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Volume 55, No 1 APRIL 2019 $2.00

World Youth Day 2019

EASTER 2019 A message from Bishop McKenna


ow did the disciples feel when they woke up on that first Easter morning? Awful. Jesus, in whom they had put all their hopes, had been cruelly executed. And, to make matters worse, many of them had deserted him in his final hours. But soon, their despair would be turned to joy.

“Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” That same question can be asked of you and me, when we are full of gloom at the darkness we see: in our world, in our church, in our own lives. It is understandable that the women at the tomb did not think of looking for life. It is understandable that sometimes we lose heart, too. But the message of Easter is a call to lift our eyes from dead things, which are indeed real, to where life is, just as real and far more powerful.

“Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” In Luke’s Gospel, this is the question that God’s messengers put to Jesus’ followers who came to the tomb on the first Easter morning. These women had not come to look for the living. Now that the Sabbath was over, they had come with spices and ointments to prepare a corpse for burial. They had seen Jesus die, and with him the hopes they had in him.

CNS Photo, Crosiers

to spread among the disciples. And before long they were meeting the risen Lord and receiving his forgiveness and the fulness of life he had come to give.

In Matthew’s account, the angel tells the disciples that Jesus has gone ahead to Galilee and will meet them there. This Easter, this year, where is Galilee for you and me? Where will we meet him?

“Why are you looking for the living This is the message of Easter, this among the dead? He is not here: he is the heart of our faith. Do I truly is risen”. And then the news began believe it?

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

+Michael McKenna Bishop of Bathurst

“I am a mission on this Earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world.” Pope Francis Evangelii Gaudium 273


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WYD ’19 - 700,000 young people celebrating God’s love as one


he Diocese of Bathurst was well represented at this year’s World Youth Day (WYD) in Panama, with a group of 34 pilgrims travelling as part of our Diocesan group. Accompanied by Bishop Michael McKenna, Fr Reynold Jaboneta, Parish Priest of Coonabarabran and Deacon Josh Clayton, they joined 700,000 young Catholics from around the world from 22nd-27th January. A key tradition of WYD is the public appearance of the Pope, who greets crowds of pilgrims as he arrives at WYD in the popemobile and delivers the closing Mass. The following reflections were provided by some of the pilgrims on their return from Panama:

“Encountering God in everyday people”


really do believe that you can come to know God through the people around you. Having recently attended WYD in Panama, this seemed to become a theme that I came to recognise in many different contexts. At the final Mass, Pope Francis stated succinctly something that I had been pondering over the course of my pilgrimage, “It is through real faces that the Lord becomes present”. Jesus Christ came to communicate the transcendental love of God to the world. And I really believe that we are able to be a means of communicating that same love to others. I know this to be true because I experienced people loving our pilgrimage group the same way Christ does, with boundless generosity, unrestricted humility and immeasurable kindness. We arrived at 6am in Los Angeles after a 14 hour flight and very little sleep. We went directly to the Parish of St Euphrasia, Mission Hills where we met our first instance of incredible generosity. A group of parishioners had prepared a big breakfast for us, ready for when we arrived and we were introduced to our host families. Together with three other pilgrims, I stayed with an elderly couple, Jioia (pronounced joy-ah) and Sam, who were both 86. Despite their age and various health problems, they offered to house four strangers from Australia for nine days. I was blown away by their eagerness to share what they had with us. I witnessed their deep faith in and high regard for Christ, which seemed to run like electricity through the very foundations of their household. No doubt us staying there cost them financially, not to mention how much time and energy they had to expend feeding us and providing accommodation. Yet every night when we came home, they were up waiting, ready to chat and make sure we had everything we needed. I was floored by how comfortable I felt in a complete stranger’s house. Ministry is relational, and this concept seemed to recur throughout the trip. Most people encounter God through one of us; through the relationships that we make with people, through the time that we find to spend with someone who might be feeling low, through giving generously to people you have never met. We should all try to be that face of loving kindness and utter generosity, in the little things we do every single day. Rebecca Cooper 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 • April 2019 • Page 3

C e l e b r a t i n g A quick quote from Pope Francis and Amy Sullivan


od is real because love is real... You, dear young people, are not the future but the now of God - Pope Francis We experienced so much love throughout our pilgrimage. Within our group, we looked out for each other to avoid the gaping chasms in the road, reflected together on our experiences, shared conversations and received inspiration. We experienced the incredible hospitality of our host families in the St Euphrasia parish. We experienced the love of the Panamanian people as they welcomed us with smiles and waves. We also witnessed others expressing the love of God through their ministry, including Homeboy Industries and Shower of Blessings (providing free showers to the homeless of Santa Barbara). There was no holding back in sharing this love. God’s love is real, and it is present now.


“The impact of God’s love”

efore attending WYD and spending a week in LA, I had never taken the time on my own to personally experience Christ or explore my relationship with him. WYD was an amazing opportunity to further explore my relationship with God. Whilst in LA, I had the opportunity to spend time with Homeboy Industries, an organisation that provides hope, training and support to former gang members and previously incarcerated men and women. The organisation helps to change the lives of more than 10,000 people each year. Founder, Fr Gregory Boyle, said he knew he had to do something when one in three young offenders were being reincarcerated a few years after being released and when he had to keep burying young people because of gang violence. This visit had such a powerful impact as I met previous gang members who had turned their lives around. They shared their stories with me and I sat in a cafe and was served hot chocolate by some of them; walked past a bakery where they were baking treats for the café. A tattoo removalist room, anger management and parenting classes and substance abuse treatment services were also a part of my visit. These people were some of the most compassionate I have ever met, and with such unimaginable backgrounds. One man spoke about how felt unlovable and that his life meant nothing to anyone. He was worried that if he did not get any help, he would be shot whilst walking down the street with his son. Homeboy Industries allows these people to learn how to feel worthy of God’s love and this experience demonstrated to me just how powerful God’s love is. After a short week with this incredible community, I left feeling inspired with fresh ideas to bring back home and a heart full of love for those people, who, to many, are unloveable. The next stop was WYD in Panama. I cannot even describe the love and joy we felt as we celebrated God’s love with over 700,000 other young people. The opening Mass was powerful - a huge grass clearing overlooking the water with people from every country proudly displaying their flag, participating in Mass as one. I was embraced by strangers with hugs and smiles and the fire they had for their Church was very moving. Page 4 • April 2019 • 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

G o d ’ s

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Once the Pope arrived, Panama ignited and the joy was amplified. Every day for a week I would wake up, walk 1020kms and be surrounded by nothing but love. Every speech and homily presented by the Pope outlined something very important to me that tied together my whole trip – ‘love’. The Holy Father said “Only what is loved can be saved. Only what is embraced can be transformed. What a gift it is to know that we have a Father who embraces us despite all our imperfections”. Every time he spoke I reflected on my time in LA and my visit to Homeboy Industries and it all linked together. This trip outlined to me God is present to me in all of the people I interact with every day; my colleagues, the children I teach, my family and my friends. He is present in all of the people I choose to love. The Pope’s final homily ended with these words: “Whatever you fall in love with will affect everything. It will be what gets you out of bed in the morning, what keeps you going in times of fatigue. Realise that you have a mission and fall in love; that will decide everything”. Emilee Campbell


Catechesis in Panama

orld Youth Day actually lasts several days. One of the activities that the pilgrims can do is attend morning sessions with bishops of their own language group to reflect on the theme chosen for that World Youth Day. The bishop talks for about 20 minutes, then takes part in discussion and questions with the young people. Then, we celebrate Mass. This year, the theme was “I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me according to his word”. They are the words of Mary, but they must also be the words of every true disciple. In Panama, the organisers invited me to be one of the bishops leading an English speaking catechesis. The topic given was “Here I Am, Lord”. My talk had a central message: we have to say yes to God before we know what he will ask of us. I spoke about big calls and little calls in our lives. We need to practise saying yes to God in the everyday things if we are to be ready to hear his voice among the many other voices when he asks something big of us. I gave the examples of Mary and Elizabeth, and Samuel and Eli, to talk about the gift of wise people in our lives to help us discern the true voice of God. And I spoke about a heroic catechist in the days of severe persecution of the Church in Vietnam, who faithfully did his simple tasks each day, not knowing what tomorrow would bring. Because we were given the hospitality of a protestant church to hold our gathering in, I reminded the young people of Christ’s will that all his followers would become united as one flock. This sparked many of the questions in the discussion time and gave me an unexpected opportunity to call members of a new generation to work and pray for Christian unity. +Michael McKenna Bishop of Bathurst 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 • April 2019 • Page 5

Meet Michaela from Alice Springs


ope requires that we spin a few dreams for ourselves that are possible, doable and desirable. Joan Chittister OSB Twenty-one year-old Michaela is helping to build a social enterprise for people with chronic illnesses at The Purple House in Alice Springs. Featured in Project Compassion 2014, the First Australian-run wellbeing program uses its profits to connect and care for dialysis patients who are far from home. The Program helps keep traditional knowledge strong and gives new hope to staff and patients alike. Michaela is a young Alywarr woman, who lived in both Alice Springs and Adelaide while she was growing up. As a Purple House trainee, she completed a Certificate IV in business management and was recently promoted from administration trainee to permanent employee, working on The Wellbeing Program. The Purple House is a ‘home away from home’ for First Australians who are suffering from chronic kidney disease and have to travel far from their traditional lands to receive treatment. Michaela helps care for patients as they receive dialysis, and helps them to remain hopeful and connected to country during treatment. Patients in turn pass on traditional knowledge to Michaela who is eager to listen and learn. “We cook ’roo tails on the fire in the garden and we make damper, which I learn from the older ladies. We also take them out bush hunting for witchetty grubs, honey ants and bush fruit”, Michaela said. “It has taught me the clinical side of dialysis and importance of diet to help our patients to feel comfortable”, she said. The Wellbeing Program at The Purple House is run by the Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation, with support from Caritas Australia. First Australians are twice as likely to experience chronic kidney disease, and four times more likely to die from it than other Australians. With the help of staff like Michaela, the Aboriginalcontrolled service gives patients the opportunity to stay connected with their culture. They do this through

Michaela takes patients to the bush to hunt for witchetty grubs, honey ants and bush fruit

