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Volume 48, No. 4 DECEMBER 2013 $2.00

Bishop’s Message Christmas and Families


hat do you first think of when you hear the word “family”? I would guess it is not families in general, but your own family. And those thoughts may be glad and grateful, or they may be painful and poignant, or perhaps all of the above. At Christmas, both the joys and sorrows of our family experiences seem more intense, as many families come together at this time. When there are distances, whether geographical or emotional, the reality of separation is equally intensely felt. The personal history that only a family shares: the memories, the jokes, the love, the fights: gives special depth to our time together and still affects us when we are apart. Families are powerful. In the first few years of a person’s life, the groundwork of our character as social beings is laid. Most of us learnt to speak, to relate to others, to eat, dress and wash in our family. The deep pattern of our values was established then, not so much through direct instruction, but through hearing and watching what our parents said and did - and what they didn’t say, and didn’t do. Families are a powerful human and cultural force, for good and ill. For this reason, the Church has a special concern for the quality of family life. In fact, the Christian family has been described as the “little church” or the “domestic church.” Here, the basic lessons of faith and morals can be given, in ways much deeper than mere words. Our Diocesan Assembly this year discussed the family as one of the major topics. Now, Pope Francis has called a meeting of the Synod of Bishops next year with the theme “Pastoral Challenges to the Family

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in the Context of Evangelisation”. This Extraordinary Assembly will be followed up in 2015 with a General Assembly on the same theme. I have already distributed copies of the Synod’s preparatory document to our parishes and groups in the Diocese. Our initial response will incorporate what we learnt in the Assembly process, with the addition of contributions from priests and people in the coming weeks. I invite you

to be part of this work and pray for the powerful guidance of the Holy Spirit in it. This Christmas, let’s turn to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and find in our companionship with them, deep lessons for the life and faith of our own families. + Michael McKenna Bishop of Bathurst Christmas 2013

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Kath’s a winner!


he winner of the first prize in the Cathedral Restoration Art Union, worth $37,345, was Cathedral Parish Parishioner, Kath Squires.

This has been a great start to fundraising for the Cathedral, but with a total cost of $3 million expected, there is still much to be done.

State Member for Bathurst, Mr Paul Toole, was invited to draw the winners on 24th November 2013 at the Cathedral Parish Centre in Bathurst. Paul is also Co-patron of the Cathedral Restoration Fundraising Committee.

Ultimately of course, we are all winners in the end, as all fundraising proceeds will go towards the restoration of our beloved Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John; a vital part of the life of the Cathedral Parish, our Diocesan family and the Bathurst community.

Kath wasn’t present for the draw, as she was visiting a sick neighbour in hospital, but was ecstatic when she heard about her lucky win. She can now swap her 24 year old car for the new Mazda 6 Sport automatic sedan, which was sponsored by Rosconi Brothers Mazda in Bathurst. At 85, she still enjoys driving and plans to get out and about even more now!

Fiona Lewis

Second prize was a travel package valued at $8,000, sponsored by Travelscene Bathurst and this was won Anthony Bartnik from Dubbo. Third prize went to Peter and Carolyn Murphy from Bathurst. This was an outdoor power machine package valued at $2,965 which was sponsored by Brabham’s Outdoor Power Centre in Bathurst.

The happy winner (Photo courtesy Zenio Lapka, Western Advocate) exercise, which has firmly placed the Restoration Project on the radar of Bathurst and wider community.

Around 7,000 tickets were sold in the Art Union. It is hoped this will raise between $20,000 and $25,000 for the Restoration Appeal.

Bishop McKenna offered thanks to all involved, and in particular to Mr Phil Burgett, Chair of the Committee, who devoted an extraordinary amount of Bishop McKenna said the endeavour time and energy to ensure the success had been a great awareness raising of the Art Union.

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About our front page...


he painting on our front cover this month was an entry in the Christmas Story Art Competition run across Bathurst and Wollongong Dioceses and the Archdiocese of Sydney. The annual competition aims to encourage Catholic youth to celebrate Christmas and their faith using visual skills.

The artist is Ben Hile, a Year 6 student at St. John’s Primary School in Dubbo. Ben won First Prize in the Year 6 section of the Bathurst Competition and went through to the Finals in Sydney. You can read more about our talented young artists on Page 32.

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Our family caring for your family CATHOLIC OBSERVER, DIOCESE OF BATHURST • DECEMBER 2013 - PAGE 3

Bishop’s Special Missionary Appeal A new church in Cairui


ast year, our Diocese committed the proceeds of the Bishop’s annual Special Missionary Appeal for 2012 and 2013 to the building of a new church in Cairui (the Parish of Laleia - Diocese of Baucau - Timor Leste). Our donation will assist the construction of a new church there, with a seating capacity of 140-160 people. $A150,000 is required for the project. It is hoped this will be made up of donations from the Bathurst Diocese of $A86,000, with the remaining amount to be raised locally in Timor Leste. The money from Bathurst will be used for the main building structure, earthworks, foundations etc., carpentry, landscape and fencing work, plumbing, electrics and liturgical equipment. The proceeds of last year’s collection, $A42,843.35, were sent to the Parish earlier this year, with the assistance of Catholic Mission. So, we are on target to provide our brothers and sisters less fortunate than us in Timor Leste with the promised amount towards their new church. Please give generously to this year’s collection so we can fulfil our promise. There will be an opportunity at every Christmas Mass to contribute to this worthy cause. You can also send your donation direct to: Diocesan Secretary, Catholic Chancery Office, PO Box 246, Bathurst, NSW, 2795. Fiona Lewis

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Thuc ordained Deacon Coonabarabran


r Thuc Van Le was ordained to the diaconate (transitional) by Bishop Michael McKenna at St. Lawrence’s Church, Coonabarabran on Tuesday 15th October 2013 at 6.00pm. Thuc has spent this year living and working with Father Greg Kennedy in the parishes of Coonamble and Coonabarabran, undertaking pastoral work. He will now work as a deacon in these parishes until Christmas. In January 2014, Thuc will join the first semester program preparing deacons for priestly ordination at Corpus Christi College in Melbourne, after which time he will return to the Bathurst Diocese for ordination to the priesthood. Bishop McKenna has asked for everyone’s prayers for both Thuc and our Diocese. Fiona Lewis Thuc with Bishop McKenna, concelebrating priests and deacons after his ordination as Deacon

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Kelso Mass remembers our history


n what has now become somewhat of a tradition, Bishop McKenna celebrated Mass on 1st November at Holy Family Church in Kelso. The Bishop celebrates the All Saints’ Day Mass at Kelso, rather than in the Cathedral, in commemoration of the first Mass in Bathurst on 1st November 1830 by Father John Joseph Therry. In many of our parishes across the Diocese, we have the choice of Mass on Saturday evening, Sunday morning and Sunday evening, as well as daily Mass in many places. Early Catholic settlers of Australia had no such luxury. Bathurst was the remotest part of the Colony. It took six months or more to obtain goods from Sydney. A horseman brought the mail once a week. East of the Blue Mountains, from 18211826, Father Therry worked unaided, “discharging all the duties of a priest, no light obligation as the Catholics were scattered....He had to celebrate the divine mysteries at Parramatta, Wollongong, Hawkesbury, Penrith and Liverpool” (Progress of Catholicity in Australia - Dean Kenny).

“There are vast districts, such as Bathurst, where Catholics are without a single priest....How the Catholic prisoner clings to his prayer book given by the priest!. How he clasps it, when everything else is gone! How ingeniously he preserves it through every hazard! In the remote wilds it is to him in place of priest, and altar, and sacrifice” (Catholic Mission in Australia, Dr Ullathorne) In 1830 -15 years after settlement in Bathurst - Father Therry was ‘called’ to Bathurst. The reason? So that he could attend on the scaffold, a Catholic convict, Ralf Entwhistle, who was to be hanged on 2nd November, along with nine other men - all part of the notorious Ribbon Gang. (An interesting aside is that, given the travelling time from Sydney and the fact that Entwhistle was only sentenced to death

on 30th October, Father Therry must have received this ‘call’ from the Authorities some days before Entwhistle was even put on trial). The day before the execution was All Saints’ Day and Father Therry celebrated the first Mass in Bathurst at Kelso - it is believed in a room over a stable at an Inn. (It appears he also baptised a 13 month old child on the day of the execution).

In his book “Centenary of the First Mass at Bathurst 1830-1930”, Michael Meagher says that at the time of this visit, there would have been around 100 Catholic men and perhaps 20-30 Catholic women in Bathurst, who had not even seen a priest for five or more years. After Father Therry’s 1830 visit, there was no other visit by a priest until 1833. Fiona Lewis

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Papal Honour for Barry Eves


ope Francis has accepted Bishop McKenna’s recommendation that Bathurst parishioner Mr Barry Eves receive the award Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice for service to the Church. The Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (for the Church and the Pope) was established by Leo XIII on July 17th 1888, to commemorate his golden jubilee of ordination and was originally bestowed on those men and women who had aided and promoted the jubilee, and by other means assisted in making the jubilee and the Vatican Exposition successful. It is currently given for distinguished service to the Church by lay people and clergy and is the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity. Barry’s involvement with the Church has been extensive, over two dioceses - Bathurst and Wollongong - and four decades. Before moving to Bathurst, he served the Diocese of Wollongong through voluntary membership of a number of Advisory Boards. In March 1992, in light of his expertise in banking and financial management and his standing as a parishioner, he was appointed to the Finance Council of the Diocese of Bathurst by Bishop Patrick Dougherty and later to the restructured Council by Bishop McKenna. This year, Barry completes 21 years as a member of the Council, initially as a member and, from 1997 until recently, as Chair. He has also served on other Diocesan Advisory Boards, including St. Vincent’s Hospital and the Diocesan School Capital Works Committee.

