Broken Bay News December 2017

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Launching the Year of Youth Lower North Shore Parish

A suburban community with a big heart

Warnervale family

to represent Australia in Dublin

God with us this Advent


Jesus is our living Hope I’m an optimistic kind of guy. I’m optimistic that the Aussies will beat the English in the Ashes series this summer. I’m also optimistic about Manly’s prospects for next year’s NRL season. (Why would anyone go for the Eels?!J)


’m also a person of hope. I hope that a just political solution will be found for asylum seekers. I am hopeful that a culture of safeguarding in our Diocese will continue to grow. ‘Hope’ and ‘optimism’ are quite similar words, but they’re not exactly the same. Both are about a desire for a certain outcome to be achieved. However, hope involves our work in bringing about that outcome, while optimism is simply a sentiment we hold about what might happen. I’m not involved in how Manly will play next




season, so all I can express is optimism in their prospects. However, I am involved (even if remotely) in our country’s refugee policies, so I can be hopeful about what will transpire. The difference between having hope and being optimistic is the difference between a virtue and a feeling. Our feelings are important and useful things; they are like our internal barometer, informing us about how we are perceiving things. Feelings are also reactive, meaning; they are a response/reaction to a situation. We feel angry or happy as a consequence of something that has happened. But because it is a feeling, there is nothing we can actually do with it – it is simply something we experience. Besides, our feelings come and go: we can feel one way one minute, and the opposite the next. (Families know this only too well. You can feel pretty peeved with a family member in the morning, while still loving them through the day.) A virtue, on the other hand, always involves our work. This is because a virtue is something

that we exercise and practice. Becoming virtuous involves effort on our part; we need to train ourselves in the practice of the virtues. Being an honest person doesn’t just happen all by itself. Virtues are also steady and stable dispositions that do not “blow with the wind.” While our feelings can change fairly readily, our virtuous (or vicious) dispositions do not. I can feel quite scared in a certain situation, while still acting courageously. Finally, virtues (or vices) have an ethical dimension to them. We can talk of the goodness of virtues (or the evil of vices) in a way in which we cannot speak of feelings (which just ‘are’). Hope is a virtue. It is the virtue of pursuing a future good that is possible, but requires work to achieve. So hope, as a virtue, has four elements to it: [i] it is something morally good; [ii] it is something still in the future; [iii] it is possible; and [iv] it requires (often hard) work. Peace is something we hope for: it is a good worth pursuing; we haven’t achieved it yet; it is possible; but we really need to work hard to get there. I’m not terribly optimistic about the

HEART TO HEART prospects of peace right now (this is how I’m feeling), but I am hopeful that peace can be worked on in various quarters of our lives and the world (this is my intended work). The seasons of Advent and Christmas are especially seasons of hope, because this is the time when Christians recall the hope that came to the rescue of our world in the person of Jesus Christ. As a billboard says out the front of a Church on the Central Coast: “Real Hope – Jesus.” How can a person be our hope? Because this person – and He alone – offered us our salvation into the future, which is now possible for us to work towards. He did this by offering himself as the saving sacrifice that could break through our inevitable death. “I have come that you might have life, and to the full.” ( Jn 10.10) This is real hope, not mere optimism. It is a hope for the fullness of our future that is informed by the ‘living’ hope of Christ with us now. In God’s gift, we are nurtured in hope so that it might flourishes for all of creation. One way in which the Bishops of Australia will work to rebuild this culture of hope, following the many years of anguish and desolation suffered by God’s People, is to call a national assembly in 2020 (officially called a Plenary Council) to determine priorities for the Church into the future. This assembly,

involving participation by all Catholics – Laity, Religious, Priests and Bishops – will begin in the new year with a period of listening, consulting and discerning on those matters which we can work towards under the inspiration and advocacy of the Holy Spirit. The process of a Plenary Council is one of walking together with Christ Our Lord, at this time and in this place, gathering up the past and looking to the future. This is a time for prayer, seeking guidance on this journey of faith, which will be decisive for the future hope of the Church in Australia. Another training ground for building a culture of hope is a renaissance in marriage and family life. (I’m not thinking here of the recent decisions around Same Sex Marriage, though it cannot be ignored.) There is no doubt that married family life is under great pressure these days, with competing agendas and social fragmentation. But there is also a deep and abiding goodness in family life, lived out in the midst of their daily circumstances. This is worth fighting for, especially where hope seems impossible. This is not helped by the catalogue of glossiness that marks the commercial dimensions of our Christmas celebrations. Optimism is offered to families via advertisements; but hope will only come to families through an honest and sacrificial

embrace of love. All of us can be active in the task of encouraging each other’s families in all their love, care, struggles and messiness. Hope is not only a collective thing; it is something for each of us to pursue. It is for each of us to pursue the virtue of Christian hope in our local neighbourhoods of grace, that together we can “read the signs of the times in the light of faith” (Vatican II), and work towards goals that might bring forth God’s kingdom among us. I firmly believe that our Diocese can be a true beacon of hope to the extent that we – individually, our families and our communities – are planted in the life of Jesus, our living Hope.

Please pray for me, as I pray for you.

Most Rev Peter A Comensoli Bishop of Broken Bay

Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill defeated in NSW Parliament By Bishop Peter A Comensoli

On 16 November, the Legislative Council of the NSW Parliament defeated the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill by a vote of 20-19.


his is a decision for the good of our common humanity. In a matter of conscience, all sides of the political divide considered the questions that legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide poses, and decided that this is not a path that the State of NSW should venture down. While all of us are rightfully moved by personal stories of pain and suffering too often experienced by our beloved at the end of their lives, none of us should think that a deliberate act of killing them is a genuinely human thing to do. The trauma of pain and suffering that might emerge in people as they are dying, cannot be overcome by eliminating them. May our better impulse always be towards compassionate care and sacrificial accompaniment of those who are dying. I am extremely grateful for all the effort given to defeat this Bill. Our medical and nursing fraternity has been a particularly important voice in these efforts, by properly informing our Parliamentarians of the inherent risks legalising assisted suicide poses. I am also grateful to the many thousands of people who spoke up for human dignity by signing petitions, contacting their parliamentarians, and spreading the word to our communities.

The Bill has been defeated in NSW, but the issue has not gone away. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are national issues being played out State-by-State. I also hope that those who sponsored the Bill in NSW will acknowledge that legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide is not the path desired by their fellow parliamentarians. Now is the time for our legislators to concentrate their efforts on the real agendas leading to suffering in our society in a more appropriate and compassionate way.

There is a deep awareness within the Christian tradition – out of which came hospitals, hospices and palliative facilities – of the need to accompany with professional and pastoral care those who are suffering. Might we all do what we can to recover this precious gift of accompaniment, which we can each give to those who are dying: to sit beside them, to hold their hands, to sooth their minds and bodies; to pray for them; and to offer them the assurance of our abiding and healing love.

Support Not Suicide campaigners outside NSW Parliament House




DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY Most Rev Peter A Comensoli Bishop of Broken Bay


We are family

By Catherine Day

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 Same-Sex Marriage, this series hopes to provide a fresh perspective on the issues that are all too important.


have been extremely blessed to have grown up in a family that unconditionally loves and supports me. My parents, without ever asking for anything in return, have supported me and have always ensured that I have everything I need to be happy. It is their love which has shaped me in to the woman I am today. It is because of them I understand the importance of the family. I understand that every single person within the family unit, has a vital role to play. More importantly, I understand that there is a real fight between God’s plan for the family and society’s belief of what the family should be. Firstly, even before a couple become parents, they are faced with an issue. Society no longer sees children as a gift to be cherished but rather, they are seen as a commodity to satisfy the desires of adults. Certainly, the desire to have children is not a bad a thing; to have children is good because it is part of God’s plan. The problem is that children are seen as a right, and we get to choose when it is convenient to have them. If a woman falls pregnant at a time that does not suit her, then society tells her to have an abortion because it is a clump of cells that are worthless. If, however, she falls pregnant at a time that works for her, then those cells magically become a human baby worthy of life. The issue is, God never intended for our worth to be determined by the timing of our conception. Instead, He planned for children to be His gift to parents: “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” (Psalm 127:3-5). Of course, there are many who, despite their efforts, cannot have




children (I have aunts and friends who have had miscarriages and are still without children). This truly is one of the most heartbreaking things known to mankind. But even then, God has a plan. “He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord” (Psalm 113:9). Every single person has a place and purpose, but the hardest part in discovering what that is, is trust and patience. When a married couple do have children, they become responsible for both the everyday wellbeing of their children, and educating them in the ways of the Lord. When a husband and wife have children, they become beacons for God’s love. Ephesians 6:4 clearly lays this out: “Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” It is the role of the parents to be the first point of contact with God. It was my Dad who taught me how to pray the Rosary; it was my Mum who taught me how to pray every day; it was my parents whom encouraged to me think about and search for God in every aspect in my life. However, too often parents leave their child’s religious education to the weekly Mass or to what is taught at school and believe that is enough. This is possibly why so many young boys and girls have never opened a Bible outside of school. But it is in the procreating and educating of children that parents reflect the Lord’s love.

There is more to family life than just parents raising their children according to God’s laws. Children also have a responsibility towards their parents. The first commandment with a promise is “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” (Exodus 20:12). Honouring and obeying your parents is not about blindly doing what you are told to do, rather it is about respecting them not only as your parents but also as part of God’s authority on earth. Society tells us different. It tells us that once we turn 18, we can and should do whatever we want and never have to listen to our parents again. I tried that, and I was miserable. In my early 20s, I did a lot of things without any regard for my parents and what I ended up with was a chaotic life. However, once I began to question how my actions reflected on my parents and did only what I thought would honour them, my life began to make sense; there was order, and I was happy. Now, before making any decision, I consult with them and ensure I have their blessing before proceeding. Truthfully, I have never been happier. The family is the original building block of social life. The stability of family life ensures the continuity of society. As we draw closer to Christmas, let us focus on building stronger relationships within our families and trusting in God’s plan for us.

