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Volume 53, No 3 SEPTEMBER 2017 $2.00

50th Anniversary Edition

From Bishop McKenna Rediscovering the Rosary


ear Friends in Christ,

I have a simple message for this October: let’s rediscover the gift of the Rosary. This prayer has been around for many centuries. It has been prayed by the most learned, as well as by people who could not read or write. It can be prayed by children, by the very old, and everyone in between. It can be prayed when we feel close to God, but also when we feel far away from faith. This October, I ask parishes, schools and especially families, to gather for the Rosary. This month is being promoted as a time of prayer and penance for

marriages and families. It would be wonderful for this prayer to happen, not just for families, but from families. Even to gather for just one decade would bring great blessing for you and all the Church.

Mary, Mother of the Church, Our Lady of the Central West, pray for us and with us. +Michael McKenna Bishop of Bathurst

Diocesan Assembly 2017


ur Diocesan Assembly will be held on the weekend of 28th and 29th October 2017 in Bathurst. The Assembly will be attended by the Bishop, appointed Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) members, deacons, seminarians and chairs of our various Diocesan councils. Our priests will participate as their pastoral commitments permit. Bishop McKenna has also invited the Bishops of Wilcannia-Forbes and Armidale and the Anglican Bishop of Bathurst to attend as observers. The DPC comprises two representatives from each parish, nominated by the Parish Priest and appointed by the Bishop; along with ex-officio members and others appointed at the Bishop’s discretion. To make this large Council workable and efficient, it is divided into six working groups, each covering one of the main areas of need in our Diocese, as identified in our inaugural Assembly in 2013. The groups are: Hearing and Proclaiming the Word of God; Worshipping God in Prayer and Sacrament; Building a Community of Love and Service; Participation of Indigenous Catholics; The Domestic Church: Marriage and Family and the Participation of Young Catholics. To date, we have found that most matters arising fall in some way into one of these categories. Each group has a convenor and meets regularly, working on the

Sr Alice Sullivan rsj, Daniel Ang, Deacon Josh Clayton and Chancellor, Tony Eviston particular mandate it has received from Bishop McKenna. A Steering Committee comprised of the convenors and ex-officios also meets regularly with the Bishop, to bring the work together. The Assembly will be the annual gathering of the whole of the Council. It will be a time to meld their experience and wisdom and explore what might be possible for our Diocese into the future. This may be in the form of new initiatives; or may even just be ways we can improve on things we are already doing. It will be facilitated by Daniel Ang, Director of Evangelisation for the Diocese of Broken Bay. Delegates will hear reports on what’s happening in the Diocese in various areas, including Catholic Schools Youth

Ministry Australia, Ministry Formation Programme, Diocesan Youth Plan and the upcoming Synod. From their work during the year, each of the workgroups will put forward one specific and practical proposal to the Assembly on which it would like to focus in the coming year. Other ideas will be shared and will continue to be considered and developed over time, however the energy of the groups will be devoted to the progression of a particular proposal across the Diocese. During the Assembly, the delegates will attend the Parish Mass in the Cathedral at 10.00am on Sunday 29th October. Bishop McKenna urges us, as a Diocese, to pray for a fruitful Assembly. Fiona Lewis Diocesan Secretary

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Social Justice Statement 2017-2018


Bishop Long Van Nguyen with representatives from Australian Charities, The Australian Social Justice Council, Catholic Social Services and Aunty Elsie Heiss Australia is experiencing a housing equity. Justice must be built into the crisis. And our Indigenous brothers and very foundations of our community, sisters struggle with economic and social and business can work for everybody’s burdens that most Australians cannot benefit, not just for shareholders. The imagine. In the light of these challenges, excluded and vulnerable must have a the Statement calls us to build an economy voice in decision-making. God is calling founded on true solidarity with those us to use his bounty wisely, for the good who are most vulnerable. Such a society of all and of our planet. will reject an ‘ideology of the market’ You can read the Statement at that forgets the principles of justice and goo.gl/4pPZVu


ope Francis has called for an economic system that places men and women at the very centre - one that meets the needs of all people and is just and sustainable. He denounces economic structures that take a purely utilitarian view of human beings, treating them as mere elements of production, to be thrown away if they are not seen as useful or productive. The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2017-18 is titled ‘Everyone’s Business: Developing an inclusive and sustainable economy’. The Bishops call for an economy that is founded on justice and offers dignity and inclusion to every person. The Bishops’ Statement is built around the Gospel for Social Justice Sunday, 24th September 2017. Jesus tells the parable of the workers in the vineyard, where all are active contributors and are recognised for their human dignity. Australia has experienced a quarter of a century of continuous economic growth, but the benefits of this good fortune have not been distributed equally. In our workplaces, conditions and security of employment have been eroded, while those who are unemployed subsist on incomes well below poverty levels.

A Comfort Cross will be sent out to all those who can assist this cause with a donation of $20.00 or more and tick this box

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 3

50th Anniversary of Catholic Observer


he first issue of The Catholic Observer was published on Sunday 9th July 1967. Seventh Bishop of Bathurst, The Most Reverend Albert Thomas, is quoted in the first edition as saying, “Many ask why I revived the paper… It must be admitted that a diocesan newspaper has a unique and special function. It is the communication between the Bishop and his people… Thus I have revived the diocesan paper in order to have a modern means of communicating with you”. The Catholic Observer was not the first newspaper of the Diocese of Bathurst. Bishop Matthew Quinn, the first Bishop of the Diocese, was the founder and editor of The Record, established in 1877. In the first issue, Bishop Quinn clearly stated the aim of The Record: “Each issue will contain a carefully prepared summary of Catholic and general news. The rights of education will have a prominent place”. This objective still stands strong in the Catholic Observer today.

The Record had a vigorous life for 22 years, with a circulation of 3,000 at its peak. After a fire in the printing room destroyed all stock and equipment in 1899, the paper ceased to exist. Bishop Norton revived The Record in 1929. However, after four years, in the midst of the Depression, publication once again ceased.

Thomas, The Catholic Observer was created. The editor of the then monthly newspaper was Fr J M Emmanuel and the first edition was a sell-out, with extra copies being rushed to several parishes where the supply did not meet the high demand. In the ensuing 50 years, the Observer has seen various editors and formats. It moved from being a monthly to a fortnightly paper, back to a monthly and is now a quarterly magazine. It has covered five papal elections, the installation of two bishops, the ordination of numerous priests, the final profession of many religious sisters, thousands of children receiving the sacraments, the opening and closing of numerous Diocesan schools and, more recently, the ordination of our four permanent deacons. It has also shared many messages from our bishops, pastoral letters, opinion pieces and coverage of important news items and events from across our Diocese, the country and the world. The Catholic Observer, over the years, won a number of Australasian Catholic Press Association awards. Its history is a rich tapestry that has captured the essence of our Diocese for the past half century. We look forward to bringing you many more editions of the Catholic Observer in the future. Kimbalee Clews

Almost 40 years later, under the instruction of Bishop

Our front cover…


ver the first two weeks in July, Bathurst‘s Winter Illumination Festival takes place, seeing locals and visitors from far and wide embracing the winter weather. This year, the Cathedral of St Michael

and St John featured in Illumination Festival for the first time and was a star attraction. Our beautiful Cathedral was bathed in glorious colour combinations that highlighted its intricate design

features. Members of the Cathedral Parish took the opportunity to welcome visitors by providing tours of the Cathedral and a welcome hot sausage sandwich on a cold night, over the weekends the Festival was held.

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he Diocese of Bathurst Youth Ministry is excited to launch its new brand - RISE.

Ministries Co-ordinator, Deacon Josh Clayton, said, “Over the last 12 months, there has been an active attempt to engage youth in our schools and parishes to experience an encounter with Christ, his Church and our communities. With this in mind, events and initiatives have been put in place to encourage young people to experience faith in a new and exciting way. This can be seen most clearly through Catholic Schools Youth Ministry Australia initiatives, team formation events and the efforts of parishes to reach out to youth in new and fresh ways”. RISE will also capitalise on the well known schools initiative, iRise. “To ensure there is consistency and cohesiveness within all Diocese of Bathurst Youth initiatives, we saw it was time to create a common identity for the youth ministry function and

the result is RISE!” said Deacon Josh. This year, our Diocesan Youth Festival has been renamed RISE Youth Festival. It will be a great way to launch the new identity to the audience that it is targeted at - the youth of our Diocese. Look out for the fun and exciting events RISE has planned, as we move into this new phase of youth ministry,

including the RISE Youth Festival, being held in the September school holidays and the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, which is guaranteed to be unforgettable! Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date: facebook.com/Bathurst-DioceseYouth-54878950937/ Kimbalee Clews

Opening Hours The Catholic Development Fund office is open for counter service from 10.00am to 4.30pm – Monday to Friday. On-Line Access You can also access the CDF On-Line via the Diocesan website bathurst.catholic.org.au or phone Freecall 1800 451 760 - for information Disclosure: The Catholic Development Fund Diocese of Bathurst (CDF) is not subject to the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 nor has it been examined or approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Deposits with CDF are guaranteed by CDPF Limited, a company established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for this purpose. We welcome your investment with the CDF rather than with a profit oriented commercial organisation as a conscious commitment by you to support the Charitable, Religious and Educational works of the Catholic Church. CDF, nor the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Bathurst are prudentially supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority; contributions to CDF do not obtain the benefit of the depositor protection provisions of the Banking Act 1959; CDF is designed for investors who wish to promote the charitable purposes of CDF.

