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Volume 54, No 4 DECEMBER 2018 $2.00

Christmas 2018 including Bishop McKenna’s Pastoral Letter 2018 ‘Only a Priest’

Bishop McKenna’s Message CHRISTMAS 2018


his Christmas, let’s remember all those in our region still stricken by the effects of the drought. We have had some rain and some districts look greener; but we know that, without more rain, it will soon dry off again. Even once the drought breaks, the losses it has brought to farmers’ finances and livestock will not be quickly restored. In the midst of the stress and strain that these conditions bring, we hear stories of neighbours and even people from far away reaching out with practical assistance and sympathetic support. Our Diocesan fund, managed by Centacare, has received generous donations; and is ready for long term assistance. Let’s look out for one another: and not give up on our prayers. Each Christmas, we celebrate that God has entered and shared in the fragility of our human life. Christ is closest to us when we are in trouble: he is our ultimate hope. Let’s discover his love again on the feast of his birth.

+Michael McKenna Bishop of Bathurst

“The First to Receive the Good News” by Hugh Shannon from St Joseph’s Primary School, Molong. Hugh was an award winner in the 2018 Christmas Storytelling Art Competition

Our front cover…


he front cover image of the Christmas edition of the Catholic Observer was taken by Brenton Cox, a student from James Sheahan Catholic High School (JSCHS), Orange. Brenton was part of the JSCHS 2018 Mission Team who visited Sri Lanka in the October school holidays.

the impoverished Mannar district of Sri Lanka. They used resources they brought with them to teach English and other core subjects.

The Mission Team spent two weeks at the Lasallian Brothers’ schools, in

Mrs Lynelle Maguire, JSCHS teacher who supervised the Mission

Brenton took this photo of the students he taught, capturing the joy of the spirit of giving, especially to those most in need.

said, “We take Playdoh to give to the students and use it to teach the children words and shapes. They make the word out of playdoh and then make a representation of the word with shapes and other creations. They haven’t used Playdoh before and they love it”. You can read more about the JSCHS Mission to Sri Lanka on page 26 of this edition of the Observer.

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Bishop’s Annual Christmas Missionary Appeal


he proceeds of Bishop McKenna’s special Missionary Appeal for 2018 at all Christmas Masses celebrated in parishes throughout the Diocese of Bathurst will once again be directed to the completion of the St Paul’s Primary School at Sanis, Diocese of Kohima, Nagaland, NE India. It will be the fourth year that God’s People in the Diocese of Bathurst have had the opportunity to support this vital missionary undertaking and cement a lasting and enduring relationship between the churches of Kohima and Bathurst. This pastoral outreach from our own Diocese to the Diocese of Kohima has already borne fruit in a most unexpected way with Fr Mathew Humtsoe from the Diocese of Kohima - a Nagaland born priest on placement in the Diocese of Bathurst for two years. Fr Mathew is currently an Assistant Priest in the Cathedral Parish.

The construction of St Paul’s Primary School at Sanis progresses The photo above indicates the progress church in Bathurst and all who have at the construction site of the school. contributed so generously to the project Located in a village that is far removed over four Christmas appeals. from a major town and without easy In addition to the opportunity to access to tradesmen, equipment and support the Appeal at all Christmas materials. It is anticipated that the school Masses, donations can also be directed will be ready to accept enrolments for to Bishop McKenna, at PO Box 246, the 2019 school year. It is hoped that a Bathurst NSW 2795 or left at any Parish date for the opening and blessing of the Office. new school will be planned in the New Year with Bishop McKenna expressing Michael Deasy great interest in attending the ceremony. Diocesan Director of Mission Bishop McKenna will represent the

The CDF Board, Management and Team wish everyone peace and joy in the Holy Season. The CDF will be closed from 4.00pm Friday 21st December 2018 and will reopen at 11.00am, Wednesday 2nd January 2019. 1800 451 760 Email: Disclosure: 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. AFSL No: 497040

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Assembly moves from words to action


he Diocesan Pastoral Council Annual Assembly was held in Bathurst over the weekend of 27th-28th October in Bathurst. The Assembly was attended by Diocesan Clergy, Seminarians, Chairs of our Diocesan Councils and others invited by Bishop Michael, as well as the Council members representing all parishes from across the Diocese. A highlight of the Assembly was the input provided by guest presenter Lorraine McCarthy, from Alpha. Her presentations were entitled ‘Revitalising Parishes for Mission’, ‘Growing Disciples in your Parish’ and ‘Growing Parish Communities’. I must admit that when Bishop Michael brought a group of us together from around the Diocese several years ago to discuss ways to grow our faith communities, I was a little sceptical. I have been involved in many similar gatherings over the past 40-odd years and many have remained concepts in folders filed in my cabinet. This is different. The whole premise of the Assembly, which has sprung from those early parish, regional and then whole of Diocese gatherings, is that we would be guided by the Spirit through prayer and discernment. I have been so moved that we have remained dedicated to this task, driven by the Bishop and his team and our group convenors. It is said that Catholics come together for a meeting, have a quick prayer and sit with the agenda until

the Spirit moves them to act! I am pleased to report that while we don’t sit around waiting to see what the Spirit might bring, we truly do invoke the Spirit with a true and very meaningful time spent listening to the Lord. From the Friday night gathering to our uplifting commissioning Mass in the Cathedral on Sunday, we were focused by the spiritual, which has led us to make and continue to build on some very practical steps as we become missionary disciples.

and importantly, a willingness to be flexible and adapt to changing needs. There is a sense that it is not just okay to “keep on keeping on” in our spiritual life.  We have to listen to the world and move with the everchanging times in order to take Christ forward in our world. I am looking forward to the next few months, as we approach the Plenary Council 2020. It seems our church is willing to listen to its people and every person in every parish will have the opportunity to have their say.

Each session began with music and reflection and we paused for the Angelus and a recognition of Our Lady of the West. As each of our groups presented both brief reports and future projects, it was obvious there had been much thought, many interchanges of ideas

Geoff Mann


his was the first Diocesan Assembly I have attended, having been recently appointed as my Parish’s representative to the Diocesan Pastoral Council.

It was lovely to meet all the parish representatives and others from our Diocese, as it was a great opportunity to talk with like-minded people and gather ideas from them to take back to my parish. I was extremely impressed and inspired by Lorraine McCarthy from Alpha. Her presentations resonated with me and, I’m sure, all the attendees. She spoke about how we can and need to form and grow our parishioners into missionary disciples. I also felt that the thoroughly planned and presented proposals put forward and the lively and robust discussion that followed, reflected exactly what Lorraine suggested as meaningful ways for our Diocese to grow and thrive.

Nicole Twohill-Scott

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Lorraine McCarthy with Bishop Michael

Dong Van Nguyen takes the next step


ishop Michael McKenna admitted seminarian Dong Van Nguyen as a Candidate for Ordination at Mass at St Brigid’s Church, Dubbo on Sunday 11th November 2018.

Dong recently completed his sixth year at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush and is well known across the Diocese, especially in the Parish of St Brigid’s, Dubbo, where he spent a year on pastoral placement in 2017. Bishop Michael concelebrated with Parish Priest, Fr Greg Kennedy EV, Bishop Justin Bianchini, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Geraldton WA and Fr Simon Kitimbo, Vice Rector of the Seminary. Deacon Mike Williams assisted Bishop Michael.

Bishop Justin Bianchini, Deacon Mike Williams, Bishop McKenna, Dong Van Nguyen and Fr Simon Kitimbo

Dong was joined by many of his fellow seminarians who were in attendance and friends from across the Diocese. Dong will continue his formation in preparation for ordination to the diaconate and then finally, God willing, to priesthood. Please keep Dong in your prayers as he continues his journey to priesthood. Kimbalee Clews

Dong with Bishop Michael

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Embracing youth in our faith communities


he Year of Youth commenced with the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney in 2017 and has been an opportunity for the Church to “Open New Horizons for Spreading Joy” to the young people in our communities. As the Year of Youth comes to an end, the ongoing challenge is to capture the enthusiasm of our young people and foster their relationships with Christ within our local faith communities. As a missionary Church, it is the responsibility of all the faithful to discern how we are contributing to the participation of young people within our Church communities. This article provides two questions which may help each one of us to discern our roles in this endeavour. Firstly, how are we inviting young people to be members of our faith community? Secondly, how are we including young people as members of our faith community? How are we inviting young people to be members of our faith community? It can be easy at times to fall into the trap of wondering why young people are not entering the doors of our churches. However, it’s important to ask ourselves if we’re actually inviting them? If you speak to many people who have entered religious vocations or attended a transformational event such as World Youth Day, they’ll likely tell you that it wasn’t a notice in a church bulletin or flyer to which they initially said “Yes.” It was more likely a personal invitation from someone they knew: a person who called them by name (Isaiah 43:1). The need to personally call our young people is further exemplified through Jesus’ own calling of the first disciples. An initial invitation may not necessarily be an invitation to Sunday Mass, but rather an opportunity to simply listen to where a young person is in their life. What are the issues that concern them? What is their relationship with God? What is their perception of the Church? A recent report highlighted the immense value young people find in talking to people who value their story (ACBC Pastoral Research Office, Australian Catholic Bishops’ Youth Survey 2017), which can often be the first step towards a journey of faith. Perhaps the only

not simply about making good music. Another common response to the survey was that young people want to be included and their voices valued within their faith community (a sentiment echoed in the 2017 Youth Survey). It would be good for parishes to discuss how valuable are the voices of young people in local parishes? Is youth ministry seen as something on the side or as integral to the mission of the entire parish community? The importance of listening to young members of our communities was not lost on St Benedict who wrote 1,500 years ago on the importance of listening to the youngest members in the community through whom God also speaks.

