BBN February 2019

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WYD2019 Panama Beginning a New Year with Fresh Spirit

BROKEN BAY NEWS PUBLICATION OF THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY

FEBRUARY 2019

ISSUE 198


ACROSS OUR DIOCESE

...when we delight in the pure wonder and sense of play evident in young children... Beginning a New Year with Fresh Spirit Jesus’ baptism in the river Jordan by the prophet John represents for him a new beginning, the beginning of his ministry to realise his mission. BY FR DAVID RANSON

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s each new year gets underway, we too, are invited to consider what new beginnings are being extended to us. How is God calling us, within our own circumstances, to move forward in our life? What are the new possibilities into which we are being invited so that our own hearts might not lose their freshness no matter our age? Our hearts are always being birthed by the grace of Christ into new life. What is the new life this new year might represent for us? There is a magic in every beginning, wrote the German philosopher Herman Hesse.1 How true this is when we experience the birth of our children, when we hold a newborn baby in our arms, when we delight in the pure wonder and sense of play evident in young children, as we observe our children growing so quickly. When we gaze upon a child

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we are caught intensely between an immediate experience of the present and a heightened expectation of the future, between a “fulfilled moment and the beginning of a new day.”2 As another German writer, Jürgen Moltmann beautifully expresses it, “Childhood and youth are… transfigured with the daybreak colours of the dawn of life… imagined childlike innocence, this image of the pure beginning, this world of unlimited possibilities – all this makes childhood the image of hope… and when we search for ‘the child in us’ it is because we long to open this wellspring in ourselves once more.”3 The recovery of the ‘child in us’ is indeed a task that is always set before us. It is the challenge for us even in our old age when we might “blow away the chaff of many things, so as to reveal the essential wheat of our

“Childhood and youth are… transfigured with the daybreak colours of the dawn of life… imagined childlike innocence, this image of the pure beginning, this world of unlimited possibilities – all this makes childhood the image of hope…” time on earth,” according to Daniel O’Leary.4 He goes on to observe, “Our souls are always young. They have preserved, in a safe place, the fields of dreams that once lay beautifully across the landscapes of our childhood. It is in these fields, and in no other, where the seeds of our God-like beauty were first nurtured,

that our eternal harvest will be reaped. We do not outgrow our childhood. We grow into it more fully as we grow older. And it is only in heaven that we will possess it completely.”5 It is not surprising then that for Jesus the child is the image of the gospel’s invitation. Every child “represents a new beginning of life… original,


ACROSS OUR DIOCESE

When we gaze upon a child we are caught intensely between an immediate experience of the present and a heightened expectation of the future, between a “fulfilled moment and the beginning of a new day.”2 completely incomparable” and every birth “strengthens and confirms the great hope for the victory of life” that each of us cherish deep within us even in the midst of the distortions of our life journeys, our failures, our cynicism and frustration.6 In every child God waits for us to stir again within us the sense of new beginnings, of fresh possibilities, of awakening hopes. The divine invitation set before us is forever to become like a child so that, no matter our circumstances, life might be born again and begin afresh.7 And if this be so, then we can let go of life’s dead ends. We can see beyond the apparent blockages created by our failures and mistakes. We can glimpse beyond the stifling messages that we have received about ourselves. We can break open the tomb of our hurts and our bitterness. We can break open the numbness created by our fear of imagination. We can breathe again, weep again, laugh again, love again. The child within us, ever open to the dawning fullness of life, can be born again and stretch out into the future once more. In our baptism was a new beginning. Through the waters of baptism, we were brought into this community which keeps alive for us the call and the challenge to both die and rise, to keep dying and to keep rising – no matter our age, no matter our circumstances. The Dominican Paul Philibert once remarked, we should never let the waters of baptism dry from us.8 This is a wonderful image: we should always keep ourselves irrigated by the waters into which we were baptised. We should never let the waters of baptism dry off BROKEN BAY NEWS

from us. If we keep attentive to the question every day, “what must die? what might rise?” then the waters of our baptism will never dry from us. Keeping faithful to this question at the heart of the paschal mystery, the celebration of which we are about to prepare yet again, will keep us forever young. Many, many centuries ago, the Church father, Ireanaeus wrote that the Christian life is a beginning, moving through beginnings, to a beginning. As we begin a new year let us always live with this sense of future. In this gift there is magic indeed.

1 Herman Hesse, cited in Jürgen Moltmann, In the End – The Beginning: The life of hope, translated by Margaret Kohl, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004), 3. I am indebted to Moltmann for the theme of this homily. 2 Moltamnn, In the End – The Beginning, 8. 3 Moltamnn, In the End – The Beginning, 10. 4 Daniel O’Leary, “Home Before Dark,” The Tablet (28 June 2008), 11. 5 O’Leary, “Home Before Dark,” 11. 6 See Moltmann, In the End – The Beginning, 16-17. 7 See Moltmann, In the End – The Beginning, 14. 8 See Paul Philibert, Priesthood of the Faithful: Key to a living church (Liturgical Press, 2010).

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FEBRUARY 2019 3


ACROSS OUR DIOCESE

Youth honoured in special awards ceremony It was a wonderful celebration for Catholic Youth Broken Bay on Saturday 24 November 2018, ending the Year of Youth on a high.

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ver 140 young people and their families from across the Diocese of Broken Bay came together for a special Mass followed by a dinner and awards night at The Light of Christ Centre, Waitara. The night was a celebration of the youth of the Diocese of Broken Bay and their exemplary contribution to their local communities of faith. The evening included performances in singing, poetry, a speech and video presentation on the CYBB cross pilgrimage. The Light of Christ Centre was beautifully decorated for the evening to create an atmosphere of gratitude and thanksgiving. The food, soft serve machine and treats, photo

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booth and the after-event dance party created an atmosphere of vibrant communion among all.

all winners and nominees. The CYBB community is truly special!

The highlight of the evening was the recognition of all nominees and winners of the Youth Discipleship Awards and gratitude to all Youth Ministers, Teachers and Advocates of Youth Ministry in the Diocese. Diocesan Administrator Fr David Ranson presented the winners for their generous contribution to the local parish, school and Diocesan Youth Ministry initiatives and have shown exemplary giftedness of self. Over 70 nominations were received in the Catholic Youth Broken Bay office from across the Diocese. All nominees received a certificate. Congratulations to

Winners Year of Youth 2018 Youth Advocate – Youth Discipleship Award Hamish Lavery Year of Youth 2018 Young Adult – Youth Discipleship Award Seilina Na’ati Year of Youth 2018 High School – Youth Discipleship Award Lachlan Smith


Exploring our missionary outreach

NEIGHBOURHOODS OF GRACE

Our Lady of the Rosary, Wyoming

A community which seeks to love God and serve neighbour Nestled in the commuter-belt of the Central Coast, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish at Wyoming is a community which seeks to love God and serve neighbour. BY DEBRA VERMEER

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dministrator, Fr Raphael Kimaro AJ, says that while he is still relatively new to the Parish, he has been struck by the generosity of the people in their service to the Parish and their outreach to others.

“My approach is almost the same as the approach of the Plenary Council – to listen; listen to the youth, to the parishioners and then come out with an action plan for next year,” he says.

“The Parish theme for the year centres on helping parishioners to be witnesses of Christ in their neighbourhoods,” he says.

Wyoming, near Gosford is an area of the Central Coast which attracts working families, many of whom make the long commute to Sydney each day.

“It’s taken from our five-year strategic plan and it involves our parishioners being encouraged to take part in activities, to grow in faith, and in ministry to other people.”

“Many of them are also shift-workers,” says Fr Raphael. “They live here, even though they work in Sydney, because the price of accommodation is much cheaper.”

Fr Raphael says his first task in helping to bring the Parish theme to life has been to listen to the parishioners.

There is also a large migrant population, with the Parish being home to a big Indian community, as well as Filipinos, Africans and others.

BROKEN BAY NEWS

The different cultural communities present in the area bring a richness to parish life, especially when it comes to feasts and social celebrations. The Indian community celebrates Mass in the Syro-Malabar Rite every second and fourth Sunday of the month at 7.00pm and the Filipino community is very active in Church life, including through their choir and the Santa Ninio Festival held in January, with Mass, Filipino food and cultural dances. Indeed, the Parish has three choirs. They are the Young Adults Choir, the Missa Nostra Aetate Choir and the Rosa Mystica Choir. An organist, guitar players and drummers also play an important role in the music ministry. FEBRUARY 2019 5


NEIGHBOURHOODS OF GRACE

Exploring our missionary outreach

Fr Raphael says he is looking forward to starting some new youth activities next year, as well as offering some opportunities for marriage enrichment and family support. “We already celebrate marriage anniversaries in the Parish,” he says. “We have a morning tea each year for all the people celebrating anniversaries in that year and we organise Papal blessings for the big anniversaries. “And we want to introduce Marriage Encounter, where married people are helped to support themselves in marriage and then to support others.” Seniors at Our Lady of the Rosary are also well cared for, with Exposition, Benediction, Mass and Anointing of the Sick available every first Friday of the month. “After that Mass we have a morning tea together, which is an important outreach to the elderly,” says Fr Raphael. The Parish is very active in its ministry to the

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elderly, sick and housebound, with a committed team of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist taking Holy Communion to those who cannot attend Mass. They also visit the five local nursing homes every Sunday and Fr Raphael celebrates Mass at one of the nursing homes each week, with the help of parishioners, who organise the Mass.

its 40th anniversary last year, have a warm and close relationship.

