclamation” (EG 165) which proclaims the essential message of God who loves us, Christ who died for us and the part we play in the story of salvation.

The Kerygma in 5 Steps 1. God is love and I have been created to be in relationship with Him 2. Sin separates me from God and through sin my relationship is damaged 3. My relationship with God is restored through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus 4. Jesus invites me to turn from sin, repent and make Him the centre of my life 5. I receive the Holy Spirit and take Christ to others God is love, and desires to be close to us and in relationship with us. Understanding the type of love God has for us is key. In society we find the word ‘love’ is used loosely – I love coffee, I love ice-cream. We

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better understand God’s love when we think of the love we share with our closest family. We have been made in the image and likeness of God and have been created to be in relationship with Him, daily and continually. God is always there, waiting for us to engage and offering us unconditional love. How do you foster a relationship with God, who loves you and desires a relationship with you? Through our earthly relationships we find ourselves in situations where we grow and learn more about ourselves, and our relationships keep us accountable and help us achieve more. At times these relationships pose challenges, and at times our conduct or responses to situations are poor and can cause hurt to others. This affects the relationship, where we need to work toward reconciling the issue and rectifying the situation. Sometimes the relationship recovers and other times there can be such damage that it is irreparable. Our relationship with God mirrors this relationship to some degree. The hurt that we cause to God by our sin damages our relationship and we become separated from Him. What are some choices you are making that may be keeping you separated from God? One of the major differences between our earthly relationships and our relationship with God is that no matter how separated we choose to become from God, the relationship is never irreparable. This is not due to anything we might do or could do, but because God sent His only Son

Jesus and through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection our relationship has been restored. We have been ‘saved from’ what can be destructive and oppressive in our lives, and we have been ‘saved to’ live in the freedom that a life with God gives us, which ultimately leads to a share in eternal life. Did you know that Jesus loves you so much, that if you were the only person in the entire world, he would have still made the ultimate sacrifice and died for you? Accepting the love and plan which is given to us freely gives us a freedom marked by joy and encouragement (EG 165) and we are called to respond. We can only accept the Good News on offer to us by repenting and turning away from sin. We do this through an intentional reorientation of our lives, choosing to try to live in the way that was intended for us and that which we were created for. However, this does not mean we won’t fall and sin again. God is merciful and His unconditional love always allows us to ask for forgiveness and gives us the opportunity to try again and do better. The choice to make Jesus the centre of our lives is a continued decision we make each day. What obstacles can you identify in your life that are blocking you from trusting and surrendering your life to Jesus? When Jesus ascended into heaven He gave the promise that He would send the Holy Spirit to be with us always,

guiding and protecting us. The Spirit helps us live in the world with the knowledge that we live in Christ. It is the Spirit that gives us the courage to take Jesus out to others; as Jesus said, “you will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1: 8). This is what we are called to do. Why is it that we have no trouble sharing with others a good restaurant we have found, or a great movie we have watched, but somehow fall short of sharing with them the life-giving Good News which we are privy to. Have you sensed the Holy Spirit accompanying you, and calling you to share the Good News with others? The kerygma, the core message of the gospel, is a message for each person to hear and receive. A response to this initial proclamation may not happen immediately as the kerygmatic message may need to be heard many times to take hold of our hearts, minds and lives. Even so, our God who offers us unconditional, merciful love and eternal life patiently waits for us, always inviting us to a freeing, life giving relationship with Him. EG – Evangelii Gaudium, 2013

Two Challenges: • Share the kerygma with one person you know who needs to hear this Good News • Pray that the Holy Spirit opens the hearts of those who hear the kerygma


Teaching Scripture was not my plan Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt 19:14) BY FANNY LAI

Although I migrated from Hong Kong more than 25 years ago, my Hong Kong English accent still puzzled many local speakers. Being in my own profession over three decades, I had provided training and mentoring to my co-workers and team members. But I could hardly identify any related experience of teaching in a school, especially for young kids. Nevertheless, when my friend showed me a flyer about CCDMI Program, its topics and content caught my eye. The 14-module program was literally addressing the skill I regarded I was missing. Next I found myself registering to the Level One program and, after a few months, working together with my friend as a scripture teacher!

then to have an opening prayer, next to do a roll call, to help every child finish their worksheets, and most importantly to finish the lesson on time. Day after day, I found my students were getting bored. I then asked for tips and techniques from my fellow scripture teachers. Through their enlightenment, I could always find some creative and useful ideas. When I saw the happy joyful faces, which told me they enjoyed the lesson, all my effort was paid off. With hindsight, I was in fact learning in conjunction with my students. After three years as a scripture teacher, I treasured the opportunity for each lesson I delivered. I am most grateful to my fellow scripture teachers. They have helped me through these years. One thing I consider to be very precious is the friendship cultivated in the team. The sense of community is a force

My first few lessons are still a vivid experience for me. To lessen my fear, every time before entering the classroom, I would say a prayer usually for something like ‘there would be no big drama’ or ‘I could remember what to say and do and finish my planned lesson smoothly’.


