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20 May, 2018 | $2


FILLING THE GAPS with the Brown Nurses


Retreats 2018 Magazine


Calling all men - especially dads

Sydney archdiocesan Youth director Chris Lee, left, enjoys the moment with Jack Perisa, Robert Falzon, Fr Ken Barker, Ben Galea and Bishop Richard Umbers. All the men pictured are collaborating on the upcoming Be Awake National Mens’ Conference. STORY P 5 PHOTO: GIOVANNI PORTELLI

‘Education funding is illogical’ Clare Communications Co


By Catherine Sheehan THE TURNBULL Government’s new funding model for non-government schools is illogical and unfair, producing “some bizarre conclusions” according to Dallas McInerney (pictured), Chief Executive of Catholic Schools NSW. The Catholic Weekly was provided with the prepared text of Mr McInerney’s speech, Catholic Schools— the education option Australia can’t do without, which he was due to deliver at the Sydney Institute on 15 May. In his speech, Mr McInerney highlighted the flaws in the Government’s methodology which ranks schools according to socio-economic status (SES), based on where students live, and parent’s household income and education level. The higher its SES score the less Government funding a school receives. Mr McInerney pointed out that such

an approach leads to some unfair outcomes such as giving more Government funding to the prestigious King’s School in Parramatta, while giving less to low-fee Catholic primary schools. According to the Government’s ranking system The King’s School has an SES score of 116 and therefore receives base funding of $5,400 per primary school student, while charging parents fees of $28,700. Meanwhile, St Joseph’s Primary School in Oatley, with an SES score of 117, attracts base funding of $5,115 per student, while charging parents $1,800 in fees. St Brendan’s Primary in Annandale has an SES of 126 and receives only $2,191 in funding per student. “All up, there are 63 low-fee, suburban and regional Catholic schools in NSW and ACT that have been given a higher SES score than The King’s CONTINUED P2


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THE CATHOLIC WEEKLY Our story begins in 1839 with the Australasian Chronicle, continuing with the Freeman’s Journal in 1850 | Level 8, Polding Centre, 133 Liverpool Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 Phone. (02) 9390 5400 | Vol 73, No 5032 The Catholic Weekly is published by The Catholic Weekly is printed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney ABN 60 471 267 587 and is printed by Fairfax Media Print & Logistics, 159 Bells Line of Road, North Richmond NSW.

‘Schools funding illogical’ FROM P1 School,” Mr McInerney asserted. “The Government’s policy deems that parents in these schools can afford to pay the difference that’s needed to bring school resourcing up to a base target of almost $11,000 per year, per student for all primary schools.” In a separate interview with The Catholic Weekly, Mr McInerney stressed the danger the funding model poses to the Catholic tradition of providing affordable education. “There are elements of the deal which present significant challenges to the traditions of Catholic schools. Our ability to have affordable, low-fee Catholic schools spread

right throughout Australia—there are some mechanics of the funding formula which when applied to our sector really challenge our ability to do just that.” He pointed to the Church’s long history of providing education to the disadvantaged. “The Church went where no one was interested in going before Federation. Mary MacKillop was the exemplar of this. They went beyond the cities, and, absent of any form of government and due to their own work and effort, they built a network of schools across the country which otherwise would not have been built.” Mr McInerney also said the contribution

Bizarre SES outcomes School funding outcomes that don’t make sense

The federal government’s socio-economic status (or SES) score methodology attempts to assess parents’ income and their capacity to contribute to the cost of their children’s education.

The King’s School has an SES score of 116, which means it receives base funding of $5,400 per primary school student and $5,463 per secondary student. It charged average fees of $28,700 in 2016.

It ranks schools on a scale from 60 to 140. The higher the SES score, the higher the capacity of parents to contribute is deemed to be - and therefore the lower the government’s funding support for that school.

St Joseph’s Catholic primary school at Oatley was assigned an SES score of 117 – higher than both Trinity Grammar and King’s - so it attracts less government funding per student $5,115 per student (2016 fees: $1800).

Trinity Grammar – a K-12 independent school in Summer Hill that charged average fees of about $24,000 a year in 2016 - has an SES score of 114. The methodology says it needs base government funding of $5,969 per primary student per year and $6,070 per secondary student (before additional funding for any student disadvantage).

There are 63 low fee, suburban and regional Catholic schools in NSW and the ACT that have been given a higher SES score than The King’s School.

The Government’s policy deems that the parents in these schools can afford to pay the difference that’s needed to bring school resourcing up to a base target of almost $11,000 per year, per student for all primary schools.

St Gerard’s primary school in Carlingford was assigned an SES of 118. It attracts $4,830 per student (2016 fees: $2900). St Brendan’s Primary school at Annandale received an SES score of 126. It attracts only $2,191 per student (fees: $2490).

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In other words, the funding methodology expects the parents at St Brendan’s Annandale to be able to pay almost $8,800 per year in fees for each of their children to attend primary school from Kindergarten onwards - a fee level which totally affronts the mission of Catholic schools.


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of Catholic education to Australia as a nation goes far beyond scholastic concerns. “We are following in the footsteps of Christ and we went where the marginalised and displaced were, long before more modern approaches to inclusiveness emerged. So we don’t need to be told how to do this stuff essentially.” In his speech to the Sydney Institute, Mr McInerney said that while the Government’s decision to review its SES methodology is “a good thing,” other aspects would remain a point of contention for Catholic schools. “We stand ready to engage the Government on these matters,” he said.



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Nurses fill gaps in life on Struggle St

In Brief

Adoration under the stars: you’re invited Campion College will be hosting Adoration under the Stars on the campus lawn on Friday 27 May; an event popular among Sydney’s Catholic youth. The college chaplaincy invites everyone, young and old alike, to join in praise and worship. Participation is free. The event commences at 7:00pm with rosary in the college chapel which will then proceed to a talk by Father Benedict Mackenzie on the Rosary. Adoration will follow at 7:45 and conclude with Benediction at 8:45. Priests will be available to hear confessions through the night. Light supper will be provided afterwards.

Sydney appoints new Director of Fundraising

Brown Nurse Mary enjoys a chat with Waterloo’s happiest man, Eugene, as his dog Pat inspects The Catholic Weekly’s photographer.


Sydney’s Catholics mourn victims By MArilyn Rodrigues SYDNEY’S INDONESIAN Catholic community is in “deep sorrow” after terrorist attacks on three Indonesian churches on Mother’s Day, and angry that innocent children were used as suicide bombers, says its chaplain. Indonesian-born Fr Petrus Suroto MSC, said that the attacks on the churches in Surabaya, the county’s second-largest city on Mother’s Day, was “unimaginable”. “We feel the pain because a member of our Catholic Indonesian community has a relative who died as a victim of the bombings”, he said. “But we have to combat the terrorist agenda in the spirit of love.” He paid tribute to one of the casualties, Aloysius Bayu Resha Wardhana, a young father who tried to stop suicide bombers from entering the Santa Maria Catholic Church. “Because of his heroic action the bomb didn’t explode inside the church, which would have led to many more victims. “He gave his life to save many people.” As The Catholic Weekly was going to press a Mass was being planned at

Our Lady of the Rosary at Kensington for Wednesday at 7pm with up to 200 people of the Indonesian community across Sydney expected to attend. The Mass was to be offered for the repose of the souls of the victims and also for peace and unity in Indonesia, with a collection taken up to support injured victims and affected families in Surabaya. Parish priest Fr Aloysius Lamere MSC said that 40 per cent of the Kensington parish is Indonesian-Australian and many come from Surabaya. “This has happened at a time when we are trying to develop tolerance and solidarity and good relationships between the religions in Indonesia.” Six people from the one family were responsible for the attacks which left 14 people dead and dozens injured. Dita Oepriarto, 46, and Puji Kuswati,, 42, their two daughters aged 12 and 8, and sons 18 and 16, set off bombs at three churches. The first attack was carried out by the couple’s sons, 18 and 16, in the parking lot of the Santa Maria Catholic Church.

Legendary documentary maker loves his subject Pope Francis, the subject of a new documentary by German filmmaker Wim Wenders, is “the most fearless man I ever met,” the director said in a segment of the US current affairs program 60 Minutes that aired on 13 May. “Fearless?” asked correspondent Jon Wertheim. Wenders replied, “Fearless. And he is not influenced by polls or whatever. I don’t think he would ever consider any public opinion over something he means and he’s convinced of. He’s totally fearless. Because he has a lot of opposition.” Wertheim asked, “Do you think he’s aware of that?” Wenders answered, “I think he’s totally aware of that.” The program included excerpts from Wenders’ new movie, Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, which made its world premiere on 13 May at the Cannes Film Festival in France. In one excerpt, Pope Francis comments on the rush of everyday life. “We live with the accelerator down from morning to night,” the pope declares. “This ruins mental health, spiritual health and physical health. More so: It affects and destroys the family. And therefore society.” - CNS

The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

The other family members detonated bombs at the nearby Diponegoro Indonesian Christian and Surabaya Central Pentecost churches. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has slammed the attacks as “the act of cowards, undignified and barbaric.” Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the “brutal, inhumane, blasphemous, sickeningly cruel” attacks are a “reminder that these terrorists have got nothing to do with God. They are not defending Islam,” he told a Melbourne radio station.

“They are, as President Widodo of Indonesia said, blaspheming it and defaming it, and I just want to express again our condolences to all of the victims and families of the victims in Surabaya, and repeat again our solidarity and support for President Widodo in standing up to terrorism in his country.” Pope Francis said he was praying for all those affected by the “serious attack against places of worship” and for the violence to stop. He asked that “everyone find room in their heart for feelings – not of hatred and violence – but of reconciliation and fraternity.”

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The Archdiocese of Sydney has announced the appointment of Michael Mendieta (pictured) as the new Director of Fundraising for the archdiocese. His appointment follows the retirement of Chris Herron last month. Mr Mendieta has worked at a Director level for the last five years, across fundraising strategy, development and marketing, in higher education, social services and religious based areas. He joins the Archdiocese of Sydney from the Diocese of Parramatta where he has been the Director of Fundraising since 2016. He holds a Bachelor degree in the Liberal Arts and a Master of Business Administration. Welcoming him to the Archdiocese of Sydney, Archdiocesan Business Manager Michael Digges said Mr Mendieta’s fundraising experience and skills would be “an asset to the Fundraising office and continue to build on the great work of the team.”

Two Jesuits to be ordained to priesthood in June Two Jesuit deacons will be ordained to the priesthood in at St Mary’s North Sydney on 16 June. Deacons Nico Lariosa (at left) and Alan Wong (below) both entered the Society in 2007. Deacon Nico is a teacher at St Aloysius’ College, while Deacon Alan is a Sydney native and former St Aloysius’ student. Their ordination Mass will take place on at 11am. Deacon Nico was 12 when he entered the minor seminary in Tabaco City in the Philippines. It was there that he first heard about the Jesuits, and was attracted to their spirituality and approach to ministry. After joining the Society, he studied theology in Melbourne, then secondary education teaching at ACU in Sydney. While in Sydney, he did a teaching regency at St Aloysius’ College, Milsons Point, then headed to Boston to complete his theology and prepare for ordination. Deacon Alan first undertook his novitiate, philosophy and Chinese language studies before embarking on his Regency work at a Jesuit high school in Hong Kong. He has been studying at Boston College in the US for the last three years, but the call to be a missionary has stayed with him. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Ignatian expert dies, 87 American Jesuit Father Howard Gray, an internationally known scholar on Ignatian spirituality, died on 7 May in a car accident in Michigan. The 87-year-old priest conducted retreats around the world, helping people encounter Jesus through the Eucharist and the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. 3

| News In Brief

Liverpool parish wants you for huge morning tea All Saints Catholic Parish, Liverpool, will be participating in Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea in support of the Cancer Council. All are invited to attend. Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea supports a worthy cause in the Cancer Council; an organisation focused on research to cure cancer as well as supporting families and individuals affected by the illness. The event will be held on Wednesday 23 May from 10am-1pm in the All Saints Church Hall. In attendance will be the Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, Tony Randazzo, as well as the Mayor of Liverpool, Mary Waller. The parish is looking for people to contribute to the event with cakes to sell as well as the donation of prizes for raffles held on the day. If you are willing and able to contribute please contact the Parish Office during office hours Monday to Friday 9am-1pm/2pm-4pm at: 02 9602 8466.

Arcadian Benedictines to host meditation day Is daily life wearing you down? Saint Benedict’s Monastery, Arcadia, will be hosting an Introduction to Meditation and Renewal Day on 22 May starting at 10am. There is no cost and registration can be done on the day. Donations to the monastery are welcome. BYO picnic lunch. Tea and biscuits provided. For more information phone (02) 9456 4775 or email either or

Humanae Vitae talks to celebrate heroic encyclical Chris Gordon from Life, Marriage and Family Centre will speak on the topic of Humane Vitae at various locations around Sydney. The talks will specifically revolve around God’s design for human sexuality and how couples can respond to the call of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical. For more information phone (02) 9307 8402 or email

Young professionals invited to Bishop’s Blend Bishop Richard Umbers will be hosting the Bishop’s Blend on Tuesday 22 May at 7:00am at the Radisson Blue Plaza Hotel, Sydney. The Bishop’s Blend is an event opportunity to meet and network with young Catholics over breakfast. For more information and tickets email

All audits ‘will be public’ By Marilyn Rodrigues CHILD SAFETY audits of Catholic entities will be made publicly available following the implementation of national standards later this year, says the head of the Church’s new national safeguarding body, Hon. Geoff Giudice. The Adelaide archdiocese has already participated in the first of four pilot audits of child protection policies and practices by Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL). Speaking to Australia’s Catholic bishops at their biannual plenary council in Sydney on 10 May, the chair of Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL) said that after last

year’s Royal Commission a sustained effort is needed to create and maintain a culture of safety and care for vulnerable people. One of the key challenges for the Church and for CPSL over the next few years will be to maintain the momentum created by the Commission because “evil will always exist”, he said. “Two things in particular flow from this realisation,” he said. “The first is that safeguarding of vulnerable people should be at the forefront of conversations within the Church at all levels and the second, because of the ever-present possibility of abuse and misconduct of other kinds, CPSL will be persistent and uncompromising in implementing

the national standards. “This means our default position is that audit reports will be publicly available and that stronger action could be taken against a Catholic entity which does not comply.” The draft child safeguarding standards have been sent to all Church organisations for comment and are expected to be approved in the coming months. Karen Larkman, director of Sydney archdiocese’s Safeguarding and Ministerial Integrity office, welcomed the work of CPSL and particularly the draft national standards. “We are working with our parishes and agencies to share these standards and provide feedback to CPSL,” she said.

CPSL CEO Sheree Limbrick said that feedback will be sought from church authorities and survivors on auditing processes and enforcement from mid-June. “We will be starting an Australia-wide consultation process where we will visit every state to engage with survivors, family, advocates, religious leaders, educators, social services, disability and children services, government authorities and many others,” she said. Mr Giudice said audit reports, both positive and negative, “will be of great practical and symbolic significance”. For more information or to comment on the draft standards see the website

ing as a result, ACCER explained. Evidence presented in the ACCER submission shows that a full-time job on the national minimum wage in the average two-parent family with children leaves the family in poverty and that the average sole-parent family is left even worse off because

most sole parents have to work parttime. “It is scandalous because Australia can do better and because it is, to a substantial degree, the result of wage decisions of national wage-setting tribunals over the past two decades which have cut the relative wages of

minimum wage-dependent workers.” The ACCER’s submission recommended a significant increase in the minimum wage rates covering lowpaid workers and said any increases endorsed by the Fair Work Commission should disproportionately benefit those on low wages.

