BROKEN BAY NEWS PUBLICATION OF THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY
Joy in celebrating our migrant communities Mass of Inclusion comes of age
Celebrating Extraordinary Mission Month
Catholic Mission supports Sr Stanâ€™s amazing work in Ghana
NEWS AND ISSUES
The Church for which we aspire It is in September that I am writing this, and still we await with anticipation for our new Bishop. BY FR DAVID RANSON
t has now been 13 months we have been waiting. We hope sincerely that our waiting may soon be over. However, in the meantime I am grateful for your affection and support in my role of leadership of our Diocese which reached its first anniversary on 3 August. For this I remain deeply humbled. Many are the significant issues before us as Catholics at the moment: proposals for changes in legislation around the issue of religious freedom, the accessibility of abortion, the denial of legal privilege for clergy in the confessional. And through these very significant matters continues the issue of Cardinal Pell’s own conviction and the recent dismissal of his appeal by the Victorian appellate court which continues to hover over us with a certain irresolution, and the recent
2 OCTOBER 2019
regrettable conviction of one of our own clergy. It would not be surprising that all such matters taken together make us feel fragile and uncertain. They particularly challenge our sense of a perfect world, a perfect Church. Naturally, there is part of us that wants the best that is possible. For example, in our relationships we can easily be led into thinking about how we might achieve the best partner, or the best marriage, the best career. We can even subtly begin to look for the perfect partner, the perfect family, the perfect friendship, the perfect job, the perfect parish, the perfect Church – and become very disappointed when we don’t think we have found them. Of course, what we actually do find is always someone that is imperfect and limited.
Every one of us is limited. Our partners are limited, our parents are limited, our children are limited, and our Church is limited. It is not the absence of limitations in each other that makes a relationship work but the way in which these limitations enable each of us to grow that makes the difference. As Pope Francis reminded us in his letter on families, “We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships of people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the centre and expect things to turn out our way.” (Amoris Laetitia, n.92). And so, particularly in our relationships, limitation is not a deficit, but the very means by which we learn the true nature of love. Only when we truly and deeply accept the reality of our own, and each other’s limitations – rather than just our giftedness – do we truly begin to grow in our relationships.
Every one of us is limited. Our partners are limited, our parents are limited, our children are limited, and our Church is limited.
NEWS AND ISSUES Faith, itself, is a relationship. As with every other relationship, it, too, learns along the way that the acceptance of limitation is a key to its growth and to its vitality. Part of this learning comes in the way we accept the Church itself – a motley group who, at best, stumble and stutter along, never quite getting it right. If we applied the logic of ‘the perfect’ to ourselves as Church, then we would certainly despair because so often we are confronted with the stark reality of ours and each other’s limitations. In fact, we could go further and say that ‘the perfect parish’, ‘the perfect Church’, is never something for which to even aim. Our aims should be about something different than what the notion of perfection will admit. In other words, in our life together as Christians we are not to seek a perfect vision but, rather, we are to enter the paradox of both limitation and possibility, never one without the other. The acceptance of the presence of this paradox, not as a deficit to be
overcome, but a means by which we learn the true nature of both ourselves and of God. We cannot, as it were, glory in Christian principles and ideals unless we are first prepared to accept the confronting reality of this paradox and to enter it, often confusing, ambiguous and messy as it can be. But then there is never any new life, as our mothers can testify, without a great deal of uncertainty and confusion. We can’t have the possibilities without the limitations. This is true of our relationships generally, it is also true of our life together as Christian disciples. Or as an old outback Queensland shearer once said – and I think it is a great parable for all our relationships including our faith – “anything perfect is never beautiful.” Recently, I have entered the terrain of social media. I recognise how complex this can be and yet how important it is in a social climate in which technology allows one’s voice to be heard in such expansive ways. I have now developed a personal
…‘the perfect parish’, ‘the perfect Church’, is never something for which to even aim. blog site on which I post my homilies and addresses. You might like to follow it: davidranson.com.au Also, in the Twittersphere, I now share the events and life of our Diocese. You can follow this through @FrDavidRanson along with the tweets of our Diocese: @BrokenBayDioc
Please continue to pray for our new
Bishop. It is our ardent hope that in our next Broken Bay News we will be able to celebrate his appointment! In the meantime, I am humbly grateful for your prayers.
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ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Safeguarding highlighted in the Liturgy of Inclusion and Care The annual Safeguarding Month in Broken Bay began with a beautiful Liturgy of Inclusion and Care at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara on 3 September 2019.
his is the fourth year the Diocese of Broken Bay has held a Liturgy in Safeguarding Month, and this year the theme focused on Inclusion and Care, particularly for those vulnerable in our communities and those with disability. The labyrinth was used as a tool throughout the Liturgy, with participants receiving a card with a raised labyrinth to follow with their finger. An image of Jesus with ribbons woven across His face was used in the Liturgy to demonstrate how our community is woven together, a unity in our loving God. Participants from across the Diocese removed the ribbons one by one to reveal the image of Jesus, as we are all born in the likeness and image of Jesus.
4 OCTOBER 2019
Attendants at the Liturgy were asked to take a card containing a word and scripture quote, and a painting from local artists with disabilities from the Boonah Creative Arts Centre. They were also invited to walk the path of the labyrinth in the nearby Nulty room outside the Cathedral to reflect and pray. In his homily, Diocesan Administrator Fr David Ranson said, “We gather at this time each year to lament the way in which people, especially in our own communities of faith, have been robbed of their dreams because of the crimes of others in the community, especially the crimes of its leaders. “We gather to pray that in the face of such hurt
and pain new possibility might be perceived both for those who have been hurt directly, and for our whole community of faith which has been so greatly damaged by our history. This year we remember also those who have felt excluded by their disability, who have felt rejected and unable to participate as their dignity compels. We pray that through them we may understand more deeply how a community of inclusion might look.” The Liturgy of Inclusion and Care is an important event in our Diocesan calendar. We pray for all those that have been hurt in our community by members of the Church, and further our commitment to safeguarding our young and vulnerable persons in our community.
NEWS AND ISSUES
Ghana mission appeal highlights Sarah’s extraordinary journey Accused of witchcraft at the age of four and with her fate decided, survival seemed the best-case scenario for Sarah.
et, Catholic Mission’s 2019 Church Appeal, which will be held in parishes throughout Broken Bay in October, tells the story of her rescue and remarkable turnaround. The appeal, with the theme ‘Do not fear, for I am with you’, aims to raise funds for the crucial work of Church missionaries in northern Ghana, like Sr Stan Therese Mumuni who runs the Nazareth Home for God’s Children in the Diocese of Yendi. “Sr Stan epitomises what it means to be a true missionary in your own community,” says Diocesan Director for Broken Bay, Kathryn Endicott-Allen. “She has risked her own safety and wellbeing to ensure the protection and fullness of life for the most vulnerable children in Ghana.”
“If any one of these children that is rejected, abandoned or accused, one day returns to their village, educated, and says, “Do you know me? I was rejected by you people and I was rescued by the Church, and this is who I am now’,” says Sr Stan. “I think that it will be a way of stopping that practice and turning to God.” The 2019 Catholic Mission Church Appeal will be heard in parishes around Broken Bay as part of the Extraordinary Missionary Month celebrations. “The Extraordinary Missionary Month was called by Pope Francis to inspire a renewal in missionary spirit among all Catholics,”
Kathryn says. “We are called to do something extraordinary for God and this appeal offers a practical way we can answer that call by helping vulnerable children like Sarah. “The generosity parishioners in Broken Bay can show through this appeal will help missionaries like Sr Stan to carry this weight of responsibility and create a future for these children filled with joy, hope and opportunity.” To support the work of Sr Stan and missionaries around the world, look out for appeal envelopes, phone 1800 257 296 or visit catholicmission.org.au/Ghana
The home offers shelter, nutritious meals, healthcare and education as well as unconditional love for children who were associated with the spirit world because of disability or the death of a parent or family member. Sarah, who was considered a spirit child because of her speech impediment, was rescued by Sr Stan, brought to the Nazareth Home, and provided with the practical support and care that had been missing from her life. Eight years later, she is now top of her class at school. Bishop Vincent Sowah Boi-Nai of the Yendi Diocese says many other children have not been so fortunate. “Here, when a child is born with a birth defect, they are seen as a spirit child,” said Bishop Vincent. “That child might be killed because they are seen as a bad omen.” Across parts of northern Ghana where it is especially prevalent, the Catholic Church and its missionaries have been working for much longer with the government and local community members to educate people to turn away from those harmful practices.
Sarah and Sr Stan BROKEN BAY NEWS
OCTOBER 2019 5
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Former convent blessed for the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation After more than two years of preparation, the Diocese of Broken Bay has been joined by two Augustinian Sisters who will support the Church’s mission in schools.
rs Josie Mabini and Jennifer Canillas, both from the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation in the Philippines, arrived Saturday 3 August. Australia is a new experience for
the Sisters. They described their introduction to the community as very positive but acknowledged they may be faced with some cultural novelty. Srs Josie and Jennifer visited St Brigid’s College in Lake Munmorah and MacKillop Catholic College in Warnervale as part of their
introduction to the Diocesan schools before beginning their work at the start of Term 4. For many of the students, it seems, visits by Sisters in habit and veil was a new experience. Sr Josie noted that some of the Year 8 students had never met a nun and, while reserved, were keen to know why they wore the habit and veil. “Two girls pulled us aside and wanted to know where we were from, and whether we had children,” said Sr Josie, who taught Religion and Scripture in the Philippines. “They are curious, of course. I told them that we don’t get married, but said we’d talk more about it then next time we saw them.”
Sr Jennifer Canillas OSA and Sr Josie Mabini OSA
The Sisters will help with the spiritual growth of the school communities.
Not just the students, Sr Josie added, but also the parents and teachers. Before the Sisters receive the details of their work placements, they are entrenched in the necessary training, including first aid, CPR and safeguarding policies. The Sisters have been accommodated at the parish house at Noraville, the former St Joseph’s Convent. The two were formally welcomed on the feast of St Augustine on 28 August with a Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr David Ranson and attended by representatives of both schools and the Chancery, the Filipino community and friends, followed by the blessing of the convent and lunch. The Sisters will work in the Diocesan schools for the next four years.