Barry receives his award from Bishop McKenna Bishop McKenna presented Barry with his Award on 25th September 2013, following a Diocesan Finance Council meeting at Matthew Quinn House. A special luncheon to mark Barry’s retirement as Chair of the Council followed.

Since then, Barry has now resigned from the Council, as he and Papal Honours such as these reflect the importance of faithful his wife Val will be moving north to be closer to their children lay leadership and represent the special relationship of a and grandchildren. We wish them every blessing for the future. diocese with the Holy Father and the Universal Church. Fiona Lewis

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Perthville Sisters Petition Holy See


ollowing their Chapter decision in July, and with the support of Bishop Michael McKenna, the Perthville Josephite Sisters have submitted their request to fuse/merge with the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart (Central Josephites) to the Holy See. The Central Josephite were the original group founded by Mary MacKillop and Julian Woods in Penola SA. The Perthville community of Sisters, founded from this original group in 1872, was the first foundation made in New South Wales. With the intervention of Bishop Matthew Quinn (Bishop of Bathurst), Perthville separated from the original group and became a Diocesan Congregation in 1876. From Perthville, four other Diocesan groups were founded (New Zealand, Goulburn, Lochinvar, Tasmania) and they later became the Australian-New Zealand Federation of Sisters of St Joseph.

ranging in age from 60 to 99. Already three of the five Federation Josephite Congregations - Tasmania, Goulburn and New Zealand - had made the decision to fuse with the larger Josephite Congregation, so this left just Lochinvar and Perthville in the Federation.

A collegial Chapter decision about the future of a religious congregation is so important that the Vatican does not expect that any sister who does not support the decision has to go along with it. Three options were given to the minority of sisters who voted against the proposal at the Chapter: they can remain with the Sisters of the Congregation and move with them through the fusion/merger process, transfer to another Congregation or leave the Congregation.

At the extraordinary chapter, the majority of sisters voted to seek to fuse with the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart. There were many reasons given by the Sisters who wished for fusion. Some of these key reasons are: Four Perthville sisters have chosen • The desire for unity with the original to transfer to the Sisters of St. Joseph st group of Josephites founded by St. Lochinvar and so on 1 November, these sisters entered into a period of Mary MacKillop and Father Julian discernment and transition with the Woods, from which Perthville was Lochinvar Josephites. One former founded, Perthville Sister made the decision to • The wish to further foster communion leave the Congregation. If the Vatican and mission with the possibility of approves the request, 36 Sisters will move sharing (in prayer or reality) in the wider to fusion and the Sisters of the Perthville mission of the Central Josephites,

The Perthville Sisters with the Congregational Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart at The Vale Lodge, Perthville For many years now the Perthville Sisters Congregation, while remaining as a and indeed all the Sisters of St. Joseph • Support for the younger members Perthville community of Sisters within the of our Congregation, who have few Bathurst Diocese, will become members (both Central and Federation) in Australia, peers, New Zealand and beyond, have been of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred sharing together in a variety of ways, • To rationalise leadership functions, Heart. getting to know each other, going on thus enabling Sisters currently in A Pathways Ritual was held at Perthville on retreats together, working together on leadership to be involved in other 9th November, when all the Sisters prayed committees such as the Josephite Justice ministry, together, in love and with respect, for the Network, participating in theological • The wish to fuse/merge now, while pathway that each sister has chosen for reflection groups, sharing our history, and Sisters have the energy and capacity her future. The Sisters are trusting that God coming to understand and appreciate to manage and appreciate the is leading each Sister of St. Joseph in the our shared Josephite spirit and mission. way that is best for her life and for the life transition, With fewer active sisters living in the • To ensure Perthville is recognised into of the Community. community and ministering among the the future as a significant place in the The Sisters who hope to fuse have been people, it became clear to many of the warmly greeted by the Central Josephite larger Josephite story, Perthville Sisters that they needed to make Leadership Team and the Sisters. All are • The fact that the Vatican actually some real decisions for the future. At the encourages fusion between now eagerly awaiting a response from time of the Extraordinary Chapter in July congregations who are in a similar the Holy See. this year, there were 41 Perthville Sisters position to the Perthville Sisters. Sister Therese McGarry, rsj (11 of whom were in aged care facilities),


A Diamond Celebration


ister Helen Sullivan, or ‘Aunty Hel’ as she is widely known, recently enjoyed celebrations to mark the Diamond Jubilee of her Profession as a Sister of St. Joseph Perthville.

the Bathurst Diocese, Helen lived and ministered in Portland and Eugowra.

Enjoying “semi-retirement” in Eugowra, Helen continues to have a seemingly endless supply of enthusiasm and an After entering the Convent from amazing passion for people, especially Coonabarabran, she taught in many those disadvantaged in any way. She schools in the Diocese and was a is generous, selfless and hospitable, has boarding supervisor at St. Joseph’s a good sense of humour, is a woman of College Perthville. She spent 10 years prayer and is also a good cook! as a missionary in PNG and has worked for Catholic Mission in Australia. For It is no wonder the Sisters relished several years Helen lived in Sydney, the opportunity to thank God for this ministering with Josephite Community wonderful woman who has shared her Aid in outreach to refugees and love of God and her Josephite spirit asylum seekers, aboriginal people, with her Sisters and so many others. people with mental illness and those Congratulations Sister Helen on your living on the streets. On her return to Diamond Jubilee.

Sister Helen with Bishop Michael McKenna, who celebrated Mass at Perthville on 3rd November

100 years of Love, laughter, prayer and service


ister Regina Seigel was all smiles as she celebrated her 100th Birthday with her Josephite Sisters, family members and special friends on Saturday 23rd November. A celebratory morning tea was served at The Vale Lodge at Perthville. Messages of congratulations were read from a number of people, including the Governor General and the Queen. Sister Regina was also thrilled to receive a Papal Blessing from Pope Francis. A former music and elocution teacher, Regina delighted her guests by reciting two poems. Sisters and family recalled some of Regina’s beautiful qualities before all present drank a toast to a remarkable and charming centenarian.

Geraldine Millard, Fay King, Sister Regina, Reggie Preston and Sister Regina Millard

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St. Stanislaus’ College, Bathurst Big night at Stannies!


he St. Stanislaus’ community celebrated its annual Speech Night last month. College President and Chair of the Board, Father Doug Akehurst, welcomed Bishop Michael McKenna, State Member Mr Paul Toole, Vincentian Fathers Gregory Brett and Jim Maloney, members of the Board of Directors and other official guests as well as staff, families and students to this important event. Highlights of the evening included…..

Farewell to Father James Maloney Father Jim is an Old Boy of the College, attending from 19431945 and is on the Honour Roll as Dux of the College in 1945. He was College President from 1967-1973 and has served as staff member over many years from 1954. He has been in his current role as College Chaplain since 2002. The Presidents of the two St. Vincent de Paul Conferences of the College (Oliver Croker, Y9 and Nicholas Stevens, Y11) spoke on behalf of the whole College community, thanking Father Jim for his years of service and wishing him well for his retirement in Marsfield. They assured him publicly that his commitment to the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society will live on at Stannies.

Nicholas Stevens thanking Father Maloney

Commissioning of New Prefect Team As Head of College, I invited Bishop Michael to bless the badges of the new College Leaders. The Prefect Team comprises Nicholas Moses, Nicholas Stevens, Nicholas Grant, Peter McNamara, Mitch Oxley, Charlie New, Adam Lindsay and John Monk.

The new 2014 Senior Prefect Team

Induction of Christopher Hillier into the College Old Boys Gallery The College welcomed back Christopher Hillier who was a student from 1994-1999. Whilst at the College, his musical talent was apparent and he has paved a successful path since then in the world of music, as both a singer and a pianist. Chris graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium with a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in 2006 and the National Opera Studio (London) in 2007. He has sung many baritone roles, both here and overseas, and has played for many fine singers and conductors. He will make his conducting debut in 2014. After Chris was presented with his Citation he sang a piece from the musical Chess, a favourite he first started singing when he was a Stannies student. Dr. Anne Wenham

Dr. Wenham, Christopher Hillier and Bishop McKenna

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St. Joseph’s, Eugowra Canberra Visit


ustralia’s Parliament House has 4,500 rooms and 2,700 clocks. A lot of the design is based on Britain’s Parliament House with an Australian touch. The flag is about the same size as a double decker bus. Carmina Grey Granite from Eugowra is the most visible of all the stone used in the House, as it encloses the entire lengths of the two giant curved walls.