Bishops slam national wage minimums as ‘scandalous’ By Catherine Sheehan THE LEVEL and depth of child poverty in working families is scandalous, the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations has told the Fair Work Commission in a submission describing the minimum wage as “manifestly inadequate”. It warned that hundreds of thousands of families are living in or threatened by poverty. The ACCER, the Australian Catholic Bishops’ agency focused on employment matters, told the Commission its view on wage levels is based on Catholic social teaching, which holds that workers “have the right to wages that will support themselves and their families at a decent standard of living”. This is an internationally recognised human right, the ACCER argued, recognised in the minimum wages provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009, under which national minimum wage rates are set. But the national minimum wage is not delivering that standard of living and low-income families are suffer-

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The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

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Conference call goes out to all men By David Ryan TWO OF the largest Catholic men’s groups in Australia, the Young Men of God and MenAlive, will be joining together for the first time in the National Catholic Men’s Conference: Be Awake 2018. The event will take place at the Stanwell Tops Conference Centre from 19-21 October and is supported by the Sydney Archdiocese, represented by Bishop Richard Umbers. The aim of the conference is to encourage the involvement of men in the life of the faith. Contrary to common belief, it is not only the faith of the mother but also the faith of the father that is crucial in passing spiritual practice onto the next generation. In recent decades, many Australian men have assumed that church life and the practice of faith are primarily matters for women and children. However this is not what Christian life is. According to a Swiss longitudinal study, The Demographic Characteristics of the Linguistic and Religious Groups in Switzerland, the religious practice and personal example of a father significantly influences the future religiosity of the children in adult life. The study found a recurring pattern that, when a father does not practice the faith, the chances of the next gen-

In Brief

Tasmanian Benedictines appeal for start-up loans The one-year-old Tasmanian Benedictine Monastery, The Notre Dame Priory, dedicated to Our Lady of Cana, has appealed for donations and loans to aid their purchase of suitable land to start a community modelled on the ancient Rule of Saint Benedict. Father Prior Pius Mary Noonan OSB wrote in the April newsletter that the community needs to raise $3.2m for the purchase of the property. “No doubt the task ahead is massive but the life of the Benedictine is one of frugal living and fruitful labour. With this in mind, any loan would be returned in full ... The contract is subject to finance, and so I invite you to consider making a contribution or a loan,” he wrote. For more information or to contact the Priory visit or email at

Children’s meditation in Pennant Hills

Robert Falzon, left, Ben Galea, Bishop Richard Umbers, Fr Ken Barker MGL, Jack Perisa and Sydney archdiocesan Youth director Chris Lee, left, discuss the conference over coffee. PHOTO: GIOVANNI PORTELLI eration practicing the faith regularly is at approximately 2 per cent – regardless of the faith of the mother. Robert Falzon from the wellknown Catholic mens’ movement

MenAlive, has joined forces with Australian priest Fr Ken Barker, founder of the Missionaries of God’s Love, and Ben Galea from Young Men of God to promote aware-

ness of the upcoming conference. Hundreds are expected to attend. For more information visit either or

Mount Saint Benedict’s Centre in Pennant Hills will be running a Children’s Meditation Workshop on Saturday 19 May from 1:30pm4:30pm for all aged 5-12. The workshop aims to build a healthy body and mind by teaching a variety of simple meditation techniques using breath, visualisation and moving the body in a conscious way. This can help with anxiety. Participation is $30 with BYO afternoon tea. For more information contact or phone (02) 8752 5390.

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Term 2, 2018 12.00pm - 2.30pm Headermaster’s Talk 1pm 855 Old Northern Road, Dural Ph: 9651 0381 The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018


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Small and humble, Catholics still value their media, study finds

Teacher loved her work

THE HUMBLE parish newsletter is still a great source of news and views according to a survey of Australian church-going Catholics. The Australian Catholic media user survey was the first comprehensive survey of people’s experiences of the Catholic media landscape in Australia. It was conducted online from late September to late November 2017 and received more than 1000 responses from people highly engaged with Church life. Seventy eight per cent of respondents said they used parish newsletters, with 59 per cent using websites and 54 per cent email newsletters to get information about Catholic life and faith. Facebook, and print and online newspapers and magazines were also popular. People said they primarily valued their Catholic media because it gives a Catholic perspective (67 per cent) and provides local community or diocesan news (60 per cent). Most said they find it spiritually nourishing and that it provides something that they don’t get elsewhere in Church life. The survey, conducted by the Australian Catholic Media Council (ACMC), “provided strong affirmation for the place of Catholic media in people’s lives and in the life of the Church,” said ACMC chair Debra Vermeer.

By Debbie Cramsie LEIGH EATON’S ability to make every child she taught or came in contact with feel loved, valued and appreciated is what made her such an admired and immensely popular teacher among colleagues and students. The 60-year-old’s sudden death after collapsing while on playground duty at St Joseph’s Riverwood four weeks ago has left the school community in shock. While paramedics were quickly on the scene the mother-of-three couldn’t be revived. Mrs Eaton was this year celebrating 40 years as a teacher, almost half of those at St Joseph’s. Long-time friend and fellow teacher at the school, Sue Neill, said “heart, humility and humour were the very essence of the inspiring teacher”. She said Leigh was all about teaching, she loved her job and every student in her care. “Leigh sought to inspire all her students to be the best they could be and she knew all their little stories,” she said. “When asked about how she balanced teaching and the ever-increasing teacher workload she would always say ‘I’m here for the kids.’ ‘I do it for them’. “She cleverly used singing and

Leigh Eaton, passed away while on playground duty. humour as behaviour management strategies. She was known to often break into song to draw students together, to refocus a rowdy group or diffuse tension. “Leigh ran the school choir for years. She had a ‘come one come all’ approach and no one was ever told they couldn’t join. “Book Week and all the ensuing dress up fun was also a favourite time for Leigh. Students and teachers alike waited with excited antici-


pation to see which character Leigh would portray and she never disappointed.” A St George girl born and bred, who always looked like she’d walked off a catwalk in Paris, Leigh took up her first teacher placement at Koriki near Evans Head before moving back to the city to teach at Erskineville, Waterloo and then finally Riverwood. Husband Tim said seeing her in the classroom made him fall in-

stantly in love with her. He said she “loved to love” and didn’t disappoint throughout their 30 year marriage. “She was a born teacher, when I saw her with the kids I knew immediately I loved her,” he said. “She always said there were no bad kids, the way she had with them was just beautiful. “There was so much to Leigh, she loved her family, music, having a good time, singing, dancing and of course the kids. She also knew how to make, not just her students, but everybody feel good about themselves. Clearly that was one of Leigh’s greatest gifts ... that by her giving, her loving, she made the person she was with feel good about themselves. “Recently Leigh and I estimated there were perhaps 1000-plus kids she’d had in her direct classroom care ... plus all the other young souls she touched in every school lucky enough to have known her. She loved to love them. “She also loved to laugh and that she passed away days from the school holidays (which she loved as it gave her the opportunity to have a good sleep in and a few extra naps to re-boot and recharge for the next term) would have made her smile. “Words cannot describe how much she will be missed.” Leigh is survived by husband Tim and three adult children Elliot, Lucy and Frankie.

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Class duties keep Dr Dan chipper By Debbie Cramsie EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of Sydney Catholic Schools Dr Dan White went back to school last week and while he found that many things have changed since he was teaching in the classroom, the sheer exhilaration displayed by a student when they learn something for the first time still remains. Each year the “born teacher” takes over as principal for a week at a school within the Archdiocese to “stay in touch with the learning needs of young people and teachers alike”. The principal is given the week off for professional development while they vacate the seat for him to keep warm. Dr Dan selected LaSalle Catholic College at Bankstown for his weeklong stay due to the large number of refugee students it now welcomes. “To be in education it is vital you stay in touch with the learning needs of young people and teachers alike which is why I ensure I spend time at the grassroots each year,” he said. “It is my opportunity to meet with parents, teachers, students, priests

In Brief

MGLs to host vocation day The Missionaries of God’s Love will be hosting a vocations day on Saturday 2 June at Saint Declan’s Parish, Penshurst. Men are invited to come and see what the life of an MGL priest or brother is all about. Events begin with 8:00am Mass followed by a hearty breakfast. The day will be include talks as well as the opportunity for prayer, sports activities, personal reflection and testimonials. Events will conclude at 9:00pm. Bring sports gear and $10 to cover meal costs. To enquire, contact Fr Chris at

PALMS wants volunteers

Dr Dan White with students fom LaSalle Catholic College, Bankstown. and members of the school community to hear first-hand of the challenges they face day-to-day and I couldn’t be more proud of what I have found during my time here. “The work they are doing with ref-


ugee students is incredible. In fact one of the students from Syria that I met will be one of my most lasting memories from the school. “When she arrived in Year 7 last year she could hardly speak a word

of English and today she told me she is excelling in the top science class. “Although the only thing I don’t miss is the marking of the papers so I have made sure all assignments are due after I’ve gone.”

Palms Australia is looking for volunteers for overseas missions. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, will be hosting an information night about Palms Australia on Saturday 26 May at 9am. Saint Peter Julian’s Catholic Church, Sydney, will also host a Palms information night on Thursday 31 May at 5:45pm. Palms Australia is an organisation focused on supporting communities in developing nations through volunteer missionaries. Volunteers are needed for destinations such as Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Timor-Leste and Kenya. If you have teaching, medical, business, administration, or trade skills you can help make a positive difference. For more information visit: volunteer or call (02) 9560 5333.


University produces cutting-edge priests for the New Evangelisation THE PONTIFICAL University of the Holy Cross Foundation was established in Sydney in 1999 with the purpose of helping seminarians and priests, especially from developing countries, study in Rome at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. The University was started by Blessed Alvaro del Portillo, as an Athenaeum, in 1984, and after developing four Faculties and an Institute it was raised to the rank of Pontifical University in 1998 by St John Paul II. At present it has about 1600 students. A high proportion of graduates have been appointed Bishops, one of them, Bishop Richard Umbers, recently in Sydney. Since its inception the Foundation has granted 36 scholarships to priests and seminarians. There are many talented young priests and seminarians from developing countries who lack the resources to study in Rome. The new paganism invading wealthy Christian countries is being counteracted with a New Evangelisation. Every Catholic is called to participate in this mission, and in a special way priests, since, as Pope Benedict XVI stated, “Without well-prepared priests the New Evangelisation will be just a slogan.” A way, among countless others, for lay Catholics to participate in the New Evangelisation is to support the education of a priest for the New Evangelisation. A former Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski wrote that “Rome

Students study at Holy Cross is the most important centre of preparation for qualified priests ... This preparation ben-

The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018


efits nearly all the countries of the world and the diverse sectors of pastoral activity.”

When the care you seek is unconditional talk to us

“Without well-prepared priests the New Evangelisation will be just a slogan” - (Benedict XVI)

You can contribute to the New Evangelisation by supporting a seminarian being prepared in Rome for this mission. Please send a donation to the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross Foundation, P.O. Box 176, GORDON NSW 2072, or donate to the Foundation account No. 06 2173 2800 8038.

Sydney 9519 5344 - Parramatta 9687 1072 Central Coast 4323 1892 - Chatswood 9954 5255

Contact Frank Casadesus at for further details 7

| From the Archbishop

To become a true Christian, a disciple, is to be grafted onto Christ. Receiving the grace He gives us, our new love – pruned and purified by His word – can be expressed in action as we become ...



ON THE PILGRIM TRAIL Thousands of pilgrims flock to Rome each year to soak up Rome’s rich history and appreciate its intimate links with the Catholic Church. Rome Pilgrimages has developed its itineraries with pilgrims in mind. Foremost among the destinations on the pilgrim trail are the major basilicas, each possessing their own unique charm. The Basilica of St Peter draws in the crowds both for its beauty and religious treasures. It’s the final resting place of its namesake (his tomb can be accessed through a special tour of its necropolis). The Chair of St Peter which is encased in Bernini’s bronze cover can be seen suspended under the watchful gaze of the Holy Spirit ablaze in golden brilliance. The Basilica of St John in Lateran retains its elevated status of Archbasilica as the seat of the Bishop of Rome, the pope. The skulls of Sts Peter and Paul are its most precious relics, while the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls was built around the burial ground of St Paul (excluding his head). At the Basilica of St Mary Major pilgrims can inspect the Bethlehem Crypt, said to house the remnant of Jesus’ manger. The basilica is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and is said to be the first of its kind in the world. Its gold coffered ceiling showcases Columbus’ spoils from the New World. Finally, there is the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem which keeps relics from Christ’s Passion including a nail from His cross, two thorns from His crown, St Thomas’ finger and a piece of The Good Thief St Dismas’ cross. Contact Rome Pilgrimages to find out more about other destinations.

1800 753 959 8


HERE’S AN OLD story about a man caught in a flood who determinedly stayed in his house when all the surrounding ones were evacuated, insisting he would trust in God. As the waters rose, people in a car stopped to offer him a lift, but he told them ‘God will save me’. As the flood reached higher, he made for the upper storey of his house; this time a police boat came by to offer him a ride, but he said ‘No thanks. God will save me.’ When the waters were so high he had to climb onto his roof, an emergency services helicopter tried to rescue him, but again he said ‘No, God will save me’. And so he drowned. When he came before God he complained: “Lord, I always had faith in you; right to the end I was convinced that you would save me: why did you let me drown?” God looked at him and said, “I sent you a car, a boat, and a helicopter – what more did you want?” Declarations of faith, the story highlights, are not enough: God gives us a body with which to act, a mind with which to ponder how we should, a will with which freely to choose so to act, and communities of family, church and society to assist us; through all these He mediates His grace to us. In our first reading (Acts 9:26-31), when the apostles learnt Paul’s life was in danger from the Hellenists, they didn’t just entrust him to God; they moved him to a safe-house in Tarsus. As the fourth-century Patriarch of Constantinople, St John Chrysostom, pointed out, “In this story you can see that God does not do everything directly, by means of miracles, but frequently acts indirectly, through His disciples, when they act according to prudence… So let us follow their example and use all of our natural abilities to work with grace for

the salvation of our brethren.” Making a similar point in his Epistle this morning, St John the Evangelist insists that love has to be more than a feeling, more than ‘mere talk’; to be real it has to be ‘active’ (1Jn 3:18-24). Commandments, too, are for living, not just reciting. The New Testament is full of this insistence: natural talents, virtues, faith, Church, law, sacraments – all are gifts to enable Christian action, not excuses for being spiritual pew potatoes. As St Augustine (or maybe St Ignatius Loyola) put it: “Pray as if everything depended on God; act as if everything depended on you.” Which brings me to our Gospel. Jesus famously loved to party, so much so that His detractors rumoured He was a drunk (Lk 7:33-34). That was a lie, but it was undoubtedly the case that he transformed water into wine and wine into His Precious Blood, and told stories of vines, vineyards, wine-making and drinking (Mt 7:15-20; 9:14-17; 21:33-46; 22:114; 26:27-29; Mk 14:23; Jn 2:1-11). In the background were the Passover toast and the Old Testament use of vines and vineyards as a metaphor for the Jews (e.g. Ps 80:8-16; Isa 5:1-7; Jer 2:21; Ezek 15:1-8; 17:5–10; 19:10–14; Hos 10:1). But today He identifies Himself with the vine ( Jn 15:1-8; cf. v. 16). To become a Christian disciple, as our neophytes did at Easter, is to be grafted onto Christ, the true vine, and to draw that sap or life we call ‘grace’ from Him. Not that joining up is enough. Soldiers don’t join an army just to list it amongst their affiliations; gardeners don’t graft cultivated roses onto root stocks just for fun. No, being is for doing, faith is for fruit, love is for action. The active disciple is celebrated this morning as a fruitful branch of Jesus the Vine. But lest we think such a life will be easy, Jesus warns that both fruitful and fruitless branches will be clipped. What’s that all about? Well, clearly there are two kinds of pruning. Some branches draw no life from the stock of Jesus and are fruitless, so the Vinedresser prunes them, collects them up and consigns them to the flames. There

