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Catholic Life Publication of the Diocese of Sale

February 2017

ISSUE 197

Pray for abuse victims Bishop responds to Royal Commission statistics THE Bishop of Sale Pat O’Regan has responded to figures released last week about the Diocese of Sale by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse. He said that at this particular time, his first thoughts and prayers were with the many victim survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the Catholic clergy. He had no doubt that the next few weeks would be a time of distress for them in the recollection of their stories and the memories that would be invoked. “We can only pray that this public drawing together of the tragic and disgraceful history of abuse in the Church assists in a tangible way to lead the survivors to some sense of peace and healing.” Bishop O’Regan said the Diocese of Sale, like every other Diocese in Australia, had its share of perpetrators of sexual abuse. “Nothing that we say about statistics can diminish the suffering of even one person. We cannot pretend that the vagaries of statistical analysis somehow makes us less culpable for the harm that has been done.” To suggest, as some media outlets had done, that the Diocese of Sale was the epicentre of the abuse crisis was to simplify a very complex and tragic piece of our collective history. He said that what was needed was to take a whole and collective responsibility for the abuse that had occurred and to take a whole and collective part in the redress of the issue. Bishop O’Regan said the statistics quoted in the Royal Commission data needed further analysis and explanation. To have a single priest abuser was one too many and to have a single claim against a Diocese was also one too many. He said the Diocese of Sale did not have 15.1 percent of the

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4500 claims made in Australia over the past 35 years as some may have read into the figures. The report brought adverse attention on the Diocese of Sale which actually had a total of 20 claims. Given the 1880 perpetrators, of which 384 were Diocesan priests, the total number of our priests alleged to have been perpetrators, using the 15.1 percent figure, would be 12 which was consistent with data held by the Diocese.

On these figures the 12 from Sale represented 3.1 percent of the total alleged perpetrators Australia-wide. All alleged diocese priest perpetrators were now deceased. Bishop O’Regan said the Diocese of Sale had, over recent years, been working with victims, their advocates and legal advisors to reach both pastoral and financial agreements. This has occurred through

the work of the current and previous Bishops and Vicars General. The Diocese would continue to work pastorally in this way. He said that from the perspective of prevention, a Professional Standards Officer had been appointed to work across parishes and schools to ensure that all proper processes for the protection of children and vulnerable adults were in place and actively promoted, resourced and monitored.

In the days before the Royal Commission report, Bishop O’Regan sent a letter to all parishes to distribute among parishioners, which warned that the final three weeks of hearings involving the Catholic Church could be a difficult and distressing time. He again offered his apology on behalf of the Catholic Church for the damage which had been done to the lives of victims of sexual abuse.

Celebrating Filipino saint’s day in Sale

SOME of the dancers in their colorful costumes take time out for lunch before performing at the Santo Nino celebrations in Sale. SALE - Members of the Filipino community from across Sale Diocese gathered in Sale for the annual celebration of the Feast of Santo Nino (of Feast of the

Holy Infant Jesus). Following Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral celebrated by Bishop Pat O’Regan and a sumptuous morning tea, several hundred

people gathered in the Sale Botanic Gardens for the feast and an afternoon of dancing and song. The popular Filipino choir

Bayanihan Circle performed and there were many impromptu performances as the day went on.

Think of all the families you can help

You can assist families in the Greater Gippsland region for years to come by supporting Trinity Families. We direct funds to programs where there is the greatest need. Please give generously. To donate visit www.trinityfamilies.org.au or phone (03) 5622 6688 for a credit card deduction form.


Page 2 - Catholic Life, February 2017

Our diocese is 130 not out! IN his 1845 work, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, the Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) wrote the following, “In a higher world it is otherwise, but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often. (Chapter 1, Section 1, Part 7). As human beings we struggle all our lives with those words. On the one hand we like stability and predictability on the other we know, in the depths of our hearts, that the only reality that does not change is God. This year our Diocese of Sale turns 130. It was erected by the Holy See on Monday May 10, 1887. In 1950 the number of Catholics in the Diocese was 15,000 with one priest for every 535 Catholics. There were 15 Parishes at that time. In 2014 the number of Catholics in the Diocese was 122,000 and one priest for every 3128 Catholics. Currently we have 27 Parishes.

To live is to change indeed. While 130 is not an arresting number of years, it does give us pause to stop and give thanks for the work of God which has been constantly at work amongst us since that Monday 130 years ago. As many generations have done before us we seek to respond to the challenges that are before our generation, they are many, and to constantly recall that God’s goodness is consistent, if at times difficult to discern. This year the May 10 is a Wednesday. On that day I shall be attending the May Plenary meeting of the Australian Bishops and will offer Mass that day especially for the Diocese. I would encourage each parish to organise something to commemorate this foundation day, especially in prayer. We give thanks for what has been; we rejoice in what is and we look with hope to that which will be, for God is Good indeed.

Year of Youth THIS year has not been designated as any year in particular. Thanks be to God do I hear you say? It is good not to have a thematic year where we can are able to consolidate the learnings of all the previous years. The recent Year of Mercy offered up so many profound insights that it will take more than a year to reflect on them all, and allow them to shape our hearts. 2018, however, has been designated by the Australian Bishops as the Year of Youth. The Year of Youth reminds us that young people must be at the centre of any renewal strategy for the Church. We must work in partnership with young people’s passion and energy to assist us to become more fully alive as the Body of Christ, in this part of God’s vineyard. In our preparation for and participation in the Year of Youth, the Australian Bishops have committed to the

Annual Serra golf day soon SALE – The annual Serra Club golf day will be held at Sale Golf Club on April 10 this year. The golf day helps to promote religious vocations and is always held the day before the Mass of Oils at St Mary’s Cathedral. Originally the event was priests versus Serra Club members and then this has been widened in recent years to include any parishioners who want to take part, and even clergy from other denominations. The Bishop Jeremiah Coffey Perpetual Shield is hotly contested between Catholic clergy and non-Catholic clergy.

The Fr Frank Carroll Shield is contested between the Serrans and Catholic religious and then there is the Neville McLeod Plaque for the best score of the day. Golfers compete in a stableford match while the non-golfer of any standard use a Calloway system of scoring. Various trophies are awarded in individual sections for Serrans, Friends of Serra, Ladies, Catholic Religious and Other Religious. Coffee and sandwiches are served at the Longford clubhouse from 11.30am and then there is a shotgun start at 12.15pm.

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In recognising that some may not be available in the afternoon, arrangements can be made with the organisers for an early start at 8am. The cost of the golf is $15 but is free for religious. The presentation dinner will again be held at the Lakeside Club, Foster St., Sale, at 6.30pm for 7pm. Cost of attending this is $30 (again free for religious). To indicate your attendance at the golf day and/or dinner call Reg Carmody 5144 3349 or 0427 443 349 or Alan Wyatt 5143 0454 or 0409 449 104 no later than March 31.

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AT the recent Santo Niño Mass in the Cathedral in January a visitor came up to me and simply said “Don’t forget Syria Bishop”. I knew exactly what she was talking about. With all the hyper-ventilating about recent changes in leadership around the world, it

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following priorities:• Prayer - calling upon the Holy Spirit to open new horizons for spreading joy for young people and our faith communities; • Being present to young people in a variety of contexts to listen, pray and work together to address youth injustices; • Nurture the spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing of young people; • Accompany young people as they discern their vocation and place in the world. • Call upon the gifts of all generations of the Catholic faith community so that young and old may be inspired and fulfil God’s potential on this journey together. The Australian Bishops have entrusted Year of Youth in 2018 to the guidance of the Holy Spirit of this great Southland, and draw inspiration from St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and her example. The Year of Youth will be inaugurated by the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney from December 7-9 this year. The theme of the Youth Festival is “Open new horizons for spreading joy. Young people, faith and vocational discernment.” May each parish and Catholic School in the Diocese prepare to send young people to Sydney for this event. It is now just under 300 days until this event. Let’s get cracking. More more thing…

is easy to forget the plight of Syria. It so easily slips off our news bulletins and from our thoughts. Syria is not a thing but rather a country where our fellow Catholic sisters and brothers are daily being killed and driven from their country. I know of one bishop whose Diocese has all but been destroyed. He has said that while they have destroyed our houses that can never destroy our faith. I wonder if we too would say the same thing if we faced such a plight. Situations such as these are by their nature, complicated. I have spoken with many in the Diocese that would wish to assist and are assisting in resettling some of the Syrian refugees here in Australia; some are frustrated that we are unable to do more. What we can do, however, is not forget Syria in our prayer. I would ask that each parish include in the Prayer of the Faithful a petition for the people, especially our sister and brother Catholics of Syria. Indeed, Let us not forget Syria. St Ephraim the Syrian, a Doctor of the Church, and prolific hymn writer (ca 306373) once prayed:Almighty God and Creator, You are the Father of all people on earth. I beseech You to guide all the nations and their leaders in the ways of justice and peace. Protect us from the evils of injustice, prejudice, exploitation, conflict and war. Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness and hatred. Teach us to cease the storing and using of implements of war. Lead us to find peace, respect and freedom. Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace against ignorance, poverty, disease and oppression. Grant that we may grow in harmony and friendship as brothers and sisters created in Your image, to Your honour and praise. Amen. God is Good! +Bishop Pat O’Regan Bishop of Sale

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Catholic Life, February 2017 - Page 3

Cowes Catholic primary school is announced COWES – The Sale Diocese’s newest primary school will be built this year at Cowes in readiness for an anticipated 60 students at the start of 2018. The school will be the 36th in the diocese and the first on the island. Cost will be more than $5 million with $1.8 million being drawn from the State

Government capital grants program, $1 million from the Catholic Education Office Sale’s supplementary capital fund and the school’s own establishment loan of $500,000. The new school will be named Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary and will be constructed on land owned by the parish behind the Cowes church. The

parish owns 5.3 hectares. Entry to the school will be off the Cowes-Rhyll Rd. opposite Redwood Drive. It is envisaged that the first stage will consist of a two storey building with four classrooms, a staffroom and administration area. Eventually the school will cater for around 180 students.