Michaela grinds some irmangka to use in a batch of bush balm. Photo: Emma Murray, Caritas Australia traditional healing practices and income-generating activities, such as making bush balms and soaps. The patients are sharing their knowledge and handing down wisdom to young people, like Michaela. “It makes me feel very happy that I can help and I can spend time with the patients and learn from them. Also, I love making the bush medicines because that’s another part of my culture”. Michaela says that making and using the bush balms helps patients to feel a sense of home. Profits from the business are invested back into supporting dialysis patients receiving remote care and help to get people on dialysis back on country. Sarah Brown, CEO of The Purple House says there is good evidence that people on dialysis in Central Australia are doing much better and surviving longer than elsewhere in Australia. Sarah explains that for people living on country, “Dialysis used to be a one-way ticket to Alice Springs. Sick, homesick, miserable. Missing family, country, waiting for dialysis, waiting to die. Now people have things to do, plans to make, grandkids to teach, country to visit”. Business is also flourishing, with income from bush balm sales almost doubling since 2015, and retail stockists growing across Australia. “We are not passive recipients of care. We are focussing on good food, good company and sucking the juice out of every day we have together”, says Sarah Brown. Employment opportunities are growing too, with the Program supporting an increasing number of trainees and part-time employees. Michaela is proud of her role at The Purple House. In addition to completing her studies, she has obtained a driver’s licence, is running workshops solo and has travelled interstate several times for work. “She is a great role model for her family and other young people in her orbit. This job is giving Michaela a range of options for the future”, Sarah says. “Hope means having something to look forward to”, says Michaela. “I would like to thank people for their support, I feel very honoured to be a part of Project Compassion”. Source: Caritas Australia

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100% given to the launch of Project Compassion


n 5th March, Project Compassion was launched in the Diocese of Bathurst at Catherine McAuley Primary School, Orange. Project Compassion is Caritas Australia’s annual Lenten fundraising and awarenessraising appeal. This year’s theme is ‘Give Lent 100%’. Bishop Michael McKenna and Fr Greg Bellamy, Parish Priest of Orange, joined with the communities of St Mary’s and

Ranmal from Caritas

Catherine McAuley Primary Schools in a prayerful liturgy to mark the beginning of Project Compassion. During the liturgy, special guest Ranmal Samarawickrama, from Caritas Australia, spoke to those gathered about the hope that donations can bring to families less fortunate throughout the world. He talked about how Caritas Australia works to assist different groups of people globally who do not enjoy even the basic human rights we take for granted. Access to clean water, food and education are part of our everyday existence, but for many, these are privileges. “Throughout Lent, Caritas focuses on awareness of the plight of those so much less fortunate than ourselves, and doing what we can to help through prayer and monetary donations”, Ranmal said.

Bishop Michael with students from Catherine McAuley and St Mary’s, Orange “Caritas Australia, and those who are assisted by the funds raised during Project Compassion, are extremely grateful to those who make the needs of others a priority during Lent”, Ranmal said. The liturgy was followed by a ‘Mini Vinnies Pancakes for Project Compassion’ event, with all money raised going to the appeal. Throughout the appeal,

thousands of Australians come together in solidarity for the world’s poor to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity. Project Compassion runs until Easter Saturday 20th April. Anyone wishing to make a donation to Project Compassion can do so by visiting or by calling 1800 024 413. Kimbalee Clews

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C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • April 2019 • Page 7

Plenary Listening and Dialogue stage considered a landmark moment


hile people were still sharing their stories of faith and of God with the Plenary Council on Ash Wednesday and the final numbers won’t be known for a couple of weeks, the completion of the Council’s Listening and Dialogue stage is considered a “landmark moment” for the Catholic church in Australia. Plenary Council 2020 president, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, expressed his gratitude for the faith, energy and generosity of people everywhere who have shared so honestly. “The bishops and the Plenary Council team are deeply grateful to all people who have participated,” he said. “It is important to stop and acknowledge the significant moment that this is for the entire Catholic community. I have been very moved by the stories of faith, hope and resilience I have heard”. The first stage of preparation for the Plenary Council came to a close at midnight on Ash Wednesday. Reflecting on the almost 10 months since that Listening and Dialogue process opened at Pentecost, Archbishop Costelloe said it had been impossible to predict how things would unfold. “With no precedent for a national invitation to prayer, dialogue and sharing of stories, there was a sense of stepping into the unknown and being unsure of what the experience might become”, he explained. “What we found, though, was an Australian community that was enthusiastic to consider the question: ‘What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”. The last official count of people who had

Mudgee parishioners participating in a Listening and Dialogue session

participated in the opening Listening and Dialogue stage was more than 68,700. That was at the end of January. “We have heard from our colleagues at the National Centre for Pastoral Research that there was an influx of submissions during February and a deluge in the final days leading up to Ash Wednesday”, Archbishop Costelloe said. “This is a landmark moment for the church - not only in terms of the stories that have been shared, but also in the new relationships that have formed after encountering one another in dialogue. The change that this brings is already evident among people from all parts of the church”. Plenary Council facilitator Lana TurveyCollins, said “I am delighted that so many people from diverse parts of the Australian community have been a part of this process. It is a great sign of God with us on this journey”. With the Listening and Dialogue phase now complete, the National Centre for Pastoral Research will continue the deep listening process, conducting a

qualitative and quantitative analysis of the submissions received and, using bestpractice research methods, will identify key themes that have emerged. Then, in May, the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council, the Plenary Council Executive Committee and the Facilitation Team will work together with the National Centre for Pastoral Research to finalise the National Themes for Discernment. The second stage of the preparation phase of Plenary Council, which begins on 9th June, will be “Listening and Discernment”. Those themes will become the focus for the Listening and Discernment phase and will be the foundations for the Plenary Council agenda. The final statistical data from the Listening and Dialogue phase will be released later this month. Visit the Plenary Council website for more information, at www.

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Source: ACBC Media Blog

Drought Appeal Update


hile monsoon conditions brought flooding rains to North Queensland in February, inland farming communities across the Diocese are looking skywards, still praying for an end to the long-running drought. Patchy storms over summer bolstered the spirit of some districts, but with no reprieve in sight, farmers have since returned to handfeeding. Drought Assistance Project Coordinator for Bathurst Centacare, Louise Hennessy, said “The drought has affected 100 per cent of the State, with differing severity, but for some areas the drought has been protracted. Louise Hennessy and Grant Cleland from Centacare, Most people have been handfeeding with a farmer from Coonabarabran at the Dunedoo Show since January 2018. People around management and welfare, or how at Binnaway, Coonabarabran and the Walgett area though, have been in to get some funding and support to Dunedoo Ag Shows already, and will a severe drought for much longer - in have a social get-together for their be at the Coonamble, Gilgandra and excess of five years”. community”, she said. Mendooran Shows in coming weeks. “The majority of farms in the west Louise explained the one the most Centacare also provided support to the are back to pre-Christmas conditions. practical ways Centacare has been Vinnies Roadshow in January. This Farmers are trying to stay optimistic, able to use funds donated to the enabled members of the community but the reality is the situation has Diocesan Drought Appeal is taking to access Vinnies’ donations and not improved and they are looking the Health Check program on-site to Commonwealth Drought Community at their plans and options to keep the numerous Agricultural Shows Support Initiative funding. A grant breeding stock”. held across the Diocese. of $3,000 was made available to Louise said Catholic social services, each farming household by way of “The Health Check model sees our like St Vincent de Paul and Centacare, $2,000 cash and $1,000 paid to a professional counsellors partner with are working together with other rural supplier of goods. “Emotional community nurses and paramedics agencies, including government, to support was needed at these events, to provide health checks on-site. help get the best support to farming as many recipients were overwhelmed The checks are very popular, with families and communities in need at coming forward publically at the both rural men and women, and and avoid unnecessary frustration. roadshows to seek financial support. have proven to be a ‘soft entry’ The partnership of those agencies “Centacare is working in partnership to professional counselling”, said attending helped provide this with many government and non- Louise. support”, said Louise. government services in this drought. “We’ve had an excellent response The important benefit of this is that To-date, more than 600 families in to the program and it means we can with our network and links, we are the Diocese have been able to access offer professional follow up services able to refer someone, who may have financial assistance. to those people identified as needing come for counselling, to the right further help”. place. This could be for financial support, for information about stock Centacare has offered the program Kimbalee Clews

Caring for Families Counselling & Mediation Services ADULTS | CHILDREN COUPLES | FAMILIES For more information about Centacare’s services visit or to make an appointment please call 1800 231 118 C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • April 2019 • Page 9

Mudgee Josephite Associates celebrate


he Mudgee Josephite Associates finished the year with a lovely Christmas lunch at a local café. We were very lucky and blessed with Fr Owen Gibbons joining us to celebrate this special time of the year. He is extraordinarily generous with his time and is very caring and compassionate to all he encounters. This was again demonstrated after New Year’s Day Mass, when Fr Owen invited all the congregation to St Mary’s Presbytery for morning tea. It was yet another lovely gesture. Thank you Fr Owen! Angela Krusvar

Ladies who lunch - Mudgee Josephite Associates finish off the year with guest, Fr Owen Gibbons

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday


he Lenten season commenced with Ash Wednesday on 6th March and was observed with the marking of ashes on the foreheads of Catholics across the Diocese. The rich symbolism contained in the signing of the cross in ashes, reminds us to turn to God, who is full of tenderness and compassion. Lent is a period of penitential preparation for Easter. In Western churches it begins on Ash Wednesday, six and a half weeks before Easter, and provides for a 40-day fast (Sundays are excluded), in imitation of Jesus Christ’s fasting in the wilderness before he began his public ministry.

not allow this season of grace to pass in In his Lenten message, Bishop Michael vain: “The Lenten period of 40 days spent McKenna reminded us Lent is also a by the Son of God in the desert of creation time of personal reflection: had the goal of making it once more that “Lent is a time for each one of us to enter garden of communion with God that it that private room of prayer and conscience was before original sin (cf. Mk 1:12-13; Is where God will meet us and speak to our 51:3). May our Lent this year be a journey hearts. We cannot see into other people’s along that same path, bringing the hope of hearts, but with God’s mercy we can begin Christ also to creation... In this way, by to see our own. Only by opening ourselves concretely welcoming Christ’s victory over to the Holy Spirit can we begin to recognise sin and death into our lives, we will also those things in our own lives that cloud radiate its transforming power to all of our vision of reality and truth. And only creation”. the forgiveness of Christ can remove the Fasting, Pope Francis says, means blindness that belongs to sin”. turning away from the temptation In Pope Francis’ Lenten message, the to “devour” everything to satisfy our Holy Father appeals to the faithful to voracity. Prayer teaches us to abandon

idolatry and the self-sufficiency of our ego. Almsgiving, whereby we escape from the insanity of hoarding everything for ourselves in the illusory belief that we can secure the future that does not belong to us. If we follow this journey, Pope Francis says, “It is possible to rediscover the joy of God’s plan for creation and for each of us, which is to love him, our brothers, our sisters, and the entire world, and to find in this love our true happiness. The path to Easter, therefore, demand that we renew our faces and hearts as Christians through repentance, conversion and forgiveness”.