Fanny Lai is one of our wonderful Broken Bay catechists. She is

currently on extended leave outside of Australia. She will continue her work in the Ministry when returning from overseas. Below is a photo of her in her pilgrimage to the Holy Land taken in front of St Peter in Gallicantu Church which is built in the slopes of Mount Zion.

The willingness to give and share in the team has told me that Holy Spirit is there amongst us.

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Some of my prayers were answered while some were not. When I was upset, I recalled the advice from my fellow scripture teachers – that there were good times as well as bad times, but we were there to sow the seeds and let God to do the rest. So far, it has been my stress reliever and spiritual encouragement! In my first year, I was very much focusing on my plan. For example, I must first set up the sacred place,

that drives us forward. Everyone is working generously with a great heart. The willingness to give and share in the team has told me that the Holy Spirit is there amongst us.

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eing a scripture teacher was never on my postretirement bucket list. When my friend told me there was a need for people teaching scripture in State schools, I had not thought of trying this unchartered territory for several reasons.

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Special First Eucharist celebrations at Toukley-Lake Munmorah Parish On the Feast of the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, in two most beautiful Celebrations of Eucharist, 70 children at the Parish of Toukley-Lake Munmorah celebrated their First Holy Communion.


t the Vigil Mass at St Brendan’s Lake Munmorah, the Mass Centre was full to overflowing, with parishioners and family members of the young parishioners who were to receive our Lord Jesus, for the very first time in their lives. Whilst this was a very special celebration for all the children, it was especially so for Tristan Fraser who made his First Communion. Tristan’s

Grandmother Della Mary Kelly, who made her First Holy Communion 72 years ago on the same date, was there to celebrate with Tristan and the whole community.

Fr Baby Thomas gave Della a very special welcome and spoke in his homily of his own First Communion day. Following the Mass, the children celebrated with a cake, which Della was given the honour of cutting.

Administrator, celebrated this Mass, and made everyone most welcome and thanked them for being there. Again, this was also a beautiful and meaningful celebration of Eucharist.

Della said her First Communion Certificate shows her name as Mary Della because the Sisters, who prepared the children for their First Communion, insisted that the Saint’s name be placed first on the certificate.

At the 9.00am Mass on the Sunday, at St Mary’s Toukley, the church was again full of parishioners and family and friends, of the children who were making their First Holy Communion. Fr Tomy Kuruvelil, our new Parish

Congratulations to all the Children on their First Communion Day and, thank you to the Parish Sacramental Team and the parents, who prepared their children for this wonderful celebration of First Eucharist.


17 August 2019 Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral Yardley Avenue, Waitara

Celebrating our multicultural community in the Diocese of Broken Bay All are welcome We invite you to bring a plate to share from your cultural community, and to wear multicultural dress Enquiries: faith.formation@bbcatholic.org.au

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5:00pm – 6:00pm Celebration of Mass Presider Very Rev Dr David Ranson, Diocesan Administrator, Diocese of Broken Bay

6:00pm – 7:00pm Refreshments and live entertainment


New guidelines will inform Church’s response to abuse The Catholic Church is developing new national policy guidelines to strengthen and standardise Church authorities’ responses to historical and contemporary concerns and allegations of abuse of children and vulnerable adults.


rchbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said the development of the guidelines is a critical step forward in the Church’s ongoing response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. “The bishops are following through on our commitments made last year, and having a consistent approach to the management of allegations of abuse of children and vulnerable people is central to our reforms,” he explained. The Implementation Advisory Group, set up in May 2018 to monitor and advise Catholic leaders on the Church’s response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations, is overseeing the development of the policy guidelines.