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ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Joy in celebrating our migrant communities Each one of us can map out our own or our family’s arrival in Australia from somewhere else. BY PINA BERNARD
ndigenous families can be traced back to over 60,000 years; and embattled refugees from devastated nations continue to arrive today. My own family migrated from Italy in 1962 – we all have a story to tell. It was with this broad picture of multicultural Australian heritage that I came to the Celebrating Disciples of All Nations Mass on 17 August 2019, to mark the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. And the overwhelming emotion that I felt was ‘joy’. As people gathered for Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, our multicultural character was evident and on display particularly through the wonderful array of traditional dress: Filipino, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Polish, German, Italian and many others. I realised that this was the first time that I had worn traditional Italian clothing! Being born and growing up in Australia, I hadn’t come across the need to wear it during all these years, as I had never owned a traditional outfit. But somehow, I felt quite at home wearing it, and it allowed me to claim my heritage and celebrate it in a personal way. This brought me joy. I also felt joy in hearing an Aboriginal voice offer an Acknowledgement of Country. Thank you to Bianca who started our multicultural Mass with words in an Indigenous language – a fitting start to what would be a Mass drawing on words from many cultures around the world: in the Readings,
BROKEN BAY NEWS
Universal Prayers, and in particular, the music. A wonderful choir gathered, composed of members from several choirs from our Diocese, who together were able to give full voice to the unity across cultures that we had come together to express. At times, verses were sung in different languages; at other times, all languages were sung at the same time – a melding of different voices, yet not chaotic. Rather, a glorious blend of different languages, all praising God together. The whole congregation was able to sing in a variety of languages during the Thanksgiving Hymn “Malo! Malo! Thanks be to God”, by Jesse Manibusan, where we repeated each phrase after the choir: Malo! Grazie! Merci! Danke schon! Again – a joyful participation, celebrating our diversity.
gives us the language by which we think. And even more significantly, it provides us with what we call those “triggers of transcendence” those experiences particular to our own culture by which we glimpse the invitation into something more than what is merely before us. What speaks to me of God can be quite different for an Australian, than for a Korean, than for a Vietnamese, than for a Filipino. This diversity weaves into a marvellous kaleidoscope of the way in which the life of God inbreaks into human experience… In the wonderful project of inter-culturality we celebrate how diversity and unity need not be in opposition. This is what we celebrate this evening in our annual diocesan event: one God, many languages; one Faith, many cultures; one song; many choirs.”
A moment of delight was the Offertory Procession, which was led by two beautiful young children dressed in traditional Korean dress, and followed by representatives from a variety of communities who offered flowers along with the bread and wine. In the Eucharistic meal we truly do express our unity, and we give thanks for this.
After Mass, all spilled out into the Cathedral courtyard for a delightful supper with a multicultural flavour, accompanied by talented voices and musicians which entertained us during the evening. Many thanks to all who offered their gifts and talents both before the event, as well as during, to make this celebration a special and joyful one.
In his homily, Fr David Ranson, our celebrant, spoke of our unity and diversity in this way:
The theme for Migrant and Refugee Sunday was, “It’s not just about migrants”. I think that Pope Francis is right. It’s actually about all of us, respecting each person’s humanity and including each person, no matter who they are or from where they come. Our Mass on this evening did just that.
“Our culture gives us the many customs of song, dance, clothing through which we express our faith. But much more importantly, our culture
OCTOBER 2019 7
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Online Masterclass provides parents with strategies for keeping kids safe Parents from the Diocese of Broken Bay and across the country via live stream attended an Online Safety Masterclass in Pennant Hills on 5 September to learn how to protect their children from a host of online threats.
he free event, within the Diocesan Safeguarding Awareness Month and National Child Protection Week, was co-hosted by the Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT (CCSP) and sponsored by Australian Catholic Super, and drew an audience from across Australia. Three main topics addressed during the class were digital abuse (which describes posting explicit imagery online without consent,) cyber bullying and online predators. Attendees learned that these types of abuse were horrifyingly common. Keynote speaker Kellie Britnell manages the education and training team for the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. She notes that of the two arms of the Office – education & prevention and investigation – the prevention component is far more important. The Office is the first of its kind in the world and is generating huge global interest in how Australia is addressing digital abuse. Formerly called the Children’s eSafety Commission, the agency changed its name because children are not the only victims of online attacks. Other vulnerable groups include seniors, people with a disability and women suffering domestic violence. “When there is an intersection of factors, like being female, Indigenous or having a disability, the vulnerability to online abuse grows,” Kellie explained. Image-based abuse is often connected to revenge. The posting of the images represents an abuse of power that frequently involves extortion of some type. The eSafety Commissioner’s Non-Consensual Image team is the busiest in the organisation. During the past 18 months the team has received
more than 1400 complaints from young people whose inappropriate photos have been posted online without their consent. One-third of the victims are underage. “In the case of image-based abuse and cyber bullying, the children mostly want the content to be removed. Each share of an image or abusive content represents yet another violation of the victim. In this area, Australia is lucky. In dealing with complaints about bullying and images, the investigation branch of the Office of the eSafety Commissioner has been armed with sharp teeth,” Kellie said. The first step for victims is to ask for the content to be removed. If serious cyber bullying content or explicit images aren’t removed, the next step is to contact the eSafety Commissioner, Kellie advised. “Our civil penalty scheme provides fines of up to $105,000 for individuals and $525,000 for organisations who don’t comply with our requests to remove content,” she explained. “So far, the Office has enjoyed a 100 per cent success rate in the removal of content, much of which has been posted on American social media sites and digital platforms outside the country. The Office’s civil penalty scheme applies equally to threats of posting images. While 60 per cent of victims of image abuse are female, the trend is reversed for the growing business of “sextortion” in which victims are asked to pay to keep images off the internet. “Never pay these people,” instructed Kellie, who explained that 40 per cent of image-abuse cases had an extortion component in the last year. In the area of online predatory behaviour, Kellie
Kellie Britnell, Office of the eSafety Commissioner
8 OCTOBER 2019
… Australia is lucky. In dealing with complaints about bullying and images, the investigation branch of the Office of the eSafety Commissioner has been armed with sharp teeth noted that parents who approve their children’s online gaming are often unaware of the live chat functions of most video games. Parents should be aware that the average age of video gamers is 34, and children need to know that the person they’re chatting with may not be a child. She strongly discouraged children playing online in their bedrooms and advised device activity should take place in the family area where they can be supervised. Above all, children should not post any identifying information, she cautioned. The eSafety Commissioner has a contractual relationship with Kids Helpline across Australia to maintain oversight of young Australian’s trauma caused by online abuse.
Diocesan Administrator Fr David Ranson, Keynote Speaker Kellie Britnell, Diocesan Director of Safeguarding Jodie Crisafulli and Executive Director CCSP NSW/ACT Peter Grace
NEWS AND ISSUES
Victory to Good Shepherd Seminary and Broken Bay seminarians The Annual Inter-Seminary Soccer Tournament brings together seminarians from all over Australia to compete for the Championship Cup. This year it was held in Melbourne in late July.
BY MARTINO HOANG
occer is my favourite sport. When I was 11, I went to school to play soccer with my classmates and I have continually played ever since!
Seminary (Parramatta), Holy Spirit Seminary (Queensland), Missionaries of God’s Love (Canberra & Melbourne), Redemptoris Mater (Villawood) and Vianney College (Wagga Wagga).
Pope John Paul II wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation, Pastores Dabo Vobis (I will give them shepherds; 1992) that there are four dimensions of priestly formation: the spiritual, human, intellectual and pastoral. I believe that playing any sport is part of our human formation and can help us in our pastoral work.
About 150 seminarians gathered in Melbourne to be part of the event. Priests and seminarians from around Australia came to play and watch the games. This event is one of the most important opportunities that seminarians in Australia have, to gather with each other, just once a year.
For example, last year, I had my pastoral work in a primary school during my first and second semester at the Seminary. I sometimes played soccer with students there. They were always happy when they saw me run, pass and shoot a soccer ball. It made me feel that I am a part of them, which reminded me of my life before in Vietnam, which helped me to better connect with them and in turn, be able to help them and be an inspiration to them. For this year’s Inter-Seminary Soccer Tournament there were seven teams from seven different seminaries, Corpus Christi College (Melbourne), Good Shepherd Seminary (Sydney), Holy Spirit
The draw was hosted on the Friday evening, which was the first day of the event, and took place at the John Paul II House of Formation, at St Benedict’s Parish run by the Missionaries of God’s Love. There was a welcome and communal celebration of Evening Prayer, followed by a barbeque dinner and the competition draw at 7:30pm. We had a lovely dinner and the opportunity to see friends that we’d met last year. Indeed, there were some new faces that we hadn’t seen before, that we would now call friends. With an early rise and a long day ahead, we decided to have an early night so that we would be ready for the task ahead. On Saturday 27 July, the seminarians had a further chance to get to know one another and to compete against each other! Personally, I had the good fortune to see many of the soccer players in action on the field. All the matches were held at the State Football Centre in the Darebin International Sports Centre on the same day, and although the weather was cold, it didn’t deter us from making warm friendships with one another. I have been playing for the Seminary of The Good
BROKEN BAY NEWS
Shepherd (SGS), Homebush at this event for three years now. However, this year I was so excited that SGS won the cup, which we hadn’t done in over 16 years! It took a long time to get the Championship Cup back, but we did, thanks be to God! Shayne D’Cunha, one of our Broken Bay seminarians, was a professional soccer player for some years, before he gave it up to follow the call of the Lord. Shayne and I are two of eight Broken Bay seminarians who study at the Seminary of The Good Shepherd, Homebush. Shayne was instrumental in leading our team to victory, through preparation of the team for the games, weekly training and instruction on correct game play that enhanced our basic playing skills. A Vigil Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, was held on the Saturday evening, at St John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Melbourne, followed by an amazing celebratory dinner afterwards. The games took a lot out of us. A few people got sick, while others got sore throats because of all the screaming and cheering! United as a team, each of us happily contributed to winning the title of “the champions of the game” this year, but the unity of our community and our brotherhood are more important than anything. If you would like to know more about vocations, please contact: Vocations Office Diocese of Broken Bay 20 Boundary Road Pennant Hills NSW 2120 Ph: 9484 1427 / 0418 522 449 www.bbcatholic.org.au/vocations Vocations.firstname.lastname@example.org OCTOBER 2019 9
PLENARY COUNCIL 2020 CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY
If we ask with confidence that the Holy Spirit grant us this gift, and then seek to develop it through prayer, reflection, reading and good counsel, then surely we will grow in this spiritual endowment.