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Kimbalee Clews

Sisters of St Joseph farewelled


wo hundred people packed into Kenna Hall in Orange on 6th February to farewell Sr Helen Saunders and Sr Merylin Browne. Sr Helen has been the Pastoral Assistant at the Parish of St Mary and St Joseph, Orange for the past eight years. Sr Merylin was the Pastoral Carer at St Francis Aged Care in Orange for the past seven years and has assisted with the RCIA program in the Parish. Unfortunately, Sr Merylin was unable to be present at the farewell owing to ill health. Speakers at the event included Fr Greg Bellamy, Parish Priest; Mr Bill Walsh, long- time friend and parishioner; Fr Paul Devitt, Vicar General and Dean of the Cathedral and Sr Mary Ellen O’Donoghue, Regional leader of the Sisters of St Joseph in NSW. Each acknowledged the marvellous contribution of the Sisters and special mention was made of Sr Helen’s inclusivity, out-going nature and ability to form relationships. In her response, Sr Helen acknowledged the wonderful people she had worked with and the privilege she enjoyed in encountering a wide variety of wonderful people through her ministry. “All the people I’ve worked with have been very kind and very welcoming. I’m going to miss them and I’m going to miss Orange very much”, Sr Helen said.

A scrumptious supper provided by the parishioners was enjoyed by all in attendance. Sr Helen’s ministry included co-ordinating baptism and funerals and conducting the RCIA program within the Parish, leading services at Uniting Wontama Orange, spending time with patients at the Orange Base Hospital, and greeting parishioners at the weekend Masses. She will be taking up a new position at Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney, after Easter. Her new role will involve co-ordinating the 90 or so volunteers required to run the Mary MacKillop Museum, the cafe, accommodation and conference facilities at Mary MacKillop Place. With on-going health issues, Sr Merylin is now a resident at St Anne’s Nursing Home in Hunters Hill. The departure of Sr Helen and Sr Merylin marks the end of an era as the Sisters of Saint Joseph leave Orange after 26 years of generous service within the Parish and community. Sr Helen and Sr Merylin touched many lives through their work and the Orange parishioners admit that the loss of the Sisters of St Joseph will be felt by many, both inside and outside the church community. Sr Therese McGarry rsj

Martin Toni, Sr Helen and Laurie Dowler

Fathers Carl Mackander, Greg Bellamy, Paul Devitt and Garry McKeown with Sr Helen

Sr Helen Saunders and Sr Merilyn Browne

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Rahamim Ecology Centre 2019


he human being’s capacity to think - reflectively, logically, and imaginatively - sets us apart from all other species on the planet. Rahamim Ecology Centre in South Bathurst is a safe and welcoming space where people can think about the environment. Here we share ideas, ask questions, gain new knowledge and work together to care for our common home - Planet Earth. Rahamim was established in 2007 by the Sisters of Mercy. The Sisters came to Bathurst from Ireland in 1866 to respond to needs that were urgent then: education of children, care of orphans, support of people who were poor in one way or another. The urgent need in our time is a planet in crisis: our planet, the one that supports life, the only planet that does that in the known universe. Rahamim is a Hebrew word that means Mercy and Mercy means compassion in action. To do mercy, one also has to do justice. In Australia, justice has traditionally been associated with a “fair go”. We thought we knew what a “fair go” for people looked like. But of late we are coming to understand that nobody gets a “fair go” unless the planet, all its life forms and life support systems, get a “fair go”. We are all interconnected. We are one ecosystem. We cannot be healthy people on a sick planet. This year, Rahamim is offering some exciting new programs, as well as the old favourites like Green Drinks, the Community Gardens, River Yarners, faith and spirituality conversations and tours of one of Bathurst’s stately mansions: Logan Brae. During March (Wednesdays 6th, 13th and 20th from 10am12pm in the Conference Centre) there will be an opportunity to explore the science of climate change, the impacts we are seeing now, and the urgent call of Pope Francis to reflective

action. A more comprehensive calendar of events for 2019 is available online at This year too, Rahamim Ecology Centre will undergo a change of governance. In order to consolidate the environmental work of Rahamim in the Bathurst region over the past twelve years, and share its educational, advocacy and spiritual resources nationally and internationally, members of the Board have decided to transfer governance to McAuley Ministries Ltd. This is an umbrella organisation, set up by the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and PNG, to strengthen and support vital new ministries like the environmental work at Rahamim. The Centre will continue on its present site at St Joseph’s Mount, 34 Busby Street, Bathurst. A Ritual Transition celebration was held in the grounds on 29th March, where friends and supporters from the local community joined together to celebrate the next chapter at Rahamim. Sr Patricia Powell rsm

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“The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few, pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” Mt 9:37

Prayer for Vocations God our Father, As people chosen and baptised by you, We realised our call to serve everyone.

Karl Sinclair

Dong Van Nguyen

Diep Quang Nguyen

Thao Van Nguyen

Open our hearts to listen, discern, discover and fulfil our vocation in life with strength and courage, faithful in our love and committed in our service. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour. Amen

Nam Dinh Le

Cong Van Hoang

Duong Van Ha

Vocations Director: Reverend Carl Mackander Phone (02) 6845 2061 | email:

Good Shepherd Sunday


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Assistant Vocations Director: Reverend Reynold Jaboneta Phone: (02) 6842 1043 email:


part from being Mothers’ Day, Sunday 12th May is also Good Shepherd Sunday: a day to appeal to parishioners within the Diocese to support our seminarians studying for the priesthood. 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 eight men preparing for priesthood at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, and the need is obvious. These men will journey with parishioners and their loved ones in joy and in sorrow. Financial support for them can be an expression of gratitude by all those whose lives they have touched in the past and will do in the future. On Good Shepherd Sunday, please give generously to this most worthy cause. For more information please email admin@ Tony Eviston Chancellor


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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 • April 2019 • Page 13

Sr Ruth Croome receives award for Distinguished Contribution at MacKillop


he annual MacKillop Dinner, held in February, serves as a wonderful opportunity to showcase the academic achievements of the previous year’s HSC cohort, with awards presented to the top ATAR achievers. It is also a fantastic occasion for MacKillop College (and the former Diocesan Catholic Girls High School) alumni, who have made a positive impact in their chosen fields, to speak about their professional and personal journeys since graduation.

Sister for well over 50 years and is a long serving and valued member of the MacKillop College community. In the first two decades of the College’s existence, Sr Ruth was member of staff at what was then known as the Diocesan Catholic Girls High School. She served a total of ten years, over two periods, in the 1970s and 1980s. Sr Ruth worked with four principals in her time at the ‘Dio’, during the period when the school transitioned from Religious to lay leadership. Her strong sense of professionalism, and her insistence on the students aiming for the highest standards in all aspects of their development, gained her a great deal of respect and admiration from both staff and students.

A special part of the evening is the presentation for Distinguished Contribution to MacKillop College and Education. This year, the award went to Sr Ruth Croome rsj, whose energy and service to the College over several decades was acknowledged and Sr Ruth’s contribution to celebrated. the lives of students and staff with whom she shared Sr Ruth has been a Josephite time was eloquently shared

Mr Steve Muller, current principal of MacKillop College, Sr Ruth Croome

with the dinner guests by former staff member, Mrs Marcia Kanarakis. Marcia provided personal insights about Sr Ruth’s great compassion, sense of humour, professionalism and her sincere commitment to ensure that the welfare of the students in her care, whether in her Religious Education and French classes, or in her role as Vice Principal, was always her greatest priority.

“All of us who have known her, who have worked with or been taught by her, have a Sr Ruth story”, Marcia said. “The fact that students and staff can recall these stories and memories so vividly, more than three decades after she left the College, shows unequivocally how fitting a recipient she indeed is for this award”. Katie Bennett MacKillop College

Finance Council Chair awarded OAM


athedral Parish parishioner, Mr James (Jim) Couper, has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal in this year’s Australia Day Awards, for service to the community as a church administrator. Bishop McKenna has congratulated Jim on what he considers a very well deserved award. “Jim has always exhibited great integrity and concern for the promotion of social justice in the church and the wider community”.

Jim served for many years as a member and Chair of the Board of our Catholic Development Fund. Diocesan Financial Administrator, Mr Patrick Cooper, has also congratulated Jim on his award.

Jim and his wife Louise moved to Bathurst in 1986 and have been heavily involved in various ways in the Bathurst community since then. Jim has served as a board member and chair for a number of notfor-profit organisations, Chair of the Diocesan including tier one housing Finance Council for the provider, Housing Plus. Diocese of Bathurst since Fiona Lewis August 2013, prior to that

Jim Couper, OAM Photo: Sam Bolt, Western Advocate

Page 14 • April 2019 • 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

CCRESS gathers at Perthville


arly in November 2018, more than a dozen Catholic Conference of Religious Educators in State Schools (CCRESS) representatives gathered at Perthville as the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD), Diocese of Bathurst, hosted the CCRESS half yearly gathering. CCRESS conferences are held in May and November each year in the various dioceses throughout NSW and the ACT. CCD SRE directors and co-ordinators gather for professional development, reflection and a business meeting. The November conference was held at the Vale Lodge and Heritage Centre, Perthville. Our reflection CCRESS Conference delegates at St Joseph’s, Perthville day was facilitated by Sr who all Mary Murphy rsj, with the Cathedral of St Michael following day, the business Conference’, meeting was held. helped in organising a most theme being ‘The Gift of and St John. successful conference. Silence’. Dinner was held that Thank you to all those The May CCRESS This was followed by a tour evening at Cobblestone involved: Mr Tony Eviston, Conference will be held in of the Heritage Centre led Lane, after Tony Eviston, Jacinta Thatcher, Sisters the Diocese of Parramatta. Chancellor of the Diocese, Mary Murphy and Alice by Sr Alice Sullivan rsj. treated our guests to a Sullivan, Carmen Beard, Vicki Mair The conference attendees tour of our city and a spin Roseanne Booth and the CCD Co-ordinator celebrated Mass at the around Mt Panorama. The staff at the St Joseph’s


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Sisters of St Joseph celebrate Jubilees


anuary is Jubilee celebration time for the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. This year, Sister Mary Comer celebrated her Golden Jubilee and Sisters Robyn McNamara and Maureen Schiemer celebrated their Diamond Jubilees. Sr Mary Comer celebrated with the 21 Josephite golden jubilarians from across Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. This versatile and enthusiastic group celebrated their Jubilee Eucharist and dinner on 4th January at St Joseph’s Spirituality Centre, Baulkham Hills, in company with their family and friends. Following her profession in 1969, Sr Mary has given 50 years of generous and professional ministry in the Diocese of Bathurst. Sisters Robyn McNamara and Maureen Schiemer joined with 30 Josephite women at Baulkham Hills to celebrate their Diamond Jubilee with Josephite sisters, family and friends. Around 300 guests joined the jubilarians for the Jubilee Mass and dinner on 11th January. Fr Greg Kennedy, Parish Priest of Dubbo, presided at the Eucharist, while Fr Carl Mackander, Parish Priest of Wellington, gave the homily.