words we need to say in reply is: “Come and See” (John 1:39). Practical opportunities of invitation would be inviting young people in your faith community to attend youth festivals such as RISE and the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Perth. The 2017 ACBC Youth Survey found big events, such as youth festivals, to be one of the most positive experiences young people have of church. The invitational aspect of such events could also include parishes helping to subsidise the cost of young people attending and helping to arrange transportation for young people. After all, accessibility is a component of inviting. How are we including young people as members of our faith community? An important aspect of inclusion in our faith communities is the extent to which young people find the source and summit of their lives in the Mass. A couple of years ago a survey was conducted of young people in the Diocese about their perceptions of Mass. The most common response indicated that young people found Mass to be meaningful when there was engaging music. It is arguable that this response would likely be similar for the engagement of Catholics in general. While this is important, including people in our faith communities is

It’s often said that the Church of our youth is not the Church of tomorrow but the Church of today. Here are some suggestions to include the voices of young people within our parishes of today: • Consider having a youth representative on Pastoral Councils, where their voice can be of great value to the pastoral direction of communities. • Publish agendas for meetings beforehand and provide opportunities to co-op young people for certain projects. • Ensure the voices of young people are included in submissions to the 2020 Plenary Council. • Personally invite youth who you know to join local social justice initiatives such as St Vincent de Paul, without any expectation that this will have an immediate impact on their membership in Sunday congregations. Hopefully, these questions and suggestions are helpful points of discussion to help our faith communities discern the rightful place of our young people. After all, it doesn’t matter how young or old we are, we are all simply searching to find our place within God’s pilgrim Church. Sandy Abbey Convenor Participation of Young Catholics Diocesan Pastoral Council

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Platinum Jubilee celebrations at Perthville


eventy years of living, loving and ministering as a Sister of St Joseph is worth celebrating and that is exactly what happened on 13th October when a joyful celebration was held at Perthville to mark the Platinum (70 years) Jubilee of Sisters Catherine O’Brien and Kathleen English. Family, friends and Josephite Sisters gathered for Mass with Bishop Michael McKenna as presider and five priests concelebrating, to mark this highly significant occasion. In his homily, the Bishop acknowledged the impact of a combined 140 years of service by Sr Kath and Sr Catherine in numerous parishes across the Diocese. During the Mass, Sisters Kath and Catherine renewed their vows and at the conclusion, Sr Mary Ellen O’Donoghue, the NSW Regional Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph, presented each sister with a Papal Blessing. The 70 guests at the Jubilee celebration joined with Catherine and Kath for a delicious lunch at St Joseph’s House. Speeches and toasts were made, and the jubilee cake was cut as the guests honoured the two platinum jubilarians. On the previous day, Sisters Catherine and Kath enjoyed a celebration morning tea with the priests, the Sisters of Mercy and friends who are resident at St Catherine’s Aged Care in Bathurst. Sisters Catherine and Kathleen have influenced the lives of countless children and their parents over decades of involvement and commitment as teachers in Catholic schools across the Diocese. Following their retirement from classroom teaching, both sisters moved quietly and effectively into parish pastoral work, bringing their respective gifts and talents to each undertaking. Both enjoyed their participation within the Catholic community in each parish where they ministered, and they have been wonderful companions to their Josephite sisters in community. Their presence and companionship has added meaning to the lives of many, and continues to do so in their retirement, living at St Catherine’s Aged Care, Bathurst. May Sister Catherine O’Brien and Sister Kath English both be blessed abundantly for their lives of dedication and service as Sisters of St Joseph. Sr Therese McGarry rsj

Sisters Catherine O’Brien and Kathleen English

Sr Catherine with Sr Mary Ellen O’Donoghue

Sisters who were at St Joseph’s Convent together as novices

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NAIDOC Celebrations in Dubbo


he 2018 NAIDOC theme “Because of Her, We Can” is one of my personal favourites. This theme gave us the opportunity to recognise, honour and learn about the incredible impact Aboriginal women have had on family and community, both locally and nationally. In my role as Aboriginal Education Worker (AEW) at St Laurence’s Primary School, Dubbo, I was able to pay my respects and thanks to women who have influenced, supported and guided me to become the woman I am today. From the time the theme was announced, my dream was to bring those amazing women together, pay thanks and celebrate what we all achieve on a daily basis. At dusk on Thursday 13th September, 40 incredible women gathered around our school Yarning Circle. Entering our school, guests passed a mural completed by students that honours seven influential women. Each class researched and gathered information about a women that they believe had a significant positive impact on others. Our Yarning Circle was lit by our glowing fire pit and fairy lights, and beautifully decorated tables set the scene for an amazing night. We were joined by special guests Mrs Jenny Allen, Executive Director of Schools; Mrs Darlene Murdoch, Schools Consultant; Aunty Pat Doolan and Aunty Beth Wright, who were all delighted to be part of the wonderful evening and were impressed with the support of our school community.

Jenny Allen and Tracey Rapley AECG members and ladies from the Walanmarra program at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. We shared an amazing dinner prepared and served by some of our school mums and Y6 students. The following day, we again celebrated as a whole school community. We started with a liturgy where we prayed for Aboriginal people from the past and present. We reflected on the richness of the Aboriginal story and cultural. We prayed for all Australians, that we will grow stronger as a nation and recognise and celebrate the Aboriginal culture.

Debra Morrow, Tracey Rapley and Aunty Pat Doolan “Just wanted to say WOW, WOW, WOW. I had such an awesome day today! Big congrats on such a successful event!” Libby Campbell (Teacher) “Thank you for the privilege of being in attendance last night at your Yarn Up and Supper. It was a wonderful initiative. Tracey, the impact of your work with students, their families and the broader Aboriginal community is nothing short of profound”. Pauline Walkom (Grandparent) Months of planning, co-ordinating and overseeing such an amazing celebration was a privilege; my dreams yet again becoming reality!

It was wonderful to receive very positive feedback from a number of people.

Kaitlyn Mason, a humble young Aboriginal woman, told her story and spoke of her family influences and the many personal and academic achievements, countless sporting milestones, selections and awards. Kaitlyn captivated our guests who quickly realised what an amazing role model she is to our youth. Nic Grose also told her story; she spoke about her family and her many sporting achievements. These two ladies are personal friends of mine, both are humble and passionate and never step back from a challenge. These are strengths that I believe our upcoming leaders need to see in their role models. Our guests included our school family and friends, staff members, local Page 8 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • 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

Tracey Rapley

A reduction in school fees for those most in need


or the first time in the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, school fees will decrease in 2019 for the families of 10 primary schools and three secondary schools within the Diocese. The determination of school fees within the Diocese is based on the principle of a needs-based funding model. This model is in accordance with the recent changes in funding provided by the Commonwealth Government, introduced in 2018.

Bishop of Bathurst, Michael McKenna, has approved the reduction in fees for schools identified as having a socio economic status that allows for further funding to be directed to the students of these communities. Diocesan school fees were not increased in 2018. However, due to the increase in costs associated with providing education such as the cost

Secondary) and La Salle Academy, Lithgow.

of utilities, salaries and wages, as well as resources, a CPI increase of 2.1 percent has been applied to all school fees for 2019. However, those schools identified as having a socio-economic status requiring further needs-based funding will see a reduction of school fees for 2019. These schools are: St John’s Primary, Dubbo; St Joseph’s, Portland; St Joseph’s, Oberon; St Joseph’s, Blayney; St Laurence’s, Dubbo; St Lawrence’s , Coonabarabran; St Mary’s, Dubbo; St Mary’s, Wellington (Primary and Secondary); St Pius X, Dubbo, St Raphael’s, Cowra (Primary and

A multi-sector dialogue on living the joy of the Gospel and leading mission

In addition to this measure, the Capital Works Levy for all schools will not be increased and remains the same amount as in 2018. Bishop McKenna said “We hope this goes some way to assist families in the Diocese and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to making a quality Catholic education affordable for all”. “However, if your family is suffering financial hardship for any reason and finding it difficult to pay school fees, please contact your school principal to discuss options of how we can assist. A family’s financial situation should never be a barrier to accessing or continuing a Catholic education in our schools”.

Kimbalee Clews

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A focus on parish renewal


n July, members of the St Raphael’s Parish, Cowra and St Mary and St Joseph’s Parish, Orange, took part in a Parish Renewal Program. This was a two-day program where participants were able to look at and discuss the options for parish renewal, guided by Fr James Mallon’s book, “Divine Renovation” and support series. The days included times of sharing as parishes, as well as one-on-one coaching from Ron Huntley, a well-known Catholic leader who helps to build passion within parishes and improve parish engagement and involvement. This time together looked at strength-based ministry, tools and processes for evangelisation, as well as parish structure and ensuring goals are clear and achievable. The parishes involved were eager to continue their journey of parish renewal, especially to meet the call of Jesus to help all encounter the love and joy of Christ. This event was part of the ongoing support offered to parishes from the Chancery in relation to evangelisation and renewal. If parishes or individuals are interested in learning more, please contact me at the Chancery on 6334 6400. Deacon Josh Clayton

Fr Laurie Beath, Parish Priest of Cowra; Robyn Lynch, Margaret Wallington, Dr Peter Launders and Graham Apthorpe

Cong, Duong and Lam admitted to the Ministry of Lector


ishop Michael McKenna admitted Cong Van Hoang, Duong Van Ha and Lam Song Tran to the Ministry of Lector at Mass in the Cathedral of St Michael and St John on 28th October 2018.

On the long journey of discernment and formation before ordination, seminarians make three important steps: Ministry of Lector, Ministry of Acolyte and the Admission to Candidacy.   Lectors take on a special office within the Church and are called to be servants of the living Word of God. In proclaiming the readings, the Lector does more than simply read. A Lector’s spirituality must include an understanding of Holy Scripture as God’s Word made present to humankind throughout history, but most fully present in the person of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.