Let’s Listen and Discern
oundational to the process we are following, is the conviction that we, the priestly people of God, listen to God by listening to each other. In the first phase of our journey, this listening has produced an extraordinary treasure of ideas and proposals which represents the heartfelt response of many people. The great challenge ahead of us now is to “catch” the voice of the Holy Spirit within the passionate, hopeful, but sometimes contradictory voices of God’s people. This is the challenge of discernment—that deep listening to all the ways in which God speaks to us: • through Jesus, the Word made flesh, especially as we encounter Him in the Gospels; • through the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church over the last 2000 years, and through her teachings and Tradition; • through the “signs of the times”, the realities of the world in which we live; • through our own stories of life and faith; and • Through the communion we share with our brothers and sisters in the Church.
Discernment requires patience, deep faith, genuine openness and, perhaps above all else, a profound humility which unites us to the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Father, not my will but your will be done” (Lk 22:42). Who knows how much we might be called to let go of in order to allow God’s plan for the Church in Australia to prevail?1 Groups who participated in Listening and Dialogue are now invited to reconvene in communal Discernment on any one of the six themes. Resources are now available through parishes, schools and for download from the National Plenary Council website, including Listening and Discernment Guides available in different languages. You are encouraged to watch the videos available on the National Plenary Council website to become more familiar with the process of Discernment. Participants are then invited to pick a theme, reflect on scripture readings related to that theme, share, listen and pray, discerning how we might respond both nationally and locally. Contact your parish or school to get involved and find out more by visiting: plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au
10 OCTOBER 2019
Discernment requires patience, deep faith, genuine openness and, perhaps above all else, a profound humility ‘166. How can we know if something comes from the Holy Spirit or if it stems from the spirit of the world or the spirit of the devil? The only way is through discernment, which calls for something more than intelligence or common sense. It is a gift which we must implore. If we ask with confidence that the Holy Spirit grant us this gift, and then seek to develop it through prayer, reflection, reading and good counsel, then surely we will grow in this spiritual endowment.’ 2 1 Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB. (Dantis, T; Bowell, P; Reid, S & Didfield, L) ACBC, July 2019 “Listen to what the Spirit is Saying: Final Report for the Plenary Council Phase 1: Listening & Dialogue” 2 Pope Francis. “Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete Et Exsultate of the Holy Father Francis on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World” Vatican: the Holy See. Vatican Website. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2018.
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
‘Mass of Inclusion’ comes of age Acknowledging that people living with disability and their families are not always made to feel welcome in church, this Mass has been held annually over the past 18 years with a special emphasis on inclusion and welcome.
he Mass has been referred to in past years as the FOCUS Family Group Mass, Mass with People with Disability and more recently, Mass for People with Special Needs and their families. On Sunday 1 December 2019, marking the International Day of Disability (3 December) and in its 18th year, people in every community across the Diocese of Broken Bay are warmly invited to, what is being referred to this year as, the Mass of Inclusion. Disability comes in many forms and can present a real challenge in understanding for those who have never experienced the realities of living with disability. This Mass of Inclusion recognises the abilities of all and reminds us that Jesus Christ is present in the hearts and minds of all people. It is also an opportunity for a new kind of communion, described by Jean Vanier, who worked and lived with people with disability for many years, as the “to-and-fro of love.” It is crucial for us, as a diocese, to have this space, not least because the Mass can be inaccessible, for anyone, but perhaps especially for those with disability.
Pope Francis states in his encyclical, “Amoris Laetitia” (47) People with disabilities are a gift for the family and an opportunity to grow in love, mutual aid and unity… If the family, in the light of the faith, accepts the presence of persons with special needs, they will be able to recognise and ensure the quality and value of every human life, with its proper needs, rights and
opportunities… Here I would stress that dedication and concern shown to migrants and to persons with special needs alike is a sign of the Spirit. Both situations are paradigmatic: they serve as a test of our commitment to show mercy in welcoming others and to help the vulnerable to be fully a part of our communities. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference statement of 2018 on
the International Day of Disability states that we must have “active participation in our Church and faith communities,” and that we must “create enabling environments by, for, and with persons with disabilities.” Over the years we have witnessed pure joy amongst the young and not-so-young when given the opportunity to participate in aspects of the Liturgy. To be made to feel that you belong, that you are not just an onlooker, especially in our Church community, is everyone’s right. This year’s Mass of Inclusion will be celebrated at Our Lady of The Rosary Cathedral, Waitara at 9.30am on Sunday 1 December 2019. Following Mass, those gathered are encouraged to stay and share morning tea and conversations with others in a welcoming and caring environment. If you would like to share your gifts through involvement in any of the pastoral ministries or assisting with hospitality at the Mass please contact Colleen Smith at Colleen.Smith@bbcatholic.org.au
or 02 8379 1642. BROKEN BAY NEWS
OCTOBER 2019 11
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UNLOCKING PARISH RENEWAL
Witnessing to Jesus: Break the Silence BY PINA BERNARD
The power of personal story Of all conversion stories, that of St Paul is quite remarkable. From being a persecutor of Christians, his life was turned around through an encounter with Jesus, and he became Christ’s greatest advocate and missionary. He tells his story to King Agrippa in Acts Chapter 26, after which Festus, the procurator of Judea, tells Paul that he is out of his mind and that too much learning is driving him insane! (Acts 26: 24). It is an amazing story, and yet, Paul kept telling it all over Asia Minor and beyond to whoever would listen, leading many people to Jesus in the process. There is something powerful about a personal story. Stories can really impact us, teach us and inspire us. The homilies that are the most memorable for me are the ones that include a story, and, where the Priest shares something of his own story. One such story that comes to mind is of a young 16-year-old who begrudgingly attended a weekend youth retreat after being coerced by his mother, and while there had a profound experience of God which eventually led him to the priesthood. It isn’t just priests who have stories. We, too, who are on the Christian spiritual path, have a story of how God is working in our lives. Too often, we don’t tell anyone our story, but rather keep it to ourselves. The tendency within our Catholic culture is towards a private faith. Perhaps we don’t want to come across as too proud, or look too foolish, as St Paul did. Speaker and author, Sherry Weddell, speaks about the need to share our stories with each other. She encourages us to “break the silence” and to talk about our lived relationship with a personal God who loves us; and to use the name of Jesus explicitly.
Our story and God’s story We also need to remember that our faith stories are not only our story, but God’s story. It is the story of how God’s grace has entered our lives
14 OCTOBER 2019
and has been active in us and in our circumstances. These are stories to celebrate and share. Your faith story makes present today the great story of Jesus and makes it real in our time and place. Whether you have had a deep experience at one time, or whether your faith is a long series of small steps along the way, we all have a story to tell, and each story is valuable and meaningful. It can and will speak to other people. A story of encounter with Jesus tells everyone that it is possible to encounter Jesus today. A story of being forgiven communicates that it is possible to be set free from what is oppressive. Your story can be the ‘bridge’ for someone else that allows them to cross over into exploring Christianity, perhaps for the first time. Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre says, “Man is in his actions and practice, as well as in his fictions, essentially a story-telling animal… I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question, ‘Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?’” As Christians, the story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is our foundational story that unites us and gives us our identity. When we tell our own faith story, it makes real today the continued Christian story in a concrete way.
Sharing our testimony The advantage of witnessing to others how God has acted in your life is that it is hard to argue with. It is a personal story, so it is nonthreatening, and yet can really begin to raise questions and curiosity in another person. It’s not about trying to convince people of anything, but rather simply sharing our own story so that it might begin to connect the listener’s own story in some way within the bigger Christian story. So how do we share our testimony? Usually, a testimony will have 3 parts: • What was your life like before an experience of Jesus? Give some
background, and what may have been missing. • Your conversion or encounter with Jesus: what happened and how this impacted your life. • What is your life like after this conversion? Share how life is different for you today. Your ‘conversion’ experience may or may not be dramatic. Simply claim your own story, however God has chosen to be part of it. Ideally, prepare your story so it can be told in 4-5 minutes; then practice it and have it ready. Resources are freely available to assist.* It does take courage to be a witness, but this is what is needed today. In 1975, Pope Paul VI said, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41). This is even more true today. Sometimes, though, there are few spaces for us to tell our own story. We
need to be creative in finding these spaces, both in our personal lives as well as in our parish life. Stories could be shared: • With those we meet throughout our day eg. barista, colleague, family member, neighbour • In the parish bulletin • On the parish website, in either written, audio or video format • In a periodic parish magazine • In small group opportunities, eg Alpha, Lenten groups, prayer groups, sacramental groups • Alpha stories and other testimonies at Mass
Missiondom Sherry Weddell reminds us that ‘Christendom’ is over (the long era of historical time when Christianity was supported by the culture and flourished). She calls our current time ‘Missiondom’, a time when we need to actively be on mission, to take the Gospel message out to an oftendisinterested world. Telling our stories is a first step.
This October is “Mission Month”, with this year’s theme “Baptised and Sent”. Our Baptism impels us to ‘go’, to tell others, and to share what we have received, which is the Good News of a life in Christ.