The second stage is planned to be four additional classrooms and the third stage a multipurpose stadium/hall. Director of Catholic Education Maria Kirkwood said there had been a strong need for a Catholic primary school on Phillip Island and the CEOSale has been looking at the Cowes proposal for several years. “The demand by parents wanting a Catholic education for their children on Phillip Island and in the Sale Diocese generally has been strong for a number of years, and that demand is growing. Parents understood that Catholic schools provided a well-rounded education for students in a caring and pastoral environment.

It was a great outcome for the people of Phillip Island and South Gippsland. Mrs Kirkwood thanked Bishop O’Regan for his support and said parish priest Fr Malcolm Hewitt had done an extraordinary amount of work to move the project along. He and his parish committee deserved much credit for their visionary determination. She said Our Lady Star of the Sea would be the third new Catholic primary school to open in the diocese in the past six years. Enrolment enquiries for students from Foundation (prep) to Grade 6 should be directed to Teresa Brady on 5622 6627.

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Smooth start to school year THE school year has begun smoothly across the diocese at the 35 primary schools and seven secondary colleges. New principals or acting principals have been appointed at several schools. Acting principal of St Peter’s College, Cranbourne, is Chris Black who was previously deputy principal. He will be acting for the first two terms while a replacement is sought. Former principal Tim Hogan is now principal at St John’s College, Dandenong. Michelle Charlton has continued on as acting principal at St Joseph’s, Korumburra, following the resignation of former principal Greg Synan. Jason Slattery is new principal of St Mary’s Primary School, Maffra.

He was principal at St Thomas’ Primary School, Sale for eight years and St Mary’s Primary School, Yarram for four years. He was also acting principal at St Michael’s, Heyfield, for part of last year. Anita Little will continue in her current capacity as acting principal at St Thomas’ until the end of Term 2. She was previously principal at both Heyfield and Maffra. The St Thomas’ position had been advertised. New principal at St Michael’s, Heyfield, is Jenny Miller who was teaching at St Patrick’s, Stratford and had previously been an acting principal and also deputy principal at Heyfield for five years. Patricia Mulqueen, is new principal at St Joseph’s,

Trafalgar, after being acting principal at the end of last year. She replaced Lydia Goodwin who has retired following a long career in Catholic Education in the diocese, having been deputy at St Kieran’s, Moe and principal at Sacred Heart, Morwell. David Cooper, who was acting principal at Lumen Christi Primary, Churchill, for the second half of last year has had his appointment extended for another two years. St Ita’s, Drouin principal Andrew Osler was last week appointed acting principal at St Mary’s, Newborough, after principal Rod Hayes was unable to assume the role. St Ita’s deputy Robyn Lewry has been appointed acting principal there.

Two priests on lighter duties TWO diocesan priests have taken on lighter duties in the past couple of weeks after stepping down from their most recent pastoral roles. They are chancellor Fr Brian O’Connor and former Pakenham parish priest Fr Bernie Mahony. The word retirement is no longer used as ordination is life-long and so priests move into lighter duties which usually involves assisting with

weekend Masses. Fr Mahony celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination in December. He was born in Maffra and his seminary training was at Corpus Christi, Werribee, and Propaganda Fide, Rome, before being ordained at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sale, by Bishop Lyons in December 1966. He served in various parishes across the diocese and spent three years as full-time

diocesan director of the Renew program instituted by Bishop Eric D’Arcy. Fr Mahony also served terms on the Council of Priests and College of Consultors. Fr O’Connor was born in Sydney and was a late vocations priest, after working for many years in his own dressmaking and tailoring business, and also at a department store in Sydney. He attended St Paul’s National Seminary in Sydney and was ordained at age 46 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sale, by Bishop Eric D’Arcy. His first appointment was as bishop’s secretary and master of ceremonies. He later served in Warragul, Bairnsdale, Sale, Omeo and Heyfield parishes before moving to Sale to take on the duties of diocesan archivist. He was appointed chancellor by Bishop Jeremiah Coffey in 2000 and after the move of the diocesan headquarters to Warragul four years ago, developed a historical display in the front of the bishop’s house in Sale.

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Page 4 - Catholic Life, February 2017

Cashless society?

INTERESTING situation we came across at a Gippsland service station recently where the attendant rushed out to advise us that if we were paying cash, we couldn’t fill up. Apparently in the evenings the station only accepts payment by card so there is no cash in the till in the case of a robbery. We have never heard of it before and although we are heading down the track of being a cashless society, it is probably illegal for a business to refuse to accept cash. Of course, a business can always refuse to serve you (unless it is done discriminately) and that would open a whole new can of worms.

Wash away sins

SEEN in a shop window in Sale – a bar of soap labelled Jesus Soap with the sub heading “Wash Your Sins Away.” We were stunned to see it and we wonder if they would have been game to sell bars labelled Buddha Soap or Mohammed Soap. Same shop was selling plastic Jesus figurines to place on a car dashboard. It looks as if they were meant to wobble as you drive along like the hula girls which were popular many

Several priest appointments years back.

Daylight mystery

SEVERAL years ago we enjoyed the benefits of late setting sun in Europe over their summer. Village squares came alive with people out having a few drinks, dining or just taking a stroll. Daylight saving gives us some of the benefits here in Victoria but we can’t figure out why Queensland doesn’t have it. On the Gold Coast last month we noted the sun rose about 5am when it was of little benefit to most and was dipping over the horizon again at 6.30pm. With short twilight in that latitude it meant it was dark by 7pm. People couldn’t really go on picnics and a dip at the beach after work because there was not enough light. And don’t give me any of that drivel about the extra hour of daylight fading the curtains faster, or upsetting the habits of laying hens and milking cows.

THERE have been several priest movements since the last issue of Catholic Life with most taking place on January 25. Fr Bernard Buckley, formerly Traralgon parish priest, is now parish priest at Pakenham, replacing Fr Bernie Mahony who is on lighter duties. Fr Francis Otobo has moved from Morwell to be parish priest of both Traralgon and Yarram parishes. Fr Siju Xavier has taken over

at Morwell and Churchill in his first appointment as parish priest. Fr Joseph Abutu, who was administrator at Cranbourne, has now been made parish priest. In other moves, Dr Dariusz Jablonski is now associate pastor at Bairnsdale-Omeo, and Fr Antony Rebelo IVD is associate at Cranbourne. Three new priests have moved into the diocese and have taken

up associate appointments. Fr Saji Valiyaveetil, who is newly arrived from India, is at Traralgon and Yarram after spending a month at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sale, over the Christmas period Newly arrived Nigerians Fr Edwin Ogbuka has been placed at Morwell and Churchill and Fr Solomon Okeh is at the cathedral parish.

Maffra presbytery centenary MAFFRA – The centenary of the historic two-storey presbytery at St Mary’s, Maffra will be celebrated this Sunday. The activities will begin at 8.30am with St Mary’s School leaders ringing the church bell. At 8.40 the children will lead a rosary of thanksgiving in the church and this will be followed by a slideshow and then Mass beginning at 9am. After Mass there is a tour organised to visit the graves at Maffra and Sale cemeteries of priests who have served at Maffra. Everyone will then meet back at the grave of Mons. Callanan in the grounds of St Mary’s Church for a short prayer of thanksgiving.

Of all the decisions we make in our lifetime, making a valid will is among the most important.

This final testament speaks loudly of the values, causes and possessions we hold most dear. We bequest personal treasures and mementos to special friends and loved ones and ask them to care for them after our passing. If you hold the Church dear, you may consider leaving a percentage of your estate or a specific amount to the Diocese of Sale. The Diocese is grateful for the support of its benefactors, who have enabled the Church to grow in its service of its people, and invite you to share in this rich heritage.

The school bells will again be rung by the school leaders to signify the start of a barbecue lunch which be held in the grounds surrounding the presbytery. There will be a sharing of stories, a blessing of renovations, display in the presbytery and olden-day games for the children. The parish is supplying the sausages, bread and sauce for the barbecue, as well as some vegetable burgers for vegetarians.

