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Volume 50, No 2 JULY 2015 $2.00

Celebrating 150 years of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst 1865 - 2015

years of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst S

aturday 20th June 2015 marked the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst. The Cathedral Parish in Bathurst hosted several events with special guests in attendance, while festivities took place in parishes across the Diocese. The weekend commenced with an ecumenical service held on Friday 19th June in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John. Representatives from eight denominations joined in prayer, thanking God for past blessings of co-operation among Christian communities in our region. Other guests included local State Member of Parliament and Minister for Local Government, The Hon. Paul Toole and Bathurst Mayor, His Worship, Gary Rush. More than 120 people attended the service which began with Wiradjuri elder, Aunty Gloria Rogers conducting a smoking ceremony as she led the procession of 27 ministers, priests and bishops to the altar, accompanied by three students from St. Stanislaus’ College playing the didgeridoo. Aunty Gloria then welcomed all to Country, acknowledging Bishop Michael McKenna’s leadership. Occasional Preacher for the evening was The Reverend Dr Mike Semmler, President of the National Council of Churches in Australia. Dr Semmler spoke of how the Catholic community is always called to be “salt and light” for our region, and its

Bishop Emeritus Kevin Manning, Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, Bishop Michael McKenna and

Bishop Pat O’Regan

important role in the growth of the community of God. Afterwards, those in attendance joined with Bishop McKenna for supper at the Cathedral Parish Centre. The Bishop said, “It is good when brothers and sisters dwell in unity. Thank you for coming together here tonight. As John Paul II said, “when Christians pray together, the goal of unity is closer”. We thank God for our friendship and cooperation, in a particular way for the Covenant between the Anglican and Catholic dioceses of Bathurst. But we are not just here to pat ourselves on the back. We are here, from many denominations

Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, Apostolic Nunio in Australia

and traditions, to recommit ourselves to the common work of proclaiming Jesus Christ in this region. In him is forgiveness and the door to eternal life”. At noon on Saturday 20th June, the actual anniversary, parishes across the Diocese rang bells to announce the Angelus. In Bathurst, the Anglican Cathedral bells tolled the Angelus, as the bell tower of St. Michael and St. John is undergoing restoration. Historical tours of the Cathedral, along with an historical artefacts exhibition in the Chancery office, ran throughout the day. The tours were well attended and those present listened to the story of how the Cathedral came to be what it is today and were able to view historical treasures such as chalices and vestments that are part of the Diocese’s history. The day concluded with a family bush dance at St. Philomena’s School Hall. More than 200 people kicked up their heels and danced up a storm as the Nodding Thistles played folk music and called many dances. Bishop Michael and Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, Apostolic Nuncio in Australia, attended the bush dance later in the evening and witnessed a very enthusiastic performance of the

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‘Heel and Toe Polka’ and the ‘Barn Dance’. The band played Archbishop Tito’s favourite Australian ballad, ‘Waltzing Matilda’, with the help of the young voices in the audience. On Sunday 21st June, The Apostolic Nuncio was the principal celebrant at Mass in the Cathedral. Archbishop Tito concelebrated with Bishop Michael McKenna, the Bishop of Sale, Bishop Pat O’Regan, Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta, Bishop Kevin Manning and 12 local and visiting priests. The Archbishop read a message of congratulations from the Holy Father, Pope Francis. The Cathedral was full and parishioners were beautifully led in song by the MacKillop and St. Stanislaus’ Colleges combined choir. Bishop Pat delivered the homily and spoke of the wide and varied contributions of the Diocese and the ability to face challenges and achieve great things when we trust in God’s love. Mass was followed by brunch provided by ‘Couples for Christ’ and included the cutting of an anniversary cake. The Cathedral Restoration Appeal Art Union was drawn at the gathering, with Eve Capper from Bathurst winning a brand new car.

celebrations... Other parishes throughout the Diocese also celebrated the anniversary in various ways. Bishop McKenna sent a video message, which was played at Masses over the weekend. The sacrament of First Holy Communion was celebrated in some parishes, while others decorated their church with artworks created by students. The weekend concluded in Bathurst with Vespers and Benediction in the Cathedral on Sunday evening. More than 90 people were in attendance to witness a prayerful and fitting end to the weekend’s celebrations. Bishop McKenna summarised the celebrations by saying, “The gatherings around our parishes to launch the celebration of 150 years of the Diocese of Bathurst were marked by the common prayer and fellowship that show Christ present in his Church. With confidence in the ways the Lord has blessed us in this century and a half, we entrust ourselves to our only

future, the Kingdom of God”. “This is a moment to remember what it means to be a Diocese. We are not merely a confederation of parishes. We are, as we have been since 1865, a local church with a common mission, united in our bishops and, through them, with the Bishop of Rome and the Universal Church”. Kimbalee Clews

Archbishop Tito and Bishop Michael

The MacKillop and St. Stanislaus’ combined choir


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years of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

Aunty Gloria Rogers

Sr Elizabeth Delaney, Rev. Dr Mike Semmler, Bishop McKenna and Anglican Bishop Ian Palmer

Bishop McKenna and The Hon Paul Toole MP

Rev. Anastasia Webster-Hawes, Fr. Tony Mannix, Rt Rev. Richard Hurford, Anglican Bishop Emeritus and Rev. Oto Faiva

Fr. Shenouda Mansour, Aunty Gloria Rogers and His Grace Bishop Daniel from the Coptic Diocese of Sydney

Dean of the Anglican Cathedral, Rev Anne Wenzel

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years of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst Bush Dance

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celebrations... Vespers


Dr. Paula Smith rsm

Sr. Patrica Powell rsm with Fr. Paul Devitt

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 • July 2015 • Page 7

Thank God for Christian Marriage C

hristian Marriage is a miracle. It’s a miracle because it brings health and happiness to human life. It’s a miracle because it shows God at work, making possible what otherwise might look impossible. Around the world, Catholics are getting ready for part two of the Synod on the Family; and here our Parliament is about to debate changing the definition of Marriage in Australian law. This is a suitable moment to thank God for Christian Marriage: not to defend it, but to celebrate it. We do not thank God for an abstract idea: Christian Marriage is real in the experience of the women and men who live it out. Without their generous and practical witness, my words would be empty rhetoric. There are two vital elements in this understanding of Marriage. First, it is a commitment for life: “In good times and bad, in sickness and in health…”. Second, it is a commitment to receive the blessing of children and nourish them in body and soul. It is “for” life in both senses of the word. These elements were once generally understood in our society, but are no longer believed in by everyone. However, those who do believe and live that way, shine a light on the path of becoming fully human, fully alive. Within the commitment of belonging to one another for life: the daily acts of love and forgiveness, the cooling and warming of affections, the learning of the intricacies of another person (and yourself): can weave the strongest bonds. In the mystery of human sexual difference, man and woman can become one flesh. Couples who are truly open

Carol and Bill Short were married in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John in January 1972. Bill and Carol recently revisted to the Cathedral to take part in a history tour as part of the sesquicentenial celebrations

to receiving the children God sends them find freedom from the ancient idols of money and instant gratification. Those who listen to the teaching of the Church about natural family planning discover, not irksome rules, but a way to richer relationships. Of course, it is an enormous undertaking, which needs a man and a woman to make happen. To those who are not yet married, I would say: choose carefully: choose someone who shares your vision of what Marriage can be. In fact, the miracle of Christian Marriage needs a third person: Jesus Christ. It is true that the blessing of Marriage is God’s gift offered to all people: in the

words of the Catholic wedding ceremony, “married life has been established as the one blessing that was not forfeited by original sin or washed away in the flood”. But when two Christians marry, it becomes a Sacrament. The ministers of this Sacrament are the couple who exchange their consent. They accept a special vocation in the mission of the Church. The family has been called the “domestic church”. In its shared life of love, forgiveness, service and prayer, in parents handing on the Faith to their children, the Church is built up. Pope Francis has said “Children, before living in a house made of bricks, inhabit another house, even more essential: they live in

the mutual love of their parents”. This little church cannot do it alone, though. It needs the company of other Christians; it needs the Word of God in the scriptures and the teachings that break them open; it needs the Sacraments. In other words, it needs to belong to the wider Church, giving and receiving. I cannot conclude without remembering those good people who have suffered the death of a spouse or, for whatever reason, the breakdown of their relationship. Christ is closest to those who suffer. In his name, we offer the friendship and faith of the Church community and our willingness to walk with you on the path of healing and hope. There are many kinds of human relationships, in which people may find the deep commitment of unselfish love. But Marriage is unique, and it does no honour or service to other partnerships to dress them in the clothes of something they are not. Customs and laws will come and go, but God’s blessing remains. The hearts of some of our sisters and brothers have grown lonely and cold; they need to see the love of Christ made visible in us his Church. I pray that more people will find the courage to say yes to the vocation of Christian Marriage and become this beautiful miracle for the Church and the world. Mary, Mother of the Church, who asked your Son for the miracle at the wedding feast of Cana, pray for more miracles of Christian Marriage to bring life and joy among us all.

+Michael McKenna Bishop of Bathurst 23rd June 2015

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Josephite Associates gathering in Wellington O

utside the Infant of Prague Hall in Wellington on Saturday 23rd May 2015, friends greeted each other affectionately as they lined up to register for the Perthville Josephite Associates’ annual gathering. Everything seemed familiar. However, there was a palpable sense of excitement mixed with a little anxiety, because this was the meeting where the Perthville Associates where going to participate in a Ritual of Fusion with the Josephite Associates NSW Inc.

the example of the Perthville Sisters who, in May 2014, fused with the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

Regional Leader, Sister Mary Ellen O’Donoghue rsj, warmly welcomed all present. Sally Neaves, a Melbourne Josephite Affiliate, spoke of her Josephite journey lived out through her teaching, particularly in regard to the care of our natural environment and aid work in Asia. She also gave an explanation of the ‘Pathways’ process, through which people Almost 150 people comprising can commit more fully to the representatives of 22 Perthville Josephite way of life. Josephite Associate groups, The beautiful Fusion ritual the Perthville Associates Co- contained, among the ordinating team, members scripture readings, a passage of the Governance Group of from the First Letter of St. Josephite Associates NSW, Peter (3:8‐15), which was members of the Nyngan chosen by Father Woods to be Josephite Association NSW included in the original Rule and 20 Sisters of St. Joseph of of the Institute. Meaningful the Sacred Heart, including prayers of commitment, a 13 Perthville sisters, were in petition, thanks and trust attendance. formed part of the ceremony. This annual get together has always been a time of spiritual growth, renewal of friendships with other Associates and particularly the Sisters, to hear of the activities of other Associate groups and to plan for the coming year. This gathering would be different. Taking the theme ‘In our unity lies our strength’ (Mary Mackillop 1874), all Perthville Associates, currently numbering 645, accepted the invitation to become one with the NSW Associates, thus following

Symbols used to signify the Fusion were a lighted candle representing the light of Christ, a lantern representing responsibility for the Association and the blending of yellow and blue water to create green water, representing new life from the “fusion” of the two groups. Each Perthville Associate received a badge of the Josephite Associates NSW, welcoming them officially as members of the NSW Associates.

Leonie Bell accepts the lantern symbolising responsibility Leonie Bell, leader of the NSW Associates Governance Group and Sister Jean Cain rsj, coordinator of the Perthville Associates, led the discussion on ‘Where to from here?’ followed by general business. The meeting supported the recommendation that the annual gathering in Wellington would continue.

The level of conversation throughout the day was, as always, one of the highlights of the gathering, where joys and concerns were shared. All associates look forward to a future combined with the NSW Associates.