Two challenges: • Share your faith story with one person this Mission Month • Use this opportunity to create a space in your parish where stories of parishioners can be shared *References: Book: Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Weddell Website: catholicmissionarydisciples.com Podcast: Every Knee Shall Bow (Ascension)
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
St Pius X and Mercy students
Sharing Stories through Alpha
It is not always easy to find spaces where we can grapple with the big questions of Christianity and share our own stories and ideas in a friendly and open setting.
he Alpha series provides such a space, where people can explore life, faith and meaning over a meal, video and conversation. Many parishes are running Alpha as a way of encouraging people to be on the journey to search for answers to these key questions which will deepen their relationship with Jesus or bring them to friendship with Jesus for the first time. The weekly topics themselves are posed as questions: Who is Jesus? Why did Jesus die? These seem simple enough, but many libraries of books have been written over many centuries in response to questions such as these. My answer will be different to your answer, and we learn from each other in the heart of the Church. Earlier this year, this journey was taken up by St Pius X College and Mercy Catholic College in Chatswood, where Alpha was offered for Year 9 and 10 students. Over 35 students participated. Thomas shares his story below. Adrian Brannan, Youth Ministry Coordinator at St Pius X College, was recognised for his significant contribution in bringing Alpha to students and young adults over the last five years. These awards were offered to mark the occasion of the 500,000th guest having completed Alpha in Australia. Lorraine McCarthy, Alpha in a Catholic Context Coordinator in Australia, presented the award to Adrian. BROKEN BAY NEWS
My Story – Thomas Fong Before I took part in the Alpha program, I’ll admit that I didn’t look at Christ the way I do now. I just thought he was a guy who died on a cross for me. I would go to church but wasn’t really involved in my faith. I was invited to Alpha by Adrian and my friend Ronan so I took the opportunity to see what Alpha was all about. I took the first session of Alpha and I absolutely loved it. At Alpha we discussed life’s big questions about what we think about God, prayer, the bible, the Holy Spirit and life. Questions like: Have you ever tried to read the bible and how
My Story – Melissa Pemberton Melissa participated in the Alpha series at St Ives. This is her story. I have always had a loving relationship with Jesus but I had unanswered questions about the Holy Spirit. Throughout my Alpha journey, the guided small-group conversations about our faith led to asking myself even more questions than receiving answers. But it was through sharing and listening to other people’s perspectives that I was able to develop my own faith in a way that I wasn’t even aware was possible. I found the Alpha retreat to be the most valuable part of my Alpha
did it go? Why do you think Jesus is so famous? Why do you think people don’t always get what they prayed for? I have learnt that there is so much more to Christianity than I used to think. Alpha has changed my life and the way I think, and it’s an excellent program. Over the last few weeks the guys and girls from St Pius and Mercy College have had the opportunity to socialise and get to know everyone’s amazing characters through what we like to call “Getting to Know You”. We have created so many bonds between our new friends. The Alpha participants attended a retreat day as part of the program. For a lot of us, it was the best day journey. I had been experiencing some difficulties in my personal life. I felt trapped and unable to move forward with my struggles, simply surviving as best as I could. During the evening of the Alpha retreat, I recall listening to our host share her experience of being called by the Holy Spirit to help others who were on their Alpha journey. Thankfully, I was sitting in the back row of the room at the time as this enabled me to attempt to disguise the uncontrollable tears which were rolling down my face. I had felt personally touched by the message delivered by our host. It felt as though she was speaking to me. One person in a crowd of many. We were then led into prayer ministry. After some quiet reflection time, I approached two
of the year. We learnt about the Holy Spirit and how it’s God’s special way to be present with us in our lives and it guides us with its gifts and fruits. We learnt that the Holy Spirit is like a goose. It follows you and may seem overwhelming but when you come in contact with it, it is so kind and gentle. We then had morning tea and a beautiful prayer session when we had the chance to go up and pray with guests from the Youth for Christ group. We then ended the retreat with a beautiful Mass celebrated by Fr Jim. Alpha has made a huge impact on our lives and journey of faith and I will always recommend it as you are able to find yourself by learning about Christ just as my friends and I did. warm and welcoming parishioners to ask if they would pray for me. At this time, I was still unable to control my streaming tears but shortly after the ladies gently placed their hands on me and began to pray, I felt still. An immense sense of peace came upon me. It was at that moment that I felt the Holy Spirit was with me and that I had the strength to move forward and conquer my troubles. Months have now passed and I regularly reflect on that time as it was a turning point for me in my life. The Alpha course has touched my life in the most inspiring way. My relationship with Jesus has been strengthened through a feeling which is difficult to express in words. For me, I had to feel it to be able to recognise it. OCTOBER 2019 15
OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2019
Office for Evangelisation EVENT CALENDAR The Diocese of Broken Bay exists to evangelise, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, gathered as friends in the Lord and sent out to be missionary disciples. The Office for Evangelisation serves this mission and promotes the growing missionary outlook of parishes, faith communities and individuals.
CATHOLIC LIFE & FAITH FORMATION
marriages need prayer. Come and light a candle, write an intention and pray with us for your marriage and others.
Broken Bay Bible Conference “The Holy Spirit Through the Pages of Scripture”
Date: Friday 1 November 2019 Time: 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Presented by Dr Debra Snoddy and Rev Assoc. Prof. Ormond Rush Discover who the Holy Spirit is, and how the Spirit guides, enlivens and encourages our lives and the Church today. Date: 11-12 October 2019
Venue: St Agatha’s Church, 20 Boundary Rd, Pennant Hills “The Holy Spirit Through the Pages of Scripture” 11-12 OCTOBER 2019 ◊ PENNANT HILLS NSW
CATHOLIC YOUTH BROKEN BAY
PRESENTED BY DR DEBRA SNODDY AND REV ASSOC PROF ORMOND RUSH
Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills RSVP: www.trybooking.com/BCKBE Enquiries: www.bbcatholic.org.au/bible or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tania Rimac 8379 1629
Alpha Masterclass 2019
Twilight Talks Catholic Youth Broken Bay invites you to Twilight Talks. Join Young Adults (18+) from around the Diocese to connect, share a meal, pray and be nourished by inspiring speakers. Our last Twilight Talks of the year will welcome our Diocesan Administrator, Fr David Ranson as he speaks on The Holy Spirit, Discernment & Discipleship.
“Masterclasses” are an opportunity for Alpha Teams from the parishes of the Diocese of Broken Bay to meet and exchange ideas and experiences of Alpha with each other for mutual support and networking, and to look ahead to planning for great Alphas in the new year.
Date: Tuesday 15 October 2019
Presenter: Lorraine McCarthy, Alpha in a Catholic Context Coordinator in Australia
Date: Monday 18 November 2019 Time: 7.00pm – 9.00pm Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills RSVP: By Thursday 14 November 2019 to Pina Bernard email@example.com or 8379 1627
Saturday Sessions with Katie Fertility awareness education for single women, couples, and those wanting to know more. This session has updated information on natural fertility and how it is not only used for family planning but also used in combination with medicine to treat reproductive issues ranging from PMS and PCOS to infertility. Great for engaged couples. Speaker: Katie Fullilove, FertilityCare Practitioner Date: Saturday 2 November 2019 Time: 10.30am – 11.30am
Time: 6.30pm – 9.00pm Venue: Hotel Pennant Hills, 352 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills
CYBB Training Days are an opportunity to gather young people and youth leaders interested and involved in local ministry to network and receive essential spiritual and practical formation. This month we will be focusing on Safeguarding, specifically around – Situational prevention; the notion of not allowing any violation of rights to anyone, by decreasing opportunity. Date: Saturday 26 October 2019 Time: 9.30am – 2.00pm Venue: Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School Library, 23 Yardley Avenue, Waitara
PRAISEFEST Catholic Youth Broken Bay invites all young people to PRAISEFEST! Join young people (youth & young adults) from across the Diocese to catch up with friends, enjoy our Festival consisting of different activities and a free BBQ, encounter God through vibrant and honest worship, and receive spiritual nourishment through an inspiring and relevant message.
Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills
Our last PRAISEFEST of 2019 will include Broken Bay’s commissioning ceremony for all our CYBBies heading to ACYF 2019 in Perth! So come along, and don’t miss your chance to join in as we send-off over 300 young people in their pilgrimage to Perth.
RSVP: Katie Fullilove firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday 22 November 2019
An Hour for My Beloved
Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm
An hour of Adoration on the first Friday of every month devoted to praying for “your beloved”, be that your future, current, separated or deceased spouse. All
Venue: The Light of Christ Centre, End of Yardley Avenue, Waitara
Supported by the Broken Bay Pastoral Trust
OCTOBER AUGUST– –NOVEMBER OCTOBER 2019
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) CCD training and formation opportunities serve those involved in the mission of Special Religious Education (SRE) in our State Schools but are also open to those in catechesis and evangelising outreach in our Diocese. The Office for Evangelisation offers CCD training to all interested people providing formation that enables the Gospel to be taken into the lives of others. Contact CCD Registrations Phone: 8379 1643 Email: email@example.com
CCD Invites all catechists to the Launch of 3rd Edition ‘Walking With Jesus’ Primary (K-6) CCD Catechists, Please come along and join us!