Fr Danny Meagher, Lam, Bishop Michael, Cong and Duong

We offer Cong, Duong and Lam congratulations and ask for your continued prayers for them as they mark this important milestone on their journey towards priesthood. Pauline Pollard

The seminarians and priests with Bishop Michael

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Centacare drought support… For the long haul


entacare Bathurst has been serving and supporting rural communities through many adversities, including several droughts. Rural communities in our region are currently suffering from the effects of this on-going drought and Centacare and the Diocese of Bathurst are responding to their needs in a variety of ways. Knowing that it will take years for farmers and communities to recover; and that droughts are becoming more common, Centacare will work alongside other services to provide both immediate and long-term help to ensure communities build a level of resilience to ongoing drought conditions. Centacare Bathurst will assist families

and communities on their journey to recovery, recognising and acknowledging that recovery will not be easy or quick, and will be with these communities for the long haul. Centacare offices in Dubbo and Bathurst will offer counselling services to those affected, free of cost, and hope to establish a telephone counselling service, considering the costs associated with travel.  Centacare will also be working in rural communities, bringing its services through events and programs. Our counselling staff will be available at these events, doing things such as teaming up with other providers to bring health checks for farming communities.

Centacare offers: • Family mediation to assist separated parents with their parenting arrangements and property and financial settlements • Marriage and relationship counselling • Post separation counselling • Programs to enhance parenting and relationships skills • Counselling for adults, adolescents and children To contact the Bathurst office, please call 1800 231 118 or 02 6331 8944; or the Dubbo office on 02 6885 0277. Alternatively, you can contact our Drought Co-ordinator, Louise Hennessy, direct on 0419 631 781.

OSHC expands in Orange and Bathurst


ollowing the success of the Out of School Hours and Vacation Care (OSHC) programs at Assumption Primary School, Bathurst and St Joseph’s Primary School, Oberon, a new OSHC service at Catherine McAuley Primary School, Orange was opened in July 2018. Two new OSHC services will open in Bathurst at the start of 2019 school year at St Philomena’s Primary School and Holy Family Primary School. The OSHC program is part of our diocesan commitment to assisting families. The OSHC program is operated by Centacare in partnership with the parish, school, and Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst. All OSHC services provide after school

The OSHC services are available to all primary school aged children, with families from other schools welcome to attend.

care, and provision of before school and vacation care is determined based on the need and viability of these services in each location. Each service is well equipped and offers an indoor and outdoor play based program developed by the educators’ team, catering for the individual needs of the children who attend the service, and additional support for children who require it.

Robert George, Director of Centacare, said “We are lucky to have wonderful team members who look after the children and provide a service which is much more than just a baby sitting. They put a lot of thought and effort into developing and delivering their programs. The children are provided care in a safe and stimulating environment where they can thrive”. Enquiries can be directed to Narelle Howard at Centacare on 0438 248 551 or Robert George

Caring for Families Counselling & Mediation Services ADULTS | CHILDREN COUPLES | FAMILIES For more information about Centacare’s services visit or to make an appointment please call 1800 231 118 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 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • Page 11

I am, You are, We are Australian Christ Alive at St Brigid’s


eople from over 90 nations now claim Dubbo as theirs. Parishioners at St Brigid’s Parish, Dubbo represent every continent and many different countries from across the world. On Sunday 21st October, many gathered together for prayer, fellowship and fun on the Parish lawns. Aunty Beth Wright welcomed the packed congregation to Wiradjuri Country before Fr Greg Kennedy and Fr Martin O’Mahony concelebrated a beautiful Mass. Vietnamese parishioners carried the offertory gifts and the prayers of the faithful were shared in different languages. At the end of the liturgy, everyone sang ‘I am, You are, We are Australian’. Then parishioners and visitors enjoyed morning tea while being treated to two and a half hours of spectacular dancing, singing and interactive activities, reflecting the rich and ever-changing cultural heritage of our community.

Parishioners sharing the amazing meal together

Fr Martin led an Irish jig and demonstrated the skills of hurling; Sri Lankan, Indian, Filipino and Vietnamese artists shared their wonderful gifts; and our resident Egyptian introduced his Coptic friends in a most charming presentation. All the while, a team of volunteers prepared a feast for the ages in St Brigid’s Hall and by the time the bell rang for Grace, over 300 friends became one family to break bread in a shared meal. “Go out to all the corners of the earth and gather my people” was certainly the theme lived out on the fourth annual family multicultural festival.

Our Indigenous culture was well represented

Festival chair, Fran Schubert, said her team was exhilarated but exhausted after seeing months of preparation pan out in such a breathtaking display of missionary discipleship. “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone for your support of our annual Multicultural Celebration. Our deepest thank you is to our Lord who brings us all together. We are blessed to belong to God’s family,” Fran said. Geoff Mann More photos of the Multicultural Day can be viewed at:

Charlie Nguyen, Yen Thanh, Hong Nguyen, Tracey Vu and seminarian, Thao Nguyen

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All Saints’ Day celebrated in Orange


ll Diocesan primary and secondary schools from the Orange region gathered together to celebrate All Saints’ Day on 1st November. Students from James Sheahan Catholic High School, Catherine McAuley and St Mary’s in Orange; St Joseph’s in Molong; and St Joseph’s in Manildra gathered in Mercy Hall at James Sheahan for Mass, celebrated by

Parish Priest, Fr Greg Bellamy. Around 1,400 students and staff were able to enjoy this special experience of Eucharist and community. It was a wonderful celebration with beautiful singing led by the James Sheahan Choir. Fr Greg preached on the call of every Christian disciple to become a saint.

Catherine McAuley remained at the school to join in activities such as storybook reading, physical challenges and science experiments, led by the James Sheahan staff and students. It was an incredible day for all involved and a wonderful opportunity to come together as one Catholic school community.

Following the Mass, students from

Amber Calleja

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: 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.

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Students from St Matt’s head to Vietnam


UDGEE: Over the past two years, St Matthew’s Science faculty has developed a strategic partnership with the University of Sydney, to strengthen the students’ science skills. Students have the opportunity to be mentored by Professor Patrick Brennan and his research team whilst undertaking research in the area of breast cancer detection. As part of this year’s program, 11 students have had the opportunity to travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to undertake an experiment to assess

Vietnamese radiologists’ ability to detect cancers from breast mammograms. The results of this experiment will be used to design education programs to increase Vietnamese radiologists’ breast cancer detection effectiveness. The students joined with Professor Brennan and his team in Ho Chi Minh on 16th November and worked with his team through to 23rd November to collect data. The students were accompanied by Mrs Brooke Colley, Dr Louise Puslednik and seminarian, Nam Li Dinh. This is the second time the students

from St Matt’s have been able to put their scientific research skills to practical use. Last year, three St Matt’s students travelled to Trieste, Italy as part of the same research program. Whilst the focus of the excursion is to carry out research, all the students and staff were very excited to be able to share this cultural experience with Nam. We look forward to bringing you an update on this wonderful experience in the next Observer. Jason Hanrahan

Nam and the St Matt’s Research Team leaving for Vietnam

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The saint who watched the door


t Alphonsus Rodriguez is proof that there are many paths to holiness, and that there is holiness in many paths.

like a new Job in his suffering. Perhaps, by contrast, religious obedience was a comfort and a kind of joy.

Sometimes we make the mistake of underestimating a fellow human being because it is easier, for the sake of a momentary convenience, to define him or her by their everyday job: so-andso is ‘our cleaner’, ‘the maintenance man’, ‘the ticket collector’, ‘a carpenter’. One of the most thankless jobs these days, I would hazard, is ‘petrol station attendant’ - so overworked and so robbed of meaningful interaction with the customers (‘Do you need a receipt?’).

Alphonsus, the ordinary porter who was wise counsellor and visionary, was later honoured by fellow Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins in a poem:

We can forget that each person was made in the image of God and has a portion of God’s infinite depth. What man or woman, set down on troubled Earth for more than a little time, does not become a philosopher? The garbage man was born for great things beyond dirty things; the train driver has an immortal destiny, beyond the end of any line. Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez (1532– 1617) was a doorkeeper. Coming late to a religious life, he struggled to achieve the education level necessary to become a Jesuit, but eventually his Provincial, recognising the man’s radiant holiness, said that even if Alphonsus was not qualified to be a brother or a priest, he could nonetheless enter the order to become a saint. Although his ordinary job was to answer the door of a Jesuit college in Majorca, Alphonsus was in every way a person of depth and vision. His orderly superiors sought out his advice, and, as he grew older, he was more and more called upon

…God (that hews continent…) …



Could crowd career with conquest while there went

by the members of the college to give sermons, even though he was ‘merely’ a lay-brother of the Society. Alphonsus was an obedient member of that Society - sometimes a little too obedient. Once, the story is told, his Superior, moving past him in a pew, said, ‘No don’t move’, simply to save Alphonsus inconvenience. Later, at dinner, Alphonsus didn’t show, and he was eventually found still sitting in the pew, following to the letter what his Superior had said. There may have been a good reason for Alphonsus’ dedication to obedience. Before he became a lay-brother, he had had quite a different life, as a wool merchant with a wife and family in Segovia, in central Spain. He was not an ambitious man for worldly things, and his business always struggled. Then Alphonsus lived to see his entire family die, one by one, by natural causes. First, two of his children died, then his wife, and then finally his third child also. An ordinary man, Alphonsus became

Those years and years by of world without event That in Majorca Alfonso watched the door. Where I work, at Loyola Senior High School in Mt Druitt, Sydney, the building in which the subject Hospitality is taught is named after Alphonsus Rodriguez. At the same school, the man who tends the gardens and maintains the site, Peter Boros, in his spare time runs Scripture programs for nearby primary schools and inspires a men’s faith group to meet regularly at the school after hours for prayer, readings and reflection. Alphonsus himself said that each time the doorbell rang at his college on Majorca, he envisioned the person beyond the door was God Himself, worthy of the most diligent attention. Thus God makes, for ‘ordinary’ saints, ordinary work transcendent. Peter Flemming Printed with permission of Australian Catholics Magazine St Alphonsus’ Feast Day is celebrated on 31st October

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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 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • Page 15

This work of teaching is one of the most important in the Church St John Baptist de la Salle


s 2018 quickly draws to a close, so too does the current Strategic Plan for Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst. A good deal of deliberation has been undertaken during the year to discern the future areas of strategic intent in support of the work undertaken across our schools, work which is one of the most important in the Church.