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Sister Regina’s 80th Jubilee T

he Vale Lodge, Perthville was the venue for a celebration of 80 years of religious life lived by Sister Regina Seigel. About 30 Josephite sisters, including NSW Regional leader, Sister Mary Ellen O’Donoghue and members of her Council, joined this celebration. Sister Regina’s niece, Charity Sister Regina Mary Millard, travelled from Melbourne to join the celebration for her aunt.

the recitation of some of her poems. It was delightful to hear her recite, at 101 years of age, with such meaningful enunciation and expression.

Pope Francis. A prayer of thanksgiving for the life of Sister Regina, based on Philippians 1:27a, including two hymns chosen by Sister Regina - ‘Mother of Christ’ and Frank Anderson’s ‘Eagle’s Wings’, followed.

This prayer continued with Sister Ann Morrison’s presentation of events of Sister Regina’s life and ministry. The guest of honour added unrehearsed, but The day began with Sister pertinent, comments to this Jeanette Foxe acknowledging presentation. the Wiradjuri people as Regina was an the original inhabitants of Sister Sr Regina this land. Sister Mary Ellen accomplished music teacher O’Donoghue then welcomed and concert producer, a service of Josephite ministry. all to the gathering and successful elocution teacher, presented Regina with an a skilled dressmaker and a After a delicious meal, Sister Apostolic Blessing from commercial chef - all put at the Regina met the request for

Thank you to Sister Mary Ellen and members of her team for their presence with us. Our thanks also go to Sister Jeanette and members of the Perthville staff; Paul Favero, Vicky Handley, Anne Seve and Janelle Lawson, as well as to Sister Ann Morrison and Sister Kathy Jennings. Finally, to Sister Regina - a big thank you for your example to us of a life of wonderful service and fidelity. Sister Maureen Schiemer rsj


AIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Australia come together to celebrate and acknowledge the gifts that Indigenous people bring the Catholic Church in Australia. It is also a time to reflect on our own relationships with Australia’s first people. NAIDOC celebrations will be held in our parishes and Catholic schools throughout July and we look forward to reporting on these events in the next edition of the Catholic Observer.

Sunday 5th July is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday. This is a time where Catholics from all over

Kimbalee Clews

The Catholic Observer is published by the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst (Diocesan Publications)


PO Box 246, Bathurst, NSW, 2795 ph: (02) 6334 6400

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email: observer@bathurst.catholic.org.au Editor ~ Fiona Lewis Communications Co-ordinator ~ Kimbalee Clews Designer ~ Jacqui Keady Printed by: Rural Press Printing, Richmond NSW All material in this magazine is copyright and may be reproduced only with the written permission of the Editor. The Catholic Observer is a member of the Australasian Catholic Press Association.

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Becoming Catholic S

andra Christoffersen was confirmed a Catholic ten years ago. She has kindly shared her faith journey with us…. I started going to Mass with my friends almost 12 years ago. One day, just out of the blue, I said to my friend: “What do I have to do to receive communion like you”? She replied: “You need to become Catholic by doing the RCIA course”. I thought about it for a few days and then went to her and asked if she would sponsor me to do the course. My friend took a step back and said, “I would be honoured”. We attended the RCIA group once a week to have prayer time and reflection on the Gospel. At first, I found this hard, as I did not really know about the readings from the Bible and I had not looked into it so deeply before. I met several Josephite Sisters who were very helpful in providing me with support and helping me to understand what I was studying in the RCIA.

Bishop Michael with Sandra

I used to go to the church I was brought I took the name “Francis” as I had met Sister up with and would walk home afterwards Francis rsm, who I loved so very much, and wonder what it was all about. Every while I was working at St. Catherine’s night before I went to sleep, I use to say a Nursing Home. She died just before Easter, little prayer thanking God for the day and so she did not see me become a Catholic, for looking after my family and friends. I but she knew that was my intention. believe I have always had the faith but did Easter came and what a high! It just felt not recognise God for who he is. so right and I felt so much in the presence I had a friend who said to me “I would think about what you are doing before you make your final choice, as it will be hard on you to deal with family and friends”. I never had a problem with friends, but boy, was she right about family! But I had made up my mind that I was doing this for me and no one else. I was in my 40th year and very much in control of what I wanted to do. So I continued to make preparations and finished the RCIA course and I was ready to be Confirmed in the Catholic faith.

of God. It confirmed why I would go to bed and say my little prayer every night. I had been doing this all my life, but I never knew what it was for. I learnt that God had always been there, but I just had not picked up on it. When it was time to receive the Eucharist, I felt closer to Jesus than ever before. I felt that this was the right thing for me. The night was wonderful and I felt very much at peace. When I first gave communion as a Eucharistic Minister, I felt that it was such


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a privilege to be able to serve God and his people. Over the last ten years I have been very blessed with the people who have come into my life and helped me in my day-today living. Friends who love me, pray for me and care about me. I love to go to Mass and share communion and my faith with the community. I feel that I have become a better person by finding my faith and being able to have peace, knowing that God is on my side, no matter what. One of the best things about being a Catholic is I know that when my prayers are answered, wonderful things happen. I now call them God moments. Sandra Christoffersen

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Diocesan Assembly Council Family Events T

he Diocesan Assembly Council committees for the Domestic Church and the Community of Love and Service jointly held three family events in Bathurst, Dubbo and Mudgee over the past few months. The goal of the events was to bring together families, including those who do not attend church regularly, to enjoy time with each other, acknowledging that families are the basic building blocks of a Christian community and just to have fun!

The cold wind and the wet weather did not deter over 80 families coming together for Bathurst’s Family Fun Day, held on Sunday 26th April 2015. The day was held in the Cathedral School grounds, which attracted over 300 people after 10am Mass. 

Diocesan Assembly Council Events

Alison and Matthew Nipperess at Mudgee The tug-o-war had everyone involved at the Bathurst Family Fun Day

The Diocesan Assembly Council continue to plan practical and functional events for parishioners to participate in, to achieve a deeper relationship with their faith and each other.

The day included family drumming, tiger jumping castle, tug-o-war, ball games, sack races, mechanical surfboard, BBQ lunch and drinks, iron man challenge, helium balloons, fairy floss and popcorn. All the events and food were provided free to the families. The Harmonikos band and Paula Jackson provided live entertainment. Attendees were extremely positive about the day and there were lots of happy faces.

Dates to note in your diary for events over the next few months include: Proclaiming the Word of God Effectively Baradine:

was all about married couples. A Champagne Relationships lunch was held allowing couples to take time to focus on each other. Team The Dubbo Family Fun Day members from Centacare gave a was held on the Sunday 14th dozen couples strategies and new June, straight after Mass. The ideas to ensure they make time Indian community provided for each other and prioritise their morning tea, the Men Alive relationship. group ran the BBQ. The jumping Rachel Disher attended the castles were busy all day and the lunch and said “It was fabulous fairy floss queue was apparently to have the opportunity to stop 30 minutes long! The Filipino The families in Dubbo were community hosted the karaoke entertained by a fantastic and it brought out the singing dance troop talents of Father Greg and Father Joshy who embraced the spirit of the day. There was Bollywood dancing and lots of other entertainment. The Elong Elong ladies provided homemade scones which the Centacare team creamed and jammed till late afternoon. Well over 500 people had a most enjoyable day with the spirit of Christian community alive and well in Dubbo. The family day in Mudgee was held on Sunday 21st June, with a slightly different focus compared to Dubbo and Bathurst. This day

and make our relationship the focus. We learnt that we need to put the energy into making us the priority and that every word and action affects our relationship in some way”. “It was wonderful to have the baby sitting service provided, knowing the children were safe meant we could just focus on us”. Robert George

25th July, St. John’s Primary School from 10am till 3pm Lithgow: 26th July, St. Patrick’s Primary School from 11.30am till 4.30pm Morning and afternoon tea, as well as lunch will be provided. For more information or to RSVP please contact Kimbalee Clews email:  comms@bathurst.catholic.org.au or phone 6334 6400 Formation Days for Sunday Worship in the Absence of a Priest (SWAP) Dunedoo: Saturday 5th September 2015 Canowindra:   Saturday 12th September Portland:       Saturday 19th September Please contact David Nelson via email: liturgy@bathurst. catholic.org.au for further information. 

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 • July 2015 • Page 13

First Holy St. Brigid’s Communion received celebrates 150 years on 150th Anniversary of the Diocese O

n Sunday the 21st of June the Molong Parish, including Manildra and Cumnock, celebrated Mass at Molong to commemorate 150 years since the establishment of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, with Bishop Matthew Quinn as our first spiritual leader. It was only fitting that three of our beautiful young children receive the Blessed Eucharist for the very first time with Father Gary McKeown celebrating Mass.


t. Brigid’s Parish in Coonamble celebrated the 150 years of the Diocese of Bathurst on Saturday 20th June by inviting families to the celebration, decorating the altar and the walls with artwork by the students and showing the Bishop’s video message at Mass. Students also learnt about the history of the Diocese and the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John in religion lessons at school over the week of the celebrations. Patricia Crawley

Alexa McKinnin-Braid, Emily Middleton and Brody Duncan with Father Garry McKeown

Banner made by Y2 students showing signs of God’s love

Prior to Father Gary’s homily, we viewed a special video message from Bishop Michael McKenna, who was very mindful of the efforts of all the Religious and laity alike in building and nourishing the thriving Diocese of today. Father Gary reiterated the need for our support and to continue to help one another and, most of all, to foster a fervent prayer life. Following Mass, everyone gathered in the school hall where the children of the school displayed posters of their church including special events of their family’s life within the church. Morning tea was shared by young and old with plenty of food to share around. It was wonderful to see that Mass was well attended by so many and to have all three centres coming together as one, sharing their faith and stories. Aileen Robenson • Sizes 8 to 32 • Lots of dresses and blouses • Lightweight clothes with long sleeves • Pant and skirt suits • We cater for mature figure & problem figures - mostly elastic waist • Huge range of cardigans and pants with pockets • Pleated, straight and gored skirts – longer lengths • Good quality at a reasonable price • Half price alterations on clothes bought at Marietta’s • General alteration and repair service • Senior discount or alterations free • Nursing home styles a speciality • Wheelchair sized fitting room • Maternity trousers suitable for work

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Eve’s the winner of a brand new car! T

he Cathedral Restoration Appeal’s Art Union No. 2 has been drawn and Eve Capper was the lucky winner of a brand new Mazda3, worth more than $28,000. The draw was part of the celebrations held over the weekend to mark 150th years since the establishment of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst. One of the special guests was the Most Reverend Adolfo Tito Yllana, the Apostolic Nuncio (Pope’s representative) in Australia.  Archbishop Tito was invited to draw the winners at the celebrations. Eve, who is from the Cathedral Parish of Bathurst, wasn’t present at the draw, but was ecstatic when she was contacted and told the good news. Eve and her family quickly made their way to the draw location to claim her brand new Mazda 3, Phil Burgett (Cathedral Restoration Committee Chair) and Paul Rosconi (Rosconi Mazda) present which was sponsored by Rosconi Eve, her husband Ben, and sons Timothy and Matthew with the keys to her brand new car. Mazda, Bathurst. Eve has been one of the many Second prize was a home- in the Art Union. It is hoped this raised from the Art Union will volunteers helping to organise makers package valued at will raise approximately $15,000 greatly assist in the ongoing restoration of the Cathedral of an extensive 18-month long $5,900, sponsored by Good Guys for the Restoration Appeal. Bathurst and this was won by St. Michael and St. John, as work celebration to mark the Diocese’s Bishop McKenna offered thanks continues to ensure its longevity Neil Macguire from Orange. 150th year. to all involved, and in particular for at least the next 100 years. Third prize went to Jack to Mr Phil Burgett, Chair of the Until now, Eve has been riding Herschel, also from Bathurst. Committee, who devoted an The restoration project is a push bike to her job as the This was a $1,000 gift voucher extraordinary amount of time anticipated to take five years. Western Advocate Community to use at any Coles Group outlet, and energy to ensure the success Liaison while the family’s sponsored by Coles Bathurst. of the Art Union. current 12-year-old car “is on its last legs”. More than 2,000 tickets were sold Bishop McKenna said the funds Kimbalee Clews