are intimations of death, judgment and hell here, but that’s for another day. Today we might focus on the second kind of pruning... Jesus knows His viticulture. He knows that even branches that bear good fruit need periodic pruning. But the Greek word to prune, kathairo καθαίρω, also means to purify. Baptism is deep cleansing, but even good Christians remain works in progress. For some, humility only comes through humiliation; letting go of avarice, envy or grudges requires some shock or grief; sorting out what matters most to them may only come when they are in danger of losing everything. When people experience pain and suffering, disability and dependence, danger or dying; when they lose their friend or trust or self-respect, their job or project or dream; then they may cry out: why, God, why? The problem of suffering is the ultimate existential question for believers and non-believers alike. And Jesus offers a partial answer today: when you face that grief or angst, that loss of comfort and security, that challenge to virtue and vice, attention and distraction, that is the moment of kathairo καθαίρω – pruning, cleansing, catharsis – from which, by God’s grace, new life will bud. Jesus spoke of a terrible Baptism that He and His must suffer (Mk 10:38; Lk 12:50; cf. Heb 5:8), which is why we associate Baptism with the Paschal season rather than the Christmas season that ends with the Lord’s Baptism in the Jordan. But after our Easter cleansing in Baptism there may well come many more trials and transformations, tests and conversions, makings and remakings, until the final catharsis, that purgatory that readies us for heaven. If we endure these prunings in good spirit and remain grafted to Christ by prayer and penance, word and sacrament, so that His life informs ours, He will bring forth a rich harvest in us. Unlike the man in the flood, we do our bit as God does His. Our faith and love, obedience and salvation are His gifts tested in the trials of life and we respond with a fruitful faith, an active love. May God the Father, who is the Vinedresser, keep us faithful in His vineyard. May God the Son, who is Jesus the True Vine, give life to us His branches. And may God the Holy Spirit, who is the new wine of the kingdom, be given us to drink abundantly!  THIS IS THE EDITED TEXT OF THE HOMILY BY ARCHBISHOP ANTHONY FISHER OP FOR MASS FOR THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR B AND ‘PASCHAL EUCHARIST’ FOR NEOPHYTES AT ST MARY’S CATHEDRAL, SYDNEY, ON 26 APRIL 2018.

“If we endure these prunings in good spirit ... He will bring forth a rich harvest in us.” The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

From the Archbishop |


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| Advertorial - CatholicCare

Giving hope to disadvantaged young families WHEN KAREN fell pregnant with her daughter she was 16 years old, on the verge of homelessness, living in a women’s refuge and a heavy drug user. Thanks to CatholicCare Sydney’s HOPE program, she now is excited for the future. “She (Amber) pretty much saved my life. If I didn’t have her I would probably be in jail or dead” says Karen. Karen was six months pregnant when she spoke to a social worker at her hospital who referred her to CatholicCare Sydney’s HOPE program. Within three weeks of connecting to the program she was provided secure accommodation and moved in just in time to bring home her baby girl. In the Sydney metropolitan area in 2016 there were 3,882 births to mothers aged between 16- 25, who were in experiencing homelessness or housed in temporary lodgings or shelters *(2016 ABS Data). The HOPE Program delivers early intervention services to these vulnerable and disadvantaged young mothers who have seriously complex needs and are pregnant or have a child under the age of two. Program Manager, Ruth Farrer, explains the importance of intervening early in a child’s life. “Children raised in unhealthy and unstable homes are at high risk of becoming pregnant at a young age and are more likely to provide unhealthy environments for their own children.

This creates an unfortunate cycle of intergenerational disadvantage. Our program aims to intervene early and break the cycle to ensure children are given the best possible start in life” Also in 2016, according to the Department of Family and Community Services NSW (FACS) there were 5,397 babies and young children aged between 0-4 years old that required intensive family support.

CatholicCare Sydney’s HOPE program aims to decrease these numbers by working with clients earlier as a preventative measure, to ensure children are given safe homes and that parents are better educated on healthy relationships to avoid any risk of future harm. The program offers young mothers a holistic and individualised service that is tailored to suit each person’s

unique situation. CatholicCare case managers assess each client’s situation and prioritise their needs based on the best outcome for their baby. Client’s needs range from safe housing, financial advice, baby supplies through to essential parent education. In Karen’s case, she needed immediate assistance with a number of practical needs, the most imperative

being safe accommodation for her and her baby. “If I didn’t have the HOPE program to help me find accommodation and get on my feet, Amber could have been taken away from me. The program provided the support I needed for everything in life” says Karen. Since having Amber, Karen’s life has completely changed. She’s fought her addiction and her life is back on track. With new motivation she has decided to return to study so she can make a difference to the lives of other young people who are struggling. “I want to do a Diploma in Youth Work and help kids in refuge centres or those dealing with drug and alcohol abuse. I want to try and prevent kids from taking it to the extreme like I did. I’m only 17 but I can share my story and hopefully help other kids keep on the right track” says Karen. CatholicCare’s HOPE program is currently expanding its services to also include young disadvantaged fathers. New services will include individual case management to support young dads, peer support groups, and parent education tailored to suit the needs of young men. With minimum funding available, CatholicCare rely on donations from the community to continue to provide vital services to those who are most vulnerable. To make a donation to support young Sydney families in need, please visit today.

Should baby Amber inherit poverty and hardship? CatholicCare’s HOPE program works with young mothers to break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage.

“She pretty much saved my life” - Karen, 17 year old mum

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The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

News |

ACU doctorates honour women A CHILDREN’S book author and indigenous elder have both been recognised for their promotion of children’s literacy with honorary doctorates by the Australian Catholic University. Fay Green (Aunty Fay) OAM was awarded her doctorate for her lifelong commitment to fostering a love of education and forging cultural and social cohesion in Indigenous communities. A respected Elder of the Kamilaroi people, she was born in the northern NSW town of Walgett. Despite having limited formal schooling herself, Aunty Fay revived Indigenous languages in her community and increased Indigenous students’ enrolments at St Joseph’s Primary School, Walgett, by 300 per cent. Libby Gleeson OAM is a popular children’s book writer and literacy advocate and received her award for her contribution to Australian literature. She has written 40 books for children and her inspiring, and predominantly Australian, stories of motivation have been published worldwide. They are also available in braille. Libby is also the founder of WestWords, an organisation established to provide opportunities for reading and writing to the children of marginalised communities in Western Sydney. Both women received their awards at a ceremony in Sydney.

In Brief

Blessed Sacrament poet, priest, leader dies, 94 Blessed Sacrament Fr James Dekker has been remembered as a gifted leader and poet, after his death on his 3 May feast day. He died at the age of 94 on the feast of Sts Philip and James after suffering injuries from a fall in the monastery at St Peter Julian’s Church, Haymarket. Auxiliary bishop Terry Brady attended the funeral on 10 May at St Peter Julian’s, where Fr Dekker was remembered as a gifted community leader and poet. Blessed Sacrament Community Leader, Fr Philip Watkins SSS, commented on the “most fitting day” that was chosen for Fr Dekker to enter into eternal life. Born at Obdam in the Netherlands, Fr Dekker migrated to Australia in 1954, working as a mail sorter and gardener before entering the Blessed Sacrament Congregation. He was ordained in his home parish in 1962 and returned to Australia where he served in most of the congregation’s houses, including as the Australian provincial leader in the 1970s and 1980s. MEXICO

Priest possible candidate



Aunty Fay Green OAM, left, was awarded an honourary Doctorate by ACU, as was children’s author Libby Gleeson OAM, above.  PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

The front-runner in Mexico’s presidential election said, if he wins on 1 July, he would appoint an activist priest as his human rights director. Andres Obrador told a gathering of victims of violence on 8 May he would appoint Fr Alejandro Solalinde to the human rights position and name Catholic poet Javier Sicilia – whose son was kidnapped and killed in 2011 and later organised the families of those suffering atrocities -- to form part of a commission for finding the thousands of disappeared people in Mexico.  - CNS








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The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018


| Advertorial - Australian Catholic University

A healthy body, it’s all in the mind Prof Greg Craven


CRICOS registered provider: 00004G

F THE ACU sports team were a country, it would have compared well with some of the mid-range countries on the medal tally at the recent Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. ACU student and graduate athletes achieved 10 medals, including two gold, five silver and three bronze. Thirteen ACU students and two alumni competing in 16 sports were part of the Australian team, pitted against athletes from 70 other countries. This is a remarkable feat: not just to compete against some of the best athletes in the world, but to juggle an academic program around training and competition. Many of these athletes have the support of ACU’s Elite Athlete and Performers Program, whose staff assist in managing those challenging commitments. They support students in their endeavours through mentoring, financial assistance, timetable assistance and flexible academic plans. For the rest of us less athletically blessed, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be a sporting superstar to gain enormous benefit from physical activity. We know from our own research that all types of physical exercise play a role in radically improving our health and wellbeing, whatever stage of life we are at. Evidence shows that brain development is not complete in most people under 25 years old and the discipline provided by organised sport is increasingly regarded as being essential to ensure mental health and wellbeing. Sport or performance disciplines promote student engagement and support retention and success. The Institute for Positive Psychology and Education has found measurable increases in academic results

ALEX HULLEY - ELITE ATHLETE for students who are given opportunities to participate and represent their school or university under a sport brand banner. An IPPE study is looking into improvements in the health of primary school students who are involved in physical play activities. Meanwhile Prue Cormie from the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research has developed a program to embed exercise into routine cancer care on

the basis of her research findings into patient recovery. ACU is rightly proud of its students, graduates and alumni. The University recognises that its distinctive character ultimately depends on the intellectual, social and moral quality of its students. This recognition of the importance of sport, health and wellbeing programs in the lives of students while at university and building for success

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later in life has led us to develop a national framework and facilities plan to enhance student involvement in these activities. We have also brought all our sports activities under the banner of ACU Sport, which officially launches at the end of the month. ACU Sport aims to support and develop student activities through a holistic approach that recognises the interaction between academic

achievement, health and wellbeing, sport, spirituality, internationalisation, leadership and community engagement. As a University we nurture our students in the Catholic tradition of mind body and spirit. And we can see it bearing wonderful results. PROFESSOR GREG CRAVEN AO, GCSG VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRESIDENT OF AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY

Ask bigger questions.

Harrison ACU student

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The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

News |

Art inspired by faith


chari ies Archdiocese of Sydney

Supporting our Mother Church Our secular media gives very little coverage to religious events, but one newspaper story last year took a look at what is required for the continued maintenance and operation of Australian Catholics’ Mother Church, St Mary’s Cathedral. Daniel in his studio. His painting Our Lady Queen of Families, below, was commissioned for a farm-stay near Tarcutta. By John McLaurin CANBERRA’S DANIEL De Valentin is not about to give up his day job as an engineer, but if he did he reckons he would be an artist. The 25 year-old Canberran is more than handy when it comes to wielding a paint brush. Recently the South Tuggeranong parishioner completed a mural commission of Our Lady Queen of Families for the Australian National University. He has had work exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery and held in several private collections. In September last year De Valentin was commissioned by Pierre and Ruth Fakhry to paint an image of ‘Our Lady Queen of Families’ for their ‘Hillview’ farm-stay chapel near Adelong and Tarcutta, located in the southern part of the Archdiocese of

Canberra-Goulburn. Mr De Valentin says he was grateful for the opportunity, noting the correspondence with well-known Sydney-based artist, Paul Newton, as being one of the highlights. “I got in touch with Paul for some advice on reference material for the painting,” he said. “Paul painted ‘Our Lady of the Southern Cross’ for World Youth Day in Sydney, 2008. “He has a wealth of experience and took time to share with me some of the methods he uses in his portraits.” The project took three months to complete. Mr De Valentin’s wife, Ruth, modelled for the artwork and was a huge support during the process. “My wife is very patient that’s for sure,” he said. “A tight deadline, late nights and a one-year old daughter certainly


made for an interesting few months.” In terms of materials, the work is oil paint on hand-stretched, Belgian linen. He uses a slow drying paint medium to extend the drying time of the oils, allowing him to work around a busy schedule. Originally from Griffith in the Riverina region of New South Wales, he began drawing and painting at the age of eight. Mr De Valentin considers his grandfather’s woodturning as a main inspiration. “Nonno’s work on the lathe was impressive,” he said. “I think we grew up taking it for granted a bit. “I have fond memories of hours spent playing around in the bush near Darlington Point on the Murrumbidgee while he looked for burls for turning.”

One line of Caption.

“St Mary’s has been there almost as long as the city, so Sydneysiders tend to take the imposing, beautiful cathedral for granted,” recorded the writer. He went on to talk about maintenance and other working tasks required to keep it in good shape and serve the needs of the faithful – but we should also make mention of people who give so generously to ensure that many of those tasks are being addressed. With the few words on this page, we can offer sincere gratitude to those who have contributed and ask for continued kindness to ensure that further work may proceed. This year will mark the Sesquicentenary (150th anniversary) of the laying of the foundation stone for the current building and the current Slate Roof Tile Appeal heads the list of Cathedral needs. Donations of $50 are needed to replace each tile – and those who give will receive a certificate to commemorate their important contribution to this necessary maintenance of the building.


We can all appreciate the need for a secure roof above any structure, especially to provide for our comfort as worshippers and for so many tourists and other visitors who put this outstanding landmark on their list to visit when in Sydney.