Catechists are welcome to attend any session that suits their schedule. OUT IN 2020 CCD is happy to introduce and launch our Third Edition of Walking with Jesus Pathways of Discipleship Each launch session will cover the following: • The origins of Walking with Jesus • Teaching for Discipleship – the 6Rs • (lesson samples will be provided) • Updated Teacher Manuals • Teaching in Stages (composite classes) • Link with Sacramental Program • Family Supplements • Fresh new coloured activity books with new graphics Attend one session only, anywhere in the Diocese. Attendance at the launch will be recognised as ongoing curriculum training and catechists will be credited for their attendance. REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL Please contact our registration desk for further details. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 8379 1643
PITTWATER – Mona Vale (Afternoon) Sacred Heart Parish Hall 1 Keenan Street, MONA VALE Monday 4 November 2019 2:00pm – 4:00pm RSVP BY: Monday 28 October 2019
THE LAKES – Narrabeen (Evening) St Joseph’s Parish Hall 21 Lagoon Street, NARRABEEN Tuesday 19 November 2019 7:00pm – 9:00pm RSVP BY: Tuesday 12 November 2019
FRENCHS FOREST (Two sessions) Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish Hall 9 Currie Road, FORESTVILLE Monday 25 November 2019 2:00pm – 4:00pm or 7:00pm – 9:00pm RSVP BY: Monday 18 November 2019
NORTH SHORE HORNSBY REGION
CENTRAL COAST REGION
WOY WOY (Afternoon)
Queen of Peace Parish Hall 18 Stuart Avenue, NORMANHURST Monday 28 October 2019 10:00am – 12:00pm RSVP BY: Monday 21 October 2019
Leo Mahon Room, St John the Baptist, 54 Victoria Street, WOY WOY Friday 1 November 2019 1:00pm - 3:00pm RSVP BY: Friday 25 October 2019
WYONG (Morning) Parish Centre, St Cecilia’s, 23 Byron Street, WYONG Thursday 14 November 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm RSVP BY: Thursday 7 November 2019
TOUKLEY (Morning) Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, 458 Main Rd, NORAVILLE Friday 15 November 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm RSVP BY: Friday 8 November 2019
TERRIGAL (Morning) Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish Hall, 165 Serpentine Rd, TERRIGAL Saturday 23 November 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm RSVP BY: Monday 18 November 2019
NORTHERN BEACHES REGION NORTH HARBOUR – Manly Vale (Morning) St Kieran’s Parish Hall 2 King Street, MANLY VALE Monday 4 November 2019 10:00am – 12:00pm RSVP BY: Monday 28 October 2019 BROKEN BAY NEWS
ST IVES (Morning) Corpus Christi Parish 263 Mona Vale Road, ST IVES Friday 8 November 2019 10:00am – 12:00pm RSVP BY: Monday 1 November 2019 KILLARA (Afternoon) Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall Cnr Charles St & Fiddens Wharf Road, KILLARA Monday 11 November 2019 2:00PM – 4:00pm RSVP BY: Monday 4 November 2019
CARLINGFORD (Evening) St Gerard Majella Parish Hall, 543 North Rocks Rd, CARLINGFORD Thursday 14 November 2019 7:00PM – 9:00pm RSVP BY: Thursday 7 November 2019
CCD ANNUAL DIOCESAN MASS and PRESENTATION Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral Yardley Ave, WAITARA Saturday 9 November 2019 11:30am RSVP BY: Friday 1 November 2019
The CCD Broken Bay is supported by the Charitable Works Fund
CATHOLIC YOUTH BROKEN BAY
Christus Vivit – A reflection Like Hansel and Gretel, it’s understandably easy to want to ‘wander’ off into the wilderness. BY ANNA SHERIDAN
o experience what life has to offer. Like Hansel and Gretel, a trail of breadcrumbs is left on the path behind me so that when I’ve finished exploring this wide and diverse world which we all share, I’ll be able to follow those breadcrumbs and find the place that I call home. But even with those breadcrumbs, it’s easy to feel lost. After spending two days reflecting on my faith with a small group of early career teachers like myself, I find myself not feeling so lost. I came to these days of formation wondering ‘where do I fit in my Catholic community?’ ‘How can I be certain that the choices I’m making about my faith will help me in the long term?’ and ‘what can I do to further involve myself with my faith?’ These questions left me feeling stuck, lost. I decided to give 100 per cent of myself to these two formation days, that maybe at the end, just maybe, I’ll find some clarity. Having
the time to unpack, discuss and digest different parts of scripture gave me so much to think about, and I wanted to think about it! I hadn’t felt so motivated before, I needed to see and understand my faith from a different perspective. Fortunately, I was comforted by the fact that I wasn’t the only person feeling this way. As a young girl growing up in a Catholic family and going through Catholic Education, my faith status could have been described as ‘just going with it’. Since graduating nearly eight years ago, I’ve been lost in this … wilderness. Christus Vivit. Pope Francis. What an awesome pair. Having discussed each chapter in depth with my colleagues, this document, this man, absolutely amazes me. This letter to young people and today’s Catholic youth is the clarity I’ve been seeking. I couldn’t help but ask myself ‘how is it that this man of 82 years, of deep faith, understands me, a 25-year-old who is still trying to understand her place in this world?’ During our 2-day formation, I was asked to read and analyse Chapter 3 of Christus Vivit: You are the ‘now’ of God. Young people aren’t just the future, they’re our present, now. The young are vulnerable and easily manipulated and they need to be nurtured, not necessarily protected. This chapter spoke about the impacts of the digital age and how our young people are so easily influenced, and that the concept of ‘youth’ is sought after by adults (eg: the cosmetic industry). Knowing that our youth are vulnerable and the need today for youth to be nurtured, Pope Francis goes on to acknowledge that today’s youth don’t ‘have it all that easy’. Today’s society sees a dramatic increase of youth with suffering in their lives; terrorism, domestic violence, war…
During our 2-day formation, I was asked to read and analyse Chapter 3 of Christus Vivit: You are the ‘now’ of God. Young people aren’t just the future, they’re our present, now. 18 OCTOBER 2019
What does this short extract mean for teachers? Like Pope Francis, we need to continue to recognise that our youth come from many different walks of life. We need to continue to nurture them and guide them. We need to recognise that no matter how big or small the flame within each child burns, we can help that flame continue burning by supporting their passions and interests. Connecting with our youth is the key, and that is exactly what Pope Francis has done in order to bring us Christus Vivit.
I know now that I didn’t choose Catholicism, God chose me because He believes in me. He believes that I can live a life just as Jesus did. Walking away from this amazing experience, I recognise that our Catholic Church is now in a constant state of change. I feel relieved knowing that I’m not the only one that’s feeling the way I feel. I know now that I didn’t choose Catholicism, God chose me because He believes in me. He believes that I can live a life just as Jesus did. I need to believe in myself because He does. We’re all on a journey, each one of us, and I’ve started following that trail of breadcrumbs… home.
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
St Mary’s Toukley celebrates half century Fifty years ago, St Mary’s in Toukley didn’t exist. family day on 30 November. Those wishing to come should rsvp to email@example.com by
The exciting day came on 7 December 1969 with the dedication and blessing of the new St Mary’s Church on 458 Main Road, Noraville. The site of the old army hall is now the location of the local RSL.
Deacon Paul Simmons would appreciate copies of old photos and records of the community, dedication and construction to showcase at the event. Those able to share their old photos may email them to Deacon Paul at
There are few remaining records of this important event. The plaque reads that Cardinal Gilroy performed the dedication, but some records point to Bishop Muldoon as officiating the event, and there are few photographs remaining, despite the great significance of the historic event.
We understand the needs of our community and local families at a time of loss. Ann Wilson Funerals has more than 50 years experience in supporting Northern Beaches families in the arrangement of funerals.
The St Mary’s community is planning a fitting celebration to mark the church’s half-century on Saturday 30 November 2019, with a celebratory Mass at 11.00am followed by lunch in the Fr Fitzgerald Parish Hall. All past and present members of the parish community are invited to join in the celebrations. Originally part of the Wyong Parish, the church has already had a rich history. Beginning with Fr John Hatton, St Mary’s has had nine parish priests and an extension in the years since its dedication. All are invited to join the Mass and BROKEN BAY NEWS
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nstead, parishioners gathered weekly in an old army hall, awaiting a new home for their growing congregation.
OCTOBER 2019 19
“Always throw your cap over the windmill” “Lead by example, believe in yourself and take on the challenges,” were some of the many wise words delivered at the ‘Heart to Serve: The joy of leadership’ dinner held on Thursday, 22 August.
his was the fourth in a series of evenings of ongoing formation for those exercising leadership and those contemplating leadership in our Broken Bay schools. Gathered at Hornsby RSL, attendees were privileged to hear reflections on humility in leadership from Sr Patty Fawkner, Congregational Leader, Sisters of the Good Samaritan; Natalie Acton, Director of Operations for the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and Anne Henderson AM, Deputy
Director of The Sydney Institute. All three speakers expressed leadership as relational and emphasised the importance of listening. Sr Patty affirmed that a good leader consistently adjusts to the needs of others suggesting the image of leadership as a ‘spiral’ rather than a ladder. Anne reflected upon the stories of St Mary MacKillop and Enid Lyons to highlight the courage and humility of these young female leaders in a time and society that was very male-dominated.
Anne encouraged all leaders to “Always throw your cap over the windmill,” – to take risks and challenge obstacles. Natalie defined humility as a lifetime journey with many ups and downs, a way of being in the world. In his thanks at the end of the evening, Acting Director, Dr Tony Bracken spoke of leadership as a circle that required its participants to actively engage with each other in a shared and collaborative manner.
Cleaning up our waterways Two Broken Bay Secondary Colleges have been working hard to clean up the local waterways.
ear 9 students at St Paul’s Catholic College in Manly were involved in the Australian Microplastics Assessment Program (AusMAP), a national science initiative to come up with new ways to clear the beaches of microplastics.
about microplastics at four local beaches – Manly Beach, Shelley Beach, Little Manly Beach and Collins Flat – and learned firsthand about scientific sampling. The samples were then analysed at Macquarie University as part of the broader program and the results shared with the students.
Microplastics are small plastic particles, originally from litter, which have been worn down by the ocean and which now pose a risk to the local ecosystem.
Meanwhile, students from St Joseph’s Catholic College in East Gosford joined Clean4shore for their first field trip on the local Brisbane Waters. The students collected a mechanical component from a truck, a pallet, a bicycle, and two abandoned tyres along with bags of litter.
As part of the program, students collected data
20 OCTOBER 2019
By the end of the day, the girls had cleared the local area of 780 pieces of soft plastic, 605 food wrappings, 380 pieces of polystyrene, 120 plastic bottles and 114 glass bottles.
Caring for our Common Home
Over 150 primary school students and teachers from Catholic schools across our Diocese took part in an exciting series of sustainability workshops at Taronga Zoo recently. ear 5 and 6 young environmental leaders attended workshops at the Zoo on the topic of ‘caring for our common home.’
Each workshop was run by an expert and focused on a different sustainability initiative including reducing single use plastics, recycling, improving habitats for wildlife, Aboriginal concepts of connecting to country, supporting native bees and vegetable gardening. The keynote speaker was Sophia Skarparis, a 16-year-old activist and the 2018 Australian Geographic Young Conservationist of the Year, who campaigns against single-use plastics. The day concluded with a goal-setting session where
students chose an initiative to take back and implement in each of their schools. Catherine Judd, Education Officer – Sustainability at the Catholic Schools Office, Broken Bay, said that the day was about empowering, connecting and inspiring primary student leaders to build the capacity of their school communities to operate in environmentally friendly ways. “These students are the future custodians of the areas in which we live, and they’ve got so much to offer,” she said. “It’s very significant that schools have supported the day and are moving forward to improve their school environments and consequently the wider community.”
Chelsea Bannister, Year 6 Student and Student Representative Council Captain from Corpus Christi Catholic School, St Ives, said “I really liked the Charopy Recycling Program that St Rose are doing, where the students can earn money on a bracelet when they recycle cans and bottles and then buy things at the canteen.” Domenica Elliot, Year 1 Teacher and Environment Facilitator also from Corpus Christi, said “we would love to get our garden up and running again and we learnt many things today that we will take back to Corpus and implement. We would love to grow a native garden and we learnt some great information from Aboriginal Education Officer, Dave Ella.”