Families are invited to bring a salad or dessert to share. Tea, coffee and cordial will also be provided. Anyone who needs a ride in order to attend is asked to call the parish office on 5147 1921. More information is also available from the parish office or pastoral council members Roy Shelton, Veronica Dwyer, Michael Dillon, Kevin Christiansen, Terry Donahoe, Pauline Hall, Jason Slattery, Christa Dwyer or Fr Darren Howie.

New Townsville bishop announced FR Timothy Harris, a priest of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, has been appointed the sixth Bishop of Townsville. Bishop-Elect Harris is currently parish priest of Surfers Paradise. He said, “I’m very conscious that the Diocese of Townsville has been without a bishop for three years. It has been on all of our minds. “If the bishop is a sign of unity, which he is, I hope that I can strengthen the unity of the vast Diocese of Townsville and build on the work of Bishop Michael Putney and, since his death, on the efforts of diocesan administrator Fr Mick Lowcock. “I’ve been a pastor all my life so I would like to understand the diocese through the eyes of the local people. I’d like to build on the good things going on in the diocese already. As the new bishop, I will need to listen to the local experience and learn from the people.” President of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference Archbishop Denis Hart welcomed the announcement

and said Bishop-elect Harris was a fine priest and had been a wonderful pastor in a large parish. “I rejoice with the people of Townsville as they prepare to welcome their new shepherd who will serve with renowned generosity.” Born in Brisbane in 1962, Bishop-elect Harris received his primary education at Nundah Convent and Virginia State School and secondary education at St Joseph’s Nudgee College. Joining the Bank of New South Wales, he worked in public relations for five years. In 1991, Bishop-elect Harris graduated with a Bachelor of Theology. After priestly formation at Pius XII Provincial Seminary in Banyo, Brisbane, he was ordained a Priest in November 1992. The office of Bishop has been vacant in the Diocese of Townsville since the death of Bishop Michael Putney in March 2014. The date of Bishop-Elect Harris’ Episcopal Ordination will be announced soon.


Catholic Life, February 2017 - Page 5

Invitation to prepare for Year of Youth celebration THE Catholic Bishops of Australia invite Catholics across the country to join in celebrating a Year of Youth from the beginning of Advent 2017 to the end of 2018. The Year of Youth celebrates

10 years since World Youth Day was hosted in Sydney during 2008. It will focus on the theme, ‘Open New Horizons for Spreading Joy: Young People, Faith and Vocational

Catholic Super wins best fund manager CATHOLIC Super’s MyLife MyPension has been named Best Pension Fund Manager at Money Magazine Best of the Best Awards 2017. MyLife MyPension was compared with over 175 other pension funds and has been ranked the best. MyLife MyPension’s strong investment results and low fees have resulted in their Balanced Option returning 7.1 percent over a 10 year period, well above the industry average of 5.7 percent. Frank Pegan, Catholic Super chief executive officer, said he was thrilled that the organisation had been recognised with the Best Pension Fund award. “MyLife MyPension’s success is more than its consistent and exceptional investment performance. It’s also due to the care and personal attention our members receive from a service team

that is supported by skilled advisers and super specialists, all of whom work together to give our members financial peace of mind throughout their retirement.” This award builds on the industry recognition Catholic Super has received over 45 years with a philosophy built on humility and compassion. As a quiet but consistent achiever, Catholic Super focuses on returns for its members, low fees, flexible products and personalised service. The 16th annual Money Magazine Best of the Best Awards was held in November and hosted by Money Magazine editor Effie Zahos and chairman and chief commentator Paul Clitheroe. Catholic Super’s Balanced Option investment has also been ranked equal top performer for the calendar year 2016 in SuperRatings survey of the top 50 funds in the country.

Discernment’. The emphasis is on local discussion and dialogue in parishes, schools, youth groups and dioceses. Delivering the invitation, Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said, ‘In 2018, we want to engage with youth in new ways and they with us, helping young people to encounter God in Jesus Christ and his Church. Open your hearts to the life God intends for you and so make a real difference in the world’. On behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Hart said, ‘As Bishops we invite you, the youth of Australia, to open your hearts to Christ. You are deeply loved by Jesus and the Church. We appreciate your gifts and

contributions, and we want to journey with you. Young people have a great capacity to address injustice and create new opportunities for joy and hope. Today, many young people want to serve, and others are willing to take a chance to make the world a better place. Leaders and older members of the Church must continue to listen to and benefit from the many graces of youth, supporting them to discern their vocation and identify their call in the world, within communities where they are safe, nurtured and respected,’ Archbishop Hart added. The Year of Youth will be part of a journey of dialogue and discernment as the Church in Australia contributes to the next Synod of Bishops in Rome

during 2018 with its focus on ‘Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment’ and as preparations commence to host a Plenary Council in Australia during 2020. Twelve months out from the Year of Youth, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Youth said, ‘To launch the Year of Youth, I invite young people across the country to the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, December 7-9, 2017 in Sydney. The Festival will bring your peers and Church leaders together to celebrate the young Church of Australia.’ Information about the Year of Youth is available on the official website, www.youth. catholic.org.au

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A growing number of newspapers printed THANK you to all the schools who responded to our call for an update in the number of newspaper required to be delivered each month. It is amazing how schools in the western end of the diocese continue to grow year by year. We now print and deliver more than 16,000 papers every issue. Parishes should also take note of the number of newspapers they receive and can adjust numbers according to need. We prefer that there are still a few papers at the back of the church for the first month after publication to cater for those who have been away on holidays, or who are infrequent Mass attenders. The number of papers ordered should be in multiples of 25 as bundle sizes are 25, 50, 75 and 100. To reduce the number of deliver points, and hence costs, we will continue to deliver to only one address where the parish office and school are beside one another. If there is any need to change where papers are delivered by our courier please also advise us so we can make adjustments.

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Page 6 - Catholic Life, February 2017

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INTERNATIONAL a i d agencies and local charities find collecting money to be so much harder today. It seems that we are assailed by so much bad news, so many tragedies, so many refugees, so many catastrophes that we turn off, we have become a bit ‘immune’ or we wonder ‘what can one person do to help all of that?’ ‘What difference would the little I have to offer make?’ ‘How do I know it will get to them anyway?’ The sheer number of organisations vying for funds can also overwhelm us, as well as the ‘in-your-face’ fundraising tactics used by some. While surveys indicate that many people feel charities overspend on fundraising, when there is so much need and so many charities vying for our dollar, spending on fundraising advertising may well be understandable. On the other hand, there are those who just don’t want to give money. It’s not unusual to hear: “Don’t get me wrong, I fully respect charities and the people who raise money for them but…..” It is easy enough to find a reason NOT to give. On the other hand, some would rather do something more personal, more local, more immediate. But if we are not giving, then what are we doing? How do we

Help us to help others Donate now to support charities aiding families Trinity Families needs your financial support to ensure that it can continue to meet the needs of families in our region. We need to greatly enlarge our financial base so we can continue our support to charities providing vital welfare services. Direct debits can be made to Trinity Families BSB 083-879 A/c 84343 9687 or you can use the form below to make a credit card donation. All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible Roman Catholic Diocese of Sale Charitable Fund

Reflections by Jim Quillinan contribute to the lives of others, to the human family, especially those who need our help? We are all diminished by the suffering of others, the starvation, the injustice, the cruel treatment meted out to the most vulnerable. As St Paul wrote: If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. (1 Cor 12:26). Or do we just move on, sad that so many are suffering ‘but what can I do?’ And millions of people live on — shattered, poor, lost, hungry and forgotten — and along comes another news item. Almsgiving is important. Lent reminds us of that. Lent reminds us that we need each other. We can easily get wound up in our own lives, our own ‘rat race’. We can become very selfabsorbed, very focussed on our own needs and goals, ambitions and dreams. Learning that ‘giving is part of living’ is important. It is good to see in our schools, and parishes Project Compassion and other activities that encourage personal generosity, that raise awareness right from the start that we are a human family, each dependent on one another. It is even better, however, if that is modelled in the home. Lent highlights almsgiving, not just as another way of doing penance but almsgiving reminds us that all we have is gift - life itself and just about everything thereafter. Almsgiving can be a reality check – it gives us the opportunity to reflect on the saying, ‘if you want to see what people really believe in, take a look at how they spend their money’ Almsgiving also gives us the opportunity to place the needs of others before ourselves and

give generously from our own resources. In the words of Pope Francis, gratitude should be one of the characteristics of being a Christian because ‘aware of having received everything from God freely, that is without any merit, (a Christian) learns to give to others freely’. Almsgiving is a sign of genuine gratitude because ‘alms are given to someone from whom you would not expect to receive anything in return’. There are literally millions of people in our world community who are starving, who live in hopeless situations. Our generosity can do more than provide immediate help for them – it can help to change the underlying systems that keep people in the bondage of poverty and crushing injustice. It can help to help train people in new skills, to find solutions to their own problems, to make a lasting contribution. While it is always helpful to give locally, to give to local situations of tragedy or hardship or devastation caused by floods or storms or whatever, giving to change systems, to help people develop new skills is equally important and long lasting. Pope Francis writes that “whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.”