Australian Institute of Sport The AIS was built in the early 1980s to improve Australian sport after a poor performance in the 1976 Olympics. Since then, we have done a lot better. Students from St. Joseph’s on excursion there saw the new swimming pool where the Olympians train. There is an underground tunnel where the coaches can watch the swimmers and their styles.

Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum Bathurst The children from St. Joseph’s visited there on a recent excursion. They also went to the National Library, National Museum and Art Gallery. In the evening, their activity was indoor rock climbing, during which many of them overcame their fear of heights and had lots of fun.

Karl instituted to Ministry of Lector

In October, the younger students from St. Joseph’s travelled to Bathurst for the day to visit the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum. They had a wonderful tour of the museum, which is based on a private collection. Of course, the best bit was the T-Rex skeleton. After inspecting lots of fantastic fossils, crystals and skeletons, the children headed over to the Adventure Playground, which has a Dinosaur theme, to climb, run, jump and slide on all the equipment. Sarah de Lang

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n 29th September 2013, at 10.00am Mass in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John, Bishop McKenna instituted Karl Sinclair to the Ministry of Lector. Karl is currently a seminarian for the Diocese of Bathurst, studying at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney. 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. Please keep Karl and our other seminarians in your prayer as they continue in their various stages of formation for the priesthood. Fiona Lewis

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Rosary Makers in Bathurst


ur Lady’s Rosary Makers of Australia held its Annual Conference in October and enjoyed the warm hospitality of the people of Bathurst. The day was a huge success, with over 80 members attending from Guilds around Australia. Father Tony Mannix celebrated a welcoming Mass for the delegates. Guest singer, Janet Brouwers from Sydney, accompanied by local organist John McGrath, sang at the Mass and the Conference. The Conference was held in the Assumption Hall, thanks to the generosity of the Principal and staff and dedicated members of the Bathurst Guild who gave their time to decorate the Church and hall. The Conference theme was Reconciliation with God and with one another. An informative film ‘Prophecies of Fatima’ was shown and Father Pat O’Regan gave a presentation on Our Lady of Knots. Assumption students George Sargent and Joseph Fajloun sang three hymns, to the delight of everyone. On display were the results of the best efforts of a colouring-in competition involving the primary schools in Bathurst. Each student received a holy card from the CEO and the winners, beautiful rosary beads made by Michael Lawson and David Ackary. After lunch, Michael gave a demonstration on the making of rosary beads, which was enjoyed by all. Then followed Benediction, afternoon tea and farewells. The 2014 Conference will be held at Cronulla. Trish Burke

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Left: Michael Lawson thanks George Sargent and Joseph Fajloun Above: Michael demonstrates making cord and wire rosaries watched by various guild members. Photos courtesy of Father Joshy Kaithakulangara

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St. Mary’s School Wellington, Mercy Day


nce again, St. Mary’s celebrated Mercy Day with great excitement. The day began with the Sisters of Mercy visiting the school. A beautiful Mass was celebrated by Father Tony Hennessy, with students and many parents in attendance. The Sisters were presented with rose bushes which have been planted in front of the Infant de Prague Centre located on the school grounds. This was followed by a scrumptious lunch, Family Group activities and a football match, where the teachers played the students. The teachers showed amazing skill and technique, especially Principal Simon Price, until he took a nasty tumble. Sadly, the match was won by the students, 6 to 4.  Luckily the teachers had the school holidays to recover! Jennifer Simpson

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Syro-Malabar Mass in Cathedral


ishop McKenna presided in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John on Sunday 10th November 2013 at 1.30pm, when Mass was celebrated according to the SyroMalabar rite. The Syro-Malabar Church is one of the Eastern Rite (Oriental) Catholic churches and has a rich history. Founded by St. Thomas, one of the 12

Apostles, in 52 AD after he travelled to Kodungallur, on the Kerala coast of India, it has become one of the biggest oriental churches in the world with 4.7 million Catholics. This ancient rite is one of 23 in the Catholic Church. It is, to this day, celebrated especially in Kerala, India. “We rejoice in the presence of three priests from Kerala and many faithful

in our local Church”, Bishop McKenna said. “We thank God for the way that the unity of the Catholic Church is expressed in the diversity of liturgical rites”. After Mass, visitors and Cathedral Parish parishioners enjoyed a cuppa in the Cathedral Parish Centre. Fiona Lewis

St. Joseph’s Blayney


hose made of donated coins recently appeared on the asphalt at St. Joseph’s Primary School - the School’s novel way to raise funds for people affected by the recent bushfires in the Blue Mountains via the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Principal, Gerard Davies, said the School’s 125 pupils were “invited to come dressed in hot colours like red, orange or yellow and to remind them of why they were in casual dress, they were asked to bring in a gold coin donation”. The School’s ‘Mini Vinnies’ organised a Blayney Rural Fire Service uniform, boots, helmet, facemask and part of a hose to start the display. Gerard Davies

St. Joseph student, Matilda Press, making a contribution towards the Bushfire Appeal


Second chances in Wellington


ver the last three years several people on Intensive Corrections Order (ICO) have worked at the Wellington Presbytery. An ICO is an order of imprisonment by the Court, for not more than two years, which directs that the sentence be served by way of intensive correction outside of a prison. An ICO is served in the community under the strict supervision of Corrective Services NSW, rather than in full-time custody in a correctional centre. Father Tony Hennessy, Parish Priest of Wellington, says there have been people from all walks of life - young, old, working, unemployed, indigenous, non-indigenous - involved in what he thinks is a very successful programme, designed to keep people out of prison and offer them a way to repay a debt to society. “It helps develop new job skills Intensive Corrections Order through the and strengthen self-respect which Court. There were a number of locations encourages people not to re-offend”, where I could have been sent to serve said Father Tony. my one day a week, but I was placed Marvellous work has been done at at the Wellington Presbytery with Father Wellington - from the painting of many Tony Hennessy. rooms in the presbytery to the care of the To say I was blessed would be an church garden - all providing a valuable understatement. I have always been saving in parish resources. respected and made to feel a part of “There are problems and difficulties at the busy parish team and this has indeed times and even failures; but overall, it has strengthened me personally. been a great blessing to the Wellington The diverse range of jobs I have done parish and the people who live in this includes car detailing, house cleaning, community”, said Father Tony. laundry, ironing, gardening, cooking, And in the words of one of the programme office work, filing, church cleaning and participants…… brass polishing, social secretary, party “My story began approximately 16 organiser and the list goes on.  I think I months ago when I was placed on an could confidently say that there have

not been two weeks running where I was doing the same thing. Parish life is certainly full-on and enjoyable. When I do spend time in the Church, whether it be cleaning the brass or tiding up, I reflect on my situation and give thanks that I was given this second chance to redeem myself. I will never be able to repay Father Tony for his care and support through my ordeal, but I do know that even when my time has been served, I will continue to make myself available to help in the parish. I am also thankful to the Wellington Community Corrections Office for sending me to the Wellington Presbytery; this has indeed been a life changing event for me”. 

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ow! It’s hard to believe another BLAST has come and gone. But one thing that’s easy to believe is the excitement and energy that is generated when 90 young people get together! Then when you add another 40 supporting adults to the mix, things really heat up! BLAST was held on the weekend of 19th and 20th October at Ridgecrest Christian Convention Centre, which is a perfect location for such an event. We are especially appreciative that the Lithgow group made it, even though fires where engulfing the fringes of the town. Many of the young people had been evacuated from their schools and homes in the two days leading up to BLAST. The weekend posed some challenges, but the BLAST Team and Youth Leaders handled everything in a professional and sensitive manner.