Diocesan Office: Tel (02) 9847 0000 Fax (02) 9847 0201 Caroline Chisholm Centre Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd Pennant Hills NSW 2120 (Access off City View Rd) PO Box 340 Pennant Hills NSW 1715

CHANCERY OFFICES Office of the Bishop Acting Private Secretary Director, Office for Communications Annie Carrett Vicar General: Very Rev Dr David Ranson VG Chancellor Jo Robertson Diocesan Financial Administrator, Director, Office for Stewardship: Emma McDonald Director, Office for Evangelisation: Daniel Ang Safeguarding (Chancery) Manager Jodie Crisafulli Tel: (02) 9847 0212 Director, Marriage Tribunal: Adrienne Connaghan Tel: (02) 9847 0458 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: Trish Devlin 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) 9847 0722 Design: Chris Murray Printed by NCP Printing 20,000 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.

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Our Neighbourhoods of Grace Exploring our missionary outreach

Catholic Parish of the Lower North Shore A suburban community with a big heart

By Debra Vermeer

The Catholic Parish of the Lower North Shore is a city-suburban community with a big heart for reaching out and helping those in need, an active social life and a commitment to a beautiful and meaningful worship experience.


he Parish is situated on the southern-most reaches of the Diocese, and is made up of three communities – St Thomas at Willoughby, St Philip Neri at Northbridge, and St Leonard’s at Naremburn. Parish Priest, Fr Brian Moloney, says the three communities came together with their own traditions and worship styles which the Parish continues to honour and nourish. “My objective is to strengthen each of the communities within the Parish, and not to lose those traditions or force them all to be the same,” he says. “In strengthening the three




communities, we are strengthening the Parish.” A unifying factor for the Parish is its commitment to a Sister Parish relationship with the Parish of Letefoho in Timor Leste. “This is a relationship which has been growing over several years now,” says Fr Brian. “The latest development is that I went over there recently and signed a letter of agreement between the two Parishes to continue the Sister Parish relationship.” The Lower North Shore Parish, through its LETS initiative, helps support Letefoho Parish by fundraising through the year. Their funds have so far helped buy a

truck for the Parish and now will go towards helping build a new boarding school. “At the moment, many of the kids over there have a two hour walk to school and back and in the rainy season, the state of the roads means that they can’t get there at all,” says Fr Brian. “So, one of the things I did when I was there recently was to bless the foundations of the new boarding school, which will be a big help to the students and their families in helping them have an uninterrupted education.” Small groups of Lower North Shore parishioners have also been to Letefoho for an immersion

experience, spending time getting to know the people and the community’s needs. “And in return, they pray for us,” says Fr Brian. “They are materially poor but spiritually quite rich. We see this relationship as a practical way of showing friendship. It’s a long term thing. And it reaches beyond the Parish into our local community too, where different groups help support the Letefoho community.” The Lower North Shore Parish has two Parish Schools – St Thomas at Willoughby and St Philip Neri at Northbridge, which both form an important part of the Parish family.

Our Neighbourhoods of Grace Exploring our missionary outreach

“We have a really wonderful relationship with the Parish,” says Principal of St Thomas Catholic School, Jenny McKeown. “We see it as being all part of one Parish family.” The School has a sacramental choir which the children attend on Wednesday mornings before school. “They learn the new hymns that are going to be sung in Church and then they sing in the Parish setting,” Jenny says. “We want them to see that they have got a ministry within the Parish. We also train altar servers.” The School’s Religious Education Coordinator helps provide suitable materials for the children’s liturgies, held in all three churches each Sunday. Every week one of the school grades attends Mass and the older grades attend Reconciliation and there are also class Masses held throughout the year with parishioners. “It’s a really strong relationship

between School and Parish, hopefully providing a seamless experience for the students,” Jenny says. Fiona Bylsma, Principal of St Philip Neri Catholic School agrees, saying that Fr Brian helps build a strong relationship by regularly visiting both the classrooms and the staff-room. “And the Parish Family Mass initiative once a term really helps in building the relationship between our families and the Parish,” she says. “One of the other strong bonds we have with the Parish is the shared commitment to supporting our Sister Parish in Timor Leste. Both schools are heavily involved in fundraising and awareness raising for that. “It feeds into our school motto of Deeds not Words. So, we see it as a call to action, not just fundraising. This year, the children have been asked to do good deeds at home to earn the money we donate to the Letefoho

community, so that it’s about actually doing things.” One of the other big tasks of the Parish is to care for the pastoral needs of the Royal North Shore Hospital and North Shore Private Hospital, which are both situated in the Parish. Assistant Priests of the Parish, Fr Tomy Kuruvelil and Fr Baby Thomas are members of the Sons of Immaculate Conception religious order and their primary role is as chaplains to the hospital. “They do two weekday Masses and a Sunday Mass in the chapel at Royal North Shore, as well as the pastoral visits to the sick and emergency calls,” Fr Brian says. The Parish also has another assistant priest, Fr Geoff Bugden, who is based at Willoughby and celebrates Mass around the Parish. The clergy is well supported by a strong staff, led by Parish Manager, Denise Murphy as well as the Parish Missionary Council and Finance Council. “In mid-2016, our Parish was

asked to be a ‘home parish’ for Hien Vu from Vietnam, who is a student for our Diocese,” says Fr Brian. “Hien lived full time in the Parish until he began at the seminary in 2017 and now lives in the Parish when on a break and we support him with our prayers.” The usual Parish organisations and devotional groups are present, including Vinnies, the Legion of Mary and a Christian meditation group. “Demographically, we have a good mix of people in the Parish,” says Fr Brian. “There are elderly people as well as young families and a growing mix of nationalities. “It’s obviously a fairly high socioeconomic area and that can present both challenges and opportunities. People are time poor. They’re often both working in high-demand jobs. “The figures show it is at least notionally still quite a Catholic community at about 30 per cent of the local population, which is above the average. But of course, it’s a matter of reaching out to




Our Neighbourhoods of Grace Exploring our missionary outreach

LNS Priests on stage for Letefoho fundraiser

By Annette Kosseris-Haynes

You missed ‘The Little Night Show’? The wonderful entertainment which took place in St Leonard’s Church Hall, Naremburn on Friday 3 November?

M those people and inviting them to be part of parish life and worship.” The multicultural nature of the Parish is reflected in the monthly Mass in Italian at St Leonard’s as well as a weekly Maronite Mass at the Church and a PNG Chinese Mass one a month. Music is an important part of parish life across all three communities of the Parish, with a Director of Music, Lisa Lewis, employed to bring the talents and commitment of parishioners together for a beautiful Sunday worship experience. Along with the children’s choirs, there is a combined choir as well as choirs in the individual churches and there are choirs for both contemporary and more traditional music styles. They rotate across the different Masses every week. In addition, a band, featuring professional musicians is also part of the Parish’s musical treasure. But the musical delights don’t stop there. St Leonard’s at Naremburn is well known for the sound of its beautiful bells. Built in 1913, the church had a




bell tower but no bells, until a set was installed in 2013 as part of the church’s centenary celebrations. Today, there is a committed group of trained bell-ringers whose members ring the bells 20 minutes before each Mass, as well as for weddings and funerals if requested. Outside of its liturgical life, the Parish is also well known for its love of the arts and social events. St Thomas’ Art and Craft Show is held annually, featuring art, craft, music, food and rides and attracts not only parishioners but people from the local community as well. And recently, both parishioners and clergy showcased their entertainment skills in ‘The Little Night Show’ variety performance. Fr Geoff played a bossy barrister in a radio play, while Fr Brian was spotted as one of the ‘Four Tenors’. A sausage sizzle followed, with music by the Parish’s band and all proceeds went to Letefoho. “There is a really nice social, village-like feel to the Parish,” says Fr Brian. “We’re always looking for ways to connect with new people but also to provide a really good experience when people come.”

issed seeing a priest, Fr Geoff Bugden, acting in a radio play? You missed the Parish Priest, Fr Brian Moloney, singing as one of ‘The Four Tenors’? Not to worry. Let me take you there now and allow you to see it all with your ‘inner eye’, through the written word. The occasion was a fundraiser for our Sister Parish, Letefoho in Timor Leste. What a night! The germ of the idea came from our Director of Music, Lisa Lewis, who is a flautist with The Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She put an advertisement in the LNS church bulletin asking for talented people of our community to consider being involved and creating a program. We decided to deck the hall out as a theatre restaurant. Irma di Santo, who knows all about elegant entertaining, provided lovely red tablecloths, and her little band of helpers placed coloured balloons as a centrepiece on each table. Together they created a pleasing spirit-lifting feeling as the patrons entered the hall to the sound of music. Tables, containing salads, bread rolls, plates and cutlery were set up at the back of the hall, while the aroma of sizzling sausages and onions permeated the air of an enclosure outside, ready to be produced as the patrons were all seated. A second table was set up by Georgina Loughnan, the co-ordinator for LETS, to sell goods; and a raffle was run which contributed a pleasing amount.

Having been a Speech and Drama teacher and poet for many years, I am well aware of the necessity for variety in a concert. The reason ours was so successful is that we had the combination of a lovely Irishman, Roy McCullagh from Northbridge as our compere; professional musicians Lisa and John Lewis playing; Jess Wells, composer, on the piano; a band; hand bell ringers; School children performing exciting skipping techniques, and acting, singing, dancing; solo singers; two singing choirs; bush poetry; a bush band which played as happy people did square dancing, while the sprung floor added to the joy! A highlight was a singing duo from Timor Leste, Dolores and Francia Soares. After reading Lisa’s bulletin message, I offered my services. I remember saying, “I’m up for it!” The next thing I knew, I was producing a great play which Lisa’s daughter, Sophie, had written; directing a mime called ‘Snap’; and rehearsing a poetry item. Then, being completely caught up in the excitement of it all, I wrote a comical radio play which was set at a country railway station. It featured two characters, a bossy barrister (played to great acclaim by Fr Geoff ) and a silly old ‘fill-in’ ticket seller (me) and of course the obligatory ‘sound effects’ person (delightfully played by Marie Harris.) There was laughter a-plenty! See! You didn’t miss it after all!