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Catholic Life, February 2017 - Page 7

Pope urges room in the heart for God’s word WITHOUT making room for God’s word in their heart, people will never be able to welcome and love all human life, Pope Francis has said in his 2017 Lenten message. “Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love,” the Pope said in his message for Lent, which begins on March 1. “The word of God helps us to open our eyes to welcome and love life, especially when it is weak and vulnerable,” he wrote. Released by the Vatican on February 7, the text of the Pope’s Lenten message entitled “The Word is a gift. Other persons are gift” – focused on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in the Gospel of St Luke (16:19-31). The parable calls for sincere conversion, the Pope said, and it “provides a key to understanding what we need to do in order to attain true happiness and eternal life.” In the Gospel account, Lazarus and his suffering are described in great detail. While he is “practically invisible to the rich man,” the Gospel gives him a name and a face, upholding him as worthy, as “a gift, a priceless treasure, a human being whom God loves and cares for, despite his concrete condition as an outcast,” the Pope wrote. The parable shows that “a right relationship with people consists in gratefully

Lenten message recognising their value,” he said. “A poor person at the door of the rich is not a nuisance, but a summons to conversion and to change.” But in order to understand how to open one’s heart and see the other as gift, a person must see how the word of God operates. One way to do that, he said, is to be aware of the temptations and traps the rich man fell victim to, derailing his search for true happiness. The nameless “rich man” lives an opulent, ostentatious life, the Pope wrote, and his love of money leads to vanity and pride – “the lowest rung of this moral degradation.” “The rich man dresses like a king and acts like a god, forgetting that he is merely mortal,” he said. “For those corrupted by love of riches, nothing exists beyond their own ego. Those around them do not come into their line of sight. The result of attachment to money is a sort of blindness. The rich man does not see the poor man who is starving, hurting, lying at his door.” Love of money, St Paul warned, “is the root of all evils,” and the Pope said, it is also “the main cause of corruption and a source of envy, strife and suspicion.”

“Instead of being an instrument at our service for doing good and showing solidarity toward others, money can chain us and the entire world to a selfish logic that leaves no room for love and hinders peace,” he added. The rich man’s eyes are finally opened after he and Lazarus are dead; Lazarus finds comfort in heaven and the rich man finds torment in “the netherworld,” because, as Abraham explains, “a kind of fairness is restored” in the afterlife and “life’s evils are balanced by good,” the pope said. The rich man then asks for an extraordinary sign – Lazarus coming back from the dead – to be given to his family members so they will repent and not make the same mistake as he. But, Abraham said the people have plenty of teachings with “Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them,” the pope said. This explains what the real problem is for the rich man’s and those like him: “At the root of all his ills was the failure to heed God’s word. As a result, he no longer loved God and grew to despise his neighbor,” the Pope said. The Pope asked that Lent be a time “for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and

in our neighbor.” “May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us and

serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need,” he said, especially by taking part in the various Lenten campaigns sponsored by local churches.

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Page 8 - Catholic Life, February 2017

A family violence story: Help is available THIS article provided by CatholicCare tells in graphic detail what a family violence situation can be like. At the end there is a list of contacts where the victims and/or the perpetrators can seek assistance. The names of those involved have been changed. MARIA and Jack had been married for 15 years and had three children. They had lived in the same area for most of their lives and their parents and other family lived close by. People who knew Jack saw him as a good family man and a hard worker. He got on well with people at work and was generous with his time in the local clubs he and his family belonged to. Maria was involved in her children’s school and welcomed family and friends to their home. She worked part time in the evenings at the local hospital while Jack was at home with the children. Marriage was important to Maria and Jack. They both enjoyed their children in spite of the usual demands and challenges of being parents. However, there were times when Maria thought of leaving the marriage because Jack’s attitude and behavior towards her was increasingly difficult to live with. She had two friends she confided in and they told her it was not fair that she should be ‘walking on eggshells’ around Jack when he was in one of his moods and likely to explode. They said his attitude and behavior were abusive and would be affecting the children as well as herself. The children sometimes saw or heard their parents yelling and screaming at each other over the years, but recently noticed that their mother became quiet when their father was getting angry. They knew the signs and knew when they needed to be ‘good’ or keep out of Jack’s way until he was calm again.... to keep the peace. He sometimes lashed out physically and verbally, and once Maria thought their six year old

daughter must have heard him throw his phone at the bedroom wall during an argument, because she found the girl in her older sister’s bed the next morning. But nobody said anything about it. One night Jack threw his plate of food and smashed it against the pantry door. He then upended his chair. Maria and the children froze, terrified. Their cousin was staying with them that night and he felt shocked and distressed, but he tried not to show it. Next day he told his father, Jack’s brother, Mario, what had happened. Mario tried talking to Jack about the incident a few days later, remembering Jack’s angry outbursts as a child and teenager. But Jack said he was a bit stressed about work and money and hadn’t done anything wrong. People were over reacting and this was what made him angry. Who wouldn’t be? He was also sick of Maria’s nagging. Mario then spoke to Maria when they were alone. He was worried about her and the children. Maria admitted Jack often pushed her out of his way when he was angry and sometimes hit her. She said once when he did this she fell and needed stiches to her face after hitting her head on a table. She told her doctor it was an accident. She suspected her son might have seen this, but hoped she was wrong. Another time, Jack punched her so hard in the ribs that she could barely breathe. She told the children to run to the car as she grabbed her car keys and fled from the house. That night they slept in the car. After Jack left early for work next morning, Maria got the children ready

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for school. She told Mario she asked the children not to talk about what had happened and told them she would try harder to make everything all right. Their father was just stressed sometimes. Maria’s friends and Mario couldn’t understand why she hadn’t taken the children and left Jack. It was hard for her to explain, but she admitted she got close to leaving a few years earlier, before discovering she was pregnant with their third child. Maria had left a couple of times since, with and without the children, staying for a ‘holiday’ at her parents’ place. However she felt guilty when Jack begged her to return, saying he loved her and was truly sorry and would never lose his temper with her or the children again. It was like a roller coaster ride, with Jack happy and supportive sometimes, before tension would build up and he would become angry again. Maria told her friends and Mario she was worried about how separation would distress their parents and other family members. She felt ashamed. The neighbors had knocked on the door one night because they had heard screaming and banging, but Maria told them everything was okay. She hated having to face them next morning. Maria was also worried about breaking up the family and leaving the house she and Jack had built. Where would they all live? How would they manage financially? She needed Jack to mind the children while she worked in the evenings, and he had said he would only do that if they were all living together. Everybody loved the family dog. Who would he live with? Worse, Jack threatened to harm Maria if she left him and had also threatened to harm himself. Maria was confused. What was the right thing to do? Would

she be better off if she left? Would the children be better off? How could she be sure? Maria’s friends and Mario became increasingly worried and felt frustrated with her. They encouraged Maria to make plans to leave, but knew they couldn’t force her. Jack’s brother checked on the children regularly to make sure they were not being physically harmed and let them talk about their worries if they wanted to. He also spoke to Jack about getting some confidential support or counselling for himself. One day Maria was shocked to get a phone call from the school principal saying her son had an argument with another child and had punched the child. This was not like her son and he was in the principal’s office in tears. The boy told the principal what was happening at home and spoke about his fears for his mother, father and brother and sister, but he didn’t want to get anybody into trouble. Maria felt ashamed, but also relieved that the family secret was out and that the principal cared about her family. He gave Maria a list of services she could contact for information and support. She rang a state-wide service and learned that family violence happens in all cultures and communities and rarely stops without help from outside. She learned that support is available for all family members if wanted and is usually free or low cost. Maria decided she needed to separate from Jack and made preparations over the next few weeks, telling only those people she needed to. Using whatever supports were available, she was determined to get through this tough time and also hoped Jack would seek help for himself. His children needed him.

Places which can help

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Let’s eliminate family violence

CatholicCare Gippsland is available to provide counselling for individuals, couple and families on a range of issues and they may provide links to family violence services. Call 1800 522 076 for a confidential appointment. In a crisis requiring immediate response people are urged to phone 000. Other services which may assist are Safe Steps 1800 015 188 which provides a 24 hour family violence support service for women and children experiencing violence from a partner, ex-partner, or another family member and the InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence 1800 755 988 where bi-lingual workers can provide assistance for women. Men can access an anonymous referral service between 9am and 9pm on 1300 766 491 or 1800 065 973 and Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978 where they can talk about being a survivor of abuse or their own violent behavior.


Catholic Life, February 2017 - Page 9

Diocese launch at Sale THE annual Project Compassion Lenten Appeal will be officially launched in Sale Diocese on Tuesday, February 28. The launch will take place in the chapel at the Sion campus of Catholic College Sale at 11am. Bishop Pat O’Regan will be attendance as will representatives of other

schools. Following the launch traditional Shrove Tuesday pancakes will be served. Caritas community engagement group coordinator Megan Bourke will conduct a Just Leadership Day at Mary MacKillop Primary School, Narre Warren on March 14.