We need your help to support this vital project and others to look after your Cathedral.



have faith, will find. Enquiries call Katie on (02) 9390 5402

The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

1800 753 959

Development and Fundraising Office Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney


| Feature

Where Love and Respect fill the Gaps In hidden but truly remarkable ways, the Brown Nurses continue the work and legacy of Eileen O’Connor on Sydney’s streets By Debbie Cramsie


OM LIVES alone. His only companion his severe mental illness. The walls in his Darlinghurst flat are covered in mould and the stench of cigarettes, urine and sheer filth slaps you in the face. He is usually quite irritable and cranky and goes weeks on end without showering. He has advanced glaucoma and without daily drops risks what little eyesight he has left. One of Sydney’s lost generation, Tom has fallen through the cracks of welfare and forgotten by just about everyone … except the Brown Nurses. An independent ministry of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, the Brown Nurses were established in 2008 to carry on the legacy of Australian saint-in-waiting Eileen O’Connor and the order of nuns who share a deep devotion to Our Lady and to the sick and poor, but are now unable to carry on the work due to a dwindling and ageing population. Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor congregation leader Sister Margaret Mary Birgan oln, said their mission of providing care remains as important today as it’s ever been. Living by Eileen O’Connor’s mantra: “You will always find Jesus most at home in the poor and the most broken”, the sisters are proud to continue their work for the downtrodden. “The Sisters continue to assist the sick and poor in Sydney, Newcastle and Macquarie Fields and with our ministry of the Brown Nurses we continue our mission to serve in the spirit of our founders and sisters,” she said. “The Brown Nurses are an independent ministry and funded by the good will of people who have generously given their wealth and time. “We have never asked for government funding. Our Father Founder, when asked by the Archbishop how the work would be funded, Father’s reply was ‘If the nurses look after the poor, God will give the crust”. And give the crust he has. Today, the mission of the Brown Nurses continues. Nobody is turned away. Referrals for the service come from a variety of sources including general practitioners, hospitals, shelters and even those the nurses meet on the streets. Director of Services Wendy Peddell 14

Saints in the making: Brown nurses Mary, Wendy and Deb prepare for another busy day providing care to Sydney’s forgotten generation.  PHOTOS: GIOVANNI PORTELLI said “being precious about getting your hands dirty - literally and metaphorically - doesn’t exist”. If getting down on all fours to drag rubbish out from under a bed, clean a toilet or clean up after a dog that has not been taken outdoors or deal with an infected wound, which has not seen air or water for weeks on end is required … then that’s what is done. Ms Peddell said it’s about meeting a person on their level and with an attitude of genuine respect: “You just have to keep a poker face whatever comes out from under the bed.” Brown Nurse Mary has been with the ministry for 10 years and admits she “has seen it all”. In her mid-60’s, the warm and friendly caregiver said despite the filth and squalor, she couldn’t imagine doing anything else. She knows that for most of her clients she or her fellow nurses are their last hope. “If you had told me 40 years ago while I was studying nursing at St Vincent’s I would be cleaning toilets, wiping walls, adopting pets after their owners had passed away I would have just laughed … but here I am,” she said. “At the core of nursing is compassion, and that is what the Brown Nurses are all about. “We see some pretty sad, terrible

cases, some of our clients really are at the end of the line, but if we aren’t here, who will look after them? “It can be an incredibly tough job but then also very rewarding. “Patience and persistence rank very highly within our team of nurses as long-term neglect can’t be undone overnight. “The look on the faces of our clients when we arrive is why do we do it, at

The clothes Mary put out for Tom have been sitting on a pile for two weeks and she doesn’t see that changing any time soon. Next on her list is Eugene. Known as the “happiest man in Waterloo”, the deaf indigenous dog-lover lives in a high-rise social housing tower and receives a weekly welfare check. Relatively self-sufficient, he needs assistance with managing bills and

“They show us respect and love. Without them I don’t know where I’d be. They come in here and give me my medication, clean my house and listen to me.”  - Rajesh, Surry Hills times we can be the only visitor they get and while they mightn’t always show it we know they appreciate us.” Tom is one of Mary’s daily visits. She arrives with a piping hot Bourke Street pie, medication and a smile. A man of few words, Mary is typically greeted with a grumble and a harsh word. “Mary’s alright,” Tom grins when she arrives with The Catholic Weekly in tow. “She does my drops and is always at me about having a shower but without her I’d be dead, I know that.”

making phone calls. During the 15-minute visit, Mary discovers his stove isn’t working and logs a call to have it repaired. She knows it will take weeks, but you have to start somewhere, she shrugs. Next is Indian-born Rajesh, a chef who was found to have overstayed his visa and was impounded in the Villawood Detention Centre for twoand-a-half years in 2005. The experience left him with severe mental health issues and a number of

addictions. Afraid to leave his tiny Surry Hills unit following a recent murder in the next door apartment, Mary is trying to get him re-housed and out of the environment which feeds his addictions. “She is a saint, they all are,” Rajesh beams when asked about Mary. “They show us respect and love. Without them I don’t know where I’d be. They come in here and give me my medication, clean my house and listen to me. “I love them from my heart.” While talking, Mary has disappeared into the bathroom, and quietly cleaned his toilet and taken out the rubbish, which is overflowing and infested. Mary admits it’s because of people like Rajesh that she continues. Growing up a Catholic taught her about her faith, but living it and carrying on the work of Australia’s next saint-in-waiting is what keeps her doing it. “These people need someone, and that someone is us,” she said. “There is no other service that does what we do, we enable these people to stay in their homes, no matter what that looks like. “The squalor, the muck and dirt is what you see on the outside, we are so fortunate to get a look at what goes on inside.”

The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

Feature |

Compassion at the core of what they do: Nurse Wendy rolls up her sleeves at Matt’s Lilyfield home. He lives with mental illness and describes the Brown Nurses as “angels”, main photo. Nurse Mary cleans a filthy kitchen at a client’s home, above.

Nurse Mary applies drops to Tom’s glaucoma-riddled eyes, left, a door in the Surry Hills unit block where a murder was committed a week ago, top, and Waterloo’s happiest man Eugene, who relies on the Brown Nurses to assist with paying bills and making calls due to his hearing difficulties.

The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018




Feast of Corpus Christi



Gather for Sydney’s Annual Procession of the Blessed Sacrament 2018 Location: Martin Place and Pitt St Time: 2.30pm  WalkWithChristSydney | Souvenir Program: Free 16


The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

Advertorial - Dollars and Sense |

Good strategies to take down your debt Getting out of debt is one of the best feelings in the world. IT’S EASY to assume that anyone who has become overwhelmed by debt is simply irresponsible with their money. The truth is that anyone can go into debt and, once you’re in, the reasons really don’t matter. Getting out of debt can be challenging but eliminating that burden is an incredible feeling. Here are a few strategies that you might consider to help you take positive steps to be debt free.

THERE ARE A FEW THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND BEFORE TACKLING YOUR DEBT: 1. Paying the minimum may not always be enough. Many credit cards minimum payment will not help you actually pay for the debt, especially when you factor interest rates. 2. There will need to be sacrifices. Tackling your debt means that your spending behaviours will need to change. Paying down one credit card isn’t going to matter if you’re racking up new debt on another account.

SNOWBALL METHOD The debt snowball works by identifying your lowest-balance debts – regardless of the interest rate you’re paying – and focuses your efforts on paying those off first. Working smallest to largest, you pay the minimum on everything except the lowest balance. Once that has been paid off, you apply all of the money you had been paying to the lowest debt to the next debt on the list. With each debt you pay off, the “snowball” of money available to pay off your debts grows as the amount of debt you have left decreases. There is a great sense of accomplishment and momentum that comes from ticking boxes on your list of debts. It’s like training for a marathon: you need to start small and work your way up. Each day you see measurable progress, going a little further and a little faster. A review of the snowball method found that it may not be the most efficient method because it ignores the amount of interest being paid for each debt. So, long-term, it might be better to pay down a credit card carrying a balance of $20,000 that’s has a 25% interest rate before a $10,000 car loan with a 10% interest rate. It should go without saying but we’ll say it anyway: not every strategy is right for every situation. We suggest you seek advice from a financial planner who can consider your personal and financial circumstances and come up with some strategies that will be suit your needs. Read on for some other options that might be appropriate.


Making weekly or fortnightly payments may help you pay down a debt faster than if you are paying it down monthly or quarterly. It’s easier to find $50 in your budget every week than $200 once each month.

TARGET THE BIG INTEREST RATES FIRST Interest can be sneaky. While it may not be as satisfying to put $200 toward a $10,000 debt compared to a $1,000 debt, it can make a big difference if the interest rates are significantly higher. Look at it this way: A $1,000 debt with an interest rate of 10% will accrue $8.22 in interest every 30 days. The $2,000 debt with an interest rate of 20% accrues $32.88 in interest every 30 days. While it would be easier to pay off

the $1,000 debt first, during that time the higher-interest debt would be accruing a significantly-higher amount of interest. Paying down the larger debt/higher interest rate means that your principal payment will go further.

CONSOLIDATION CAN BE YOUR FRIEND One of the challenges when you are in debt is that it’s hard to get a loan. Consolidating several different debts into a lower-interest-rate package is extremely appealing because it puts all the money in one place and can help you pay it down faster. The issue, of course, is that your credit score might prevent you from being able to get a loan like this. Our head of financial services Tim Poole says that, when consolidating credit card debt into a loan, you need to

ensure that you pay them off in their intended times otherwise a handbag purchased on a credit card that is moved to a 25-year home loan would cost about 3x what it would have if the credit card was paid off monthly. One thing you can do is to talk to a bank (like ME) about a debt consolidation loan or, at worst, a low-interest-rate credit card that will let you roll all of your debt into it.

TALK TO YOUR CREDITORS Ultimately, your creditors want to get paid back. Rather than stressing silently about paying them back, many offer repayment plans to help you get back into the black. You can also ask them to reduce your interest rate; there’s no harm in asking. They would much rather work with you than deal with…

BANKRUPTCY It might seem like a get-out-of-jailfree card, but bankruptcy is itself expensive, complicated and can have long-lasting ramifications.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP Our financial advice team can review your financial circumstances and help you create a plan to address your debts that understands both your needs and takes all issues into account. It’s also important to think about the future – if you’re in debt, would your insurance be able to pay off those debts for your family if something were to happen to you? No matter how you decide to address your debt, know that you’re taking a positive step toward securing your financial future for you and your family.

We can help. Our phone-based advice service offers members clear and concise personal advice on four specific topics. A qualified adviser can provide personal recommendations for you on:

Need help to plan your super? The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

The most tax-effective way to build your super via salary sacrifice and personal contributions.

How to protect your income and your family with insurance through Australian Catholic Superannuation.

Which investment options may be right for you.

Investing with non-super money.

Simple and straight forward financial advice over the phone can start you on the right track to achieving your super goals and help build towards the future.

Call us on 1300 658 776 to book an appointment 17

| Editorial and Letters


Dorin’s World

Men: the ones you don’t see at Mass


NE OF the crises of Australian Church life is the absence of men. Men, paradoxically, predominate in many fields of life in Australia, but there are two areas where they are painfully absent: one is in the family and the other is in the Church. Strangely, it is in these two fields that they are needed more critically than anywhere else and it is entirely possible that there is a correlation between the two absences. For decades the absence of men has been anecdotally and increasingly noted and recorded in parish life in this country. But the absence of men from church life is no mere suburban myth. When the National Church Life Survey released results for the archdiocese of Sydney in October last year, the snapshot of the average Sydney Catholic vindicated the observation that there are huge numbers of men not present in the life of the Church here. Women outnumbered men at weekly Mass in the Archdiocese by a ratio of nearly two to one (63 per cent of those surveyed were women), a picture which could be more-or-less repeated throughout the nation. The typical Sydney Catholic, the NCLS found, was also born overseas and aged in their mid-fifties. Why men are not at Church is an interesting question, given the critically important role they are meant to play in the Church as husbands and fathers. In Australia, it looks very much as if many men have effectively dismissed religious faith as irrelevant to their own lives, looking on it (at best) merely as a polite convention they happen to be connected to by virtue of family or marriage. Religion or religious milestones, they assume, are things better left to women who seem more naturally interested in ensuring that children at least make the major milestones of life in the Church such as First Communions, Confirmations and so on. Yet this kind of attitude is also a kind of dereliction of Christian masculine duty. It represents a caving-in among men, in large measure, to the increasingly secular, materialist and morally relativist nature of our society. Men seem to assume that filling a role as a primary breadwinner is about the extent of their most important duties towards their family. Meanwhile, many men subsume themselves in work – all too often – working superhuman hours for what they regard as the ultimate goal in life: financial security. Religious faith, in this view of life, effectively comes last and as a result too many men assume that if they just turn up to the First Communion of Confirmation wearing a tie they’re doing the right thing by their wives and children. How wrong-headed this is is hard to adequately set out, with the first problem being that such a view is effectively one which emerges from a very deep state of ignorance. The real problem is that by leaving ‘unimportant’ tasks such as religious education largely to women, men are actually undermining their wives’ best efforts to see that their children absorb a living, meaningful Christian faith. This occurs because children experience two different attitudes to faith in their lives: that of their mothers and that of their fathers. When a father consistently lives out even respectful non-participation in religious faith in his family’s life, children will, as they grow older, tend to follow the easier path their father’s indifference represents. All the known evidence concurs on the vital role that fathers have to play in transmitting faith to their children. This is because while children generally cleave closely to their mother’s example early in their lives, the more they grow older and become more independent it is to the father that they will increasingly turn for an example of how to live and be. To what degree is even quantifiable. As mentioned in our Page 5 story on the upcoming Be Awake 2018 Catholic Men’s Conference, one major Swiss study found that where a father does not practice his faith in the family (and even where the mother promotes faith to her children to the best of her ability) the chances of his children gong on to become members of the Church are approximately two per cent. That a growing number of men are beginning to recognise the key role of a father and husband as much more than a breadwinner is certainly a reason for hope. That growing numbers of Catholic men see the need for events such as Catholic mens’ conferences and gatherings which can help spread the message to men of their importance in family and Church life is something to be welcomed. After all, the Church in Australia has spent millions of dollars in recent decades on youth ministries of every kind and at every level, yet the results have been, at best, minimal – certainly nothing that would address the consistent greying and ageing of the pews in parishes from one end of Australia to the other. One of the reasons, so far not really analysed and understood in the Church in Australia, is precisely because the faith of the young is not nurtured and matured so much by group events with peers as it is powerfully influenced by a father who acts in unity with his wife and personally lives as an example to his children. When this happens, the tables are turned. It is clear that a key task facing the Church in Australia is therefore to form men again, to help them understand their importance as spiritual figures in the lives of their families. Which is really to say that the Church needs to help men rediscover their vocation. 18


Send your letters to: or by post to: The Editor, Level 13, 133 Liverpool St, Sydney NSW 2000 AUSTRALIA

NSW Catholic schools would be exempt under Foley plan We are facing unprecedented growth in our state’s school age population. By 2031 there are expected to be 170,000 additional students in NSW public schools and we will need more than 7,000 additional classrooms. Catholic school enrolments are also increasing, with an expected growth of 58,000 students by 2031. If Labor is elected to form the next government of New South Wales, we will launch an unprecedented schools building program. We want to work with Catholic school authorities to plan the delivery of new schools. I commit that under a Labor Government, Catholic schools will, for the first time, be exempt from local infrastructure charges when building new schools. A Labor Government will engage with Catholic school authorities from the very beginning of the land rezoning process, in order to plan for new schools where they are needed. Exempting all new schools from local infrastructure levies is an important step in addressing overcrowding in our existing schools, and will enable more children to have access to quality Catholic education. Luke Foley NSW Leader of the Opposition

Morning prayer before the fuse can be lit a great thing My wife and I were invited to a Family conference a few years ago as part of a panel discussion on conflict resolution in families. As the building block of society and the church, what happens within families is vitally important and perhaps that is why it’s always under attack. “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions!” One of my grandmother’s catch phrases was ‘he played Hamlet’ which she used to describe the annoyance and often over-reaction people have when they argue. Perhaps we can all relate and recall occasions when the top was left off the toothpaste (or the seat left up) and we recited a demented monologue from a Shakespearean tragedy in response. Our contribution to the family conference discussion was more on prevention rather than cure though. For many years now, we have the practice of praying together each morning, before any fuse can be lit. As a discipline it has been transformative in our lives and it really does work; we offer the day to God, pray for mercy and forgiveness, for protection during the day, our work and activities, seek the

intercession of the angels and saints, bless the house with Holy water regularly too. This morning prayer together, has become more important than breakfast. If we don’t lay the day’s foundation in prayer, someone else will, in discord. Family prayer is often neglected nowadays and family members can often have their day ruined even before they leave the house in the morning if they go into the day unprepared or unprotected. That has been our observation. The challenge we gave to the participants was ‘try it and see’. Stephen Clarke Malate, Manila, The Philippines

Columnist’s take on Rome story was beautifully told Just a short note to applaud Kirrily McDermott’s article last week (The Catholic Weekly 13 May) on the encounter between the little boy in Rome identified as Emmanuele and the Holy Father. It was a touching piece, beautifully told. I think the heart of every reader went out to that little boy in his anguish for his deceased father. I must say, I think The Catholic Weekly has improved in leaps and bounds in the last few years; it is definitely not the paper it once was. Your opinion and editorial pages are a refreshing counter to the culture of trash we seem increasingly surrounded by. Is there any possibility you might consider taking your paper to a wider audience? You seem to strike a balance between extremes and simply adhere to what is Catholic. As for your editorial on U2’s sell-out to “the Irish culture of death” ... well done. Anyone who quotes Yeats in an editorial can’t be too bad. Toby Garcia Lopez Baulkham Hills NSW