“The national guidelines and the Safeguarding Standards will become two focal points for the Church’s work in protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and ensuring survivors are at the centre of our response to allegations that arise,” Archbishop Coleridge said. The guidelines will address all forms of child abuse, including sexual, physical and psychological abuse, and neglect and maltreatment. The development of the guidelines will include extensive consultation, inviting abuse survivors and their supporters to participate. “The lessons we have learned over more than

20 years and the best practice employed in other parts of the community will inform the new national guidelines,” Archbishop Coleridge said. “The development and implementation of these guidelines will help to embed a more transparent and accountable culture in the way the Church seeks to prevent abuse and responds appropriately to allegations of the abuse of children and vulnerable adults. “They will be a blueprint for Church authorities to assist and guide them at a local level, seeking a consistent and just response across the country. They are about integrity and accountability.”

The guidelines will serve as a public commitment to integrity and accountability in responding to allegations of abuse. They will make clear the obligations of all Church authorities to respond with processes that are fair and effective, and which comply with all Australian laws. The assessment and management of risk to children will remain paramount throughout the new national guidelines. Prioritising children’s safety and wellbeing will ensure that Church authorities’ responses to concerns or allegations effectively address existing risks and do not create further risk to children. The guidelines will be considered in conjunction with the new National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, approved and launched by Catholic Professional Standards Ltd earlier this year.


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Rest in Peace Fr Ian Abbott

F Celestina, Children’s Animator for Mary MacKillop Today’s Mobile Learning Centre, is transforming lives through education.

Education is power. Education is empowerment. Mary MacKillop Today breaks down barriers to quality education here in Australia and overseas.


t’s hard for children in poor communities to go to school – especially in places like Timor-Leste. That’s why Mary MacKillop Today has set up programs like the Mobile Learning Centre. Picture a colourful bus travelling to schools, orphanages and disability centres in the most remote and neglected communities. It’s filled with creative tools like puppets and musical instruments to teach children through interactive workshops. Bringing fun to the classroom encourages children to develop a passion for learning, something that Celestina, a Mary MacKillop Today team member, sees every day: “We visit some very far away and isolated schools where some of the students walk up to an hour

from home to get there,” said Celestina. “We are providing a chance for children to learn but we are also providing training for the teachers. “ “The music and dancing bring everyone together and you can see their faces light up when the bus arrives! I know that what we are doing for the children now at a young age will help give them get a good start and continue to learn.” Mary MacKillop Today equips people like Celestina to connect with students, teachers and parents of underdeveloped and remote areas working collaboratively to improve the social and economic wellbeing of the entire community, which is crucial for a child’s long-term development and ability to contribute to society.


Please send a Cheque/Money order payable Mary MacKillop Today with this form and send it to MARY MACKILLOP TODAY, REPLY PAID 88663 North Sydney 2059 (No stamp required) OR Please debit this card:

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GIFT AMOUNT $ _________________________ Card number: __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Expiry date: ___________ / ___________ Name on card: _______________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________ Suburb: _______________________________________________________ Post Code: ______________ Ph:__________________________________ Email: _________________________________________________________ Signature: _____________________________________________________

PO BOX 1646, North Sydney 2059 Ph: (02) 8912 2777 ABN: 88 808 531 480 Donations $2 and over are www.marymackilloptoday.org.au tax deductible

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Last year Mary MacKillop Today reached almost 12,000 children in Timor-Leste with our Mobile Learning Centre, transforming lives with education by providing a proven pathway out of poverty. Mary MacKillop Today celebrates St Mary MacKillop’s Feast Day on 8 August, together with all of Australia, honouring her legacy and her passion for education by continuing its vital works here in Australia and overseas.

r Ian Abbott, a retired priest in the Diocese of Broken Bay, died peacefully on the evening of Tuesday 4 June 2019 at Wyong Hospital where he had been for some days following a neurological seizure. The son of Ethel and Stanley Abbott, Fr Ian was born on 6 March 1931 in Flemington NSW. He is survived by an older sister and a niece. Fr Ian was ordained on 24 July 1954 as a priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney, and was incardinated into our Diocese soon after its establishment, on 1 August 1986. In the time of our own Diocese, he served as Assistant Priest in the Parish of Manly from 1986-1991 and then Assistant Priest in the Parish of Toukley from 1991. He retired in January 1999 and has lived in Gorokan since. Fr Ian was a private man, but much loved by those who knew him especially in the Parish of Toukley-Lake Munmorah where his presence over the last 20 years was greatly valued. We extend to his family and the parish community our deepest sympathy. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.


Why we need positive boredom

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 diocesan.administrator@bbcatholic.org.au

CHANCERY OFFICES Diocesan Administrator Very Rev Dr David Ranson Senior Advisor Kelly Paget Chancellor Jo Robertson Diocesan Financial Administrator, Director, Office for Stewardship: Emma McDonald Director, Office for Communications Michael O’Dwyer 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 Acting Director: Tony Bracken 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 Mission, Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care (02) 9481 2658

BROKEN BAY NEWS Editor: Melissa Loughlin Tel: (02) 8379 1618 news@bbcatholic.org.au 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.