A Friends of the Sick group visits patients in Gosford Private Hospital every Friday morning, while Fr Raphael is on a chaplains’ roster at Gosford Hospital and visits the Private Hospital whenever he can.

“For example, we are heavily involved with the Sacramental Program. Our School Religious Education Coordinator plans the sacramental liturgies and we host Sacramental Days for the State School students and our students on a Friday.

“We have a Hospitality Ministry which is very active in organising food and drinks whenever we have social gatherings,” says Fr Raphael.

“This all seems to be a good thing in linking the Parish and the School. People value that link.

“The school community is very much alive and aware in faith,” says OLOR Principal, Frank Cohen. “We have a really good relationship between school and parish.

“Every second Sunday we celebrate birthdays in the School COLA after the 9.30am Mass, with cake and morning tea.”

“Fr Raphael’s approach is very strong and pastoral in terms of being a presence for the kids in the school. He visits the classrooms and the students get to know him.

Indeed, the Parish and the adjacent Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School, which celebrated

“Once a month, there is a Parish/School Mass where the students take responsibility for all parts


Exploring our missionary outreach

of the Mass. The school choir and band play and the students do the readings and the offertory procession and again this strengthens the link between school and parish.” Meanwhile, the Parish also reaches out to Catholic students in public schools through an active Catechist ministry.

Parish Secretary Thea Dowsett says Mass is celebrated followed by a day of activities in the School COLA, where the different cultural groups within the Parish all contribute to the food, the fun and the dancing. “There’s always a lot going on during the day, including games. It’s a fun day, a really nice social day,” she says.

“We have a very committed team of parishioners who visit the six public primary schools and three high schools once a fortnight,” says Catechesis Coordinator Norah Marland.

Our Lady of the Rosary also interacts with nonCatholics in the community through an active association with other Churches.

“That timing works in with the other Christian Churches who go to the schools and it also works very well with our Diocesan curriculum.

Every Advent and Lent the Church communities get together for an ecumenical service and on Good Friday there is an ecumenical Stations of the Cross.

“People are very committed and very generous.”

“The Advent Ecumenical Service at Narara Uniting Church was very well attended,” says Fr Raphael.

Social get-togethers are an important part of life at Our Lady of the Rosary with the highlight being the annual celebration of the Parish’s feast day in October.

BROKEN BAY NEWS

Community outreach continues through the Parish’s St Vincent de Paul conference, as well as a long association with the Coast Shelter,

NEIGHBOURHOODS OF GRACE

which helps provide for those in need in the local community. “Our Parish is very involved in that,” says Fr Raphael. “There are many issues in the community, such as family break-up and violence. Our Parish shows its commitment to family stability by participating in a commitment against domestic violence.” Fr Raphael, who hails from Africa and is a member of the Apostles of Jesus religious institute, says, while he is still new to Our Lady of the Rosary, he is hoping it will be a ‘family’ parish, “where all the different gifts are nurtured and encouraged”. “I come from Africa where the Church is based on small Christian communities and the laity are empowered to be leaders of small groups and bring the Parish alive,” he says. “I hope we can continue to be a family, to encourage and support people here to grow in their faith and be empowered to share it with others. That’s my dream.”

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ACROSS OUR DIOCESE

Three new Lay Salvatorians commissioned in Broken Bay On Sunday 13 January, 2019, St Patrick’s Gosford welcomed Fr George Kolodziej, the Regional Superior of the Salvatorian Order in Australia, Fr Leonard Macionczyk and Anne Cullendar of the Lay Salvatorian team, for the commissioning of two Gosford Parish Lay Salvatorians, Cecilia Coughlin and Margaret Eadie.

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he Salvatorian Family has three branches: Salvatorian Fathers and Brothers, Salvatorian Sisters and Lay Salvatorians.

Lay Salvatorians share their vocation in equality and complementarity with the other members of the Salvatorian family and all are united by a public commitment to its mission as envisioned by their Founder, Father Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan, forming one family of zealous apostles, announcing to all the salvation that has appeared in Jesus Christ [John 17:3].

Lay Salvatorians are men and women, married or single, who • Have God at the centre of their lives; • Have the ability to lead, transforming their environment by the way they live, • Are defenders of life, human rights and all of God’s creation; • With their lives, give testimony of God’s kingdom; • Find strength by sharing in spiritual community with other Salvatorians.

ALBERT & MEYER FUNERAL DIRECTORS

Later that day at Sacred Heart, Pymble, Katrina Pratt was commissioned during 6:00pm Mass, once again by Fr George, Fr Leonard and Anne Cullendar. Katrina was supported by her parents and many friends from both Pymble Parish, where Katrina is the Youth Coordinator as well as Gosford, where she is a parishioner. Congratulations to Cecilia, Margaret and Katrina on this wonderful commitment!

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NEWS AND ISSUES

Youth Synod Final Document Released in English The 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops concluded on the 28 October 2018 with the release of final Synod Document.

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BY KELLY PAGET, TEAM LEADER, CATHOLIC YOUTH BROKEN BAY

he month-long gathering of Bishops elected by their local conferences as well as bishops selected by Pope Francis himself, including Archbishop Peter Comensoli, discussed many issues related to Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment. The gathering was guided by the findings of the Synodal reports complied by each Bishops Conference which relied heavily on the firsthand stories and accounts of young people. This particular Synod had a special link to young people themselves, with 50 ‘auditors’ aged 18-30, not only taking part in the daily group discussions, but also invited to give three-minute speeches, known as interventions. The joyful and often pained voice of the young was heard very clearly and had an obvious impact on not only the shape of the final document but also on the Bishop’s themselves. “We worked together, sharing our deepest concerns, communicating our anxieties, not concealing our burdens,” the bishops wrote in the introduction to the final document. “Many of the interventions touched us deeply and awakened our evangelical compassion: we felt as one body, suffering and rejoicing together.”

“Their eyes were opened” and “They set off without delay” clearly links to the evangelical story of the Road to Emmaus. Linking the life of young people to the story of Emmaus is a beautiful analogy, which adequately reflects the Church Fathers active listening to the stories of the youth, so often hurt and lost; their recognition of Jesus as their saviour through the life-giving relationships of mentors walking with them; and their passion to go out and spread the good news once known. Many topics are raised within these three sections, which included issues such as equality, cultural foundations, necessity for vocational slant in youth ministry and the need to rethink youth ministry as well as dealing with past hurts like the clergy abuse scandal and the treatment of migrants and refugees. As we continue to review and absorb the words of this document, coupled with the words of Pope Francis during WYD Panama, may the Spirit continue to guide us as we develop and renew our strategies to walk alongside our young people, helping them to draw close to Jesus Christ.

Justin Donnelly and Ashleigh Green

The eagerly awaited English translation of the Final document was released on 10 January 2019 and has allowed the English speakers of the Church to join to conversation. Ashleigh Green, who attended two of the three pre-Synodal gatherings in Rome representing not only Broken Bay, but Australia has commented; “I love that Justin and I got engaged in the same week that the Final Document for the Synod was released. It has truly been a journey of vocational discernment in ways I would never have expected when I received that first invitation to Rome!” She continues, “I love this quote from the document:” “Vocation is neither a pre-composed script that the human being has simply to recite nor is it an unwritten theatrical improvisation. Since God calls us to be friends and not servants (cf. Jn 15:13), our choices make a real contribution to the historical unfolding of his loving plan. The economy of salvation, on the other hand, is a Mystery that infinitely surpasses us; hence only through listening to the Lord do we learn what part we are called to play in it. Understood in this light, vocation appears as a real gift of grace and a gift of covenant – the most beautiful and precious secret of our freedom.” The document, like its preparatory document, is divided into three sections; “He Walked with them”, BROKEN BAY NEWS

World Youth Day pilgrims visit Mexico

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ur 65 Broken Bay WYD2019 pilgrims experienced an amazing few days in Mexico City, en route to Panama for World Youth Day in January. The highlight was visiting the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the site of the first four apparitions of Our Lady to Juan Diego. “Being in the actual place where Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego was sensational,” said Ian, a Year

12 student from St Leo’s Catholic College. “I had a special moment at Chapel on top the hill where she first appeared. After we prayed the rosary, we were just praying in the silence of our hearts for our intentions for ourselves and for others.” The pilgrims also visited the Teotihuacan area and the ancient Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. A full account of their pilgrimage to WYD2019 will feature in the April edition of Broken Bay News. FEBRUARY 2019 9


PLENARY COUNCIL 2020 CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY

The Diocese of Broken Bay emerged as the fourth highest responding diocese in the country and the highest responding diocese in Australia in proportion to the number of parishes.

Discerning Discipleship in Broken Bay The journey of Plenary Council 2020 continues in this new year, following a Year of Listening in which the Diocese of Broken Bay emerged as the fourth highest responding diocese in the country and the highest responding diocese in Australia in proportion to the number of parishes.