Many Christians have closed minds on biblical record In reference to Catherine Sheehan’s article in the Catholic Weekly dated 6th May 2018, there are two types of science and scientists. The first type is based on verification and confirmation, that is operational and empirical science. Example, Gregor Mendel’s (an Augustan Friar) experiments objectively verified variations in plants is possible but limited by the information programmed in the plant itself. In comparison Fr Georges Lemaitre’s Big Bang theory is speculative science, as the theory cannot be verified by any objective experiment as the event cannot be tested,

observed or repeated. Most people do not appreciate this distinction, as one branch is based on objectivity and the other branch is based on speculation and unable to be verified and confirmed by any experiment. If we acknowledge this difference or division within science, we can confidently say there is no conflict between religion and operational or empirical science. On the other hand, if we bundle the two divisions together, operational and empirical science with speculative and theoretical science, the Christian religion is in fact, in conflict with science, especially considering the hundreds of passages in the Bible contradicting the standard evolutionary theory, which is an example of a typical speculative theory. We simply cannot deny this obvious conflict and no amount of theological babble can reconcile this discord. Because of secular propaganda and the need to be accepted in the wider community, many Christians have tried to rationalize the two conflicting stories. Those educators of the Faith who adhere to the belief that God used evolution to create the universe (Theistic Evolutionists) often use a simplistic ploy by declaring there are two truths, one is a religious truth obtained from Scripture, and the other is, what nature tells us. This methodology is not based on sound logic, as it ignores the obvious conflicts, between ‘Naturalism verses Supernaturalism’ and no amount of rationalization can harmonize these two opposing beliefs. To say God used evolution is by definition an oxymoron. To suppress genuine dialogue concerning the Creation/Evolution debate or to ridicule and mock those who accept the Biblical version of origins, it has become a common tactic to use derogative name calling, such as branding someone a Fundamentalist, Flat Earther or worse. My own observations are, many influential Christians have an almost closed mind or mental barrier in even daring to consider that the evidence that supports biblical revelations may have some substance. They have been so significantly influenced by secular propaganda and liberal theology, that equates Creationism with intellectual suicide, that they feel they should flee from any dialogue or scholarship in case they may be branded a Fundamentalist, which is a sure sign they have not studied both sides of the argument, in affect a blind Faith. Also, Nature says nothing about its origin. It can be studied in the present, that is, it can be observed and examined to give us an insight in how awesome God’s creative power is and how Nature functions, but how it originated is outside of scientific analysis. The Church hopefully will in time realise how they have neglected this issue, as it is without doubt the number one intellectual reason why the young, and not so young give the Faith away. Tony van Dorst Gunnedah NSW The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

Editorial, Comment, Letters |

If money rules, healthcare degrades A Goldman Sachs analyst unwittingly sparked controversy by spelling out the investment-medical research formula

Comment with

Monica Doumit


AVE YOU ever had one of those foot-inmouth moments when you’ve said something true and (you assume) pretty obvious, but people around you are shocked? Or posted something on Facebook that you think is uncontroversial only to have your phone almost explode with comments? I imagine that’s how Goldman Sachs analyst Salveen Richter felt last month when she penned a report for Goldman Sachs clients about the financial considerations for those investing in gene therapies. The report, titled The Genome Revolution, discussed the economics of gene therapy and gene editing and explored the difference in financial outcomes between using genetic technology to cure or treat diseases. Richter explained that, while it might provide great social benefits, producing gene therapies that provide cures for diseases were not necessarily profitable for business. She acknowledged that the promise of ‘one-shot cures’ was one of the more attractive aspects of gene therapy, but advised that investing in research to find such cures was not the best business model, because it would not generate a recurring cash flow. To put it bluntly, if someone is

able to be cured of a disease, they are going to spend less money on medical care. This means it will be less profitable for pharmaceutical companies and others involved in gene therapy to find a cure than a treatment. If you heal a person, obviously you lose their recurring custom, so the real ‘sweet spot’ for profitable pharmaceuticals is finding a recurring treatment that will alleviate some or all of a person’s symptoms without curing the underlying disease. This type of treatment provides an example analogous to rental income; a regular, predictable return on an investment made. Another consideration for profits named in the report was the rarity of the particular disease which is being researched, namely that treating or curing rare diseases is less profitable than treating or curing more common ones because there are fewer ‘customers’ for your products. As an alternative to pouring money into finding cures or treatments for rare diseases, the report suggested maximising the market by addressing conditions prevalent in the community. The report was not meant to be made public, but someone evidently provided a copy to media outlet CNBC which reported on its contents. Richter soon found herself in the middle of a media storm for doing her job and writing something which, I imagine, she thought uncontroversial. The outrage and criticism was fast and heavy. But was it fair? Richter was basing her advice on what has been occurring in the indus-

The commodication of health logically means the dollar rules supreme. try and society more broadly. Companies are already understanding the economic impacts of their medical research and walking away from treating rare diseases. The example used in the report was the recent GlaxoSmithKline sell-off

of its gene therapies for rare diseases. There are other examples too. And it’s not only the companies that think finding treatments for rare diseases is bad business. It’s society as well. How many mothers are encour-

aged to abort babies with genetic conditions because it would be too much of a burden to raise them? How many of our terminally ill are encouraged to ask for euthanasia instead of proper medical care? And in a nation that prides itself on a ‘fair go,’ how many barriers still exist for those among us with disabilities or special needs? There is a certain hypocrisy in a culture that is outraged by a report like this when there are so many other ways we make it hard for people with rare illnesses. Richter’s report was shocking, of course. Seeing people’s lives reduced to a matter of profits made for horrible reading. Describing cures and healing in the language of supply and demand was confronting. But Richter isn’t responsible for the commodification of human life and health. All she did was hold up a mirror to ways in which our culture has long looked at disease through an economic lens. As a financial analyst, Richter’s job was to look at the numbers and the market trends. She was not making a decision on the medical ethics of investing into research or not, but providing her clients with the means to do so. The ball was, and still is, in their court. They can choose to continue to look for cures for diseases, whatever the bottom line implication, or they can choose to put profits above other considerations. Indeed, it’s a choice we all have to make, whatever our field of work.

Pope wants Chilean accountability on abuse By Cindy Wooden POPE FRANCIS called the bishops of Chile to the Vatican to “examine the causes and consequences” of the clerical sexual abuse scandal and acknowledge personal responsibility and “the mechanisms that in some cases led to a cover up and serious omissions regarding the victims,” the Vatican said. In a statement on 12 May, the Vatican press office said 31 Chilean diocesan and auxiliary bishops, along with two retired bishops, would meet with Pope Francis from 15-17 May. The objective of the meeting is “to discern together, in the presence of God, the responsibility of all and each one in these devastating injuries, as well as to study appropriate and lasting changes that would prevent the repetition of these always reprehensible acts,” the statement said. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, will join the pope and the Chileans, the Vatican said. The goal is “to re-establish trust in the church through good shepherds who witness with their lives that they ... know how to accompany the suffering of the victims and work in a determined and untiring way in the prevention of abuse,” the statement said. The Chilean bishops had said

Chilean clerical sex abuse survivors Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo.  PHOTO: CNS, PAUL HARING they would be at the Vatican to discuss with the pope their handling of clerical sex abuse allegations and, as Pope Francis had said, “to repair the scandal as much as possible and

The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

re-establish justice.” Media reports in Chile indicated that Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, retired archbishop of Santiago and a member of Pope Francis’ interna-

tional Council of Cardinals, would not attend the meeting. The three Chilean abuse survivors who met Pope Francis at the Vatican from 27-29 April accused the cardinal

of covering up the abuse committed by Father Fernando Karadima, who in 2011 was found guilty by a Vatican tribunal and sentenced to a life of prayer and penance. The survivors also claimed the cardinal was an active participant in campaigns to cast doubts on their honesty and their motives in coming forward. A statement published by the Chilean bishops’ conference on 10 May said the bishops also realise that despite steps they have taken, “it has not always been possible to heal the wounds of abuse ...” Pope Francis’ meetings in April with the three survivors, the statement said, “set an example and show us the path that the Chilean church is called to follow in the face of accusations of abuse of conscience, sexual abuse and, ultimately, against any abuse of power that may occur within our communities.” In the same letter convoking the bishops’ meeting, the pope had said he was inviting the survivors to Rome to personally apologise to them. In the letter, Pope Francis apologised for underestimating the seriousness of the sexual abuse crisis in the country after calling for a new investigation into allegations that Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno was guilty of covering up for Father Karadima, his former mentor. - CNS 19

| Comment

Australia’s fading care for neighbours

Once, Australians were seen as compassionate and willing to lend an international hand – but not anymore, writes Paul O’Callaghan



with Paul O’Callaghan

ANY CATHOLICS have found themselves reflecting on the type of country Australia has become over recent years. Are we still the caring and compassionate nation which has actively contributed to regional and global affairs over past decades? Australians who travel overseas are finding themselves asked more often than before: “Why have you changed so much”? Two of the issues which often come up are the treatment of asylum seekers and Australia’s diminishing role in responding to world poverty through its aid and development program. Perceptions about these issues have generated a very different view of Australia than in previous decades, when we were seen as one of a small number of caring and constructive nations. Until the last decade Australia was often referred to as “constructive middle power”. Not now. In May 2014, the Australian Catholic Bishops were so concerned about the government’s decision to deprive asylum seekers and refugees of human rights and their dignity that they called on all parliamentarians to turn away from the “dark forces “and to show realistic compassion in dealing with human need. Sadly, we have seen no significant policy improvement by either of the major political parties since then. In the same period, Australia’s contribution to global efforts to address the

A Zimbabwean woman and her child live in temporary shelters provided by nongovernment organisations after escaping flooding that ravaged her country in 2017. Australia has, yet again, cut its aid budget. AARON UFUMELI, EPA causes of extreme poverty declined substantially. Our official aid program has been cut by 30 per cent with the official explanation being tied to revenue pressures. Yet, even with a budget surplus now expected in one year, last week’s federal budget saw a further $141m cut in the official aid program over the forward estimates. 2018 is the sixth successive year in which Australia has been seen globally to reduce its role in the world. Indeed, the head of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee

said two months ago that Australia needed to reverse this trend. A recent, OECD peer government evaluation report about Australia’s aid program stated that “The OECD has a target for donors to provide $0.70 cents per $100 of official expenditure on international aid”. It noted that Australia had experienced continued economic growth since 2013, yet was falling behind many other OECD nations. The UK’s Conservative Party government and some other OECD countries have faced much tougher

economic circumstances than Australia. Yet, they have maintained between double and treble the level of Australia’s relative contribution. Indeed, New Zealand just increased its official aid program by 30 per cent. However, last week’s budget decision will take Australia to a level of just 19 cents in every $100. This is the lowest level in history for Australia, the 13th largest economy in the world. Neither of the major political parties has responded to the OECD’s pleas about our country “stepping

up” again as an aid contributor. The simplest thing would be for them to indicate the proportion of our national income they would be prepared to spend in 2025. This would make a difference because so many more lives could be saved in developing countries if Australia reversed the current trend. It means tangible things, such as enabling many children to be able to go to school and to obtain medical care. It helps to create employment opportunities, improve sanitation and give access to clean drinking water. Australia has a proud history over 60 years of supporting developing countries in many areas, including in their efforts to improve governance in national institutions. Together with pro-active diplomacy, the deployment of many peace-keeping missions and other constructive support measures, Australia has had one of the most positive reputations of any country in the world. Yet, in recent years, a disturbing level of policy self-focus and insularity have become common place, to the point where we rarely see any moral leadership in the political scene. Across all Church communities in Australia, we know that it is time to re-assert the values for which Australia has previously been so highly regarded. Together my hope is that we can help our politicians be more courageous and discerning about shaping the future engagement of our country in the world. If you share this perception, I urge you to find an opportunity over coming months to communicate in your own way with elected representatives about our future. Caritas Australia is a member of the inter-Church group, Micah Australia. You may find our collective efforts on these issues of interest if you go to: PAUL O’CALLAGHAN IS CEO OF CARITAS

A faith owned by the State fails at evangelisation The Catholic Difference


with George Weigel

N A recent interview, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, suggested that certain critics of a deal between the Vatican and the People’s Republic of China were misconstruing the Holy See’s motivations: “There are those who’ve accused us of only wanting diplomatic relations as a sign of some sort of success. “But the Holy See, as the pope has said many times, is not interested in diplomatic successes.” It’s just possible that, among other things, His Eminence had in mind on an online article I published at Foreign this past February. There, I argued that the decades-long passion of some Vatican diplomats for securing diplomatic relations with the PRC reflected an


outmoded view of the Holy See’s role in world affairs, in which the Vatican is imagined to be a third-tier power trying to punch above its weight (as the cardinal secretary of state of Pius VII, Ercole Consalvi, did at the Congress of Vienna in 1815). That is no longer the case, I suggested, for the only real power the Holy See can deploy in 21st-century world politics is the power of moral witness and argument. That moral authority is compromised, and the life of the Church under totalitarian or authoritarian regimes is weakened, when deals are made by the Vatican that concede far too much authority in Church affairs to communist regimes. Which is what happened under the so-called Ostpolitik of Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Agostino Casaroli: a policy of accommodation that led to grave problems for the Church in Hungary and Czechoslovakia and caused unnecessary headaches for the Church in Poland in the 1960s and 1970s, before the Ostpolitik was effectively jettisoned by the most geopolitically consequential pope in centuries, John Paul II. So the issue here is not an untoward eagerness for diplomatic success;

the issue is one of confusing diplomatic accomplishment with evangelical achievement. And that gets me to the oft-repeated nub of my critique of the putative deal between the Vatican and the People’s Republic of China: any arrangement by which the Chinese communist authorities are conceded a significant role in the appointment of Catholic bishops will weaken the Church’s evangelical possibilities — today, and especially in the China of the future. Kowtowing to communists is bad

oping abandoned Maoist economic madness and unleashed the creativity of the Chinese people. Yes, the Chinese model of efficient authoritarianism is now a serious competitor to democracy. And yes, the communist regime’s claim to have restored the Middle Kingdom’s dignity after a century of quasi-colonial degradation has significant appeal among Han Chinese (if not among Tibetans and the Uighurs of Xinjiang). But the one-child policy that China brutally enforced for decades has cre-

A Catholicism identified with communism will be quickly made irrelevant by evangelical Protestants and Mormons for achieving a full reconciliation among the currently divided factions in the Catholic Church in China. But first and foremost, it is bad for mission and evangelisation, now and in the future. I am skeptical of the claim, often heard in Vatican circles, that China will inevitably become the lead power in the world. Yes, China has made enormous strides economically since Deng Xia-

ated serious demographic and social problems; there’s little in the way of a social safety net for an increasingly elderly Chinese population; and it seems unlikely that today’s restraints on free expression in China will be tolerated indefinitely by a rapidly growing middle class. The communist regime in China is inherently unstable, despite what appears on the surface to be a successful, alternative model of develop-

ment. Chinese communism will not rule China forever. And when a post-communist China finally opens itself fully to the world, China will become the greatest field of Christian mission since the Europeans came to the western hemisphere in the 16th century. A Catholicism that has become identified with a discarded communist regime, because the Vatican once conceded the communists a significant role in the Church’s internal life, will be at a grave evangelical disadvantage in the post-communist China of the future, where evangelical Protestants and Mormons will be very, very active. And that evangelical concern, I would respectfully remind Cardinal Parolin, has long been the core of my argument against granting the Chinese communist regime a significant role in the choice of bishops. Or to quote Pope Francis, any such deal would be an impediment to living out the Holy Father’s vision of “a Church permanently in mission.” GEORGE WEIGEL IS A DISTINGUISHED SENIOR FELLOW OF THE ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTRE IN WASHINGTON.