Activity in support of our system of schools is framed within the three pillars of our vision statement: faith, learning and teaching, and stewardship. Across the next three year period, in the area of faith we will strive to demonstrate achievement through the formation of school communities as centres of faith, inclusion and missionary discipleship. Our strategic focus will therefore be intentional formation for missionary discipleship and supporting and connecting families. In the area of learning and teaching we will strive to demonstrate achievement through the ongoing development of a ‘professional learning communities’ culture committed to high levels of learning for all. Our strategic focus will therefore be enhancing teacher capacity and quality, strengthening literacy and numeracy and building student ability and aspiration for education in a changing world. In the area of stewardship we will strive to develop a high performing system with a focus on strong leadership, equity and sustainability. Our strategic focus will include building leadership capacity, implementing quality systems and services and equity and opportunity for all.

students have improved dramatically. Staff love coming to work each day. It’s a great place to be”.

Our school communities are well placed to realise improvements in these areas, building upon the great collaborative efforts of all within our schools. As one principal recently remarked to me “Our school is unrecognisable from what it was a few years ago. So many of our daily practices in support of quality outcomes for our

Jenny Allen Executive Director of Schools

As the formal Year of Youth draws to a close, may 2019 be a year characterised by the ongoing achievements of our children and youth as they strive to become the people God created them to be.

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Stannies’ students having an awesome time

Fr Rob Galea

Praise and worship celebrations


s part of our Year of Youth celebrations, and for no other reason than for our students to come together to pray and celebrate our faith with joy, over 2,500 students from across the Diocese gathered in Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst in late October for Praise and Worship rallies, led by Fr Rob Galea.  Fr Rob’s message was clear - we need to develop our own personal relationship with Jesus. This relationship is a life-long commitment and we develop this through prayer, understanding him through his word, and being nourished by the Eucharist and the Sacraments as a community. As Fr Rob also suggested, the ‘mess’ in our

daily life can turn to ‘message’ as we find hope in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Fr Rob is an ordained Catholic priest currently serving in the Diocese of Sandhurst, Victoria after moving to Australia from his home country, Malta. He is a singer and songwriter with international experience. Apart from a series of recordings and CD releases, Fr Rob has also written a number of songs for various campaigns and international conferences. Dr Angelo Belmonte

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iRISE 2018!


ne hundred and sixty students travelled to the Orange Agricultural Institute on 24th October for the annual iRISE Leaders Formation Day.  Providing a unique opportunity for senior student leaders, the occasion provided rich experiences of prayer, worship and other activities designed to educate and empower student leaders to lead like Jesus, in our Catholic schools.   As the keynote presenter, Fr Rob Galea’s presentations on Servant Leadership provided a great framework for students to contemplate how they will lead to emulate Jesus’ own leadership in 2019. 

Kenndy Chapman, Rose Edmundson and Ella Pay from St John’s College, Dubbo

During the day, students had the opportunity to speak to Bishop Michael McKenna in relation to young people and their involvement in the Catholic Church. Reflecting on the Synod of Youth that was held in October in Rome, Bishop Michael was able to express the Church’s wish to engage with all people of the Church, but especially the youth. Other workshops students attended included ‘Wiradjuri Echos’, ‘Leadership as Influence’ and one facilitated by Fr Rob entitled ‘Batteries Not Included’. 

Fr Greg Kennedy and Bishop Michael in action

Following these enlightening workshops, we celebrated a reflective, prayerful Mass presided by Bishop Michael. All the student leaders who attended iRISE should be congratulated on their excellent attitudes and level of enthusiasm that made the day very successful. Angelo Belmonte Page 18 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • 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

Only a Priest A Pastoral Letter to God’s People of the Diocese of Bathurst

Dear Friends in Christ, ‘Only a priest…’ You may remember that I used the phrase ‘only a bishop’ about myself when I became your pastor nearly ten years ago. What I am about to write applies to bishops and priests, who share in the apostolic ministry. The word ‘only’ has two senses. The first sense is ‘no more than’. The second sense is ‘unique’. Priests have a specific service in the life of the Church. They will do it best when they and their people are clear about what that service is and what it is not. There are some things that a priest can do and some things he can’t do. There are things that only he can do. So he must do them, or else they will not be done. The same may be said for every member of the Church. There are some things that only you can do, so you must do them, or else they will not be done. As you read this letter, I invite you to join me in reflecting more deeply on the mystery of the Church to which we belong. Through that reflection, we may come to understand more clearly the identity and mission of the priest, which makes sense only in the context of that mystery.

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“Conversion of the Way to Damascus (Conversione di San Paolo)” by Caravaggio



ut Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…” (Acts 9:1-5)  Saul’s dramatic and famous encounter with the risen Christ came with a deep insight about the Church. He learnt that “the Way” which he had been persecuting was more than just some people who shared beliefs and practices: together, they were a presence of Christ; and in persecuting them, he was persecuting Him. When Saul became Paul, he used and developed this insight in his teaching on the Church as the Body of Christ: not merely a human association, but a spiritual reality that reaches to heaven, where Christ, the Head of the Body is. When the Second Vatican Council issued its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), it used that image of the Church as the Body of Christ extensively. However, aware that so great a mystery cannot be expressed fully even by so rich a symbol, the Council noted a number of others, all likewise drawn from Holy Scripture. The Church is a Sheepfold; a Vineyard; God’s Temple; the Holy City; our Mother; the Bride of Christ. Lumen Gentium’s most prominent description of the Church, which imbues other teachings of the Council, is as the People of God. This reminds us that the Church is the New Israel, emerging from the People that God chose, out of whom came our Saviour. This People of the New Covenant is joined not by race or inheritance: it is joined through being chosen by God in Christ; and chosen for a mission. The People of God reaches across the five continents of our planet, back through the centuries and into heaven. The whole Church prays and supports us when we join in building God’s kingdom. On earth, this community is not a confederation, nor a corporation. It is not a religious services organisation, nor a social club for like-minded people. It is a mystery of communion lived out in flesh and blood – in other words, in the difficulties and opportunities of human life in all its intricate reality. PRIESTHOOD


he Old Covenant had priests, whose responsibility was to offer sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. With the coming of Christ, his perfect sacrifice made these former practices and practitioners obsolete.

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For Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the Holy Place yearly with blood not his own; for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:24-26) For Christians, there is only one true Priest: Christ himself. In Baptism, we become members of his Body and so sharers in his priesthood. The newly baptised are anointed with Chrism as the minister prays: God… now anoints you with the Chrism of salvation, so that, united with his People, you may remain forever a member of Christ who is Priest, Prophet and King. This is what is called “the priesthood of the faithful”. We exercise it only in union with Christ, who is its source. We unite the offering of our daily lives with his perfect offering and we witness that he is risen as he frees us from sin to proclaim his love. It is up to us to respond to this gift. When we say yes to the Holy Spirit and let Christ live in us, we make real the words of St Paul: God… in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing… (2 Cor 2:14-15) Jesus’ own parable, I am the vine and you are the branches in chapter 15 of John’s Gospel, expresses vividly that a relationship with him is inextricably a relationship with our fellow sharers in his life. Love one another as I have loved you (Jn 15:12). St Augustine wrote: This is the sacrifice of Christians: that we, being many, are one body in Christ (City of God 10:7). We cannot follow Christ locked in individualism. The love of Christ propels us to love and serve everyone we encounter, but we do not undertake this mission alone. In praying and sharing the Word and our faith together and proclaiming it to others; cooperating in works of service to build our local church and wider community; in celebrating the sacraments, especially offering the Eucharist together: we become in reality Christ’s presence in the world. Three years ago, celebrating the 150th birthday of our Diocese, I took a busload of pilgrims to every parish, where the locals welcomed us with great hospitality, and we prayed together. In each place, we left a small stone, taken from the restoration of our Cathedral, as a memorial of the visit. Inscribed on it were the words of St Peter: Be living stones making a spiritual house as a holy priesthood to offer the spiritual sacrifices made acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…(1 Peter 2:5) St Augustine used the same image when he wrote: Christians do not make a house of God until they are one in charity. The timber and stone must fit together in an orderly plan, must be joined in perfect harmony, must give each other support as it were of love, or no one would enter the building. When you see the stones and beams of a building holding together securely, you enter the building with an easy mind, you are not afraid of it falling down in ruins. The work we see complete in this building is physical; it should find its counterpart in your hearts. (Sermon 336,1.6) For Christians to work together in this world, we need, more than buildings, to order our common life in harmony with Christ’s will. THE GOOD SHEPHERD


or Christians, there is only one true Shepherd: Christ himself. We need the Shepherd to keep us together, to keep us safe, to feed us, to guide us. Until Christ comes again, his Church, his flock, walks through the difficulties and opportunities of human life and all that implies for our relationships and leadership. Jesus chose the Apostles for this time until the Kingdom comes: to be witnesses of the Resurrection and to hold the flock together, faithful to the Word and sustained by the Sacraments. They did this in the power of the Holy Spirit; and in that same Spirit handed on the ministry to others: in persona Christi.