Warnervale family chosen to join international gathering of Catholic families The Hyland family from the Warnervale Parish in the Diocese of Broken Bay will represent the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference as their official family delegate at the World Meeting of Families (WMF) in Ireland next year.


hane and Leanne Hyland are members of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Parish in Warnervale and have three children: Joshua aged 12, Alyssa aged 8 and Lachlan aged 5. Bishop Michael Kennedy said the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) were delighted to be able to give an Australian Catholic family the opportunity to travel with their children to Dublin to attend the World Meeting of Families from 21-26 August, 2018. A focal point of the WMF will be the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Pope Francis has chosen as the theme ‘The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World’ for the 2018 WMF. Bishop Kennedy, the Bishops’ Delegate for Marriage and Family,

said Shane and Leanne were actively involved in their local parish where they had initiated and run the Family Group Movement. Shane has a Bachelor of Theology and is studying to be a teacher while also working in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese as a prison chaplain. Leanne is a teacher in the Parish School and a member of the Parish Pastoral Council. Bishop Kennedy said the ACBC was pleased to have an official family-delegate at the international gathering of families and he encouraged other families to take part in the Australian pilgrimage to Dublin. “It’s a wonderful way for Australian families to share their faith overseas as a local community, while at the same time learning and

sharing from other like-minded Catholic families from around the world,” he said. Shane and Leanne said they were overcome with joy to learn they would be the official familydelegate at the gathering. “Our faith is of great importance to us and we are passionate about supporting people on their journey of faith,” they said. “This will be an amazing opportunity for us and our children to be with other families from around the world who are committed to living a life focused on Jesus Christ. “We look forward to learning from them and sharing our experiences back here in our own parish and school, as well as in the wider Catholic community.”

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People with disabilities called to become the new Catechists Pope Francis has called on people with disabilities to become Catechists in their communities at a major international gathering in the Vatican in October.


he Pope was speaking at a landmark conference, “Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities: A Necessary Engagement in the Daily Pastoral Life of the Church”, which was sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. The event brought together 450 delegates from around the world including people with disabilities, Church leaders, theologians and disability advocates. In his message at the Conference, Pope Francis said the Church could not afford to be “voiceless” or “tone-deaf ” in defending and promoting people with disabilities. He also strongly criticised the “narcissistic and utilitarian” view that fails to recognise the “human and spiritual wealth” that people

with disabilities possess and are ready to offer. Australia was represented at the Conference by Bishop Peter A Comensoli and one of the nation’s leading researchers in the theology of disability, Dr Zachariah Duke, the Associate Dean at BBI – The Australian Institute of Theological Education. The Conference was a unique opportunity for not only Catholics, but also people from other Christian traditions engaged in this important ministry to network, share resources and discuss some of their common challenges in a supportive atmosphere. Dr Duke said one of the highlights of the two day Conference was Pope Francis’ address and his personal meeting with all those present at the event.

Dr Zachariah Duke, BBI-TAITE presents Australian gifts to Pope Francis. Photo by Bishop Peter A Comensoli

“It was truly inspirational to hear the Pope’s message where he went as far as saying that our Church would be enriched by having people with disabilities as Catechists within the Catholic Church,” Dr Duke explained. “It was remarkable to watch Pope Francis then spend an hour and a half personally meeting each delegate at the Conference, engaging in dialogue with each of them.” Bishop Peter presented a paper at the Conference, entitled Celebration of the Christian Mystery: Sacraments as precious occasions for Catechesis, drawing

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significantly upon a book he is publishing on the theology of disability early next year, In God’s Image. Dr Duke also presented insights on disability in the Catholic Church in Australia and had the special honour of presenting Pope Francis with a copy of his recently completed doctoral thesis and some uniquely Australian gifts, including a packet of Tim Tams and kangaroo and koala figurines. “It can sometimes feel quite isolating in Australia, separated from some of the great international thinkers in this area in Europe and so this event was a very rewarding experience,” Dr Duke added. “The Pope has shown tremendous leadership in this area, which is indeed a reflection of his broader message, calling on people of faith to go to the peripheries of societies, because sadly people with disabilities are still living very much on the peripheries within our Church.” Dr Duke said he hopes to see stronger representation at future Vatican conferences from persons with disabilities and disability advocates from across the AsiaPacific region. “While there were over 20 countries represented at the Conference, there are some sections of the world, particularly across Asia, that we are yet to fully tap into and I hope we can ensure more of these countries are represented next time,” he added. The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation is planning on making this global conference a biennial event.


Launching the Year of Youth By Kelly Paget, Team Leader – Catholic Youth Broken Bay

The Australian Catholic Bishops have announced that 2018 will be a national Year of Youth, beginning with the first Sunday of Advent on 3 December 2017.


he Year of Youth invites our Church into prayerful discernment about the importance and life-giving presence of young people in the local Church and Australian society. It calls for dialogue and active engagement with young people in our parishes, schools and also in the wider community with the gift of the Gospel that has been entrusted to the Church. Throughout the Year of Youth, time will be taken to break open the theme for this national celebration, Open New Horizons for Spreading Joy; Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment. This theme draws upon the words of Pope Francis to the young people of the world at World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow and the latter part links to the theme of next year’s Ordinary General Synod of Bishops in Rome. Catholic Youth Broken Bay has a number of initiatives planned during this Year of Youth, which will focus on the key aims of the year. The CYBB Youth Cross has already been presented to the young people of the Diocese at our recent Praisefest night on Friday 24 November. The Cross will now travel to each parish in the Diocese of Broken Bay throughout the Year of Youth, collaborating with schools and other community organisations to have joyful local celebrations. It is hoped that a key element of the parish celebrations with the Cross will be a Parish Youth Assembly, where the voice of young people can be heard.

As the Cross travels around the Diocese, CYBB will be facilitating a Digital Media Campaign – #spreadingjoy inviting young people to create digital content and share stories on social media. This digital media campaign will also be an opportunity to showcase nominations for the CYBB Year of Youth Awards. These awards will be an opportunity to acknowledge young people in the Diocese who are witnessing their faith in wonderful ways, as well as those of our clergy and lay leaders who support them. Although there will be a number of other events and initiatives throughout 2018, the

year will finish off with a Diocesan Youth Assembly where Bishop Peter will invite the entire Diocesan community to gather together to hear the successes and fruits of the Year of Youth and look ahead to future engagement of young people. The day will conclude with a formal Year of Youth Award Ceremony and celebration dinner. We hope that the Year of Youth is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of young people in our world, to joyfully mark ten years on from WYD in Sydney, and take another step on the path of discernment towards Plenary Council 2020.





CCD Secondary Conference Participants

CYBB Twilight Talks

Rev Dr Chris Monaghan presented at the Bible Conference

A Year of Missionary Outreach By Daniel Ang, Director, Office for Evangelisation

In his exhortation on the joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis affirms the call of every local Church to be ever more “a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a centre of constant missionary outreach” (Evangelii Gaudium 28).


n significant ways, this year has been a continued journey in that missionary identity to which Pope Francis exhorts us, expressed in the rousing conversations of faith, community life, creative initiatives and call to discipleship that has resounded through our parishes and Diocesan community. In particular it has been a joy for our Catholic Life & Faith Formation team to walk with various Parish Pastoral Councils across the Diocese, some of them new, as they have discerned a vision of discipleship to inspire their people to common action and discerned strategies and practical actions to realise that goal. In a spirit of outreach, leadership training in Alpha was held at Pennant Hills, Gosford and The Lakes Parish in February

and provided insight into an evangelising process that can build community life, break open the basic contours of the Gospel, and create environments where people feel safe to ask their questions about life and faith. Many parishes of the Diocese have since hosted their own Alpha gatherings, and 2018 will bring further training and support. Other Diocesan-wide opportunities for formation focused on the rich dimensions of Christian faith, from the Eucharist to spirituality. The annual Bible Conference again attracted an enthusiastic audience, this time focused on the Gospel of Matthew and the journey of discipleship contained within. In 2018 we are delighted to host the eminent British scripture


GOD WITH US Make a space this Advent to reflect on the Sunday Scriptures in preparation to welcome Christ in a new way at Christmas. Pope Francis calls Christmas “the feast of the loving humility of God, of the God who upsets our logical expectations, the established order” (Pope Francis, 22 December, 2016). Rather than arriving to dominate, God becomes fragile like us, and unites himself to us in order to communicate his very life and joy. View or download the booklet at




scholar Fr Nicholas King SJ as well as a return visit from Br Guy Consolmagno SJ, the Vatican astronomer who will explore with us again the wonders of creation as an encounter with God’s beauty and mystery. This spirit of dialogue and formation also marked the work of Catholic Youth Broken Bay through the year, including a series of Twilight Talks for young adults and the hosting of Professor Massimo Faggioli, who shared his thoughts on the papacy of Pope Francis and his call to young people to become missionary disciples. Meanwhile Praisefest events saw hundreds of youth gathered across St Peter’s College, Tuggerah, and the parishes of Lindfield-Killara, EppingCarlingford and Wahroonga. Training days supported young parish leaders, while parish hubs have gathered young people from across regions of the Diocese for community and formation, including for the Youth Alpha series at Gosford Parish. Of course, preparations have been in full swing for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (7-9 December), the Australian Year of Youth throughout 2018, and WYD19 to be held in Panama in January 2019. The year was hope-filled also for our CCD in their support of the almost 1000 catechists throughout the Diocese who take the Gospel into our State schools. In addition to inducting new catechists, including a growing number of young adults to the ministry, there has been ongoing training in classroom management, safeguarding and best practice, and the development of new digital

resources. The CCD also hosted and facilitated a conference for catechists who attend secondary schools and expanded a focus on recruitment. Fresh branding and resources will be launched formally in the New Year in the additional support of our parishes, calling others to join this evangelising ministry in a new time. It has also been exciting to see a renewed ministry for Life, Marriage and Family come to fruition. An initial vigil at Pennant Hills Parish gathered more than 200 people together in prayer for marriage and family, while significant advocacy on the issue of voluntary assisted suicide has taken place with an emphasis on the sanctity of life and the need to protect those most vulnerable in our community. Our Natural Family Planning service has grown exponentially this year, a ministry of accompaniment for couples in their journey as a family with the potential to further grow this service into the future. A Working Party on Disability was also initiated this year, looking to the educational, social, pastoral and spiritual needs and desires of school-aged children with a disability, their families, carers and friends. As we give thanks for the blessings of the year, we also look ahead to 2018 with great anticipation. The support of the sacramental life of our Diocese and our response to pressing social concerns including domestic violence, the economy as well as migrants and refugees are areas that will further encourage our sense of mission, of our community as a Church of grace, mercy and incarnate love.