The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

Comment |

Marian devotion is not worship - but it is love Question time

with Fr John Flader


E CAN say three things in answer to this question. First, we Catholics and other Christians who have devotion to Mary do not worship her. Our devotion, more properly termed veneration, is not the worship due to God alone. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, quoting the Second Vatican Council: “The Church rightly honours ‘the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. “From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honoured with the title of “Mother of God,” to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs.... “This very special devotion ... differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the

Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration’” (CCC 971; LG 66). Traditionally the Church has taught that there are three types of cult or veneration: latria, the worship due to God alone; dulia, the veneration of the saints; and hyperdulia, a higher form of veneration than that of the saints due to Our Lady, who is more exalted than the saints since she is the very Mother of God and Queen of all saints. The veneration of Mary, while higher than that of the saints, is not the worship due to God. We have statues and images of Our Lady in our churches, shrines and homes but we do not genuflect in front of them, as we do before the tabernacle, which contains the Real Presence of Christ. We may bow our head as a sign of respect, but we do not genuflect as we do before God. The Second Vatican Council clarifies this: “Following the study of Sacred Scripture, the Holy Fathers, the doctors and liturgy of the Church, and under the guidance of the Church’s magisterium, let them [theologians and preachers] rightly illustrate the duties and privileges of the Blessed Virgin which always look to Christ,

Dear Father, My daughter is married to a born-again Christian who challenges our devotion to Mary, accusing us of worshiping her and thus taking away from our love and worship of God. How can we answer him? the source of all truth, sanctity and piety. “Let them assiduously keep away from whatever, either by word or deed, could lead separated brethren or any other into error regarding the true doctrine of the Church. “Let the faithful remember moreover that true devotion consists neither in sterile or transitory affection, nor in a certain vain credulity, but proceeds from true faith, by which we are led to know the excellence of the Mother of God, and we are moved to a filial love toward our mother and to the imitation of her virtues” (LG 67). The second thing we say in answer to our separated brethren is that our devotion to Mary stems from what God has done for her and hence

moves us to love God all the more. After all, it was God who chose Mary to be his Mother and filled her with all her privileges: her Immaculate Conception, perpetual virginity, sinlessness, Assumption into heaven, etc. To honour her is therefore to honour the God who made her what she is. Veneration to Mary does not take us away from God but rather leads us to love God all the more. And third, Mary herself leads us to God. It was she who brought God to us by accepting the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity into her womb and giving birth to him in Bethlehem. She brought God into the world

and she wants all souls to worship him, as the shepherds and wise men did in Bethlehem. She suffered with Christ at Calvary so that all might be saved and she ardently desires the salvation of all. She is the most powerful intercessor for souls, especially those most distant, in order to lead them to God. One personal experience illustrates this point. Many years ago, when I was chaplain in a university residence, a student who had not been practising his faith for many years came and asked me to hear his confession. When he finished he asked where he could get a rosary. He explained that many years before he had lived in a boarding school where they prayed the rosary every day and he wanted to take up the custom again. It occurred to me that that day was a feast of Our Lady and I asked him if he was aware of it. He said he wasn’t. I told him I thought Our Lady brought him back to God on her feast day because of his devotion to her years before. So we don’t worship Mary and our devotion to her only increases our love for Christ. -

A grim precedent if Ireland votes ‘Yes’ I

Should Ireland vote for abortion in the 25 May referendum, what it will get is not what it expects, nor what abortion advocates promise ... N A political development that would have been unimaginable two decades ago, the voters of the Republic of Ireland will go to the polls on 25 May to decide whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment of their Constitution, which recognises an equal right to life for both a mother and her unborn child. In place since 1983, the amendment acts as a de facto ban on abortion, making Ireland an outlier among its European Union peers, almost all of whom have legalised abortion up to the 12th week of a woman’s pregnancy. If the hotly contested referendum passes, it will pave the way for similar legislation in Ireland. The referendum, say many of its supporters, is simply a matter of protecting women’s health, not a question of repudiating Ireland’s Catholic past or rejecting its traditional culture. That Irish women already enjoy some of the world’s highest levels of maternal health is blithely sidestepped by referendum supporters, including Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar. Varadkar’s government has made it clear that if Ireland passes the referendum, it will introduce legislation granting the unrestricted right to abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Supporters of the Eighth Amendment, however, have voiced concerns that such a policy will be written in such vague terms and include so many exceptions that it will allow an abortion throughout a woman’s pregnancy. The United States can offer this nation’s own grim legacy on abortion as an ominous warning to the Irish people. When the US Supreme Court struck down restrictions on abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973, the decision preserved a ban on abortions after

Pro-Life campaigners demonstrate outside the Irish Parliament in Dublin. the point of fetal viability. But in another decision that same day (Doe v. Bolton), the justices construed the exemptions for a mother’s health in abortion legislation so broadly that abortion became available on demand at almost any point in a woman’s pregnancy. It is important to note that almost no one in 1973 was campaigning for abortion on demand; in fact, most of the nation would have been aghast

The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

at the suggestion. Forty-five years after those court decisions, US federal abortion laws remain some of the world’s most permissive, and the country now approaches a grisly milestone of 55 million children aborted since 1973. In Ireland, one might suspect that on a sociopolitical level this referendum is further evidence of a longer-term reaction against the Catholic Church, whose decline in authority


and influence in Ireland has been paralleled by referendums in 1995 that legalised divorce and in 2015 that legalised same-sex marriage. If so, there will be no small irony involved: that the Catholic Church’s support for the Eighth Amendment will hurt the amendment’s chances in Ireland. The past and the future of Ireland alike cry out to its present voters for greater imagination than that.

The Eighth Amendment is not a remnant of what made Ireland backward; nor is the callous disregard for unborn life that would be signified by its repeal a necessary component of a modern Irish society. Rather, a no on the referendum would be quintessentially Irish: a reminder that she always looked to her children, to the future. - CNS THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED IN AMERICA MAGAZINE.


| Life

Buiding a culture of Pentecost We become truer to our Baptismal identity – and vocation as Christians – when we allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spririt


with Fr Ken Barker MGL


UR EXPERIENCE of Pentecost is not meant to be only a liturgical celebration one day a year. Rather it ought to be a daily reality in our lives, both as individuals and in our faith communities. In this time of crisis in the Church and the world at large, when many are hungry for hope, the contemporary Popes from John XXIII to Francis have consistently encouraged us to build a “culture of Pentecost”. This means a whole new way of being a community of missionary disciples. Within a culture of Pentecost we are open to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, changing us from within so we become authentic witnesses of the love of God. In a culture of Pentecost we are more deeply aware of the activity of the Holy Spirit in our daily life, and we are more expectant of the movement of the Spirit leading, guiding

and directing our evangelising activity. We let the Holy Spirit give us the wisdom to know what to do in any situation, and we seek guidance on when and how to speak and when not to speak. In 1961 Pope John XXIII, when convoking the Second Vatican Council, prayed to the Lord to “renew your wonders in our time as by a new Pentecost”. His prayer has been fulfilled. In recent times we have experienced around the world an outpouring of the Holy Spirit unparalleled since the time of the Acts of the Apostles. Pope Francis has a number of times urged all Catholics to be open to personally experience this new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He knows that when the power of the Holy Spirit is released in our lives we encounter the risen Christ in a new and personal way, igniting a new fire of love in our hearts for God and for others. This is what we need most of all for the “new evangelisation”. On the eve of the feast of Pentecost 1998, addressing half a million people in St Peter’s Square, representing over fifty renewal movements, Pope John Paul II enthusiastically applauded “this providential rediscovery of the Church’s charismatic dimension”. He pointed to the ecclesial move-

ments and new communities as “tangible proof of this outpouring of the Spirit”. The Pope made a dramatic appeal to all Christians to “open yourselves docilely to the gifts of the Spirit!” and to “accept gratefully and obediently the charisms which the Spirit never ceases to bestow on us!” Some years ago I was with leaders of charismatic communities from around the world visiting some of the dicasteries in the Roman curia. We had the opportunity of having time with Cardinal Ratzinger, who at that time was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He humbly listened to our reports of the Charismatic Renewal on every continent. Then he spoke to us in words similar to these: “When I was a young priest I used to think that renewal in the Church would come about through better planning and programs.” But, he added, “Now I am older I know that it will happen through prayer and the Holy Spirit.” He thanked us for our sharing, and begged us to continue. Not knowing that we were speaking with a future Pope, the leader of the group asked the Cardinal whether we could pray over him. To my astonishment he humbly agreed, and we extended our hands

towards him and prayed. His silent witness spoke to me that the fundamental position of the Church and of all its leaders is to be humble in surrender to the Spirit of God. A humorous story told of Pope John XXIII, who was renowned for a jovial attitude to life, illustrates the point. The Pope was visiting the Holy Spirit Hospital in Rome. The Mother Superior of the Sisters who ran the hospital was in quite a flap with the Pope arriving. She greeted the Pope and blurted out, “Welcome, Holy Father, I am the Superior of the Holy Spirit.” Without missing a beat the Holy Father responded, “Well you have one up on me. I am only the Vicar of Christ!” Whether the story is apocryphal or

not, it may serve as a humorous reminder not to become the “superior of the Holy Spirit”. The attitude we need to adopt is rather docility to the Spirit, surrendering to his work in our lives, yielding to his movement. In John’s gospel we are told by Jesus, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit” (Jn 3:8). We can detect the wind by its effects; by its sound or by its movement on the trees. But we do not see the wind itself. And just as we cannot control the wind, so we cannot control the Holy Spirit. Cardinal Suenens often encouraged Catholics, using a yachting image, “Put up your sail, and make sure you are downwind of the Holy Spirit.” St Paul says, “Everyone moved by the Spirit is a child of God” (Rom 8:14). This is the distinguishing feature of genuine children of God. Rather than being moved solely by our own intelligence, ingenuity, will-power or natural desires, we are more true to our Baptismal identity when we are led by the Spirit, and motivated by his promptings. This is fundamental to building a “culture of Pentecost”. FR KEN BARKER IS THE MODERATOR OF THE MISSIONARIES OF GOD’S LOVE


Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP WEDNESDAY, 16 MAY Presides at Confirmation Mass, Mater Dei Parish, Blakehurst THURSDAY, 17 MAY Time for Priests, Sydney FRIDAY, 18 MAY Attends the Retired Priests Luncheon, Lidcombe Attends Dangerous Theology: The Future of Sex with Jason Evert, Seymour Centre, University of Sydney SUNDAY, 20 MAY Presides at Mass for the Golden Jubilee of the National Shrine followed by Thanksgiving Devotion and Benediction, Mount Schoenstatt, Mulgoa. MONDAY, 21 – WEDNESDAY, 23 MAY Visitation to the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush THURSDAY, 24 MAY Presides at Mass for Our Lady Help of Christians, St Marys Cathedral, Sydney Time for Priests, Sydney FRIDAY, 25 MAY Attends Catholic Business Network Luncheon, Sydney SUNDAY, 27 MAY Presides at Eastern Deanery Confirmation Masses, St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney

Bishop Terry Brady WEDNESDAY, 16 MAY Celebrates Mass, Rozelle Parish Attends Plenary Council Working Group meeting THURSDAY, 17 MAY Attends Pastoral Visitation at Parishes of St Michael Stanmore & St Brendan Annandale FRIDAY, 18 MAY Presides at the Sacrament of Confirmation at St Ambrose Parish Concord West SATURDAY, 19 MAY Attends Catholic Cemeteries Strategy meeting Presides at the Sacrament of Confirmation at St Ambrose Parish Concord West SUNDAY, 20 MAY


Presides at the Sacrament of Confirmation for Adults at St Mary’s Cathedral Presides at the Sacrament of Confirmation at St Vincent’s Parish Ashfield TUESDAY, 22 MAY Presides at the Sacrament of Confirmation at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill WEDNESDAY, 23 MAY Celebrates Mass, Rozelle Parish SATURDAY, 26 MAY Presides at the Sacrament of Confirmation at Holy Family Parish Menai SUNDAY, 27 MAY Celebrates Mass, Balmain Parish Concelebrates Sacrament of Confirmation for Eastern Region, St Mary’s Cathedral

Bishop Anthony Randazzo WEDNESDAY, 16 MAY South West Deanery Meeting Fraternas Community Mass THURSDAY, 17 MAY Chancery Meetings Fire Up Ministries Fundraiser FRIDAY, 18 MAY Confirmation at Good Shepherd Parish, Hoxton Park SUNDAY, 20 MAY Schoenstatt Jubilee Mass Mass and Rite of Candidacy WEDNESDAY, 23 MAY Sydney Catholic Schools Board Meeting THURSDAY, 24 MAY Clergy Meetings Lector & Acolyte Mass, Redemptoris Mater Seminary FRIDAY, 25 MAY Clergy Meetings Ongoing Formation of Clergy Committee SUNDAY, 27 MAY Confirmation Mass, St Mary’s Cathedral

Bishop Richard Umbers WEDNESDAY, 16 MAY Attends Formal Dinner, St John of God Australia,

Perth THURSDAY, 17 MAY Attends Annual General Meeting, St John of God Australia, Perth FRIDAY, 18 MAY Attends Humanae Vitae Workshop SATURDAY, 19 MAY Celebrates Vigil Mass and attends Parish Celebrations, Menai SUNDAY, 20 MAY Confers the Sacrament of Confirmation, Caringbah Parish Hosts Concert for the Feast of Pentecost, Dulwich Hill TUESDAY, 22 MAY Hosts The Bishop’s Blend, Raddison Blu Hotel Plaza Celebrates Daily Mass, Polding Centre Attends Evangelisation Project Autumn Update WEDNESDAY, 23 MAY Attends Sutherland Deanery Meeting Attends Parish Council Meeting, Dulwich Hill THURSDAY, 24 MAY Attends CCER Workplace Course Attends Parish Council Meeting, Caringbah FRIDAY, 25 MAY Attends Professional Development Day for Secondary Religious Education Teachers Pastoral Visitation to the Australian Catholic University Strathfield Campus SATURDAY, 26 MAY Confers the Sacrament of Confirmation, Lewisham Attends the Ordination to the Diaconate of Rev Mr Christopher del Rosario SUNDAY, 27 MAY Celebrates Parish Mass and Baptism, Dulwich Hill Confers the Sacrament of Confirmation for the Eastern Deanery Parishes, St Mary’s Cathedral


Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay

WEDNESDAY, 16 - THURSDAY, 17 MAY Maronite Clergy meeting at St Rafqa’s Church, Austral. FRIDAY, 18 MAY Maronites on Mission Annual Fundraiser, The Renaissance, Lidcombe. SUNDAY, 20 MAY

Golden Jubilee Celebrations for Schoenstatt Shrine, Mulgoa. FRIDAY, 25 MAY Attends the Our lady Of Lebanon Annual Gala Dinner, The Renaissance, Lidcombe. SATURDAY, 26 MAY Celebrates Mass followed by a procession throughout the streets of Harris Park, for the end of the Marian Month of May, at our Lady of Lebanon Church, Harris Park. SUNDAY, 27 MAY Celebrates Youth Mass at our Lady of Lebanon Church, Harris Park.

Celebrates the Sacrament of Confirmation, Catholic Parish of Wyong Attends Ramadan Iftar Dinner with The Grand Mufti of Australia SUNDAY, 27 MAY Celebrates Mass and Installation of Rev Fr Shaju John OSH, Parish Priest of Ku-ring-gai Chase Parish, St Patrick’s Church, Asquith


WEDNESDAY, 16 MAY Convenes a Council of Deans Meeting at the Chancery Office, Parramatta. THURSDAY, 17 MAY Convenes a meeting of the College of Consultors at the Chancery Office, Parramatta. FRIDAY, 18 MAY Celebrates Founders Day Mass in honour of St John Baptist de la Salle at Oakhill College, Castle Hill. Celebrates Mass of Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter with Neophytes of the Diocese of Parramatta at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. SUNDAY, 20 MAY Celebrates Solemn Pontifical Mass of the Solemnity of Pentecost at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. WEDNESDAY, 23 MAY Celebrates Mass on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of Trinity Primary School, Kemps Creek. FRIDAY, 25 MAY Celebrates Mass on the occasion of Emmaus Day at Emmaus Catholic College, Kemps Creek. Pontifical Mass for the conferral of the Sacrament of Confirmation at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Seven Hills. SATURDAY, 26 MAY Celebrates Pontifical Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity with the Rite of Ordination to the Diaconate of Mr Christopher del Rosario at St Monica’s Church, Richmond. SUNDAY, 27 MAY Celebrates Pontifical Mass of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity at St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook.


Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen Ofm Conv

Bishop Peter Comensoli

TUESDAY, 15 – THURSDAY, 17 MAY Attends various Diocesan meetings FRIDAY, 18 MAY Visits St Rose’s Catholic Primary School, Collaroy Plateau Visits St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Narrabeen SATURDAY, 19 MAY Celebrates Pentecost Vigil Mass with Catholic Youth Broken Bay, Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara SUNDAY, 20 MAY Pentecost Sunday Celebrates Mass and the Sacrament of Confirmation for Adults, Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara Celebrates the Sacrament of Confirmation; Catholic Parish of Hornsby Cathedral, Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara TUESDAY, 22 – WEDNESDAY, 23 MAY Participates in BCFYL Euthanasia Taskforce Teleconference Attends various Diocesan meetings THURSDAY, 24 MAY Attends CSNSW Board meeting FRIDAY, 25 MAY Attends Sydney Catholic Business Network Luncheon Celebrates the Sacrament of Confirmation, Catholic Parish of Wyong SATURDAY, 26 MAY

The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018

Movie Review |

Motherhood tale a complex mixed picture By John Mulderig DIRECTOR JASON Reitman’s comedy Tully winds up strongly affirming marriage and family life. Yet his film takes such a rocky path to that positive outcome that most viewers may not wish to follow it. As a baby present to mark the arrival of her third child, already overworked and exhausted mother Marlo (Charlize Theron) is offered the free services of a night nanny by her prosperous brother, Craig (Mark Duplass). Though she hesitates to accept the gift at first, partly because her husband, Drew (Ron Livingston), resents Craig’s financial success, Marlo eventually relents. Enter Tully (Mackenzie Davis), a remarkably gifted, free-spirited young caregiver whose effect on the household is transformative. Thanks to the relief Tully provides, Marlo finds her relationship with loving but distracted Drew as well as with their two older kids, Sarah (Lia Frankland) and Jonah (Asher Miles Fallica) – revitalised. Yet all is not as it seems. Some of the moral difficulties inherent in Diablo Cody’s script are offset by its ultimate point. Others are resolved by unforeseen plot developments. Still others, however, remain, though mostly in the background. Thus, early on, the movie seems to buy into contemporary notions of pregnancy as an illness and parenthood as a burden. But Marlo’s trials, both physical and emotional, serve to

Mackenzie Davis and Charlize Theron star in a scene from the movie Tully.  lay the foundation for later storytelling. They also add credibility to the final vindication of her dedication to homemaking. Similarly, some shockingly objectionable behavior depicted midway through the movie looks quite different in the light of what we know by the time the credits roll. Neither the offense nor its removal, however, can be detailed for fear of a major spoiler. Yet the climactic twist fails to erase

other troubling elements – some predictable, some surprising. Typically for Hollywood, the revelation that Marlo’s premarital partners included not only a crowd of men but a lesbian with whom she cohabited for a while is treated with smiling equanimity. Weirder is the first interaction we’re shown between Marlo and troubled kindergartener Jonah. To soothe the multiphobic boy’s nerves, Marlo, on the advice of a psychologist, gives


him a daily rubdown with a soft bath brush. In the opening scene, this process is set to music and depicted quite lyrically, which only makes what follows all the more jarring. Noticing, after she finishes, that Jonah is covering his crotch with his hands, Marlo asks if he needs to use the bathroom. Realising there’s a different reason for his posture, she then makes a lighthearted quip about the lad being his






Quick Crossword answers also fit the large grid

ACROSS 1. Tell us if Tony is upset (6) 4. One boy goes to post office for lethal stuff (6) 9. No temporary goodbye gesture for a hairdo (9,4) 10. The point where nothing further can be expected (7) 11. Drive one politician to the Spanish (5) 12. Would reform if saw abandoned children (5) 14. A place of oblivion for some humble theologians (5) 18. Hurried back in home- made carriage (5) 19. Loud complaint of 150 having love affair (7) 21. Twice gain men wrongly through partly indelicate ambiguity (6,7) 22. The deity that took a seat on a vessel (6) 23. Iris gets no return on large bottle (6)


1 Shooting star; 7 Ahead; 8 Piece; 9 Rot; 10 Fusillade; 11 Normal; 12 Thrown; 15 Intervene; ACROSS 17 Eat; 18 Chain; 19 Orion; 21 Interminable. 1. Annul (6) Down 1 San Francisco; 2 Tie; 3 Nudist; 4 Sepulchre; 4. Item (6) 5 Arena; 6 Here and there; 7 After; 10 9. Qualm (6,7) Fragrance; 13 Ocean; 14 Reform; 16 Train; 10. Not punctual (7) 20 Inn. 11. Coach (5) CRYPTIC Across 12. Unimportant (5) 1 Cattle dealer; 7 An act; 8 Cheat; 9 Gas; 14. Clothe (5) 10 Step on the; 11 Sandal; 12 Handel; 15 Enclosure; 17 Arc; 18 Tiers; 19 Simon; 21 18. Wrong (5) Present tense. 19. Mischievous (7) Down. 1 Charge sheets; 2 Lea; 3 Dotted; 21. Worsening (13) 4 Anchorage; 5 Elect; 6 Steeplechase; 22. Obscure (6) 7 Arson; 10 Seahorses; 13 Drawn; 14 Puts on; 16 Clear; 20 Mat. 23. Virtuous (6)

The Catholic Weekly, 20 May, 2018


1. Area (6) 2. Premier (5,8) 3. Deputised (5) 5. Voter (7) 6. Exuberance (6,7) 7. Myth (6) 8. Frequently (5) 13. Remark (7) 15. Outspoken (6) 16. Stream (5) 17. Opportunity (6) 20. Grind (5)

DOWN 1. Youngster who pinches (6) 2. Look up the bill and make good use of it (4,2,7) 3. Passion brings renown about fifty (5) 5. Survive, emerging full of power (7) 6. Unscrupulous filming of marksmanship? (13) 7. Irritate the French with poverty (6) 8. How many were observed about five? (5) 13. Nero? (7) 15. They won’t be missed any longer (6) 16. A rogue in the southern army quarters (5) 17. Monster will continue tediously (6) 20. Be of use to a number who are ill (5)

“own best friend.” That’s a queasy way to begin a picture about domestic dynamics. The film contains some misguided values, including implicit acceptance of promiscuity and homosexual acts, strong sexual content involving pornographic images, nudity, marital lovemaking and a problematic scene of childhood sexuality, a couple of uses of profanity and numerous rough and crude terms. - CNS

JOBS ONLINE have faith, will find. Enquiries call Katie on (02) 9390 5402


Bernardine of Siena 1380-1444

This renowned Italian preacher was canonized only six years after he died. He was born near Siena and studied at the university there. He was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1404. From 1417 until his death 27 years later, he crisscrossed northern and central Italy as an itinerant preacher who drew enormous crowds by focusing on honest and penitential living and on reverence for the holy name of Jesus which led to the spread of this devotion. He also preached against gambling and materialism, and turned down three requests to become a bishop.


Cristobal Magallanes Jara 1869-1927

This Mexican saint shares his feast with 21 other priests and three laymen martyred between 1915 and 1937, when Mexican authorities persecuted the Catholic Church. Many of these Cristero martyrs, canonized in 2000, were tortured and executed when apprehended. Father Magallanes, a zealous pastor in his home state of Jalisco, also did mission work among the indigenous Huicholes. Before they were shot, he said to his priest-companion, “Be at peace, my son; it takes but one moment, then it will be heaven.” 23

VISTA 2018 Upcoming Catholic Events


Bible Cafe group: 10.30-11.30am and 7-8pm Wednesday, Muldoon Room, Our Lady of the Rosary parish, The Entrance. Bible Study: 10-11am, after 9.10am Mass and rosary, every Thursday, meeting room, St John the Baptist parish, Bonnyrigg Heights. Inquiries: Meding 9823 7121, 0410 177 673. 10am Friday, Sacred Heart Church, 2 Richard Porter Way, Pymble. Led by Fr Greg. Inquiries: 9144 2702. 10am First Thursday, parish pastoral centre, 39 Sutherland St. Bible Study Discussion Hour: Each Wednesday in the crypt, St Patrick’s, Church Hill. Inquiries: Sr Fidelis srfidelissm@ Women’s Bible study group: 7-8pm Thursday, Holy Name of Jesus parish, Forster. Inquiries: Natasha 0407 589 935.



Ballroom, Latin and Sequence dance lessons for couples and singles: 7.308.30pm Thursday, Lakes parish hall, Narrabeen. Inquiries: Josie 9982 9662, Cheryl 9982 6191.



SUNDAY 20 MAY Pentecost Sunday. Catholic Charismatic Renewal Celebrations. Principal celebrant Fr. Isuru Weliwatte MGL. Commencing 11.30am to 6 pm, with Prayer & Praise, Concelebrated Mass, BBQ lunch, Teaching and Healing Service. OLQP parish, 198 Old Prospect Road Greystanes. Enquiries Merv 96341654, CCR Centre 98102499, Adrian 0408649327 or The Italian Catholic Charismatic Renewal will this year be celebrating the Feast of Pentecost at Mary Immaculate Church, 110 Mimosa Road, Bossley Park from 2pm to 4.30pm. The celebration will begin with songs of Praise and Worship followed by the celebration of the Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Damien Mosakowski. All welcome. A light refreshment will be served at the end. For more info see our website “” or call Antonietta on 0430 033038. SUNDAY, 27 MAY Matong Church Centenary: Anyone connected with St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Matong in the parish of Ganmain are invited to attend the centenary celebrations. 10am Mass, 11:30am Luncheon ($10/head). Photo board and historical display. Contact: John Smith 0408687504. WEDNESDAY, 11 JULY Reunion: Marist Brothers High School Darlinghurst Old Boys’Union is commemorating the Golden jubilee of the Closing of the school in 1968. The reunion and luncheon shall be held at Amora Hotel, 11 Jamison St, City. It shall be preceded by the Mass at 10.30am St Patrick Church, Church Hill. Information & Bookings: contact Tony 0407 077 250.


Divine Mercy Chaplet: 7-9pm Wednesday, St Felix de Valois parish, 550 Chapel Rd, Bankstown. Legion of Mary group: 5.30pm Thursday, St Francis of Assisi parish, Warrawong. Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto: The Rosary is recited on Monday & Friday at St James Ave Earlwood at 10am. First Friday Mass is Celebrated after the rosary at 10.30am each Month. Our Lady of the Rosary parish, Fairfield: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena: 6pm Wednesday. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: 7pm Thursday. Bingo: 7-10:30pm Saturday. Inquiries: 9724 5997, admin@ Seniors group: 10am Tuesday (school term), Thornton Hall, St Aloysius parish, Cronulla. St Therese parish, Mascot: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: 6pm Friday, followed by Mass. Italian Mass: 8am Sunday. Spanish Mass: 6.30pm Saturday. Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help: 7pm Wednesday. Seniors Coffee Morning: 10am Monday, parish pastoral centre, 39 Sutherland St. Inquiries: 9667 3040.

Faith and word group: 4.30Pm Monday, St Patrick’s Church, Lithgow. Lectio Lounge (Break open the Word), followed by a Holy Half-Hour, Rosary and

Bereavement Support reflection mornings: 10am-1pm third Wednesday, St Aloysius parish, Cronulla. Inquiries: 9646 6908, bereavementsupport@ 10am-1pm, third Wednesday of every month, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Sefton. Morning tea provided. Inquiries: 9646 6908, bereavementsupport@catholiccemeteries. 10am-1pm, third Wednesday, Our Lady of Mt Carmel parish, Waterloo. Faith Circle and morning tea: 9.30am second Monday, St Paul’s parish centre, Moss Vale. Inquiries: 4868 1931 or 4869 1750. Focolare Movement Meeting: 10am-12pm, second Tuesday, word of life meeting in Chinese, Church Foyer, Mary Immaculate parish, Bossley Park. Inquiries: Julia 0415 643 082. Friends of Rookwood heritage walks and theme tours: 10am-12.30pm first Sunday (March-November), Rookwood Cemetery. Inquiries: Robyn 9889 3899, email, www. Gold Coast Tweed Catenian Association, Circle 357: 6pm second Thursday, South Tweed Sports Club. Inquiries: Andrew 6674 1011. Life Ascending group: 10am first Wednesday, room underneath church, St Declan’s parish, Penshurst. Parish social gatherings: After the 6pm, 8.30am and 10.30am second Sunday Masses, Our Lady of Fatima parish, South Wagga. Inquiries: 6925 2111. St Michael’s parish, Hurstville: Devotion to Our Lady of Fatima: Following 5pm First Saturday Vigil Mass. Light procession from the Church with the image of Our Lady of Fatima and praying the Rosary before the Grotto at the back of the presbytery. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: First Friday, includes Exposition, Adoration, Benediction and Reconciliation at 6pm, followed by Mass at 7pm. St Therese parish, Mascot: Anointing of the Sick: During the 8.15am First Friday Mass. Bible Study Group: 10am First Thursday, parish pastoral centre, 39 Sutherland St. Filipino Mass: 12pm fourth Sunday. Inquiries: 9667 3040.

Spirituality in the Pub: 7.30-9.30pm third Wednesday (April-October), Sutherland United Services Club. St Patrick’s social club for single seniors (including widows and widowers): 1.45pm second Sunday, St Patrick’s, Church Hill. Inquiries: 8034 5883 or 9888 1359. Teaching Day monthly please contact Rose 9642 2359 0412 115 961. Young Order of Malta barbecue for residents of St Vincent’s Hospital Drug and Alcohol Centre, Gorman House: 121.30pm, last Sunday of the month, O’Brien Centre, Barcom Ave, Darlinghurst. Inquiries: 9888 1359.


Sharing the Word: 7.30-8.30pm Monday (school term), St Martha’s parish, Strathfield. Group leader: Dr Emmanuel Nathan, lecturer in Sacred Scripture at ACU.


Catholicism 101 (casual catechesis for 18-35-year-olds on a foundational aspect of the faith): St Mary’s Cathedral Chapter Hall once a month. Inquiries: www.facebook. com/CatholicYouthServices Serra Mass for Vocations: 7pm second Tuesday (February-November), at Vianney College Seminary, Wagga Wagga. Serra Club meeting starts at 6.15pm and a dinner follows Mass. Inquiries:



FRIDAY, 1 JUNE Healing Mass: St Joseph’s. 126 Liverpool Rd, Enfield. Enter via Baker Street Celebrant Father Adam Crouch MGL. Programmed: 7-8pm Reconciliation. 7pm Rosary. 7-308pm Prayer & Praise. 8pm Mass. Prayer Ministry available after Mass. For further enquiries please contact Rose 9642 2359 / 0412 115 961. Email: rosetwymansydney@


Mass: 7am, Monday to Friday, Sister Disciples of the Divine Master chapel, 55 Broughton Rd, Strathfield. Novena Mass of St Benedict: 6pm Wednesday, St Benedict’s Shrine, Justin St, Smithfield. Followed by a Novena Holy Hour and Reconciliation. Inquiries: 9604 1199. Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel, St Joachim parish, Lidcombe: Open 24 hours.