Sr Robyn, Sr Maureen and the Diamond Jubilarians

In Sr Robyn’s words: “We thank our loving and compassionate God for calling us to serve him as followers of St Mary MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison Woods. We pray that we may be blessed with health and strength as we journey with you all over the years to come”. Congratulations to Sisters Mary, Maureen and Robyn. Sr Therese McGarry rsj

Sr Mary Comer with the Golden Jubilarians

The story behind St Mary of the Presentation, Mudgee


t Mary of the Presentation, Mudgee is a full colour history booklet I have researched and written, covering the first recorded Mass in Mudgee, in a cottage by Fr Michael O’Reilly in February 1839, to the present day. The only other history to be recorded was by Fr A Maher in 1952, so it seemed important not only to cover, but expand on those years; and to add the changes in the ensuing 66 years. Mudgee has a very rich in history, as do our churches which attract much interest. Many people visit St Mary’s and admire the sandstone exterior, the beautiful stained glass windows, stenciling and the impressive Stations of the Cross. We were fortunate to have three progressive parish priests in the

first 100 years, who built the presbytery, has been invaluable in providing early church, convent, parish hall and school photos and several articles which were - a great feat. recorded in the local papers of the day. My heartfelt thanks goes to Fr Garry Also included is a brief history and McKeown, who made available a photos of several out stations, which computer and storage for the archives have now been closed or sold, that the that I have collected over time, and to priests of the Mudgee Parish serviced, Fr Owen Gibbons who allowed me to detailing their valuable contribution continue to record the history. I would to the Catholics in the surrounding also like to thank seminarian Nam Dinh districts. The Parish Priest of Mudgee Le, who arranged for the book to be is now also the Parish Priest of Gulgong printed, and for making it available at a and Kandos-Rylstone - another direction reasonable cost. in our history. We have had a wonderful response to Very little documentation has survived, the book and only a few copies remain. so much of the content has relied on my These are available from the Parish memory as part-time secretary for 37 Office for $10 each. years and the recollection of memories of parishioners. Mrs Lynne Robinson Jenny Maloney

Page 16 • April 2019 • 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

Catholic Education celebrates International Women’s Day


atholic Education Diocese of Bathurst (CEDB) celebrated the achievements of Bathurst’s own Emilie Miller at their International Women’s Day Dinner held on 7th March. Emilie is a member of the Australian Para-Cycling Team, a primary school teacher and swimming coach.

CEDB’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, whose purpose is to bring together members of the CEDB community to engage in diversity outreach initiatives. They are committed to providing all employees with a safe, inclusive and professional learning environment, as well as just and right relationships that recognise and respect the Tickets for the dinner sold out and it dignity of each individual. was an entertaining evening attended by students from Catholic schools The theme for the evening was including St Stanislaus’ College, #BalanceforBetter. It was a night Bathurst; MacKillop College, Bathurst of enjoyment, entertainment and and La Salle Academy Lithgow, as recognising the achievements of well as staff, teachers and special women everywhere. guests. The evening was sponsored by

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Jenny Allen, Executive Director of CEDB with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and guest speaker, Emilie Miller

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Faith Learning Stewardship


s we commence a new school year, we also begin a new three year Strategic Improvement Plan to guide the ongoing improvement journey of the 33 schools which comprise Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst (CEDB). All that we do within CEDB is guided by our vision: With Jesus Christ as our inspiration and guide, we are called to provide high quality Catholic education in the Diocese of Bathurst.

Animated by our belief in the transformative nature of education and Pope Francis’ inspiring vision for the Church, CEDB is on a significant journey of improvement guided by the research on high performing schools and systems. With a deep commitment to a Professional Learning Communities culture in our faithfilled schools, we are well placed to continue to embed a high performance culture with an unwavering focus on strong leadership, equity and sustainability, with the ultimate goal of high levels of learning for all, in a rapidly In the area of stewardship: A high performing changing world. system with a focus on strong leadership, equity and For the period 2019-21, a specific overarching goal sustainability, is the goal. Specifically, activity will focus has been determined for each of the three areas of our on functioning as a high performing system of schools, building leadership capacity, creating engaging and mission statement: faith, learning, stewardship. adaptive learning environments, implementing quality In the area of faith: The formation of school communities systems and services, and equity and opportunity for all. as centres of faith, inclusion and missionary discipleship, is the goal. Specifically, activity will focus on intentional It is the wonderful teachers and leaders in our schools formation for missionary discipleship and supporting who give life to any vision and plans. So in this year, when we celebrate the tercentenary of St John Baptist de and connecting families. La Salle, the patron saint of teachers, we pray that our In the area of learning: A Professional Learning teachers may enjoy a highly satisfying year and be richly Communities culture committed to high levels of learning blessed in their daily work. for all, is the goal. Specifically, activity will focus on building student ability, engagement and aspiration for education in a changing world, strengthening literacy Jenny Allen and numeracy, enhancing teacher capacity, teaching Executive Director quality, and positive wellbeing for all.

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HSC High Achievers 2018


n 2018, 440 students studied for the HSC at one of the Catholic secondary schools in the Diocese. HSC Courses were offered in 53 subjects and included vocational as well as academic courses, providing students with a full range of options. The highest ATAR in the Diocese was 96.45. Three students were placed in the NSW top ranking student lists:

Lincoln Monk, James Sheahan Catholic High School Orange, 7th for Construction; Jacob Taylor, St Johns College Dubbo, 2nd for Industrial Technology and Greta Scullard, 8th for Industrial Technology, St Johns College Dubbo. All students sitting for the HSC in Diocesan schools Mrs Annette Evans, Manager Financial Services studied either Studies of Religion 1Unit or 2Unit or a CDF, presenting Ryan Campbell with the Catholic school developed Catholic Studies course. Development Fund Scholarship for the Highest Diocesan ATAR Students who achieved at least one Band 6 result, and their families, were invited to attend the Diocesan HSC Awards Ceremony. This provided recognition to these students for academic excellence in the Higher School Certificate in 2018 at a formal ceremony on 6th February 2019 at the Orange Civic Theatre. Special Awards were given to the following students: The CDF Scholarship for Highest Diocesan ATAR: Ryan Campbell 96.45, St Stanislaus’ College Bathurst Studies of Religion I Highest Diocesan Mark 2018: Shane David-Wilathgamuwa 47/50, St Stanislaus’ College Bathurst Sam Hall 47/50, St Stanislaus’ College Bathurst

Father Paul Devitt VG presenting Patrick Saul with the Diocesan Indigenous VET Student of the Year Award

Studies of Religion II Highest Diocesan Mark 2018: Luke Powell 93/100, St Stanislaus’ College Bathurst VET Student of the Year: Madison Weal, MacKillop College Bathurst Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander VET Student of the Year: Patrick Saul, St Johns College Dubbo Congratulations to all students in the Class of 2018 on the wonderful achievement of completing your HSC and secondary schooling. We wish you the very best for the next phase of your life.

Father Paul Devitt VG presenting Madison Weal with Peta Kingham the Diocesan VET Student of the Year Award

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 • April 2019 • Page 19

Executive Director’s Summer Reading Challenge


he Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst Summer Reading Challenge is about much more than fun. Reading over the summer is incredibly important for students and their academic achievement. The Summer Reading Challenge encourages students to read whatever they want, which helps instil a love of reading for recreation. Studies show that kids who read for fun often out-perform students who don’t in school. Children who don’t read over the summer experience ‘summer learning loss’. They don’t just feel like they’ve forgotten some of what they’ve learned - they actually do forget it and the effect is cumulative. The Executive Director’s Summer Reading Challenge has had another successful year with around 200 students reading 2,000 books over the school holidays.

The competition closed on 6th February and four winners have been drawn at random, winning an iPad. Congratulations to Hugh Gain - St Mary’s Catholic School, Wellington; Gabrielle Christian - Cathedral Catholic Primary School, Bathurst; Angelina Perera - St Laurence’s Catholic Primary School, Dubbo and Chloe Grellman - Cathedral Catholic Primary School, Bathurst. Congratulations to all who participated by reading at least 10 books over the summer holidays. Many of our students exceeded the target and read dozens of books over the holidays, with a few reading over 50 books! An extraordinary effort.

Angelina Perera from St Laurence’s Primary School, Dubbo with Principal, Susan Byrnes

Mrs Jenny Allen, Executive Director, said “It is wonderful to see so many students being inspired to read their favourite books over the holidays. The Summer Reading Challenge encourages them to read for enjoyment and I’m proud of all participants for making our Diocesan Reading Challenge such a success”. The competition will run again next summer, opening in the final weeks of Term 4. Peta Kingham

Gabrielle Christian and Chloe Grellman from Cathedral Primary School, Bathurst

Hugh Gain from St Mary’s Central School, Wellington with Principal, Leanne Clarke

Page 20 • April 2019 • 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

Assumption School Band head west band on the run!


wo lucky Primary schools in the northern kingdom of our Diocese had some very special visitors in Term 4 last year. The Assumption School band and their teachers took a road trip, dropping in at St Columba’s Primary School, Yeoval and performing and providing workshops with the band at St Laurence’s Primary School, Dubbo. The students there enjoyed listening to and performing with the Assumption students and getting some great tips from their amazing teachers. Making beautiful band music at St Laurence’s

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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 • April 2019 • Page 21

Eugowra Power!


nd of year concerts are always a wonderful affirmation of the talent and commitment of staff and students in our schools and an opportunity to celebrate another year of learning with ‘community’. Congratulations to the staff and students of St Joseph’s Primary School, Eugowra. What a night! The students were so engaged in the whole evening and clearly excited and proud to be part of such a cleverly crafted experience that celebrated being Catholic and the meaning of Christmas with such a contemporary lens. Mrs Ep’s speech highlighted her strong connection to community and the reason she is held in such high esteem. Well done St Joey’s! Janine Kearney

‘The Meaning of Christmas’ from the students at St Joseph’s in Eugowra

Transition Time!


etting children and their families ready for the delights of “big school” is a pleasure and a privilege for all of our Primary school communities.