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 5

Fight for rights in West Papua


nthony Craig lives in Lithgow, NSW, is a registered nurse and the national leader of the Free West Papua Party of Australia. After repeated denials by both the Australian and Indonesian governments and counter claims of atrocities and mass murder of West Papuan groups, Anthony has travelled to West Papua and Papua New Guinea several times in search of the truth. His most recent visit was to Papua New Guinea in July of this year. He was accompanied by his son, Patrick and together they spent four days visiting refugee camps and meeting with the West Papuan people. In a report presented to Bishop Michael McKenna on his return, Anthony said, “The atrocity reports coming from West Papua that are not reported in the main stream media are just as shocking as those from Syria and Afghanistan. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are over 10,500 West Papuan refugees living in refugee camps across the border in Papua New Guinea. Rainbow and Hohola camps in Port Moresby have around 400 refugees, Bishop Michael receives the report from Anthony Craig with some camps closer to the border housing several thousand refugees”. On his arrival in Papua New Guinea, Anthony met with Cardinal John Ribat msc, Archbishop of Port Moresby. “I asked the Cardinal to raise the West Papuan refugee issue with Pope Francis and the Vatican Head of State. Cardinal Ribat agreed that it needs to be on the international agenda”. “After seeing the extreme poverty in the streets and the appalling living conditions in the camps, I can say I was very disturbed by what I experienced during my visit to PNG. Since returning, my focus is very much on West Papua and my trip has only toughened my resolve to help the West Papuan people to be free from oppression and poverty” said Anthony. Living conditions in the refugee camps housing West Papuan people

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Book Review In God’s Hands: the Spiritual Diaries


Translated by Joanna Rzepa and William Collins

his is a collection of Pope John Paul II’s personal reflections from 1962-2003. Being the Bishop of Rome for 27 years, John Paul II was an incredibly well known Pope. He attracted not only countless young Catholics, but numerous heads of state and religious leaders in the world. He served God unceasingly until his last breath, and subsequently been declared a saint of the Church. ‘In God’s Hands: the Spiritual Diaries’ reveals the profound love John Paul II had for God. This text reveals that he never thought of himself as worthy enough to serve as the Holy Father. The book is not a formal theological tome nor intended to be read devotionally, yet throughout it, the reader is given a unique perspective on the inner life of a man who loved God generously and obeyed him fervently. The book contains John Paul’s original notes, which he wrote during his retreats and his daily reflections. John Paul’s writing illustrates to the reader the depth of his contemplation of God and the theology and doctrines of the Church. This is no ordinary doctrinal summary, but rather is a beautiful, personal engagement with doctrine from John Paul II’s unique perspective. For anyone who wants to know and love God more closely, this book is right up your alley. I love this great book because it helped me grow closer to God and lead others on this journey. It shows clearly what a saint of our day looks like and the great effect that living a holy life can have, especially for the clergy. Furthermore, it provides insight for the reader with regard to the need for, and effect of, Christian virtue in our pastoral work. The importance of priestly holiness is shown in his talk of 28th February - an address about priests. John Paul II says that a priest is a “Man of the Church” (Paul VI). The Pope revealed different kinds of qualities that a priest needs: In order to be a person of faith, the priest has to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, devoted to learning. But above all, he has to seek Christ with all his strength”. But he says a priest should not only seek holiness. The Pope writes compellingly on the priesthood and suffering, drawing on his experience of communism in his homeland of Poland and the sufferings of his ill health after his attempted assassination in 1981. Suffering, for the Pope, played a significant role in his teachings and reflections - something that all of us should integrate. In the talk ‘Episcopus - homo doloris’ (Bishop - man of suffering), John Paul holds that the bishop is a man of suffering because he cares deeply for his flock. He expands on this theme, saying that, for those who take responsibility to look after the people of God: They must have a desire for heaven, thoughts about death and eternity; let us not be afraid of death, but let us be afraid of the responsibility for life; responsibility for ‘our sheep’.

According to John Paul, the philosophy of suffering is best understood when one becomes humble and aware of the frailty of life. One needs to prepare oneself for suffering without becoming immersed in it. To be a Christian and not desire to suffer is ‘a blasphemy’. He elaborates, saying that suffering brings us closer to God in a fuller, faster and firmer way. It is a condition of spiritual maturity. Finally, Saint John Paul II had a profound devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary - his ‘patron and hope’. He often preached about Mary and her saving role for everyone. That is why he offered himself totally to her care, which is revealed in a song Totus Tuus. For John Paul II, Mary was the woman who listened to God’s will and totally believed in God’s plan for her. She is the Mother of the Church and the Mother of priests. This is a wonderful book for anyone seeking holiness; men in holy orders and anyone in pastoral care would benefit greatly from reading it, because it shows a leader who truly loved God and had a deep care for souls. Diep Nguyen Seminarian

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 7

A place to rest awhile


here is a Josephite treasure nestled in the picturesque village of Perthville, on the outskirts of Bathurst, known as The Perthville Heritage and Conference Centre. The property carries a rich history of the Sisters of St Joseph and was visited by both St Mary MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison Woods in the 1870s. On this site, The Vale Lodge offers accommodation as well as opportunities for prayer days, retreats or conferences. The building has easy access with ensuite rooms, conference rooms, dining room, lounge areas and a chapel, all disability compliant. The Perthville Convent Heritage Centre tells of the lives of St Mary MacKillop and Fr Julian Woods, co-founders of the Sisters of St Joseph. The story of the first foundation of the Sisters of St Joseph in NSW and the on-going work of the Sisters is told in storyboards and

displays, show-casing a collection of Josephite memorabilia. Families, school and community groups, as well as individual guests, are welcome to explore this sacred site. Tour guides are available during opening hours: weekdays 10am-4pm; First Sunday in the month 11am-1pm. St Joseph’s Heritage and Conference Centre is set in spacious, peaceful

grounds. So come, rest awhile and soothe the spirit or engage in retreats and other group activities at St Joseph’s Heritage and Conference Centre, Tenison Woods Ave, Perthville. Enquiries and bookings for The Vale Lodge and The Perthville Convent Heritage Centre can be made by phoning (02) 6337 2420 or email: perthville. coordinator@sosj.org.au

Significance of Heritage Centre Collection


arly in August, committee members of St Joseph’s Heritage and Conference Centre, Perthville gathered with Margot Jolly, Regional Museum Consultant, to receive the final draft of the Significance Assessment Report, commissioned by the Committee. Margot has been assessing and recording items of significance held at the Heritage Centre and has given advice on best practice to preserve and care for the historical items which the Sisters have lovingly collected at Perthville over the years. We look forward to sharing the St Joseph’s Heritage and Conference Centre with many visitors.

Pam Haddin, Alice Sullivan rsj, Margot Jolly, Mary Murphy rsj,

Sr Alice Sullivan rsj Ellen McManus, Maureen Sanderson rsj and Maureen Schiemer rsj

St Joseph’s Heritage and Conference Centre, Perthville The St Joseph’s Heritage and Conference Centre offers retreat, conference and accommodation facilities for groups, offering day, overnight, short or long stays. It is ideal for prayer days, retreats or work related conferences. The beautiful onsite Chapel is available to guests. 1st October: Open Day at the Centre from 11am - 1pm 5th November: Open Day at the Centre from 11am - 1pm 22nd November: Summer Reflection Day from 9.30am - 3pm 4th December: Advent Prayer held in the Chapel at 11am Tenison Woods Ave, Perthville Ph: 6337 2420 Email: perthville.coordinator@sosj.org.au Page 8 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Diocesan Ministry Formation Program


he Diocese of the Bathurst has introduced a new initiative known as the Ministry Formation Program (MFP).  The program aims to inspire and equip men and women to work in different forms of ministry across the Diocese. This formation will give a basis for ongoing development to support the mission of the local church. It will enhance existing ministries for parish liturgies, hospital, aged care and prison visitation and catechesis of adults and children. The program aims to enable the Diocese to expand services in areas such as funeral and bereavement teams and university ministry. The MFP is targeted at men and women who are willing to undertake a program of spiritual, academic, human and pastoral formation, part time, over a period of 18 months to two years. Successful participation of this program will result in a recognised qualification within the Diocese of Bathurst. Information sessions were held in Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo and

Participants at the information session in Dubbo Mudgee, with healthy interest by will be able to further discern their involvement. parishioners at each session. The next stage will see those interested in pursuing the MFP attending a second session that will provide a deeper understanding of the Program and give an introduction to the style of learning that will occur throughout its delivery. A retreat is planned for October, where people

If you are interested in finding out more about the MFP, it’s not too late to register your interest. Please contact Deacon Josh Clayton on 6334 6400 or email: ministries@ bathurst.catholic.org.au. Kimbalee Clews

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The Future of the Church


he following is a summary of an address given by Seminarian, Dong Van Nguyen, who recently spoke at the celebrations held at St Patrick’s Parish, Wellington, marking the Parish’s centenary. The full address may be found at goo.gl/Rcm8H6

Recently, Fr Carl Mackander came to Dubbo, where I am doing my pastoral work at the moment. He asked me if I could give a talk about the future of our diocese in the centenary celebration. He added that he had already told the Bishop that I would be guest speaker. Immediately, I felt like I was thrown into the deep end. Firstly, because he had told people before he had even asked me. Secondly, and more importantly, ‘The Future of the Church’ is a huge topic. None of us is capable of talking about the future of anything, let alone the future of the Church, which is the Body of Christ. If you ask me what the Catholic church in the Diocese of Bathurst will be like in 10 or 20 years, my answer is: ‘I don’t know’. If you ask me what has changed in the Diocese of Bathurst in the last century, well, I’m not so sure about that either. I’ve only been in this Diocese for almost seven years. I don’t know the future, nor the past of the Diocese, so what am I supposed to be talking about now? Imagine you are in a three-story shopping mall and you don’t know where the Reject Shop is. What you should do is to look it up on the map. Once you have found the location of the Reject Shop, the next thing you must look up is ‘your current location’. Without being able to determine your current location, even if you could find where the Reject Shop is on the map, you wouldn’t know how to get there. It is the same when we talk about the future of our Diocese. Each one of us may have different visions for the Diocese. However, in order to get to the envisioned Diocese in future, we have to look honestly at where we are now. I’m aware that on occasions like this (Centenary Celebration) we should talk about our achievements. However, I also believe that in order to move forward into brighter future, we should also look at some problems as well. And, in order to fix any