Pennington from the Brisbane NET.

and to understand what builds good The rest of the Radius sessions where relationships. conducted by Bec Devitt, who engaged the participants in a productive workshop developing resources for Youth Groups, None of our youth events would be which will be available on the Youth Blog: possible without the help of volunteers, who give tirelessly in the lead up to and across the weekend. I won’t name Bishop Michael also attended one of everyone in case I miss someone, but the Radius sessions, breaking open his feel the First Aid Team deserve a special Pastoral Letter “In the Beginning, the mention. They are always professional Word”. The Bishop explained in detail in their dealings with our young (and the purpose and structure of the Word not so young) participants. We would and Faith groups being set up around not be able to use the venue without the Diocese, and encouraged the them being present to give a hand… participants to ask any questions they thank you to Jen Raines, Bec Devitt may have had surrounding these groups. and Paul Cooper. Also, to our Overnight Supervisors - Vera Butorac and Michael Zuzul - who make it possible for the rest of us to rest easy, knowing everything is in very capable hands. BLAST Radius again had a full house with many parish and school leaders participating. The Radius adults had the opportunity of working with Nattasha

While the Radius sessions where taking place in the Lodge, the main group of BLAST participants where engaging in a variety of workshops. The BLAST Leadership Team ran Resilience Workshops in different age groups. The aim of these was to build a sense of selfvalue and worth of others and to enable participants to recognise signs of bullying

Bishop Michael conducted the Mass preparation workshop. Participants’ family members and members of the Diocesan community were welcomed to the BLAST Mass. The extended BLAST family then enjoyed lunch together before finishing with the final small group challenge in rather hot conditions. For most, the highlight of the weekend was the Saturday afternoon/evening sessions. The Youth Leaders ran the Open Crowd Festival involving a little bit of face painting, water balloons and a whole lot of fun! Saturday evening this year saw “So you think you can Liturgical Dance” replaced with a trivia session! After wearing everyone out, we headed down to the small bonfire (due to fire restrictions) and while toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate, reflected on the day that had been, on God speaking and walking


BLAST ended with music. The Diocesan Youth Band - Priest Prophet and King (PPK) get the participants on their feet to sing rd th Manna Fest - 23 -25 May and dance to some great modern and traditional worship songs. The band is BLAST - 22nd-23rd November ever evolving, made up of young people from across the Diocese mentored by a with us and giving thanks. Morning and dedicated group of adults. They are all evening prayer is always a special way volunteers who dedicate weekends to to begin and end our day together. rehearsing so we can enjoy the fruits of At different times during the weekend their labour. the whole BLAST community joined The whole weekend would not be together for special gatherings. Father possible if it weren’t for the Youth


Team they are integral to the running of BLAST. If you would like to find out more about joining PPK or becoming a Youth Leader for BLAST 2014 please contact me at: I would like to thank the parishes and school which helped support participants and youth leaders financially, spiritually and in organising transport and adult leaders to attend with participants. I would also like to express gratitude to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which was extremely supportive of this Diocesan youth event. Lorna Nicholson

Greg Bellamy gave an engaging talk on Vocations. Our World Youth Day pilgrims Jacinta Thatcher, Catherine Flood and Jen Raines gave interesting and thought provoking reflections on life in the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle in Chile, where they spent their week of mission before heading to Rio de Janeiro for the WYD week.

Leaders. This amazing group of young people have committed to being trained and formed to better serve the participants and vision of BLAST. They lead and encourage their small groups across the weekend and during small group activities. They are the first point of contact for BLAST participants and are trained to handle any situation that may All the main gatherings began and arise. With the help of the Leadership

Feedback BLAST 2013 was my first year as a Youth Leader. I’ve been going to Blast since year six, back in 2009 and every year loved it more and more. My experience as a Youth Leader would have to top it all. I made many new friends and was able to help people younger than me find their faith and watched them grow in confidence. This, for me, was the greatest part of the whole weekend, knowing exactly how they felt and being the one to help them grow as a person. It was an unforgettable experience and will stay with me for years to come. Skye Veech


Australian Catholic Youth Festival “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”


s we go to press, across the country over 3,000 participants are gathering for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF). There is much energy and excitement from all corners of the Church, around the possibility of how amazing this event could be. From our own patch, we have eight participants attending the festival: Mark Williams (CSU Bathurst/Wellington), Rhiannon Falcioni (Dubbo), Jen Raines (Dubbo), Nicola Jones (Cathedral), Baden Sinclair (Portland), Lauren Jones (Cathedral), Skye Veech (Cathedral) and myself (Diocesan Ministries Co-ordinator). The excitement around this inaugural festival is building and it is promising to live up to all the hype. It is a perfect way to cap off a very busy year for Youth Ministry in our Diocese. Our group is made up of WYD Pilgrims and BLAST Youth Leaders, creating a strong connection between different age groups and faith levels.

The festival exists to: • Provide a high quality formative and experiential opportunity for young Catholics to encounter Jesus Christ, in the context of the Catholic Church in Australia; • Listen to and discuss the issues and challenges in the lives of young Catholics in Australia; • Evangelise young people and empower them to be evangelisers; • Provide young people with local examples and connections of vocations, social action, liturgy and prayer, Catholic music and catechesis. Photos and information on how the Festival areavailable on the Diocesan Website – I would like to thank the parishes and the Catholic Education Office for their support of our young people attending this event. Lorna Nicholson

Bishop visits Yeoval


he Yeoval Catholic community enjoyed a lovely morning with Bishop McKenna recently, when he celebrated Mass in the Church of our Lady. The Bishop once again expressed his delight at being in Yeoval. It was also a special occasion as Mick and Mon Antrobus were celebrating their 55th Wedding Anniversary. While there, Bishop McKenna blessed the wooden cross in the church grounds, which was made by Mick. Many thanks to all who were able to join in this special morning. Julia Englert Bishop McKenna with some of the students and younger members of the Congregation in front of Mick’s Cross.


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Running for Shalom


he Shalom ‘Saints and Sinners’ team had a great day running in the Carcoar Cup recently. The team managed to raise over $6,000 - a great effort. The money will be used to start work on renovating toilets and repainting the Conference Room at Shalom. The Shalom Community thank all their families and friends who took part and supported them through sponsorship. Some even travelled from Sydney and Newcastle to take part. Special congratulations to Dylan Craig, the youngest team member who not only ran the course five times for Shalom, but also won his age division… ‘Saint Nick’ was very jealous! Nick Hansen

Shalom’s Long Lunch


ishop Michael McKenna was the guest speaker at Shalom, Diocesan House of Prayer in Carcoar, on the October long weekend - for one of our famous ‘Long Lunches’. The Bishop spoke about the Parish Assembly held earlier this year and the renewal of our Church. A lovely long lunch outdoors followed, finishing with a tree planting and dedication to Dr Anne Gilroy - as thanks for all her support of Shalom over the past two years. Nick Hansen The Long Lunch participants look on as Anne Gilroy plants her tree


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Education Plans for 2014


elf, School, System: Learning by Doing, Learning for Transformation. This is the theme of our Catholic Education Office Annual Improvement Plan for 2014. The plan builds upon our current key focus areas of continuous school improvement, strengthening teacher capacity and building a culture of self-reflection throughout our school system. Our theme for 2014 speaks of collaboration, support and interdependence, shared vision and common purpose, teacher leadership, capacity building, action orientation and a relentless focus on enhanced learning outcomes for students. Building on successful trials in some of our schools, combined with the positive engagement of our principals and assistant principals in an introductory conference this year, 2014 will see a major focus on implementing the Professional Learning Communities model across our system me of the day staff from her school, along with staff from of schools. St. Michael’s in Dunedoo and Sacred Heart in Coolah, What are professional learning communities? recently spent together. She reported that, as schools Three big ideas underpin this concept: with a similar context, they have formed themselves as a 1. A relentless focus on learning for all students. This big professional learning community, to discern together the idea reinforces the fundamental purpose of schools to essential standards for each year group in reading. Annette reported that they had made a good start to this process, ensure that all students learn at high levels. engaged in professional conversation regarding reading 2. A collaborative culture and collective effort to support and assessment and “laid the foundations for what I hope student and adult learning. This speaks to the need will be a great sharing of ideas, planning and resources”. for teachers not to work in isolation but within a collaborative culture, in which teachers work together Self, School, System: Learning by Doing, Learning for interdependently and assume collective responsibility Transformation. The example of the professional learning community being established amongst the staff of our for the learning of all students. schools in Baradine, Coolah and Dunedoo beautifully 3. A results orientation to improve practice and drive illustrates that our 2014 theme is already alive and well. continuous improvement. This reflects the practice of teachers constantly seeking out and acting on As 2013 draws to a close, I applaud the dedication and evidence of students’ acquiring the knowledge, skills commitment of the staff in all of our schools and look forward with great anticipation to the learning journey of and dispositions deemed essential to their success. all of our students and staff in the year ahead. In a lovely coincidence, whilst writing this short article I Jenny Allen received an email from Annette Cooney, Principal of St. John’s Primary School in Baradine. Annette wrote to inform Executive Director of Schools

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Acknowledging Albert!


rimary school teachers across the Diocese have been involved in Contemporary Learning Days in Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst. Our amazing Darlene Murdoch Indigenous Education Officer K/12 organised for local indigenous members of these communities to begin our days with an Acknowledgement of Country. What a treat this turned out to be for the Orange group. Albert Ryan (Alby), a local ‘younger’ (don’t call me elder ’cause I’m not that far gone yet!) provided an enlightening and humorous insight into both the Indigenous history of the local area and the real purpose and privilege of ‘acknowledgement’. What a find… and a wonderful role model for local indigenous students and adults alike. I’m sure Darlene will have Alby on speed dial for future reference! Janine Kearney

‘Sister Foo in action’

Albert Ryan with our very own Darlene Murdoch (Indigenous Education Officer K-12)

Bridging that Generation Gap!


t was all happening in Dunedoo recently as the St. Michael’s staff and students ‘Rock-ed Out the Decades’. Only fellow teachers can appreciate the time and effort that goes into presenting such a professional, entertaining and flawless performance. The students radiated joy from start to finish. After engaging the audience in one and a half hours of toes tapping as they rocked down memory lane, the only complaint from this captivated audience was, ‘Please let that be intermission and not the end’. Scene-stealers abounded, from the Wonderful Dr. Who and his side-kick, to the ‘Wheels on the Ute’ and cast of Countdown. The grand finale featuring ‘Sister Foo’, aka Sister Margaret Flood rsj, brought the house down. Janine Kearney



CEO Staff Retreat


uring the recent school holidays, the staff at the CEO took the opportunity to engage in a staff retreat day. The first half of the day was an Aboriginal spiritual journey, based on how the two worlds of Catholic and Aboriginal spirituality connect and complement each other. The morning started with an introduction and prayer circle, we then moved on to Country where our two wonderful facilitators, Aunty Gloria Rogers and Lavinia Rossiter, welcomed everyone to Country in a blessing circle. Aunty Gloria then shared local dreaming stories (at and about Mount Panorama and Eglinton River). We finished the session with prayer and a water blessing on Country at Eglinton River. This part of the day left everyone feeling at peace and with a real sense of spiritual connection. The second part of the day was spent at the Rahamim Ecological Centre. After a beautiful lunch, we toured the facilities and were in awe of the wonderful work that is going on there. The Mission of Rahamim is to promote, through education, an awareness of sustainable living practices, an understanding of the planet - its life forms and life-support systems; respect for the dignity and full humanity of all people; and reverence for the spiritual depths of all creation. A peaceful day, filled with inspiring interactions, was had by all.