Annual appeal supports programs in 29 countries IN support of the world’s poor, including millions in our immediate region, thousands of school children, teachers, churches and community leaders across Australia are putting their compassion into action, during Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion. The World Bank estimates that 90 million people live in extreme poverty in Australia’s neighboring region. Another 300 million are vulnerable to falling back into poverty due

to natural disasters, climate change, disease and economic shocks. Project Compassion funds humanitarian and long-term development programs in more than 29 countries across Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Latin America and First Australian communities. It runs during Lent, and last year raised $11.1 million. Through this year’s theme Love Your Neighbor, Caritas Australia demonstrates how

A story of healing

DINIA enjoys a meal with her family.

DINIA’s story is one of healing, through her own skill and perseverance, and through support from a CaritasAustralia funded program. Living in the Philippines, she struggled daily with poverty in a country with many vulnerable communities. People living in rural and coastal areas have very little access to basic services. They face extreme weather events, environmental degradation and the effects of internal conflict and have little hope of a sustainable income. For Dinia, the untimely death of her husband meant an end to his small income and a greater struggle to feed and educate her children. She struggled alone, facing a future without hope, until her community encouraged her to participate in the Socio Pastoral Action Center Foundation Inc. program supported by Caritas Australia. SPACFI’s integrated community development program helped her develop diverse ways to gain a sustainable livelihood, continue to send her children to school and contribute to her community. The program foregrounds the need to work together for the common good, awakening Dinia’s innate generosity and leadership qualities. She was able to learn about organic farming, managing livestock, and starting a small business. Now she has an integral role

in her community, a sustainable livelihood, and a brighter future for her children. “My life is much better now. It is much easier,” she says.

this approach can transform lives. Caritas Australia CEO Paul O’Callaghan said “Caritas Australia has worked with partner agencies overseas and in First Australian communities to assist those communities lift themselves out of poverty. We have transformed millions of lives in the process, including over 2 million people directly last year through our emergency and development programs.” Focused on our Love Your

Neighbor theme, Caritas Australia will feature human stories from the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Australia, Vietnam and Fiji. “I encourage you to support Project Compassion because your donations make a big difference to our capacity to help impoverished communities become stronger and more resilient. This can only lead to a better future for our world,” said Mr O’Callaghan. During Lent, Australians

are invited to support Project Compassion by making a donation, or by hosting fundraising events in their local school, parish, community or neighborhood. Supporters can also to share their stories on social media at #ProjectCompassion. To donate to Project Compassion or for fundraising ideas visit www.caritas.org.au/ projectcompassion or phone 1800 024 413.

Providing a supportive community FOR Martina, an East Timorese mother of eight, escaping domestic violence was the first step in her journey to a new life. But at first, her future seemed very uncertain. Timor-Leste is one of the least developed countries in the world, with extremely low levels of basic health, literacy and income. Most East Timorese live in rural areas, with very limited access to basic services or livelihood training, and many households don’t have enough food year round. The shelter where Martina sought refuge, Uma PAS, offered her many ways to transcend these challenges. Uma PAS is a partner in Caritas Australia’s Protection Program, a holistic community-wide program in Timor-Leste that offers women like Martina economic empowerment and a life of safety in a supportive community.

Through the program, she was linked with a network of support services, and this enabled her to undertake livelihood training and start a small business to support her children.

Follow our greatest example Love your neighbour Empower our most vulnerable people around the world.

Support Project Compassion Donate today 1800 024 413 or caritas.org.au


Page 10 - Catholic Life, February 2017

Fatima centenary recalls 20th Century miracle

THE gathered crowd watches the miracle of the Dance of the Sun. 2017 marks the centenary accompanied the children on of what is undoubtable the their monthly visits but only most incredible miracle of the the children saw or heard the modern era which took place woman. near Fatima, Portugal. She promised a great miracle The claims of three shepherd in October to prove that she was children to have seen and from Heaven and she would spoken to Our Lady who give the children an important identified herself as “The Lady message for the world. of the Rosary” are remarkable Heavy rain poured all but what took place afterwards through the night before and is something which has baffled that morning and the ground people ever since. underfoot became extremely More than 70,000 people muddy as the crowd drawn gathered near Fatima to witness from a wide number of villages what has been called the turned up for the expected Dance of the Sun and the event miracle. was recorded by journalists These were not only and photographers who had poor farm laborers and

THE three young shepherd children Lucia Santos, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto. gathered on the word of the children who said the lady had promised a miracle. Even allowing for the possibility that the size of the crowd was exaggerated by journalists, photographs show a sea of thousands of people. The Fatima apparitions began at noon on May 13, 1917 when the three children claimed a beautiful lady had appeared to them. Lucia Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto told villagers of the apparition and news spread like wildfire. She asked the children to return at noon on the 13th day of each month which they did apart from one month when the local mayor had them locked up because he believed they were telling lies. A growing crowd of people

their families – there were doctors, teachers, university professors, storekeepers and more importantly for proof of the event, a large number or reporters and photographers. That such a large number of people were willing to brave the cold and rain on the say so of three children is in itself a minor miracle. However, the Portuguese government at the time was anti-church and was busy supressing religion by closing churches and expelling priests and religious sisters. The promise of a miracle gave the people hope in such difficult times for the Church. While the majority were willing to accept a sign from Heaven, there were also many doubters who turned up with the plan to ridicule the faithful

when the promised miracle did not eventuate. At noon, the children knelt down and their faces became flushed as they gazed at what they said was a beautiful lady “clothed in light” who was giving them a message. Ten-year-old Lucia called out for people to put away their umbrellas, which they did, and then she told them to look at the sun. Suddenly the rain stopped and the dark clouds parted like a curtain to reveal the sun. Amazingly people found they could look directly at the sun without blinking or shielding their eyes and then the sun which was like a silver disc began to whirl around, shooting out red rays then changing slowly to each of the colors of the rainbow. The sun seemed to tremble and plunge in a zig-zag motion towards earth, growing larger and larger. This instilled great fear in the large crowd and many began praying. The dance of the sun lasted about 10 minutes after which it climbed in a zigzag motion back to its normal position in the sky and resumed its brilliance. Journalists described the events in great details and these were published in newspapers which only days before had been scoffing at the children’s predictions of a miracle. While the children reported seeing the lady standing on a white cloud which settled at the top of a tree, some others claimed to have seen a luminous light shining in the tree. The children were questioned about the lady they had seen in their vision and Lucia, who was the eldest and main spokesperson, said she had told them “I am the Lady of the Rosary.”

The Church set about investigating the alleged miracle and whether the dance of the sun might have been some unusual solar phenomenon. The local bishop opened the canonical process to inquire into the miracle in 1922, interviewing the children, their families and dozens of other people. After eight years the bishop announced the Church’s

approval of the Fatima miracle and that official permission was given for devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. That official declaration has been ratified by all popes since. In a forthcoming issue of Catholic Life we will look at the messages given to the children, including the three secrets which they were told not to reveal immediately.

A PORTUGUESE newspaper reports the event.


Catholic Life, February 2017 - Page 11

Retirement - Great expections, underwhelming reality HSBC have recently published a report titled The Future of Retirement: Generations and Journeys. The report looks at the expectations of people still working and also at the reality of those already retired, and the differences between the two. Working Australians now face a longer stretch of time to achieve parity with those already retired. This is a global report but I’ll concentrate on the findings as they apply to Australians. For a start, the average Australian will have to save for 11 years longer, so for a start, we’re behind the game already. But our expectations of how things will work are somewhat optimistic, too. Interruptions to retirement plans are common – at least 40 percent of all those with plans have had their plans interrupted, and this is part of the reason why a plan is essential. Sometimes it’s parenthood, sometimes it’s injuries or illnesses, some expected some not. This can causes incomes to fall and savings to stall, so retirement savings get put on the back burner. It’s a bit like draining the swamp. It’s hard to remember that’s the objective

when there are crocodiles all around. The part of the survey I found interesting, though, is the gap between expectations and the reality of retirement. There are some important numbers, and they illustrate with David Wells the divide. 26 percent (of investment nature the respondents) expect to be able doing that in retirement. The quick lesson from all this more time you have the better to use their house to support retirement, and yet only 8 is that reality doesn’t match the the outcome. Knowing all this is fine, but percent of retirees actually do expectation, and finding this use their house for retirement out at retirement means it’s too avoiding as many pitfalls as late to do anything about it. possible is a different matter purposes. Some 31 percent expect to Most things are set in stone by altogether. So what are the lessons that younger people can use an inheritance (my children then. The answer is not just saving learn from our retirees? know better) but that happens The first is definitely start only with 9 percent when they for longer. That won’t cover low in especially problem, the Most retirees wished earlier. reach retirement. 17 percent expect to use a pension or interest rate times. Downsizing that they had done so. Not retirement scheme yet only 9 property may help, drawdowns necessarily so that they could of other investments may help, retire earlier, but so they could percent of retirees do so now. retire with a little more financial On the income front, 31 too. You may be in a situation security. percent expect to be able to use The second is to think about earned income in retirement where you can still work (even - that’s reduced to 10 percent to a small extent) and then what your expenses are and there’s Centrelink, but the full think of them critically. What among those already retired. On the expenses front, the pension roughly equates to the are you spending now and how numbers aren’t any better. 28 poverty line and who wants to much of those expenses will you have at your retirement. percent of pre-retirees expect go there? when times two are There You will probably have more still to be borrowing whereas 51 percent of retirees have people should be looking to than you think. Get professional. This is retired with debt. That’s a lot plan for retirement. Starting in You important. more debt, and the cost of the low-to-mid-20’s is probably critically passed you’ve If time. best the and ed qualifi educated, need that is substantial. 30 percent expect to be supporting others. that age, then the next best time impartial and trusted advice, The truth is that 45 percent are is today. Like all things of an even from a number of sources.