Five Ways to make the Child Jesus the Centre of our Family this Advent

By Steven Buhagiar, Team Leader, Life Marriage and Family

The season of Advent is all about the coming of Jesus Christ! In our retail centres, however, it would seem that the Christ Child has become an optional extra in the season which bears his name.


ollowing are five ways in which we can bring Christ to the very heart of our home and, as families, mark the Advent season as a time to strengthen our relationship with the Lord.

time of preparation let us try and journey with Mary and Joseph. As a family we can revisit the Scripture verses which tell us about the coming of Jesus. Let us pray the

rosary together as a family and ask Mary and Joseph to reveal to us the hidden treasures of the Child Jesus. Who would know him better! Happy Christmas!

1. Renew our love for Jesus present in the Eucharist The innocent joy of a child before the Crib is a lesson in joy! This is the joy with which we should approach Jesus in the gift of the Eucharist. We need to speak with Jesus as we receive him and to teach our children to do the same. During Advent let us try and attend Mass more often and speak with Jesus heart to heart.

2. Celebrate as if it really were about Jesus In our preparations around the home can we honestly say that Jesus is at the centre of our preparations? Do I have a beautiful crib set up in a central position of the home? Is there a sense that as a family we are waiting for Jesus? Do we have an Advent Calendar? Is there a family tradition in which the children participate leading up to Christmas? If not, why not try initiating one?

3. Recognise Jesus in the Stranger During Christmas, those who live alone feel the sense of isolation most intensely. Think for a moment of those who fit this category. Our local Nursing Homes are full of them. Maybe visit with the family on a Sunday morning and ask the staff if there are any residents who could do with a visit? It might mean getting formal permission but this is well worth the hearts we will warm in the process.

4. Fasting and almsgiving Often we forget that Advent is, in a way, a mini Lent. We are preparing for something truly awesome… the coming of Jesus. By fasting, praying and giving alms, we make real in our bodies and routines and attitude that something is different; this is not ordinary time! Jesus is coming and when Christmas Day does come, we are truly ready to celebrate!

5. Don’t forget Mary and Joseph The ‘Communion of Saints’ is the belief that we continue to live in relationship with those who have gone before us. During this


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

Australian Family Owned & Operated 301-303 PENNANT HILLS ROAD, THORNLEIGH





Donations needed for a Merry Mary Mac’s Christmas By Christine Burge, Project Coordinator

We are busy planning a special Christmas lunch on Wednesday 20 December for members of the community who are doing it tough.


e are hoping to make it a special event and create good memories for people who are struggling. Often this time of year can not only be a financial strain, but a sad time as many do not have family, friends or spare money to celebrate. Mary Mac’s Place Woy Woy is a Not-For-Profit Community Kitchen where volunteers provide a hot lunch, washing and shower facilities and referrals to other services for the homeless and disadvantaged people in our community. It is not only our direct community but the transient

community who have no “home” who are able to access this service. Mary Mac’s Place relies solely on donations and fundraising to keep our service going. Below is a wish list and we would deeply appreciate individuals and organisations helping to make this a special occasion. We also give out hampers at this time of year to hold people over whilst we are closed during the Christmas & New Year break. We welcome any dry goods for this purpose. Thank you for your support! Any donations can be dropped off to 100 Blackwall Road, Woy Woy.

Christmas Lunch Wish List

• Chips – small packets

• Christmas cakes/puddings

• Hams • 20 cooked chickens • Turkey • Apple sauce • Mustard • Long life custard • Long life cream • Ice cream • Salads eg. pasta salads • Soft drinks • Lollies – small packets

• Bonbons and decorations

Hamper Items needed • Cans of corned beef/ meat • Cans of tuna/salmon/sardines • Cans of baked beans • Cans of spaghetti • Cans of vegetables • Up & Go – long life breakfast • Cereal packaged in own bowl

• Noodles/rice/pasta (sachets) • Fruit snack packs • Muesli bars/fruit bars • Dried fruit/tinned fruit • Chocolate/jelly beans (for diabetics) • Chips/snacks • Biscuits • Long life custards • 2 minute noodles • Long life milk (small) • Tea/Coffee/sugar small

• Soups • Meals in a can • Crispbread • Small sachets of vegemite/ spreads in general

Toiletries needed

• Wet wipes flat pack • good quality razors • shaving cream • soap, deodorants • shampoo and conditioner • toothbrush and toothpaste

Christmas Mass Times All are invited to join us this Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, 23 Yardley Ave, Waitara Sunday 24 December 5pm Vigil Mass 12am Midnight Mass (Carols from 11.30pm)

Monday 25 December 8am Mass 9.30am Mass NO EVENING MASS

For a full list of Christmas Mass Times in the Diocese of Broken Bay, please visit: 14




Annual Charity Race Day another great success The Diocese of Broken Bay’s Annual Charity Race Day at the Entertainment Grounds, Gosford on 2 November, once again exceeded expectations with more money raised in 2017 at the event than ever before.


n total, $31,876.85 was donated to Mary Mac’s Place at Woy Woy to support homeless and disadvantaged people on the Central Coast. A big thank you is extended to all the race sponsors Avium, Makinson d’Apice Lawyers, Paynter Dixon, WN Bull Funerals, Artel Constructions, B-MAC Constructions, Pitcher Partners and Modular Building Systems, whose support is very much appreciated.

The raffle’s major prize was a Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise for two, kindly donated by New England Constructions. Big congratulations to Fyaz Gill from Artel Constructions who won the cruise! Other prizes included an Apple iPad, donated by Virtunet, a BBQ Boat outing donated by Anderson’s Boatshed and many more. Thank you to all the companies who donated prizes to our raffle and made it such a success.

Thank you to Blue Moon Accounting & Finance who donated the cash for the table challenge. Each table is given $10 to bet with throughout the day, and the goal is to win back as much money as possible. In all, over $875 was raised through this challenge alone. Thanks also to Harris Farm Markets who kindly donated the fruit for the centrepieces on the table. Guests were invited to purchase the bowl of fruit for $20

to take home, and nearly all the bowls were purchased on the day. The leftover fruit was all donated to Mary Mac’s Place. This year, the Race Day attracted 260 guests, who all had a wonderful day and helped raise money for Mary Mac’s Place. Your generosity is very much appreciated. Thank you to Rhonda Andersen from the Office for Communications, Diocese of Broken Bay for organising such a fantastic event.



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE PHONE 1300 1 LOWES OR EMAIL: * 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.




Caring for children in need Roz is one of CatholicCare’s incredible foster carers. She has been caring for foster children for more than 10 years. Here she tells her story. Q. What type of care do you provide?

Q. What’s the best thing about fostering?

A. Right now we’re permanent full-time carers of three girls (siblings) aged 11, 9 and 8. They will stay with us until they are 18, hopefully longer!

A. It’s so satisying to see the changes in the girls. They came to us in February and it’s beautiful to see how settled they are now. They tell me they are happy and feel safe

and that is enough for me! We went away at Easter and one of the girls said ‘I can’t wait to get home to my bed’. I’ll never forget that. They were cared for in four different homes before they came to me. They know this is their forever home now and that’s life changing for them.

Q. Why did you choose to become a foster carer? A. I have always been passionate about children. Early on in life I was a nanny. I then went on to work in the school system so have always been around children. I kept seeing the adverts for foster carers and I just couldn’t shake it off. I had a wonderful childhood, as did my own girls, and I wanted to give that same experience to others. If I could take on more children, I’d gladly fill my house!

Q. Apart from yourself, who else did your decision to foster affect and how? A. I have two daughters. My youngest was 17 when I started off with respite care. They were always very supportive but it definitely impacted on them. Also my parents and our wider family group. New children were coming into all of our lives – it’s bound to mix things up but the positives have always outweighed the challenges.

FAMILY CENTRES: Central Coast • Naremburn • Waitara DISABILITY FUTURES: Central Coast • Northern Beaches • Northern Suburbs OUT OF HOME CARE: Foster Care • Residential Care EARLY LEARNING & CARE CENTRES: Forestville • Lake Munmorah • Terrigal • Waitara • Woy Woy




Roz and her daughter Georgia

Q. What differences have you noticed in the girls?

to assist with the day-to-day needs of the girls too which is helpful.

A. They are smiling, happy and physically healthier. Emotionally they are thriving. They are learning life skills.

Q. What have you found to be the most difficult thing about fostering?

Q. How have you found your overall experience? A. There are challenges but overall it’s been a very positive experience. Seeing the growth in the children and knowing they are on the right track feels so good. We’re giving them something they’ve never had and that is very satisfying.

Q. There are lots of different agencies, organisations, and local authorities out there. Why did you choose CatholicCare? A. Being Catholic ourselves, the fit was right. I did my research on other agencies but we decided the Catholic system was the one for us. We also work in the Catholic Schools system so it made sense.

Q. What was the application and assessment process like? A. Very smooth sailing. The application process, interviews and training were very informative and we have access to 24/7 help if we need it. Our caseworker is phenomenal.

Q. What type of support do you receive from CatholicCare? A. They are always happy to help and I feel we’re working together to help the girls. It’s not all on us. We receive a financial allowance

A. The children come from challenging backgrounds and have experienced some awful things. Connecting with them can take time and patience but it’s wonderful when it happens.

Q. What do you think puts people off becoming foster carers? A. The magnitude of the commitment and the negative behaviours they hear about. We have never seen any major behavioural problems from the 8 children we’ve cared for. But rest assured that with CatholicCare’s

support, any challenges can be worked through. Many people believe also that when the children turn 18, they are removed from your care. That’s not true – they just have the freedom to move on if they want to at 18.