Darlene Murdoch

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‘Sacred’ Future Golfing Greats!


hat amazing skills and initiatives are to be found in small places!

Sacred Heart School in Coolah has tapped into the skills of Sharon Nott, from Jack Newton Junior Golf Coaching (JNJG). Sharon is a Dunedoo resident and has been offering skill development days - and her passion and expertise in this area - to schools in the region for a few years now. All school students K-6 are given lessons over a three week period. The schools are then invited to purchase a junior golfing kit and build this sport and skill into their PE program, with ongoing support from Sharon. The Sacred Heart students all seemed to be extremely motivated participants. I’m sure we’ll have some aspiring Jack and Jacqueline Newtons in this mix! Janine Kearney

Sacred Heart students ‘getting into the swing’, with encouragement from Sharon

Mr Mac’s amazing Brain Gym!


ur schools are full of outstanding initiatives driven by passionate teachers and school leaders.

A fine example of this is Mr Mac’s Brain Gym at St. Edward’s School in Canowindra. During their recent Diocesan School Review (DSR), the Review team were treated to a spectacular session where the students were engaged in fun activities to ‘warm up their brains for learning’. This is a unique enterprise based on sound research with equipment and facilities that would be the envy of any Occupational Therapy team. The students just love going each day and it is certainly having a positive impact on concentration, co-ordination and attitude to learning for these busy little bees. Well done Mr Mac! One of the many great opportunities offered daily in this exceptional Catholic learning community. Janine Kearney

Mr Mac caught ‘on the hop’

Sacred Heart Primary School Coolah Church Street, Coolah

Kindergarten to Year 6 Ph: (02) 6377 1132 Fx: (02) 6377 1458 CATHOLIC OBSERVER, DIOCESE OF BATHURST • DECEMBER 2013 - PAGE 24


Video Conference System launched Executive Director of Schools, Jenny Allen and Scott Jackson from Telstra


t 9.30am on 21st October 2013, the Secondary and Central Video Conferencing project went live.

Have video conferencing as a viable methodology for multi-group collaboration

It provides dedicated video conferencing facilities to all Secondary and Central schools in the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, with the generous support of Telstra and Cisco. 

Enhance teaching and learning opportunities using video conferencing

• Expand curriculum and learning opportunities with Students using video conferencing gain opportunities for higher other schools and content providers level thinking via live face-to-face interaction with peers, tutors • Use video conferencing as a platform for professional or experts from around the world. It can allow face-to-face development and resources teaching and learning at school and external locations, with • Use video conferencing as a way to offer courses new and creative learning opportunities becoming possible across multiple campuses with collaboration in real time. Video conferencing also offers productivity opportunities in the workplace, allowing greater For the launch, sponsors Telstra and Cisco, the Catholic Education flexibility for arranging a common time for collaboration. Office and School sites connected to each other. Each site had The interactive voice and images can provide an effective way an opportunity for students and teachers to talk about their of establishing or maintaining relationships without the need for plans and the benefits of the project. School sites are MacKillop College Bathurst, St. Raphael’s Catholic School Cowra, St. John’s extensive face-to-face meetings. College Dubbo, La Salle Academy Lithgow, St. Matthew’s The aims of the CEO Video Conferencing project are to: Catholic School Mudgee, St. Joseph’s Catholic School Oberon, • Use video conferencing to alleviate the tyranny of James Sheahan Catholic High School Orange and St. Mary’s distance for rural and regional students and teachers Catholic School Wellington. • Embed video conferencing within Bathurst Diocesan Catholic Education Office schools


St. Joseph’s School, Oberon Quality Education


t. Joseph’s Catholic School provides a unique learning environment where students are provided with a high quality education in a Contemporary Catholic context. It is our aim to nurture a personal relationship with our God and celebrate and share our Catholic faith whilst enabling all of our students to make a positive contribution to their world. The quality of the education being offered at St. Joseph’s was reflected in recent analysis of NAPLAN data. Our Y7 class experienced the strongest growth in the Diocese in Writing and the second highest in Numeracy. Our unique K-10 environment ensures that momentum in learning continues through the Secondary years. Excellent growth was also recorded in Y5 Numeracy and Grammar and Punctuation whilst the number of students in the second top band in Y9 Writing, Spelling, Data, Measurement, Space and Geometry was above the Diocesan average.

Staff have been completing modules on Contemporary Learning throughout the year and all students from Y4-10 will soon be provided with an email address as an additional learning tool that can be used across the Diocese.

Fundraising Recently we celebrated our Book Fair and raised over $900 for books for our Library. Another exciting event was our P and F Trivia Night where over $3,000 was raised for our new K-2 sandpit and secondary BBQ shelter and woodfire pizza.

Excursions and Events On 8th November, our Y10 class travelled to Sydney for their Social Justice Retreat. This annual excursion is an important part of our focus on instilling in students a genuine desire to In other exciting news, we have been fortunate enough serve and reach out to others. to employ a Contemporary and Innovative Learning Co- Coming up we have our end of year school performance at ordinator in our school. This teacher has been working with the RSL Club and Graduation Ball and Presentation Day. all members of staff to individualise learning and identify opportunities for engaging learning strategies. Our Primary Anthony Roohan

New Learning Co-ordinator

St. Raphael’s School, Cowra Mind Games Success


s one of a number of opportunities provided to students at St. Raphael’s School who excel in academic work, an Academic Olympics is held each year at James Sheahan High School, Orange. One team from St. Raphael’s was the first placed Secondary Team, the other in the top 10. St Raphael’s Academic Olympics teams - Patrick Heilman, Tom Statham, Mackenna Cusack, Darcee Nixon, Anna Johnston, Zach Ashton, Mrs Sue Whiteley, Anna McNamara, Jack Clements, Hannah Nobes, Katy Brown, Amy Grant and Holly Proctor


St. Joseph’s, Portland

School Musical


t was lights, camera, action for the students of St. Joseph’s who recently held their biennial School Musical. This year’s musical was “Kids in Paradise” - an Island Musical by Lynne Bartlett, Mark Leehy and Kevin O’Mara. The storyline follows the exploits happening on a beautiful tropical island paradise, untouched by the western world, until one day the natives are disturbed by a landing party of corporate executives, ready to take full advantage of the richness of the island and its naive inhabitants. The audience was captivated by the on stage antics of the cast and treated to the angelic voices of the K/1/2/3 Choir. The commitment by students to the many months of rehearsals and all of the hard work required to put on such a show has been unwavering. A big congratulations to all of the students. The families and friends in the audience were all very proud of the children’s talents. Thank you also to Musical Director Mrs Simone Taylor, Costume Designer Mrs Leah Bryant and the staff of St. Joseph’s School.


It is also important to recognise the parents, families and the wider Portland community for their support of this project. The amazing turnout of people allowed the children to experience the thrill of performing to an enthusiastic “full house”.

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Greg, Kieran and the team at Lewy’s Pizza House wish you a Happy and Holy Christmas 145 George St, Bathurst (opposite the Carillon) Phone 6331 7311 or 131 PIZZA CATHOLIC OBSERVER, DIOCESE OF BATHURST • DECEMBER 2013 - PAGE 27

The changing face of our DFC


here have been some changes to the NSW Medicare Local. She has many years of membership of our Diocesan Finance experience in senior management roles in Council. the energy, banking and investment, tertiary Dr Anne Gilroy recently tendered her education and manufacturing sectors. resignation from the Council, due to limited Saranne holds a Bachelor of Commerce, time and other commitments. Mr Barry Eves Master of Business (Marketing), and is currently has also resigned from the Council, due to his undertaking a Master of Commercial Law. impending move interstate to be closer to his She is an Associate Fellow of the Australian family. Marketing Institute, a Certified Practising Bishop McKenna has offered his thanks to Marketer, Certified Practising Accountant both Anne and Barry for their service and and an Affiliate of the Australian Institute of generous sharing of their time and talents Company Directors. over many years in the Diocese.