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From the Last Supper in the Upper Room, through the centuries of ordinations of bishops and priests, this ministry of shepherding in Christ’s name has continued. At the heart of it is the Eucharist, in which Christ gives us his Body to make us into his Body, where our imperfect offerings are perfected, in which we taste the heavenly banquet, and are nourished to walk on to its fulfilment. Only a priest can give us the Mass. No matter how holy the congregation, although Christ will be truly present in their gathering and truly present when his Word is proclaimed, the Sacrifice will not be renewed without the ordained priest’s link to the Upper Room where it began: where Jesus taught the Apostles to wash the feet of those they would lead. Out of this comes the sacramental ministry and the unique leadership of the priest. There are many kinds of leadership in the Church and her many communities and organisations. It is not for the priest to substitute for them or be a dictator over his flock. It is not for the priest to try and do everything himself: on the contrary, it is his responsibility to call and encourage his people in the full exercise of their gifts. His servant leadership is a ministry of communion, to ensure that we are bound together in the love of Christ, faithful to his mission. All Christians must proclaim the Gospel, in one way or another. However, the apostolic ministry, in which only the priest shares, comes with responsibility and authority to recall his people, especially those who have a ministry of teaching and preaching, to the pure food of the Word revealed in Christ and handed on authentically through the Church. This ordained priesthood is at the service of the priesthood of the faithful. It does not exist for itself, only to serve the whole pilgrim Church. It is both an awesome call and, properly understood, a humble office. The honours of the Church belong to the saints, whose company we are all invited to join. LIGHTS IN THE DARKNESS


ven Jesus chose one Apostle who betrayed him. In the long history of the Church, not every priest and bishop has lived up to the responsibilities of his ordination. We are now in a time of sorrowful lamentation for past sins against children recently revealed: devastated that, among the perpetrators, have been some of our own priests. These scandals may tempt us to lose hope, rather than submit to the painful pruning that we must undergo, if we the branches are to remain with the Vine who is Christ. We do not look away from the fact of other failings, either: of those who misused their office for prestige, power or wealth; of those bishops and priests who should have been servants of communion, but were promoters of division in the Church; of those who preached their own notions, instead of the Word they were entrusted to proclaim; of those who gravely neglected the sacramental and pastoral care their people needed. These failures have been real, as sin is real in our fallen world. But Christ is more powerful than sin: Where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more (Romans 5:20). The Father never takes back his gifts; and the Spirit works in a way that transcends human weakness. Perhaps we should notice, and not take for granted, the quiet fidelity of so many good priests who have served and serve us well. Among them have been those shining lights we call saints. The patron of parish priests, St John Vianney, was not thought to have great human gifts, an evaluation he probably shared. He was as aware as anyone of the “dirty clothes” of the Church. But he knew that the Church was more than she appeared to be. He acted out of faith that the power of God’s love in word and sacrament, by which and for which he was a priest, was the source of any good he might do. Connected to that source, he did great things and so can your priests: please pray for us. +Michael McKenna Bishop of Bathurst Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2018 Front cover image: “The Upper Room” from the film “The Gospel of John”

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Christmas Art 2018


n September, students from Years 5-6 submitted artworks for the annual Christmas Storytelling and Art Exhibition. This year, the exhibition was held at Merrick Hall in Kelso. Guests travelled from across the Diocese to attend the official opening with Bishop Michael McKenna. This year’s entries were of a very high quality. Congratulations to all the finalists for their eye catching entries and the teachers who contributed to the high standard of works this year. The Diocese will be represented at the Sydney Christmas Art Exhibition at Notre Dame University on Sunday 2nd December by finalists from the following schools: The Assumption School, Bathurst; St Mary’s Primary Dubbo; St. Joseph’s Molong; Holy Family Kelso; and All Hallows, Gulgong. We wish them success in this next round. Joanne Brown Award Student Name Bishop’s Award Rachel Monaghan

Bishop Michael with winner, Rachel Monaghan

Deacon Josh Clayton and Jamie Mulholland

Title Angel of The Lord

School All Hallows Gulgong

Director’s Award

Emily Middleton

Her Heart Burned Strong With Faith

St Joseph’s Molong

CDF Award Parish Priest Award Yr5

Olly Bennie Jamie Mulholland

The Visitors from the East Prepare the Way

St Joseph’s Manildra The Assumption School Bathurst

Parish Priest Award Yr6 Eckersley’s Award Mayor’s Award Yr 5 Mayor’s Award Yr 5 Mayor’s Award Yr 6 Mayor’s Award Yr 6

Abby Osborne Camilla Bowman Rachel Monaghan Olivia Sarantzouklis Taylor Kleinschafer Georgina Payne

Back to Back In the Eye of the Beholder Angel of the Lord The Journey to Baby Jesus The Arrival Has Come Angel in the Night

St John’s Primary Dubbo St Joseph’s Molong All Hallows Gulgong St Laurence’s Dubbo Holy Family Kelso St Laurence’s Dubbo

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School EUGOWRA

Located in the rural village of Eugowra, is the tradition of Catholic teachings begun by the Sisters of St Joseph in 1882. Today our small school is still thriving and growing with our rapidly changing world, based on the teachings of the Gospel spirit of freedom and love. St Joseph’s encourages the development of each child, spiritually, cognitively, emotionally and physically. Pye Street, Eugowra NSW 2806 Contact Principal: Cathy Eppelstun 02 6859 2485 Website:


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Preparations begin for Easter Making their Maths mark art competition


econdary students in Years 9 and 10 recently participated in workshops to support their submissions for the inaugural Secondary Holy Week and Easter Art Exhibition in 2019. Artist and teacher from James Sheahan Catholic High School, Mr Les Quick, facilitated the days in Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst. After the success of the Primary School Christmas Storytelling and Art Exhibition, Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst is keen to inaugurate a similar style competition for secondary students. The work from students on the day was of a very high quality. We eagerly await viewing the finished works in April next year. Joanne Brown

Students from around the Diocese workshopping concepts for their final art works

St Lawrence’s Primary School Coonabarabran


aths at St Eddie’s in Canowindra is marvelous! Not only are the students encouraged to ‘think outside the square’, they even think outside the classroom… and sometimes in disguise! You would not believe that these shopkeepers are Kinder students, would you? Australia’s local hero and most magnificent mathematician, Eddie Woo, would be very pleased to see that his ‘namesake’ school has teachers who are also passionate about Maths and students who just ‘get it’. The Eddies definitely have it! Janine Kearney

St Eddie’s Kinder shopkeepers

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Page 24 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • 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

Bidding Anne Mann au revoir


enny Allen and Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst (CEDB) staff, representing the Bathurst and Dubbo offices, farewelled Anne Mann late last term.

Anne has given a great deal of time, energy and dedication to Catholic Education over a number of years in her role as Administrative Assistant. She originally worked with Glenn Roff when the office was located in the centre of town. She later returned to the CEDB after its relocation to Sheraton Road and has worked in that location for the past 23 years. Anne has diligently organised our Diocesan sport and gone above and beyond (often in the early hours of the morning) to ensure our student representatives have the correct gear to do us proud, and worked hard at crafting ‘the art of quietly doing so that all our work can flow’. We thank Anne for all that she has done for us and wish her every happiness as she prepares for her many future adventures. Janine Kearney

Taking time to say thanks to Anne Mann

Multicultural celebration at St John’s Primary


UBBO: St John’s Primary School has recently celebrated its very first multicultural day.

It was a day of welcoming and joining with our many multicultural families to celebrate their heritage, their values and the special contribution they make to St John’s Primary School. It was a day where we saw Jesus in action, through acknowledgement and acceptance of differences, and through the inclusiveness of all. Our multicultural celebrations began with students arriving to school in a cultural dress of their choice. We celebrated a whole school Liturgy, followed by classroom decorating of flags and maps of where our families had originated. Our classes also participated in many activities to broaden their horizons beyond our Australian borders. Multinational food recipes were researched, many languages, words and phrases were attempted, songs and dances were learnt, henna was painted and many artworks inspired from other countries were created. Highlights of the day for our students were the Aussie BBQ and performances by an Irish dance group, several of our Indian students who danced in

Nullah Baker Dimina Dhungana, Rhianna Jose and Ivana Giri their traditional cultural outfits and an enthusiastic and very capable didgeridoo player. Another highlight of the day was the Banquet which was shared by our families and St John’s Primary teachers. The staffroom was absolutely buzzing with joy and excitement as many foreign flavours were savoured! We look forward to many years of future celebrations with our culturally diverse families. It was such a successful and enjoyable day. Paul Clifford

Tessa Cherian and Elsa James

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Travelling with a Mission - Sri Lanka 2018


RANGE: Since 2013, students from James Sheahan Catholic High School have been given a unique opportunity to learn about education and living conditions in a vastly different place and to contribute to the education of others. In 2018, a new group of 15 adventurous and committed Year 11 students and four staff members took up the challenge of balancing their senior studies and other work commitments in order to do something good for someone else. Our 2018 Mission Team worked hard throughout the year to pay their own way to visit Sri Lanka in the October school holidays. They volunteered their time and fundraising ideas, with all money raised used to purchase valuable teaching and sporting resources to take with them ‘voluntouring.’ The focus on resources this year was predominantly on devices to develop English literacy skills and vocabulary, key scientific and mathematical concepts, and language around feelings and mental and emotional health. In Sri Lanka, education is highly valued and increasingly is an avenue out of a crushing cycle of poverty. Here, the students are examined in English, not in their native tongue. Our students used the resources they brought with them to teach English and other core subjects at the Lasallian Brothers’ schools, in the impoverished Mannar district. Language, literacy and pronunciation were the key learning areas where our young team really assisted the predominantly Tamil students and teachers of Mannar; through speaking, writing and then laughing and having conversations about different subjects, hobbies and playing sport. In fact, the students probably learnt the most when playing cricket, tennis or learning basketball… still a work in progress! And this all happens in a relaxed way, after classes, in the warm afternoon Mannar breeze.

Pippa Hogan

During the two-week tour of the lower, central and northern districts of Sri Lanka, our students also got the chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful sunshine, beaches, and many other cultural experiences and tourist attractions available in this small but diverse country. The group fed and walked magnificent elephants such as ‘Raja,’ and raced in tuk tuks to buy fresh ingredients to cook a series of traditional Sri Lankan dishes. This is just a sample of the hectic, but perspectivechanging schedule this young group of travellers immersed themselves in. Perhaps the best way to capture and convey the nature of the Sri Lanka Mission Team’s experience and ‘take-away’ messages is to hear from the students themselves about their observations and memories from their time teaching in Mannar. Sappirah Knight sums up the feelings of the students…

Brenton Cox

“The experiences I have encountered during my time in Mannar have been truly life changing. Meeting and teaching the children has been the stand out highlight of my trip. Their innocence and zest for life touched my heart. I loved how polite and always welcoming they are. The level of hospitality from the school and the Brothers was outstanding, even small things such as the cordial and biscuits at break or the acknowledgement during Assembly made me feel exceptionally appreciated. The feeling of these kids looking up to me has inspired me to endeavour to do more mission work in the future”. Virginia Flanagan Page 26 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • 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

Missionary inspiration


ANILDRA: On 22nd October, Mrs Margaret Vella, from Sydney, spoke to the students of St Joseph’s Primary School about her missionary work in Papua New Guinea. She was very interesting to listen to. We all had an opportunity to dress up in some of the items that she has collected or been given while working in Papua New Guinea. Mrs Vella encouraged us all to think about how we could help people in poorer countries. The students came up with some great fundraising ideas and we will have a fundraising day shortly. Thank you to Mr Mike Deasy, Diocesan Director of Catholic Mission, for bringing Mrs Vella to our school.