Teacher Training in Tonga
A small team of teachers and staff members from the Diocese of Broken Bay recently travelled to Tonga to help train Religious Education teachers in the Polynesian island nation.
t the invitation of Cardinal Mafi from the Diocese of Tonga and Niue, the teachers visited eight schools in total, four secondary schools, three secondary institutes and a primary school, to train teachers. Touring the schools in the first week accompanied by the Diocese of Tonga’s Director and Assistant Director of Education, the team flew to Vava’u and BROKEN BAY NEWS
Ha’apai, two of the main outer islands, before visiting Cardinal Mafi’s home town in the second week. A rewarding opportunity for all involved with some challenges along the way. Although most of the lessons were in English the students were taught Religious Education in Tongan! One of the team Clare Dorey, who teaches Religious Education at Mercy Catholic College, Chatswood,
described it as an “incredible opportunity” and said that the highlight of the trip “was meeting so many dedicated teachers who wanted to learn new ways of teaching.” “And of course our farewell dinner on the last night at the institute, where we were treated like royalty with garlands, speeches, gifts, feasting, singing and dancing,” she added. OCTOBER 2019 21
Harmony Day Award St Patrick’s Catholic School at Asquith has been recognised by the social initiative Moving Forward Together for its ongoing support of the Harmony Day Poster Competition.
oving Forward Together is made up of various community groups committed to creating a better understanding amongst all sectors of the community for a vision of living in harmony. St Patrick’s received a Certificate of Appreciation for its significant support of the poster competition, which is held in conjunction with Harmony Day each year. The school submitted 220 entries this year
with only one primary school and one secondary college being recognised in this manner. The Award was presented by The Honourable Scott Glynn Farlow, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and Leader of the House in the Legislative Council, at a ceremony held in the NSW State Parliament. At the Ceremony, Premier Gladys Berejiklian presented awards for the most outstanding posters
Students pursuing Excellence in VET A Year 12 student from St Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah has been awarded a top award from the NSW Department of Industry.
llyse Johnson was presented the Careers and Transition Excellence Award in front of a crowd of 300 people.
Meanwhile, a former student from the College, Nelson Florimo, was awarded Apprentice of the Year. Nelson now works with North Constructions, the largest locally-owned and operated commercial construction business on the Central Coast. “The awards evening highlighted some of the wonderful opportunities that are available for our
22 OCTOBER 2019
“The awards evening highlighted some of the wonderful opportunities that are available for our students after they finish school” students after they finish school,” said Phil Cox, Education Officer, Secondary Vocational Learning and Curriculum at the Catholic Schools Office.
to students from across the State, and delivered a heartfelt speech about the importance of the Harmony Day message. Local Mayor Philip Ruddock was a special guest and warmly supportive of St Patrick’s achievement and resulting recognition. The award was accepted on behalf of the staff and students at the school by their EAD/L (English as an additional language) teacher Kerri O’Neill.
Dance Fever winners Students from Maria Regina Catholic School, Avalon took out the main prize at the Dance Fever Challenge held recently at Homebush, beating schools from around NSW.
he school placed first overall, and the Year 3 entrants also placed first in their division.
Dance Fever is a program which aims to foster a love of dance and improve primary school-age children’s confidence and mental health. The annual challenge sees schools from across New South Wales compete.
The school’s winning dance piece showcased the story of the Wizard of Oz, with students rehearsing every lunch break for weeks. “It was magical to watch,” said teachers Lynne Pike and Alexis Conn. “We were so delighted with the students’ positive attitude throughout.”
“It was magical to watch… We were so delighted with the students’ positive attitude throughout.
First Broken Bay sporting trophy for St Brigid’s The Under 13 Rugby League team from St Brigid’s Catholic College, Lake Munmorah recently took home the trophy from the Broken Bay Rugby League Gala Day despite being several players down.
he annual event, which features high schools from across the Diocese, was a surprise win for the underdog team from Lake Munmorah. The team of 13 boys, some of whom had never played Rugby League before, had been reduced to 11 on the day of the tournament after two players fell ill. BROKEN BAY NEWS
“Each game, the boys worked hard and helped each other, always diving in to a tackle and providing each other with constant positive chatter about their performances,” said coach and teacher Nick McFarlane. Then, in the penultimate game of the tournament, another player was out with an injury and the team was down to ten players against St Peter’s Catholic
College, “our strongest opponents yet,” as Mr McFarlane put it and went on to claim victory with a 26-0 scoreline. “It’s our first ever Broken Bay trophy for a sporting team – an excellent achievement for the boys, myself and my assistant coaches Mattie and Taylah,” said Mr McFarlane. “All the St Brigid’s staff are extremely proud.” OCTOBER 2019 23
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Norah Head Lighthouse by Jan Breckwoldt
The Broken Bay Pastoral Trust – Your Gift of Faith The Broken Bay Pastoral Trust funds the mission of the Catholic Church.
he Broken Bay Pastoral Trust was established on 1 July 2018 to fund the activities of mission in our Diocese. Funding is provided for • Vocations and Seminarians • Youth and Families • Parishes and our Community Whilst many of these activities take place in our parishes, many of the resources, events and materials are created within the Chancery to support clergy, parish staff and Parish Pastoral Councils. The Office for Evangelisation provides free events for members of our community including talks and lectures to provide another element of faith formation. Catholic Youth Broken Bay hosts events including Praisefest and Twilight Talks for young people to gather together and grow in Did you know that there are currently 9 seminarians in the Diocese of Broken Bay in various stages of their studies?
24 OCTOBER 2019
faith. CYBB also supports Youth Ministers with ongoing training and engagement opportunities. Other areas in the Chancery that are funded by the Broken Bay Pastoral Trust include the Marriage Tribunal which assists individuals with annulments. The Broken Bay Pastoral Trust exists to support the faith journey of people in the Diocese of Broken Bay by using best practice formation initiatives from around the world. The Catholic Life & Faith Formation team work with clergy and Parish Pastoral Councils to set parish vision statements and strategic plans that can lead parishes into a confident future. Many parishes that have undertaken formal pastoral planning have seen an increase in engagement. When you support the Broken Bay Pastoral Trust you are making a gift of your faith. To support the Broken Bay Pastoral Trust you can leave a gift in your will or make a gift in memory of a loved one.
Gifts in Wills and Gifts in Memory You may notice new booklets in your parish providing information on Gifts in Wills and Gifts in Memory of a Loved One. Many people would like to leave a gift to their faith or to the mission of the Church but are not sure how to go about it. The booklets provide information on the Diocese of Broken Bay, our history and the story of the stainedglass window in our Cathedral which honours the bequest left by James and Bertha Quinn.
Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take nothing that you have received – only what you have been given: a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. St Francis of Assisi
If you would like an obligation-free booklet posted to you or would like to discuss how you can leave a Gift in your Will or a Gift in Memory, please contact Liane Giuliano on 02 8379 1664 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information can be found on our website https://www.bbcatholic. org.au/give/wills-and-bequests
Stained-glass window in Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, honouring the bequest left by James and Bertha Quinn
NEWS AND ISSUES
Bishop’s Social Justice Statement is Making it Real Australia’s Catholic bishops launched a major statement on digital communications, calling on all levels of society to overcome the hatred, division and exploitation that occurs online.
his year’s Social Justice Statement, Making it Real: Genuine human encounter in our digital world, was launched in Sydney on 3 September by Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv, chairman of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice – Mission and Service. The launch preceded Social Justice Sunday, which the Church in Australia celebrated on 29 September. In the Statement, the bishops say governments, businesses and the broader community need to be more proactive in defending the dignity of people. They say everyone must work together to make the digital world a place of genuine human encounter. The document invites people to reflect on how the internet has changed communication, work, education and business – and how people can contribute towards a more harmonious digital world. Writing in the Statement’s foreword, Bishop Delegate for Social Justice, Bishop Terence Brady, said that while the digital world enabled people to be
more connected than ever before, it could also be a place of manipulation, exploitation and violence. “This calls us to active citizenship because, at their heart, these problems are not technological, but rather moral,” Bishop Brady said. “We can choose how we behave online, and we can collectively shape the online world, building a more just and loving online neighbourhood. “It is becoming increasingly clear that digital platforms require wise governance and that international cooperation is required to achieve this. The common good requires intervention, rather than leaving digital platforms to govern themselves.” The Statement notes that Pope Francis has often spoken of the great potential for “genuine human encounter” in the digital space, but he has also warned of elements of the online world that are harmful: information overload, social isolation, marginalisation of the vulnerable, consumerism and “fake news”. The bishops acknowledge the many benefits of technology, but also lament
a growing digital divide. Almost 1.8 million Australian households are not connected to the internet, leading to significant disadvantages. “As essential services continue to shift online, digital inclusion becomes mandatory for basic participation in society. It should therefore be considered a human right,” Bishop Brady states. Among the groups that are missing out are people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people in rural and remote areas. And where internet access is readily available, other serious challenges emerge. “Far too often, the digital world has become a place of hatred. Digital technologies, especially social media, provide a perfect platform for a range of behaviours that are offensive to human dignity,” the bishops’ statement says. “It is clear that digital platforms are built to make a profit. But where they operate to maximise profit by undermining human dignity and the
This calls us to active citizenship because, at their heart, these problems are not technological, but rather moral... common good, we must question their structure, ownership and goals. “This is our digital common home, and the principles we find in Catholic Social Teaching and the words of Pope Francis can help guide us to a more just digital space.” The Statement and associated resources can be downloaded at: www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au
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OCTOBER 2019 25
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Dr Bill Rogers:
A Positive Approach to Classroom Management Catechists teaching Special Religious Education (SRE) to students in public schools in the Diocese of Broken Bay understand the challenges of behaviour and discipline in the classroom. BY ALISON NEWELL
pirited students can make or break a lesson and being proactive and responsive to students can be tricky at times, even for experienced teachers. A sense of humour is vital as is a calm respect for the children and young people they teach. In August, Broken Bay CCD hosted a professional development day for Parish SRE coordinators and teachers from across the region to equip them with tools and strategies to practice behaviour effective leadership in the SRE classroom. More than 120 people from the Diocese of Broken Bay, the Diocese of Parramatta and the Archdiocese of Sydney attended. The day was presented by Dr Bill Rogers, a renowned expert in the field of classroom discipline and behaviour management. With great humour and skill, Bill provided a framework for
coordinators to mentor and support parish catechists to effectively manage classroom behaviour and discipline. Bill is an education consultant. A teacher by profession, he now lectures widely on discipline and behaviour management, classroom management, stress and teaching, and colleague support. He is currently working with teachers and support staff across Australia, New Zealand and the UK in primary schools, high schools and universities. It’s the first time Bill has worked with SRE teachers. With great skill and humour, Bill mimicked scenarios that might occur in classroom situations and sketched classroom scenes that were projected onto a screen. As he introduced the comic book characters and the classrooms they occupied, he explored scenarios that might evolve
on any day in any school classroom and provided skilful advice on how to use the lesson time effectively, whilst respecting all students. His presentation style saw coordinators laughing and crying throughout the day as Bill coached coordinators and catechists to use a language of encouragement in the classroom, even down to the tone of their voice and their body language. He encouraged maintaining calm and not getting caught up in battles with students. He stressed the importance of staying focused on the primary behaviour of a student and not allowing the student to side-track an issue further eroding a stressful or challenging situation. Bill spoke of the importance of catechists understanding school behaviour management policies, and aligning their practices with
these policies and developing a good rapport with teaching staff at the schools. He also strongly encouraged catechists to restore relationships with students who might have had some behavioural challenges in class. The NSW Department of Education requires that SRE Providers offer coordinators and SRE teachers initial and ongoing training in the area of Classroom Management. CCD teams from the three Sydney dioceses will incorporate much of Bill’s work into their training programs, which will further enhance the quality of SRE teacher training. Coordinators were delighted with the day and appreciated the comprehensive notes which Bill provided. They left feeling confident to return to their parishes equipped with strategies and skills to support the effective teaching of SRE.