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 • July 2015 • Page 15

Confirmation for Cathedral students F

orty three Y6 students received the Sacrament of Confirmation at Mass on Saturday 22nd May 2015 in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John. This was the culmination of many weeks of preparation by children, parents and teachers. Congratulations to Denzil, Gabrielle, Clancy, Chelsea, Copper, Isaac, Olivia, Mikayla, Grace, Janene, Jackson, Tyson, Melanie, Ethan, Tristian, Alexander, Isabell, Charlotte, Jacob, Samuel, Zara, Beckham, Mia, Patrick, Kaleah, Ella, Lily, Kendra, Nicholas, Charles, Joseph, Hannah, Lucy, Blake, Ethan, Isabella, Oscar, Emily,

Cathedral Y6 students with Bishop Michael McKenna Benjamin, Jake, Tessa, Ewen Mrs Eviston for assisting the people who made our Mass parents with preparation of the special. and Ashlee. children for the Sacrament Courtesy of the Thank you to the class teachers Western Times Mr Boylan, Mrs Charlton and Thank you also to the many

St. Columba’s -Yeoval Young Leaders Day O

n Monday 23rd March 2015, young leaders from St. Columba’s Primary School, Yeoval attended The National Young Leaders Day at the QANTAS Credit Union Arena in the heart of Sydney. First the sights, sounds and smells of Sydney. Then St. Columba’s student, Annabelle Englert, took to the stage in front of 6,000 students from across the State. Annabelle talked about her experiences of Club Kidpreneur, the small business in backpacks that Mrs Brown organises with the students to raise funds for their Junior Josephite Association. WOW! An amazing experience. All students had a fantastic time - certainly one they will remember. Glen Brown

Baptisms in Gulgong O

ur Catholic schools are the face and heart of the church in our small rural communities. This was perfectly highlighted during a recent school Mass at St. John the Baptist Church in Gulgong, which was alive with the sound of splashing water as seven children from All Hallows Primary were baptised by Father Tony Hennessy on 14th May, 2015. These children had all expressed an interest in being baptised and, with their parents’ and sponsors’ support, prepared and were baptised. A key goal in our Diocesan

Annual Improvement Plan (AIP) for 2015 in the area of Catholic Identity is to “strengthen our schools as centres of the New Evangelisation”. It was a lovely celebration of this initiation sacrament with the entire school joining parish members and families, to see their friends become members of the Catholic Church. Congratulations Katrina, Maddison, Eve, Willow, Jamie, Toran and Sophia. Catherine Gaudry and Janine Kearney

Katrina, Maddison, Eve, Willow, Jamie, Toran and Sophia

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St. Brigid’s Coonamble Catholic Schools Week Celebrations C

atholic Schools Week was celebrated from 8th - 14th March. The theme was ‘Educating for Today and Tomorrow’. At St. Brigid’s School, the major celebrations occurred on Friday 13th March and incorporated the annual invitation to grandparents and older friends to visit. The audience was bigger than previous years. Several visitors had travelled for many hours to be with their grandchildren and younger friends.

servers. Y1 students brought up their treasured possessions to the altar to show what they like to do with their grandparents and older friends. There were photos, picture books, toys and a yabby net. Y3 students featured in a presentation and read captions and a thoughtful prayer that they had written. The tribute song, ‘Friends’ by the primary choir was well received.

Fergus and his Grandma

After Mass, many visitors took the opportunity to visit the students in the classes. The rooms were filled with interested adults who enjoyed the varied activities that the children undertook. The plentiful and delicious morning tea, donated by the parents and carers, was politely distributed by the Y6 students, while the parents serving the tea and coffee were flat out keeping up with the orders.

The morning began with Mass celebrated by Father Reynold Jaboneta. Highlights of the Mass included the Kindergarten students singing the entrance hymn about the many names that grandparents are called and the Y5-6 students sang the responsorial psalm and led the congregation in the verse before the Gospel. Y2 students re-enacted the Gospel about the vine and the branchIt truly was a fabulous day. es, plus several Y4 students read clearly and confidently, Patricia Crawley while some were the altar

Rhylee and her Pop

Assumption Primary School steps back in time O

n Thursday 28th May, Assumption Primary School celebrated Bathurst’s Bicentenary by stepping back in time to our colonial era. The school was overrun with lords, ladies, bushrangers, soldiers, convicts and maids. Our day started with Wiradjuri elder, Aunty Gloria Rogers, leading the welcome to country and smoking ceremony. Aunty Gloria then acknowledged the schools new principal, assistant principal and religious education co-coordinator. The students, pre-schoolers, parents, grandparents and staff then enjoyed parading their costumes in celebration of days gone by in Bathurst.

bull rush, learning to play hopscotch, skipping games and old favourites like tunnel ball and captain ball. After lunch, the children enjoyed quieter in-class activities such as damper making, crafts and making whirligigs.

Throughout the day, parents and visitors were encouraged to visit our library where they could purchase books for their children to enjoy, or they could donate a book to the Library, commemorating Bathurst’s Bicentenary. A great day was enjoyed by everyone in the Assumption community as we celebrated the history of our great city, Bathurst. We will After a picnic morning tea, long remember this once in two the students and visitors hundred years event! participated in number of colonial games and activities Sue Guilfoyle including bush dancing, playing

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 • July 2015 • Page 17

St. Brigid’s Parish celebrates 150 years 2

015 not only marks 150 years of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, but also 150 years since the establishment of the St. Brigid’s Parish in Dubbo. St. Brigid’s Church was built in 1865 when Dubbo was no more than a village with some 300 Catholics in residence. In 1990, a new church was opened near the original church, due to the growing population of Catholics in the city. This year, both churches are celebrating: 150 years for the original St. Brigid’s church and 25 years for the new church.

On Wednesday 1st July, Bishop Michael McKenna concelebrated Mass at St. Brigid’s with 15 priests of the Diocese. The Bishop acknowledged Father Pat Ruane, parish priest in Dubbo when the construction of the new St. Brigid’s Church occurred. Bishop McKenna also recognised architect, Bill Gibbons whose family was in attendance. More than 280 people gathered after Mass at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre for dinner. Guests included parishioners from Ballimore, Guerie and North Dubbo. The parish was delighted to welcome back many from the past including De la Salle Brother, Brother Ignatius who was the inaugural principal at St. John’s College when it opened in 1969, as well as Sisters of Mercy, Sister Gabrielle Gretsz, a former deputy principal of St. John’s and Dr Paula Smith rsm, former principal of St. John’s. Two Patrician Brothers attended along with Mayor of Dubbo, Matthew Dickerson, who spoke of being a student in several Catholic schools in Dubbo and the values he gained that are still with him today.

Andrew McKay and Mathew Dickerson with Bishop Michael McKenna

David Gibbons and Fr. Pat Ruane

The evening was a wonderful event to formally recognise the sesquicentenary of St. Brigid’s Parish and thanks goes to all who were involved to ensuring the success of the night. Father Greg Kennedy

Jeff and Fran Calbeck

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Geoff Mann and Helen Hughes

A BBQ to begin celebrations


o begin the celebrations of St. Brigid’s sesquicentenary, a BBQ was held after Saturday evening Mass earlier in the year. Around 120 people enjoyed a summer’s evening on the church lawns – a very fitting way to begin the celebrations of this historic milestone in the parish’s life.

Vespers, Violins and Vino T

he celebrations for the sesquicentenary of St Brigid’s, Dubbo continued on Friday 1st May with more than 130 parishioners enjoying an evening of Vespers, Violins and Vino. The evening began with Vespers lead by Father Greg Kennedy and was followed by a supper provided by the ladies of the parish. Guests were entertained by the St. John’s College and St. John’s Primary School Violins Ensemble led by Mrs Maggie Dunn. The music was magnificent and many comments on the accomplishment of the young people involved were made by those who attended. Genevieve Menzies

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 • July 2015 • Page 19

Vocations Awareness Week

Deacons for the Diocese of Bathurst F

ive years ago, we began a new chapter in the life of our local church with a program for discerning and forming vocations to the permanent Diaconate. The program will show its first fruits on 9th August, when Charles Applin and Terry Mahony are to be admitted as Candidates for Ordination early next year. However, the fruits of the program have already been evident in the lives of the men and their wives who have participated. Whether or not they have continued along the road to ordination, they have gained new knowledge and skills in understanding their faith and sharing it with others. In addition, the Formation Team and I have learnt valuable lessons, not only about the Diaconate in particular, but also in the development of programs for adult faith and ministerial formation for Catholics in general. The Story of the Bathurst Program The Formation Team was led by Father Pat O’Regan with Sister Mary Comer rsj, Sister Patricia Powell rsm, Father Tony Mannix cm, Mrs Maureen Horth and Mr Tony Eviston. They have guided the program through three stages. The first six months was the enquiry stage, with regular meetings to explain this special call in our Church. From the

beginning, we asked for the participation of the wives. Before their husbands could be ordained deacons, they would have to give their consent. We wanted that consent to be fully informed. As participants came to understand it better, some decided that it was not for them, at least not at this point in their lives. We then moved into a more demanding stage, introducing those who wished to continue to the basics of formation and discernment. We began to explore the four components: spiritual, academic, human and pastoral, which would shape the journey ahead. After a year, participants and their spouses discerned, with the Bishop and the team, whether or not they were ready to embark on a fuller program, which would require a substantial commitment of time and effort. Some were ready then, some not. In the third stage, the team enlisted the help of spiritual directors, psychologists, expert presenters and pastoral supervisors. The aspirants (as they were now called) enrolled in theological studies with the Australian Catholic University, augmented with lecturers brought to Bathurst for weekend courses. Whenever possible, we also made these lecturers available for sessions with the wider community.

A great feature of the program, which by now had seven men in it, was the way that the group worked and prayed together as agents of formation and discernment for one another. Once again, the involvement of their wives was vital and enriching. Towards the end of the third stage, two of the aspirants made conscientious decisions not to go ahead. However, they have completed a thorough course in ministerial formation, which will enable them to make important contributions to the life of the Church. In addition to the two men about to be ordained, three others are continuing to discern, with the Bishop and the Team, when and if they may be ready to proceed to Ordination. Who are Deacons and what do they do? Deacons played an important part in the early centuries of the Western Church. They were at the service of the bishops in liturgy, administration and care of the sick and the poor, keeping contact with those on the edges. In the East, that continued in many places, but in the West their responsibilities were taken over gradually by priests and religious men and women. On the eve of the Second Vatican Council, the diaconate in the West had become a brief formality on the road to priestly ordination.