Margaret Vella, Mike Deasy and Jacky Parmeter with students from St Joseph’s Primary School

Jacky Parmeter

SRE News ~ Meet some of our young Catechists


than Howard, Year 10 student from La Salle Academy, Lithgow, visits Cooerwull Public School every Thursday afternoon to assist catechists teaching Special Religious Education (SRE) to students from K-Year 2. Emily Bennett, Youth Minister at La Salle Academy, also assists by teaching the Kinder SRE class each week. Twenty one Year 9 students from James Sheahan Catholic High School, Orange (JSCHS) are also trained as Catechist Helpers. These students assist SRE teachers at Orange Public School each

week. Mrs Amber Calleja, Religious Education Co-ordinator from JSCHS, does a fantastic job organising the students to go out into the school each week. We are most grateful to Kay and Bernadette who assist with transporting the students to the school. The program would not be able to run without their generous assistance. These outstanding young people not only do a great job by assisting and teaching SRE in the classrooms, but are also wonderful role models to the younger students they teach. Vicki Mair

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Emily and Ethan at Cooerwull Public School

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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 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • Page 27

Stephen Michael King visits


All Hallows Stage 1 learn all about soil


ULGONG: Stage 1 students at All Hallows Catholic ULGONG: Everyone at All Hallows Catholic Primary School have been learning about the importance Primary School was very excited to welcome one of soil. We learned about how worm castings can help the of Australia’s most famous authors and illustrators soil by adding nutrients. The worms dig underground to make of children’s books, Stephen Michael King, in Term 2. channels for air and water. Soil is very important for the gardens so plants can grow and be healthy.  Stephen showed our students his drawing techniques, plans for books and illustrations and his journal of In Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), we ideas. He answered lots of questions about writing and made movies to tell others why soil is important. We entered the illustrating, his career and where his ideas come from. We movies into the Rahamim ‘Soil is Life’ competition, which was a were very lucky to have him read his latest book ‘Rainbow fun part of learning about soil and making movies. We are now very excited to learn that our movies have been Bear’. Thank you so much Stephen! shortlisted for a prize. You can watch them at: Sarah Buckle FTdUt1 Kailee and Emily Stage 1 students 

All Hallows students with Stephen

Byron, Ronnie and Kailee

Donation for our farmers


UBBO: St. Pius X Primary School has raised an incredible $5,000 for the Farmers’ Appeal. We are a small school of 203 students and 135 families, but the generosity of our parents and students is evident in the amount of money raised. The community spirit of the school is guided by our motto “Living is Giving”. 

Several fundraising days were held including a Pyjama Day, St. Pius X Feast Day and our Fathers’ Day Luncheon, which consisted of pumpkin soup made with pumpkins and herbs from our garden. We also catered for the Bathurst Diocesan Athletics Carnival, not to mention various donations that we received. Principal, Mrs Heather Irwin, is very grateful that all the families in this small school always think of others and their generosity is tremendous.  Therese Jones

Mrs Heather Irwin with student representatives from Kinder to Year 6 and Mrs Anne East, one of our Grandparents

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JSCHS New Zealand Netball Tour 2018


RANGE: From 2nd to 10th October, James Sheahan Catholic High School (JSCHS) took 27 netballers from Years 8-9 and an umpire from Y11 to the North Island of New Zealand for a sporting and cultural tour. This group of students has been preparing for their tour since Term 4, 2017. They have ran coaching clinics for primary aged players, held a BBQ and pie drive, volunteered at the JSCHS trivia night and attended weekly lunchtime training sessions and meetings. The tour started in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, where we were warmly welcomed with games and lunch at Hutt Valley High School. We saw the sights of Wellington and had some fun at the high ropes “Adrenalin Forest”. From there, we travelled to Palmerston North where we were greeted by teachers and students from Manukura Elite Sports School for some high quality matches. We then travelled through the stunning scenery as we made our way to Rotorua via Taupo. The highly anticipated smell of sulphur didn’t disappoint as we took in all the experiences Rotorua has to offer. The Skyline Gondola, luge, zip line and sky swing were action packed, as were the jet boat ride and OGO races. The Maori cultural experience was interesting and interactive and

The JSCHS Netball NZ tour group the Polynesian Spas were a great way to relax. Our last stop was in Auckland and the lovely Manurewa Netball Centre. They very kindly organised a 10 team carnival especially for our visit, so we had two full days of netball, followed by some fun at the waterslides at Parakai Springs. Thank you to the sponsors of our uniforms and netballs - KLMR Civil, Whittaker Contracting, Banksia Building, Board Concreting, Pave’N’Scape, Daikin, Climate King, CYMS Netball, Life Studio Netball and Hawks Netball. The girls

certainly looked fantastic. Thank you to Jo Banks and Amanda Mooney for all your help with getting this tour off the ground and for accompanying us along the way. All your help is greatly appreciated. We are very proud to say that our girls shared a bit of Sheahan Spirit wherever they went. We were pleased to be able to share in this fantastic experience and look forward to planning our next netball adventure. Kylie Jordan, Mandy Board and Sue Dean

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Stannies’ support for the Diocese


ATHURST: Year 9 student, Charles Patterson, recently had the initiative to approach the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst about the possibility of setting up live streaming of Mass at the Cathedral of St Michael and St John. As a result, Charles coordinated the live streaming of the Mass of the Diocesan Pastoral Council Assembly in October. At this Mass, Bishop Michael McKenna admitted three seminarians into the Ministry of Lector. Broadcasting the Mass via Facebook allowed the seminarians’ families in Vietnam to watch this special event. As a result of the live streaming, the Mass was viewed by over 460 people online. Charles also works with Year 10 students, Harrison Stansell and Archie Staines; they utilise various technologies including the use of a drone to video and photograph various College events. Their live streaming of the 2018 home rugby fixtures on Saturdays was positively received throughout the wider Stannies community.

Harrison Stansell, Archie Staines and Charles Patterson The recent College Mass, held in celebration of Saint Stanislaus Kostka and Saint Vincent de Paul, was also live streamed, with multiple cameras set up around the Performing Arts Centre.

Cathedral School’s Athletics Carnival, where they shared their drone expertise with Principal, Patrick Allen, who proved to be a very eager learner!

Earlier this year, their expertise was generously put to good use at the

Dr Anne Wenham Head of College

Eucharistic Ministers Commissioning Mass


n 31st October, 18 Year 11 students were commissioned as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. Bishop Michael McKenna concelebrated this Mass with Fr Peter Reedy CM. The ministers will commit to fulfilling this role at College Masses and, where able, in their home parishes, understanding that it is a sacred privilege and aware of its responsibilities. Kimbalee Clews Bishop Michael with the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist

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Diocesan Music Workshop


UBBO: Wednesday 7th November saw 121 students from MacKillop College, Bathurst; St Johns College, Dubbo; James Sheahan Catholic High School, Orange; La Salle Academy, Lithgow and St Stanislaus College, Bathurst gather at St Johns College, Dubbo for the annual Diocesan Music Workshop. The workshop aims to provide an ‘add on’ experience for the many very capable musicians in our high schools. This year, the focus was on strings, concert band (junior and senior) and guitar. Music directors were James Pensini, Rachel Pogson and Sam Weller from the Sydney Youth Orchestra, and Matt Archer, a guitarist and music consultant from Orange. Jenny Allen, Executive Director of Schools and Vince Connor, Consultant to Schools, thanked the teachers and organisers for their great expertise in preparing the students for this excellent event. Paul Dunn

Leadership Induction


UBBO: On 12th November, St John’s College held its 2019 Student Leadership Induction Ceremony. We were privileged to have Bishop Michael McKenna attend the ceremony. Bishop McKenna was invited to bless the leaders’ badges and address the College community. Congratulations to Lillie Abbott, Sharon Sabu, Natasha Ho and Patrick Smith who were elected as the College Captains and Vice Captains, and also to the Student Leadership Team for 2019. Kerry Rogers

Kerry Rogers, Fr Greg Kennedy, Bishop Michael and Rob Exner with the 2019 leaders

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 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • Page 31

Eliza Bennett wins gold


ATHURST: Personal best times, three Oceania Track Championship medals and a coveted selfie with an Olympian - Eliza Bennett could hardly have imagined a better debut at under 19s level. The 15-year-old MacKillop College, Bathurst student admitted to feeling tentative about the titles held in midOctober, but from the moment she finished her first race at the Adelaide Super-Drome, the nervous smile was replaced by one of happiness. She was an Oceania champion by the end of the first night of competition claiming gold in the Team Sprint - then went on to earn silver in the 500 metres Time Trial and sprint events. She also was a solid fourth in the Kierin. “I was not even sure of how I was going to go, I was stepping up and it was very early in the season as well. I had no idea of how my form was, but obviously it was not too bad”, Eliza said. “I was super surprised with my times, I got PBs in all the events I did. Like I said, it was really early in the season, so to do that was a bit crazy”. Bennett worked hard in the lead up to the event with her coach, Marian Renshaw, and it showed from the get go. Alongside Heather May, the talented Bathurst teen secured Team Sprint gold with a dominant performance. Their winning time of 35.954 seconds was 1.18 quicker than the effort of Kiwi pairing Olivia King and Tyla Green. It was a performance which filled Bennett with confidence. It also helped her learn about May, who she battled throughout the championships. 