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ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Honing our skills of intentional discipleship When Sherry Weddell released her book Forming Intentional Disciples, she didn’t expect it to cause vocal outrage among both liberal and conservative Christians, and she didn’t expect the work to be an international best seller, with sales of more than 150,000 copies.
native of Colorado Springs, Sherry Weddell is Executive Director of the Catherine of Siena Institute in the US, which she co-founded in 1997 to advance the “intentional mission discipleship of Catholics”. On 13 and 14 September 2019, she brought her insights into forming intentional disciples to well-attended events in the Diocese of Broken Bay. “Forming Intentional Disciples was my attempt to summarise what I learned in 15 years on the ground and what our theology says,” said Sherry. “There was a gap the size of the Grand Canyon and that gap was discipleship. I got a lot of pushback. ‘We’re not evangelical Protestants!’ people said. “I was called elitist, judgemental and arrogant. How dare I ask anyone about their relationship with God?” She explained that after the Protestant Reformation, Catholics really focused on sacramental grace, but the personal response to that, which was espoused by St Thomas and all the Popes since Paul VI, hasn’t taken place. “The need to be personal disciples, on a practical pastoral level, wasn’t there,” she said. Before the current interest in discipleship, it was taken up in small ecclesial movements, Sherry explained. Since 2000, and perhaps with some support from her book and her work, discipleship is increasingly normative in the pastoral practices where 90 per cent of us live. Sherry describes a remarkable transformation that has taken place among Catholics.
millennials leaving the Church… that combination led us to see that maybe we could do something else,” she stated. “God opened the door in the United States and now the conversation has changed fundamentally. Now we’re seeing the word discipleship in the language. People are acknowledging that in addition to the sacramental grace there’s an important issue of spiritual disposition of the faith and conversion of the individual.” Since the publishing of Forming Intentional Disciples, Sherry has worked directly with more than 170,000 lay, religious and ordained Catholics in more than 600 dioceses and 195 archdioceses on five continents. She is currently completing a month-long tour of Australasia, which included talks in Sydney, Broken Bay, Wollongong, Christchurch and Auckland.
God opened the door in the United States and now the conversation has changed fundamentally. Now we’re seeing the word discipleship in the language.
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OCTOBER 2019 27
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Broken Bay News wins three ACPA Awards Broken Bay News won three awards at the annual Australasian Catholic Press Association Awards held in Bathurst on 12 September 2019.
elissa Loughlin, editor, received the awards from Bishop Michael McKenna of Bathurst. Former editor of Broken Bay News and Director of Communications, Annie Carrett, received a Lifetime Membership to ACPA and gave the keynote speech at the dinner on the topic “Rebuild my House”. Annie is now the Director of the Office of the Archbishop in Melbourne, working with Archbishop Peter Comensoli. Broken Bay News won awards for Most Improved Publication, Highly
Commended for Best Devotional Article Applying Faith to Life, and Highly Commended for Best Column. The judges’ comments on the Broken Bay News winning categories were:
Best Column Highly Commended Catherine Day – Broken Bay News One of the elements of an engaging blog is authenticity. Catherine has an honesty and warmth in her writing that is very appealing. She weaves her personal insights on life as a young Catholic woman into heartfelt discussions about what faith means, the importance of the Church in modern life and its need for our support. She is not afraid to tackle difficult issues but does so from the prism of her empathetic take on life.
Best Devotional Article Applying Faith to Life Highly Commended Deacon Peter McCulloch – Broken Bay News ‘God is an equal partner in our marriage’
Melissa Loughlin, Editor, receives the ACPA Award from Bishop Michael McKenna
Peter McCulloch offers a first-hand experience of faith in relation to his parents and their life. In it, he shows his parents great wisdom in being
aware of the important place God has in each of our lives. Peter allows insight that is profound and beautiful that also challenges us to look deeper into our own story to see where God has been working and showing us his presence. It is wonderful to see parents handing wisdom down to their children, especially wisdom that shows us the beauty of marriage and the continual call for our Church to support couples in their journey of life and faith.
Most Improved Publication Winner Broken Bay News While all of the publications submitted for consideration in this category remain text-dense, the new versions of each publication were much more appealing to the eye. Several publications, however, displayed marked improvement over the previous year. Most noticeable were the use of space and colour and not only improved use of photographs but the quality and expressiveness of the photos chosen. New fonts and diversity in page layout also were obvious and successful. This publication exhibited all of the abovementioned improvements to the most noticeable degree, producing
Annie Carrett receives Lifetime Membership from ACPA President Michael McVeigh
a very modern, clean and appealing look supported by good writing and diversity of news. The award for Best Magazine this year went to the New Zealand publication, Marist Messenger. Best Newspaper went to Southern Cross in Adelaide and Best Online Publication went to The Good Oil, an online newsletter from the Sisters of the Good Samaritan. The Good Oil was also awarded the Bishop Philip Kennedy Memorial Award for Overall Excellence in a Catholic Publication.
Assumption of Our Lady celebrated at Warnervale BY GLENN D’CRUZ, SANTA MARIA CENTRAL COAST ASSOCIATION
ver 300 people from far and wide gathered at MacKillop Catholic Church in Warnervale to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady. Mass was concelebrated by Fr Philip Thottam and Fr Carmelo Sciberras, and the Maltese Community, parishioners and friends gathered to celebrate one of the biggest feast days in Malta, and now on the Central Coast.
by the Maltese community, around the Church to the music of the Tuggerah Lakes Music Showband. President of the Santa Maria Association Charlie Scicluna warmly welcomed attendees. The Tuggerah Lakes Music Showband also entertained all before and after Mass. A firework display organised and fundraised for by the Santa Maria Association brought the festivities to a close.
Mass was followed by a procession of Our Lady’s statue, purchased
All are welcome to join in on 16 August 2020.
28 OCTOBER 2019
Photo by George Vilasante
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Fr David Ranson on Religious Freedom What is becoming increasingly apparent is that our contemporary context is marked by the competition of rights.
he rights of various minorities within society have now been affirmed to overcome much historical discrimination. However, this ascendency has developed into a new dominant ideology to the exclusion of all others, especially of those who have exercised historically the social centre.
Clergy, Principals gather to address religious freedoms Ninety clergy and principals from the Diocese of Broken Bay gathered on 29 August at the Hornsby RSL to address the issues that are confronting parishes and schools.
hief among them is impending religious discrimination legislation likely to face a vote by the end of the year. To help provide a better understand the issue of religious freedom as it relates to parishes and schools, was one of Australia’s leading constitutional scholars and Vice-Chancellor and President of Australian Catholic University, Professor Greg Craven. Professor Craven, a champion of higher education policy, serves on a range of peak state, national and international education bodies and co-wrote with Fr Frank Brennan and Michael Casey, Chalice of Liberty: Protecting Religious Freedom in Australia – provided to all participants. The Australian Human Rights Commission does not have a dedicated commissioner to investigate violations of religious freedoms. Prof Craven argues for the appointment of a new Religious Freedom Commissioner to join his or her colleagues in the areas of Age Discrimination, Disability Discrimination, Children’s and BROKEN BAY NEWS
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissions. “The commissioner’s remit would need to cover not only freedom of belief, worship and assembly, but also the freedom to teach and preach, to maintain religious institutions, and to live out one’s religious obligations in the public square,” he stated.
And so rather than newly affirmed rights finding a parity with others – as might be the case in a genuinely pluralist society – a new ideological dictatorship has developed, a new zeitgeist. Beginning in the universities, extending to the public service and to media and now to corporate life, this new dominant social paradigm cannot admit of a contrary religious perspective. The religious voice has to be excluded from public discourse and relegated to the privacy of one’s own small domain. The religious voice is now one if not of disdain, one of enormous suspicion – inevitably not helped by our own woeful history of crimes against children. Most Australians would not consider
there to be a problem with religious freedom. After all, who is saying a person cannot believe this or that, or cannot worship in this or that way? The difficulties emerge when the Church teaches. But the Church cannot not teach. Teaching the way of Christ is fundamental to its identity. But it is a way foreign in a secular, nontranscendent society. It will jar on some ears, make some uncomfortable in its implications. Some will even find it distressing because by its very nature it is discriminatory. It says “this is acceptable”, and “this is not acceptable.” Religious freedom is not just the freedom of association or the freedom of worship; it is the freedom to teach. Therefore, it will be critically important that our capacity to teach what we hold to be true and good is not compromised by emergent ideologies which are hostile to what we believe.