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undreds of people in our local communities – parishes, schools and networks – shared their voice and sense of faith as the Church in Australia and will now actively shape the themes and agenda of the Plenary Council to be announced at Pentecost (9 June 2019). As thousands of submissions Australia-wide are processed by the National Centre for Pastoral Research, we as the People of God in Broken Bay will seek to dedicate ourselves to a Year of Discernment, to discover together the concrete path that God is

calling us on as individuals and as a community of Christians. This Year of Discernment will invite us to become sensitive to the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit who enables us to be faithful to Jesus in the present and who continually invites greater life in our future, abundance where there is poverty, communion where this is division, hope where this is despair, possibility where there is seeming limitation. As it has been said, when the Spirit breaks in there comes the hope of a new day and the courage and strength to move toward it.

As Pope Francis has shared in his teaching, discernment of the Spirit’s promptings in our life is a gift born in our hearts and minds by prayer, a grace and spiritual instinct given to all of God’s people by our baptism and confirmation in faith. Discernment is an everyday habit of Christian life and involves our ongoing quest for God who is actively at work in our Church and world, sometimes inspiring and at other times disruptive of our plans. The forthcoming year will open opportunities for us to grow in the practice of discernment through prayer, in continued dialogue with one another, and by entering more deeply into the way of Jesus in our respective vocations and mission. We are called to discernment in all those ways we live out the call to holiness, whether in our parishes, schools, our everyday work and relationships. Pope Francis has shared that true discernment invites us to learn the patience of God and His times, which are never ours. It also involves the courage to allow the Word and will of God to direct our decisions, a courage built upon our intimate fellowship and intimacy with God. He observes, “One may

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teach and grow in discernment only if familiar with this inner teacher who, like a compass, offers the criteria to distinguish, for himself and for others, the times of God and His grace; to acknowledge His passage and the way of His salvation; to indicate concrete means, pleasing to God, to accomplish the good that He predisposes in His mysterious plan of love for each and for all” (14 September 2017). Throughout this year, our Office for Evangelisation will make available opportunities to enter into this spiritual exercise of discernment, to keep before our eyes the mission of Jesus and to discern how God is asking of us to respond in Australia at this time. Our dedication to dialogue and discernment as a part of Plenary Council 2020 will express our conviction that God is at work in world history, in the events of our life, in the people we encounter and those who share life with us. Together as the People of God in Broken Bay, we are called to listen to what the Spirit suggests to us and to discern the movement of God, so we can choose and accomplish the good that God wants.


A Year of Discernment in our Diocese 6

Lectio Divina: Discerning the Way of Jesus. A spiritual guide for the Lenten season Available in all parishes and schools of the Diocese of Broken Bay

March

‘Messy Families’ seminars with Mike and Alicia Hernon A Catholic conversation on marriage and family Pennant Hills Parish and Terrigal Parish

19-21 July

September

October

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September

Twilight Talk: Holy Spirit, Discernment and Discipleship Featuring Fr David Ranson, for young adults Hotel Pennant Hills, Pennant Hills

SmartLoving Marriage Retreat Featuring Francine and Byron Pirola St Joseph’s Retreat Centre, Baulkham Hills

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May

Holy Spirit Retreat for Young Adults Peter Canisius House, Centre of Ignatian Spirituality, Pymble

International guest speaker: Sherry Weddell “Making Disciples in the Catholic Parish” Caroline Chisholm Centre, Pennant Hills

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22-23

21-22

September

Bible Conference, “The Holy Spirit in Scripture” Featuring Professor Ormond Rush and Dr Debra Snoddy Caroline Chisholm Centre, Pennant Hills

Developing Strengths-Based Ministry: Engaging the Clifton Strengths Finder tool. For parish teams and ministry leaders Caroline Chisholm Centre, Pennant Hills

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December

Australian Catholic Youth Festival 2019: “Listen to what the Spirit is saying.” For youth and young adults Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre

Dates and venues subject to change. Please check the Diocese of Broken Bay website (www.bbcatholic.org.au) and future editions of the Broken Bay News in 2019 for the latest event details and updates.

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October


NEWS AND ISSUES

Unlocking Church Renewal In Relationship with Christ, Guided by the Holy Spirit In November 2015, in an address to the Italian bishops, Pope Francis made a profound statement about the situation of our Church and times: “We are not living an era of change, but a change of era.” BY PINA BERNARD

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his implies substantial change – a paradigm shift in the world, its beliefs, assumptions and behaviours. Even before the Second Vatican Council, it was becoming clear that change would be needed in the way in which the Church reached out to the world in mission. The Church’s message was not being received in broader society as it once was, and the great story of Jesus was losing its relevance for many people. This continues to be our situation today. Pope Francis’ striking comment followed the efforts of previous Popes to encourage us to respond to the times we find ourselves in by rediscovering the Church’s missionary nature and by finding new and creative ways of sharing the good news (evangelising) today. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI established the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. A Synod on the New Evangelisation was then held in 2012, leading to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ in which he speaks of a missionary impulse that transforms everything for the evangelisation of today’s world (Evangelii Gaudium, 27). In their turn, the Australian Bishops have also sought to initiate prayer and dialogue as we seek to respond to the times with faith. We can see the beginnings of this national discernment with the Year of Grace in 2012-13 which encouraged us to “start afresh from Christ”; and our upcoming Plenary Council in 2020, a process in which we are listening to what the Spirit is saying so that we can be guided towards a healthy and faithful future.

The message and invitation of our tradition has been clear and constant: Go out and share the Good News of Jesus in new ways, and our starting point is to keep ourselves focused on Christ and open in trust to the Holy Spirit. But where do we start? Thankfully, various insights and models are emerging within the Catholic context that are starting to bear fruit. Three separate initiatives seem to be coalescing and finding resonance with one another in encouraging parishes on the path of Catholic renewal. Firstly, we can draw upon Sherry Weddell’s Forming Intentional Disciples, published in 2012. Weddell outlines a pathway leading to an authentic relationship with Jesus and an intentional commitment to follow him. A key element of Weddell’s work is assisting people to discover their spiritual gifts so that all can participate in the building up of our Church in its life and mission. We are delighted to be able to welcome Sherry Weddell to the Diocese of Broken Bay in September 2019. The second initiative that is gaining momentum is the work of St Benedict’s Parish, Halifax in Canada, as described by Fr James Mallon in his influential book Divine Renovation (2014). This Parish has developed a ‘game plan’ as a method of moving their Parish from ‘maintenance’ to ‘mission’. People are invited first to come to know Jesus, and then invited to join small groups for formation and ongoing authentic community. We were privileged to host Ron Huntley from St Benedict’s Parish here in Broken Bay last year to draw on his experience and insights.

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These three initiatives offer us direction and can play a part in assisting parishes to continue to grow in their evangelising mission. They reveal that the way of building up the Church is through the formation and transformation of its people in living and personal faith. This project of Church renewal begins with each and all of us!

Two Challenges: • Explore your faith as a relationship with Jesus and nurture this relationship through prayer, the Scriptures and Sacraments of the Church. Intentionally choose to say ‘yes’ to following Jesus and being his disciple. • Trust in the Holy Spirit, active in and through each of us. Pray each day to the Holy Spirit to come into your life in a new way, and trust that the Spirit will indeed come. Learn to listen to the Spirit and what the Spirit is inviting in your life and relationships. The Catholic Life & Faith Formation team of the Office for Evangelisation supports parishes by advancing best practices for parish evangelisation and faith formation to make and form disciples.

Experience God’s light and peace in your life this Lent Churches of the Diocese of Broken Bay will be open on Fridays in Lent, 7pm – 8pm, for quiet time and prayer, with the Sacrament of Reconciliation available

The central tool that St Benedict’s has found beneficial in its evangelisation efforts is Alpha, which is the third initiative in this picture of renewal. Alpha is a series of sessions, commencing with a meal, a video and then entering small group conversation. Alpha explores the basics of the Christian faith and allows people to talk about their relationship with Jesus, and to experience the Holy Spirit. We welcome Lorraine McCarthy, Alpha in a Catholic Context Coordinator in Australia, to the Diocese of Broken Bay on 16 February to offer training for our parish leaders and teams. A ‘Come and See’ event will be held that evening, open to anyone who would like to have a ‘taste’ of Alpha and find out more about it.

www.thelightisonforyou.org.au

Please visit www.bbcatholic.org.au/CLFF or contact faith.formation@bbcatholic.org.au


ACROSS OUR DIOCESE

Our Services for Seniors Supporting you to live at home longer

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atholicCare provides a range of services to seniors in our communities who may need assistance to keep living at home independently.

also provide various centre-based activities and respite services.

Through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), the supports can be short term or ongoing.

Do you need help with any of these things? • • • • • • • •

Support with personal care Community access to events/functions Community access to appointments Light domestic duties Light shopping Support meal preparation In-home social interaction Supervision of the taking of medication

I am very happy with the services CatholicCare provides my husband in our home. I trust the care worker, she attends to my husband’s needs well and helps with the general running of the house. It also allows me to go out and attend activities knowing my husband is being well cared for.

You may be eligible if you need support with everyday activities and you are: • 65 years or older • 50 years or older and on a low income, homeless or at risk of being homeless • 50 years or older and identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person • 45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on a low income, homeless or at risk of being homeless.

How do I apply? Before you can access CHSP services you must register with My Aged Care by calling 1800 200 422 or by going to www.myagedcare.gov.au. If you need help to register, please call us on (02) 9488 2500.