Dong Van problem, the first thing we need to do is to identify it, and then evaluate it honestly. What I see the Diocese with in the last seven years is the eye of a foreigner who comes from overseas. I also view the Church with the eye of a young man, who has left everything behind in his home country to come to join, and God willing, to serve, the church here in Australia. Nearly seven years ago, When I first arrived in this Diocese, the Bishop sent me to Dunedoo for Fr Carl to teach me ‘Aussie English and culture’. So, if I am not doing well, you know who to blame. The first day I came, it was in the afternoon. Fr Carl took me out to show me the church. On the way, we met Beth, a parishioner. Fr Carl introduced me to her as a preseminarian for the Diocese of Bathurst and said I was going to stay with him for a while. Do you know what Beth said in response? “Oh, great! We will have one more person to go to Mass!” And I thought: “Uhm, that’s strange! Why would one extra person at Mass matter much?” In my home parish in Vietnam, our daily Mass is full of people. Even though Mass starts at 4.30am, hundreds of people would be there. So, it wouldn’t be a big change for the congregation to have one more or one less person at Mass. Therefore, I did not understand Beth’s response when she first met me. The next day I went to Mass and there we were: Fr Carl celebrated

Nguyen the Mass, I did the reading and Beth did the Prayer of the Faithful. That’s all. One person equals 33 per cent of Mass attendants. Only then I realised how much one more person at Mass meant to Beth. To be honest, I didn’t feel shocked at all, because I was told about church attendance in Australia before I came. I knew that Dunedoo is only a small town. So, I didn’t expect to see hundreds of people at weekday Mass. But still, I felt a bit sad because what I saw was beyond my imagination. Whichever parish you come from, you have to agree with me that church attendance is decreasing. We have to admit together that we are struggling. The Church climate is changing. People are more and more less interested in going to church. There are not enough young people at Mass. Where is our next generations? In the last few years, I have seen a few churches in our Diocese closed down, not only because we cannot afford a priest, but mainly because people stopped coming to church. What is going on? When we think about the future of the Church, immediately and naturally we think of young people, the next generation. And then we tend to blame them for not going to Mass, or for not practicing their faith. Well, I think that is not always a right attitude to have. A few years ago, when I was on pastoral placement in Mudgee parish, I witnessed this. There was a young

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The Future of the Church

girl who turned up at Sunday Mass thinking that she was on altar serving that day. When she came in she found out that she was not on. She turned and asked the priest: ‘I’m not serving today, can I stay for Mass.’ he said: ‘Yes, of course, you can’. Then she asked: “Who am I going to sit with?’ he told her to sit with who ever she came with. But she said, “My mum dropped me here, and she has gone to do something else”. At that moment, I realised that the reason why I don’t see many young people at Mass is probably not because the young people don’t choose to come, but because their parents are too busy. I told you this story in order to assure you that the future of the church does not as much depend on our children as it does on us who are more advanced in age and in faith. In other words, the future of our Diocese depends on all of you here and now.

Someone once said that God does not have grandchildren. Indeed, each one of us is called to be son and daughter of God. Each of us is called to be Jesus’ disciple. What does it mean to be a disciple? A disciple is more than just a believer, but a follower, a preacher, and a missionary. Jesus did not come to gather believers, but to make disciples, and he commanded his disciples to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ (Mt 29:19).

Each of us is a follower of something. You may be a disciple of art, music, or sports. When we are a follower of something, we tend to talk about it, to include it in our daily conversations, to joke about it, and to dream about it. So, if you are a true disciple of Jesus, do all these things in your daily life, starting in your families and then in our communities.

When I discussed how the the church is changing with a lady who I brought Communion to, she told me how much she missed the ‘old days’. She still remembers vividly how important she felt on the day of her first Communion and Confirmation. She said her father and his friends used to walk for twelve miles to get to Mass on Sundays. I told her that is how people still are in some places in Vietnam. I expressed my concern about the future of the Church in some developed countries. She said: don’t worry, the Church will survive. ‘Yes’, I said, ‘I trust that Church will surely survive. In fact the Church has survived many great persecutions in the last two thousand years, and will continue to survive in the future.’ But I told her that I do not want the Church to survive. I want the Church to live. And I think the Church can only live if each one of us becomes a disciple. As some of you might know, my family is in farming. We have a coffee farm. In order to have a good harvest,

we need to take a special care of the plants in blossoming season. One secret my father found out is that in order for the flowers to blossom together well, we have to wait until the flowers are thirsty enough. Therefore, in the blossoming season, my father goes every day to the farm to check carefully the flowers to see if they have suffered enough from water deprivation. When the right time comes, we water the coffee plants, one by one, with abundant water. And then the flowers will open with maximum capacity, and promise a fruitful harvest. When I reflect on what the Church is going through now. I imagine she is like our coffee farm in the sunny season - she is thirsty! However, the Father is still waiting for the right time to supply her with water. He is checking everyday. He is not sleeping. He is waiting...”. As a seminarian for the Diocese of Bathurst, I have a great hope in God’s plan for our Diocese. And I imagine if Jesus were preaching here in our Diocese now, he would probably say the same thing which he said over 2,000 years ago: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few”. And probably he would also add: ‘each one of you is a laborer, go and help with the harvest.’ Would you be willing to say ‘yes’? Dong Van Nguyen Seminarian

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C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 11

NAIDOC Mass at St Lawrence’s

Aunty Maureen Sulter with Travis Tighe on didgeridoo and Kodi Brady ounds of the didgeridoo played Fr Reynold Jaboneta blessed the read by Nicole Ashby. by Travis Tighe set an excellent water and then, to the sound of the Mass was followed by morning tea in atmosphere for our NAIDOC didgeridoo and clap sticks, Kodi Brady the presbytery garden with a special Week Mass and celebrations at St sprinkled the congregation with the cake for the occasion. The cake Lawrence’s Church, Coonabarabran blessed water. The coolamon used for consisted of highly decorated cup nd on Sunday 2 July. this ritual was a gift handed down to cakes arranged to form the Aboriginal Aunty Maureen by elder, Uncle Roy Aunty Maureen Sulter presented a flag and was organised by Nicole. Barker. Welcome to Country in the language This was, indeed, a very special of the Gamilaraay people and in Prayers of Intercession were prayed celebration involving the whole English. This was followed by a by Dave Sulter and his family. A congregation and a very fitting water ritual introduced by Charlotte final prayer, initially prepared by beginning for NAIDOC Week 2017. Thompson, a student from St Aboriginal people for Pope John Paul Sr Madeline Breen rsj Lawrence’s School. II’s visit to Alice Springs in 1986, was


MRCS joins with MacKillop Family Services


acKillop Rural Community Services (MRCS), which provides a range of family, social and disability services to communities across the NSW Western Plains region, has joined the operations of MacKillop Family Services to enhance the capacity to provide support to local families. MRCS was previously a ministry of the Sisters of St Joseph. “MacKillop’s shared heritage through the Sisters of St Joseph drives both organisations’ commitment to support children, young people and adults to live to their full potential, and to deliver services in the areas where the need is greatest”, said Robyn Miller, CEO MacKillop Family Services. “We are looking forward to expanding the support provided to clients and increase the positive outcomes of our work through shared skills, resources and knowledge.”

All MRCS’ programs, services, locations and staff will remain the same and MRCS will continue to be led by former CEO Corrie Taylor, in her ongoing role as General Manager. “Our transition to MacKillop Family Services strengthens our ability to support children and families in rural NSW”, said Corrie Taylor. “We will continue our work in rural areas to support families to live dignified, secure, just and hope-filled lives”. MRCS provides family support, supported playgroups, parenting and early childhood education to vulnerable families, counselling and support to young people who are

vulnerable and at risk of homelessness and in-home accommodation support, respite and early education to adults and children with a disability. They also provide early childhood intervention and therapy support. MRCS’ head office is in Dubbo, but the organisation works in a diverse range of rural and remote NSW communities including Coonabarabran, Baradine and Coonamble in the Diocese of Bathurst. Find out more about MacKillop Family Services at: www.mackillop. org.au.

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Louise Carson

We give thanks for the Sisters of Mercy


arly in June, Bishop Michael McKenna concelebrated Mass with priests from across the Diocese at St Joseph’s Church, Orange to recognise and express appreciation for the work of the Sisters of Mercy in the Diocese of Bathurst for over 150 years. Retired Sisters of Mercy were joined by teachers, students and parishioners who acknowledged the profound contribution of the Mercy Sisters. As an ex-convent school kid from St Matthew’s Mudgee, the occasion brought back many memories of the Sisters. Together with the Sisters of St Joseph, the Sisters of Mercy, provided education for countless children throughout country Australia. Memories flood back of playing marbles on the dusty gravel area that was our playground, of half school days for Saints, of Benediction, of Altar boy weekly rosters, of rows of single desks, chalkboards, of a peppercorn tree in the bare playground and the bottles of plain milk provided to every primary school student in NSW. Amidst this, I remember the Sisters of Mercy dressed in their full habit throughout the year. I was taught by several nuns, including a Sr Carmelita and Sr Margarita. I have incredible respect for the Sisters, whose lives were devoted to serving God and the mission of the Church, having taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Their lives in those days were often very harsh, regulated and in some perspectives of modern society, thankless. Long days, few holidays, many responsibilities and

Mercy and the De La Salle Brothers and aims to inspire students with these two wonderful charisms. Last year, a milestone was reached when the last teaching Sister of Mercy, Sister Carmel Quade, retired from Catherine McAuley Primary School. The Sisters continue to play active roles in their communities, in social work and environmental causes, in the Church and supporting each other. Thank you Sisters. In the words of Sister Paula, you indeed have transformed many lives and, in doing so, have been transformed. May God continue to bless you and care for you.