Encountering Christ. 16-18 October, 2015 at The Hermitage, Mittagong. A retreat for Catholic women of all ages. For more information: sydney@op-tn.org . www.nashvilledominican.org . facebook.com/dominicansistersaustralia

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Vatican II and Pope Blessed Paul VI revived the possibility of a distinctive, “permanent” ministry of deacons, open to married men. It was left to the bishops to judge whether and when this ministry would be suitable for their local churches. Although the Popes have definitively taught that the Church is incapable of ordaining women as bishops or priests, there has been no such final word on the possibility of women deacons. The renewal of the Diaconate is not merely a restoration of something that existed before, but the chance to write a new chapter in the way we carry out the mission entrusted to the Church. We are still learning what the Diaconate might be, remaining faithful to the shape of the Sacrament of Holy Orders to which it belongs. In the Church today, deacons can baptise, preach, officiate at marriages and funerals. There are specific functions in the celebration of the Liturgy reserved to them. They cannot say Mass or administer the sacraments of Anointing, Penance, Confirmation or Ordination. However, this is a limited way of understanding who the deacons are and what they can do. What distinguishes the deacon is the life-long character of his ordination and the associated promise of obedience he makes at the time. He then enters into a new set of relationships within the People of God. Deacons, like bishops and priests, may join in many activities and serve in ways which could also be done by lay faithful: but they represent in them a particular sacramental presence at the service of ecclesial communion. It is not so much what they do, with us and for us, but who they are, with us and for us. In the coming months, there will be more to say about this unfamiliar, but potentially enlivening ministry and how it will develop in the Diocese of Bathurst. For now, we are united in prayer with and for the men being called to this service. +Michael McKenna Bishop of Bathurst

Vocations Awareness Week

Terry’s journey W

hen I learnt that the Diocese of Bathurst was introducing a Permanent Diaconate program, my interest was aroused. I have always had a strong commitment to my faith and I felt drawn by the Lord to become a deacon. I am married to Christine and we have four adult children. My marriage is a core element in my life and Christine is very supportive of my journey towards the diaconate. A vital element of the formation program, for me, was developing skills to carefully discern my vocation. It was when I undertook a ‘Retreat in Daily Life’ and then began working with a spiritual director on a regular basis, that I was able to more clearly see how God was working in my life and drawing me to the diaconate. The human formation component of the program allowed me to recognise how I

Terry and his wife Christine

interact with other people and has made me very grateful to all the people who have enriched my life journey over the years. Going back to formal study was daunting at first, but with the support of the other men in the program, I have gained new understanding of scripture, of the

Church’s liturgy and have been challenged to think more deeply in a range of areas. As part of my formation, I visit residents in hospital and aged care facilities. This has been very uplifting and these pastoral visits have nourished my growth. I am looking forward to the

candidacy stage of my formation and, God willing, eventual ordination as a deacon. I also look forward to being of service to those in need and taking the riches of our faith ever more into our community. Terry Mahony

Call to Candidacy Here I am Lord, speak to me.


he past five years of discernment, training and formation have been a time of great excitement; a time of looking to the future and a time of becoming more involved in diocesan and parish life. This is especially so in my involvement in hospitals and local aged care facilities and with the St. Vincent’s Parish, Portland. It has also been a time of adjustment in my family life, a time of adapting and fitting in with the vocation of marriage to my wife Joan and a time of listening to the Spirit in my heart. I now look forward to the final stage of my formation towards the diaconate, continuing to serve my local community and the wider Bathurst diocesan family. I also look forward to the opportunity of becoming the “sacrament of the present moment” by reaching out to those in need, in word and

Charles and Joan Applin

action, through the ministries of diocese. I also acknowledge liturgy, the Word and charity. the strong bond of faith and Throughout the journey of friendship forged between all discernment, I have received those who have travelled this wonderful encouragement and journey of discernment. support from my immediate I look forward with faith, hope family, the formation team, the and love to a future of service to Portland Parish and the wider the Diocese of Bathurst, to be, as

St. Ignatius of Antioch described the diaconate, “the presence of Christ in the community”. I ask you all to keep me in your prayers as I approach this important milestone. Charles Applin

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 • July 2015 • Page 21

Vocations Awareness Week

My journey so far I

2008, working in the boarding house and tutoring mathematics. Working in a school environment, something put me off the idea of becoming a teacher, recognising quickly that my true happiness lay elsewhere. It was as I was searching for something deeper that a friend asked the question that led me to first consider the priesthood.

grew up in the western Sydney suburb of Toongabbie. The eldest of four children, I had, in some ways, a fairly ordinary childhood. My parents worked hard to give me a variety of life experiences outside of school. I excelled at school, particularly in mathematics and I developed a great passion for music. I played piano and percussion in the school band and I sang, both as a soloist and in choirs.

I spent the next few months attempting to talk myself out of the idea, but failed. I then turned to others, hoping they would convince me that I was mad, but these conversations only affirmed what I was coming to know was true - that God was calling me to enter the Seminary and study to be a priest.

As a family, we attended church every week and from an early age, I grew a deep respect for the person of Jesus Christ. When I was 15, I joined the local Antioch community and it was here that my faith was given room to grow and deepen, as I fell deeply in love with God, Jesus and the beauty of a Christian community. During a period of struggle for my family in 2004, the local parish embraced us in a way that went above and beyond human decency and I grew to appreciate the power of a strong parish and my place in the wider Church.

I am now in my fourth year of formation and, though it has been a struggle, it has Sydney, majoring in Mathematics, which allowed me to grow in my relationship with I completed the degree without any God, my own humanity and my love for particular accolades. I had no real interest God’s people. in the careers the degree would bring me, and so my deep love of people and service I ask for your prayers and support as I continue my journey towards priesthood in led me to pursue a Masters of Teaching. Perhaps ignoring my deep passion for the wonderful Diocese of Bathurst. music, I instead pursued a Bachelor This led me to Bathurst, where I took of Science degree at the University of up residence at St. Stanislaus’ College in Karl Sinclair

God’s plan alone W

hen I asked Father Greg Bellamy as important to my father as this service. what his plan was after his study, Inevitably, he inspired his children to he answered “My only plan was to generously work at God’s house. become a priest, the rest of my life is God’s plan”. This answer really struck me. For many years of planning for my life, I now realised that my plans will only come to success if it is God’s will. In other words, my only plan is to follow God’s plan for my life. When I am asked “Why do you want to become a priest”? my immediate answer is “because I feel that is what God wants me to be”. This feeling slowly unfolded as a result of many events. Now, when I look back to my past journey, I trust that God has been walking with me and that he is guiding me on the path to priesthood. I first experienced the presence of God in my family home. I was fortunate enough to be born into a devout Catholic family where daily prayer and Mass is ‘compulsory’. As a child, I was taught how to be a good Catholic and how important the Gospel is in Christian life. My father was a devout Catholic and a wonderful role model as a servant to the church. He was at church whenever he was needed. Even the family business seemed to be not

religious brothers and sisters. Having constant contact with God’s servants left me with a desire to follow in their footsteps in the future. So, I started my plan to become a priest and I felt that my plan was blessed. Although the future does not give me any hints that my choice to study for priesthood is the right choice, the past tells many things. It is like when we are rowing a boat on a river. We cannot see where we are heading to but the scenery beside the river banks tells us that we are heading towards the right direction. I struggled a bit in both my family situations and in my studies in my early age, but when I look back on those difficulties, it was nothing but the cross that God sent to test me and, at the same time, to strengthen me.

Growing up, I followed my father’s footstep in serving the church. I started my contribution as an altar boy and this was the second instance that I became aware of my vocation. Being an altar boy, I had many opportunities to meet with priests and

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I’m now in my third year of formation in the Seminary of the Good Shepherd. The future is very much in God’s hands and with prayers and constant reflection I believe that my plan to become a priest is still God’s plan. Dong Nguyen

Vocations Awareness Week

A genuine life... M

y name is Sister Robyn McNamara, formally known as Sister Marietta of the Sacred Heart. I am the third eldest of 11 children born to Jack and Pearl McNamara from Shangri-La, Molong.

After completing my education at St. Joseph’s School, Molong I entered the Sisters of St. Joseph at Perthville. Sister Marie Therese was Mistress of Novices at the time. There were 10 other women in the Novitiate with me, three of whom belonged to my group - Sisters Claver, (Thelma Pellitt), Vanard (Maureen Schiemer) and Madeline (Shirley Miskell). My first mission appointment was in Oberon where I taught for one year before going to Newbridge, to our junior boarding school for girls. After three years there, I was appointed to Perthville, our senior boarding school. From there, I went to Gilgandra for a short time. Soon after, volunteers were called for to go to Papua New Guinea. At the end of the year, Sister Margaret Schiemer and I went to Sydney to St. Margaret’s Hospital to do a crash course in midwifery! Sister Kathleen Luchetti was the third member of our group. Mission life in Papua New Guinea was a challenge, but being young, nothing was too hard to tackle!  We lived in the remote village of Suain, on the north coast in the Aitape Diocese run by the Fransicans.  Both teaching and medical work were our main tasks. I loved and enjoyed my years there and got to know and love the people who taught me much about life and the value of genuine relationships.  I often laugh as I share many interesting and exciting stories of these years and tell people, “I went to PNG as a teacher and came home as a triple certificated nurse!”

Sister Robyn - then

Another more challenging time in my life was my recent experience in the Kimberley at Bidydanga and Kununurra. No longer needing to exercise my nursing skills, I turned myself to reading the weather three times a day and transmitting this to Perth. I was also involved in teaching scripture in the school and running a young mother’s group. In Kununurra, I drove the bus to pick up the little Aboriginal kids and take them to school. I often had to use my negotiation skills in this role in order to get the children to come to school on a Friday, as that was traditionally their fishing day! Once we got to school, the children were given breakfast, a shower and clean clothes, then bundled into school.  We had fun singing songs as we travelled the dusty roads, picking up anyone who may look like they could do with an education! My years as a religious sister have been very happy and quite exciting, if not difficult and challenging at times. There has never been a dull moment in my life. I settle now in Gilgandra as a Pastoral Assistant to Father Martin O’Mahony in the place where my mother was born, among people who have welcomed me and made me feel glad to be here.

...and now

Sister Robyn McNamara rsj 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 • July 2015 • Page 23

Vocations Awareness Week

Year of Consecrated Life T

he celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life is a little bit like standing at a crossroads. It’s an opportunity to look back at what has been and to look forward to what will be. Having achieved my Diamond Jubilee of the profession of my vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and the service of the poor, sick and marginalised as a

Sister of Mercy a few years ago, I can rightfully expect the next part of the journey to be shorter than the first! So many things have changed in my 60 plus years and yet the core remains intact. Since Vatican II, when we were invited to go back to our founders and foundresses and look closely at the inspiration

they experienced that brought our Congregations into being, many noticeable changes have happened. I was given the religious name of Mary Magdalene and later reverted to my Baptismal name of Mary - although I still love and revere Mary Magdalene!

but with changes in ministries and newer understanding of Apostolic life, we migrated into smaller and individual accommodation. As the laity moved into Catholic education, we were freed up to explore other ministries. I taught music in a wide variety of ways for 25 years.

We used to live in large communities in big Convents, There were the individual lessons, school music from Kindergarten to Higher School Certificate, choirs and orchestras, concerts and eisteddfods and, of course, the liturgy and church choirs. When opportunity - or I prefer to call it Providence - intervened in my life, I was able to train in Pastoral Care. This opened up for me a whole new world among people with mental illness, intellectual disability and addictions as Catholic Chaplain at Bloomfield Hospital for 22 years.