Charismatic Mass: 9.15am Sunday, Servants of Jesus Centre, 15 Park Rd, Seven Hills. Inquiries: 9624 3322. Italian Mass: 8.30am Sunday, St Francis of Assisi, Warrawong. 9am, St Mary MacKillop parish, Rockdale. Polish Mass: 10.45am Sunday, Church of the Immaculate Conception, 48 Princes Hwy, Unanderra. Vietnamese Mass: 4.30pm Saturday and 5pm Sunday, St Therese parish, Lakemba.


Healing Mass: 10.30am first and third Tuesday, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour parish, Erskineville. Inquiries: Marika 0410 660 600. Legion of Mary group: Provides morning tea after 10am Mass first and third Sunday, St

Aloysius parish, Cronulla.


need over those 8 years. Thank you for your continuing support.

Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Mass: First Sunday of the month. Reconciliation Church, 11 Yarra Rd, La Perouse. Contact Kelly Wyld 0428 294 223, kelly.wyld@sydneycatholic. org or Janice 9311 0918, Janice.ban@ Anointing Mass 10.30am fourth Tuesday, Our Lady of Fatima parish, South Wagga. 8.30am, first Wednesday of the month, St Joseph’s parish, Neutral Bay. 8.30am second Thursday, Our Lady of Mt Carmel parish, Waterloo. Call2Mercy Mass: 11.30am second Sunday, St Mary’s Church, 21 Swanson St, Erskineville. Inquiries: Patricia 0438 263 036, Evening Mass with a Novena to St Maximilian Kolbe: 7pm Friday before the last Saturday of the month, Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Innocents, 8 Greyfriar Place, Kellyville, followed by all-night Adoration concluding with 11am Pro-Life Mass on Saturday. First Class Relic of St Maximilian Kolbe will be exposed. Send petitions to: Novena, PO Box 21, Kellyville, NSW 2155. Filipino Mass: 12pm fourth Sunday. Inquiries: 9667 3040. First Friday Mass, Adoration and Reconciliation for young adults: 7pm, St Michael’s parish, Hurstville. Garden Mass for the Unborn: 11am last Saturday, Shrine of the Holy Innocents and Garden of the Immaculate, Mt St Francis, 8 Greyfriar Place, Kellyville. Preceded by allnight adoration from 8pm on Friday night. Healing Mass with Anointing of the Sick: 9am first Thursday, St Francis of Assisi parish, Warrawong. Healing Masses 9am second Friday, St Francis of Assisi parish, Warrawong. First Friday, St Michael’s Church, Croydon Rd, Hurstville (Inquiries: 9587 2166). Third Thursday, Holy Spirit Church, 191 Cox’s Rd, North Ryde (Inquiries: 9888 2569). First Friday, St Patrick’s Church, Revesby Heights (Inquiries: Terry on 9708 1095). Malayalam Mass: 4.30pm fourth Sunday, St Peter Chanel Church, Berala. Mass and Adoration: 7-9pm first Friday, St Joachim’s parish, John St, Lidcombe. Inquiries: Margaret 0415 812 742, Jude 0423 079 992. Mass in honour of Our Lady: 11am first Saturday (except January and August), St Michael’s parish, Daceyville. Mass with Anointing of the Sick: 9.30am, First Saturday, St Joseph’s, Narrabeen. Sydney Malayalee Roman Catholic Community Adoration, Rosary and Mass: 6.30-9pm second Saturday, St Martha’s, Strathfield. Vietnamese Mass: 7pm first Thursday, St Felix de Valois parish, Chapel Rd, Bankstown.


Igbo (a major Nigerian language) Mass: 11.30am second Sunday of the month, St Oliver Plunkett parish, 35 Wigram St, Harris Park.


Gregorian Schola of Sydney (community choir specialising in plain chant): 6-7:30pm Thursdays (February-December), practices, St Bede’s, Pyrmont (near Casino). Inquiries: John 0439 783 956 or

MISCELLANEOUS Happy Birthday: The St Patrick’s Catholic Coin Club, Lithgow is celebrating its 8th Birthday on the 6th of May. In that time, it has raised $37,839. 92 lots of $400 have been sent to various Missions and areas of

PRAYER DAILY Adoration: 2.30-6pm, Sister Disciples of the Divine Master chapel, 55 Broughton Rd, Strathfield. Prayer of the Church: Prayed 15 minutes before weekday Masses, Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church, Waterloo. Taize Prayer Around the Cross: 7pm, St Paul’s parish, Albion Park.


Adoration 6-7pm Monday, St Paul’s parish chapel, Albion Park, to pray for marriages, families and life in Australia 7.30pm, Friday evenings, St Joseph’s, Narrabeen. 11am-12 noon, Chapel, Bowral. Apostolate of Prayer: 4-4.25pm Saturday and Sunday, St Michael’s parish, 29 Banks Ave, Daceyville. Charismatic Prayer Group Meetings: 10.30am-12.30pm: Thursday mornings, 7.15-8.45pm: Sunday evenings, Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish Centre, Greystanes. Inquiries: Desiree 0481 511 948, Merv 9634 1654, Barbara 0413 055 511. Italian: 10am Monday, Mary Immaculate Church, 110 Mimosa Rd, Bossley Park (formerly at Fairfield West), followed by time for Italian personal prayers on request. Call: Antonietta 9728 7503, 0430 033 038. Christian meditation group meets: 10.30am Friday, Muldoon Room, Our Lady of the Rosary parish, The Entrance. 9am and 5.30pm, Catholic parish of Forster Tuncurry. Inquiries: Bob 6555 5914. Devotions St Anthony: After 9am Monday Mass, St Anthony of Padua parish, Clovelly. Divine Mercy: 5pm Wednesday, St Francis of Assisi parish, Warrawong. 3pm Wednesday, St John the Evangelist Chapel, Dapto. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: 8.30am-3.30pm Monday and Tuesday, Our Lady of Victories parish, Shortland. Preceded by the Rosary prayed for intentions in the petitions box. Inquiries: 4955 9575. Holy Hour: 3.30-4.30pm Tuesday, St Mary, Star of the Sea parish, Tuncurry. Holy Spirit Prayer Group Meets: 7.30pm, Thursday, Mary Mazzarello Hall, Bosco Primary School, Banksia Ave, Engadine. Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: 7.30-8.30pm Friday, St Raphael’s Catholic Church, 82 George St, South Hurstville. Italian prayer group: After 9am Friday Mass, St Francis of Assisi parish, Warrawong. Italian women’s prayer group: 10-11.30am Thursday, St John of God, 2 Alice St, Auburn. Morning tea provided. Inquiries: Carmelina 9649 6049. Novenas Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help: 9.30am Saturday, St Michael’s, 10 Croydon Rd, Hurstville. Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and Benediction: 10am Saturday, Our Lady of Dolours Church, Kirk/Archer Sts, Chatswood. Inquiries: 9967 2601. Novena to Our Lady: 5.30-6.30pm Wednesday, St Brendan’s parish, Bankstown After 8.30am Mass Saturday, St Francis of Assisi parish, Warrawong. Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help: 6.30-7pm Wednesday, Our Lady of the Rosary parish, Fairfield. Novena to St Michael: 7pm every Tuesday at St Michael’s Church, 10 Croydon Rd, Hurstville. Email prayers and petitions to

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Francis sticks it to Satan – the loser – yet again The devil is “a loser,” but he still tricks people into giving him power, Pope Francis said. The devil “seduces us; he knows how to appeal to our vanity and curiosity and we buy it all,” the pope said May 8 during his homily at Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives. The day’s Gospel passage from St John ends with Jesus telling his disciples “the ruler of this world has been condemned.” The phrase refers to the devil, Pope Francis said. With the resurrection of Jesus, the devil has been defeated, but he still pretends to have power and still tries to influence people. “He has this ability to seduce,” the pope said. “That makes it hard to understand that he is a loser because he presents himself with great power, promises you many things, brings you gifts – beautiful, all wrapped up,” he said. “He knows how to seduce us with the package without letting us see what’s inside. He knows how to present his proposals to appeal to our vanity, our curiosity.” Unfortunately, he said, too often “we like being seduced.” VIETNAM

Workers attack sisters as police stand by St Paul de Chartres sisters in Vietnam were attacked by construction site guards while they were protesting the building of a house on their former land. One nun was beaten to unconsciousness, reported Witnesses said many police were present on 8 May but did nothing to stop the attack on about a dozen nuns. The guards “insulted and attacked the nuns with batons,” reported The previous night, workers had taken trucks and tools to the site, which is next to the nuns’ current convent. The nuns said their congregation had taken legal ownership of the 200-square-metre plot of land in 1949, but the communist government took it over in the 1950s. Authorities later divided the site and sold it to other people. reported the nuns have asked the government to return the land many times over the years. In 2016, Hanoi resident Tran Huong Ly hired workers to build a house on the land after telling nuns that local authorities had granted her a building permit and a certificate to use the land. The government ordered Ly to stop building after the nuns petitioned government authorities to deal with the case. THE FEMININE GENIUS

Update sees Dicastery thinking more on woman Pope Francis has updated the statutes of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, adding among other things a specific reference to the office’s responsibility for promoting a deeper reflection on the role of women in the church and society. “The dicastery works to deepen the reflection on the relationship between men and women in their respective specificity, reciprocity, complementarity and equal dignity,” the new statutes said. “Valuing the feminine ‘genius,’ it offers a contribution to ecclesial reflection on the identity and mission of women in the church and in society, promoting their participation.” - CNS

Next question, please O By Marilyn Rodrigues

N FIRST encounter, the tall, immaculately groomed priest wearing a serious expression and black soutane might seem an intimidating figure. The fact that he’s a priest of Opus Dei might place him, in some minds, in a different era or an anti-Catholic pulp-fiction thriller rather than the practical realities of modern-day Australia. Except that it’s Fr John Flader, and there’s no doubt that he is right where he belongs. From ghosts to gay weddings, Easter eggs to the death penalty, sacraments to scapulars, there’s hardly a topic on Catholic faith and life that he hasn’t taught, counselled, preached, or written about in his usual gentle and considered manner. This month Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Randazzo launched Question Time 4: 150 Questions and Answers on the Catholic Faith. It’s the fourth book based on the Fr Flader’s popular question and answer-style column published by The Catholic Weekly. The column is widely read, especially by priests who debate his answers among themselves, and he says with a smile, “if I write something that people don’t agree with I hear about it”. “But most of the feedback I get is favourable.” When he began the column in 2005 he “foolishly” expected it would take him around 20 minutes a week. Instead he found it takes, on average, three hours, sometimes longer when the answers aren’t clear-cut. That’s because while it’s important to remain faithful to Church teaching, when it comes to questions about people and relationships “it’s not black and white”. Fr Flader, who studied under Opus Dei founder St Josemaria Escriva, has a canon law background but agrees that through his column he has ended up engaged in practical and moral theology on the ground. “You have to deal with things in a pastoral way and a sensitive way and yes, observe moral law, but there are people involved, it’s not just about laws.” The most challenging to answer were questions about whether it was all right in the eyes of the Church to attend a loved-one’s garden wedding or a gay wedding? In both cases he decided to answer in the affirmative, which raised a response from some more conservative-minded priests. “‘Can I attend this wedding of a Catholic who is getting married in a way that is not considered valid in a church?’ That one is the most commonly asked question of priests,” he said. “The way I decided was to apply

Answering one question takes time – at least three hours, says Fr John Flader. PHOTOS: GIOVANNI PORTELLI to that particular case the Church’s common teaching on co-operation in evil. And under certain circumstances, depending on the urgency and the need you can co-operate in evil. So I answered that yes, you can attend that wedding under certain circumstances. “The question on gay weddings came from a woman whose daughter was having a commitment ceremony, as this was before the legislation was changed on marriage. She said, ‘What do I do? This is my daughter, I really feel I have to go.’

“It’s not a clear-cut issue but I adopted that approach. One of the things about 50 years being a priest is that you know a lot of people. You get close to people and you feel for people, and Pope Francis’ feeling for people - I think I have that.” Fr Flader’s unabashed enthusiasm for Pope Francis’ ministry has brought him into conflict with some people representing a view that the has done some harm to the Church, particularly through part of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) on Christian mar-

New Marian feast for 21 May


EMINDING BISHOPS, priests and Catholics around the world that all Latin-rite Catholics should celebrate the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church on the Monday after Pentecost this year, Cardinal Robert Sarah said the celebration should take precedence over any other possible liturgy that day. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, headed by Cardinal Sarah, had announced in early March Pope Francis’ decision to add the feast to the church’s calendar as an “obligatory memorial.” The Monday after Pentecost is 21 May this year. Although there are a few specific cases in which the rector of a church or pastor of a parish could choose to celebrate a different Mass that day, Cardinal Sarah said in a note released in March that “all else being equal, the obligatory memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the

Church is to be preferred.” In addition, he said, the list of Mass readings published with the pope’s decree “are to be held as proper because they illuminate the mystery of spiritual

motherhood.” The Vatican gave two options for the first reading: Genesis 3:9-15, 20, which recounts God questioning Adam and Eve in the garden after they had eaten the forbidden fruit; and Acts 1:12-14, which tells of the disciples gathering in the Upper Room with Mary after the Resurrection. The Gospel reading is John 19:25-34, which recounts Jesus telling his beloved disciple to take Mary into his home as his mother. In cases where a local or national church calendar has another saint or blessed on the calendar May 21, Cardinal Sarah said, “following the liturgical tradition of pre-eminence amongst persons, the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary is to prevail.” - CNS

riage and family today, which has been interpreted by some bishops’ conferences as permitting reception of communion for the divorced and remarried in some cases. He knows people who believe the Pope is departing from Church tradition and leading the faithful astray. But he says what characterises Opus Dei is fidelity to the magisterium and love of the Pope. He is adamant that Pope Francis is “magnificent for reaching hearts and has done a world of good for the Church”. “He’s done much to bring mercy to people. “I encourage all lay people to read [Amoris Laetitia] and I tell them don’t worry about Chapter 8, which is for pastors. “We are aware that some people in the Church are worried, and some people wonder about things Pope Francis has occasionally done and said. “I agree with people that some of the things the Pope has done are questionable, but he has not said anything that’s heretical, so we have to settle people down. “I tell people that this is the Pope that God gave us, that the cardinals meeting in conclave and assisted by the Holy Spirit, has given us for this period.” Does this response surprise those who might have expected support from Opus Dei - usually considered by the general population to be conservative and concerned more with the letter of the law? He laughs. “This is tongue-incheek, but Pope Francis has succeeded in doing what no pope prior to him since the foundation of Opus Dei 90 years ago has succeeded in doing – and that is to put Opus Dei on the left wing of the Church.” Fr Flader receives fresh questions each week and consults Scripture, Church teaching, and the work of contemporary writers and theologians along with his own extensive experience in teaching and pastoral care. Question Time 1 was published in 2008 after he realised people were collecting his columns and photocopying them for friends and family. The columns and the books published by Connor Court have become an effective ‘go-to’ resource for anyone interested in finding out more about the Catholic faith, how to pass it on, or with a question about navigating new developments in society and culture. Question Time 4 covers topics on creed, sacraments, morals and prayer and includes a Catholic interpretation of the controversial parts of Pope Francis’ Fr Flader says he has no intention of ending his great run, with Question Time 5 “already halfway done”. Question Time 4 was launched at St Michael’s Church hall, Belfield, on 15 May. It is available from The Mustard Seed Booksop.

The Catholic Weekly 20 05 2018  

News and features on an international, national and parish level from the award-winning team at The Catholic Weekly. Delve into our weekly p...

The Catholic Weekly 20 05 2018  

News and features on an international, national and parish level from the award-winning team at The Catholic Weekly. Delve into our weekly p...