Sisters of Mercy, Carmel Quade and Mary Trainor

Peter Meers

expectations, and a lack of the material pleasures often given priority in our society. A shining example of their dedication comes in the form of a Sister my Mum still talks about in Mudgee. Sister Mary Clement, retired last year, after 40 years of involvement in Mudgee, and 70 years of service in her vocation; a commitment that saw her still helping others in her 90s. In Orange, the Mercy Sisters arrived in 1878. Countless women in Orange owe their education to Santa Maria and the Sisters of Mercy. In 1980, the girls joined the boys at James Sheahan Catholic High School and Sister Marjorie Hennessy became Vice Principal of the new school. James Sheahan continues to honour the work done by the Sisters of

Sr Dympna Callaghan with Kevin Duffy

The Catholic Observer is published by the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst (Diocesan Publications) PO Box 246, Bathurst, NSW, 2795 ph: (02) 6334 6400 fax: (02) 6331 9453 email: observer@bathurst.catholic.org.au Editor ~ Fiona Lewis Communications Co-ordinator ~ Kimbalee Clews Designer ~ Jacqui Keady Printed by: Rural Press Printing, Richmond NSW All material in this magazine is copyright and may be reproduced only with the written permission of the Editor. The Catholic Observer is a member of the Australasian Catholic Press Association.

Tradtional Catholic Funerals


C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 13

St Mary’s repairs underway


t Mary’s Church, Mudgee is two months into the roof repairs brought about by damage caused in a category two cyclone on 18th January 2017. It has been a big project with Ray Ashford and his son, Ben, replacing the Bangor Welsh slate tiles and ridge capping. There were interruptions to Masses with the church being off limits during week days. There is scaffolding inside the church to support the roof, while the men worked on the outside. Mass has been celebrated in the Parish Centre during the week, which has been welcomed by some, as the Centre is a warmer alternative in the cold winter months. It was decided to reinstall the dormers on the roof while the slate was being replaced, at our own expense. The copper dormers, with louvers, are used for ventilation and let light into the church. They were part of the original

church and were removed some time in the 1930s. We thank our parishioners for being so

understanding and patient while the repairs continue. Jennifer Maloney

St Patrick’s Church celebrates 100 years


hile Wellington was commemorating its bicentenary in August, the local Catholic church was marking a momentous occasion of its own. St Patrick’s Church held its Centenary celebrations on 20th August to mark a long history which dates as far back as 1858. Around 300 people filled the church, including Y6 students from St Patrick’s Parish receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. Bishop Michael McKenna concelebrated Mass with Parish Priest, Fr Carl Mackander who said the day was to recognise the many people involved with the church over the last 100 years. Confirmation was followed by prayer at the Grotto of Mary in front of the old convent which was completed in 1918. Ten Sisters of Mercy present gathered together in prayer at the Grotto that is dedicated to their deceased benefactors and students of St Mary’s School. The Bishop then blessed a plaque at the Presbytery, commemorating 50 years since it was built and the priest of the time moved in. Guest speaker, fifth-year seminarian, Dong Nguyen, was a highlight of the day, talking about the future of the Church. “He was encouraging people who are part of the Church today to be people of

Bishop Michael with the Sisters of Mercy, Fr Carl Mackander and Deacon Mike Williams hope, kindness and love for each other, In 1863 the foundation stone was laid which will help to create the future for a new church to be called St Patrick’s, located where the presbytery is now. It Church”, Father Carl said. Assistant Parish Secretary, Kate cost £1,000 pounds. Kenworthy, said the speech filled the This was used up until the new church th crowd with confidence in the role the opened on Sunday 18 November 1917. The old church was demolished in 1966 Catholic Church will hold into the future. and the presbytery was built on the site “There were a number of young people present” she said. “It was great to see so in 1967 using the salvaged bricks. many actively involved in the day as we The Foundation Stone of the current celebrated the past which has brought us church was laid on 19th September 1914. to this point, and has given us great hope It was built in the early English Gothic for the future of our church”. style using deep pink bricks of the The first Catholic church in Wellington Wellington district and was consecrated was built in 1858 as a small building in 1937. of wooden slabs on what was then the Information courtesy of the eastern end of town. Wellington Times

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vocations awareness week

Vocations reflection

Bishop Michael McKenna ordaining Fr Reynold Jaboneta in 2012


t Mary of the Cross MacKillop has her feast day celebrated during National Vocations Awareness Week. There is an appropriate interconnection between the second patron of our country and how all the baptised of Australia are called to live their lives in the service of the Gospel. The word ‘vocation’ is derived from the Latin word vocare, which means ‘to call’. In the midst of the many voices in our society, through media in general and social networking via personal devices, a lot of static is created for the individual and it can be hard to hear the voice of God within. Mary MacKillop lived as a lay woman in the 1860s whilst teaching as a governess in Penola SA and later in the local parish school of Portland, Victoria. Her dysfunctional family situation meant she, as the eldest of eight children, became the ‘breadwinner’ in her mid-teens. Mary supported her family financially and emotionally while she put her heart and soul into teaching and passing on faith to her pupils. She was also discerning, with the advice of Fr Tenison Woods, the call she felt to religious life in an order serving the poorest people in Australian society. Whether we are called by God to live single life, priesthood, married life or religious life as a sister or brother, the impetus comes from our Baptism and Confirmation. These sacraments grace us to spread God’s love and the compassion of Jesus Christ in our outreach to others around us. Married couples have the gift and responsibility of rearing their children to know and love God as well as engaging in the lay apostolate in wider society, according to their available time and the gifts and talents they have received from God. Mary MacKillop in the letters to her mother or letters to others about her parents, makes clear her appreciation for the education she received from her father, a former seminarian, and for the example of her mother, who lived with a firm faith and trust in God’s providence - even in the most trying times and experiences in her marriage and family life. With one brother a priest and another

one thinking about being a priest, Mary could appreciate the call to priesthood and the opportunities and challenges which went with this vocation. Retired auxiliary Bishop Pat Power

of the Diocese of Canberra-Goulburn names three essential qualities in candidates for priesthood: 1) that he be a decent, normal, wellgrounded human being; 2) that he has a pastoral heart; and

Lord of the Harvest, Bless young people with the gift of courage to respond to your call. Open their hearts to great ideals, to great things. Inspire all of your disciples to mutual love and giving for vocations blossom in the  good soil of faithful people. Instill those in religious life, parish  ministries, and families with the confidence and grace to invite others to embrace  the bold and noble path of a life consecrated to you. Unite us to Jesus through prayer and sacrament, so that we may cooperate  with you in building your reign of mercy and truth, of justice and peace. Amen. - Pope Francis Adapted from the Message on the 51st World Day  of Prayer for Vocations.

3) that he has a relationship with God and Jesus Christ. These attributes are further developed in seminary training and in the faith journey of life, so that he can be a genuine and encouraging proclaimer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Religious sisters and brothers require similar gifts and dispositions to the priest, as do married couples and single Catholics. Pope Francis tells us we are each called by Jesus to bring his love and mercy to our society, especially to others most in need of love, mercy and forgiveness. Each of the vocations has a prayer and spiritual life appropriate to the lifestyle and sacrament received; basically we seek to live according to Gospel inspiration. How blessed is the life lived with the grace of the sacraments keeping us inspired according to God’s invitation to a vocation. Listening to the voice of Christ is at the heart of being a Christian and to finding our individual role in Church and society. Fr Carl Mackander Vocations Director

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 15

vocations awareness week

My attraction to Josephite life


n the 1950s, I was a young student taught by the Sisters of Mercy in primary school and the Josephites in secondary school, as far as the Intermediate Certificate. Upon leaving school, I was employed in various places, doing mainly clerical work and studying at night for the Leaving Certificate. I enjoyed being a member of a big family and was reared in the Western Suburbs of Sydney. For us, social life was very much intertwined with church activities and friendships grew out of association in clubs such as the Catholic Youth Organisation and the Over 21 Catholic Club. Whilst I was satisfied with my employment prospects and had quite a busy life socially, there was a growing realisation within me that I was being drawn to Josephite religious life. Josephites had been part of our family life over a long period because three of my aunts and two of my cousins were already Josephites. My call, however, came as a surprise, as I had not entertained the thought as a younger person and, when asked by my Josephite aunts whether I thought

I would become a nun, I had always indicated that I wanted to marry and have children. The Josephite style of religious life appealed to me as the Sisters lived in ordinary houses among the people and served the poorer classes in both city and country areas. My aunts often talked about small country schools where they taught and I was fascinated to learn where these places with strange names were located. To withdraw from my social and working life and explain to my friends and colleagues that I was going to enter the convent was not an easy task. People who were not Catholic had little or no understanding about my decision, but were curious and asked many questions. My family was very supportive and friends, although they knew what religious life was about, were varied in their response. In all this, I believe that the call to religious life is quite a mystery. God takes the initiative and allows the realisation to grow. If the call is genuine, God makes the pathway possible and although one may meet many obstacles along the way, somehow the courage and insight

is given to enable one to overcome whatever might block the way. I have been privileged to celebrate 50 years of religious profession as a Josephite Sister this year. These years have been an adventure. I have served in many places in NSW, including some country towns with strange names! I have lived interstate and visited our Sisters on mission in the Kimberley, WA, Peru, Ireland and Scotland. Presently I live in Dubbo. The work we do as Josephites is very important, but I know the call to religious life is a gift from God, which is renewed daily. In response to this daily call, it is imperative that I am faithful to a life of prayer and reflection which enables me to discern within myself what God is asking at any particular time and to respond with generosity and joy. Sr Christine Rowan rsj

Can you hear God’s call? You’ll never know unless you begin to open your heart in prayer to the possibilities; and then to speak to someone whose faith and judgment you trust. God does not usually reveal his will in a sudden dramatic way, but in the quiet steps of prayer, sacrament, service, reflection and sharing with other Catholics. Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mk 10:28-30)