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You need to know the pitfalls, the possibilities and the methods to get you to a better place in your retirement, one that you can enjoy. And be prepared for the unexpected. We can never be sure of what’s around the corner and what the world may be like when you get to your retirement age. There will be shocks along the way. Be prepared and have a plan that lets you get through these, and leaves your retirement intact. In a future article I’ll discuss various things that may help people do better all the way through to retirement. This article is based on “The Future of Retirement: Generations and Journeys”, published by HSBC in Australia, November 2016. • This report is intended to provide general advice. In preparing this advice, David Wells and Shaw and Partners did not take into account the investment objective, the financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you need to consider, with or without the assistance of an adviser, whether the advice is appropriate in light of your particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances.

Rising pastoral worker deaths are distressing CATHOLIC Mission has described a report claiming that 28 pastoral workers were killed in 2016 in the line of duty, the highest number reported since 2009, as “distressing”. The annual report, released by Agenzia Fides, suggests a rise in the number of pastoral

workers, priests, religious men and women, and lay Catholics killed worldwide, which in 2015 stood at 22. Last year’s figure includes 14 priests, nine religious women, four lay people and a seminarian. Once again, the most prolific

number of killings occurred in the United States, where 12 pastoral workers died violently. National director of Catholic Mission Fr Brian Lucas said the report was concerning and reflected increasing levels of global persecution against Christians.

Everyone should have right not to back same-sex marriage ALL members of religious groups deserve the right to not participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies if they hold a traditional view of marriage, according to an Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference submission to the Senate. The Senate has established a select committee to examine draft exemptions for ministers of religion, marriage celebrants and religious groups so they do not have to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies, should the law be changed. Chair of the ACBC Commission for Family. Youth and Life Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP said changing the definition of marriage would have an impact on all the members of the Catholic Church. “Perhaps the most significant impact would be on ordinary parishioners trying to live their Catholic faith in their daily lives. “So while the ACBC appreciates the basic protections offered, it must acknowledge that there are no

protections offered for the vast majority of the faithful who wish to continue to practise their beliefs.” People should be free to decline to endorse by participation, activities or ceremonies that were contrary to their beliefs. “For example, people may decline to involve their businesses in activities that they consider may be harmful to the community or which may be harmful to the environment. Likewise, in the case of same-sex marriage, people with conscientious objection should be free to decline to be involved, including where their business is approached to provide services. “The point at issue when services are declined is not the sexual orientation of the person involved: Christians and their businesses serve people of all backgrounds without question every day. “The issue is whether they wish to endorse someone else's activity or belief by providing marriage counselling and preparation, a wedding

“It is certainly distressing to see a seven-year high in the number of pastoral workers killed worldwide, although it is perhaps not surprising,” he said. “Once again, this report serves as a reminder of the great sacrifices made by men and women all around the world in their mission of sharing the message and love of Jesus, and promoting good in their communities. Sometimes, sadly, it is the ultimate sacrifice that they make.” While attempted robbery was the motivating factor in the majority of the killings, many of the priests, religious sisters and

lay people were outspoken on matters of injustice, corruption and poverty in the name of the Gospel, according to Agenzia Fides. The Vatican-based Catholic news agency claims that “hardly any” of the investigations into the killings led to convictions or even charges against their perpetrators, let alone uncovering the reasons for the crimes. Fr Lucas called for prayers for all missionaries around the world, especially those killed during the past year and those at risk of violence and persecution.

Archbishop Fisher reception venue, or some other support for a samesex 'wedding' ceremony or celebration.” Archbishop Fisher said that if religious liberty was not given greater support than the minimal exemptions allowed, any redefinition of marriage in law was very likely to infringe upon the right of faith-based schools to choose staff that accord with their beliefs and mission and upon the right of parents and families to choose a school that accords with their beliefs and best suits their child. A copy of the full submission is available at www.catholic. org.au.

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Page 12 - Catholic Life, February 2017

Vanuatu voices entertain KOO WEE RUP - The melodic voices of the local seasonal workers from Vanuatu have become well known throughout the area They come together to harmonise with each other socially and also attending local churches where possible, to share their wonderful expression of faith through song. These fellows, some with wives and young children, leave their homes and families in Vanuatu to work here throughout the asparagus season, in order to earn wages that are otherwise inaccessible for them. You may have seen then working in the asparagus fields or on one of their regular visits into Koo Wee Rup or Pakenham

Quick calendar

What’s on & when FEBRUARY 19 – Centenary of Maffra Catholic presbytery, 9am Mass, barbecue lunch 12.30pm 22 - Chair of St Peter the Apostle Feast Day 28 - Shrove Tuesday 28 – Project Compassion launch, Our Lady of Sion chapel, Catholic College Sale, 11am

MARCH THE Vanuatu men prepare to sing at Tooradin. to shop. Some of the men sang at the

VANUATU faces dominate the crowd at Koo Wee Rup.

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St Nicholas Mass in Tooradin in December and entertained further, following Mass. The following week they also sang at St John the Baptist Church, Koo Wee Rup. They then sang further after Mass to the delight of the parishioners who were absolutely mesmerised by their beautiful voices and calling for encores. The men put on a concert before Christmas at the Koo Wee Rup Community Centre in appreciation of the work and hospitality afforded to them whilst in the area. About 300 Vanuatu men performed in groups of 5-20 and were welcomed with open hearts by the local community. Lunch and afternoon tea was provided by the farmers. The Vanuatu men have since returned back to their homes with perhaps 20 remaining to continue working on some fields. The asparagus growers are very appreciative of the wonderful work that they do and look forward to welcoming them back in August for the next asparagus season.

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THE new Bishop of Lismore in northern NSW, will be ordained on February 28. He is Fr Greg Homeming OCD, a Carmelite priest, and first Chinese-Australian to be elevated to bishop. He was born in Sydney and was a lawyer before joining the Discalced Carmelites in 1985. After attending seminary in Melbourne he was ordained a priest in 1991. Bishop-elect Homeming is a popular leader of retreats and has been Provincial of the Carmelites.

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Catholic Life 5622 6688 Note: Office will be closed until January 23

1 - Ash Wednesday, beginning of Lent 1 – Launch of Project Compassion appeal 2 – Caritas leadership day at Catholic College Sale 5 – Healing Mass, St Mary’s Cathedral, Sale. 10am adoration and confession, 11am Mass 5 – Rite of election. St Mary’s Cathedral, Sale, 3pm 12 – Stony Creek Cup 13 - Labor Day public holiday 14 – Just Leadership Day at Mary MacKillop Primary, Narre Warren North 17 - St Patrick’s Day 20 - Solemnity of St Joseph 25 – Annunciation 31 – Term 1 ends

APRIL 9 - Palm Sunday 10 – Annual Serra Golf Day at Sale Golf Club, Longford 11 – Mass of the Oils, St Mary’s Cathedral 14 - Good Friday 14 – Special collection all parishes for upkeep of Holy Places 15 - Holy Saturday 15 – Public Holiday (shops may be closed) 16 - Easter Sunday 17 – Easter Monday Public Holiday 17 – Deadline for April Catholic Life 18 – Term 2 begins 23 - Divine Mercy Sunday 23 – Special collection all parishes for Military Ordinariate 25 - Anzac Day public holiday 26 - Feast of St Mark the Evangelist 26 – April Catholic Life published 29 - St Catherine of Siena Memorial

MAY Annual appeal month for Trinity Families, the Sale Diocese charitable fund 3 - Feast of St Philip and James, Apostles 4-11 – Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference plenary session, Sydney 7 – Good Shepherd Sunday 7 – Special collection all parishes for Education of Seminarians Bursary Fund 10 – 130th anniversary of Diocese of Sale

13 - Our Lady of Fatima Day 14 – Mother’s Day 24 - Solemnity of Our Lady Help of Christians, Patron of Australia 28 - The Ascension 31 - Feast of the Visitation

JUNE 4 - Pentecost Sunday 5 – Deadline for June Catholic Life 11 - Holy Trinity Sunday 12 - Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday 14 – Catholic Life published 18 - Body and Blood of Christ 23 - Sacred Heart of Jesus 24-25 – Annual collection all parishes for St Vincent de Paul Society support of the poor 29 - Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul, Apostles 30 – Term 2 ends

JULY 2 – Special collection all parishes for Peter’s Pence 2-8 – NAIDOC Week 3 - Feast of St Thomas, Apostle 17 – Term 3 begins 22 - St Mary Magdalene Solemnity 23-29 – Catholic Education Week (TBC) 25 - Feast of St James, Apostle

AUGUST A special collection will be taken up in all parishes during August for CatholicCare Gippsland 6 - The Transfiguration 7 – Deadline for August Catholic Life 8 - Solemnity of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop 10 - Feast of St Lawrence 11 - St Clare Memorial 15 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 16 – Catholic Life published 22 - Queenship of BVM 23 - St Rose of Lima Memorial 24 - Feast of St Bartholomew, Apostle 28 - St Augustine Memorial

SEPTEMBER 2 – Ordination to diaconate of seminarians Avinash George and Hiep Nguyen, St Mary’s Cathedral, Sale 3 – Father’s Day 3 - Special collection all parishes for Priests’ Welfare Foundation 8 - Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 14 - Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross 15 - Our Lady of Sorrows Memorial 21 - Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist 22 – Term 3 ends 23 - St Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) Memorial 27 - St Vincent de Paul Memorial


Catholic Life, February 2017 - Page 13

world news ...

world news ...