She is married to Jason Cooke and they Based on the suggestions of Council members, have four children aged from eight to 14. and following a period of discernment and consultation, the Bishop has appointed Mrs Bishop Michael said, “I am very grateful for Saranne’s willingness to take on this important Saranne Cooke to the Council. work of helping me in the stewardship of the A Cathedral Parish parishioner, she is a casual temporal goods of our local Church”. lecturer at Charles Sturt University, a CSU Council member and a Director of Western Fiona Lewis

Saranne Cooke

Bishops converse at Ultreya


he Anglican and Catholic Bishops of Bathurst took part in the Cursillo gathering held in Wellington in October.

The Cursillo movement began in the the Catholic Church in Spain in the early 1950s and since then has brought thousands of people into a deeper understanding of the Christian faith. People from across both dioceses attended the Ultreya and a highlight was the informal conversation between the two bishops on the common ground shared and the differences between our denominations. Fiona Lewis Photos courtesy Lew Hitchick - Anglican News

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Heritage Council views restoration work


embers of the Heritage Council of New South Wales paid a visit to Bathurst last month. As part of their trip, they had a tour of the restoration works on the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John. The Council recognised the heritage value of our Cathedral in June 2013, when it was listed on the NSW State Heritage Register. Stonemason Ron Lodewijks gave a presentation to the Council, on-site at the Cathedral. A specialist stonemason, Ron recently made a trip to Western Australia in a quest to secure the best sandstone he could for the restoration work and sourced the stone from the Donnybrook Quarry, a specialist quarry about two and a half hours from Perth. “They have the type of high quality, heritage sandstone that you need for a job like this”, Mr Lodewijks said. “You need the very best for a building like the Cathedral, to ensure it will last for another century”. Many public and private buildings in Western Australia feature Donnybrook stone. These include the facade and portico of the Parliament House building in West Perth, the GPO in Perth, the entry portal of Fremantle Railway Station and the Police Courts building in Beaufort Street, Perth.

Bishop McKenna thanks State Member Mr Paul Toole for the NSW Government’s grant

After long and laborious work, the stonemasons have now completed the carving out of the old mortar joints between each brick in the tower. The mortar had eroded with the ravages of time. Repointing has begun, which will leave a smooth surface, so when it rains, the water will run straight off instead of getting into the joints, preventing future damage. The Diocese has recently been awarded a welcome $150,000 grant from the NSW State Government, towards Stage One of the restoration. Fiona Lewis

Editor’s note: You can view short, interesting video clips of the progress of the restoration work on our Diocesan website Ron Lodewijks gives Heritage Council of NSW members a rundown on the restoration work he is undertaking

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Sacred Heart School, Coolah Greased Lightning!


oolah recently rocked to the excitement and music of Grease the Musical. K1 first graced the stage as the kids from Rydell High School, when Danny (Will Maslenwas) reunited with good-girl Sandy (Heidi Kitchin). The T-Birds were engaging, adding humour and style to their performance. K1 had velvet vocal chords and moves to match as they grooved along to a rousing performance of Summer Nights. Y2/3 then took to the stage. Sandy (Phoebe Hallett) was horrified at the thought of having her ears pierced by Frenchy (Alexandra Murru) and the other Pink Ladies.  The Pink Ladies performed a fabulous version of Sandra Dee, using chairs as props and some fantastic choreography. Trini Ord superbly Wellington, Ben Cameron and Ethan Miles looked fantastic in played the irrepressible Miss Lynch and Lucy Arnott followed as their leathers and oozed attitude. Miles Ghiggioli, Otto Kuhn, the charismatic ‘hostess with the mostest’, Vince Fontaine. Hugh Ord and Gian Elumba were equally as compelling as the ChaCha was played by a very believable Brie Pettet. Tyler rival gang, The Scorpions. Melissa Pittman was joined by the Lennox, as Danny, had charisma in bucket loads and new T-Birds unforgettable Edward Cox, Brody Pettet and Joe Furely as the Hughie Pettet, Lucas Cameron, Will Ticehurst, Sam Baker and Pink Ladies. The Ladies added flare and comic aptitude to their Ben Cox were mesmerising in their electric rendition of Greased roles and received rapturous applause. Lightning. Grace Brown’s conversion (as Sandy), from shy wallflower to Thunder Road was the scene for Y4/5/6. T-Birds James Williams leather clad babe, was a show stopper. Grace and James as Danny, Johnty Pettet, Harry Malone, Tristan Irvin, Charlie pulled off some fantastic dancing, supported by the cast. For the finale, the whole school assembled on stage to a bopping and lively version of Grease Megamix. All students delivered an outstanding, entertaining performance. The adaption and choreography were particularly good, with all credit to Mrs Vanessa Pettet whose talented direction allowed each child to shine. A special mention to Archie Malone and Jay Carlyle for their fantastic role in props, to Travis Wellington for perfect music production and to the staff for their dedication to making this production ‘the best’! Amy Maslen

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MacKillop College, Bathurst High honour for MacKillop teacher


xciting news that Mr Peter Murphy, a teacher and member of the leadership team at MacKillop College, had been granted the ASG Inspirational Educator State and Territory Award for 2013. A high honour as selection was from over 1,558 nominations nationally, with 14 awards only for NSW. His award was presented at the World Teachers’ Day Luncheon at the College. Act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God. The enactment of this ethos by Mr Murphy and his dedication to sharing these concepts with his students has been recognized at this national level. “The enormous amount of respect that the students have for Mr Murphy has enabled them to create a calm and inviting atmosphere inside and outside of the classroom,” they wrote. “He has influenced the students to lead by example and to appreciate and incorporate the College values into their everyday lives “. Mr Murphy said that it was important to take an interest in students, both inside and outside the classroom. “I try to encourage them, you have to believe in them”. Despite a 12 year battle with cancer, Mr Murphy has maintained a deep inner strength and personal faith. The MacKillop College community congratulates him for his genuine love of teaching and his interest in each and every one of our students. Maureen Moore

Prinicpal Maureen Moore and the entire College, share the joy of Peter’s well earned award

P& F success


t the MacKillop Parents and Friends meeting in October, P&F President Mr Ray Blasig presented the College with a cheque for $60,000, to go towards the cost of the new music room and facilities. This could not have been possible without the many parents and families who worked tirelessly on MacKillop fetes, Melbourne Cup The result of much dedicated hard work! trifectas, photo day, pizza night, pie drives and the wood raffle at the Bathurst Show. We salute you. This new facility will be of immense benefit to all music students and bodes well for the development of musical talent in the College. Both music teachers, Mrs Judy Cannon and Mr Paul Hughes, are delighted with the new space and additional provision for music lessons, practices and rehearsals. The music room was officially opened on the 7th December and blessed by Bishop Michael McKenna. Maureen Moore - Principal

Christmas Greetings from the SRE Team Helen and Vicki thank all our dedicated Catechists for their generosity during 2013 and wish them, and you, a Happy and Holy Christmas. These ordinary people do extraordinary things for young people, bringing knowledge of God’s love into their lives - often for the first time. If you are interested in helping in this vital work, contact your Parish Priest.


Art competition breaks records


fter many months of preparation and effort, the Official Opening of the Diocesan Christmas Art Exhibition was held at the Girra Girra Hall of St. Philomena’s School in Bathurst, with some 80 teachers, parents, students and other parishioners present. Schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Dioceses of Wollongong and Bathurst took part in this year’s competition. The annual competition, which began in 2006, is a way to encourage Catholic youngsters to celebrate Christmas and their faith using visual skills. Over 1,000 entries were received in total this year, a record, with the works of art being displayed in their own dioceses, then those selected going to Sydney for judging in the finals. 90 of these were chosen to go on display in the Crypt of St. Mary’s Cathedral from the first Sunday in Advent, until Epiphany - 6th January - when the Exhibition will be officially opened by His Eminence George Cardinal Pell. In total, 122 pieces of art were submitted as Bathurst Diocesan finalists, and after much discernment by our CSU judges and Mr Les Quick, the major winners for each section were: Bishop’s Award: Samantha MacCabe - St. Raphael’s Catholic School, Cowra Executive Director of Schools Award: Ethan Cusick Assumption, Bathurst Catholic Development Fund Award: Isabelle Barnden-Northey - Assumption School, Bathurst Other winners were:Year 6 1st: Ben Hile – St. John’s Primary, Dubbo 2nd: Aaliyah Wright – St. Joseph’s Primary School, Molong 3rd: Emily Crichton – St. Patrick’s Primary School, Lithgow HC: Abigail Searle – St. Philomena’s Primary School, Bathurst Year 5 1st: Ethan Cusick - Assumption School, Bathurst 2nd: Josie Clements – St. Edward’s Primary School, Canowindra 3rd: Cara Seale - Catherine McAuley Primary School, Orange HC: Jacinta Chapman – St. Mary’s Catholic School, Wellington

Samantha MacCabe (St. Raphael’s Cowra) received the Bishop’s Prize worthwhile activity. Special thanks to Mr Les Quick, Visual Arts teacher at James Sheahan Catholic High School, for facilitating workshops with RECs and teachers, and whose great interest made this event such a success locally. Lorraine Short and Angelo Belmonte

Ethan Cusick (Assumption Primary School, Bathurst) was awarded Third Prize in the Finals Y5 category Congratulations to all students and teachers for what was an overwhelming response, and a level of work that can only be described as outstanding.