While each school adds their individual flair and style to programs and structures, they share a common goal: To ensure that children and families are welcomed into each school community and feel adequately prepared for the ‘delights’ associated with Kindergarten and the beginning of this amazing primary school learning journey. Janine Kearney

Transition to school in Dubbo is definitely “Time to Smile”

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Lasallians gather in PNG


s a starting point to 2019, a number of De La Salle Brothers and principals from Lasallian schools in NSW, New Zealand and other areas in the region, met in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from 28th February2nd March. Peter Meers, Principal at James Sheahan Catholic High School, Orange and I represented Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst.

and usually a blackboard instead of a whiteboard. There was no internet, no smartphone, no computer and no air conditioning. The lights were usually turned off to conserve energy and minimise the heat, so the classrooms were fairly dark. Despite the conditions, the students and staff worked well together to rise above the challenges to make the most of a day of learning. Most students travelled an hour or more each way to attend school, which often has around 1,000 students in attendance.

It was a wonderful privilege to attend this meeting, where we were able to tour a number of schools and educational facilities that The students who proudly were built, funded and showed us through their supported by the De La Salle school wore their uniform Brothers. to high standards. We It was quite an eye opening celebrated Mass at Jubilee experience for me, to see Secondary School and it the harsh conditions that was a beautiful experience, students and teachers especially because of the experienced in the classroom amazing music performed and the lack of resources. and sung by all students.  Yet teachers still manage We also visited La Salle to provide rich learning Technical College, De La experiences for their Salle Secondary School students. Education is a in Bomana and Sacred very valuable commodity Heart Teacher’s College.  for children in Papua New Papua New Guinea made an Guinea. They see it as the impression on me, without means to get out of the a doubt. Through this extreme cycles of devastating experience I have a much poverty that our group better understanding of the witnessed first-hand during selfless work of the De La our tour. Salle Brothers, who sacrifice In stifling temperatures and so much for their vocation high levels of humidity, a of education and who make typical classroom in the such a difference in the lives first school we visited was of young people all over the about the size of a standard world. I thank them and the classroom in our Diocese Lasallian Mission Council but would contain anywhere for their hospitality and for from 40 to 60 students, a their organisation of this couple of ceiling fans if they event.  were lucky, no textbooks (or very old textbooks that Joyce Smith were donated from schools Principal in first world countries) La Salle Academy

Students from La Salle Technical College

Gil Skills!


rtificial grass is a clever way to ‘drought-proof’ a school playground and the students at St Joseph’s Primary School, Gilgandra certainly appreciated starting the school year with this soft green turf. Clever is not only confined to the playground in this vibrant school community. The classrooms are full of colour, creativity and ‘cleverness’ as well. Janine Kearney

Colourful St Joey’s classrooms

Lovely green grass-artificial

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 • April 2019 • Page 23

News from St Pius X


UBBO: With the start of the school year, St Pius X has had a busy few weeks, beginning with the opening school Mass. Fr Greg Kennedy celebrated Mass with our school community and blessed our school leadership team, who were awarded their badges.

Mrs Heather Irwin with winning house captains, Monique Craft and Brock McCoy

St Pius’ swimming carnival was a great success! Finally the teachers’ relay team was able to pull off a win of the Floaters and Drowners trophy, being the Floaters after a long stint as the Drowners. Moore House was the overall winner on the day. Heather Irwin

Mrs Irwin with the victorious Floaters swim team

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Manildra


A N I L D R A : Thank you to everyone who joined with us to celebrate our opening school Mass on Saturday 9th February. All students are congratulated for their participation and carrying out their roles so well. Thank you to Father Pius for celebrating Mass for us. All Kindergarten students and their families received a special blessing and a Mary McKillop plant to welcome them to our school community and plant in their garden at home. It was a very special moment. Jacky Parmeter The new Kinder students at St Joseph’s with their families and Fr Pius

Page 24 • April 2019 • 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

Holy Family Catholic Primary School celebrates 40 years KELSO: The 5th February marked 40 years since Holy Family Primary School opened its doors in Kelso on the site of the former Marsden Anglican Girls School.  Marsden closed in 1977 and within 12 months, the site was redeveloped so that Holy Family School could be opened to support Kelso parents who wanted to bring up their children in the Catholic faith, according to Holy Family’s current principal Kevin Arrow.  “The Cathedral Parish opened the school with the Sisters of Mercy in charge as the Kelso

residential area developed in the 1970s,” Mr Arrow said. “The school opened in 1979 with 158 students and in 2019, almost 400 students attend the school”. School Chaplain, Fr Joshy Kaithakulangara, celebrated Mass at Holy Family on 5th February with many past students, parents and staff attending. “A lovely morning tea was held afterwards, giving the special guests a wonderful opportunity to catch up at the great social gathering for the school community”, said Mr Arrow.

Principal, Kevin Arrow with Faye Connors and Neville Bradbury

Congratulations to all past on reaching this wonderful and present staff, students milestone. and members of the Holy Family School community Kimbalee Clews

Novena Mass celebrated at Holy Family


n 17th December 2019, as part of the Bishop’s Advent Novena, Bishop McKenna concelebrated Mass in the Holy Family School Chapel with Fr Mathew Humtsoe in the lead up to Christmas 2018. Bathurst Cathedral parishioners, Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst staff and some students from Holy Family School attended the Mass.

This special occasion is hosted by the School each year and is lovely way to prepare for the coming of Jesus at the end of the school year. Kevin Arrow Seminarian Dong Van Nguyen, Bishop McKenna and Fr Mathew Humtsoe with Altar servers from Holy Family Primary School

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C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • April 2019 • Page 25

Farewell and thank you Mrs Christine Eviston


ATHURST: As we commenced our 2019 school year at Cathedral Primary School, we remembered fondly the farewell we held for Mrs Christine Eviston, who retired from teaching and her role as Religious Education Coordinator at the end of 2018. Mrs Eviston has given many years of devoted service to many hundreds of students. Her care for the individual student and her determination for all students to succeed have been hallmarks of her career. She was an outstanding

facilitator of our Christ Centred Learning model. A school farewell enabled our community to reflect on Mrs Eviston’s career, to share our fond memories and offer her our sincere best wishes. We give thanks for the wonderful gift Mrs Eviston has been to our school and to Catholic Education. We wish her every happiness in the years ahead. Patrick Allen

Success at Trials for Cathedral


t the beginning of Term 1, three talented students represented our school at the Polding Summer Sports Trials, in Lismore. Gabrielle Bennett, Connor Brown and Gilby Glawson represented Cathedral in cricket. Following the trials, Gabrielle Bennett was selected in the girls’ Polding team to compete in the NSW PSSA Cricket Championships to be held in Raby (Sydney) on 28th October 2019. Well done to all involved for the exceptional effort and sportsmanship shown while representing Cathedral School. Patrick Allen

Connor Brown

Gabrielle Bennett

Gilby Glawson

Cathedral School Bathurst Welcomes 2019 Kindergarten Students

Page 26 • April 2019 • 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

James Sheahan Trip to Japan


RANGE: Towards the end of last year, 26 James Sheahan Catholic High School students and three of their teachers went to Japan. The students were in Year 10-11 and study Japanese, so it was a great opportunity for them to experience first-hand the language and culture that they study in the classroom. The trip is part of an ongoing exchange relationship that Orange has with our sister-city of Ushiku in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. Every second year, James Sheahan takes students studying Japanese for a twoweek homestay and sightseeing trip. The trip began with a flight into Osaka where we spent the first night, ahead of exploring Japan’s second largest city. We then travelled by bullet train to Hiroshima where we spent two days experiencing a city of remarkable history and diversity. The students were very moved at the site of what remains of the building over which the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated, and equally moved by the Children’s Peace Monument and the Peace Memorial Museum, all contained within what is now the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. This contrasted with the beautiful Miyajima Island, a short ferry ride off the coast of Hiroshima. We were enchanted with the quaint, oldfashioned narrow streets selling traditional Japanese products and souvenirs. We fed the deer that roam in abundance and were impressed with the World Heritage listed Itsukushima Shrine, whose glittering tori gate appears to float in the sea during high tide. After travelling around for the first four days, it was time to take another bullet train north to Tokyo, where we then changed to a suburban train and travelled north east to Orange’s sister city of Ushiku. We were about to begin the much anticipated chapter of our journey, meeting our host families and living with them for the next 10 days.

The site of the world’s first atomic bomb detonation

visited James Sheahan on their school trip. Still, no one could help being a little nervous when it had now become our turn to be immersed as a family member into each of their homes, eat their food, go to their schools and most dauntingly, speak their language. I must say though, our nerves were quickly calmed when we saw from the start, the warmth and hospitality of each Japanese family and how they made each of us feel so welcome. That evening was the start of many close friendships that became the highlight of our students’ trip.

Our students went to school with their host buddies and also went to places such as the Tokyo Skytree, (the world’s tallest tower), the famous young people’s district of Harajuku and the traditional area of Tokyo’s Sure enough, they were waiting Asakusa. for us at the station, literally with open arms. Admittedly, many of our We also went on day trips as a students had met their host brother school to Tokyo Disneyland and the or sister last March when we played beautiful Nikko area, with its famous host to Ushiku students when they and peaceful Toshogu Shrine. Kegon

Falls was also a breath-taking stop on our way back to Ushiku. The noise and volume of the 100m main waterfall were truly spectacular. In total, we were away for 15 days and all would agree that the trip was unforgettable. We made life-long memories with people and places that will continue to draw us back at the first opportunity in our futures. As a Japanese teacher, watching our students discover for themselves the uniqueness and beauty of Japan, the warmth and hospitality of its people and the growth in self-confidence of their Japanese language ability and cultural understanding is priceless. The students were a pleasure to travel with and I look forward to our next trip in two years’ time with a new group of equally enthusiastic, respectful and motivated students. Helen Clarke Languages Co-ordinator

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 • April 2019 • Page 27

Assumption School celebrates the beginning of 2019


ATHURST: To celebrate the beginning of the school year, the Assumption Catholic School community gathered together for our opening school Mass at the Assumption Church celebrated by Vicar General, Fr Paul Devitt. New students from all grades, including the 2019 Kindergarten group, were welcomed during the opening procession. In 2019, our school theme is SHINE, students, teachers, parents and members of the Parish celebrated the Liturgy of the Eucharist focusing on letting your light shine. Students were encouraged to be a light to the world as highlighted in the Gospel of Mark 5:14-16. Following the Mass, the 2019 School Captains received their badges in a special ceremony involving their parents. Fr Paul blessed all of the Year 6 leaders and prayed for them as they embark on the year ahead. Ngalgarra: ‘Give light to shine, to be bright’. Angela Johnson