Just as Jesus walked among the people, I too tried to do this. It was not a matter of “doing” so much as “being”. In my early Religious life I would probably have described my response as “Working for Him”. As the years fell away and I matured, this became simply “Walking with Him”. My profession motto engraved on my ring is “Omnia pro Te”. “All for Thee”. For me, Religious life is like a symphony. It’s made up of so many parts - melodies and harmonies, concords and discords, different instruments featuring at different times, moods and tempos changing and interchanging, and all the while the entity remaining intact and the music lingering on. I just hope and pray that more young women will listen to the call and come forward to play their part in this marvellous symphony of Mercy life in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley. Sister Mary Trainor rsm Page 24 • July 2015 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Vocations Awareness Week

My Vocation - My Call H

ave you ever had the experience of a friend calling you, right when you are doing something you are really enjoying? They ask you to come and join her/him doing something else. Reluctantly, because of the friendship, you agree. Then you have a wonderful time that you wouldn’t have missed for the world. My vocation to religious life is something like that. At 18, I had left school, was working and enjoying my new found freedom. I had decided before I left school that I wasn’t going to become a sister. You could “save your soul” by being a good married person, I thought, as in the 1950s a Catholic woman either got married or became a nun! But “the call” to consider giving my whole life to God, which is how I heard it, kept coming. So at 18, I left Mudgee and came to Bathurst to join the Sisters of Mercy. Religious life at that time was a lot about rules and regulations many of which were outdated and didn’t make a lot of sense. But, in spite of that and sometimes because of it, we had lots of fun. That was because the heart of the life we were striving to live was about loving God and loving God’s people. We struggled with the vicissitudes of living closely with others; with having our lives regulated by a bell; by giving up the many small luxuries that we had before we came to the Convent. But we also made

Sister Bernie today at age 80

friendships within our novitiate groups that have lasted a lifetime. Our inner lives of prayer and relationship with God deepened and grew. Although the lifestyle and ministries of Religious today are different, the essence of the life is still the same. With the taking of our vows, we welcomed the opportunity to express our love of God in the love we gave to the children or young people we cared for or taught, or to the patients we nursed, depending on the apostolic work we had been assigned. Over time, that was extended to the families we came in contact with and the members of the parish in which we ministered. Not having a husband and children did not leave our lives loveless. After taking my vows, I was sent to Sydney University and completed a Science Degree and

a Diploma of Education. I then spent one year doing in-service with the sisters teaching science in our Mercy Schools. I then taught high school for the next 12 years at St. Mary’s College, Diocesan Catholic Girls High School (now McKillop College) in Bathurst and then 2 years at Santa Maria, Orange. I loved teaching and I loved the students - though they may not have always known it! Soon after I started teaching, Vatican Council II occurred and religious life as we had known began to change. In 1974-75 I went to Berkeley, California USA to study theology. Upon my return, I was elected the Congregation Leader for eight years. I was then missioned to work in refugee camps in South East Asia, returning to Australia in 1988, where I worked in Sydney with the Adult Migrant Education Service teaching English to migrants, many of whom were refugees. In 1990, I began work with the Jesuit Refugee Service and from 1992 - 1996 was the Mercy Refugee Service Co-ordinator. This ministry took me to Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. My sister says join the Sisters and see the world! I returned to Bathurst in1998 and was Bursar until the beginning of 2009. My main ministry involvements now are with Rahamim Ecology Centre

and Bathurst Refugee Support Group. I have had a most blessed life and have no regrets about the life to which God called me more than 61 years ago.

Sister Bernie in the 1960s when she taught at Diocesan Catholic Girls School

Living in a culture where having and consuming things us equated with the ‘good life’; where love is reduced to ‘having sex’; and where the individual does what she/he wants without considering what it does to others, makes the choice of a life where you publicaly make vows to be poor, celibate and obedient seem like utter folly. I do not believe that you can become a religious and remain one, unless you have a personal relationship with our loving God. All life is ultimately about loving. All loving involves sacrifice. Religious life, like any other life, has its sacrifices but the burden is lightened by the love given and received. Sister Bernie Evens rsm

Good Shepherd Sunday Appeal for our Seminarians “To form good priests is a most wonderful and beautiful task”. St. Vincent de Paul’s words strike a chord. A priest is someone who is called by God and sent into the harvest to be a shepherd after the heart of Christ himself. How can you support our Seminarians?

I would like to become a regular supporter Please charge my credit card monthly, until I advise otherwise, the amount of $_____________ I enclose a single gift of $  Direct Debit - Please send me a direct debit form for regular donations  Please send me information about remembering the Education of Priests Fund in my Will Title _______ First Name________________________ Surname _________________________________

To ensure we have priests to serve the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst in the future, it is important that we invest in their education and vocation development now. It is the responsibility of the Diocese to support our Seminarians as they study for the priesthood. We currently have five young men undertaking studies at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd and, like any form of tertiary education, this is a costly exercise. We ask for your assistance in providing for the wellbeing and support of the Seminarians as they focus on preparing for priestly life. We also request that you keep our Seminarians in your prayers as they answer their calling from the Lord.

Address _______________________________________________________________________________ State ___________ Postcode ____________ Phone___________________________________________ Email ________________________________________________ Parish_____________________________ Cheque / Money Order is enclosed payable to: The Education of Priests Fund Credit Card: Please charge my  Visa  



oooo oooo oooo oooo Expiry Date____/_____ Signature___________________________________________________________ Phone Donation: Please call 1800 451 760 Online: visit www.bathurst.catholic.org.au Donations may be sent to: The Education of Priests Fund, PO Box 246, Bathurst NSW 2795 Email enquiries to: admin@bathurst.catholic.org.au We will treat your personal information with respect and confidentiality as directed by you and in accordance with the privacy laws. The Education of Priests Fund, Catholic Diocese of Bathurst ABN: 23 501 787 578

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 • July 2015 • Page 25

Vocations Awareness Week

Tru Nguyen Missionaries of the Sacred Heart


was born in Vietnam and lived there until I was nine years old. For the next four years, I went on a refugee journey with my mother and sister. We sojourned from Vietnam to Cambodia, from Cambodia to Thailand, from Thailand to Malaysia and then from Malaysia to Australia. When my family and I arrived in Australia in 1991, we settled in Adelaide, South Australia. I embraced Adelaide as my new home. At the end of 2007, I embarked on a retreat at Douglas Park with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC). At that time, my spiritual director guided me to listen attentively with my heart, then draw all my strength to follow that desire.

Tru Nguyen with his mother, Father Peter Hendriks and family friends

I did that and I found what I wanted most was to be loved by God, interest in joining them. I joined the MSC in 2008 and I am currently preparing for my ordination to the priesthood on 24th July 2015. loved by the people I love and to be able to love others as I loved. Now reflecting on this, I find my response to my vocation is also based on the faith that God is love. It is a faith decision because I am called to leave my familiar life and enter into a new life without knowing what it will be like.

Each of us has a vocation. That is, we are all called to live life to the full. We are all called to live as God’s beloved, as Jesus lived. For me, to live fully and to live as God’s beloved is “to be on earth the heart of God”.

During that retreat, I wrote a letter to the MSC, expressing my

Tru Nguyen msc

DISCALCED CARMELITE NUNS This year, Carmelites are celebrating the 500th birthday of St Teresa of Jesus who wrote: The world is in flames. This is not the time to be bothering the Lord about trivial matters. St Teresa founded her contemplative nuns to respond to God’s love by loving one another, living a simple life in community and holding the needs of the Church and all people before God in prayer. In our day, too, the world is in flames – terrorism, domestic violence, human trafficking, refugees and asylum seekers, environmental degradation, natural disasters and human disasters such as addictions, homelessness, youth unemployment… People are seeking happiness amidst personal, family and international problems. Carmel teaches us to look to the past with gratitude, live the present with passion and embrace the future with hope. (Pope Francis)

Come and join us!

Carmel of Mary & Joseph, 345 St Andrews Road, Varroville NSW 2565 phone: 02 9820 3048; prioress@carmelvarroville.org.au Page 26 • July 2015 • 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

m 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 • July 2015 • Page 27

‘Lest We Forget’

Important upcoming dates


nzac Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day that we remember Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. The spirit of Anzac, with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity. The ANZAC march in Dubbo on this 100th Anniversary was a sobering reminder of how connected we still are to those values and how committed our communities are to showing this through participation in ANZAC marches and ceremonies. ‘Lest We Forget’. Janine Kearney

• 26th July: Bible Sunday • 2nd - 9th Aug: Vocations Awareness Week • 8th Aug: Feast of Mary McKillop - Bishop McKenna will be celebrating Mass at Wattle Flat at 11.00am • 9th Aug: Admission of candidates for the Diaconate • 30th Aug: World Refugees & Migration Day • 1st Sept: World Mission Month Launch at St. Stanislaus College • 6th Sept: Retired Clergy Appeal • 13th Sept: Centacare Sunday and Child Protection Sunday

Our respectful young students taking part in the ANZAC March in Dubbo

• 27th Sept: Social Justice Sunday

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St. Stanislaus’ - Bathurst S

t. Stanislaus’ College recent annual musical was a huge success. The Addams Family played to packed houses over a number of nights and a special matinee performance was held for students from the four Catholic primary schools in Bathurst. As the curtain opened to Latin tunes, the spotlight shone on the dynamic duo of Gomez (Keegan Bringolf) and Morticia (Antonia Fish). The incredibly detailed sets were developed by students in the College Art and Design Association (SADA) and the sound, lighting and stage setup were the responsibility of students from the College Crew club.  The singing, acting, sets, staging and lighting all enabled the audience to be transported to the hilariously haunting world of The Addams Family.  

The Addams Family Cast

The second annual Y12 dinner was held recently, attended by current Y12 students, their parents and staff. Also present at the dinner was 2014 HSC Dux, Dominic Mjadwesch, who was presented with his award. Dominic is currently studying Bachelor of International Studies at Sydney University. Guest speaker was Dr Christopher McRae, from the Graduation Class of 2007. Christopher is currently in his second year as Registrar at the Albury Base Hospital having completed his studies in Medicine.  Christopher spoke warmly of his time at Stannies and provided the students with some sage reflections and advice about preparing for life beyond school. Mrs Jaclyn Ayoub, Mr John Ayoub, Jack Ayoub - Head Prefect 2015, Dr Anne Wenham - Head of College, Dr Anne Wenham

Mr Geoff Melville - Director of Curriculum, Dr Christopher McRae & Guest, Dominic Mjadwesch - 2014 College Dux.


As a boys’ school we strive to enrich the learning experiences of our students whilst providing them with the broadest range of opportunities for life beyond the classroom. Enrolment applications for 2016 welcome. year 9 & year 11 scholarship applications for 2016 now open. Enquiries are welcome. Contact the College Registrar on 6331 4177 or registrar@stannies.com 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 • July 2015 • Page 29

From the Executive Director of Schools I

n early June, priests and principals from across the Diocese gathered together in Orange. This was the first such gathering in several years. During a session facilitated by Mark Raue from the Catholic Education Office in Wollongong, the clergy and principals discussed and planned how future annual gatherings may evolve.

realised when authentic and effective engagement and partnerships exist across and between, not just our clergy and principals, but indeed across families, schools, parishes, the wider community and the Catholic Education Office. Enhancing and deepening this engagement and these partnerships continues to be an area of focus as we journey together in service of Christ’s mission. ‘We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to each of us.’ Romans 12:6 Jenny Allen Executive Director of Schools

Given that we are entering into a new strategic planning cycle, the opportunity was also taken on the day to collaborate in regard to the emerging plan, through small group discussion on the following items: ●● As the world changes, so too does the context within which Catholic schools and parishes exist. What does it mean to be Catholic in the 21st century? ●● Consideration of the various ways in which schools and parishes are focused on maintenance (keeping things as they are) and/or on mission (Go and make disciples). ●● Alive and Well 2030. With reference to a reading from Brother Aengus Kavanagh’s recent publication, “Will Catholic Schools be Catholic in 2030?”, consideration was given to what our parishes and Catholic schools will look like, alive and well in 2030. We also reflected on the concept of a spirituality of communion. The coming together of clergy and principals was a tangible expression of this. As members of Christ’s Body, we share in the same unity experienced by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. “The body is one and has many members, but all the members, many though they are, are one body; and so it is with Christ”. (1 Cor 12:12) The vision statement of our diocesan system of schools challenges us to provide quality Catholic education with Jesus Christ as our inspiration and guide. This diocesan educational vision can only be

Review at Dunedoo The St. Michael’s Dunedoo School community recently took part a Diocesan School Learning Review. The team from the Catholic Education Office were impressed by the positive and productive learning environment, the creative and confident students and the dedicated and enthusiastic staff. Great job Sister Margaret and team! Janine Kearney

St Lawrence’s Primary School Coonabarabran

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Page 30 • July 2015 • 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