We cover the Central Coast region as well as the Northern Sydney, Hornsby & Ku-ring-gai areas. We

What will it cost? Subsidised by the Australian Government, fees are affordable. People receiving services are asked for a contribution of $5 per hour if they can afford it.

If you would like to access any of these services, please call Shane Watson on (02) 9488 2500. You can also email chsp@catholiccaredbb.org.au or visit www.catholiccaredbb.org.au/aged-care for more information.

AUDIO

VISION

LIGHTING

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WE HAVE YOUR SOLUTION BROKEN BAY NEWS

FEBRUARY 2019 13


WE’RE HERE TO HELP P: (02) 9481 2600 E: info@catholiccaredbb.org.au W: www.catholiccaredbb.org.au

Aged Care Services Hospital Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care Domestic & Family Violence Support Supported Playgroup

Child & Family Support

Relationship Support Counselling

Family Dispute Resolution & Mediation

Family Referral Service Mary Mac’s Place

Disability Services & NDIS Support

Housing & Homelessne Support

Early Learning Centres

Youth Drug & Alcohol Support

Parent

Out of Sc

Emergency Relief


ting Education

ess

Foster Care

chool Hours Care

Family Day Care

Community Visitors Scheme


FEBRUARY – APRIL 2019

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.

CATHOLIC LIFE & FAITH FORMATION ALPHA TEAM TRAINING Alpha is a series of interactive sessions that explore the basics of the Christian faith in a friendly, open and informal environment. Each session includes a simple meal, a video and small group discussion. This training is ideal for Alpha teams, and it is also suitable for anyone who would like to explore Alpha and see how it might benefit their parish. Presenter: Lorraine McCarthy, Alpha in a Catholic Context Coordinator in Australia

Alpha Team Training Day Alpha team training aims to develop teams with the skills to successfully run Alpha in local parishes. It will include information on what Alpha is and how it fits into the faith formation process in a Parish. Training will include small group facilitation, how to sustain small group enthusiasm and how to run the Alpha weekend/day retreat. Tips on marketing and promotion and forming an Alpha team are covered. Date: Saturday 16 February 2019 Time: 9:00am—4:30pm Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills (vehicular entry via City View Rd)

Alpha “Come and See” The evening session will give participants a taste of Alpha, and include a meal, video and discussion. This session is ideal for anyone who would like to understand what Alpha is and to evaluate its possible effectiveness for your parish. Date: Saturday 16 February 2019 Time: 6:15pm—8:30pm Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills (vehicular entry via City View Rd) RSVP: By Wednesday 13 February 2019 to faith.formation@bbcatholic.org.au or Tania Rimac 8379 1629

PARISH PASTORAL COUNCILS: AN EVANGELISING MINISTRY This event is an opportunity for Parish Pastoral Councils (PPC) of the Diocese of Broken Bay to gather together for shared prayer and formation. The morning

will include theological and practical reflections and discussions to better understand the role of the PPC in parish life; and tools will be offered to enhance effectiveness and support the work of the PPC. This formation seeks to support parish leaders and will lead into subsequent formation opportunities throughout the year. All Clergy and PPC members are warmly invited. Date: Saturday 6 April 2019 Time: 9:00am—12:30pm Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills (vehicular entry via City View Rd) RSVP: By Friday 29 March 2019 to faith.formation@bbcatholic.org.au or Pina Bernard 8379 1627

CATHOLIC YOUTH BROKEN BAY CYBB Training Day All Youth Ministry Coordinators and potential youth ministry leaders are invited to the CYBB training days to grow in their leadership and brainstorm with other local leaders to strategically plan for the year ahead. Open to young adults (18+) from across the Diocese to come together, share resources and be energised to go into their local parish communities to bring Christ to young people. Date: Saturday 23 February 2019 Time: 9:00am – 2:00pm Venue: The Light of Christ Centre, Yardley Avenue, Waitara

PRAISEFEST Catholic Youth Broken Bay invites all young people to our first PRAISEFEST of the year and celebrate together our World Youth Day Panama Reunion!!! After a fruitful and exciting journey through Mexico and Panama for World Youth Day, the night will be a chance to come together, share stories and catch up with old friends! The night includes our Festival with food and activities, leading into a night of vibrant praise & honest worship, an inspirational relevant word, and time for reflection and intimacy with Jesus. Date: Friday 29 March 2019 Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm Venue: The Light Of Christ Centre, Yardley Avenue, Waitara

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

CCD Ministry Induction – Compulsory training for new catechists and helpers CCD Ministry induction course is compulsory for all new catechists and those catechists returning to teach after an extended break from teaching. The CCDMI is also available to complete online except for Teaching the Authorised Curriculum which is required to be completed ‘face to face’. Please contact registrations for more details.

16

FEBRUARY 2019

Unit 1

The Mission and Ministry of the Catechist

Unit 2

SRE Teacher in the Parish and the School

Unit 3

Safeguarding Children

Unit 4

Lesson Planning: Teaching the Authorised Curriculum

Unit 5

The Development of the Child and Adolescent I

Unit 6

Classroom Management: Positive Discipline

Unit 7

Introduction to the Bible

Unit 8

Teaching Strategies: Using the Interactive SmartBoard


FEBRUARY – APRIL 2019

TERM 1

Date: Monday 8 April 2019

Central Coast Region – Course Type: CCDMI Location: Our Lady Star of the Sea, 165 Serpentine Road, Terrigal Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch Date: Monday 18, 25 February, 4 & 11 March 2019 Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm Register by: Monday 11 February 2019

Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm Register by: Monday 1 April 2019

Reflection Mornings Term 1 Central Coast Region Course Type: Reflection Morning Location: St Cecilia’s Parish Centre (Behind the church), 21-23 Byron Street, Wyong

Northern Beaches Region – Course Type: CCDMI

Date: Friday 22 March 2019

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

Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm

Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch

Register by: Friday 15 March 2019

Date: Friday 22 February 1, 8, & 15 March 2019 Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm Register by: Friday 15 February 2019 North Shore Hornsby Region – Course Type: CCDMI Location: Caroline Chisholm Centre, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills (Entry via City View Road). Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch Date: Monday 25 February, 4, 11 & 18 March 2019 Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm Register by: Monday 18 February 2019 Level 1 – Workshop Day: Tools for teaching in the SRE Classroom Level 1 consists of six, 2-hour units, and is complimentary to the CCDMI. The units offered are ‘tools for the CCD ministry’ presenting teaching strategies for the classroom. It is offered as additional training and is not compulsory. A certificate is awarded on successful completion of the CCDMI and all 6 units of Level One. Unit 8

Teaching Strategies: Prayer in the Classroom

Unit 9

Teaching Strategies: Listening and Questioning

North Shore Hornsby Region – Course Type: Level 1 – Teaching Strategies: Prayer in the Classroom & Teaching Strategies: Listening and Questioning

Northern Beaches Region Course Type: Reflection Morning Location: St Anthony in the Fields, 46 Myroora Road, Terrey Hills Date: Friday 29 March 2019 Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm Register by: Friday 22 March 2019 North Shore Hornsby Region – Course Type: Reflection Morning Location: Caroline Chisholm Centre, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills (Entry Via City View Road) Date: Friday 5 April 2019 Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm Register by: Friday 29 March 2019

In-Service Courses (held in School Holidays) Other Ongoing Compulsory Training (to be completed once every 3 years) All Catechists welcomed to attend In-Service Training Classroom Management Workshop (This will be held in school holidays) (to be completed every 3 years.)

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

North Shore & Hornsby Region

(Entry Via City View Road)

Course Type: Classroom Management Workshop

Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch

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

Date: Monday 25 March 2019

(Entry via City View Road)

Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm

Date: Wednesday 24 April 2019

Register by: Monday 18 March 2019

Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm

Central Coast Region

Register by: Wednesday 17 April 2019

Course Type: Level 1 – Teaching Strategies: Prayer in the Classroom & Teaching Strategies: Listening and Questioning

Northern Beaches

Location: St Cecilia’s Parish Centre (Behind the church), 21-23 Byron Street, Wyong

Location: St Joseph’s Catholic Church, 21 Lagoon St, Narrabeen

Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch

Date: Friday 26 April 2019

Date: Monday 1 April 2019

Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm

Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm

Register by: Friday 19 April 2019

Register by: Monday 25 March 2019

Central Coast Region

Northern Beaches Region

Course Type: Classroom Management Workshop

Course Type: Level 1 – Teaching Strategies: Prayer in the Classroom & Teaching Strategies: Listening and Questioning

Location: Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish Hall, 165 Serpentine Road, Terrigal

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

Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm

Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch

Register by: Tuesday 16 April 2019

BROKEN BAY NEWS

Course Type: Classroom Management Workshop

Date: Tuesday 23 April 2019

FEBRUARY 2019

17


NEWS AND ISSUES

Caritas Australia helps bring water to Zimbabwe Caritas Australia with its partner Caritas Hwange is helping bring water to Zimbabwe.

L

ocated in the Southern Africa, Zimbabwe is plagued by ongoing droughts, food and water scarcity and poor sanitation.