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week at St Joseph’s, Eugowra


UGOWRA: To celebrate Catholic Schools Week at St Joseph’s, an invitation was extended to the older and younger generations in the Eugowra community to compare the difference in schooling between the years. The adults answered questions such as the changes in education, computers, travel to school, their favourite teacher, their best friends and their favourite subject. The younger children spoke about their thoughts of what is the heart of our school: which is the staff, students, family, friends and our faith. Morning tea included pancakes for Shrove Tuesday and parents and families enjoyed visiting the classrooms to see the new furniture and modern teaching styles. The following day we gathered together again with parishioners and families for a Liturgy on Ash Wednesday. We remembered that the ashes means we are of sin, but the shape of the cross on our forehead means we have a saviour. All families received a Project Compassion box to give a little of ourselves to others. Cathy Eppelstun

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Transformative Learning at Stannies


ATHURST: Stannies welcomed 141 Year 6 students to the College for Experience Day on Monday 4th March. An evening for parents and families followed, that included College tours, a welcome BBQ and the opportunity to engage in the Transforming Learning Expo hosted by students. Transformative Learning has at its core, the embedding of the key 21st century skills of communication, creativity, critical reflection and collaboration into each classroom. The goal is to transform learning from simply being content driven, to ensuring the learning experiences and indeed the subjects themselves are flexible, dynamic and interconnected. This approach to teaching and learning has begun to move its way into all Stannies classrooms, where students are fully engaged and responding with confidence to the challenges and opportunities of 21st century learning.

Senior students introducing Year 6 visitors to Drama

All Stannies classes in Year 7 embark on the Learning to Learn program, where the focus is on learning styles, Literacy and Numeracy skills and creativity, activity and service. Last Monday, visiting Year 6 students and their families were able to gain insights into how boys best learn at Stannies, as they are educated to become fine young men, ready to take their place in the world beyond school. Dr Anne Wenham

Visitors to a Learning Expo stall

St Stanislaus’ College

Bathurst Educating young men for the future

t: 6331 4177 e: EnrolmEnt EnquiriEs for 2020 wElcomE 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 • April 2019 • Page 29

Introducing the Diocesan


his year, seven youth ministers have been appointed to schools within the Diocese of Bathurst. The role of the youth ministers is to be an authentic witness of the Catholic faith to the youth in our schools and parishes. They assist in implementing the Catholic Schools Youth Ministry Australia (CSYMA) program in a school and support the parish, teachers and Religious Education Co-ordinators with school retreats, liturgies and outreach to the parish and wide community. Watch out for the profile of Anthea Joshua from St John’s College, Dubbo in the next edition of Observer. Caitlin Brand: St Raphael’s Catholic School, Cowra

am lucky enough to be the third Youth Minister at St Matthews.

My aim is to help the students to be able to build on and grow in their own faith journey. I believe that as young people, they are just gathering the resources and don’t know how to build their own path to God. It is my job to help guide, but not tell them what to believe. I have started up a Youth Group that runs after school for Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6. This allows children to enjoy their faith in an out of classroom experience, as well as build stronger friendships with each other. My goal for this year is to see growth in some of the children’s own faith journeys (all would be the dream, but everyone is on their own path and at Last year I graduated from James their own rate). Sheahan Catholic High School Orange and now ministry begins in real life. I was lucky enough to be appointed as the first the Youth Minister at St Raphael’s, Cowra. I look forward to building relationships with the students and building both my and their faith life. I believe that leading others to Christ strengthens our faith. Trust is essential to successfully lead others and I believe the role of Youth Minister creates opportunities for the youth of our church.

After this year, I hope to continue to Emily Bennett: La Salle Academy, work with young people and will study Lithgow to become an Early Childhood/InfantPrimary School teacher. I attended high school at La Salle, where I graduated from in 2016. I feel very privileged to be able to contribute to the community that became my second home during my high school education. This is my second year in the role and I am looking forward to another great year serving as a Youth Minister in the Diocese of Bathurst. I think what I am most looking forward to is being involved in all the amazing events and opportunities that we have planned for the young people and seeing youth ministry in the Diocese continue to grow. I have experienced the vibrancy of young people in a variety of ways over the last 12 months and I am excited to continue to be involved assisting in providing opportunities for young people to encounter Jesus and accompany them on their faith journeys.

Nicole Musfod: MacKillop College, Bathurst This is my second year as Youth Minister as I believe it has enriched my vocation in Religious Education. I graduated as a student from MacKillop College in 2011 and since then have completed a Bachelor of Primary Education, a Graduate Certificate in Religious Education and am currently undertaking further studies in a Masters of Religious Education. The role of Youth Minister provides me with an opportunity to learn what it means to be a part of a community and a school willing to take on new ways of understanding the Christian faith.

Ellen Day: St Matthews Catholic The role of Youth Minister as led me School, Mudgee to becoming the Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council in Bathurst, which I I was born in Mudgee, attended am truly grateful for. St Matthews Catholic School from Kindergarten and graduated last year. I At MacKillop College I have great

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Youth Ministers for 2019 support in the role, feeling a sense of belonging to the school and knowing that I am there to help the students understand a little deeper what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. I am truly blessed to be granted the position for a second year as I know that this is the path set out for me, leading to a future where, hopefully, one day I can be a high school Religious Education teacher in our Diocese.

Will Tracey: James Sheahan Catholic High School, Orange I’m one of the Youth Ministers at James Sheahan, working alongside Sarah Ziegler, under the guidance of Belinda Lee, James Sheahan’s REC: Mission. I recently completed my high school

education at James Sheahan, graduating in 2018. Throughout my schooling, I’ve had a strong connection with my faith. This has been shown through my involvement in the local parish altar serving and being on the reading roster. At school, I was involved with youth retreats and as part of the Youth Mission Team, as both a student and as the Mission Leader last year. This allowed me to encourage and support the youth in our community to build, strengthen and live an active faith life. Being employed with the Diocese at James Sheahan is allowing me to continue my faith journey at a deeper level and at the same time strive to encourage youth to develop and engage in their faith life, through youth retreats put into action our visions for effective or local Mass. engagement, participation and faith formation through mission, within and After completing my year as Youth around the school and parish. So far, the Minister I will be attending Charles most rewarding part of my job has been Sturt University, Bathurst completing a working with the Lasallians, Seb, Phil Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology), and Damian, who facilitated the Youth with hopes of becoming a school Mission Team retreat as well as the recent counsellor in the future. Year 7 retreat. Another highlight for me so far has been the CSYMA Equipping Sarah Ziegler: James Sheahan School in Canberra, which allowed me Catholic High School, Orange to connect and understand my role as This year I will be working with Will a Minister, while also permitting me to Tracey, who is also a Youth Minister create meaningful relationships with at James Sheahan. I graduated Year the Youth Ministers in the Dioceses of 12 at James Sheahan last year with Bathurst and Canberra-Goulburn. I am the completion of the HSC. I am very taking this year to work on my ministry, excited to be working with Will, which may lead to possible plans in the alongside Belinda Lee, to develop and future.

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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 • April 2019 • Page 31

Loreto Students visit Dunedoo and Coolah


UNEDOO: There was no better way to celebrate Catholic Schools Week at St Michael’s Primary School than to share it with Loreto College, Normanhurst as part of our Rural Partnership with them. It was lovely having six girls and two teachers join us for the week. The girls gained a better understanding of life in the country by visiting farms. They also visited the Men’s Shed and Kahkama House. Thanks to all involved

in hosting and sharing your time with the girls. We will see them again when we visit Sydney in December and stay at Loreto.


OOLAH: Recently Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School welcomed seven Year 10 students from Loreto College in early March. They were wonderful ambassadors for themselves and their school. Throughout the week, the girls spent time Loretto students at Sacred Heart School, Coolah

Loretto students at St Michael’s, Dunedoo

in class with our students, helped out with reading, writing, math, sport and even taught a short lesson. The girls also spent time in the community, tried shearing, assisted our local vet who was pregnancy testing some cattle, and caught yabbies in a farm dam. A visit to Coolah Tops

National Park rounded out their stay in Coolah. This is the first time Loreto students have visited Sacred Heart and it was so successful that we will keep our relationship between the schools going for a long time to come. Sr Margaret Flood and Newton O’Dea

The Rite Journey to adulthood for St Raphael’s students C

OWRA: This year, St Raphael’s Year 9 students have been given a unique opportunity to build themselves into selfaware, vital, responsible and resilient adults, thanks to the Rite Journey. St Raphael’s Rite Journey convenor Peter Lowe, said the program created an opportunity for guided reflection, discussion and analysis of issues that are relevant to young people. “The program is targeted at providing students with reference points during the passage to adulthood”, he said. “The course will run for the school year with one dedicated lesson each week coupled with other dynamic learning activities and challenges. The program has achieved some great successes in the schools where it has been implemented. It has been developed with a view to providing a basis to open the doors to many contemporary issues, in ways that are engaging

and relevant”. “The overarching structure asks students to look at four main areas; self, others, the world around them and what do I have to give?”, said Peter. The students began the program with a Calling and Departure ceremony on 19th February at the Cowra POW Campsite. Student Charli Hubber said she was excited about participating in the program.”This program is about us transitioning from children to adults”. “The Rite Journey gives us a space where we can talk about our feelings, challenges we may face and things about life”.

and geography of St Raphael’s”, she said. “Through the program, students explore the issues they might currently be facing, as well as the skills and understanding that are required to navigate their way through beginning adulthood”, Tahnya Fellow program convenor Tahnya said. Isedale said the school aimed to create an and listening engaging and relevant sense of journey “Communicating with others, hearing stories of adult towards adulthood for the students. experiences and having an opportunity to “Events will be carefully crafted, unique share their own stories and experiences”. experiences that are individualised to best suit the particular needs, resources Courtesy of the Cowra Guardian

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Cathedral’s historic Altar restoration complete


fter a painstaking process, the historic 1897 altar at the Cathedral of St Michael and St John, Bathurst has been restored to its original design. The restored Altar was revealed just before Christmas, with Fr Paul Devitt saying it has been very well received by all those who have had the opportunity to see it.  “The result is nothing short of magnificent”, he said.  As part of the restoration process, the relief of the fallen Jesus, which was removed from the original Altar in the 1983 changes, was painstakingly detached from the modern Altar in three pieces and reinstalled to its original place. At the same time, the Sanctuary platform constructed in the 1983 renovation was removed, lowering the floor level and exposing and St John over the past five years.  the original beautiful marble and “The next stage will see an alternative terrazzo flooring. temporary seating layout trialled, with The expert craftsmen from Stone feedback being sought as to its long Restorations have been responsible term suitability”, he said. for the Altar being restored to its former glory. Stone Restorations is a The proposed layout will move to a Rylstone-based business undertaking traditional cruciform shape. Seating the restoration works at the Cathedral. will be placed in the Northern Transept Fr Devitt said this is one of the many (the former Blessed Sacrament Chapel), milestones achieved in the process of and will share a side view of the Altar restoring the Cathedral of St Michael with the seating in the Keppel Street

side of the Cathedral. Fr Paul said, “The Diocese of Bathurst is committed to preserving the historic Cathedral, not only as a place of worship, but as a significant historical building in the Bathurst region”. Your support is always gratefully received. Tax deductible donations can be made at any parish office or online at

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 ~ Online ~ where you will find more information. Or via the app ~ Cathedral Restoration Appeal Donations over $2 are tax deductible C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • April 2019 • Page 33

A Koala Club account gives your child a great start


pening a Catholic Development Fund (CDF) Koala Club account for your child as they commence primary school is a great way to teach them solid financial habits, by saving money each week.