Association of Catholic Schools Principals’ (ACSP) Conference


speakers; Valerie Hannon from England, Dr Dean Fink from Canada and Dr Jong Zhao from the United States who all challenged the delegates to move from a paradigm of seeking school improvement to one of school transformation. Each speaker was very well credentialed and gave inspiring talks relating to our new horizons journey. This was enhanced by a talk from Bishop Vincent Long, the Auxillary Bishop of Melbourne, about incorporating the values of Christ in our new directions. Sister Mary Ann Casanova, the Executive Director at Rahamim Ecology Centre, located in Bathurst, challenged us to reflect upon what we should let go so as to create new directions for the future. The religious dimension was an integral part of the conference. Bishop Michael McKenna, along with Fathers Greg Kennedy, Paul Devitt and Joshy Kaithakulangara, celebrated the Eucharist with the principals and the local Over the three days, we had the pleasure of community at St. Brigid’s Church. having a number of international keynote The conference also provided an opportunity he Diocese of Bathurst hosted the ACSP bi-annual conference in Dubbo from Wednesday 20th May till Friday nd 22 May 2015. The conference attracted over 280 system leaders and principals from the 11 dioceses in NSW and New Zealand. Catholic Education Office Director of Schools, Jenny Allen, in her introduction to the conference stated “The theme of the conference was Encounter New Horizons, which was a response to Pope Francis’ call to create, with our faith, a culture of encounter and from this assertion in the Catholic School on the threshold of the third millennium, new requirements have given force to the demand for new contents, new capabilities and new educational models. The conference program was designed to allow delegates to explore leadership, innovation and the spiritual dimensions of our role within our contemporary context, as we encounter and renew each other in a spirit of faith-filled collegiality.”

to showcase the talents of our students and teachers. The four Dubbo primary schools; St. Lawrence’s, St. John’s, St. Mary’s and St. Pius X each presented a liturgy to commence proceedings each day. The Religious Education Co-ordinators should be justifiably proud of the abundant talents of the students in their respective schools. St. John’s College prepared the liturgy and provided the orchestra for the Mass and the cocktail party. The quality of their playing was outstanding. At dinner on the Thursday night, we were treated to the mindset of Thomas Keneally, who needs no introduction. He reflected upon his time being educated by the Christian Brothers and looked back with many fond memories of the lifelong values that were instilled in him. The conference was a resounding success and whilst our Diocese is small in number compared with the other metropolitan dioceses, we delivered an event that was world class by any standards. John Emms

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AFL Polding Trials O ur diocesan AFL trials were held in early March and the following students were selected to represent the Diocese at the Polding trials later in the month in Newcastle: Rocco Yates, Liam Cooke; Holy Family, Kelso. Joseph Langfield; Assumption School, Bathurst. Nick Murphy, Charlie Kemp,

Darcy Mulligan; St. Mary’s, Orange. Our thanks goes to Matt Johnson, AFL Development Officer. Matt and his team ran through some great skills demonstrations with the boys and used the time as a training session. All the boys went away having learnt something new about AFL. Linda Densmore

Nick Murphy, Charlie Kemp, Rocco Yates, Joseph Langfield, Liam Cooke and Darcy Mulligan with Matt Johnson, the AFL Development Officer and his offsider, Jack.

National Simultaneous Storytime at St. Eddies N ational Simultaneous Storytime is in its 15th year. Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in schools, libraries, bookshops, homes and other places around the country to encourage more young Australians to read and enjoy books. This year, it took place on Wednesday 27th May at 11am with the reading of ‘The Brothers Quibble’ by Aaron Blabey. The students at

St. Edward’s in Canowindra were treated to a wonderful reading by their librarian, Mrs Vanessa Fisher in their amazing library dedicated to Sister Patricia Ryan. The story was, of course, backed-up by visual smart board technology and colourful crowns created by the infants students to assist them in identifying with the ‘quibbling’ protagonist in the tale. St. Eddie’s is certainly fully focussed on developing great readers. Janine Kearney

Mrs Vanessa Fisher reading to her captive audience

Ladies of Learning S chool photos are always an important time on the calendar, providing a snapshot of individual, class and family journeys through school. This family photo from St. Joseph’s in Portland captures the continuity of learning from a different perspective. Mrs Kearns is the School Principal, Simone Taylor is Mrs Kearns daughter and is the K-1 teacher and mother of Anneke and Mia, students at St. Joseph’s and the grandchildren of Mrs Kearns. This photo captures a moment in time: a beautiful sunny day in Portland after a heavy frost and an extended family of happy and enthusiastic ‘ladies of learning’. Janine Kearney

Mrs Kearns and her ‘clan’

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2015 Primary Diocesan Swimming Carnival T he Primary Diocesan Swimming carnival was held on Tuesday 3rd March at the Dubbo Aquatic Leisure Centre and was hosted by St. John’s Primary School. All competitors on the day displayed great sportsmanship and athletic skill and did themselves, their respective regions and schools proud. Age champions for the Bathurst Diocesan Swimming Carnival 2015:

• Junior Girl – Collette Lyons; A number of long standing diocesan records were broken Cathedral Bathurst. • Junior Boy – Jock Hoath; St. on the day, emphasising the standard of swimming on Brigid’s Coonamble. display. • 11yr Girl – Zara Grout; Thank you to the regional Cathedral Bathurst. team managers, assisting staff • 11yr Boy – Lachlan Colwell; from our diocesan schools and St. Brigid’s Coonamble. the parent help and support, • Senior Girls – Holly Edwards; which made the day pleasant St. Brigid’s Coonamble.

and successful for all. Your efforts are greatly appreciated by all at St. John’s Primary and the Catholic Education Office, Bathurst. The 2016 Bathurst Diocesan Swimming Carnival will be convened By St. Mary’s Primary School, Dubbo. Adam Foley

• Senior Boy – Angus Burton; St. Brigid’s Coonamble.

Zara Grout with Fr. Greg Kennedy

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2015 Spelling Bee


steoarthritis, vociferous, omniscient, formaldehyde These are some of the words our primary students had to spell at the recent Diocesan Spelling Bee! It was wonderful to celebrate the third annual Diocesan Spelling Bee at St. Mary’s, Wellington in June. Thanks to all school personnel involved in running their school spelling bees and preparing students for the Diocesan Championships. It was fantastic to see so many teachers and families present over the two days. The spelling bee has been a significant opportunity for our schools around the Diocese to promote and highlight the importance of spelling. In various ways, the students in the finals demonstrated many characteristics of the learning dispositions that we aim to foster such as resilience, resourcefulness, reflectiveness and reciprocity. Congratulations to all students. They represented their school with pride and good sportsmanship at the competition. A special congratulations to the following students and schools: Stage 2: Winner: Tadhg Curran (St.

Stage four participants with Schools Consultant, Mr Vince Connor

Mary’s, Orange) Runner Up: William Retallack (St. Joseph’s Blayney) Stage 3: Winner: Caleb Fardell (St. Joseph’s, Portland) Runner Up: Kate Gilmour (St. Joseph’s, Gilgandra) Stage 4: Winner: Jorja Whale (St. Matthews Catholic School, Mudgee) Runner Up: Andy Dickerson (St. John’s College School, Dubbo)

Stage 5: Winner: Michelle Grech (St. Raphael’s Catholic School, Cowra) Runner Up: Callum Woodrow (La Salle Academy, Lithgow) Winners received a gold medal, with the runners up receiving a silver medal. The winning school received a perpetual trophy. Rose-Marie van Raad

Success at Narrabri Eisteddfod O

We began by competing in the School Choir section. Our first song was called ‘The Diggers of the Anzac’ and we were accompanied by Golden Guitar winner, Mr Greg Storer, who took us away with his amazing musical talents Y4, 5 and 6 students from St. Brigid’s Primary on the guitar. As our conductor, Mrs Storer School, Coonamble were up bright and early gave the ‘thumbs up’ as we sang our hearts out to travel to the Eisteddfod. All the students with great pride. We than sang ‘We Are The were nervous on the inside but calm on the World’ accompanied by student, Harvey Keady, outside. We arrived slightly early so we could displaying his wonderful talents on the piano. practise getting on and off the stage. We then The choir was outstanding and we placed waited patiently for our turn while the other second. Next was the musical entertainment category. competitors displayed their talents. n Wednesday 27th May, the Narrabri Eisteddfod was held for small music bands, school groups, soloists and even families, to display their talent and compete against each other in front of a large crowd.

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We sang and danced to ‘High School Musical’. The group was excellent with their dance moves and we placed first! Attending the Narrabri Eisteddfod was a great experience with an enormous amount of talent displayed. St. Brigid’s students had a highly successful day, earning a first and second place and bringing home a trophy. Overall, we had a wonderful day and we have learnt that we should always have a little bit of music in our lives. Students Mitchell Cleary and Harvey Keady

Christian Living Camp - St. Joseph’s E

arlier in term two, students from St. Joseph’s Eugowra attended a Christian Living Camp in preparation for their upcoming Confirmation. The following reports were written by students who attended.

toast and apple juice. We ate in a dining room above the games room. It had an all you can eat buffet - all you can EAT! The food was always followed by dessert (I mean ice cream - yum!). I think the food was marvellous. Max Gates



camp. Although it didn’t seem like we were focused on just faith. Some of the activities helped us to be more faithful. Like Chris Doyle teaching us about agarpe meaning love. It was a great opportunity to know my religion better. Jordan Moore

Our facilitator’s name was Chris Doyle. Fun: He was a funny, talented man. He At Christian Living Camp, the first fun thought he was a peanut head man that thing we did together was the jumping had a goatee. pillow and tennis. Chris had a disco the first night in the The next fun thing we did was meeting hall and we played limbo. Jordan was new friends from Blayney, Canowindra, the winner for the boys and the girls’ Molong, Manildra and Yeoval. We met winner was Gaby from Canowindra. about 40 friends all up.  Chris gave a lesson about love and that the word agarpe means love. After that, we spent time with Chris Riley Whatman Doyle where he played guitar and played Food:  some music like ACDC. Faith:  The food was so nice at Christian Living Camp was fun, fun, and more fun. Camp, from roast chicken and veg, to Faith was a very important part of Jim Riley

At Christian Living Camp we made lots of new friends. I mostly made friends with Canowindra girls. They were very funny and kind. I also made friends with kids from Yeoval, Manildra, Blayney and Molong. I’m glad that I made some new friends. It’s good that there was some girls going to the same high school as me. We all had so much fun at Christian Living Camp. It was a good experience for the future. Lily Wallace

St. Joseph’s celebrates Kristi’s faith journey T

here was great rejoicing at St. Joseph’s, Gilgandra when the Catholic community welcomed Kristi Gale into full communion with us. Father Martin O’Mahony, Sister Robyn McNamara, Kristi’s husband, Ben and children; Nicholas, Declan and Xanthe, as well as sponsor, Megan O’Connor were delighted to accompany Kristi on her journey of faith. Sister Robyn McNamara Kristi Gale (center) with her family, sponsor Megan O’Connor, Father Martin and Sister Robyn

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Shalom celebrates its 40th Anniversary W

hat an incredible weekend, with over 100 people from around the country attending the celebrations on Saturday 11th April, marking 40 years since the establishment of Shalom House of Prayer in Carcoar. There were people from different denominations and faiths in attendance, all with different stories about what Shalom has meant to them over the years. The 40th celebrations began with the ringing of the church bells and an ecumenical service presided over by Bishop Michael McKenna and Reverend Anastasia Webster-Hawes from the Anglican Church. The service included a special prayer where the congregation was invited to add a coloured thread to a loom representing their prayer for Shalom. The Prayer Loom will now reside in the Shalom House foyer for all future visitors to add their prayers when they arrive. Following the service, Bishop Michael blessed the newly installed crosses that had been replaced or restored on various points of the buildings. This was followed by lunch under the trees and the attendees were invited to add their hand print to a commemorative painting for the occasion, organised by Therese Martin. Then came the blessing of the Shalom Prayer Labyrinth by Father Michael Hansen sj. Everyone was invited to bring a stone, to represent something of importance in their life or pilgrimage to Shalom and to add it to the labyrinth. The day concluded with Bishop Michael officially launching Helen Bowers’ book “Let the Bells Ring Out - The History of Shalom House of Prayer”. Thank you again Friends of Shalom, for all the support and prayers. With your continued support, hopefully Shalom House of Prayer will be around for another 40 years. Nick Hansen Shalom Community