ACN helping a rapidly growing African Church “IT is night time in Africa. I am flying through the night from Rome to Africa. The flight takes six hours.” This comment is dated April 1965 and recorded in the book Where God Weeps by its author, Fr Werenfried van Straaten, the founder of the Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need. In it he records the moments leading up to his arrival in the capital of what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This first visit of his to the African continent lasted just nine days during which, in addition to visiting Kinshasa, he also went to Kivu, Isiro and Kisangani. On his return he described the stages of his journey as “the stations on the Way of the Cross”. Following that first visit, there were to be five more journeys to Africa between September 1968 and the end of the 1980s, during which the man known to many as the Bacon Priest was able to witness first-hand the sufferings of the continent and the poverty of the Church there.

this Dutch Norbertine priest to help those most in need led him, around the middle of last century, to establish the charity Aid to the Church in Need in order to support evangelisation and the pastoral work of the Church. Created initially as a Public Association of the faithful, it was raised to the rank of a Pontifical Foundation in December 2011. ACN was born in 1947, just after the end of the Second World War, initially to help the uprooted Catholic communities in Germany, expelled from Eastern Europe. Later it extended its goals to embrace other places, other continents, other challenges. Gradually, the primary motivation of helping those persecuted for their faith, as was habitually the case in the communist countries beyond the Iron Curtain, ceased to be the sole and overriding reason for its work. In other countries and other continents, the Church was suffering other forms of poverty and marginalisation, suffering which also required

ACN recently assisted priests and catechists with motor cycles and bikes for the large parish of St Augustin de Poko in the Democratic Republic of Congo © Aid to the Church in Need

same time also a season of sowing the seed, so that a truly local Church could spring up, alongside Islam and the traditional African religions.

Projects and initiatives From those earliest aid projects and up to the present day, there have been thousands of initiatives funded by ACN on this continent. In 2016 alone a total of 1800 projects were supported and over $30 million of aid directed towards Africa. Notable here was the aid for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. According to a report by the charity on its work in Africa last year, “In all the above-mentioned countries the youthful and vital African Catholic Church is in need of our solidarity ... We give priority to the regions of recent evangelisation and those places where the local church is less well established.” As an organisation whose main aim is to support the most needy, ACN helps in various ways – through Mass offerings to support priests in need, pastoral projects, construction projects, training programmes for pastoral workers, motor vehicles, support for the life and ministry of priests and religious communities, religious literature and the communications media – by order of importance in terms of the number of projects approved. The aid requests from Africa have also revealed a picture of a local Church that is assuming a character of its own and which is in need of help to build or renew its infrastructure. The Church in Africa has grown rapidly in the past half-century – and with it so have its needs.

Climate and war At the same time he was able to appreciate the work that needed to be done by the Church in Africa and the aid that ACN could give on that journey. “There is a task to be done here by our charity”, he wrote. “Not only must we help the devastated dioceses … to rebuild, spiritually and materially; but we must above all invest our love, money and ideas in the formation of lay leaders trained in the pastoral apostolate.” At the time he was referring here in particular to the Church in the former Belgian Congo, but his words could equally be applied to many other parts of the continent. By the time Fr Werenfried arrived in Africa, he already had a profound knowledge of the sufferings of the Church all over the world. The commitment of

an appropriate response. In this context, Africa, with its wealth of different languages, cultures, traditions and peoples, combined with its political instability and its marked social inequalities, came to be a major challenge for ACN. The involvement of the charity in Africa followed close on the heels of the phase of decolonisation and coincided with a burgeoning nationalist sentiment that was taking root among peoples who had formerly looked towards the colonial powers as their main point of reference. In the ecclesial field it coincided with broad areas of primary evangelisation, linked to communities where foreign missionaries had carried out an intensive, though still unfinished labour. It was a moment of the birth of new countries, but at the

ACN is conscious of the fact that a considerable proportion of the Church infrastructure on this continent was built 40, 60, 80 or even more years ago by European missionaries and is now beginning to show clear signs of deterioration, owing to the passage of time and the inclemency of the African climate. Quite apart from the climatic factors, the armed conflicts on much of the continent have also taken a toll, directly or indirectly, on the churches, convents and other religious buildings so necessary to the local communities. Angola is an obvious example here, having suffered a protracted civil war ever since the end of colonial rule. Looking at recent photographs of some of the Angolan churches, you might be forgiven for thinking that the war had ended only yesterday.

CHILDREN in the Diocese of Torit in South Sudan with copies of the Child’s Bible distributed by ACN © Aid to the Church in Need The early contacts of the founder of ACN with the reality of Africa led quickly to the establishment of a special section for the continent within the international administrative headquarters of the charity in Königstein, Germany. That original section has now become three separate sections, which each section dealing with the various countries of the continent according to linguistic, geographical and historical criteria. One of the most important factors, albeit with certain local variations, is the concern for the promotion and support of priestly vocations, which have been growing almost exponentially in some countries in recent years. “Each time there are more seminarians requesting our aid so that they can complete their academic courses”, ACN sources tell us. But this concern and care for vocations also involves a strong focus on the creation of the necessary infrastructure, so that these vocations can reach their fulfilment. There are various initiatives here, such as the construction of new seminaries in Uganda and Angola and

the repair and renovation of other major seminaries in Madagascar, Tanzania, Guinea Conakry and the Central African Republic. A pastoral and humanitarian mission ACN has always been ready to provide emergency humanitarian aid in the event of natural disasters or armed conflicts. Hence, as the charity itself states, “All our projects in Africa, including those of a strictly pastoral nature, also include a humanitarian dimension. These two aspects are inseparable in Africa.” In fact two of the most recent projects have involved aid for refugee camps in Malakal, South Sudan, and for uprooted refugee families from Burundi who have sought shelter in Tanzania. ACN attends to the pastoral needs of the Church while still remaining close to those in need. It is a path that ACN has followed and continues to follow, now more than half a century on from that day when a Dutch priest, on a flight from Rome to Kinshasa, described what he could see through the window of his plane.

Mission to Medjugore VATICAN City.- Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser of WarszawaPraga as a delegate of the Holy See to look into the pastoral situation at Medjugore, the site of alleged Marian apparitions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “The mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there and above all, of the needs of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage, and on the basis of this, to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future,” stated a February 11 communique from the Vatican Secretariat of State. “The mission will therefore have an exclusively pastoral character,” it added. Greg Burke, the Holy See

press officer said “The special envoy won’t enter into the substance of the Marian apparitions, which is a doctrinal question in the competency of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” The alleged apparitions originally began June 24, 1981, when six children in Medjugorje, a town in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina, began to experience phenomena which they have claimed to be apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to these six “seers,” the apparitions contained a message of peace for the world, a call to conversion, prayer and fasting, as well as certain secrets surrounding events to be fulfilled in the future.


Page 14 - Catholic Life, February 2017

For the Young and Young at Heart Colour in rafting adventure

Time for a laugh Q: What is the difference between a cat and a comma? A: One has claws at the end of its paws and the other is a pause at the end of a clause. A BUS full of ugly people had a head on collision with a truck. When they died, God granted all of them one wish. The first person said, “I want to be gorgeous.” God snapped his fingers and it happened. The second person said the same thing and God did the same thing. This went on and on throughout the group. God noticed the last man in line was laughing hysterically. By the time God got to the last 10 people, the last man was laughing and rolling on the ground. When the man’s turn came, he laughed and said, “I wish they were all ugly again.”

to panda, “A tree climbing mammal of Asian origin, characterised by distinct black and white coloring. Eats, shoots, and leaves.” AN old man goes to a church, and is making a confession: Man: “Father, I am 75 years old. I was married for 50 years until my wife died and now I have an 18-yearold girlfriend.” Father: “When was the last time you made a confession?” Man: “I never have, I am Jewish.” Father: “Then why are telling me all this?” Man: “I’m telling everybody!”