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


hen I look back at my childhood, some of the best days of my life were spent roaming the streets with my brother and the other kids in our neighbourhood. We did a lot of random and strange things: we would, for example, spend hours on our bikes going around our street – it was a small cul-de-sac. Or we would play cricket late into the night – we had a game once that ended at 9.00pm, and we were still primary school kids! But the most fun we had always seemed to grow out of boredom. When we were bored, our imaginations went wild. Some days we were the Power Rangers defending the earth from the bad guys. Other days, we were cops and robbers, planning and scheming, trying to outwit each other. Or, if no one wanted to go outside to play, I would create a magical land for my toys that always had a princess that needed saving. It was, without a doubt, a wonderful childhood. One of the reasons my childhood was filled with imaginative adventures, was because my parents got rid of our TV. They noticed that my brother and I were spending a lot of time in front of it but there really wasn’t that much worth seeing. And oh how we cried when we woke up to no TV. It was horrible! The other kids, we felt, were watching all these amazing shows while we had to… read. At first, for me, reading felt like a chore, like something I had to do to fill in the time, but after awhile, something peculiar started to happen. The words and pictures started to take on a life of their own. They would jump off the page, and I could vividly see what was happening. I started to long for the hours of boredom; the characters in the books suddenly became my best friends and I wanted to know

everything about them. The stories I read, I took them outside with me and told my friends about them. I wanted to share my excitement, my love, my joy with them, but they wanted to talk about the TV movie they saw the night before. As the years went on, our childhood adventures ended as school life took over. Our parents would rush us from one activity to the next before we’d come home to tackle the never-ending pile of homework. It seemed like there was no time to be bored. It is something I’ve noticed a lot of children today aren’t allowed to be. Every minute of every day is structured. They have no time to feed their younger brother a mud pie – something I may or may not have done – because after all, idle hands are the devil’s playthings. And this is true, only if you’re negatively bored. Negative boredom is picking up your phone for the tenth time in five minutes to check Facebook. It is spending a weekend binge watching Netflix. It is anything that doesn’t allow your mind to wonder. Positive boredom, on the other hand, allows room for the imagination to run rampant. But more than that, it acknowledges that we need to give God room to work. If we fill every second of our day with outside noise, we block ourselves from hearing His voice. It is in the quiet that we

are filled with inspiration. It is in the quiet that we ask questions, wonder and experience the beauty of the world around us. Mankind’s deepest desire to get closer to God is what inspired our great artists. They opened themselves to allow His beauty, mercy, and love to shine through. I recently read that Hell is boring. It is boring because we end up being stuck in self-centredness that is blind to all external beauty. I know I have experienced this boorish hell from time to time. Where instead of looking at the beauty around me, I’m fixated on myself, fixated on trying to find something that will give me immediate gratification. The problem with immediate gratification, it’s fleeting. You’ll always be chasing it, wanting more and, for it to be better than the last time. It doesn’t provide you with room to grow. Instead it robs you of time, as it slowly seeps into every aspect of your life. And before you know it, you’re no longer searching for true beauty. Positive boredom guides you towards true beauty. It lets you step outside and experience every day as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Be happy in boredom. Let it take you away from the TV – and your phone – and allow it to open you up to God’s voice. Let it inspire you to do great works. Do not fear it, but rather marvel and be blessed in it.

Positive boredom, on the other hand, allows room for the imagination to run rampant.

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BROKEN BAY BIBLE CONFERENCE 11-12 October 2019 Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2/423 Pennant Hills Rd Pennant Hills, NSW Registrations: www.trybooking.com/BCKBE

“The Holy Spirit Through the Pages of Scripture” From the very first pages of Scripture, through to the life of Jesus, the Early Church, and into our own times, the Holy Spirit is active, boldly empowering and gifting God’s people. Journey with us as we discover who the Holy Spirit is, and how the Spirit guides, enlivens and encourages our lives and the Church today.

Website: www.bbcatholic.org.au/bible

Dr Debra Snoddy Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Catholic Institute of Sydney

Rev Assoc Prof Ormond Rush Lecturer in Theology, Australian Catholic University

Enquiries: Tania Rimac faith.formation@bbcatholic.org.au 8379 1629

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Broken Bay News August 2019  

Broken Bay News August 2019