The Broken Bay Charity Race Day has been enjoyed by many and the funds raised have helped those in need in our community. We thank YOU for being part of this wonderful event and your generous support over the years! The Broken Bay Charity Race Day will not be taking place in 2019. We are continually assessing and planning fundraising events and we look forward to your continued participation and support in the future.
OCTOBER 2019 29
NEWS AND ISSUES
How Pope Francis Can Revitalise a Church in Crisis Pope Francis’s foremost priority should be top-to-bottom culture change in the Catholic Church, specifically: fostering a spirit of urgency, bringing new talent to all decision-making tables, and creating openness to radically new ideas.
ithout this thoroughgoing cultural transformation, a Church now enduring its worst crisis in five centuries will continue to deteriorate. Worst crisis in five centuries? That’s not hyperbole. The grotesque horrors of the sex abuse scandals, in Australia as throughout the Catholic world, are surely the most hurtful wounds that the Church has inflicted (and suffered) in recent decades. But other signs of existential crisis have abounded, in dozens of countries: thousands of ministries have shuttered, young people show little interest in the Church, sacramental participation has waned, and the clergy ranks are shrinking, to name just a few challenges. None of these challenges and crises will be resolved by “more of the same.” Rather, the 21st century Church must forge an accountable, action-oriented culture, in at least three ways: Fostering A Spirit of Urgency: Americans were shocked and dismayed by The Boston Globe’s 2002 expose on sex abuse within the Catholic Church. Equally shocking and more dismaying, however, has been the Church’s sluggish response. Nearly two decades passed, for example, before the Vatican finally convened a global summit on the matter and demanded appropriate protocols in all countries. The broader point: sluggish response to grave problems has characterised Church culture. In 1983, for example, Pope John Paul II proclaimed the “urgency” of “commit[ting] all the Church’s energies” to reaching out in fresh ways to the millions of Catholics who were drifting from the Church.
30 OCTOBER 2019
BY CHRIS LOWNEY Decades have passed with plenty of rhetoric but nothing remotely resembling that “total commitment.” Action plans have been scarce, and accountability for results has been nil. Without a willingness to confront bad news, share facts widely, and respond with determination and urgency, the Church will never solve its present and future challenges. Bring new talent to decisionmaking tables: The Church has historically crafted its strategies and policies in small, closed, and mostlyclerical circles. That model no longer works, given today’s complex, volatile environments. No small group of hierarchical leaders, no matter how good-willed or smart, will possess the expertise or bandwidth to exert “command and control” over every issue that arises. A contemporary bishop, for example, now faces challenges including sex abuse scandals, constrained finances, forging strategies for social media and new technologies, outreach to disinterested young adults in a secularising society, and staffing under-resourced ministries, among many others. Our Church needs the talent of more lay men and women not merely as advisors on such challenges, but as empowered partners at all strategic and decision-making tables, from the Vatican down. Pope Benedict XVI once proclaimed that lay people must become “co-responsible” for the Church’s “being and activity.” He was right, but we’ve made only token progress at turning that vision into reality. The Australian Plenary Council 2020 looks from a distance to be a welcome movement towards a broad-based commitment. All
success to it, and may many such initiatives flourish, for they are surely needed to help ignite the broad culture change needed. Creating openness to new ideas: How will the Church adapt to its plummeting clergy ranks? Or successfully engage young adults? Or maintain primary schools in the world’s poorest communities? A Church saddled with such unresolved dilemmas must welcome new ideas and experiment with promising but unproven approaches. A riskaverse Church culture that stifles initiative must rediscover the “holy boldness” that characterised the Church’s imaginative, enterprising first generations. Pope Francis has envisioned a Church where the lay faithful flock will sometimes “strike out on new paths,” and lead the Church forward. He has encouraged Catholics to: “Assume always the Spirit of the great explorers…not frightened by borders and of storms….May it be a free Church and open to the challenges of the present…” Only with fundamental culture change will that appealing (and much-needed) vision become reality. The ongoing sex abuse scandal must become Pope Francis’s “burning platform,” not only to establish all necessary sex abuse protocols but also to catalyse a broader and more profound culture change. He should speak frankly to the Catholic faithful about the decadesold, wide-ranging challenges highlighted above. He should call upon Catholics to step up and help lead the Church forward at this crucial moment.
A Church saddled with such unresolved dilemmas must welcome new ideas and experiment with promising but unproven approaches. Chris Lowney is author of Everyone Leads: How to Revitalize the Catholic Church. He is a one-time Jesuit seminarian, has been a managing director for JP Morgan & Co on three continents, and is a wellknown speaker on leadership and Ignatian Spirituality. He is currently vice chair of CommonSpirit Health, the largest nonprofit health system in the USA. He recently visited Melbourne and Ballarat on behalf of Catholic Social Services Victoria.
NEWS AND ISSUES DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY Diocesan Office: Tel (02) 8379 1600 Caroline Chisholm Centre Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd Pennant Hills NSW 2120 (Access off City View Rd) PO Box 340 Pennant Hills NSW 1715 email@example.com
CHANCERY OFFICES Diocesan Administrator Very Rev Dr David Ranson Senior Advisor Kelly Paget Chancellor Jo Robertson Diocesan Financial Administrator, Director, Office for Stewardship: Emma McDonald Director, Office for Communications Michael O’Dwyer Director, Diocesan Office for Safeguarding Jodie Crisafulli Tel: (02) 8379 1605 Director, Marriage Tribunal: Adrienne Connaghan Tel: (02) 8379 1680 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Alison Newell
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS OFFICE Acting Director: Tony Bracken Tel (02) 9847 0000 PO Box 967 Pennant Hills NSW 1715
CATHOLICCARE Executive Director: Lyn Ainsworth Tel: (02) 9481 2600 PO Box 966 Pennant Hills 1715 Children’s Services: Tel: (02) 9481 2660 Family Centres: Brookvale – Tel: (02) 8968 5100 Naremburn – Tel: (02) 8425 8700 Waitara – Tel: (02) 9488 2400 Warnervale – Tel: (02) 4356 2600 Foster and Residential Care: Tel: (02) 4320 7700 Mission, Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care (02) 9481 2658
BROKEN BAY NEWS Editor: Melissa Loughlin Tel: (02) 8379 1618 firstname.lastname@example.org Design: Chris Murray Printed by NCP Printing 18,500 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.
BROKEN BAY NEWS
With grief and anger, we need to turn to God Through the eyes of one young woman, this series will explore what it means to be Catholic in the modern world. Starting with what it means to be a single Catholic and ending with social issues such as SameSex Marriage, this series hopes to provide a fresh perspective on the issues that are all too important. BY CATHERINE DAY
rief is a strange thing. It makes us feel and think in a way that we usually don’t. When my grandfather passed away 11 years ago, on his way home from a family Easter lunch, I collapsed and cried in the middle of a main road. When I had a friendship break down, I felt an immense sense of loneliness and I promised myself never to rely on people to make me happy – if I wanted to go somewhere or do something, I’d do it on my own. Grief has always made me sad but today, grief has made me angry. I have never felt anger like this before. I’m angry because the young woman who was allegedly killed on Clarence Street, Sydney on 13 August, was someone I knew. Her sister was my best friend at university. Other people who are angry by this, have made this political – they’re angry because it’s another example of violence against women. While this is true, it’s not why I’m angry. I’m angry because she was almost missed. The public and the press were so caught up with the young men who stopped the attacker, we almost forgot that someone had died. I first met her when she was 14. She was a beautiful girl. Her parents and sister, wonderfully warm and loving people. Putting her ‘job’ to the side, she was a daughter, a sister and a friend. She loved and was loved. My grief, I feel, is not my own. It’s a shared grief. Her family, even though I haven’t seen or spoken to them in years, I feel their pain. My heart broke when I read her name in the paper. And for the first time in my life, I wanted someone to suffer for what they did. The man who allegedly killed her, while he appears to have mental health issues, I hope
the full force of the law comes down on him. I know some people will tell me I’m being unchristian, after all we need to show our fellow brothers and sisters forgiveness, but anyone who runs around with a knife stabbing and killing women does not have my sympathy. That said, it’s at times of loss that we need to turn to God. He is our refuge and strength. He knows what was, is and will be. He will always be present, but we need to make a sincere attempt to seek Him out. Life is full of heartbreak and we need to remember, it never comes from God. We always need to remember that God knows the pain and suffering we feel. When Jesus came down to earth He got tired, knew hunger and thirst, battled accusations from others and was ostracised by family and friends. But Jesus experienced far more than daily hardships. Jesus, the Son of God in human form, willingly took all our sin on Himself and paid our penalty of death. He went through torture, dying a slow, humiliating death of suffocation on a cross, so that we could be forgiven.
Life is not easy, and it never will be. But if we trust, God will lessen our burden and help take away our pain. God’s wrath and vengeance is His response to sin. He does not rebuke the innocent. He justly and wisely rebukes sin, and it will be no more or less than His perfect justice demands. I should say, in no way do I believe God works in ‘an eye for an eye’ type of justice system. But I do believe that He guides our judicial system, that criminals get the sentencing they deserve and families, while it takes them years to recover, receive the comfort they so desperately need. I know that it is a difficult thing to say, but truly the only way to recover from immense grief is to trust in God. Trust in His way. Trust in His love for us. Life is not easy, and it never will be. But if we trust, God will lessen our burden and help take away our pain.
It is at the death of friends and family that we realise, deep in our hearts, that there is something truly wrong with the world. It is not a safe place. It is a place full of hardship and sorrow. But we are offered something truly wonderful. Through the death of Christ, we have been gifted with eternal life. It is there, waiting for us to accept it. We need to turn to Him with a childlike simplicity and trust, knowing that He will lead us through life every step of the way. When someone is so violently taken away, we become so consumed in our fear and hate that we forget to trust in God. But it is precisely at this moment that we need to let go of our fear. We need to leap into the loving embrace of God and trust that He will look after us. “Vengeance is mine” (Romans 19) OCTOBER 2019 31
You are invited to
the annual CATHOLIC Diocese of Broken Bay
Mass of Inclusion 2019 ...for People with DISABILITY and their Families (all are welcome!)
December Date: Sunday 1 December 2019 Time: 9.30am - Parish Mass 10.30am - Family Hospitality Venue: Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral 23 Yardley Ave, Waitara RSVP: Monday 25 November 2019 Email: email@example.com For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or ph 02 8379 1643
Broken Bay News October 2019