For 12-year-old Thandolwayo, who lives with her grandparents in a village in north-west Zimbabwe, life hasn’t been easy. Every morning before school, Thandolwayo used to walk 3.5 kilometres with the other women and girls to the Gwayi River and back again. Carrying a 5-litre container, she would traverse a rocky, mountainous path to collect water for her family and her teacher. “Then when we got to the river, we were afraid of being attacked by crocodiles,” Thandolwayo says. “I went to school tired after collecting water and my performance at school was low.” In 2017, Caritas Australia partnered with Caritas Hwange to help the community to install two solarpowered pumps to draw the water up from the river, as well as two 10,000 litre storage tanks. Thanks to Caritas’ support, water is now on tap in the village – benefitting the whole community. “Life has really changed as a result of the tap because now I can bathe every day,” says

Thandolwayo. “The distance to collect water for the family has been drastically reduced. We now drink clean, safe water and diseases are no longer affecting us”. The plentiful water supply has also triggered a series of new ventures. Water is being used to mould bricks for building houses and to pound maize to sell. Plans are underway to establish a community garden and a fish pond, to generate a better income. “I’m so proud that tap water has been brought to this community during my lifetime,” says Thandolwayo’s grandmother, Regina. “Thandolwayo can eat three meals a day and she can concentrate much better at school. We hope she will excel and get a good job and take care of her family.” “Thandolwayo is one of the school’s most hardworking and intelligent students. She has a bright future,” her teacher, Marvellous, says. There are hopes that the new, reliable water source will draw more families back to the village. School attendance has already increased and there are plans for a secondary school.

“The dignity of the community has been restored,” says Super Dube, Caritas Hwange’s Diocesan Coordinator. “People no longer have to worry about collecting a basic thing like water which is a human right. The project has certainly brought hope to the village,” he says. “Hope is important because it makes me work harder so that I achieve what I want to be when I grow up. I want to live a good life in the future,” Thandolwayo says. Your donation to Project Compassion this Lent can help to transform the lives of children like Thandolwayo.

PROJECT

COMPASSION

GIVE LENT 100% Lives change when we all give 100% PLEASE DONATE TODAY 1800 024 413 caritas.org.au #projectcompassion

18 FEBRUARY 2019


DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY – COMMUNITY OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS 2019 SCHOOL OPEN DAYS CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS

SUBURB

DATE

TIME

St Patrick’s

Asquith

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

9.00am – 10.30am

Maria Regina

Avalon

Friday, 8 March 2019

8.45am

St Cecilia’s

Balgowlah

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

9.30am – 11.00am

St Bernard’s

Berowra Heights Monday, 6 May 2019

9:00am to 11.00am & 5:30 – 6:30pm

St Gerard’s

Carlingford

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

9.15am – 11.00am

Our Lady of Dolours

Chatswood

Thursday, 7 March 2019

9.00am – 10.30am

St Rose

Collaroy Plateau

Thursday, 7 March 2019

9.30am – 11.00am

St Martin’s

Davidson

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

9.30am – 11.00am

St Kevin’s

Dee Why

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

9.30am – 11.00am & 7.00pm – 8.00pm

St Patrick’s

East Gosford

Thursday, 28 March 2019

9.00am Tours & 9:30am Info Session

Our Lady Help of Christians

Epping

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

9.00am – 11.00am

Our Lady of Good Counsel

Forestville

Friday, 8 March 2019

9.30am – 11.00am

St John the Baptist

Freshwater

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

9.30am – 10.30am & 6.30pm – 7.30pm

Holy Cross

Kincumber

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

9.30am – 11.00am & 6.30pm – 7.30pm

St Brendan’s

Lake Munmorah

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

9.00am – 10.15am & 6.00pm – 7.00pm

Holy Family

Lindfield

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

9:15am – 10.40am & 6.30pm – 7:30pm

St Mary’s

Manly

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

9.00am – 10.30am & 7.00pm – 8.00pm

St Kieran’s

Manly Vale

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

9.15am – 11.00am & 6.30pm – 7.30pm

Sacred Heart

Mona Vale

Friday, 22 March 2019

9.00am – 11.00am

St John the Apostle

Naraweena

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

9:15am – 10.40am & 6.30pm – 8.00pm

St Joseph’s

Narrabeen

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

9.15am – 10.15am

St. Philip Neri

Northbridge

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

9.15am –10.30am

St Agatha’s

Pennant Hills

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

9.15am – 11.00am

Sacred Heart

Pymble

Friday, 8 March 2019

9.30am – 10.45am

Corpus Christi

St Ives

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

9.00am – 11.00am

Our Lady Star of the Sea

Terrigal

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Tours from 6.30pm; Info Session 7.30pm – 8.15pm

Our Lady of the Rosary

The Entrance

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

9.30am – 11.00am

St Mary’s

Toukley

Monday, 25 March 2019

7.00pm – 8.30pm

St John Fisher

Tumbi Umbi

Monday, 6 May 2019

10.00am – 11.00am

Prouille

Wahroonga

Friday, 8 March 2019

9.00am – 10.00am

Our Lady of the Rosary

Waitara

Friday, 15 March 2019

9.30am – 11.30am

MacKillop

Warnervale

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

4.00pm – 6.00pm

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

West Pymble

Thursday, 7 March 2019

8:15am – 11.00am

St Thomas’

Willoughby

12,13 & 14 March 2019

By Appt. 9.15am – 10.45am

St John the Baptist

Woy Woy

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

7.00pm – 8.00pm

Our Lady of the Rosary

Wyoming

Friday, 8 March 2019

4.30pm – 7.00pm

St Cecilia’s

Wyong

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

7.00pm – 8.00pm

Mercy Catholic College

Chatswood

Sunday, 3 March 2019

11.00am – 2.00pm

St Joseph’s Catholic College

East Gosford

Monday 4 March 2019

3.45pm – 6.00pm

St Brigid’s Catholic College

Lake Munmorah

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

9.00am – 12.45pm & 6.00pm – 7.00pm

St Paul’s Catholic College

Manly

Thursday, 7 March 2019

4:00pm – 7.00pm

St Peter’s Catholic College

Tuggerah

Monday, 11 March 2019

4.00pm – 7.00pm

St Leo’s Catholic College

Wahroonga

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

4.00pm – 7.00pm

MacKillop Catholic College

Warnervale

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Tours 4.00pm – 6.00pm & Info session 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Mater Maria Catholic College

Warriewood

Thursday, 7 March 2019

4.00pm – 7.00pm

CATHOLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS

BROKEN BAY NEWS

FEBRUARY 2019 19


EDUCATION

Good Deeds at Holy Cross

S

taff and students at Holy Cross Catholic School, Kincumber helped their community last year with two initiatives: a fundraising drive for the drought effort and the ‘You Can Sit With Me’ anti-bullying initiative.

South Wales, and held fundraising events including a cake stall, family barbeque, and dress-up week.

The school collected generous donations of clothing and funds for drought-affected people in New

Assistant Principal Chris Franklin drove to St Michael’s Catholic Primary School in Manilla in

Families were also invited to ‘go without’ a luxury item for a week and donate the cost to the cause.

rural New South Wales to present the Principal, Karen Keys, with the clothing and a cheque for the $2703.95 raised. The money was used to ease the financial burden of drought-affected students at St Michael’s by assisting with everyday expenses and uniform costs.

A Heart to Serve: The Joy of Leadership Leaders from schools across the Diocese met last November for the inaugural Joy of Leadership conversations.

H

eld at Canisius College in Pymble and entitled A Heart to Serve, the gathering was designed to inspire and engage our leaders and aspiring leaders in reflections on contemporary Catholic leadership. Seventy-five leaders took part and watched

on as Dr Anthony Maher interviewed Fr David Ranson about the challenges and joys of missionary leadership.

Archbishop of Hobart, Guilford Clyde Young, and the leader of Cisterian monks at Tarrawarra Abbey, Dom Kevin O’Farrell.

Fr David spoke about his view that leadership was about people and reflected on models of leadership from his own life, including the former

When questioned about the various agendas of Church and education today, Fr David called on leaders to “Listen deeply to others because listening is leadership in action.” The lively conversation continued during the evening meal, and Director of Schools Peter Hamill thanked leaders for their commitment to participate. This evening was the first of a series of proposed evenings on leadership to be held within the Diocese.

“Listen deeply to others because listening is leadership in action.” 20 FEBRUARY 2019


EDUCATION

Battle of the Business Assistants

S

Georgina McHugh and Bridie Cartwright from St Joseph’s Catholic College, East Gosford took out the top prize at the inaugural Battle of the Business Assistants competition.

even teams from St Joseph’s, St Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah and MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale took part in the competition which was held at St Peter’s. Each team of two was given a number of real-world business tasks to complete within three hours. Teams from MacKillop and St Peter’s

were in joint second place, while another team from St Peter’s took out third place. Phil Cox, Education Officer in Secondary Vocational Learning and Curriculum from the Catholic Schools Office, said the day would not have been possible without the hard work of the Business Services teachers who judged the competition and prepared students with enterprise skills.

P

Young Journalist of the Year

hoebe Sheridan from St Joseph’s Catholic College, East Gosford made it all the way to the finals of the Australian Young Journalist Award this year before taking out the runner-up prize. Students from Catholic schools across Australia competed in the award by entering an interview with a “Justice Hero,” someone who was a force for good in their community. The prize has been offered for several years and is supported by the Australian Catholic University.