Neville and Helen Bowers with Bishop McKenna

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Book Review

Let the Bells Ring Out: The story of Shalom House of Prayer, Helen M. Bowers, 2015


o to Carcoar, reopen the old Convent house from the deserted old Convent full of and make it a place where my people cobwebs and rats, to the welcoming and well can find and renew their relationship with me” established place it is now; the role Shalom (Neville Bowers) has played in the Diocesan community; above all, the changes in spirituality that have As the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst influenced and continue to shape the story celebrates 150 years, Shalom House of of the community. Helen must have kept a Prayer in the historic village of Carcoar detailed journal as the years progressed. Her adds its story to that of the overall Diocese. anecdotes and memories are alive, refreshing, The contribution made to the Diocese by humorous, well researched and inspiring. the Shalom Community over 40 years is an Difficulties, challenges and rewards are heroic one. each acknowledged unashamedly. Photos of significant events and celebrations illustrate Helen Bowers, as one of the founding the stories well. She pays tribute to all the members of the community, takes the reader visitors and resource people who came back of this book from the first use of the land time and again to enliven the prayer life of all by the Wiradjuri people, through the years who participated. when the Sisters of Mercy ran a boarding school for girls and a school for the local I am proud to be a Friend of Shalom and can children (1874-1969), to the closing of the recommend this book as linking the integrity Convent and the movement of her family of the story to the historical accuracy of the into the old Convent on 18th January 1975 events included. It is well worth reading for in an attempt to give practical expression those who can look back with affection, as to Neville’s dream. Then, through the 40 well as those seeking inspiration and looking years of gatherings, retreats, Cursillos and to join the Shalom community in its future development of the community, its friends, development. members, volunteers and spirituality, she Congratulations Helen on this book, which in April. It is available for purchase at Shalom follows the story to this time when a new will become a significant part of diocesan for $30 and can be ordered online at www. history. community takes the ministry forward. bathurst.catholic.org.au or purchased Helen leads the reader through the remarkable Bishop Michael McKenna launched “Let at the Chancery Office, 118 Keppel Street, personal stories of the permanent members The Bells Ring Out” at the celebrations for Bathurst or by calling 1800 451 760. of the community; the development of the Shalom’s 40th Anniversary, in Carcoar early

Dr Paula Smith rsm

Lovesgift Revitalise your relationship with fun, romance and intimacy at Shalom Lovesgift a retreat for committed couples, offers an escape from the business of life to focus on the gifts, beauty and specialness of your relationship. Majella and Simon Price do not have all the answers but are fellow travellers on a journey willing to share some of the ‘gifts’ they found helpful to enrich their relationship. When: Friday 6pm, 14th August to Sunday 2pm, 16th August 2015 Where: Shalom House of Prayer - in the beautiful historic township of Carcoar Cost: Suggested donation of $350 per couple (Course, all meals and accommodation) To register phone (02) 6367 3058 or email: shalomcarcoar@gmail.com 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 • July 2015 • Page 37

What a week at St. Joey’s - Gilgandra S

t. Joseph’s Gilgandra had a week of celebrations from commencing on Tuesday 17th March with St. Patrick’s Day where Y5 organised a beautiful Mass. Family and friends gathered at the School following Mass to enjoy morning tea. Our Y2 class visited Cooee Lodge Retirement Village to perform a St. Patrick’s Day medley for the elderly residents. On Wednesday 18th March, the School hosted Grandparents Day with over 400 grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, family and friends attending. All our guests were greeted by our Y6 leaders who escorted them to morning tea, which was generously provided by our school community. The students then performed a tribute to the King, Elvis Presley. Jennifer Ibe, Oli Schier and Heidi Purvis led us in song with ‘We Welcome You To This Place’ before the Elvis extravaganza began. The Elvis tribute concluded with our very own Elvis, Aiden Ryan leading Y6 in ‘Blue Suede Shoes’. Wow – what a performance and, as Elvis himself would say, “Thank you very much”! Lastly the children sang an ‘Irish Blessing’. A highlight of the morning was

Five generations of the one family who have attended St Joseph’s – Emma Hayes, Tabitha Primmer, Taylor Hayes, Margaret Balchin and Olga Primmer the presence of five generations of St. Joey’s students in Olga Primmer, Margaret Balchin, Tabitha Primmer, Emma Hayes and Taylor Hayes.

Mass in St. Joseph’s Church where the newest members of our Junior Joey’s were presented with their badges. Following Mass, everyone headed to the Many thanks to the students on pool where we enjoyed class their sensational performances parties in honour of St. Joseph. and to the staff, whose efforts The week culminated on ensured an amazing morning. Saturday 21st March with the St.

presented to Matron of Honour, Mrs Heather Larkin and Parish Priest, Father Martin O’Mahony. Miss Phillipa Smith did a wonderful job as compere and the contribution to the night by so many of our school community was superb, with countless hours of preparations and the tireless work of many to ensure the th Thursday, 19 March saw the Joseph’s P & F Debutante Ball success of the evening. school celebrating the feast day of where 18 stunning debutantes our patron saint, St. Joseph. The and their handsome partners festivities began with a lovely came down the red carpet to be Heather Hodge

Religious Art Workshop A

number of Y5 and 6 students from St. Mary’s Wellington travelled to Dubbo on Wednesday 1st June, to take part in a Religious Art workshop. Matilda Whale, Millie Mills and Hayley Watts from Y6, along with Ella James, Megan Connan and Chloe Shanahan from Y5, spent the day developing their skills with Orange artist and teacher, Les Quick. The students will enter their artworks in the upcoming Christmas Storytelling Art Competition, with the Diocesan winner’s artwork to be displayed in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.

Court’s in session at St. Mary’s S

tudents from St. Mary’s, Wellington took part in the Mock Trial sessions at the Bathurst Court House in March. The St. Mary’s team competed against All Saints College from Bathurst and consisted of students from Y8-10. The All Saints team were Y11 students. St. Mary’s narrowly lost by 239 to 222.

Allan Jones

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Simon Price

Resting in the Lord at St. Phil’s - Bathurst S

tudents at St. Philomena’s took the Pope’s advice on “resting in the Lord” for the health of their minds and bodies recently when the School decided to host a ‘Rest in the Lord Week’ from 18th-22nd May. This was a time for parents, students and teachers to focus on their spiritual, mental and physical growth. Principal, Mr James Farr said he thought the Pope’s suggestion to rest in the Lord was a great idea. “Pope Francis said that rest is necessary for the health of our minds and bodies, and often so difficult to achieve due to the many demands placed on us. But rest is also important for our spiritual health, so we can hear God’s voice and understand what he asks of us”. Mr Farr said it was a “period Mr Farr with students from St. Phil’s practicing the ‘Five Finger Prayer’ to pray and think about and understand what God wants to organise a special event asked to lead their family in fourth finger, or ring finger, is from us”. where everyone came together prayer using this model. the weakest finger, and reminds During the week there was to talk, relax and pray. “This us to pray for the weak, sick The thumb is the closest finger no homework or after-school could be as simple as a special or those plagued by problems. to you, so you pray for those meetings. Mr Farr said as part meal, going to Mass or going on Finally, the pinkie reminds us to close to you. The index finger of the week, students, staff a family outing”, Mr Farr said. pray for ourselves. is to pray for those who teach, and parents participated in During the week, the students instruct and heal you. The Courtesy of meditation, yoga, relaxation at the school used Pope Francis’ middle finger, your tallest finger, The Western Times skills and activities and prayers. ‘Five Finger Prayer’ as a simple is to pray for leaders, governors Photo: Chris Seabrook Families were also encouraged way to pray. Children were and people in authority. The

Catholic Schools Week at St. Joseph’s - Oberon C

atholic Schools Week was celebrated state wide in March. The theme for 2015 was “Educating today and tomorrow”. St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Oberon chose the Catholic Schools Week liturgy to launch our new mission and vision statement, with special guests Executive Director of Schools, Mrs Jenny Allen and Central Schools consultant, Mr Vince Connor in attendance. Other activities throughout the week included an athletics carnival and a trivia afternoon organised by the SRC. Throughout the week, students were also fundraising for Relay for Life in which a number of Joey’s students participated. Donna Maxsted

Mr Jaydem Hadson, Mrs Anne Gibbons, Father Filby, Mrs Donna Maxsted and Mrs Lynne Field

Cutting the cake - School Captain Jye Rice and Brooke Booth

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 • July 2015 • Page 39

St. Vincent de Paul celebrates 85 years in Kandos A

very special occasion was celebrated by the Kandos St. Vincent de Paul Conference on Sunday 17th May, 2015. The celebration of 85 years of Vincentian mission commenced with Mass in the re-decorated St. Dominic’s Catholic Church. The large congregation comprised local parishioners, centre volunteers, retired and previous members of the Kandos conference, invited guests from the Evans Region and the Bathurst Central Council. Father Tony Hennessy was the celebrant and during his homily he reflected on the history of the Kandos Conference and the importance of the services provided by the Conference and Centre. He emphasised the increasing need for these services across all towns in NSW. At the end of Mass, certificates were presented to Tom Oxley for over 50 years of service and Robyn Oxley for 25 years of service and they were thanked for their generous contributions to the Society. Following Mass, a large group gathered in the renovated Church Hall for an enjoyable dinner. During the official speeches, Conference President, Mrs Carol Morrissey, spoke of the

history of the Conference and the wonderful work carried out by its founding members. Special mention was made of the Sparks, Frappell, Roberts, Norris, Mathews and Gallagher families during this time. Previous presidents were mentioned for their contribution to the Conference and Centre, including Keith Shumack, Jack Holland and Pat Frappell. Mrs Morrissey concluded by congratulating the six present members for their dedication to continuing the good works of the Society in Kandos. Centre president Mrs Louise McPherson spoke of the history of the centre and mentioned Jack Holland, the first centre manager. Mr Holland dedicated much time and effort to establishing the centre and keeping it running over many years. Once located in the church grounds, the Centre is now centrally located in Angus Avenue. It is a welcoming and busy place. At present, the number of volunteers working there is 35. Mrs McPherson thanked all the of Kandos volunteers for their commitment to the Centre and the excellent service and support they provide. The longest serving volunteer

Conference and Centre Presidents, Carol Morrissey and Louise McPherson, with the longest serving Kandos SVDP volunteer, Maggie Swientek is Maggie Swientek, who has notched up close to 30 years of dedicated service and was also recognised had the honour of cutting the cake. Regional President, Christine O’Mahony, thanked the members of St. Dominic’s Conference Kandos for the invitation to celebrate the special

occasion with them and thanked the Kandos Conference members and Centre volunteers for their ongoing commitment to the ‘Good Works’ of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Information courtesy of the Mudgee Guardian Photo courtesy Pam O’Connor

For a century and a half, the Catholic community has gathered in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John to worship God. Into this sacred space, all have been welcomed for baptisms, marriages, funerals and other significant moments in the lives of families, Parish and the Diocese. The generations before us have built and cared for this place. Now it is our turn. Please give generously to the Cathedral Restoration Appeal. Donations can be made: In Person ~ Catholic Chancery Office Bathurst, or your local Parish Office By Phone ~ 1800 451 760 By email ~ cathedralrestoration@bathurst.catholic.org.au Online ~ cathedralappealbathurst.org.au where you will find more information. Donations over $2 are tax deductible Page 40 • July 2015 • 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