Q. What would you say to anyone considering fostering? A. If you’re tempted, make the enquiry and see if it will work for you. I’d recommend you try respite care first – small chunks of time – just to feel it out. You can opt out at any time. Don’t have any regrets. The CatholicCare team is there every step of the way. Helping children in need is an amazing experience. There are so many children needing care – whether it be for a week, for a month or for a lifetime. Every bit helps.

Can you help a child feel safe, happy and secure? There are children in our community who have been through experiences few of us could begin to fathom and who, without our help, will go through a childhood without the love and support of a family. We are looking for everyday families who might consider taking a child or young person into their home – to love and support them whether for one or two nights, a few weeks, months, or long term. Can you help? CatholicCare Foster Care P: (02) 4320 7700 E: W:

OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS CARE: Avalon • Carlingford • Collaroy Plateau • Davidson • East Gosford • Forestville • Freshwater • Lake Munmorah • Manly • Manly Vale • Mona Vale • Narrabeen • Pymble • Tumbi Umbi • Waitara • Warnervale • West Pymble • Woy Woy HOSPITAL CHAPLAINCY: Gosford • Hornsby • Manly • Mona Vale • Royal North Shore • Wahroonga (SAN) • Wyong





Making a difference Students from four Broken Bay schools on the Northern Beaches joined forces with Taronga Zoo, Northern Beaches Council and the Office of Environment and Heritage to change the plight of the feathertail glider.


hundred and twenty students from St Joseph’s Catholic School, Narrabeen, Sacred Heart Catholic School, Mona Vale and Maria Regina Catholic School, Avalon stepped outside their classrooms and into the world of the feathertail glider through Taronga Zoo’s


Name: Team Name:

‘In-Situ’ program, which aims to raise community awareness of conservation efforts. Guided by Year 10 mentors from Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood, the younger students became passionate advocates for the world’s smallest gliding mammal, which is a threatened species due to bush fragmentation and domestic predators. As part of Project Feathertail Glider, students learned about the biology and natural habitat of the glider. They collected information on local fauna with cameras and created a campaign to motivate the community to save the glider. The project culminated in an expo day where schools came together and shared their campaigns. Next, students will have their campaigns displayed at the local shopping centre to spread the word. A book entitled City Livin’ Ferals, the product of a partnership between St

Joseph’s and Maria Regina, will be published by Enviro-Stories. Cara Appleton, a teacher at St Joseph’s, said, “ Through this

project, students have become empowered by developing the knowledge and life-long skills to make a difference in their world.”

“ The framework we use is called a Gradual Release of Responsibility Model,” she said. “ The kids get explicit and guided teaching, and work towards being independent (in reading and writing).” The model focuses on an ‘I do, we do, you do’ principle, where teachers demonstrate the practice, then they assist the

children, and finally students have a try by themselves. “In literacy, it all comes out of authentic reading and writing experiences,” Virginia explained. This has worked alongside the school’s long-running Cultures of Thinking model, which helps children use language to express their thoughts and use rational processes to learn.

Literacy Know-how No one was more excited about the appointment of a new Principal at St Joseph’s Narrabeen than the Principal herself.


t’s such a lovely school,” said Virginia Outred, who became Principal in August after




being Acting Principal for several months. “It sits between the ocean and the lake in a perfect little pocket of Narrabeen.” Since she began, Virginia has been struck by the warm welcome she received. “The kids here are gorgeous. They’re so welcoming and inclusive. On my first day, I was on playground duty and I had kids come up to me and say hello and shake my hand.” Virginia brought literacy expertise to the school, as she used to work as a Literacy Educator for the Diocese, designing our professional learning program for teaching literacy, and has presented for the Australian Literacy Educators Association (ALEA).


Freshwater Goes Bananas Staff and students at St John the Baptist Catholic School, Freshwater literally went bananas in September along with many other fruits and vegetables!


o celebrate Fruit and Vegetable Month, the students competed against each other to dress their teachers up in fruit and vegetable costumes. The aim of Fruit and Vegetable month, a NSW Government initiative, is to be the class with the greatest variety of fruits

and vegetables in their lunchboxes for their 10.00am Fruit Break each day. Some classes tallied up to 27 different fruits and vegetables each morning. The top three classes were then able to allocate fruity costumes to the teacher of their choice. As well as promoting

healthy eating, the school received a $1000 grant from the NSW Health Live Life Well @ School program. The grant will go towards purchasing new sporting equipment and encouraging staff and students to live active and healthy lives.

Kicking Goals Two Broken Bay students have become soccer champions this year, and will play for Australia in the United Kingdom and Europe in January.


ear 12 students Lachlan Rose from St Leo’s Catholic College, Wahroonga and Michael Glassock from St Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah were selected for the U/19 Australian Schoolboys team. “It’s pretty awesome, I’m so happy about making it,” said winger Lachlan, who finished the Boys All Schools Tri-State Tournament as the equal top goal scorer in the NSW Blue side. “I told my teacher Mr Kember at the beginning of the year that I was going to make the Australian team. He was stoked about it because he knew I had set that goal.” Lachlan has played for the Central Coast Mariners’ youth system and is now playing for Blacktown City under-20s. Michael is College Captain at St Peter’s and also captained the Broken Bay and NSW Combined Catholic Colleges soccer teams this year. He started the season as the Under 20s captain of the Central Coast Mariners Academy before making his first-grade debut in Round 12, winning against Bankstown City Lions. He has subsequently been a permanent member of the side and has trained with the Mariners A-League squad. Michael has also represented Central Coast and Newcastle in cricket at the NSW Country

Cricket U/19 Championships in Cowra and played for The Entrance First Grade side in the Central Coast District Cricket Competition.

“It has been an exciting year, filled with many opportunities and rewards. I am enjoying every minute of it!” said Michael. BBN




The Power of Words Broken Bay students discovered the power of words this year in two public speaking competitions.


he Bear Pit Public Speaking Competition was run by the Manly electorate under the guidance of James Griffin MP. Kye Porter from St Keiran’s Catholic School, Manly Vale won the competition at Parliament House, arguing on the topic What is the greatest invention? Instead of more traditional selections such as technology or medicine, Kye argued that music

was the greatest invention as it enables us to express ourselves and connects us over generations. Kye said, “It was a privilege to represent my school and it is a lot more than just a round of applause and a trophy. It’s a hard-earned experience that I will always remember.” Meanwhile, Year Six students from across the Diocese competed in the Broken Bay

Diocese Public Speaking Grand Final at St Patrick’s Catholic School, Asquith, with Our Lady of Dolours Catholic School, Chatswood student Corban Goodsell taking out the gold medal for his speech Sustainable Development Goals – the future we want. Tom Conroy from St Patrick’s Catholic School at East Gosford came second with Cultural

Diversity, while the bronze medal went to Michael Turnell from the host school St Patrick’s on the topic Insects. Choral items from St Patrick’s Catholic School choir entertained the audience while the adjudicators adjourned to make their final decision and prizes were awarded by Anthony Gleeson, Principal of St Leo’s Catholic College at Wahroonga.

Broken Bay sweeps WriteOn Awards Three students from Broken Bay schools won Gold in the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) WriteOn Awards.


roken Bay had winners in each of the three categories. Hakone Liceralde from Sacred Heart Catholic School, Pymble won in the Stage 1 category with The Boy Who Cried Tiger, while Sienna Rowe from St Gerard’s Catholic School, Carlingford took out the Gold prize in the Stage 2 category with her poem, Waiting, Waiting. In the Stage 3 category, Abby Brady from St Patrick’s Catholic School, East Gosford won Gold for her story Chaos and Understanding, while two other Broken Bay students, Rachael de Courcy from Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic School, Terrigal, and Finlay Smith, from St Mary’s Catholic School, Toukley, both won Silver.




In the Stage 1 category, Brianna Serrano also from Our Lady Star of the Sea won Bronze. Students entered the competition with a piece of imaginative writing inspired by a photograph, and entries included narratives, poems, and letters. The awards were presented by NESA CEO David de Carvalho, at a ceremony at the State Library of NSW. Winners were also published in the WriteOn anthology. Mr de Carvalho said that the winning entries were outstanding. “These young students will become published authors, which is a brilliant achievement,” he said. “Writing is integral to student’s learning throughout their time at school and beyond.”


Wakakirri Honours

St John Fisher Catholic School at Tumbi Umbi took out one of the top prizes in the largest performing arts event for schools in Australia, the annual Wakakirri competition.


he school won the National Health Award, was a National Story of the Year nominee and won the State Award for Best Mental Health Story with their dance piece, Mr Huff, a retelling of a children’s story. The story follows a woman whose sadness and worry manifest into a gloomy black cloud which follows

her through her life, demonstrating the impact of anxiety and depression. Judge Joshua Horner said the piece was “A well performed theatrical version of an anxious or depressive mood we can all get into.” Meanwhile, St John the Baptist Catholic School at Freshwater won the State Award for Best Blockbuster Story for their dance piece,

Toys Are Us, in which a child’s toys come to life and teach a lesson about gratitude. The annual Wakakirri competition showcases stories through dance, with each school devising, choreographing and performing a story of their choice. Now in its 25th year, the competition involved over 20,000 primary and secondary students from 240 schools across the country.