BROKEN BAY NEWS

Phoebe’s 500-word entry on Liesl Tesch was published alongside the other winning entries in the Spring edition of the Australian Catholics magazine. Liesl was just 19 when she suffered a near-fatal mountainbiking accident and went on to represent Australia at an amazing seven Paralympic Games – winning two gold medals. In 2017 Liesl was a Labor candidate for the state by-election in the seat of Gosford, becoming the new local member and the first person to enter State Parliament in a wheelchair. FEBRUARY 2019 21


EDUCATION

Growing Healthy Minds and Hearts Staff, students and parents at Our Lady of Dolours Catholic School in Chatswood have built a new garden for their local community.

W

ith a generous donations from ClubGRANT and from local businesses, the school community banded together to build the garden on Ferguson Lane in Chatswood. The Principal, Mr Philip Ledlin, said the new garden would be enjoyed by the entire community. “Ferguson Lane is a very busy thoroughfare for people accessing The Concourse, the train station and the shopping centres, but it really lacked visual appeal,” he explained. “Our school community saw

an opportunity to make a difference to this.” The school applied for a grant to create a garden to make the space more appealing and the Community Garden was officially opened by Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney, with Aboriginal Education Officer Mr David Ella leading a smoking ceremony. “The added bonus was that the students would be able to use this space as an outdoor learning area, and so far the children are just loving it,” said Mr Ledlin.

Meanwhile over at St Cecilia’s Catholic School in Balgowlah a blessing by Fr Paul Maloney on the feast day of St Cecilia’s capped-off months of design, planning and construction of a new Reflection Garden. After a Eucharistic celebration, Fr Paul officially opened the new garden, which was designed by school parent and Northern Beaches gardening-guru Jo Trube, assisted by members of the Parent Network. The garden will be used for class reflection and prayer.

…so far the children are just loving it As St Cecilia is the Patron Saint of musicians, the opening was followed by a music festival in the school playground performed by the students.

Maths Olympiad Champions Prouille Catholic School at Wahroonga took out the Joint Team of the Year Award in the Maths Olympiad Competition and had three students score one hundred per cent.

T

he Maths Olympiad is run throughout South-East Asia with over 30,000 students participating. The games are designed to give students in Years 5 and 6 a chance to learn and develop new problem-solving skills. Thirty students from Prouille participated in five problem-solving competitions throughout the year. The School won the Joint Team of the Year Award for Australian

22 FEBRUARY 2019

schools when they attained the highest score in competition alongside Holsworthy Public School also from NSW. Ines Teixeira Pinto, Matthew Floresta and Jonah Lee were the three Maths Olympiad top scorers at Prouille, with each scoring 100 per cent. In the 2018 competition, only 48 students were perfect scorers thus placing Ines, Matthew and Jonah in esteemed company indeed.


EDUCATION

Our Lady of the Rosary Wyoming celebrates 40th anniversary On 4 November last year, Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School at Wyoming had a wonderful celebration of their 40th anniversary, coinciding with the annual Parish Feast Day.

F

r David Ranson led a beautiful Mass, followed by student performances in the playground. “A Walk Down Memory Lane” display with an exhibition of photos highlighting the last 40 years was enjoyed by all. Back in the 1970s under the guidance of

Fr Philip Murphy, then Parish Priest of OLR Wyoming, the parents and friends of the Parish made many sacrifices to build the school on Henry Parry Drive, Wyoming. The school opened its doors in 1978 with Therese Williamson as the first Principal, and a staff of only

five. Since then, the school has built up a strong reputation for bringing the word of God to the students and for its excellence in academic achievement. OLR Wyoming is very proud of its past and will have eight new state-of-the-art classrooms ready for use in early 2019.

National Theatre Winners Thirty students from MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale took out a group award at the 2018 OzTheatrics Junior Theatre Celebration Australia for their performance from The Little Mermaid Junior.

T

he event offers performers, ranging in ages from 7 to 18, the opportunity to present an extract from a Music Theatre International Broadway Junior™ musical to fellow guests and a panel of adjudicators. The young performers receive feedback on their music, acting, dance, overall performance and constructive criticism to encourage further learning in key areas.

share their talents, cheer each other on, and be part of an international community of people who care about the art form as much as they do. The festivals are the world’s largest events exclusively dedicated to celebrating young people and student-driven musical theatre.

With MacKillop taking out the prize for Outstanding Choreography, the judges recognised the students’ ability to “tell a story and manipulate the focus for the audience.” Marty Johnston, iTheatrics’ Director of Education, described the performance as “amazing.” Students Trinity Young and Phoenix Morley were named as the Junior Theatre Celebration All-Stars, made up of outstanding performers attending the event. The Junior Theatre Celebrations allow students and teachers from across Australia to come together to BROKEN BAY NEWS

FEBRUARY 2019 23


EDUCATION

Supporting teachers, so that special needs students can flourish For almost three decades, educator Christine Grima-Farrell has been passionate about helping teachers boost their skills and confidence to work with students with diagnosed disabilities.

N

ow, Dr Grima-Farrell will share her expertise with the Catholic education sector after winning the 2019 Brother John Taylor Fellowship, a $20,000 research prize offered annually by Catholic Schools NSW, that will enable her to study the latest special needs teaching approaches overseas. Dr Grima-Farrell, who leads the Special Needs Team in the Broken Bay Catholic Schools Office, said her research will aim to build teacher confidence and capacity to maximise

engagement and success for students with special needs. “The Fellowship will enable me to study evidence-based approaches in the US and Canada that address the strengths and needs of students, teachers and school leaders to maximise students’ potential to flourish as individuals and classroom members,” she said. “Families and students with disabilities should have the same opportunities as others to participate in a rich school life. It is important that we work collaboratively to walk this learning pathway together.” Dr Grima-Farrell said her research will focus on assisting teachers and school leaders to know more about how physical design and classroom adjustments can help boost students’ capacity to learn. “Adjustments to curriculum content, processes of engagement and assessment that respond to students’ individual needs can help break down barriers and make learning accessible to all.

Mark Askew and Christine Grima-Farrell

“These adjustments may be

physical – such as installing ramps and covered walkways in schools to make them more accessible, which is beneficial for students in wheelchairs and also for deliveries and pram access.” Catholic Schools value the contributions each person makes to the school community, she said. “I am fortunate to lead a dedicated team who work collaboratively with many stakeholders including teachers, students, families and medical practitioners to plan adjustments that break down barriers and improve access, enabling full participation in school life and experience a real sense of belonging.” “We are navigating new territory in the disability landscape and along with challenges come great opportunities,” she said. “The increased focus on the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data provides new direction for our schools but we do need to be aware of the administrative challenges linked to the new funding structure for our teachers and school staff.”

CSNSW Director of Education Policy, Danielle Cronin, said the Brother John Taylor Fellowship gave Catholic educators an opportunity to research first–hand international, evidence-based teaching approaches that can benefit Catholic school teachers and students. “Christine is a strong advocate for inclusion in schools and won out over a very good field,” she said. The Fellowship honours John Taylor, a Christian Brother, and his dedication to quality education and equity over 30 years as a teacher, principal and Catholic education administrator. “Dr John Taylor was a very distinguished Catholic educator with a great connection to our Diocese, having served as Principal of St Paul’s Catholic College Manly,” said Dr Mark Askew, the Head of Educational Services. “I had the privilege of working under his leadership and I am sure he would be delighted in this recognition of the excellence of Broken Bay in serving students with special needs, and of Christine’s academic strengths and passion for linking theory to practice.”

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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.

24 FEBRUARY 2019


EDUCATION

Broken Bay pilot course breaks new ground

O

Studies in Catholic Thought trialled at St Joseph’s Catholic College East Gosford

ur young people are bombarded daily with information from digital news and entertainment platforms with no accompanying guidebook to support how they might discern real sources of truth. Where do they turn when confronted with outrageous claims about politics, the human person and society, or endless news stories of manipulation like fake moon landings? To a young person – often this is their only reality. Learning how to be a 21st century critical thinker who is rigorous and robust in their discernment of ‘truth’ inside this digital noise is something that must be taught from an early age. In a desire for a common Religious Education curriculum to run across all 11 dioceses in NSW, the Province bishops also saw the need to adopt an approach that integrates both faith and reason, developing an understanding of how a moral and ethical life flows naturally from the Catholic Church’s understanding of what it is to be human. The bishops are seeking a course which promotes critical thinking and moral reasoning and enables students to know, understand, celebrate and live-out their Catholic faith.

11 cohort at St Joseph’s Catholic College, East Gosford, with the hope that it will be widely adopted throughout NSW from 2019. In December, Professor Maher joined the cohort and teaching staff at St Joseph’s to acknowledge the successful outcomes of students in this new field of study along with the skill and dedication of the RE teachers. In addressing the students at the award ceremony, Prof. Maher spoke to the importance of the course in seeking truth from falsehood. “Where do you get your information from? And do you know what a lie is, who is tricking you, and how to find the truth from presupposition or ideology?” “This course teaches how to recognise the differences between a lie, an opinion and a fact.”

To bring this to life, a team of academics and practitioners in theology and education, including Professor Anthony Maher, (Adjunct Research Professor, CSU) and Academic Education Office for the Catholic Schools Office in Broken Bay, developed a new syllabus – Studies in Catholic Thought.