Lifetime recognition for Bill M

r Bill Fitzgerald was recently presented with a Lifetime Member Service badge for 77 Years of dedicated service to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Bathurst Central Council President, Bob Lulham, presented the honour during a luncheon to celebrate 85 years of Vincentian mission in Kandos on Sunday 17th May 2015. Bob congratulated Bill on behalf of the NSW Society State President, Ray Reynolds and all members of the Society. He acknowledged the significance of the length of service Bill has given, and continues to give, to the Society. Always seeing the big picture, he is never daunted by any perceived difficulties in achieving a goal which may improve the

services or facilities provided by the Society. As Evans Regional President, I was happy to speak about Bill’s achievements over the past 77 years and the fact that he has worked tirelessly to assist people by providing the best possible quality of services. Bill cares deeply about supporting all members and volunteers within the Society. He has made many life-long friends and continues to be a proactive member of the Society. Bill was also congratulated on his 90th birthday, which he recently celebrated. Thank you Bill and congratulations! Christine O’Mahony Evans Regional President St. Vincent de Paul Society

Bob Lulham presenting Bill with his Lifetime Service badge

Sister Mary Clement celebrates her 90th Birthday S

ister Clement was born in Mudgee on 5th May 1925 and was her parent’s tenth child. In 1943, Nancy Lennox entered the Sisters of Mercy. After teaching for 40 years, including at St. Matthews School where she herself attended, Sister Clement completed a course in pastoral care and returned to Mudgee to look after her older sister, Millie for 12 years, as well as doing her pastoral work in the parish. Sister Clement received the Order of Australia Medal in 2001 for her services to Catholic Education and community work. For many years Sister Clement could be seen cycling everywhere to carry out this

ministry. But now days, when you see the red flag flying, you know Sister is coming on a gopher and has traded in her two wheels for four. At 90, she is still taking her turn helping at Vinnies, goes with Father Tony Hennessy every week to one of the nursing homes for Mass and does her visitations. A luncheon for Sister Clement was held in St. Marys Parish Centre on Saturday 9th May to celebrate her 90th birthday with 40 parishioners and friends who have shared her journey over the years. It was a lovely day enjoyed by all and many thanks go to those who prepared food and to all helpers on the day. Jennifer Maloney

Sister Mary Clement with Sisters Gabriella Gresz and Janet Walker

Our Lady’s Rosary Makers of Australia Inc. Our Lady’s Rosary Makers are seeking new members to join us to assist with the making of Rosary Beads which are sent to the Missions overseas and distributed in schools where needed. Please contact: Marie McLellan: (02) 6822 1598 Bev Ryan: (02) 6822 1474 Irene Reeves: (02) 6822 1108

Email: mariemclellan@icloud.com Email: bevellis@dodo.com.au Email: itreeves@bigpond.net.au

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • July 2015 • Page 41

Centacare Bathurst secures Indigenous Advancement Strategy funding E

arlier this year, Centacare Bathurst was given the great news that they were successful in the new round of Federal Government funding under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy which commences on 1st July 2015. Centacare has secured 12 months funding under the Safety and Wellbeing stream and two and a half years funding under the Children and Schooling stream. The current Indigenous Community Links (ICL) project, which Centacare has successfully operated over the past six years, ends on 30th June 2015. Centacare is very pleased that the hard work and sound relationships built up by the ICL team over the past six years, has been recognised and rewarded by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet with some further funding. This is a result of the service that is warmly received within the community, as well as the support and advocacy for some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the community. Centacare Indigenous Community Workers look forward to continuing to support Indigenous

Community members in Bathurst, Orange, Wellington, Gilgandra and Coonabarabran under our new Safety and Wellbeing project. This project aims to improve Indigenous social, health and financial wellbeing, enhance Indigenous education and employment outcomes, improve safety and wellbeing of the Indigenous community, reduce drug, alcohol and substance misuse by prevention education and increase the confidence and capacity of Indigenous people to participate in society. Centacare Bathurst will operate the Children and Schooling project in Bathurst, Orange and Coonabarabran, with the aim of improving sustainable educational outcomes for Indigenous children through support and advocacy of parents/carers as their child/s first educator; providing information and referrals for Indigenous clients to service programmes across a range of mainstream and Indigenous specific services that encourage and promote educational readiness, attendance and achievement; improve individual capacity-building and skills to access relevant services and their related outcomes. Robert George

The Indigenous Programmes Team: Kayla Murphy, Pam Toomey, Herbert Smith, Tiffany Stonestreet (Coordinator), Karyn Cain, Corinne Towney, Allira Simpson, Cara Jacobs (Manager, Community Programmes) and Sally Carr. Absent – Lynne Warren.

For more information about Centacare’s services visit centacarebathurst.com.au or to make an appointment please call 1800 231 118 Page 42 • July 2015 • 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

Bathurst Early Learning Support Team member profile: Annette Myers


nnette Meyers leads the Bathurst Early Learning Support (BELS), under the auspice of Centacare Bathurst and funded by Families NSW. This community capacity building program is facilitated by Annette with the program aiming to increase connections within the Bathurst community for the benefit of children’s early learning, health and wellbeing. It works to improve connections across all aspects of the community, linking families, local services and facilities, government and non-government organisations. The following outlines a number of elements of BELS, detailing the responsibilities of Annette and her team.

Bathurst Family Fun Day celebrating National Families Week - On Saturday 16th May the

BCFN hosted the fourth annual Bathurst Family Fun Day. The fun day had a true community festival spirit and everything was FREE - free food, jumping castle, face painting, games, activities and entertainment. There were loads of prizes on the day as well. In addition, the Multicultural Commission funded a range of multicultural activities including African drumming workshops, weaving workshops and bush tucker. The free family event celebrates the importance and value of families in our community during National Families Week each year. This year’s event was hugely successful with approximately 2,000 people in attendance with the theme “Stronger families, stronger communities”.

Bathurst Child and Family Network (BCFN) - chaired by Annette, BCFN is a not-for-profit

proactive network that includes members from a wide range of services, organisations, education and early childhood services and the community. It is a cohesive community team working together with and for children and their families. Our mission is for children and families to belong in a happy, healthy, safe Bathurst. The network believes that “it takes a village to raise a child” and it underpins the approach in all that they do.

Child-safe, child-friendly Bathurst

- On the 5th March 2015, Annette and the BCFN arranged a public forum “Bathurst’s Big Banter” with National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell and a panel of experts to discuss how we can all make Bathurst a better place for children to grow, learn, be safe and be happy. Keep up-to-date with activities and events of the Bathurst Child and Family Network on Facebook.

Free playgroup

Annette’s work with the BELS project has attracted international recognition.

Annette presented a lecture on the successes of the BELS project to graduate social work students at the University of Lapland, Finland in March this year. The lecture was very well received and Annette got the opportunity to learn about Finnish culture and their ways of working with children and families.

- Annette also facilitates a free For more information on BELS or to share your ideas call playgroup every Friday morning at Kelso Public School Annette on 6331 8944. from 9.30am - 11.30am during school terms. All families are welcome irrespective of which school your child will attend.

Transition to school collaborative project - Annette and the BCFN support children and families

transitioning to kindergarten by building relationships between schools, early childhood and community services/ agencies, Established known and agreed methods of sharing information and promote the importance of the early years within the community.

Collaborative projects

- Annette and the BCFN facilitate a range of collaborative projects aiming to keep children safe, establish collaborative practice across all sectors to support children’s speech and mental health, gain a better understanding of local Aboriginal cultures and promote learning through play.

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 • July 2015 • Page 43

Bathurst People in Time - A peoplescape B

athurst200 Heritage Week was officially launched on Sunday 3rd May 2015 where 200 personalities were immortalised as part of the Bathurst200 outdoor art installation, Bathurst People in Time: a peoplescape. Bishop Michael McKenna was a member of the official party at the opening and gave a blessing. The peoplescape was opened at this ceremony and was a feature of Bathurst’s bicentenary celebrations. Mayor of Bathurst, Councillor Gary Rush said “the peoplescape project captured the community’s imagination. Students, community groups and artists have created amazing Bishop Michael McKenna with works of art, representing the official party at the Bathurst Heritage Week launch people of significance to Bathurst”. 

The Sister of Mercy, created by the Sisters of Mercy

Project co-ordinator, Jan Page said each of the figures created had been researched by their designers and was a particularly interesting project for the school groups involved. The detail in the figures, the colour and the high standard of art work was incredible”. “The aim of the project was to involve the whole community and this has certainly been achieved. Schools, churches, historical groups, art and craft groups and individuals have responded with enthusiasm”, she said. More than a dozen of the Peoplescape characters were created by Catholic entities from Bathurst and depicted life size representations of Catholic figures who had made a significant contribution to the community. These included Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Father Julian Tenison Woods, Bishop Matthew Quinn, Sister Margaret Press, the Sister of Mercy, Annie Casey, Dean John Grant, Father Christopher Clarence Sullivan and Father Joseph Patrick Slattery CM to name a few. Kimbalee Clews

Annie Casey, created by the Catholic Diocese Chancery Office

Page 44 • July 2015 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Bishop Matthew Quinn, created by Y4 at Cathedral School

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop created by Assumption School pictured with Mrs Catherine Connor, REC and Y2 student, Michaela Bowker. Pic courtesy of The Western Advocate

Dean John Grant, created by the Catholic Diocese Chancery Office

Opening Hours The Catholic Development Fund office is open for counter service from 10.00am to 4.30pm – Monday to Friday. On-Line Access You can also access the CDF On-Line via the Diocesan website bathurst.catholic.org.au or phone Freecall 1800 451 760 - for information

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

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • July 2015 • Page 45

ANZAC’s remembered at Gilgandra and Collie A large number of people gathered in Gilgandra, Cooee country, to commemorate 100 years since the ANZAC’s landing at Gallipoli. A special feature of the celebrations was the unveiling of the statue of the Cooee soldier in the town centre. Father Martin O’Mahony gave the Oration at Collie where people gathered from near and far to attend the ceremony.  Father Martin paid tribute to the service men and women who paid the ultimate price, sacrificing their lives so that others, including ourselves, could live in freedom. He pointed out that what appeared a military failure was indeed a victory for ingenuity in adversity; a triumph against the odds, leaving an inspiring example to all those who followed. “Our thoughts readily turn to the young women and men who lost their husbands and wives as well as the children who lost their parents”, he said.  “The element of mourning has lessened, but the memory must remain... The memory fills us with pride and gratitude, and a determination to do our part. Easter Day and ANZAC Day offer us the sustaining promise that there is always HOPE”! Father Martin in conclusion said “May the heroism of the ANZAC’s inspire each one of us to be wise, courageous and generous in our efforts to make our world one big happy family”. Sister Robyn McNamara

Georg Mertens performs at the Rydal parish S

t. Matthews Catholic Church, Rydal was the venue chosen by Georg Mertens, a well know cellist, to perform an intimate concert in May. Georg is a gifted musician who entertained a large crowd with a wide selection of both classical and modern music. Concert goers enjoyed a glass of wine and the opportunity to chat with Georg over afternoon tea. Members of the audience commented on what an enjoyable afternoon it was. Racheal Young

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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 • July 2015 • Page 47

Mass at the Cathderal of St. Michael and St. John commemorating 150 years of the Diocese 21st June 2015

Profile for Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

Catholic Observer - July 2015  

Quarterly publication of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst - July 2015 Issue

Catholic Observer - July 2015  

Quarterly publication of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst - July 2015 Issue

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