In particular, the CDF provides schools with low interest loans for building, renovation and upgrades, to create the best possible learning environment for our children. If you wish to open an account for your child, please contact your school and they will provide you with the necessary paperwork to get your child’s Koala Club Account off to a great start.

It’s never too late to open a Koala Club account if your children are already at school. The CDF operates the Koala Club, a school-based savings program, in all schools across the Diocese of Bathurst.

Together with Bishop McKenna, we look forward to your child opening an account with the CDF and supporting the Fund and mission of the Diocese.

Approximately 4,800 children currently have the opportunity to regularly save money via a passbook account. Money invested with the CDF is Kinder student, Isaiah Hurst from the Assumption School used to support the mission of the local church, including, health and aged care services, pastoral services provision of housing and services throughout our parishes, and to the poor and marginalised.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the CDF on 1800 451 760 to speak with one of our Customer Service Advisors. Annette Evans Manager CDF

CATHOLIC Development Fund

1800 451 760

Katie Koala invites all 2019 students to open a Koala Club Account! Student Banking is vitally important to support our schools and the mission of the church. It’s also a great way to create good savings habits! To enquire about opening a new Koala Club Account, please contact your Catholic school or our CDF staff

1800 451 760 Email: Disclosure: Deposits with CDF are guaranteed by CDPF Limited, a company established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for this purpose. We welcome your investment with the CDF rather than with a profit oriented commercial organisation as a conscious commitment by you to support the Charitable, Religious and Educational works of the Catholic Church. CDF, nor the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Bathurst are prudentially supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority; contributions to CDF do not obtain the benefit of the depositor protection provisions of the Banking Act 1959; CDF is designed for investors who wish to promote the charitable purposes of CDF. AFSL No: 497040

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Catholic Press Association members to gather in Bathurst


he Australasian Catholic Press Association (ACPA) has announced that its 2019 conference will be held in Bathurst from 10th-13th September.

The purpose of ACPA is to promote harmony and cooperation among members of the Catholic media and with other Catholic and ecumenical associations, and to promote the advancement of the religious print and digital media.

online publications”, said Kimbalee. It has over 100 members throughout Australia, New Zealand “Hosting the ACPA Conference gives the Diocese of Bathurst and the Pacific and aims to promote the principles and a great opportunity to showcase many of the great resources, practices set out in the Second Vatican Council’s decree and programs and services offered within the Diocese. subsequent social instructions on the mass media. A highlight of the ACPA Conference is the Awards Kimbalee Clews, Diocese of Bathurst Communications Dinner, acknowledging outstanding efforts in the Catholic Co-ordinator and Vice President of ACPA, said that she press, including the best magazine and best newspaper”. expects around 50 members of the Association to attend More information about the Conference will be shared closed the Conference. “ACPA members come from the majority of to the date. dioceses across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Fiona Lewis Guinea representing a large number of Catholic print and

Parishes on Mission - Save the date!


Who: There will be a number of keynote speakers on the day, with the day’s focus being an opportunity for parish representatives to Parishes on Mission will see representatives from share experiences, and key parishes across the Diocese gather in Orange, with the aim learnings, from introducing of celebrating the wonderful initiatives being delivered initiatives locally. in parishes every day, and providing an opportunity to share ideas and information. This is a day for all parishes, priests, religious, parishioners and leaders of ministries… Parishes on Mission is a chance for all members of everyone and anyone is invited. our parishes to come together to celebrate and challenge When: Saturday 27th July 2019 from 10am-3.00pm themselves to go forward on mission. ave Saturday 27th July in your diary, to attend an exciting initiative presented by the Diocesan Pastoral Council’s working group, Building a Community of Love and Service.

Where: Kenna Hall, Hill Street, Orange

More information will be shared in the very near future.

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Reflection on the Life of Sr Carmel Acret rsm her active life, she continued to upgrade her qualifications so that she was always able to offer her students the most current information available. Many an accomplished musician, like Fr Tim Cahill, or a professional in one field or another, acknowledges the foundation and influence of Sr Carmel in their later achievements in life.

20th June 1928 - 2nd February 2019


f there is one thing we can say of Sister Carmel Acret with certainty, it is that she was not by nature, a patient woman. Sr Carmel learned patience through waiting. And in her relationship with God, having waited through years of illness and dependence on others, even waiting for her funeral, we can be confident that she too, is now made perfect in fullness of life with God, who is Mercy. Sr Carmel died at St Catherine’s Retirement Home, Bathurst on 2nd February, bringing to a close a long, full life of nine decades. Baptised Patricia Margaret, she was born in Forbes on 20th June 1928 to Josephine Kathleen (Kelly) and William Acret. She had a brother Owen, who predeceased her and a sister Betty, of whom she was very fond, and with whom she spent many happy holidays in South Australia. Born during the Great Depression between the two World Wars, Carmel’s early years knew suffering and hardship, including the death of her father. She completed her education as a boarder at St Mary’s College Bathurst, passing the Leaving Certificate in 1945. During these years, her grandmother insisted that she take music lessons, a gift she continued to develop throughout her life, becoming proficient on the piano and violin and later the organ and the guitar. Carmel entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Mercy in Bathurst on the 8th December 1946. With her novitiate companions, Sr Margaret Commins and Sr Valda Finlay, she made her Vows as a Sister of Mercy on the 12th September 1949, and took as her motto “In God alone”. This year she would have celebrated 70 years as a Sister of Mercy. From the outset, Carmel hoped her apostolate would be teaching music. But she had to wait 12 years before that dream was to be realised. Having gained her qualification as a Primary School Teacher with the Catholic Education Board in 1949,

she taught from 1951 to 1962, mainly in secondary schools in Bathurst, Binnaway, Mudgee, Orange and Wellington. During these years in Orange, she played the big pipe organ in St Joseph’s Church and she taught me to play the organ too. For significant occasions such as Anzac Day, we performed an unusual duet - Carmel on the keyboard and me on the foot pedals, which she found difficult to reach because of her shortness of stature. In 1963 she officially became a music teacher in schools and with private pupils and continued in that role until 1976 in the towns of Binnaway, Dubbo, Orange, Wellington and Forbes. In response to the call of the Second Vatican Council, Carmel chose to train as a Special Education teacher and took remedial classes in both Bathurst and Wilcannia-Forbes Dioceses for children with learning difficulties. She is well remembered at James Sheahan Catholic High School in Orange, as well as in Catholic schools in Parkes, Narromine, Peak Hill and Trangie for her success with these classes. Carmel was a brilliant teacher. Whether it was languages, geography, mathematics or theory of music, Carmel could make difficult concepts accessible to the most challenging students. She had the best interests of her pupils at heart and that’s what she was able to convey. Throughout

But it was in church music and liturgy in the second half of her life that Carmel really shone. Carmel taught herself and young people in parishes the guitar and organised youth Masses, which were enthusiastically attended. In Wellington, Forbes and Narromine, Carmel not only established and conducted choirs and worked with the priests and laity in preparing beautiful liturgies, ever the teacher, she trained others to be able to take over these ministries from her with confidence and competence. She was also a sensitive accompanist and she loved being back in Forbes where the Acret name has long been associated with bands and musicians. Sr Carmel was a woman who, in Catherine McAuley’s words, did ordinary things extraordinarily well. And she expected no less of others. You always knew where you stood with Carmel. She had found her voice long before the Feminist Movement encouraged women to speak out. In many ways, she was a very private person and was very humble about her own achievements. She had a delightful sense of humour and a contagious laugh. She cherished her independence, and found it extremely difficult to cope with becoming so physically dependent later in life. But in spite of her impatience with having to wait for her needs to be met, she was always most appreciative of the kind word and the gentle response to her pain and discomfort. Carmel, you waited patiently these last weeks for God to take you home to Heaven. Now the waiting is over. Time and eternity are one. Enter into the joy of your God, in whom alone you placed your trust.

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Sr Patricia E. Powell rsm

Rest in Peace Sr Mary Clement Lennox rsm for the availability of the car, she got herself a push bike! This was her means of transport for the first six years of her Ministry in Mudgee. In 1991 the Parish, mainly through the St Vincent de Paul Society and the Catholic Women’s League, provided a motorised bike. At this time she was 66 years old. Her motto was “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me”. She certainly put her Lord to the test!

15th May 1925 - 17thFebruary 2019


ister Mary Clement, Nancy Carmel Mary Lennox, was born on 15th May 1925. She was the second youngest of eleven children born to James and Teresa Lennox. Nancy received all her education from the Sisters of Mercy at St Matthew’s Primary and Secondary Schools in Mudgee. Nancy entered the Sisters of Mercy in Bathurst on 15th August 1943, in the middle of the Second World War. As the youngest daughter in the family, she was obviously much loved by her father. He was very upset by her decision to enter the Convent and even came to Bathurst to take her home when she was a Postulant. However, on seeing how distressed she was at the prospect of leaving, he returned home without her. She was received as a Novice on 17th May 1944. Nancy came to the Chapel that day dressed as a bride, as was the custom then. She was given the name Sister Mary Clement and never reverted to the use of her Baptismal name. Nancy’s father did not attend the ceremony. Sister Clement was professed on 17th May 1946. During her Novitiate she gained her Teacher’s Diploma with the Catholic Board of Education and the following year was appointed to Wellington to teach second class at Sacred Heart Infant School. Thus began 37 years of classroom teaching and administration in primary schools throughout the Bathurst and Wilcannia/Forbes Dioceses. During her years of teaching she was also the Community Bursar for ten of those years and Superior of the Community in Binnaway for five years. In 1974, she did a renewal course in Canberra, and in 1980, attended Assumption Institute in Melbourne attending to her “spiritual and religious life”. In April 1984, Sr Clement requested to retire from the school aposolate, at the end of 1984 and to take part in a course in preparation for a second aposolate which was granted. Thus began the next very fruitful years of ministry in Clem’s life.