Studies in Catholic Thought provides an opportunity for the development of a Religious Education curriculum which is theologically sound, academically robust and stimulating; one which provides experiences of learning which engage, challenge, extend and empower students. To this end, it is proposed that the new curriculum is informed by a Liberal Arts approach. Students will not approach this subject as an objective study of Religious Traditions, but within a Religious Tradition, enriching them both intellectually and spiritually. To this end, it is proposed that the new Catholic Studies course be distinctive in nature, purpose and content.

This Religious Education curriculum has just been successfully piloted in NSW by the 2018 Year

Professor Maher said, “It is important for young people to know how to form their own opinion, and

BROKEN BAY NEWS

really important that we all know how to challenge and test what is true.” Amber Cox and Sarah Wheatley were awarded a joint 2nd place for their achievements at the gathering, with Saskia Foster coming in 1st place overall. “I enjoyed the Studies in Catholic Thought program as I consider philosophy to be an integral aspect of any academic subject,” said Saskia. “Philosophy imparts significance on everyday life and I am grateful for the program as it has supported me in my other classes in which I’ve been able to employ its epistemological methods in much of my subject matter. “I found this course to be particularly edifying and contextually pertinent to our current ‘age of uncertainty’. I am very thankful for this opportunity and will carry it with me throughout my life.” Nadia Rankin who was presented a special Application Award also spoke highly of this new opportunity. “My experiences of learning the newly introduced subject have given me a platform and confidence to express my beliefs and passion for social justice. The incorporation of philosophy, religion and modern examples make it much more interesting and relatable to discuss our opinions and what drives to find the truth and morality in real life scenarios. This topic enables these inner voices we have in us to help shape our world for the better.” The Studies in Catholic Thought unit is available in Broken Bay systemic schools from Term One 2019. FEBRUARY 2019 25


VOCATIONS

Nine seminarians for Broken Bay in 2019 BY FR PAUL DURKIN AND FR JIM MCKEON

T

he 2019 Seminary year will begin in early February for the nine seminarians of the Diocese of Broken Bay. This is the greatest number of seminarians the Diocese of Broken Bay has had in a very long time! The future is looking bright. The Diocese of Broken Bay is pleased to welcome four new seminarians in 2019. Tan Nguyen, Huy Tran and Shayne D’Cunha are joining the special first year program at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush. Roger Delmonte, who has already completed his theological studies, has been appointed as a pastoral assistant in the Parish of Frenchs Forest. Like Archbishop Peter before him, our Diocesan Administrator Fr David Ranson has taken a keen interest in the formation and guidance of our seminarians. Late last year, Martino Hoang and Hien Vu were both received into the Ministry of Lector and Sam French received into the Ministry of Acolyte. These are minor orders on the path to the ordained priesthood. Aldrin Valdehueza is already Lector and Acolyte. Peter Lennon completed his first year of Seminary with the 30-day Ignatian retreat, something he described as a “life-changing experience”.

(l-r) Roger Delmonte, Huy Tran, Fr Paul Durkin, Martino Hoang, Sam French, Hien Vu, Fr David Ranson, Shayne D’Cunha, Peter Lennon, Aldrin Valdehueza and Tan Nguyen

Our seminarians completed a one-month pastoral placement in various parishes of the Diocese before Christmas. These placements are a great opportunity for the seminarians and people of the Diocese to get to know each other. These five seminarians joined other Broken Bay pilgrims on the World Youth Day pilgrimage in January, firstly to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, then onto Panama where pilgrims from around the world gathered with Pope Francis.

Hien Vu

Martino Hoang

Sam French

New Vocations Officer – Welcome Michelle! Michelle Chahine was recently appointed as Vocations Officer, beginning on 4 February, 2019. She will join Fr Paul Durkin and Fr Stephen Wayoyi working from the Vocations Office at St Agatha’s Parish, Pennant Hills after also attending World Youth Day in Panama. Michelle will continue in her part-time role as Youth Minister at the Kur-ring-gai Chase Catholic Parish. She has extensive background in Catholic life, especially in the St Vincent De Paul society, World Youth Day and the Alpha Program, and has a wide knowledge of the Diocese of Broken Bay.

Michelle Chahine

26 FEBRUARY 2019


VOCATIONS

Permanent Deacons Our Diocese continues to welcome married men to explore a vocation to the permanent diaconate. Men who have a strong faith, who are good husbands and fathers and who are actively involved in Christian ministry might discern God calling them to something more. Diaconate is complementary to the presbyterate, and shapes men to share in the mission of Jesus who came to serve, not to be served. Bishop Peter invited Fr Jim McKeon, Deacon Peter McCulloch and Ms Gail Gill to become the formators of men moving towards diaconate. Formation is a four-year process, flexible and part-time to allow men to continue their professional and family lives. Last year Shane Hyland and his wife Leanne from Warnervale Parish completed their first year of formation which focussed on marriage and family, including studying Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia and working with the Rite of Matrimony. At the time of writing there are several other men who are discerning permanent diaconate and are making steps of application to join formation. We expect that two more men may join this year.

We are all in Vocations ministry As a Diocese, we give thanks to God for his call to each of us, but in a special way, we give thanks for those who have responded to the call to prepare to be ordained priests and deacons for the Diocese of Broken Bay.

To the people of the Diocese and readers of Broken Bay News, please pray for Vocations to the Priesthood and Diaconate, and do all you can to encourage and support those who are discerning.

To these men in formation, the people of the Diocese offer you our support and encouragement, and assurance of our prayers.

If you would like to inquire about Vocations, phone 0418 522 449 or 02 9484 1427 or email:

Hyland family

Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us. St John Vianney, pray for us. St Mary of the Cross, pray for us.

VocationsMinistry@bbcatholic.org.au

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FEBRUARY 2019 27


My Journey to Disconnection As someone belonging to the “millennial” generation, I am well acquainted with the increasing impact of technology and social media on the lives of young people.

I

n fact, these modern advancements in communication and convenience are things upon which I have developed a strong dependence over the course of my formative years. Only in recent times, in the reflective environment of the seminary, have I been able to break away (somewhat) from their powerful allure. This article is not suggesting that the internet or social media are intrinsically evil, or that everyone should completely disconnect. It is merely a reflection on my own experience. It cannot be denied that mobile technology and social media have brought with them enormous benefits. Not only do they connect us with our friends and colleagues from around the world, but from our hip pocket we have immediate access to breaking news worldwide, an infinite array of technical information, virtually limitless forms of entertainment, online shopping, plus the use of a highquality camera and a GPS navigation system – just to name a few. With such a plethora of benefits, why is it that I decided to delete my social

28 FEBRUARY 2019

BY SAM FRENCH media accounts this year and ditch my iPhone for a basic Nokia brick? The answer lies somewhere between my brain chemistry and Christian spirituality. Let’s begin with the science. Social media is a relatively new phenomenon and so there are not yet any long-term studies on its effects on people. One fact that seems to be emerging though, is that social media and phone usage is becoming increasingly addictive. The reason for this is the neurochemical called ‘dopamine’. Dopamine is popularly known as the ‘reward molecule’. It is the chemical released in the brain that causes the rush of happiness or contentment when we set or achieve goals. Some examples might include: the feeling which accompanies a refreshing drink after a hard day’s work, or the joy of achieving a new exercise goal. I might even get a small dopamine kick when I finish writing this article. In short, it is the neurochemical that urges us to fulfil our needs or desires. The same dopamine which impels us towards productive human functions can also be triggered by certain

social stimuli – such as receiving a smile or a word of encouragement. We enjoy the feeling caused by these things and instinctively seek them. For this reason, we naturally shape our behaviours to become more sociable and likeable to others. Interestingly, a recent study of Australian consumers conducted by the company Radium One has revealed that social media can create the same effect. “Every time we post, share, like, comment, we are creating an expectation.” Therefore, “we feel a sense of belonging and advance our concept of self through sharing.” Social media platforms are actually engineered to reward us at irregular intervals (similar to the pokies) to create ‘compulsive loops’ that keep us coming back to check for our next dose of social affirmation. This has become particularly effective nowadays because we have internet access 24/7 and our phone rarely leaves our side. So, what effects might we expect from around the clock access to this social media dopamine goldmine? Here are three reflections from my own experience.