For more information about exploring your vocation contact Fr Carl Mackander: pp.wellington@cdob.org.au or Fr Reynold Jaboneta: pp.coonabarabran@cdob.org.au Page 16 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

vocations awareness week Priesthood - The way that God has shown me


am the second child of a family of five children, with three brothers and one sister. My family lives in a central Vietnamese village called ‘Ru Dat’, which has a population of about 3,000 people. Despite its small size, Ru Dat has produced many priestly vocations. My father works as a building contractor and helps my mother to look after our rice farm. Learning from my great-grandfather, who died for his Christian faith, my parents set us a very good example of faith. We were woken up at 4am every morning and went to daily Mass. They taught me the Catechism, and showed me how to pray. When I was in Y7, I made my first confession and received my first Holy Communion. I realised then that priests are God’s instruments for helping me and others, because I felt a great sense of peace and fulfillment in the sacraments. I was asked to be an Altar boy and developed a love for the Mass and a deep devotion to Mary. Slowly, the idea of becoming a priest began to grow in my mind. However, I kept this to myself during my school years. In 2005, after finishing high school, I moved to the south of Vietnam to attend university, where I majored in Information Technology. Although I liked the study and intended to pursue a career in IT, the idea of becoming a priest was still very much in the back of my mind. After graduating from university, I returned home to visit my family and I often went to pray at the local shrine to St Anthony, to seek his help for discerning my plan for future. Our custom is to write a prayer on a card and put it in a box. In praying for the next step of my life, I simply wrote: “Lord please show me the way”. And then it happened - God answered my prayer through my experience with children. There were many children in my parish who were too poor to go to school, so I began to volunteer to teach them math. I discovered great joy in helping them and it was through this that I realised I had a calling. With more prayer, I finally decided to begin studying to become a priest. My parents were very surprised, but also very proud. However, that isn’t the end of the story. My parish priest, a family friend, introduced me to Bishop Michael McKenna, who was visiting, and I saw him again later at a wedding party where he remembers me because of my singing (although I’m not sure if that is a good thing). I shared with him my story and my deep desire to be a priest. After a few more conversations and a formal interview, Bishop Michael invited me to become a seminarian for the Diocese of Bathurst. My parents were delighted, but also very anxious that I would live so far away. But now I am here, I speak to them regularly and they are able to share my journey and be part of my Australian family. They know I put on a full 10 kilos not long after I arrived. No doubt it was all the Australian steak and chips I was being fed around here!

Thao at the recent ordination of priests in the Diocese of Sale When I arrived, I went straight to St Joseph’s Parish, Gilgandra to improve my English and learn more about the Australian way of life. The parishioners warmly welcomed me, and were very kind, supportive and friendly. They treated me as part of their family. My new friends taught me how to play touch football - essential for any new Australian - and I even scored two tries during my first game. They taught me real Australian slang and how to sing songs such as ‘I am Australian’ and ‘Waltzing Matilda’. For me, Gilgandra is my second home. I then set off to the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney where I am now in fourth year. I really enjoy life here. The staff and my brother seminarians are wonderful. Through my growing prayer life, and my studies, I know God is calling me to work hard to be formed for priestly service for the people of the Diocese of Bathurst - to find my joy and peace in sharing the love of God, who calls us all to him.

Thao Van Nguyen

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 17

vocations awareness week The heart of what we seek - an MSC’s journey


y name is Iokimi (Kimi) Vunivesilevu. I entered formation with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) in 2008, completed my theological studies at Yarra Theological Union, Melbourne at the end of 2016 and was ordained a deacon shortly after. I was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal John Ribat msc, Archbishop of Port Moresby, on 4th August 2017, at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Kensington, NSW, where I now reside. I was first attracted to the idea of joining the MSC congregation after working for the MSC Pacific Union’s regional office in Suva, Fiji. During those years, I met many MSC priests and religious brothers from the Pacific region, Australia, Indonesia and other parts of the world. I suppose it was their stories, both personal and pastoral, of the joys and the challenges of religious life that I found both attractive and inspirational. Through nine years in formation as an MSC, I have discovered that a vocation is more than just about becoming a religious or a priest. It is actually about

Fr Kimi responding to God’s invitation for us to enter and live life to its fullest. During my formation, I spent a year on pastoral experience with the prison chaplaincy at Long Bay Correctional Centre, NSW; a year in ministry at Prague House, Melbourne, a centre run by the Charity Nuns; a month on pastoral ministry in the Aboriginal community of Pirlangimpi, (Garden Point), Melville Island in the Tiwi’s just off Darwin, and for four years, I had the wonderful opportunity for pastoral work with Catholic Care’s HIV/AIDS ministry in Fitzroy, Melbourne. These

are experiences that I never would have imagined doing, or would have had the opportunity to do had I not become an MSC. A vocation is more than just a romantic notion; it’s a way of life that helps us get in touch and stay in touch with God. During my studies, I have had many of my preconceived world views confronted, refined, or expanded. I have learnt and continue to learn new ways of listening, relating, and journeying with others. I see my vocation as embodying the love of God revealed in the vulnerable human heart of Jesus, for those whom I encounter daily, particularly the marginalised, broken, or just need reminding that God actually loves them and nothing they have done, or can do, will change that. I believe that more than ever, our society and world needs more compassionate and loving people. The MSC charism is about being that heart of God on earth that’s why I enjoy the challenge and the gift of being MSC! Fr Iokimi (Kimi) Vunivesilevu MSC

Living the MSC spirituality of the heart


am currently a deacon with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSCs), working in the parish of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH), Henley Beach in the Archdiocese of Adelaide. This is my eighth year with the MSCs and it has been a fascinating adventure so far I was brought up in Singapore in a small family: Mum, Dad, my sister and me. While completing my university training at UNSW, Sydney, I met the MSCs in the Parish of OLSH, Randwick. I was not thinking of joining them then, but I warmed to them because they had a special way of living the Gospel that resonated with my own convictions. I then went back to Singapore and worked in a genetics research lab with every aspiration of becoming a scientist. After seven long years in research, I had become disillusioned with my career choice. I visited Sydney for World Youth Day in 2008 and

and love as God does. That was the beginning of a year-long discernment that led to my joining the MSCs in 2010. I was responding to the call to be on earth the heart of God, who loved unconditionally, inclusively, passionately and personally. It was how I experienced God and that shaped my vocation.

Deacon Krish attended a silent retreat for the first time in the bushlands of Douglas Park. It was in this silence I experienced a deep peace and felt loved to my bones. It was not an emotional high but a deep inner conviction. I felt I could do anything with my life, and found myself facing the question not just of career but of vocation. My desire for God was now being fired up to live

I was drawn to continue the journey and embraced the milestones of professing perpetual vows in 2015 and ordination to the diaconate in 2016. Living the MSC spirituality of the heart opens me up continually to God’s love as well as grounds me in my shared humanity with others. It forms the basis of my vocation: who I am and what I bring to and receive from others. I continue to desire to share the love of God in my heart in all I say and do, wherever I am sent as a MSC. Deacon Krish Mathavan MSC

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C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 19

Inaugural Diocesan Education Showcase: Our Journey of Transformation


ith a great sense of anticipation, over 230 school executive and teaching staff gathered at St Mary’s, Wellington on 18th July 2017 for our inaugural Diocesan Education Showcase. All schools are constantly on an improvement journey as they strive to deliver quality education for their students. The 33 schools across our diocese are striving to not only improve but to transform their practice, in light of the rapidly changing needs of their students. Hence the gathering was entitled Our Journey of Transformation. As I have been reporting to our Diocesan community in recent years, our schools are re-culturing as Professional Learning Communities, reflecting our model of Christ Centred Learning. As we begin to see the resultant impact on student learning outcomes and teacher effectiveness, it was timely for the leaders/key change agents across our schools to come together in a spirit of collaboration to share the great practices occurring in our schools and to learn from and to be inspired by each other. The day began with input from the pre-eminent Australian scholar and researcher, Dr Stephen Dinham with a presentation entitled Teaching for Learning. Staff then selected workshops to attend, facilitated by 12 schools representing the full range of school types, from our small primary schools to our K-12 and secondary schools. Our critical friend during the period of the development of our Model of Christ Centred Learning, Dr Julia Atkin, joined us on the day as a critical observer and facilitated a highly engaging dialogue with students and parent representatives who shared their thoughts on quality teaching practice. Following




Students and staff participate in the panel dicussion participants to reflect on their learnings from the day, the event concluded with the presentation by Fr Paul Devitt, President of the Diocesan Catholic Education Council, of the Diocesan Years of Service Awards to staff with 25 years plus service to Catholic education. This was a most fitting way to conclude our day of affirming staff and collaborating to ensure that we continue to strive to deliver high quality Catholic education to the students in our care. Several schools took up the opportunity of creating infographic banners which will now proudly be on display in their school communities. These banners provide a visual overview of an element of their practice which is having high positive impact on students. To find out more about the Showcase you are welcome to visit the site which contains all of the details of the day: showcase.bth. catholic.edu.au. Following the great feedback from schools, we will

host a showcase every two years to celebrate and collaborate in regard to the great work occurring in our school communities each and every day. Our Diocesan educational community has had further cause to celebrate with the recent launch of a publication co-edited by Dr Angelo Belmonte, co-leader of the Faith, Learning and Teaching team. The book is entitled Religious Education in Australian Catholic Schools, edited by Professor Richard Rymarz and Dr Angelo Belmonte. In the book, over 20 leading Australian educators share their experiences and expertise on addressing the challenges of teaching Religious Education in today’s Catholic schools. Dr Belmonte’s engagement in this publication is further testament to the quality leadership exercised across our dynamic Diocese.

Page 20 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Jenny Allen Executive Director of Schools

Display by St Patrick’s Primary School, Lithgow

Chris Stevens, Toby, Airlie and Alistaire Thompson

Airlie Mason, Toby Stevens, Kate Hannelly and Harry Powyer from St Mary’s, Wellington

Participants at the Showcase

St Matthews Catholic School

Providing a comprehensive and quality education in the Catholic tradition for young people from Kindergarten to Year 12.

4 Lewis St Mudgee Phone: 6372 1742 New website: www.stmattsmudgee.catholic.edu.au C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 21

CSYMA students shine at gathering


he Diocesan SHINE student gathering was held on 4th August at the Orange Function Centre. This proved to be an incredible event with over 400 young people and teachers attending from secondary schools from across the Diocese. The students who attended were those who have opted to participate in the Catholic School Youth Ministry Australia (CSYMA) programme implemented at their school this year. The gathering featured key sessions from local Coonamble boy, and Ignite Youth Director, Pat Keady and focused on the theme of ‘Called to Follow’. This message was taken even deeper with the music by Emmanuel Worship.  Students were also given the opportunity to delve into the many areas covered in the presentations, in particular in forming small groups where students were able to share their thoughts, fears and of course, their faith. 