Abbie Glynn’s (St. Joseph’s Primary, Molong) work (above) was awarded a Highly Commended in the Y6 section of the Finals. James Debus (St. John’s Primary, Dubbo) also received a HC in this category

Acknowledgement is made of all the students who entered the competition and their teachers for facilitating this most

All entries from the Diocese of Bathurst are available to view on our Diocesan website –


Dubbo and Orange St. Laurence’s School - Dubbo Mini Relay for Life

St. Mary’s Primary – Orange World Mission Month

t. Laurence’s currently has a student who is in Sydney receiving treatment, so the School decided to have a mini Relay for Life for her. This was held around the same time as the big Relay for Life. The children dressed up in crazy clothes, circumnavigated the school grounds in year groups and played games. Other activities were also organised. The children loved getting dressed up. It was a great day and a worthy cause for our school to support.

n October, St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School marked the launch of World Mission Month with a School Liturgy. The children also wore ‘crazy socks’ to raise money for Catholic Mission. Many of the children donated a pair of socks for our fundraising display. A clothes line was constructed that stretched throughout the school grounds. All donated socks were pegged to the line, to promote the slogan “Sock it to poverty”. The socks were then given to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Glenn Corben



Aussie Bush Camp excursion The students thoroughly enjoyed this excursion and they experienced many different activities. One of the favourites was the rock climbing and abseiling. They also participated in team building and flying fox fun.

School clean up day Recently a merry band of helpers came into the School to have a clean up. We had a fantastic roll up of parents who worked hard and then enjoyed a sausage sizzle at the end of it. What a great support it was and the School now looks terrific. Emma Gibson


MSC Mission Office PO Box 177, NSW 1465 Ph: 02 9697 0983 / 9662 7188 Email:

A work from the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart for helping families, young people, schools and religious formation. MSC development projects seek to improve the conditions of communities in a sustainable way. It is based on working with communities, rather than for or on behalf of communities. The MSC Mission Office relies on benefactors to support the Outreach activities for Water projects, Disadvantaged Youth, HIV/AIds, Relief & Formation.


2011 - TOTAL FINANCIAL AID FUNDING:  COUNTRIES (Aust $)  

AUSTRALIA $  49,600 BURKINA FASO $ 8,650  CAMEROON $ 62,500 D.R.CONGO $ 81,500  EL SALVADOR $ 7,500  FIJI $ 120,850  HAITI $ 10,000  INDIA $ 110,375 INDONESIA $ 56,550 KIRIBATI $ 18,500 MARSHALL ISLANDS $ 7,000 NAMIBIA $ 14,000 NEW ZEALAND $ 2,000 PHILIPPINES $ 61,000 PNG $ 200,290 SENEGAL $ 15,300 SOUTH AFRICA $ 42,000 SOUTH SUDAN $ 42,000 TIMOR LESTE $ 2,000 VANUATU $ 14,600 VIETNAM $ 96,400 TOTAL FUNDING ALL PROJECT CATEGORIES 2011 $ 1,022,615

The MSC Mission Office is a work of the Australian Province of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and while we try to love the world, the work of the MSC Mission Office has concentrated its energies. We have restricted ourselves to three main areas for financial assistance.




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St. Mary’s celebrates 25 years


t. Mary’s Church in Orange recently celebrated its 25 year anniversary. The church was officially blessed on June 5th, 1988 by Bishop Patrick Dougherty and the first Mass celebrated in the Church. Monsignori Sean O’Doherty, Michael McNamee and Laurie Jennings concelebrated. The new building in Park St East Orange replaced the first St. Mary’s Church built in the 1920s on the corner of Bathurst Rd and Edward St, where the Department of Agriculture building is now situated. The semi-circular church seats 725 people and features leadlight windows from the old St. Mary’s, along with other items to carry the past into the future.

Parish Priest, Father Paul Devitt with Mr John Cahill

At the two Masses over that weekend, special prayers were prayed and people remembered back to those days of 1988. A parishioner, Mr John Cahill, who was on the Parish Council back in 1988, spoke at the opening of the Church. John spoke to us again 25 years later telling us how this project came to be. He also said, “We wanted to bring the warmth and friendliness of the community spirit we had at the old St. Mary’s to this site and I think we have achieved that aim. Even though this was to be a much larger building, we wanted to keep the family spirit, and the design of this church helps - it is hard to hide here! Everyone can see each other”. A cake cut by parishioners old and new, and a morning tea, followed the Mass.

Herb and Cath Sullivan (parishioners in 1988) and new parishioners Bridget and Sadie May cut the cake after Mass

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Free counselling services for families affected by the proposed job cuts in the region

Long journey of hope


hristmas is a good time to reflect on the lives of those people around the world who live as refugees, asylum seekers or displaced persons. The estimate for displaced persons in 2013 was close to 50 million.

two ideologically opposing sides, they uprooted from their home near Hanoi and ventured to the south. They escaped by a small boat and went to a part of the country they knew nothing about.

The Holy Family would easily have fitted into these categories. Forced to leave their home and all they knew in Israel to flee, first to Egypt in fear of Herod (Luke 2:13-14,16) and then in fear of Archelaus, they eventually found refuge in the town of Nazareth (Luke 2:2).

I thank God they made that courageous decision and instilled in me the sense of risk taking, courage and hope. I like the reelection speech of President Obama, especially the part where he said that “hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better Bishop Vincent Long is Australia’s first Vietnamese-born Catholic awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting”. I think my parents, without Bishop. He too, was a refugee. putting it into those fine words, understood what it meant to As a result of the fall of Saigon, his family is scattered around the have hope and to fight for it. world: he has three brothers in Holland, one sister in Vietnam I grew up in a staunchly Catholic village. At the age of 13, I and his parents, a brother and a sister in Melbourne. joined the minor seminary near Saigon. In April 1975, one He arrived in Australia in 1981 at the age of 20, was ordained a year after I had entered, we had to flee the advance of the priest in 1989, elected Superior of his Order in Australia in 2005 communist troops and the eventual surrender of the South and appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in 2011. Vietnamese government. I remember vividly when we were At the recent conference of the Australasian Catholic Press on the run from the communist troops during the last days of Association, Bishop Long was the guest speaker and addressed the war. The roads to the capital Saigon were choked with the Catholic journalists present about story telling in a language thousands of people carrying their belongings. Some travelled of hope. As part of his talk, he gave a moving, personal insight in cars, bicycles, animal drawn carts. But most of us were into the life of a refugee. Below is an extract from that address. running on foot. It was chaotic - like all hell broke loose. At one Fiona Lewis point, we came under heavy artillery and everybody dived for cover. We were a family of nine, including very young children at the time. As we huddled in the ditch by the roadside amid I chose for my episcopal motto Duc in Altum - or launch into the sound of shelling, adults screaming and children crying, we the deep. Since becoming the first refugee bishop in Australia, recited the Act of Contrition - each time louder than the other. I have been sailing into uncharted waters. I just hope that my proverbial boat will do better than the boat that carried me as The change of government was drastic for the South Vietnamese people. In Australia, we take for granted certain things like a refugee 33 years ago. That boat sank like the Titanic! security, stability and continuity, even when governments change at elections. It was not so for us. In fact, in some ways, the country was more chaotic and life was more traumatic after I was born in the time of the great civil war in Vietnam. It was the war than before. The communist government applied harsh the most tumultuous period during the Cold War. Vietnam, policies like forced labour, farm collectivisation, re-education, unlike Australia and many other countries, emerged out of the land reform etc., that mirrored the Soviet Union under Joseph shadows of colonialism only to find itself mired in an escalating Stalin. Then, simultaneously, it managed to find itself at war with war. My parents were refugees, boat people from the north. both China to the north and Cambodia to the south. It was then It is a kind of biblical story of Abraham writ-large. In 1954, that my parents, fearing the worst for their adult sons, began to following the Geneva Convention that divided Vietnam into send them abroad - by boat.