Gradually, over the years, Clem did grow less able but with the help and support of the parish priests and the people of Mudgee, she was able to continue there until a badly fractured shoulder in 2016 brought her to St Catherine’s in Bathurst where she decided, with encouragement, to stay. In 1995, at the age of 70, she wrote a profile of herself: “At the present time I am engaged in Pastoral Care and Catechetics. I visit the Mudgee District Hospital, visiting all denominations, and taking Holy Communion to the Catholics. I visit both the Mudgee and Pioneer Nursing Homes. Sometimes I give a Communion Service at these Homes. I visit the Kanandah Hostel and take Holy Communion once a week. I visit a number of ‘shut ins’ on a regular basis and do follow up visits to some patients who leave hospital. I visit the Day Care Centre once a week. I have a Year 6 Scripture class each week at Mudgee Primary School and often fill in at Cudgegong Valley School when needed. Each year I prepare children from the State schools for the Sacrament of Confirmation. I also help out preparing children for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. I am an Auxiliary member and also a Conference member of the St Vincent de Paul Society and give my services to the Centre one afternoon a week. I am a member of the Catholic Women’s League and of the Parish Council. I am a Eucharistic Minister, Commentator and Reader in St Mary’s Church”.

When Sr Clement arrived in Mudgee In 1986 she was appointed to the there was one community car for the Community of Mercy Sisters in use of the Sisters. To enable her to set Mudgee. And what did that entail? up her ministry without having to wait

But, while the break from her loved Mudgee was really hard for her, with characteristic common sense she decided to make the best of it. She had one condition though - Sr Jo Fish would take her back to celebrate her Jubilee of 70 years as a Professed Sister of Mercy with the people of Mudgee! Sr Clem was a woman full of gratitude. The least kindness or assistance always solicited a letter full of thanks and usually a “scratchie” or two. She was a woman of great faith and trust in God who loved to serve, and spent her life doing that. She did not seem to seek for anything in return except the pleasure of giving. When she received recognition for what she did she accepted it with great simplicity and enjoyment. In March 2001, she received the Premier’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Mudgee Community and in the Australia Day Honours, she was awarded an OAM. Her trust in a loving God was limitless it appears. She had no fear of going to meet her Maker. On the Saturday before she died she told a staff member that she was going to die the following day and set about writing of her gratitude for all the care the staff at St Catherine’s had given her. On Sunday morning she asked for her Rosary Beads because she was going to die. As a pair of Rosary beads was placed into her hand, she breathed her last. Dear Sister Clem may you now rest from all your labours. Dr Bernadine Evens rsm

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 • April 2019 • Page 37

Vale Sister Berna Garrety rsm 2nd January 1919 - 30th January 2019


aptised Mary Josephine Garrety, Berna was born on 2nd January 1919 in Lithgow to Patrick and Anne Christina (Maloney). Brothers Frank and William, sisters Pauline, Anne, Dulcie and Thelma meant that the experience of family life was strong. Patrick Garretty was a State school teacher and the family often moved to one teacher schools in villages like Brawlin near Cootamundra, Ilford on the edge of the Capertee Valley and Perthville on the Vale Creek outside Bathurst. Perhaps this experience of being prepared to move to offer education to children prepared Mary Josephine for the frequent moves that became part of her life as a Sister of Mercy, also as a teacher. Berna’s own teaching career saw her teach high school in many towns including that life were sheltered from the Bathurst, Dubbo, Mudgee, Orange, difficulties the rest of the population faced. Not so of course. Berna and Wellington, Carcoar and Forbes. the Sisters she lived with saw at As the eldest of the Garrety family, first hand through their contact born at the end of the First World with their pupils and their families, War, Berna came into a precarious the suffering and difficulties faced world. The Great Depression came by many in the communities they along when she was only 10 years. served. A normal part of the day Berna learnt early to be responsible to day life of the Sisters included and organised and to share and save, visitation of families, care of orphans qualities which served her well in her and the elderly, food for the hungry, later community life and apostolate clothes for the destitute, in fact all the works of Mercy that gave help as a Sister of Mercy. and hope to those in need. Berna’ life was nurtured in a family with strong faith so it was no The process of adaption and renewal surprise that, as a young woman, she in the Church and Religious life decided to join the Sisters of Mercy. since the Vatican Council in the On 28 th March 1937 she entered the early 1960s impacted Berna’s life novitiate of the Sisters of Mercy, with new ways and opportunities to taking her vows of poverty, chastity see her vocation as a Sister of Mercy and obedience on 17th January 1940. opening up possibilities, which She chose as her motto “behold the Berna grasped with interest and handmaid of the Lord” dedicating enthusiasm. When she retired from her life to a relationship with God teaching, Berna took up bookkeeping through the works of Mercy among and clerical work in the Office of St people. For 80 of her 100 years Catherine’s Aged Care. She taught Berna was a Sister of Mercy! For 40 Catechetics in the State schools in of those years, Berna carried on the Kelso and Raglan. Berna also joined traditional work of a Sister of Mercy, Magellan Bowling Club and was she embraced teaching, upgrading an active and valued member for a her skills as she went along. Her number of years. main subjects were Maths, Ancient Among the new windows in her History and Botany. life, a most unexpected one opened In spite of the dramatic world for Berna in 1980 when she events, it might seem that life for a accompanied her sister Dulcie on a Sister of Mercy was on a steady path trip overseas. Such an impression and that somehow women who lived did travel make that, in 1988, Berna

travelled to the Holy Land and undertook a three month personal renewal course in Biblical Studies at Ecco Homo in Jerusalem. Under the building where she stayed is the excavated site of the Roman Barracks where Jesus was scourged before his execution. We can only speculate how important it was to Berna to spend time in the land where Jesus lived and walked and began to build the very foundations of all that she was and believed. Sr Berna was an ordinary woman who lived through extraordinary times, who allowed those times to continue to shape her and who remained open to new people and experiences. Her simple enjoyment of her own 100 th birthday was clear to see. I think we have to say Berna was an extraordinary woman shaped and honed by many influences, who always moved forward trusting that her motto chosen so long ago,“behold the handmaid of the Lord”, meant that her hand was held firmly and that her way forward would always be clear. I would like to finish by quoting what Sr Patricia Powell concluded with at the celebration of Berna’s 100th birthday. Many life journeys are very short. Some go on for decades. But relatively few people make it to 100 years. All of us have shared different parts of this journey with Sr Berna. It is up to each of us to recognise how that sharing has been part of our own life building. Like Berna, we have the opportunity in our own lives to be part of the changes happening around us, to bring with us the faith that sustains us to remain true to our foundations but to allow those changes to expand our awareness of the presence of God in our lives and world. I believe Catherine McAuley, the first Sister of Mercy, has already recognised and welcomed Berna as yet another woman who lived Mercy and is certainly worthy of being celebrated as a worthy “handmaid of the Lord”

Page 38 • April 2019 • 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

Sr Carmel Carroll rsm

Remembering Sister Kath English rsj After retiring from teaching, Kath ministered as Pastoral Assistant in Coonabarabran and was a member of the Diocesan Catechetical team. Her work with the Catechists in the State schools was a great joy to her. Kath was always a ‘people person’ and she really enjoyed the opportunity to ’spread her wings’ at Coonabarabran.

7th December 1929 - 6th February 2019


r Kath English died peacefully at St Catherine’s Aged Care in Bathurst on Wednesday, 6th February 2019. Born in Randwick in 1929 to Richard and Mary English, Kath grew up in Manildra with her step sister and two sisters. Kath’s father was a hotel proprietor and Kath would often joke that that she grew up in a pub! Kath attended St Joseph’s School, Manildra for her primary education and in 1943 she began boarding at St Joseph’s College, Perthville where she completed her secondary education to intermediate level. On 2nd February 1946, Kath entered religious life at Perthville and made her first Profession in 1948 with the name Sr Bernadine. Following her teacher training, Kath (Sr Bernadine) taught primary grades in many places throughout the Diocese of Bathurst including Gilgandra, Canowindra, Coonabarabran, West Bathurst, Dubbo, Molong and Oberon, often holding the position of School Principal. She was very gifted both as a teacher and a principal, having a great love for her students and a wonderful rapport with both them and their parents. Being an out-going person, Kath kept contact with past students who loved her and often visited her. Kath was Community Superior in many places

where she ministered, and her wonderful sense of humour was a great asset in the classroom and in the community. In 1989, Kath was appointed to Perthville as Sister-in-Charge, a position she held for seven years. This was a large community comprising active sisters engaged in teaching and conducting the Boarding College, along with retired sisters. The position enabled Kath to fully utilise her interpersonal, collaborative and administrative skills, and her gifts of hospitality, kindness and generosity. Kath’s organisational skills were an asset on many a Perthville committee over the years. Her Renewal Year at the Assumption Institute in Melbourne was an enjoyable experience for Kath and she maintained contact with many of the participants.

Kath loved life. Her sense of fun and easy conversation were endearing qualities. She entered with gusto into the Perthville Sisters’ fusion with the Central Josephites and proceeded to re-connect with her Josephite sisters with enthusiasm. Kath had the special charism of caring for the priests, listening to them and welcoming them to the community. She loved her connection with the Josephite Associates, frequently organising prayer days with Associates who became close friends. Her faithfulness to God, her love of people and her appreciation of her Josephite Sisters were central to her life. Kath accepted her transfer to St Catherine’s in 2013, using her time to deepen her relationship with God. The Mass of Christian Burial for Sr Kath was celebrated at St Joseph’s Chapel, Perthville on Monday 11th February and she was interred in the Sisters of St Joseph Cemetery at Perthville. Sr Alice Sullivan rsj

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

For more information about exploring your vocation contact Fr Carl Mackander: or Fr Reynold Jaboneta: C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • April 2019 • Page 39














08-10 December 2019

Perth, WA

Contact Deacon Josh Clayton for more information. Email: Page 40 • April 2019 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Profile for Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

Catholic Observer - April 2019  

The quarterly publication of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

Catholic Observer - April 2019  

The quarterly publication of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

Profile for diobxobs