Budding Journalists Students from St Thomas Catholic School, Willoughby’s journalism enrichment class recently sampled life as a journalist after an excursion to the News Ltd offices in Surry Hills.


he class submitted articles for Do Something Day, a News Local event which encourages people to volunteer in their communities. Billy Cantwell, North Shore Times editor, was so impressed by the articles that he invited the class on a tour of the office. The tour took in the conference room where editors of The Australian meet to

discuss the day’s top stories, as well as the floor of the Daily Telegraph. Students also visited the photographic and online production areas before calling in to the desks of the North Shore Times. On the tour, students met The Australian’s editor-at-large, Paul Kelly, who greeted the children and offered them words of advice

for a journalistic career. “It was definitely an experience to remember for a long time,” said Angus Martinez in Year 4. Howard Dahdah, 4Y teacher, said that the journalism enrichment class was open to students from years 3-6. “It is aimed at honing their overall writing skills through the prism of news writing.” he said. BBN




Talent on display in the Bishop’s Religious Visual Art Prize This year, 253 students in Year Ten and below from across the Diocese of Broken Bay entered their artwork in the Bishop’s Religious Visual Art Prize.


he theme was Walking the Way and students were inspired by Scripture related to the theme to create works of art expressing their life journeys with God. The competition is open to students within the Diocese from congregational and systemic schools, as well as government schools. Rebecca Bosley who is in Year 10 at MacKillop Catholic College in Warnervale took out the top prize for her artwork,

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. The judges commenting, “ This realistic and detailed drawing reflects the journey of Jesus and emphasises the value of compassion he lived by. The artwork asks the viewer to consider this in our own life experiences and encourages us to demonstrate compassion as Jesus did.” Members of the judging panel were Elisa O’Brien, professional graphic artist and ex-student of St Leo’s Catholic College, Wahroonga; Maree Board, Primary Religious Education Co-ordinator at Holy Family Catholic School, Lindfield; and Rochelle Wooldridge, secondary art teacher at Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood The works were judged on their artistic merit with consideration of the age of the artist. Prizes were presented by Mr Peter Hamill, Director of Schools and Mrs Virginia Ryan, Assistant Director Evangelisation and Catholic Formation.

2017 Bishop’s Religious Visual Art Prize winners Early Stage 1 (Kindergarten) • 1 Place, $200, Isabella Mobley, Holy Family, Lindfield, Jesus standing by the lake of Gennesaret st

• Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Jesse Borg, Our Lady Star Of The Sea, Terrigal, Jesus walking on a journey with his friends • Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Oliver Page, St Joseph’s, Narrabeen, I will walk with you Stage 1 (Year 1 & Year 2) • 1st Place, $200, India Twist, St Cecilia’s, Wyong, Lead my way • Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Freddie O’Hara, Holy Family, Lindfield, The road to Emmaus • Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Storm Beckett, Maria Regina, Avalon, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path

Wahroonga, Psalm 5:8 Lead me, lord, in your righteousness. • Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Presley Finch, Sacred Heart, Mona Vale, Jesus walking the way across the lake

• Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Carmen Rickards, MacKillop, Warnervale, A light in turbulent times

• Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Victoria Nicolson, Holy Family, Lindfield, Walking the way with Jesus

Stage 5 (Years 9 & 10)

Stage 3 (Years 5 & 6) • 1st Place, $200, Romy Behdasht, Sacred Heart, Mona Vale, Know that I am with you and will watch you wherever you will go • Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Madison Sporer, St Rose, Collaroy Plateau, Walking in love • Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Sarah Hiscocks, St Kieran’s, Manly Vale, The Good Shepherd Stage 4 (Years 7 & 8)

Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4)

• 1st Place, $200, Olivia Thompson, Mercy, Chatswood, The lost coin

• 1st Place, $200, Naomi Weaver, Prouille,

• Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies




Voucher, Alexander Gualtieri, St Paul’s, Manly, Fishers of men

• 1st Place, $200, Rebecca Bosley, MacKillop, Warnervale, For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat • Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Jessica Saliba, St Leo’s, Wahroonga, Walk the Way • Highly Commended, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Jana Docdoc, Mercy, Chatswood, Happy are those … who walk in the way of the Lord CCC Building Awards • Primary CCC Building Award, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Michael Lee, Our Lady Help of Christians, Epping, Jesus Bus • Secondary CCC Building Award, $30 Art Supplies Voucher, Rebecca Bosley, MacKillop, Warnervale, For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat


Wahroonga’s newest aged care service opens its doors to the public Catholic Healthcare’s new McQuoin Park Aged Care service in Wahroonga has opened its doors to the public after more than a year in development.


ore than 300 people approached the service on Saturday 14 October to tour the 122 room facility, including an on-site wellness centre, speciallydesigned dementia wing and stateof-the-art chapel. The McQuoin Park Aged Care service has been active since the 1970s, originally known as Mercy Family Life Centre. Now owned and operated by Catholic Healthcare, the need for more residential aged care support in the Wahroonga area prompted the

Catholic organisation to expand their service offering in 2015. Since construction began in May 2016, Catholic Healthcare has strived to provide the best care possible to residents moving into the new service. The new McQuoin Park promises residents that their favourite aspects of the older service will be continued to the new facility – from the onsite hairdressing salon and café, premium condition of rooms to the sentimental value of the old chapel, icons of which can now be

seen in the newly-built chapel. Accompanying the tours were individuals young and old – from those seeking to move in themselves, to grandchildren accompanying their relatives. Visitors of the service remarked positively on the state-of-theart design of the service, and particularly the versatility of the living spaces that catered to residents of all levels of mobility, including those in wheelchairs. “It’s just so spacious and beautiful,” one visitor commented,

while another said, “I love how we can just visit mum in the café below without even leaving the service.” Despite a rainy beginning to the day, a bright influx of individuals joined the Pacific Highway site, enjoying gelato, coffee, a sausage sizzle, face painting and the sounds of local Sydney musician, Cassidy-Rae. Residents of the new McQuoin Park officially moved into the service on 24 October, excited to make new memories in the stateof-the-art service.

Dawn Masses at Our Lady of Dolours in Chatswood during Advent 2017 Advent, which means coming, is a time of expectation and anticipation. It is a time of celebration and a time for prayer to get away from the distractions of the Christmas season, characterised by consumerism and the busyness of daily life.


t is an opportunity to open our hearts to prepare for the joy and hope that Christ’s birth brings to the world. The practice of “Simbang Gabi” meaning Dawn Mass started during the Spanish colonial times in the Philippines. It is a series of Masses celebrated at dawn for nine days before Christmas in joyful expectation of the birth of Baby Jesus. Mass used to start at the break of dawn to give the farmers a chance to join the community in prayer before they went to work on their farms. It is in this light that Dawn Masses are celebrated in many churches around the world and is now becoming a custom in parishes around Sydney where

there are many Filipinos in the Church Community. Last year, the Filipino Chaplaincy Chatswood Parish brought this tradition to Our Lady of Dolours Parish and there were about 700 people who attended the Masses over the nine days. It was a successful endeavour supported not only by Filipinos but everyone else in the parish community. This year, the Novena of Dawn Masses at Our Lady of Dolours Parish will be held from 16-24 December 2017 starting at 5:30am followed by the traditional hot drinks and light breakfast after Mass. Everyone is invited to come and join the parish community in continuing this beautiful tradition. BBN




Broken Bay celebrates Safeguarding Month 2017 By Anita Biddle, Safeguarding Officer, Chancery

During September this year the agencies of CatholicCare, Catholic School Office and Chancery Office and parishes took the opportunity to raise awareness about Safeguarding and also to pray for those who have suffered due to the lack of safe practices within Church institutions.


arious resources were provided to agencies to assist in promoting safety messages and to establish a dedicated space of prayer. The resources are still available on the Diocesan website. The Office for Safeguarding (Chancery) team was fortunate to be involved in many initiatives throughout Safeguarding Month. We spoke with young adults at a Twilight Talk: Safeguarding Experiences, we also attended and supported the Children’s Choir Games held at Ku-ringgai Chase Catholic Parish and the Gathering in Solidarity at

Frenchs Forest Parish. We also had the wonderful opportunity to facilitate workshops with clergy about Safeguarding and Child Protection and CCD Parish Coordinators about Safeguarding in our parishes. As announced by Bishop Peter Comensoli at the Liturgy of Compassion and Commitment on 31 August 2017, the Diocese of Broken Bay will be dedicating September to Safeguarding annually. Please enter this in your calendar for 2018 and keep a watch out for further information as September draws closer.

Foster Carer Picnic Day On 29 September, a picnic was held for CatholicCare’s foster carers and their families. It was a great day enjoyed by all the children, their carers and the staff. There were numerous activities including face painting by Haley which was very popular. All activities were sensory based including water activities; smelling and guessing game; music-making musical shakers; temporary tattoos and bead threading. Rotary provided a barbecue and there was also a raffle on the day. A wonderful day enjoyed by all.

Safeguarding team at CYBB’s Twilight Talks at Narrabeen Sands Hotel

Leonie Smith with St Patrick’s School captains

Cyber Safety at St Patrick’s School at Asquith Recently St Patrick’s Catholic School at Asquith welcomed Cyber Safety expert, Leonie Smith. Leonie travels to schools informing students, parents and teachers about the latest news in Cyber Safety, and how they can keep safe when using the internet. Leonie facilitated sessions with students during the day, after school with the teachers, and an evening meeting with parents. “A dedicated space at the statue of Mary MacKillop, referencing her love and care for children.” Fr Jim McKeon, Parish Priest, Kincumber




Wahroonga Parish’s prayer space for Safeguarding

School Principal Bernard Cumming stated, “The area of Cyber safety is crucially important to all members of our school community, and it is an area that is continually changing. Leonie facilitated information sessions for our children, the staff and our parents.”