Students shining bright at Shine

Members of the CSYMA National Team in Canberra, including founder Mr Peter Woods, and our own Youth Ministers, Dearne, Mitch and Daniel, were present and led some of the groups and other activities. A day of prayer, story, music and new friendships concluded with Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael McKenna who concelebrated with a number of priests from the Diocese and was assisted by Deacon Josh Clayton. Dr Angelo Belmonte

Annual Administration Conference


nother year has flown by and once again, all the school office and administration staff had the opportunity to get together with their support team from Catholic Education, Diocese of Bathurst, for the annual conference. Always a comfortable setting overlooking Mt Panorama, it was a great opportunity to catch up with ‘old’ friends and meet new ones from the school offices in the Diocese. The conference enables the staff to compare notes, catch up on audit reports, fees, budgets and technology and talk about our well-being and ways to handle stress, deadlines, band aids and bureaucracy.  Thanks again to all those who put together the conference each year and we look forward to catching up again in 2018. Sarah De Lange

Tess Martin, Rowena Parish, Helen Tobin and Margaret Puckeridge

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Protecting our children


atholic Education, Diocese of Bathurst has recently appointed two Education Officers - Child Protection. These roles are new to our Diocese and are aimed at further developing our schools as child safe organisations. A key part of this role is to support, develop and embed a culture of leadership within our organisations. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse highlighted the need for greater work and vigilance in the area of protecting and nurturing the development of young people in our care. Coupled with legislative changes in the form of Working with Children and the work of the NSW Ombudsman’s office in investigating allegations against employees, we have the makings of a sound protective framework. This assists our schools when recruiting and maintaining high quality staff who are suitable for child related employment. We will be working with schools to foster a culture of learning where staff receive a high level of training, to better develop the skills required to work with their communities in this crucial area of responsibility. The Royal Commission also highlighted the need to involve our students and parents in this process and enable them to be part of the decisions that are made for their protection. Catholic Education, Diocese of Bathurst is currently working

Gay Somerville, Greg McKay, Leader: Human Resources, Risk and WH&S/Lawyer and Anne Burke to develop stronger relationships with other organisations and this has led to the provision of counselling services in all of our schools. These appointments will enable a more comprehensive and proactive perspective to be implemented and continually reviewed in our Diocese in relation to child protection. It aims to listen, respect and support diversity within our school communities, promoting safety for all. Anne Burke and Gay Somerville Education Officers - Child Protection

Holy Family Catholic School Kelso

Holy Family Catholic School Kelso promotes high quality, integrated learning, in a fun environment

Catholic Education - Quality Education

(02) 6331 3279 holyfamilykelso.catholic.edu.au

Follow us on Facebook Holy Family School, Kelso

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 23

St Pius X would be proud!


UBBO: The feast of St Pius X is celebrated on 21st August. ‘He loved Christ and fed his flock’ and I’m sure he would be extremely proud of his namesake, our St Pius X Catholic Primary School. They certainly model Christcentredness and feed their students’ minds and souls with healthy wellbalanced and nutritious learning experiences. Janine Kearney Kindergarten students focused on learning at St Pius X in Dubbo

Holy Family creates Aboriginal garden


ELSO: Holy Family Catholic School, celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Week to open Term 3. The Opening Liturgy was held in the School’s new Aboriginal garden where the school community can celebrate and focus on the local Aboriginal culture. The garden includes native plants, symbols, pathways, seating and totems that support the school’s Aboriginal perspective curriculum priorities. The Liturgy was led by students and staff, with Fr Owen Gibbons who proclaimed the Gospel. Local Elder, Mr Bill Allen, assisted the School with the Liturgy. Mr Allen reminded the school community that we are in view of the sacred mountain, Wahloo (Mt Panorama) in the nearby distance. The Aboriginal Garden will be a place of reflection, nature study and cultural respect for the school community. Kevin Arrow

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Page 24 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Stannies’ News

Learning to learn


ATHURST: As part of the “Learning to Learn” program, Y7 students have been writing books for school children in Cambodia and Fiji. The idea is to help increase their capability in English and other basic knowledge. To hear some ideas on what kind of content should go in the books, the Y7 students visited St Philomena’s and Holy Family primary schools. They interviewed a group of Y4 students, who provided a range of suggestions, including the introduction of characters and a story plot, adding in puzzles and games, as well as images of popular landmarks in Bathurst and Australia.

Kyle Sealy with students from St Philomena's

Apology garden planning session


n June this year, St Stanislaus’ College held a service of Sorrow and Hope, which included two apologies to victims of sexual abuse and their families.

Ruben Watch, Hamish Lang and Jamie Bennett with students from Holy Family

Robotics workshop


ead of Technological and Applied Studies, Shane Thurston, and a group of Year 10 students, have commenced leading robotics workshops in the Catholic Primary Schools in Bathurst. The programme commenced at Holy Family School, Kelso in mid-August, with the objective of introducing robotics at an early age and educating students on coding, problem-solving and computational thinking. The workshop provided an opportunity for youngsters to program robots to dance, battle and also ‘complete a line’. The visits are planned to continue each term, to further develop students’ skills.

Following a suggestion on behalf of many of the families who attended, the College and Stannies’ community members will be creating a new garden as a place of welcome, peace, quiet and contemplation. The College held a planning session in early August. The outcome resulted in an agreed site location, at the front of the School around the entry steps on the front oval. The structure and design of the garden were also discussed, including what should be planted, disability access, seating and the possibility of a symbolic feature or sculpture being installed. The College has been fortunate to have Matt Howle and Heath Smith, from Mayfield Garden Nursery, as advisers. They will prepare some initial designs for consideration. The College and wider community will be kept updated on the developments via the College website and Facebook page. Dr Anne Wenham

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C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 25


First Pentecost people Eucharist at St Columba’s


EOVAL: Many thanks to all who were able to join with Will Kerin, Fergus Kerin, Nick Goard, Thomas Vickers and Toby Brown as they received Holy Communion for the first time. Fr Carl Mackander celebrated the Sacrament with the boys in a very prayerful and joyful manner. A lovely morning was had by all. Julia Englart

Thomas, Will, Fergus, Toby and Nick

Students from Coonabarabran preparing to receive the Holy Spirit


OONABARABRAN: On 25th August, Confirmation candidates from Coonabarabran, Baradine and Coonamble enjoyed a pre-Confirmation retreat at the Warrumbungle Lodge. The day was facilitated by ten Y10 students from St John’s College, Dubbo, who were directed by Mr Robert Exner and Ms Amber Calleja. The youth ministry within the Diocese is powerful and the fruits of the day were plentiful. A big thank you to Robert and Amber for their vision and continued motivation in driving this initiative.

Deacon Josh Clayton from Bathurst was also present to invite the students to RISE, a youth camp planned in the first week of the holidays, for students in Y6-9. The Confirmation candidates were asked to think about the next step in their Christian journey and how this camp would be a further opportunity to make time for God in their busy lives. Students who attended said “It was the best day”! Margaret McKinnon

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Page 26 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

ACROSS THE DIOCESE St Joseph’s celebrates


ORTLAND: A very meaningful and beautiful First Communion celebration was held on 25th June at St Vincent’s Church, Portland. Five students received the Sacrament of First Holy Communion including: Libby Bailey, Koby Griffiths, Charlotte Handley, Elleke Huijser and Briea Lampton. Fr Garry McKeown celebrated the Sacrament with the children, supported by family, parish and school members. Following Mass, the First Communion cake was cut by the children and shared by all. Thank you to Fr Garry, St Vincent’s Parish, the staff at St Joseph’s Primary School and family members, as well as the children. Nikki Field

Fr Garry McKeown with the children receiving their First Holy Communion

Celebrating the Eucharist


UGOWRA: St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is a perfect example of the spaciousness that is a feature of Catholic schools in our small communities. They also invariably have a church either on or nearby and, in the case of Eugowra, a magnificent rose garden dedicated to Our Lady. The celebration of the Eucharist is a regular occurrence for the students. The children have the opportunity to participate in many ways during these celebrations and are beautifully guided and supported by Fr Laurie Beath who makes this special time relevant and meaningful for both the staff and students of St Joseph’s and the wonderful parishioners who enjoy this time with the children. Janine Kearney

The students of St Joseph’s celebrating the Eucharist

First Holy Communion in Dubbo


UBBO: 150 students from St Brigid’s Parish received their First Holy Communion during August. This culminated in a wonderful Eucharistic celebration for all of the children, their families and the parish community at St Brigid’s Church, on 14th August. A highlight, apart from witnessing the prayerful manner in which these children participated in the Eucharist on that day, was the final hymn, ‘My Lighthouse’, led brilliantly and actively by Fr Greg Kennedy. Mass was followed by a sausage sizzle, picnic and jumping castle on the grounds of St Brigid’s. Janine Kearney

First Holy Communion in Dubbo

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 27

Holy Family girls’ big day at SCG


ELSO: It was a grand day for the Holy Family Catholic School girls’ Aussie rules side as they made it to the grand final of the Paul Kelly Cup state wide competition on 14th August 2017 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The Holy Family students were thrilled with their performance in the competition, according to Principal, Kevin Arrow. “The girls played really well”, he said. “Some of them play for the Bushrangers in Bathurst, others play soccer and netball. One of them is even a rugby league player. They had a great day. It was a wonderful thrill being out on the SCG”. The team fell just short, losing to Wallsend South Public from Newcastle in the decider. The Holy Family girls progressed to the State finals of the Paul Kelly Cup, which is open to students in Y5-6, after sweeping all teams before them in the Western Region and Sydney West Region tournaments. Holy Family was one of nine girls teams

Holy Family School State finalist at the SCG in the State finals on Monday at the and won by one behind, which put SCG. them into the grand final against After keeping Radford College, Wallsend South Public, which the Canberra scoreless in their opening undefeated Newcastle side won 24-1. game, the Holy Family girls lost Mr Arrow said the girls received a to St Columbkille’s, Corrimal by State AFL medal for their efforts in one behind, and then beat Parkview making the final two of 140 teams Public, Leeton by one behind to make state wide. the top four teams and the semi-finals. Courtesy of the Western Advocate They drew St Columbkille’s again

St Phil’s Reflection Day at Perthville


ATHURST: On 10th August, Y6 students from St Philomena’s Primary School visited St Joseph’s Heritage and Conference Centre to hold their post Confirmation reflection day. The day was facilitated by Y10 students from James Sheahan Catholic High School and Mrs Amber Calleja. It was another great example of the fantastic results the CSYMA program is producing, with wonderful interaction between the Y6 students and the CSYMA leaders. The atmosphere was full of energy, fun and laughter. It also showcased the wonderful facilities of the St Joseph’s Heritage and Conference Centre, Perthville. Sr Alice Sullivan rsj

Students from St Phil’s and James Sheahan Page 28 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Bishop Michael and Leanna Carr-Smith with College Captain Casey Mutton, Annabelle Masters, Mia Dopper, Elizabeth Young and Lucy Nolan

NAIDOC Week celebrations at MacKillop College


ATHURST: As part of NAIDOC week celebrations at MacKillop College, Bishop Michael McKenna visited the College and blessed the newly named courtyards. Wiradjuri woman, Leanna Carr-Smith, renamed the areas using Wiradyuri language. Nyree Reynolds, her husband Peter and Scott Darlow also joined us in making this a memorable occasion.