In the 500m time trial Bennett clocked a personal best in being the second fastest qualifier behind May and while lowering her mark further to 36.835 in the decider, was nudged out by 0.26 seconds by May. In the sprint event Bennett won her qualifier - going 0.08 quicker than May - and won her semi-final against Green. In the decider May got the nod. “I was pretty nervous to start with because I wasn’t sure how it was going to go and also when you have a partner, you don’t want to mess up for them. I was worried, but once I got out there and rode it made me feel a lot better for the rest of the comp”, Bennett said. “It was kind of cool that I got to ride with her (May) and see how she was going. I was able to work on my tactics by seeing how she rode in our team event, I used that for my sprints and the Kierin against her”. As well as learning from her time on the boards, Bennett said watching Australia’s

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“I watched Matt Glaetzer who is an Olympian, so watching him was pretty cool and Kaarle McCulloch - every race my coach would be saying I had to watch them ride and learn from it”, she said. “I picked up tactics from them and things I need to work on just from watching them racing”. As for the best moment of the championship, Bennett nominated a surprise winner. It was not standing on the top tier of the podium, nor was it a personal best. It was having her picture taken with Glaetzer. “That was a serious highlight, it was better than the gold medal, I was so happy”, she laughed. Bennett will now attend country carnivals as she works towards the state and track national titles. Anya Whitelaw Photo: Chris Seabrook Courtesy of the Western Advocate

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World Youth Day - Panama 2019


he Holy Father has once again called the youth of the world to come together to celebrate faith and youthfulness in our Church. For the 2019 World Youth Day (WYD), Panama has been selected as the location. Panama offers a wonderful opportunity to experience the rich and powerful culture and faith of the church in Central America. Bishop Michael McKenna will be leading a group of more than 30 pilgrims from the Diocese of Bathurst, the Diocese of Townsville and other locations on a pilgrimage which begins with time spent at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Here, our pilgrims will experience youth ministry and the missions of the church in Southern California. Following our time in the United States, the group will head to Panama where we will take part in WYD events while staying with the Archdiocese of New York’s pilgrimage group. Pilgrimage is about journeying towards the person of Jesus Christ. While at times challenging, it fills you with an indescribable joy, which enables a disciple to enter into their faith in a new way. I look forward to WYD and its lasting effects on our Diocese and the universal Church. Deacon Josh Clayton WYD Pilgrimage Leader

Introducing some of the pilgrims from the Diocese of Bathurst:

Diep Nguyen: a fifth year seminarian at Good Shepherd Seminary. I am very excited to be attending WYD 2019! It has always been one of my favourite youth events that inspires so many young people around the world to come to know God.  I’ve never been to a WYD event before. However, I’m very much looking forward to experiencing anything WYD has to offer. In other words, I’ll be open for the Holy Spirit to lead me to wherever or whatever he wants me to do.  I also hope to see how the world biggest youth event is organised and why so many youth are attracted to this event. When I return, I hope that I can help many young people in Australia to know and love God after this experience. I also would like to be able to recommend young people to attend the next WYD or any Catholic youth event. 

Emily Bennett: currently the Youth Minister at La Salle Academy, Lithgow. For me, WYD is something I have always wanted to experience; firstly to learn about the culture of the host country and their individual expression of faith. Secondly, I hope to engage in an experience of the global Church, to step outside my comfort zone and be challenged and to be a part something that has been attended by young Catholics around for over 30 years, which is very exciting. “I am really looking forward to the days in the Diocese before WYD and our time in Panama leading up to the arrival of Pope Francis. I am super excited for the whole experience and I can’t wait to get there! I am sure that there are so many opportunities waiting for us and I am so looking forward to see what this pilgrimage holds for me.

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: or Fr Reynold Jaboneta: 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 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • Page 33

On the shame of child abuse in the Church This article is a shortened version of Fr Greg Bellamy’s homily given on 28th October 2018. The full version is available online at

They had left in tears, I will comfort them as I lead them back” - word from the last chapter of Jeremiah. If you know this story, you will know it is one of tragedy. All his time as a prophet, Jeremiah speaks fearlessly and publicly, calling the King, priests and prophets, and all people back to fidelity to the one true God. For all intents and purposes, he failed. The King is a bad king who does not exercise proper governance; the priests and prophets remain corrupt careerists, more interested in personal advancement than faithful service; the people abandon true conversion and turn the sacred temple into a place of cynical empty rituals, rather than true worship. In the end, Jerusalem is invaded and most of the people are taken away into captivity. In this last chapter, the broken prophet, surrounded by the ashes and ruins of the greatest calamity that had ever befallen the people, still hears the Word of God and faithfully transmits it by letter to the survivors who have been carried off into captivity. Even here in the extreme depths of brokenness and despair, God promises hope. You are now leaving in tears, in chains, with broken hearts, but one day I will give you comfort as I lead you back to the promised land. One day there will be a new Israel. The Church is the new Israel. In the body of the baptised, God’s new people is formed, but it is still a work in progress: it is still broken. If we are honest, the picture of Israel painted by Jeremiah is, at times, a picture of the Church: those in governance are neglectful of their

vocation of service, the priests and prophets are interested in careers and in themselves, the people have given up on conversion and true worship of God. And sometimes, because of our failings, God allows the Church to go into exile; into its own Babylonian captivity. In his book, Divine Renovation, Fr James Mallon speaks about the importance of naming our pain and discontent. We are a family. Dysfunctional families do not speak honestly with each other about their pain and discontent. Functional families are able to speak honestly about these things, even though it is difficult. All through my teenage years, my time in the seminary, and as a young priest, the spectre of child abuse has cast a constant shadow over the life of the Church. I’m not old enough to clearly remember a time when it wasn’t there in the background. I remember with particular clarity when, as a seminarian aspiring to be a good priest, it was revealed a priest who taught me at school was convicted of multiple crimes involving students. Although I escaped abuse, the memory of some of his unusual behaviours in the classroom, which at the time I thought were strange and even creepy, snapped into horrific clear focus, with the benefit of hindsight and in the light of new revelations. For a long time I struggled with heartbroken revulsion and a deep sense of personal betrayal; perhaps I still do. Each time I have listened to a priest joke or have been called a paedophile on the street because I am wearing a collar, I have had to struggle against a deep sense of resentment, even hatred, towards some of those who have gone before me. I would say this is a struggle faced by most younger priests and religious: to acknowledge the pain and

Jeremiah, depicted here by Rembrandt, had great faith in God’s salvation Page 34 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • 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

suffering caused by the failings of others, but resist the temptation to be imprisoned by rage and bitterness. We are not personally guilty of these crimes, but are called to bear the weight of these sins for years to come. If this struggle is real for me, I am sure it is for the many faithful Catholics who have trusted their priests and then discovered that they were not the men they thought them to be; that their trust was betrayed. This trusted man, whom I called ‘father’, who baptised my children, sat at our dinner table, heard my confession, all the time was disgracing the dignity of the priesthood and betraying that most sacred trust of caring for the innocent and vulnerable. But above all, the pain of these sins falls most heavily on survivors and their families - unfathomable to those who have not experienced it. Surely Jeremiah’s prophecy aptly describes their experience: they have been betrayed by those who should have served them and so they have been carried into exile in tears and in chains. In many cases, this tearful exile has been worsened when survivors have been treated like blind Bartimaeus in the Gospel: when he yelled out to Jesus for mercy, he was scolded and told to keep quiet. Don’t make a scene, don’t disrupt us. It is sickening that some in the Church have said precisely this: be quiet so the normal course of things is not interrupted. Yet, it is precisely Bartimaeus who receives Jesus’ healing and love. The forgotten one is not forgotten by Jesus. Repenting of past failings, we must always put the forgotten one at the centre of our attention, not the voices of the crowd. Always, the survivors and their families must be first: listened to, respected, apologised to, offered reparation, and offered practical support for healing. God promises the exiled Israelites that they will be comforted and led home. It is God’s will to comfort and lead home to himself all who have been hurt, neglected and forgotten, all who have been driven into tearful exile. We must never obstruct the will of God and if we do, we should repent each and every time. Besides holding ourselves to the highest professional standards of child safety into the future, we - your priests - must commit ourselves to rebuilding the sacred trust

Here is a great way to serve God in 2019! In 2019 we will need Special Religious Education (SRE) Teachers & Assistants. More men who have flexible working hours would be especially welcome! Could you be a Prayer Partner with a SRE Teacher & Assistant? OUR CHALLENGE FOR 2019 is to have.. SRE Teachers & Assistants for every Primary class in public schools A Prayer Partner for every SRE Teacher & Assistant Please note you will need a Working with Children Check number

implied by the title ‘father’. We must put aside concern for reputation or popularity and dedicate ourselves, without excuses: to serious conversion, growth in holiness: to cultivate a robust prayer life and do penance, to consciously make a priority of growing in personal virtue, to be available to the poor and needy, to live a healthy community life, including healthy adult relationships with men and women, to live a balanced lifestyle, hold each other to account for our behaviour, accept loving correction from others, including fellow Christians in the parish, to exercise leadership as humble service, not with arrogance or pride, to live celibacy as a fruitful commitment for the sake of the Kingdom and not as an opportunity to live the comfortable life of a bachelor, and to commit ourselves to simple mission and so abandon the unhealthy introspective politics that are totally foreign to Jesus’ teaching and mission. This is the commitment we must make: it is the commitment I make. Recently, Prime Minister Morrison publicly apologised to the survivors of childhood abuse in Australian institutions on behalf of the nation. Bishop McKenna also took the opportunity to repeat the public apology made on behalf of the Diocese, which he made in his first year as Bishop. My predecessor, Fr Devitt, earlier apologised to any survivors who may have suffered in this parish. No words or gestures can adequately address the suffering of survivors. However, now seems a providential moment to repeat and renew that apology. As your Pastor, as a priest, and simply as a disciple of Jesus Christ, I am deeply sorry for the suffering that has been caused because of our failings. Most particularly, I am deeply sorry for the suffering of survivors and their families, not only because of the abuse itself, but also because of those occasions when you may have been disbelieved or told to remain silent. It is God’s desire that those who suffer receive the gifts of healing and consolation. We need to do our best to ensure the forgotten receive this precious gift. Above all, it is not our gift, but a gift of God’s Holy Spirit. Fr Greg Bellamy Parish Priest - Orange

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COULD YOU HELP? Please contact your parish priest. 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 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • Page 35

Bernie and Anne celebrate 60 years of marriage


ernard Francis Doohan and Anne Sarah Lamb were married at St Michael’s Catholic Church, Lane Cove on 6th September 1958. They were blessed with a large family of four children, ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren and recently celebrated a wonderful milestone - their 60th (Diamond) Wedding Anniversary! On 9th September, Anne and Bernie attended Mass at St Patrick’s Church in Lithgow with their family, where Parish Priest, Fr Garry McKeown, presented them with a Papal Blessing.  After Mass, the family celebrated with a lovely luncheon at Black Gold Restaurant in Wallerawang. Family travelled from Melbourne, Sydney, Maitland and Newcastle to join ‘Grandma and Grandpa’ in celebrating this special occasion and the cake was made by their second eldest granddaughter, Jennifer. 