When the Spirit Says Sing By Patricia Smith, Choir Games Director

Since 2015, the Diocesan Children’s Choir Games have been bringing young singers from different parishes around the Diocese together to do amazing things, to learn new music in record time, to add complex movements and actions, to dance and sing in parts and in synchronised unison, to delight and astound their adult audience.


oung singers from Year 2 to Year 11 who have never sung together as a choir before come together for an afternoon of singing, games, workshops, practising movements and harmonies, learning music, meeting old friends and making new ones, and at the end of only two hours they are ready to perform to an incredibly high standard in a competition that has them singing spirituals, liturgical and sacred music with unbelievable excitement, enthusiasm and excellence. This year the Choir Games, sponsored by the Office for Evangelisation, were held at St Patrick’s Church at Asquith, and

hosted by Ku-ring-gai Chase Parish, under Choir Games Director, Patricia Smith. The participants were young singers from Year 2 to Year 11 from more than ten different schools including local public schools and State high schools. Some of the singers were veterans of children’s choirs while others had never sung in a choir before. The participants were sorted into three different choirs led by three highly experienced young conductors, students Michaela De Souza and Naomi Massa, who between them have over 20 years’ experience of singing in and directing Ku-ring-gai Chase Parish Children’s Choir, and teacher, April


Pulanco, who generously stepped into the role of Choir Director at ten minutes’ notice when the third director fell sick. After two hours of workshops and rehearsals, games and socialising, the young singers were ready to compete. The ‘Gold Choir’ under Michaela added amazing actions and harmonies to When the Saints Go Marching In, and April’s ‘Red Choir’ performed Michael Mangan’s Hearts on Fire with Auslan signs and had the audience jumping to their feet with You Gotta Sing When the Spirit Says Sing. But it was Naomi and the ‘Green Choir’ with their haunting harmonies to Shalom Chaverim, their arrangement of Karen


Lafferty’s Sandy Land in parts with body percussion, and their brilliant performance on the last-minute Skills Challenge that won the day. If, as St Augustine says, those who sing pray twice, then surely those who sing with actions and movement pray three times! These are young people who are doing the work of the Kingdom, working together generously and cooperatively, mentoring younger ones, experiencing and creating new connections, seeing what others can do and becoming open to possibilities of different ways of worship and different ways of singing, having fun and exploring music, dance and movement in worship and in liturgical song.


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Music in the Mass By Jenny Hildebrandt

“The familiar notion of a ‘quiet Mass,’ meaning a liturgy without music, was, and continues to be, a true contradiction in terms.


o not infuse the liturgy with song, to not appreciate its lyrical character, to not see music as the assembly’s primary language to pray the liturgy, would be the same as to experience ‘West Side Story’ or ‘Oklahoma’ as plays with only spoken words”. (David Haas, Music and the Mass: A Practical Guide for Minister of Music, Second Edition, 2010, p.18)

David Haas reminds us that music is not a nicety but an essential part of celebrating Mass. We do not sing at the liturgy, rather we sing the liturgy. Music at Mass is not provided to entertain or to fill the silence but to support and encourage the full and active participation of the assembly. Music ministry is one of a number of ministries that assists 2017

Handel’s Messiah

An ecumenical combined massed choir performance of the best-loved highlights of Handel’s Messiah will again be presented in Hornsby’s Cathedral Church, Our Lady of the Rosary. Now in its ninth year the Choir has raised over $43,000 towards the provision of facilities for the welfare of homeless people in our community. This year all proceeds from the performance will aid the Hornsby & Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter. Performance details: Time & Date: Thursday December 7 at 8pm Venue: Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral Church, 23 Yardley Avenue, Waitara Musical Director, Phillip Linquist, organist Heather Boyd and the choir will be joined by an ensemble of musicians and young professional soloists singing favourite arias.

In aid of the & Hornsby gai Ku-ring’s en Wom Shelter

Tickets available on: Please use the ‘Buy tickets’ tab and event name: Handel’s Messiah Hornsby 2017 or purchase tickets at the door prior to event.




us in celebrating the liturgy. As we need welcomers and hospitality to build up community life and invite participation in worship and service, and readers to proclaim the Word with clarity and conviction, so we need musicians to play and lead well so that we can fully engage in the celebration. Leading music in the Mass is not an easy task. It requires both musical skill and liturgical knowledge. It requires good communication between the presider, lectors, music ministers and others that support the community’s prayer and response to God. It also requires ongoing encouragement and support. In 2017 there have been a number of events facilitated by the Office for Evangelisation to encourage and further develop music ministry across our parishes. In July, some 60 musicians across the Diocese attended liturgical music workshops. Presented by Professor Clare Johnson, Director of the ACU Centre for Liturgy, musicians were challenged, inspired and encouraged to grow in their knowledge and practice of liturgical music. Attentiveness to the liturgy of the day, the gifts and capacities of those leading music, and the assembly gathered

in prayer all impact upon our selection of sacred music. These workshops were held in response to feedback from parishes gathered by survey in April, responses which will also inform the development of support for parish music ministry into the future. As example, the Diocesan Guidelines for Music are currently under review and will be renewed and shared with parishes for their reflection in the new year. In September, it was a joy to see 45 young singers involved in the 2017 Choir Games led by Mrs Patricia Smith, from Ku-ring-gai Chase Parish, and a dedicated group of volunteers. In early October, a number of representatives were sponsored and participated in the Australian Pastoral Musicians Network Music Conference, “Sing with Joy”, held in Perth. (Read on for more on these events). As we approach Christmas, we give thanks for all those involved in music ministry throughout the Diocese of Broken Bay. Each brings a living witness that “one cannot find anything more religious and more joyful in sacred celebrations than a whole congregation expressing its faith and devotion in song” (Musicam Sacram 16).


2017 APMN Conference: ‘Sing with Joy’ By Loretta Foster, Music Ministry, Warnervale Parish

On a windy morning in Western Australia on 8 October, several hundred people gathered on a Scarborough beach to sing with joy and to pray at the commencement of the annual conference for the Australian Pastoral Musicians Network (APMN).


ittingly the theme of this year’s conference was ‘Sing with Joy’ and singing is pretty much all we did for the next three days! The Conference was attended by over 300 pastoral musicians and the resulting sound of these enthusiastic and musically talented ministers that could all sight-sing (and in six part harmony) was quite spectacular. The Conference timetable included a keynote address by Professor Clare Johnson and two keynote addresses and plenary workshops by renowned and well-loved composer David Haas whose liturgical music is used in many of our parishes. Hymns such as You Are Mine, Blest Are They and We Are Called were just a few that David led us in musical and spiritual prayer. Clare Johnson provided us with many practical strategies to encourage the assembly to take up and embrace their role of singing in liturgy. She reminded us that it was their role to sing in unified voice and our role is to teach them, lead them and provide them with suitable resources so that they can fulfil their role. David Haas reminded us that liturgy celebrates community; the common work of the people. He stressed that liturgy is not private devotion but rather something we do together, we must always be mindful who we are singing for – it is not the people or the priest or our fellow musicians, but the audience of our unified voice is God. The three days were packed with workshops facilitated by various liturgical composers such as Michael Mangan, Paul Mason and Michael Henry who shared their extensive repertoire with us. There were many other practical-based workshops that covered areas such as copyright, forming a choir and how to play an organ. Over the three days we sang psalms and hymns in a wide variety of styles; after

all, the 300 of us all had our own tastes and preferences, just like our congregations. Yet despite this, we all enjoyed the common act of singing. Singing together is a unified action that brings people together and is ultimately what our Church community is called to do in our liturgical celebrations. Michael Mangan led several workshops. His first was entitled ‘Let the Children Come’. In this workshop Michael shared with us how to bridge the gap between school and parish music, and how to ensure that the children are respected and included as part of the active Church community while also including the regular parishioners. Michael’s second workshop, ‘Sing Justice, Live Justice’ was on the power of liturgical song to inspire social action. After all, we are sent out of the Mass to go and serve the world and what better way to reinforce this message than with song. Michael and Clare were both enthusiastic in ensuring that as music ministers we understood the different roles music plays for different purposes. For instance, music for catechesis is different to music for praise and worship and is different again to music for liturgy. Musically these differences manifest themselves as musical style, instrumentation and most importantly the suitability and relevance of the lyrics. While it can be tempting to use a catechetical song that the children know well from school, it is not necessarily suitable for inclusion in Sunday Mass. The Broken Bay attendees came back renewed in voice and renewed in spirit. We came back armed with practical strategies and guidance on how to develop the music in our parishes to further unite our voices in liturgical song. From here we need to nurture our music ministers and our assemblies to grow and develop the joy that communal voice can bring.

Loretta Foster with David Haas

Australian Pastoral Musicians Network The APMN exists to promote religious and liturgical music in the service of the Catholic Church. Facilitating music for worship in the Church can be a very isolating experience at times. It is easy to get caught up in the weekly provision of music for Mass without paying attention to ongoing personal formation and connecting with likeminded people. The APMN provides opportunities for formation and networking channels for Australian composers, musicians, liturgists, school teachers and anyone else who is involved in providing music for the Catholic Church. In becoming a member, you will receive support in your ministry to provide quality music for

worship, church life and religious education. The APMN publishes a quarterly newsletter which contains articles from prominent liturgists and composers and theologians. You will be kept up to date with the latest resources to support your ministry and from time to time exclusive discounts only available to APMN members. Members also receive a discount off the Bi-Annual National Conference which, in 2017, was up to $50. Parish memberships offer the best value at just $120 per year for up to three parishioners/clergy per membership. Individual memberships are $60 per year with concessions for students and pensioners are available.





Ministry to the Sick Each year CatholicCare offers the Diocesan Pastoral Care Course to provide the minimum training of 40 hours for those people who serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion in hospitals across the Diocese and or those who are wishing to gain further skills in their pastoral ministry to the frail or sick in their parish.