It was a wonderful ceremony and I am grateful to Ms Anita Fry and Mrs Karen Brown for all their work behind the scenes in helping us to celebrate this year’s NAIDOC theme “Our Language Matters”.  The courtyards will now be known as:  • Nandhu Courtyard - meaning to ‘meet, be close’ (pronounced nun-dh-

oo), previously the hall courtyard; • Marambul Dhurany - meaning ‘good news’ (pronounced mu-rum-bool doo-rain), previously the chapel courtyard; and • Birrang - meaning ‘journey to another place’ (pronounced bi-rung), previously the bus bay courtyard. Gina Whelan

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C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 29

The Feast of the Assumption Stay and B Play at St Mary’s, Orange ATHURST: Bishop Michael joined the community of The Assumption School on 15th August to celebrate Mass on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. In his homily, Bishop Michael explained that, apart from Sundays, there are two days of Holy Obligation in Australia: Christmas and the Feast of the Assumption. When the Church authorities decided which feast days would be defined as Holy Days, the Assumption was included because of the importance of Mary as the Mother of Christ and the Church.

Assumption students from Y5 led a lovely Mass and it was wonderful to see many family members and parishioners participate. Kimbalee Clews


he Parish of St Mary and St Joseph, Orange hosted its first Stay and Play morning tea after Mass on 30th July 2017.

Bishop Michael with Y5 students from The Assumption Primary School

Sydney Boys Grammar visit St Brigid’s

The aim of this gathering is to continue to foster relationships within the church, school and wider community. It is also a great way to welcome new parishioners and get together with friends. Stay and Play is held once a month in the cottage behind St Mary’s Church after Sunday morning Mass. All ages are welcome and it was a fabulous turn out on for the first Stay and Play. Among the 50 attendees were children, mums, dads and grandparents. The children had great fun playing outside and joining in the story time and songs, while the adults caught up with old friends, and met new friends, over morning tea. It was a lovely gathering, and we look forward to the next Stay and Play! Anna Duncan


Sydney Boys Grammar School Concert Band performing at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Coonamble

OONAMBLE: On 26th June, 50 students from Sydney Boys Grammar School visited Coonamble. They were travelling by bus in the North-West part of NSW. They arrived at lunchtime, so they were able to join in and play handball, master and football with us. I had a chance to speak to two of the boys. I asked them how big their playground was and they answered that it was probably the space of our playground, but all concrete. After lunch, we lined up ready to go to the concert the boys were performing

for us, which was being held in the church. The band played a variety of songs and tunes including songs from the movie Moana, The Simpsons’ theme song, as well as songs from the movie Frozen. My favourite part was The Simpsons’ theme song. I had a fantastic time at the concert and I was amazed when they answered that their playground was that small. Bridget Year 3 Student, St Brigid’s School

Page 30 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Play time at St Mary’s

Farewell to Fr Antony


he parishes of Gulgong, Mudgee and Kandos bade farewell to Fr Antony Vattakkunnel in several celebrations throughout August, ahead of his transfer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Coonamble from 1st September. Fr Antony has been Assistant Priest in these parishes for the past three years. He resided in the Gulgong Presbytery and ministered to the Gulgong community and All Hallows Primary School, where he had established a

Kerry and Carol Morrissey with Fr Antony at the Kandos/Rylstone farewell lunch wonderful rapport with students and staff alike. Fr Antony prides himself on knowing the names of all the students in the school. He often spent time with staff, sharing his popular curries. His ministry also took him to Mudgee, Kandos and Rylstone for Sunday Mass and special occasions.

Fr Antony with Paris and Matilda, School Captains of All Hallows’ Primary School, Gulgong

In his farewell words, Fr Antony thanked Fr Tony Hennessy and Fr Garry McKeown, acknowledging the support and guidance they have provided during his time in the parishes.

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He also expressed his gratitude to parishioners for their kindness shown and assured all in attendance they are welcome to visit Coonamble anytime, where the ‘curry would be waiting’ and, no doubt, so will his gentle, friendly smile. The parish communities will miss Fr Antony, but send him to Coonamble with their very best wishes and sincere gratitude. Kimbalee Clews

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C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 31

The Neo-Catechumenal Way: a two by two experience


esus said to the 12, ‘Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and do not have a spare tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there; and when you leave, let your departure be from there’. Go and proclaim the Kingdom of God!”.(Lk:9 1-6) Recently, 180 members of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, comprising priests, seminarians and laity, were sent from Sydney to all parts of Australia and New Zealand for nine days. The last two-by-two mission was in 2009. “It may seem like a crazy scheme”, said Bishop McKenna, “but over the years, it is remarkable what surprising things the Lord has done through this radical sign. Our safe and sensible approaches to evangelisation do not always yield obvious fruit. Maybe sometimes we need to step out and do something a little crazy!”. Carrying only a Bible; a Rosary and the Divine Office, my companion and I drove to Bathurst in a borrowed car. We pooled our money and paid for a motel room. We did not have a single cent after that, but enjoyed a free meal from Zamberos after announcing the Good News to them! Our first mission was to greet the priests in the various parishes. It was not an easy task and we went with a lot of apprehension. After receiving a blessing from the priests, we began our mission to proclaim the Good to everyone we met on our journey. Early the next day, we hitchhiked to Molong where we spent the night, thanks to the generosity of the St Vincent de Paul Society. Gilgandra was our next stop and Fr Martin O’Mahony bought us lunch. We then travelled to Coonabarabran and stayed with Fr Reynold Jaboneta for two nights. He was pleasantly surprised and overjoyed - when he was informed by Bishop McKenna of our impending visit, he never thought anyone would make it to his parish, being the most distant. We also encountered numerous situations where the Word of God had a significant impact on the lives of ordinary people. One poignant encounter was with a widow who carried a lot of bitterness for the Church. After sharing our personal experiences of how God loves us, despite the many obstacles we put before him, we could see a slight transformation in her. I gave her my Rosary. Touching it for the first time after • Sizes 8 to 32 • Lots of dresses and blouses • Variety of woollen and all weather coats • Pant and skirt suits • We cater for mature figure & problem figures - mostly elastic waist • Huge range of cardigans and pants with pockets • Pleated, straight and gored skirts – longer lengths • Good quality at a reasonable price • Half price alterations on clothes bought at Marietta’s • General alteration and repair service • Senior discount or alterations free • Nursing home styles a speciality • Wheelchair sized fitting room • Maternity trousers suitable for work

Ben Antony and his companion with Fr Reynold at St Lawrence's, Coonabarabran many years, she said she felt reconciled. “Jesus visited me today through you two” she said. After nine days, we gathered in Sydney for two days to share our experiences. In total, 20 bishops, including one Anglican bishop, 10 vicar generals and 400 priests were visited, and hundreds of people were touched by this mission. Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney presided over the Eucharist on the last day. He thanked us and urged us to carry on the mission of bringing Christ to the world. As Pope Francis has said in recent times, “The Church needs to open its doors; not only to let people in but to bring the Good News of Christ to the rest of the world!”. Ben Antony

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Page 32 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Ministries to Indigenous Australians in the time of St Mary MacKillop


r Carl Mackander, Parish Priest of St Patrick’s Parish, Wellington is well known for his love of and devotion to St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, co-founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. His interest in Australia’s first saint has led to a deep and thorough knowledge of Mary MacKillop’s life work, her family and the impact she had on the lives of those less fortunate.

The numbers of Aboriginal people killed did not matter in the calculations of most European Australians; it was never referred to as a ‘massacre’ by the ‘whites’ in their reporting of these events. In 1868, 60 Aboriginal men, women and children were shot in one day near Dampier, WA, after a policeman, his assistant and two pearlers were killed. The reprisal killings showed the lack of respect and acknowledgement for Aboriginal men, women and children as being equally human. This was a year after Mary MacKillop made her religious vows in Adelaide. Her brother, Fr Donald MacKillop SJ (1853-1924) and her cousin, Fr Duncan McNab (18201896), would have made her aware of the grim reality of life for Aboriginal people, particularly in northern Australia where first contact was still being made.