Bernie and Anne with their four children

They also received recognition and congratulations from Her Majesty the Queen, the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and the Federal Member for Calare. Margaret Doohan

Anne and Bernie on their wedding day in 1958

Josephite Associates legacy lives on


ecently, the Josephite Associates of Mudgee commissioned and welcomed three new members: Felix Melinz, his wife Margaret and Lyn Bull, during Mass at St Mary of the Presentation Church, Mudgee. Parish Priest, Fr Owen Gibbons, celebrated Mass and presented the new members with a Josephite Associates badge, a certificate and a candle. Member, Eileen Csuba stood in as a proxy for Lyn Bull, because of her inability to be present on the day. Mass was followed by a lovely lunch at the Parish Centre, where the Associates were able to welcome the new members and remember past members. The Mudgee Josephite Associates’ first group leader was Mrs Vonnie Gilders, who died in 2016. Her kind leadership motivated current member Margaret Dunnachie to join this group, to follow in her footsteps and emulate the words,

ideals and actions of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop: “Never see a need without doing something about it”. Margaret said, “Vonnie always tried to help others without ever wanting anything in return. I believe that her gentleness, compassion and humility made her a true Christian and disciple of God, which is something to which I would like to aspire to”.

The legacy of Fr Julian Tenison Woods and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop lives on in the Diocese of Bathurst and the Parish of St Mary’s, Mudgee Josephite Associates, who respond to the call to live the charism of Mary MacKillop.

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Margaret Dunnachie and Angela Krusvar

We remember Sister Patricia Nugent rsm


ister Patricia Nugent was received into the Bathurst Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy on 29th November 1956. Then, it was customary for the Novice to be given a new name. It was little wonder that she was given the name Cecilia, the Patron Saint of Musicians. In the two and a half years after leaving secondary school and prior to entering the Novitiate, she gained her A. Mus. A, and an Associate in Music, Australia. In speaking with one of her friends from those years, I discovered that she led a very busy social life as well. Her crowd of young friends followed the CYMS football team in winter, went to dances and parties and generally had a good time “fifties” style. Patricia was the only child of William and Edith Nugent, who welcomed her with simple love when she was born on 19th February 1938. She grew up on a farm near Dubbo with her early years of years of schooling being by correspondence and a small bush school, and then to boarding school at St Patrick’s College, Dubbo run by the Sisters of Mercy. After First Profession on 6th January 1959, Patricia spent a year of full-time music study before beginning her teaching career at St Mary’s College, Bathurst. She gained her Licentiate from Trinity College of Music, London in 1964. She was in charge of the Music at St Mary’s in 1961. In 1967, still known as Sister Cecilia, she joined the first staff of the newly opened Diocesan Catholic Girls High School, where she helped establish the fine tradition of music that has continued till this day at MacKillop College. In 1965, Mr Keith Curry and his family moved to Bathurst. Keith worked for the NSW Department of Education and was responsible for the Music curriculum in Government schools in

the Western Area. In Keith, Sr Patricia found a kindred spirit. He assisted her to develop resources for both the Sisters and students in our schools. In a way, Keith became the brother that Tricia never had and his family, her family. His daughter, Margaret Curry, was with her when her last illness struck. We are very grateful to Margaret, who took such loving care of Tricia in her last hours in this life. In 1971, Patricia was appointed to Santa Maria College, Orange. Feeling the need to have a more direct apostolate than teaching music, she spent a year at the National Pastoral Institute in Melbourne in 1975 gaining a Diploma in Religious Education. In 1976, she was back in Bathurst working as part of a Renewal Team for the Bathurst Congregation, running prayer weekends and working in various ways on pre-Chapter work. In 1977, she was appointed to Forbes in charge of the boarding school - a quite new experience for her! In August 1977 her father died. She was appointed to Dubbo where her mother lived and she moved to the Convent of Mercy. Two years later her mother became seriously ill and permission was given for her to live at home, which she did for the next 14 years. Her ties with the local Mercy community were strong and she worked in the parish for eight years and was always part of the liturgy - as organist, on the planning committee and for many years a Choir Leader. She was the Superior of the Dubbo community in 1986-87, a difficult assignment as Sisters lived in more than one house. Patricia’s mother died in 1994 and a new period of her life began. She requested time for study and renewal and was granted a two year sabbatical for renewal and retraining, first in the School of Applied Theology in Berkeley, California

and then in the Loyola House Staff Associate Program in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. On her return to Australia, Tricia was based at St Joseph’s Mount, Bathurst and set about offering the new ministry for which she had been trained to those who might feel the need for a “prayer companion”, a term she preferred to spiritual director. She set up a group of directors for Supervision and Peer Support. This group continues until today and meets three or four times a year. Tricia was a gracious, caring person who was truly humble in the best sense of that word. She knew her gifts and her limitations. She knew she was loved by God and spent her life returning that love. She was meticulous in all she did, from the early days of perfecting her skill as a musician, in caring for her mother in her old age, while remaining true to her calling as a Sister of Mercy. Such a compassionate, caring, prayerful person as our Sister Patricia will be sadly missed, but we come today with grateful hope that she is now enjoying full union, “face to face” with the God who loves her and whom she loves in return with all her life. Sr Bernie Evens rsm The full version of this Obituary can be read at

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RISE Youth Festival 2018


n the October school holidays, the Diocese hosted the RISE Youth Festival, with around 80 Year 6-9 students from across the Diocese made the trek to lovely Perthville for a fun-filled three days. Those who attended RISEN were group leaders for RISE and they were a fantastic help to the Youth Ministers, so a big thank you to those students. They helped with running the small group sessions. These three days were packed with talks and workshops presented by Fr Greg Bellamy, Parish Priest of Orange, Fr Greg Walsh CM, the Missionaries of Charity, people from the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and Sarkis Achmar, a youth worker based in Bathurst. We were blessed with brilliant music from our Music Ministry and, of course, the wonderful food and accommodation provided to us by the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Marnie Orge Youth Minister

Youth Minister, Nicole Musfod with RISE students

Kayleen Mortlock, a Year 11 student from MacKillop College, Bathurst reflects on her time at RISE:


ISE was an eye-opening experience for me. It has made me rethink about my own faith and purpose. It was a great opportunity to further discover my relationship with God, which has helped strengthen that relationship. Within the short three days of being together, we went on the journey of leadership and faith. We were in a comfortable environment together, which made it easy to be ourselves, to sing and dance to the amazing music, bonding over our similar experiences. One thing that stuck with me from my time at RISEN in July, and was emphasised again at RISE, is that we all have a faith journey that will eventually get us to where we are meant to be. It may be soon or may not be for a few years. Right now, I believe I am on this journey leading to where I am meant to be. I believe that I will be guided along this journey of faith - it may not be a smooth road, but I know I will get where I am meant to be. RISE has been one of the most memorable moments in my life and I am glad to have met new people and gained new friendships with people from around the Diocese who I hope will continue to be in my life. If there was another opportunity to attend an event such as RISE, I would definitely take it up. I would highly recommend anyone who gets the chance to attend such a fun and memorable event, to create friendships and to take that step in their faith journey. Kayleen Mortlock

Seminarian Diep Nguyen with students at RISE

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The interior of the Cathedral… Next steps The 1897 Altar


ver the past few months, the Cathedral Restoration Committee has been reviewing the feedback and experience of the current temporary liturgical layout and considering the next phase in our restoration journey. After extensive consultation and discussion, it has been determined that the historic Altar should be restored to its original condition. The relief of the fallen Jesus, which was removed in the 1983 changes, will be reinstated to the 1897 Altar. At the same time, the Sanctuary platform constructed in the 1983 renovation will be removed, lowering the floor level and exposing the original terrazzo flooring. Work on these changes has begun and is planned for completion by the end of November.

Proposed alternative layout of the Cathedral On completion of the 1897 Altar, an alternative temporary seating layout will be trialled, with feedback being sought as to its long term suitability. The proposed layout will move to a traditional cruciform shape, with the Altar located behind the graves and visible to the re-sited pews. Seating will be placed in the former

Work on the restoration of the Sanctuary floor has begun Blessed Sacrament Chapel space, and will The side aisles in the Nave will have the share a side view of the Altar with the seating removed to give the Cathedral seating in the Keppel Street side of the a more spacious feel, with temporary Cathedral. The area for music ministry seating available to be used on the will be moved to its former position in occasions it is required. this area. The objective of this layout design is to place the Sanctuary as the key focus, visible from both the Nave and the transepts on either side. Also, the seating can be close to the Altar on these three sides. The Blessed Sacrament will be reserved in the Tabernacle in the 1897 Altar.


This trial will be in place from December to the end of February. Feedback forms will be provided at the end of this period, to seek your views on the layout. We thank you for your patience and willingness to assist us as we continue to restore our Cathedral.

The generations before us have built and cared for our Cathedral Now it is our turn. Please give generously to the Cathedral Restoration Appeal. Donations can be made: In person ~ Catholic Chancery Office Bathurst or at your local Parish office 1800 451 760 where you will find more information 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 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • Page 39

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Page 40 • D e c e m b e r 2018 • 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

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Profile for Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

Catholic Observer - December 2018  

The quarterly publication of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst.

Catholic Observer - December 2018  

The quarterly publication of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst.

Profile for diobxobs