It kills productivity. Most of my friends who have studied at university in recent years can attest to the amazing phenomenon of finding oneself browsing Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, even when the essay you haven’t started is due the next day. For me, the habit had become so instinctual, that I sometimes didn’t even realise I was doing it until I felt the looming deadline breathing down my neck. Social media was a constant distraction that drew my attention away from important work. Since deleting it, I’ve started reading more books and seen my academic productivity soar. It can create a false sense of self. I am a naturally a better writer than I am a speaker. I can also take a selfie that may be a few degrees more flattering than my natural visage. These two factors alone, combined with the internet acting as an intermediary between myself and others, makes my online persona a smarter, better looking, wittier and more exciting version of myself. After years of using Facebook and Instagram, I could feel myself


NEWS AND ISSUES

It can actually become antisocial. Too many times I have been out for dinner with friends, when someone decides to pull out their phone at the table and begin scrolling through social media feeds. This is certainly a vice which I have been guilty of many times. While these behaviours are often not intentionally rude, I certainly think it denotes a degree of disinterest in the persons present. To combat this temptation among my Third-Year seminary brothers, we have instituted a system whereby phones are now placed face down in the centre of the table and anyone who reaches for it during the meal, must pay the whole bill. It’s harsh, but it works like magic, and it is amazing what great conversations have occurred as a result. The second and most important point I wish to make in this article was the spiritual effect of the internet and social media. Even a cursory glance at the great Christian spiritual writers will reveal a consistent emphasis on the importance of silence. It is in the silence that we meet God, and converse with Him heart to heart. Noise, on the other hand, is a major obstacle to our prayer. It dissipates the soul and pulls our attention in every direction. As Christians, it is of paramount importance that we find some time every day to enter into the silence with God.

background noise, which sickens yet reassures him. Without noise, man is feverish, lost. Noise gives him security, like a drug on which he has become dependent. These powerful words are certainly applicable in our use of the internet and social media. It is very easy, in fact quite normal, for someone of my generation or younger to spend almost the entire day subject to incessant noise. Just take a moment to think of all the time you have spent today or yesterday immersed in different forms of noise, whether it be: music, podcasts, videos, images, gaming or just general busyness? Now, alternatively, think of how much time you have spent today in deliberate silence, whether in prayer or meditation? As a seminarian, I sometimes feel embarrassed by the discrepancy between the two. How can we expect to draw closer to Our Lord if our heart is pulled in every other direction? I think of the beautiful words in the Gospel of Matthew: Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or (‘What shall we watch

on Netflix’)… For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. ~ Mt 6:31-33 It would be absurd for me to suggest that everyone delete their social media and unplug the internet. After all, most of us use it for work, and others are not as hooked as I was. But I do believe that we should always be in control of technology and never let it control us. We need to put the

Kingdom of God first and be prepared to “cut off” anything that stands in the way of our friendship with God – at least until it no longer has a hold on us. (Mt 5:30). Taking a break from social media, although very difficult, has been enormously beneficial for me. Who knows, perhaps Christ is calling you to do the same? After all, He did ask Peter and Andrew to drop the net and follow Him (Mt 4:18-20). If you have any questions or wish to contact me, please e-mail me at sam.french@bbcatholic.org.au

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Today, in a highly technological, busy world, how can we find silence? Noise wearies us, and we get the feeling that silence has become an unreachable oasis. How many people are obliged to work in a chaos that distresses and dehumanises them? Without noise, postmodern man falls in to a dull, insistent uneasiness. He is accustomed to permanent

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developing a natural sense of what others ‘liked’ most about me. Thanks to my brain’s dopamine reward system, I modified my behaviour and online persona in ways that would most likely appease the masses, as opposed to those most important to me, like God, family and close friends.

FEBRUARY 2019 29


ACROSS OUR DIOCESE

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli’s book launched at ACU Former Broken Bay Bishop and now Archbishop of Melbourne, Most Rev Peter A Comensoli held the Sydney launch of his new book In God’s Image: Recognizing the Profoundly Impaired as Persons at Australian Catholic University’s (ACU’s) North Sydney Campus last November.

A

rchbishop of Sydney, The Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, launched the book in front of 90 guests, including Archbishop of Brisbane, The Most Reverend Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Perth The Most Reverend Timothy

Costelloe SDB and former NSW Premier and ACU Chancellor The Hon John Fahey AC.

Edinburgh and has been developed and refined into its current form.

In God’s Image began as Archbishop Comensoli’s doctoral thesis at the University of

The event was a formal celebration of the publication of the book and its important contribution to Catholic anthropology, especially in defence of persons who experience disability and who can be overlooked and misunderstood. ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven said Archbishop Comensoli made a robust argument in the book for the personhood of every human being, arguing that it is all too easy to overlook and marginalise those who don’t fit into our category of “able-bodied” or “able-minded”. “In God’s Image has received many generous endorsements from scholars, who have praised its contribution to contemporary Catholic theological discourse on the nature, dignity and destiny of the human being,” Professor Craven said.

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“The book demonstrates we have a responsibility to live alongside those with cognitive impairments as friends, in a community, and to be open to learning from them how it is we can be more perfectly human. “The book will pave the way forward for Christian theologians working on the topic of disability and impairment.” Archbishop Comensoli has had a long association with ACU. He has participated in a number of student activities through our campus ministry, including presiding at graduation masses in his former role as the Bishop of Broken Bay.

“The book will pave the way forward for Christian theologians working on the topic of disability and impairment.”


NEWS AND ISSUES

New Year, new beginnings

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 Chancellor Jo Robertson Diocesan Financial Administrator, Director, Office for Stewardship: Emma McDonald Director, Office for Evangelisation: Daniel Ang Director, Diocesan Office for Safeguarding Jodie Crisafulli Tel: (02) 8379 1605 Director, Marriage Tribunal: Adrienne Connaghan Tel: (02) 8379 1680 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Alison Newell

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

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

www.bbcatholic.org.au

BROKEN BAY NEWS

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

T

he best thing about a new year, is the optimism it brings with it. ‘This is going to be my year’, many of us tell ourselves, and there is nothing wrong with this. Maybe your last year had more downs than ups, but the fact that it is over and you get a new set of 12 months to try again, is something to be joyful about. After all, the prospect of a new beginning brings with it an unspoken expectation that everything will be better. While we hold on to this hope, there comes a point when we realise that with every passing year, things actually do not get easier. But, unlike our nonChristian brothers and sisters, we have a faith shared in community, which enables us to not only embrace these new beginnings but also, tackle the difficulties together. Sometimes, these difficulties seem all too consuming so having that extra support from the wider faith-based community does make life a little bit better. New beginnings, though, are not just about the physical world around us. They are also about our spiritual wellbeing. One of the best things about our faith, is the constant offer of forgiveness. It is something that is always there, waiting for us to accept it and live our lives according to God’s will. Recently, I stumbled across an interesting comic strip. A young man was walking down a path with Jesus. A small side street came up, and the man asked if he could go see what was at the end of the street. Jesus cautioned against it, but also said that He would wait for the man to come back. The young man was gone for months, exploring this street and once he reached the end, he realised he had made a terrible mistake. The streets which he thought had been paved with gold, were in fact dust. He turned around and headed back to where, he hoped, Jesus was. Once he

got back to the main path, he found Jesus had pitched a tent waiting for the man to return. Too often, I fall into a negative thought pattern – which I believe is all too human – that I have sinned far beyond the point of return. There is no way God will forgive and accept me. I am damaged; I am broken; I am unlovable. I know that I am not alone in thinking this way; many people fall into this train of thought, and I think this is because we place human judgment on our actions. We think to ourselves, ‘If they knew how wicked I really was, they would not want to be around me anymore’. Our judgment, our understanding of the world around us, compared to God’s, is minute and therefore, extremely flawed. Certainly we base our judgments on the commandments and teachings of the Bible, but even then we are limited in our understanding. God never turns His back on us. It is us who do that to our families, our friends and to those in need. It is us who do that to God. (I know this is something I have done countless times.) But, God is never standing in a corner sulking that we have left Him. Instead, He waits patiently for us to return. He waits for us to realise that without Him, we are lost. Without Him, our enemies surround us like a pack of wild dogs, ready to attack us (Psalms 22:16). Without Him, we are at the mercy of the world.

One of my many favourite verses from the New Testament is, “Ask, and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened” (Mtt7:7-8). The way the verse is written, tells us to keep on asking, seeking and knocking. God does not tire of us and it stands to reason, His forgiveness will never run out. It is always there. There is however, a small catch of sorts. Just because we have been forgiven, it does not mean that we should knowingly continue sinning. Asking for God’s mercy, for His forgiveness, means that we will work hard at not sinning again. Of course, because of our fallen nature, that is impossible, but it does not mean we should not try. The best way to do this, is to be mindful of what we do, and when we are aware that we are sinning, we need to repent and turn our backs on our sinful nature. God is love. He does not operate by human standards or limitations. We need to trust that when He says we are forgiven, then we are just that. Our feelings, our understanding of the world, only hinder our ability to truly experience a new beginning. Have faith, trust God, and know that you can always come back.

Have faith, trust God, and know that you can always come back. FEBRUARY 2019 31


LENT 2019 RESOURCE

Discerning the Way of Jesus

Discerningsus Je the Way of ina Lectio div in Lent Scriptures Praying the r C 2019 Yea

Discerning e th Way of Jesus Lectio divina

Praying the Scriptures Year C 2019

@2019 Cat

holic Dioces

e of Broken

Bay

in Lent

Booklet includes:

 Reflections by: Fr David Callaghan MGL Sr Elizabeth Brennan SGS Deacon Adrian Gomez  Very Rev Dr David Ranson offers reflections for Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday  Introduction and step by step guide to lectio divina  Weekly reflection questions

Audio CD includes:

 Psalms composed and sung by Simon Hyland  Recordings of Gospel texts  Recordings of weekly reflections

For parishes of the Diocese of Broken Bay please contact us for diocesan arrangements To order: www.bbcatholic.org.au/lectio Enquiries: faith.formation@bbcatholic.org.au or Tania Rimac 8379 1629

Based on the practice of lectio divina as a way of reading the Scriptures that is prayerful and transformative.

Discern and rediscover your calling to be a disciple of Jesus as you walk with him through this desert Lenten time.

Booklet and Audio CD Booklets $5 per copy CD $5 per copy (postage additional)