A THIEF stuck a pistol in a man’s ribs and said, “Give me your money.” The man, shocked by the sudden attack, said, “You cannot do this, I’m the Premier!” TWO men are walking through a The thief replied, “In that case, give game park and they come across a me MY money!” lion that has not eaten for days. The lion starts chasing the two A HUSBAND and wife are in men. They run as fast as they can and church. The priest notices that the the one guy starts getting tired and husband has fallen asleep and says to decides to say a prayer, “Please turn the wife, “Wake your husband up!” this lion into a Christian, Lord.” The wife answers, “You’re the one He looks to see if the lion is still who made him fall asleep, you wake chasing and he sees the lion on him up!” its knees. Happy to see his prayer answered, he turns around and heads A DENTIST told a mother, “I’m towards the lion. sorry madam, but I’ll have to charge As he comes closer to the lion, you a $400 for pulling your boy’s he hears it saying a prayer: “Thank THESE two children are having fun on a home made raft but they bhave you Lord for the food I am about to tooth.” The mother exclaimed, “$400! You forgotten to wear lifejackets. Colour in the picture. receive.” said it was only $100!” “Yes,” replied the dentist, “but he A PANDA walks into a bar, sits yelled so loudly that he scared three down, and orders a sandwich. He SPIRAL staircases in mediaeval warn others of their approach. other patients out of the waiting eats, pulls out a gun, and shoots the castles run clockwise. As soldiers room.” would be right handed, invaders THE first computer was actually waiter dead. As the panda stands up to go, the climbing the stairs would be built in 1823. The stream-driven TEACHER: “Johnny, if Pete gave bartender shouts, “Hey! Where are a disadvantage because their calculating machine built by Charles you a cat and Jane gave you two cats, swordhand would be hemmed in Babbage failed to work because of you going? You just shot my waiter how many cats would you have?” against the internal wall. Defenders poor workmanship in construction and you didn’t pay for the food!” Johnny: “Four” The panda yells back, “Hey man, would have their sword hands of intricate parts. When rebuilt by Teacher: “How did you figure that against the outer wall with much the Science Museum of London in I’m a panda. Look it up!” out?” The bartender opens his dictionary more freedom to strike down 1991 it worked. Imagine the world Johnny: “I already have a cat!” invaders. Why not have special left- today if we had computers a century handed knights? Left handed people earlier. were considered to be descendants of the devil and could never become ST John is the only one of the knights. The word ‘sinister’ with all 12 Apostles to have died a natural its nasty overtones, actually means death. ‘left’. IF heart disease, cancer and THE sport with the highest ratio diabetes were eliminated the life of officials to players is professional expectancy for men and women tennis. A singles match could have would be over 100 years. 10 linesmen, a foot fault umpire, net umpire and the match referee and The combination –ough can be six ballboys/girls. And in five set pronounced nine different ways. men’s matches in hot weather the The following sentence contains ballboys often change after three them all. A rough-coated, doughsets, meaning there are another six faced, thoughtful ploughman strode on standby. through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough (deep mud), X-RAYS have revealed there are he coughed and hiccoughed (usually three versions of the Mona Lisa spelt ‘hiccupped’ nowadays).” under the visible one. THE 100 Years War between THE first bicycle was introduced England and France lasted 116 to British roads in 1888 but the rider years. had to ring a bell continuously to

A little trivia for you

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Catholic Life, February 2017 - Page 15

Oblates retain trophy

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HOLY SPIRIT You who makes me see everything and shows me the way to reach my ideals, you who gives me a divine gift to forgive and forget the wrong that is done to me; in this short dialogue I want to thank you for everything and affirm once more that I never want to be separated from you, no matter how great the material desire may be. I want to be with you and my loved ones in Your perpetual Glory. (Mention your request). Thank you Holy Spirit for your love towards me and my loved one. Amen This prayer should be said for 3 consecutive days. After the 3rd day the request will be granted, no matter how difficult it may be. While making the request one must either promise to publish on granting the favour or promise to circulate copies of it to as many people as possible. This is to spread the wonder of the Holy Spirit.

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THE Moe Oblate Community hosted the 41st annual Fr Felix Gavin OMI Golf day on January 10. A depleted, but enthusiastic, field of golfers accepted the challenge of the Trafalgar Golf Course for the annual Plate. Following the golf the annual Oblate dinner was held in Oblate Hall, St Kieran’s, Moe, where 17 priests attended from the Diocese of Sale, the Oblates and further afield to enjoy each other’s company, enjoy a meal and eagerly wait for Fr Harry Dyer OMI to announce the 2017 winners. It was with great joy that Fr Dyer was able to announce that the Oblates had regained the Plate after an absence of two years with Fr Michael McMahon OMI being the Plate winner. Results: Oblate Trophy: Fr Michael McMahon OMI, Mazenod, WA, 1; Fr Peter Slater, Warragul, 2; Fr William Ousley OMI, Sorrento, 3. Stableford event: Fr John Treacy, Melbourne, 1; Fr Herman Hengel, Warragul, 2; Fr John McGinty OMI, Springvale North, 3. Nearest the Pin – 2nd Hole: Fr Michael McMahon OMI. 5th Hole: Fr William Ousley OMI. Longest Drive - 18th Hole: Fr Michael McMahon OMI. PICTURED above: MoeNewborough parish priest Fr Harry Dyer OMI, (second from left) presents Plate winner Michael McMahon OMI with the trophy, watched by Sale Vicar General Fr Peter Slater (left) and Fr William Ousley OMI.

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Page 16 - Catholic Life, February 2017

Exciting milestone for Foundation students TRARALGON - St Michael’s Primary School came to life again for the beginning of the 2017 school year. The school was abuzz with the sounds of excitement, conversation, laughter and anticipation. The day was an exciting milestone for all the school’s new Foundation (prep) children who arrived at school with their new uniforms, shiny shoes and full school bags. This year the school community also welcomed Foundation teacher, Madeleine

Telling and support staff, Dimple Prajapati, Amanda Reid, Catherine Taylor, Ruth Buckley and Kelly Clegg. The first day of school is an important stepping stone in the lives of beginners and their parents. It is a busy and exciting time for not only the Foundation students but also their teachers, Mrs Scholtes, Miss Wilson and Miss Telling. This is the beginning of a partnership between St Michael’s and the new students and their families as they begin their journey of Learning for

Life. When asked about their first day at school, students, Brodie said, I liked it because it’s bigger than my old school.” Amelie answered, “I liked drawing my dog, Monty.” Sienna replied, “I liked the teachers telling me things to learn.” School principal Cathy Blackford said, “The students all had a great start to the school year; it was wonderful to see them so excited and ready to learn.”

XAVIER, Jye and Pheobe writing their names.

Homeless should not be vilified

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CATHOLIC Social Service Victoria believes we need to focus on the availability of safe, affordable and secure housing, rather than vilify people who don’t have adequate access to housing. Executive director Denis Fitzgerald said many of these people needed a safe, affordable home in a friendly community, and some needed decent regular work. Others need specialist attention and should not be talked about as rubbish that needs to be ‘cleaned out’. He said comment and media coverage of rough sleepers in Melbourne had tended to focus on the short term. The Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle had banned sleeping rough in City of Melbourne and Victoria Police’s Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton was accusing Melbourne CBD rough sleepers of pretending to be homeless. Mr Fitzgerald said that in response, leaders of 36 Victorian homelessness, housing and social services organisations had released an open letter appealing for a shift in the conversation away from vilifying rough sleepers to a focus on the lack of affordable housing that underpins the crisis. These included member organisations of Catholic Social Services Victoria such as Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand; Jesuit Social Services; McAuley Community Services for Women; Sacred Heart Mission; and VincentCare. According to Homelessness Australia, Victorians become homeless because of: financial difficulties (housing stress, unemployment - 22 percent), accommodation issues (housing crisis, inadequate or inappropriate dwellings - 29 percent), relationship issues (time out from family, family breakdown, violence and assault - 33 percent), health reasons (mental health issues, substance abuse issues - 3 percent) and other issues like transition from care/custody, lack of support and discrimination - 14 percent). He said local, State and Commonwealth governments needed a strategy to combat this crisis. The Victorian Government

had committed more than $600 million to social housing and homelessness support largely in response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence but we were still awaiting the Victorian affordable housing strategy. Mr Fitzgerald said the Federal Government was a long way from having a plan to tackle this problem. Meanwhile, those on lowest incomes were being pursued by automated Centrelink debt notices, reducing their already meagre incomes. This would inevitably increase homelessness. “It’s not just government and community organisations that need to work together. Public opinion appears to have hardened in recent times. Recent statements by leaders and the media are only making matters worse. “Instead, Victorians need to come together and recognise that homelessness can happen to almost anyone, and work towards building community and more places to live for our fellow Australians.”

Prison chaplain’s OAM award A GOOD Samaritan Sister who has spent the last 22 years in prison chaplaincy in Victoria was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honors. Sr Mary O’Shannassy is well known in this diocese for her work at Fulham Correctional Centre near Sale. She oversees a network of volunteers who visit prisoners and their families. Sr Mary is director of Catholic Prison Ministry Victoria which works in the 12 men’s prisons and two women’s prisons and she also has a wider role in being a member of an advisory body for Corrections Victoria. The OAM awarded to her was for service to the community through church and social welfare bodies. She has previously being presented with an International Women’s Day Award for services to prison ministry.


Catholic life feb17