Fr Carl is a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council’s ‘Participation of Indigenous Catholics’ working group. In this capacity, Fr Carl presented a paper he authored entitled ‘St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Fr Julian Tenison Woods, Fr Donald MacKillop SJ, Fr Duncan McNab and their ministries to Aboriginal Australians’. The paper gives a detailed insight to the atrocities Indigenous Australians experienced in the 1800s and the constant challenges Mary MacKillop and her colleagues faced to fight for the human rights of our Nation’s first people. The following is the introduction of the paper, with the full version available on the Diocesan website. The interest which Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) took in the conditions and circumstances of Indigenous people was determined by the social and religious setting of the period of history in which she lived. It was a time of rugged individual enterprise in the rural parts of Australia and New Zealand. European settlers were claiming land legally, according to the colonial laws, or illegally by squatting. It is a period in our history when the rights of Aboriginal inhabitants to their traditional lands were ignored or

The ministry of the Sisters of St Joseph continues today. Sr Robyn McNamara rsj recently spent time at St Joseph’s School, Kununurra, WA. She is pictured with Geraldine Melpi and Chandalene Newry over-ridden by the legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ - vacant land. Gold rushes all over Australia caused dispossession, after the first discovery of payable gold in 1851. Violence, abuse and massacres of Aboriginal women, children and men by white settlers were still occurring during Mary MacKillop’s lifetime. The largest massacre of white settlers was at Cullinlaring Station, near Springsure in Queensland on 17th October 1861. 19 people out of a party of 25 were killed. Police, native troopers and civilians pursued the suspected murderers and killed up to 70 Aborigines in revenge.

Both of these Catholic priests were strong advocates for the rights of Aboriginal people, by actions and in letters to newspapers during the 1870s, 80s and 90s. They would not have failed to communicate these sentiments to St Mary of the Cross. Through observing the social conditions around her in the Victorian and South Australian colonies, she would have witnessed the marginalised plight of survivors of European settlement in southern Australia. Diseases such as measles and influenza, and the gun, had depopulated many areas and the settlers had established towns, villages and farms on the land which was now ‘vacant’ due to colonisers’ actions and imported diseases. Fr Carl Mackander’s full essay can be read at goo.gl/Ky6eLV

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Centacare Sunday


he Cathedral Parish of St Michael and St John, Bathurst celebrated Centacare Sunday on 10th September. This gave me the opportunity to update parishioners on the focus of Centacare in this area. Centacare Sunday gives a valuable insight to the important work Centacare continues to provide across the Diocese. The social services mission of the church in our Diocese is steadily growing with the work of Centacare including new programmes such as Outside of School Hours Care services at the Assumption Primary School, Bathurst and St Joseph’s Primary School, Oberon; Safety and Wellbeing programmes for Indigenous families and the Youth Centre in Coonabarabran. Counselling, family mediation, marriage preparation and relationship education programmes and early childhood projects such as Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) continue. Centacare’s Schools Programme offers counselling and other wellbeing services to the schools in the Diocese and has recently been expanded. The partnership between Centacare and Catholic Education, Diocese of Bathurst has been further strengthened with the addition of new schools such as La Salle Academy in Lithgow to the programme.

Centacare Prayer Blessed are you, Lord of mercy and love, who, through your Son, gave us a marvellous example of charity and the great commandment of love for one another. Send your blessings upon us so that when we are called on in times of need, we will faithfully show your light and love to our neighbour. May we go forward confident in the intercession of our mother Mary, and in the name of our creating, liberating and ever loving God. Amen

Out of School Hours Care at The Assumption School

Coonabarabran Youth Drop-in Centre


n partnership with the Warrumbungle Shire Council and several other local services, Centacare recently reopened the Youth Dropin Centre in Coonabarabran, 18 months after it had closed its doors. The importance of this service was highlighted by the increase in youth crime rate and anti-social behaviour during the time of its closure.

The Centre is open for age groups between the ages of 12 to 18 years, on different days and times, allowing age appropriate interactions and activities. A number of activities are offered through the Centre to improve life skills, job readiness, school attendance and achievement, and general social connectedness, in addition to indoor sports and games.

Page 34 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Dotpoint Family Mentoring Programme


here has been a significant shift in strategy for the Aboriginal community programmes run by Centacare this year. We have moved from a drop-in information and referral programme to a more holistic service, working with families to understand their needs and help them achieve the goals that they set. Every family needs some support and guidance now and then. It could be with parenting, health issues, getting kids to school, re-entering the workforce or just dealing with other services or agencies to resolve issues. The team of Family Guides work together with families and help them along their journey. A new logo has been adopted for this programme to mark the transition from the previous model of service delivery. It is a modern take on a very ancient Aboriginal symbol for family. The logo shows the symbol slightly out of alignment. The goal is for families to achieve alignment and balance and improve the wellbeing and resilience of the entire family system through their participation in the programme. In addition to the previous locations such as Coonabarabran, Gilgandra, Orange and Bathurst, this programme is now offered in Lithgow, Dunedoo and Baradine. Robert George Director

Some of the new councillors working with the Schools Programme: Julie Furner, Madisson Lloyd, Karen Elliott and Melissa Broom

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Cathedral Restoration partners recognised for their support


n 28th June, the eve of the anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of St Michael and St John, Bishop Michael McKenna celebrated Mass in the Cathedral and afterwards, was joined in the narthex by committee members and partners of the Cathedral Restoration Appeal. The purpose of the gathering was to acknowledge the contribution of the partners to the restoration of the Cathedral thus far and to visit the Interpretation Centre to view the proposed plans for the interior work.

It was also an opportunity for Bishop Michael to present each of the partners with a framed reproduction of an original watercolour of the Cathedral by William Tibbet (1837-1906), in gratitude for their support of the ongoing restoration of the Cathedral. Partners of the Cathedral Restoration Appeal include: CKM Law Westfund Raine and Horne Stereo 2BS - Mr and Mrs R & S Camplin PJ and KI Fitzpatrick Property and Land Development Mr Timothy Booth Crennan Legal Services Mr Richard McPhillamy Fr Peter Blayney Mr and Mrs L and T Bonic Catholic Church Insurances Mr and Mrs N and J Dawson Fr Pat Ruane Trustees of the Sisters of St Joseph Mr Graham Humphreys Kimbalee Clews

Phillip Burgett, Cathedral Restoration Chairman, with Bishop Michael and Paul Crennan, Crennan Legal Services

Bishop Michael with Timothy Booth

Bishop Michael with Leo and Tereza Bonic

Westfund’s Matt Banning, CEO and Lisa Gibson with Phillip Burgett

Page 36 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t



Progress in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel


nyone visiting the Cathedral over the past few months would have observed the temporary changes to the Cathedral as work continues on the replacement of the cement floor of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and Sacristy, necessary because of the destructive underfloor moisture. The Chapel was part of the early additions to our Cathedral in the 1890s, which included the Nun’s Chancel and extending the Chancel and Sanctuary. The Nun’s Chancel was also known as the Sisters’ Chapel and was connected to the adjacent St Mary’s Convent. At the time of demolition of the Convent, the original timber floors of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and Sacristy were altered to concrete. Due to trapped moisture below ground, there has been extensive damage to the exterior brick, stonework and mortar of the Cathedral. This dampness was caused by a lack of ventilation that did not allow the subfloor areas to dry out in a traditional manner. Thus water escaped by rising up through the bricks, sandstone and mortar.

Extensive excavation was required to remove the concrete floor of the Chapel

Since the concrete floor was the key problem, it was important that it be taken out and replaced with a raised floor that will enable air to flow underneath it and allow the building to breathe again. To date, the excavation of the concrete floor is complete and the construction of the new timber floor has commenced. The work is due for completion in time for Christmas ceremonies at the end of the year. Kimbalee Clews

With the concrete floor removed, repairs can now proceed

Please give generously to the Cathedral Restoration Appeal. Donations can be made:

In Person ~ Catholic Chancery Office Bathurst, or your local Parish Office By Phone ~ 1800 451 760 By email ~

cathedralrestoration@bathurst.catholic.org.au Online ~ cathedralappealbathurst.org.au where you will find more information. Or via the app ~ Cathedral Restoration Appeal Donations over $2 are tax deductible C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 37

Diocesan launch of World Mission Month 2017


he O’Donovan Gymnasium at St Matthew’s Catholic School, Mudgee was filled to capacity when Bishop Michael launched World Mission Month (WMM) on 7th September.

Principal, Jason Hanrahan, welcomed all in attendance, especially student and teacher representatives from almost every Catholic school and college across the Diocese. Invited guests included the Mayor of Mid-West Regional Council, Des Kennedy; Parish Priest, Fr Tony Hennessy; Executive Director of Schools, Mrs Jenny Allen and Mr Michael Deasy, Diocesan Director of Catholic Mission. The event was also well supported by parishioners and parents from the school community.

Kindergarten children from St Matthew’s

A beautifully crafted Liturgy of the Word included scripture, prayer, music, song, movement and technology. An item by the Kindergarten classes from St Matthew’s entitled “Blessing Song with Actions”, accompanied by a single guitarist, was a highlight. For the first time, the launch of WMM shared centre stage with the Bishop’s Annual Christmas Art Exhibition and Awards Ceremony for Catholic Primary Schools. A report on the Primary Schools’ Christmas Art Exhibition will be provided in the next issue of the Catholic Observer.

Principal, Jason Hanrahan

The combined event had a common message: “Hope”. It resonated with the Holy Father’s Message for World Mission Sunday, to be celebrated internationally by all Catholic churches on 22nd October 2017. Pope Francis reaffirmed that “young people are the hope for the furthering of the Church’s apostolic mission”. The audience saw a Catholic Mission film on the needs of the missionary Church in Uganda, Central Africa. It featured the work of a Ugandan religious congregation, the Daughters of Mary, at the St Luke Bujuni Rural Health Centre. The film will be shown in all Catholic schools in the Diocese during WMM. However, the missionary church in Vietnam will be the special focus of parish appeals in all churches in the Diocese of Bathurst this World Mission Sunday.

Students of St Matt’s leading the Liturgy

Mr Deasy acknowledged the prayerful and generous spirit in all Catholic parishes and school communities in the Diocese of Bathurst and their recognition of the needs of the Church’s overseas and home missions. He recommended the recently released Catholic Mission Annual Report 2016/17 which he said confirms, once again, that the church in the Diocese of Bathurst continues to play above its weight in contributing to the support of the missionary Church. Fiona Lewis

Bishop Michael launching World Mission Month

Page 38 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

John 4:14

Please give generously 2017 WORLD MISSION APPEAL

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C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • September 2017 • Page 39

Page 40 • September 2017 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Profile for Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

Catholic Observer September 2017  

The quarterly publication of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

Catholic Observer September 2017  

The quarterly publication of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

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