My story

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Refugee Bishop’s personal story God hears the cry of the poor I took to the sea in August 1980. The seven day journey itself was terrifying. We started out on the feast of St. Clare and a few days later, we were in serious trouble. Food ran out, water ran out, fuel ran out and just about everything else. As if that wasn’t enough, a huge storm gathered and unleashed its fury right near where we were. In desperation, we got out our rosaries and began to pray in earnest. I am sure nobody could physically hear us for the pounding of the waves, the rain and the thunder. No one could, but the God who hears the cry of the poor. It was the Feast of the Assumption and we were convinced that it was Mary’s intercession that saved us. I was on board with my sister-in-law and her two young children an 18 month old boy and a baby girl barely five months old. I ended up holding her for the most part of the journey. It was the most distressing experience I ever encountered. It’s watching a young child suffer and you are totally helpless to do anything about it. My experience in the refugee camp was traumatic but lifechanging. You see I wanted to go to Holland where my brothers had gone and settled before. However, after three months of anxious waiting, we were told that only my sister-in-law and her children were allowed to go there. As a result, I was faced with a prospect of an indefinite detention. Then one day, going past a classroom, I heard people trying to learn English for the first time. I summoned my courage and I began to do something I had never done before. I qualified as a teacher and taught ESL for 12 months in the camp. I discovered the potential I never knew I had. The disappointment of a long detention turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

New life can spring from the ashes We Catholics often say “God works in mysterious ways” and this is certainly true in the case of the Vietnamese boat people. We have demonstrated that vulnerable people wanting to have a better life for themselves and their children should not be seen simply as a burden and a liability to our society. They can become great contributors and builders of this nation. The experience of the Vietnamese refugees is clear evidence that even the most traumatised and the most impoverished group can be integrated in our multicultural society and can make a positive contribution. Needless to say, I feel saddened by the toxic atmosphere inflamed by the politics of fear which underlies our nation’s response to the plight of the asylum seekers at the moment. Their scapegoating in [the recent] election will be a stain on our national character.

Bishop Long addressing the Catholic Media Photo courtesy of Gerard Morgan The full text of Bishop Long’s address can be found on our Diocesan Website - You can find more information about the Church and Refugees on the website of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office

With due respect to the Jewish people, I make bold to draw an analogy between their experience in exile and our own refugee experience. Like them, we experienced the horror and shame of alienation. Like them, we are determined to rebuild our lives and our sense of identity. And ultimately like them, we have a sense of mission in relation to our place in a new society and the local church. That mission consists in our witness to freedom, to faith and to the core human values.

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The refugee experience, like the exile of God’s people, was a catalyst for renewal and transformation.

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Coona’s Resurrection Window


n 22nd September 2013, Bishop McKenna travelled to Coonabarabran to bless the beautiful new stained glass window which was recently installed in St. Lawrence’s Church. Here the designer of the window, Christopher John, explains what inspired him in this work of art……

Our Resurrection Window The genesis on this window began with a feeling. Before an image, an idea, concept or theme, came the feeling of upliftment, a rising from the earth towards the heavens, a sense of awe, wonderment and beauty. And so it was with that feeling alone, I went for a drive out towards the Warrumbungles and was entranced by the beauty of the surrounding landscape. On the right hand side of the road as you travel west an ancient volcanic plug rises up out of the surrounding flat plain, Timor Rock. Columns of rock rise in chaotic disorder, creating a monument to the volcanic upheavals of 20 million years ago...... The image of the mountain in the Bible has long held a fascination for me. Signs of wonder and miracles always seem to happen on mountain tops - Noah, Moses, Abraham and Isaac, Isaiah, Jesus - all encounter God on mountains. In the window, the jumble of rocks and boulders have been stylised and covered with a rhythmic pulsing black line that represents the contours and in the Book of Revelations - and of sedimentary layers of rock strata laid course the cross which is the true tree down over the millennium. of life for the followers of Jesus. This The tree also has strong biblical resurrection window shows the green connections and is the principal leaves sprouting forth from the bare image within the window - the tree of white trunk. The tree trunk, like the ‘good and evil’ in Genesis, the tree of scribbly gums in the Warrumbungles, life in the Garden of Eden and again is patterned and mottled with

Bishop Michael with Father Greg after the blessing intricate designs in gold lustre. On closer inspection we find hundreds of phytoplankton. These crucial organisms in the food web make them the ideal patterning for the tree of life - the invisible made visible. The fourth natural element within the window is the Castlereagh River. In the window, the river reflects the night sky, showing the astronomical positioning of stars and constellations of the southern hemisphere. This firmly locates us beneath the Southern Cross, making this window genuinely of our environment, our culture and belonging to our people. Over and above the whole window hovers the Holy Spirit, radiating light and love over the landscape. May this window be a lasting tribute to those who fought, suffered and survived the bushfires by the healing presence of the Holy Spirit and the uplifting power of the resurrection.

Preaching to the converted


he priests of our Diocese met in Wellington on 17th October, for an in-service day on ‘Preaching’ with Brisbane based, former theological college lecturer, Father John Chalmers the facilitator. Reverend Kerrie Needham from the Wellington Uniting Church was invited to join our priests for the day.


Christopher John

Portland Parish Celebrations


n 15th September 2013 Father Owen Gibbons, Parish Priest of Lithgow and Portland, celebrated midday Mass to mark the centenary of the opening of the Portland Presbytery (now St. Joseph’s Convent) and to mark the 100th birthday of Portland’s oldest resident, Iris Condon. Iris is St. Vincent’s oldest parishioner and St. Joseph’s School’s oldest ex-student. Charlie O’Mahony, President of the Parish Council, welcomed everyone and gave a short history of the building of the presbytery which was officially opened on 28th September 1913. Then followed the story of Iris Condon’s connection to Portland and the Catholic Church and School. The chalice used by Father Owen at Mass was presented to St. Vincent’s by the Condon family in 1944 in memory of their parents; the Condon family were members of Portland’s business community for over 70 years. Father Owen presented Iris with a beautiful framed Papal Blessing from the Vatican and asked her to cut two cakes; one made by Joy Fillingham for the presbytery centenary and the other made by Mary Abbott for her birthday. A parish barbeque luncheon was held in the St. Joseph’s School and the afternoon was spent reminiscing and inspecting a display of local, parish and school memorabilia. There was an “open house” at the presbytery and the old Convent (now the Parish Centre). People travelled from Canberra, Parramatta, Windsor Downs, Blacktown,

The old Portland Presbytery

Cranebrook, Wattle Grove, Eugowra, wonderful day on “Convent Hill”. Lithgow, Wallerawang, Lidsdale, Cullen Bullen, Rydal and Portland for this Peter Dowling

God bless ‘em all

The Deans of the Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals Reverend Ann Wentzel and Father Patrick O’Regan - led a simple liturgy on the steps of the Carillon in King’s Parade in Bathurst recently. The occasion was the annual Blessing of the Animals held on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.

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Celebrating our journey 1889-2014 St. Raphael’s Cowra gears up for year-long celebrations


014 marks the 125th anniversary of St. Raphael’s Parish as a parish in its own right. On 1st July, 1889, Father O’Kennedy was appointed as the first Parish Priest, an appointment that was to last some 54 years until his death in 1943. At that time St. Raphael’s Parish included Cowra, Canowindra, Woodstock, Darbys Falls and Mt. McDonald. Four Masses were said each Sunday in Cowra and one in each of the station churches. This was to be the beginning of a long tradition of supplying spiritual nourishment to the faithful in the area. Not only do we celebrate the 125 years of St. Raphael’s Parish, but 2014 also marks the 75th anniversary of our present St. Raphael’s Church (the third church to be built on the site). The Church was officially opened on 19th April 1939. Bishop Norton, Bishop of Bathurst, presided at the Pontifical High Mass with many visiting clergy and a congregation of over 1,000 people.

weekend; school celebrations; social gatherings; parish retreat; sacramental celebrations - and much more. The celebrations will conclude on Sunday 12th October with Mass, led by Bishop Michael, and dinner. We extend our welcome to everyone, to any or all of these events throughout the year. For more information, visit the Facebook link for St. Raphael’s 125th Anniversary Celebrations. Regular information will be available on the Diocesan website: Father Laurie Beath

l’s e a

Cowra ,12 ears 5Y

Events for the year include: Dinner under the stars; guest speakers throughout the year including former Auxiliary Bishop of Canberra-Goulburn, Bishop Pat Power; Father Richard Leonard SJ; Monica Brown leading a liturgical workshop

St Ra ph

These two events were a significant milestone in the life, not only of the Catholic Community, but the whole community.

Celebrate Our Journey The original St. Raphael’s Church

For unto us a child is born

February - October, 2014

CATHOLIC DEVELOPMENT FUND The CDF’s operating hours over the Christmas/New Year period will be:-

The Board, Management and Staff of the Catholic Development Fund wish you a Happy and Holy Christmas

Tuesday 24th December: 10.00am – 1.00pm Wednesday 25th December to Wednesday 1st January 2014: CLOSED Thursday 2nd January 2014: Resume normal hours – 10.00am to 4.30pm Disclosure: The Catholic Development Fund Diocese of Bathurst (CDF) is not subject to the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 nor has it been examined or approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Deposits with CDF are guaranteed by CDPF Limited, a company established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for this purpose. We welcome your investment with the CDF rather than with a profit oriented commercial organisation as a conscious commitment by you to support the Charitable, Religious and Educational works of the Catholic Church. CDF, nor the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Bathurst are prudentially supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority; contributions to CDF do not obtain the benefit of the depositor protection provisions of the Banking Act 1959; CDF is designed for investors who wish to promote the charitable purposes of CDF.


Catholic Observer December 2013  

Catholic Observer Magazine - Christmas 2013 issue

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