he most recent course, led by Peter Brown (Coordinator of CatholicCare’s Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care Team) ran for five consecutive Tuesdays in August at St Anthony in the Fields Church, Terrey Hills and was attended by representatives of five parishes. Below are some personal reflections from three course participants: “I’m retired now from my career as a diversional therapist. I specialised in working with the frail elderly and people experiencing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. I have seen first-hand how essential it is that people who are ill still felt connected and cared for by their community of faith. I remember one very frail dementia resident at the nursing home where I worked. I had no idea that he was Catholic, he was not registered as such, and he had been a resident for four years. One day he surprised me by asking to go to Mass, requesting to see the Priest first. After Mass, he expressed his deep gratitude for being able to ‘set the record straight with God.’ You could see it in his




eyes, the relief and the peace. He died not long afterwards, and I felt honoured to be in a position to have helped him refresh his faith at this important time. My local neighbourhood is in the process of having a hospital built, and I want to be able to help out visiting people who are unwell. Honestly, I planned to only stay for the morning part of the training – but it was so interesting and well-run that I decided to stay for the whole training, and now I’ve completed all 40 hours of the course. The content was a valuable refresher for me; I was reminded of how important it is to listen to people with empathy, to make a space to really understand what people are going through. Alongside this, the course provided a space to meet like-minded people from other parishes, and I was especially impressed by the ongoing support that the course provides. Probably the most valuable thing about the course though is the fact that it provides for personal growth. Being reminded of how supporting others can actually provide a space for you to be enriched, and to know that,

in the process, you are also living your beliefs. I highly recommend it to others who are interested in providing Communion to the sick or Pastoral Care.” Sue Torpey (Catholic Parish of Frenchs Forest) “I have been an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion in my parish, visiting a local nursing home, for about two and a half years and wanted to learn how better to help the people I visit. The course was all I had hoped for. We learned about empathy, listening skills, loss and grief, how to write a verbatim, boundaries, and more. The facilitators, all Pastoral Care Practitioners in our Diocese, were excellent and I met some wonderful people from other parishes. Many of these had far more experience in this ministry than I and there was plenty of opportunity for sharing and learning from them. I found the course very interesting and valuable and I’m really glad I attended it. I am sure it will enrich my ministry.” Susie Gates (Ku-ringgai Chase Catholic Parish) “The Diocesan Pastoral Care Course is a transformative process. Learning about empathy is a key component. We find that

by discovering where God is in each of us, we can better find God in all relationships. We are able to listen to others without judgement but with compassion. As pastoral carers, we are there in nursing homes and in hospitals as a Catholic contact. The course delivers this concept reassuringly. We are encouraged to ask for advice from our Priest or others, more experienced in the work. It was a privilege to take this journey with caring likeminded people. The clinical and practical aspects were also so well-covered that we are buoyed and ready to give pastoral care our best beginnings. I found the course delivery very professional, prayerful, gentle and caring. Peter Brown, Denis O’Brien and their team are superb.” Joan Wood (Catholic Parish of Pittwater) Next year the Diocesan Pastoral Care Course will be offered at Somersby in March and again at Terrey Hills in June. For more information about the course and how to apply, contact Peter Brown, Coordinator, Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care, CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay on 0418 616 602.


Catholic Women’s League Scholarship recipients By Carolyn Metcalfe, President, Toukley Branch Catholic Women’s League

Last August, the Toukley Branch of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL), in conjunction with Kincumber Branch, hosted our Scholarship Morning Tea.


t was a very enjoyable morning where we had the opportunity of meeting the recipients of the Scholarship Fund. We were delighted to have with us our State President Ann Pereira and State Secretary Irene O’Grady. Also present were the principals and teachers of the four Catholic Colleges on the Central Coast along with family members of the students. Members of our remaining three branches also attended. I must thank all our Catholic Women’s League members, past and present, who have been constant supporters of the scholarship over the years. It is a great pleasure for CWL on the Central Coast to be able to provide this scholarship to the students. We have been doing so now since 1990 when the first

scholarship of $2000 was given to a student from the then Corpus Christi College, now St Peter’s. In 1997 the scholarship was extended to St Joseph’s and St Edward’s Colleges and in 2007 MacKillop College was included. A total of 80 students have received the scholarship and have continued on to tertiary level. The recipients or 2017 were Finn Flaherty from St Edward’s College, Kristen Potter from St Peter’s College, Alyssa Webster from MacKillop College and Ilisapeci Tamaniceva from St Joseph’s College. Unfortunately Finn was unable to be present on the day but was introduced by his Principal Mr Mark Bonnici. The scholarships will help these students complete their studies in Years 11 and 12. The Catholic Women’s League

do amazing voluntary work and fundraising in the Diocese of Broken Bay. More young women are needed and welcomed to keep

this wonderful tradition going. If you would like to know more or would like to join the CWL, please go to

Recipients of the Catholic Women’s League Central Coast Scholarships: Kristen Potter, Ilisapeci Tamaniceva and Alyssa Webster


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Family dynasty comes to an end for charity organisation By Catherine Day For the last 50 years, the Collignon family has been at the helm of the Australian branch of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).


hey have been instrumental in raising much needed funds, and providing support for Churches across the globe. Philip Collignon, who has been the National Director for the last 27 years, has seen $60 million raised within Australia to help the poor and persecuted Church. In 1950, the founder of the charity, Fr Werenfried van Straaten – famously known as the ‘bacon priest’ – approached his friend Fr Christopher Coenen, to help provide support for the millions of Catholics who had been displaced after WWII. There was a desperate need for mobile churches to be sent across Germany, to minister to the 12 million Germans that had become refugees in their own country. Fr Coenen supervised and supported more than 35 ‘chapel trucks’, as they were called, manned with different missionary priests from all orders and countries, and carrying over

5 tons of food, clothing and gifts to distribute to the refugees. The chapel trucks had a swing out altar so that Mass could be celebrated throughout the German diaspora for the displaced Catholics. When Fr Coenen first came to Australia, he was chaplain to Dutch Catholic migrants and was based in the Sydney suburb of Eastwood. At the time, John Collignon, Philip’s father, was President of the Catholic Dutch Migrants association and soon the family became good friends with Fr Coenen. It was in 1965 that Fr Coenen opened the doors of the Australian branch of the charity. Back then, it was known as Iron Curtain Church Relief, as the focus was on the suffering of the Church under Communism rule. It was after the fall of the Wall that the focus of the charity shifted: no longer where they just concentrating on supporting Churches behind the Iron

Fr Coenen (right of picture) with Fr Werenfried farewelling a group of boys from a refugee camp in Frankfurt. Fr Werenfried and Fr Coenen organised for groups of children to attend supervised holidays in Flanders to relief the stress of living in the refugee camps




Fr Coenen with Philip Collignon in 2005. The photo was taken shortly before Fr Coenen’s death the same year aged 89

Curtain, they expanded to Latin America, Africa and Asia. With the expansion, the name of the organisation changed to Aid to the Church in Need. However, despite the growing reach of the organisation, an enormous amount of work was still needed in Europe. “Basic things like keeping priests and sisters alive and also, building vocations to rebuild the Church personnel,” said Philip. The aim was to rebuild the Church across Eastern Europe so people could worship in freedom again. In 1968, before returning to Germany, Fr Coenen asked John to take over the work of the charity. He did until his death in 1976, and then Ann Collignon (Philip’s sister) took on the responsibility. It was in 1990 that Philip became her replacement. Interestingly, when Philip went in for his interview, the front page news was the fall of the Berlin Wall. “I found that quite a motivating force for me, to be part of the organisation that had been working towards the rebirth of the Catholic Church after the fall of Communism.” Over the last 27 years, Philip with his wife Debbie (who has been working in the organisation since 1985), have been working tirelessly to continue raising funds for Churches in need. Their main tool of evangelisation and fundraising is their Mirror newsletter, which goes out eight

times a year to their benefactor base. “We are a pastoral aid organisation… and people want to help. We are very grateful.” One of the current missions for ACN is the Church in the Middle East. Historically, in countries such as Egypt (which is one of their countries of interest), relationships between the different Christian denominations have been tense, but, as Philip notes, “with the [recent] persecution of the Church in the middle East, there seems to be better cooperation between the Coptic Christians and the Coptic Orthodox Christians. They have had to unite to find their way through this disaster of what happened with ISIS.” Funding from the current campaign is going towards not just the Catholic Church but the Orthodox Church as well. In Australia, we take for granted freedom of religion, but in Egypt, with 10 per cent of its population being Christian, this is a freedom that is fought for every day. After years of supporting seminarians, sisters and priests and the millions of displaced Christians throughout the world, Philip is ready for a sea change. With an elderly mother and elderly in-laws, a two-year-old granddaughter and two newborn grandchildren Philips believes he needs to “dedicate more time to my family”.


Sister Ilham offers children a safe place near Mosul

By Jaco Klamer Although Sr Ilham and her order suffered terrible losses when ISIS invaded Iraq, she manages to speak with an inspiring calmness: “None of us wanted to abandon our place – but as the attacks didn´t stop, we had to save our lives and flee,” reflects Sr Ilham quietly. he 57-year-old Dominican nun was serving in a Mosul church when the rapid advance of ISIS forced her and the community to flee taking only what they could carry. Today she serves those remaining IDPs in the Christian city of Telleskuf in Northern Iraq’s Nineveh Plains. “In 2016, around 6000 people had to leave Telleskuf. When I returned to this area, all the houses were abandoned and many of them were destroyed. In Telleskuf a lot of buildings have been reduced to rubble. The school and the children’s home have been obliterated, the doors of the convent were forced and the nuns’ residence was robbed.” The Dominican Sisters started restoration of their convent in Telleskuf located 19 miles from Mosul, in May. “I worked from

7am until 7pm to make the convent ready for the children.” This does not only refer to the place and equipment. It has also to do with the handling of emotions. “We have day-care for children who are three, four and five years old. From 8am until 1pm we host around 150 children, aged six to 12, and from 5-7pm we welcome the children who are over 12 years old. We also visit the people of the community at home and we give the children catechism: we prepare them for their First Communion. Before the invasion of ISIS we worked in the convent with five sisters, but now there are just two of us. Luckily, we will receive backup soon.” Instead of looking back, Sr Ilham now tries to look ahead. “I am glad to see people return to their houses and getting on with

their lives,” says Sr Ilham smiling. “It is a shame that the government has barely restored the road – they should contribute more to the rebuilding of the villages and cities. However, our biggest concern is the safety in this area. Our first priority is the children. They have been changed by the control of ISIS, by the increase in fighting. I can tell that they have become more nervous and more aggressive.” There is still plenty of work to be done but as Sr Ilham stands to leave, she shares a final thought in the midst of such destruction: “Everyone is trying their best to live with each other harmoniously. We try to help the children by giving them peace: at the convent, we offer them a safe place.” Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has supported the restoration of the convent of the

Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena in Telusquf (Telleskuf ) with a grant of €45,000. Since 2014 and up to September 2017 ACN has provided over €34.5 million for projects in Iraq, of which €7 million were dedicated to housing costs and €11 million to food and other basic necessities for IDPs in Erbil as well as €1.8 million for the reconstruction of houses and churches in the Nineveh Plains.

Sr Ilham stands in the burnt out shell of the convent. Photo by Jaco Klamer, Aid to the Church in Need






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