Volume 46, No 4
Let the just rejoice, For their Justifier is born. Let the sick and infirm rejoice, For their Saviour is born. Let the captives rejoice, For their Redeemer is born. Let slaves rejoice, For their Master is born. Let free men rejoice, For their Liberator is born. Let All Christians rejoice, For Jesus Christ is born. St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-440)
Bishop’s Christmas Message ~ 2011
ow do we prepare to celebrate Christmas? It is a moment of grace for us. We can enter the mystery of the Word of God made flesh: and gain strength and wisdom to announce that good news to the world. Part of the preparation is to look back on the year that has passed. Last August, I travelled with 25 (mostly) young people to World Youth Day in Madrid. It was a true pilgrimage, in which our individual and collective journeys intertwined and strengthened one another. We celebrated Mass every day. This was no burden: for many it was a highlight. Sometimes we worshipped in magnificent old churches with wonderful music, but at other times in smaller, quieter ways. On one occasion, we had to clear a space in the storeroom of a student hostel. What enlivened our celebrations was the fact that the Eucharist was connected with our life together as a little church on the move. We had the full ecclesial experience together: word, sacrament and community, in communion with the universal Church. The Word of God we heard, pondered and talked about came from the Bible and the preaching and teaching we listened to. It also came from what we saw and from the daily events we tried to see in the light of faith. Our community was real and inescapable. As we rode and walked through Spain together, we were learning
the truth of what Pope Benedict would tell us (and two million others) in Madrid: “You cannot follow Jesus on your own”. More recently, I made another pilgrimage with a slightly older group. In October, the 40 Australian bishops travelled to Rome to pray at the tomb of St Peter and meet his successor. This is the Ad Limina visit that diocesan bishops must make every five years or so. It also involves discussion of a report on each local church and meetings with the heads of the various departments
The visit is like a bishop’s life generally: a mix of administrative and spiritual activities which he tries to carry out as a hearer and doer of the Word. At each place sacred to Christian memory, I prayed on behalf of our local church. In bringing to the Lord our hopes and fears as his People of the Diocese of Bathurst, we also have to listen to what his
(‘dicasteries’) which support the Pope in his ministry. As well as celebrating Mass at St Peter’s, the bishops do the same at the three other basilicas of Rome: at the tomb of St Paul; at the major church dedicated to Mary, Mother of God; and at the Cathedral of Rome - St John’s on the Lateran hill.
Spirit is saying and where he is leading us. 50 years ago, on Christmas Day of 1961, Blessed John XXIII convoked the Second Vatican Council. This gathering turned out to be so important in the history of the Church that we have only just begun to grasp its significance and harvest its fruits. The Australian Bishops have proclaimed a Year of Grace starting on Pentecost Sunday next year. We have already published some information about this and more will be coming. It would be a great time for us to organise a Diocesan Assembly. The timing, shape and preparation for such a meeting will need prayerful thought, considering our circumstances and needs. But if we are genuinely open to the promptings of the Spirit and the gift of wisdom, our efforts will be blessed. I wish everyone a beautiful and renewing celebration of the Birth of our Redeemer. Mary, Mother of God, pray for us! + Michael McKenna Bishop of Bathurst
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 2
You’re invited on a journey……
lanning has already begun in every Diocese in the country to respond to the Australian Catholic Bishops’ invitation to “contemplate the face of Christ” in a Year of Grace to span from Pentecost 2012 to Pentecost 2013. The Bathurst Diocese had its first encounter with the notion of this special year last month, at a gathering in Wellington of Priests, Pastoral Associates, Parish Secretaries, Chaplains and Aspirant Deacons from around the Diocese. We were fortunate to have the National Project Officer for the Year of Grace, Father Peter Brock, facilitate the meeting and explain to us first hand, what the Year is all about.
year of 2000 and the Pope’s challenge to how Christ is calling our Church to move the whole Church to “contemplate the into the future. This was a question asked by one Bishop face of Christ”. There is no set agenda or outcome for as they waded through seemingly Like the disciples at the first the Year. Archbishop Coleridge describes endless paperwork at one of the Bishops’ it as “…an Abrahamic journey”. If Pentecost, we commit ourselves to Plenary meetings and it led to a much anything, the goal is to co-operate with start afresh from Christ deeper conversation. God’s Grace. The Bishops invite you to For several years, the Bishops had been Pope Benedict XVI has also proclaimed join them in this journey of prayer so that reflecting deeply on the life of the Church a Year of Faith for the whole Church, this “Pentecost” year will be for our nation in Australia and asking how they can to begin on 11th October 2012, the 50th and all Australians truly a “Year of Grace”. better serve the needs of you, God’s anniversary of the beginning of the You are called to respond faithful people, in bringing the peace Second Vatican Council. The Bishops are and good news of Jesus Christ to our confident that, with grace leading to While a few common activities across nation. faith, and faith responding to grace, the the nation are being planned, local The Year of Grace is their gift to the Year of Faith and our Year of Grace will communities are called on to respond thoughtfully and creatively to the Church to celebrate and renew our faith complement each other. and life as Catholics. It will take place No agenda….just a journey in faith invitation to participate in this time of prayerful, spiritual renewal; a time to from 27th May 2012 to 19th May 2013 and is an exhortation from the Bishops to “Start The Year of Grace is intended to refocus our hearts, lives and actions on permeate everything that is already the presence and person of Jesus Christ. afresh from Christ.” Archbishop Mark Coleridge says “The happening in the Church in Australia at More ‘local’ information will be available Year of Grace has been like a seed, being parish, diocesan and national level. It’s as planning progresses and if you have watered gently and growing with tender a chance for reflection - and for us to any questions or ideas, you can email care. It comes from the Bishops’ reflection ask ‘What’s this got to do with Jesus?’ in them to: firstname.lastname@example.org. org.au. A national website - www. over a number of years on the Apostolic everything we do. letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (at the start It will be an opportunity to enter into yearofgrace.catholic.org.au - will also of the new millennium). This letter recalls prayerful discernment about the ways in keep us in touch with what’s happening the events in Rome during the Jubilee which Christ is present here and now and around the country.
What’s this got to do with Jesus?
Year of Grace
Starting afresh from Christ Pentecost ~ Pentecost 27th May 2012 to 19th May 2013 Contemplation • Communion • Mission Website www.yearofgrace.catholic.org.au Email:…… email@example.com An initiative of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 3
Different gifts…same Spirit T he 2011 National Conference of Diocesan Commissions for Ecumenism and Inter-religious Relations was held in Adelaide in September. It was attended by representatives of Australian and New Zealand Catholic dioceses, who gathered to talk about their local progress in pursuing positive Ecumenical and Inter-religious Relations in their diocesan areas. Bishop Michael McKenna (who is a member of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-religious Relations) attended and invited me to represent the Diocese of Bathurst. The focus of the Conference was Varieties of gifts… always the same Spirit. Ecumenism and Inter-religious Relations have some elements in common in that they both desire to develop a dialogue between people. Ecumenism is dialogue between Christian Churches focusing on what unites, rather than what divides the Christian Churches. Inter-religious Relations is a dialogue between people of different religions. However, dialogue is not between religions, but between believers. Over the weekend, four speakers addressed the group about their experiences in Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue. Dr Daniel Madigan SJ delivered a lecture entitled Dialogue in Difficult Times. He discussed the possibilities and progress of a dialogue between Christians and Muslims. The most important point I picked up from this lecture was that successful dialogue requires a transformation of the heart. Dr Madigan made the comment that “we aren’t anybody until we are in
with one another. During this time we have learnt that more unites us than divides us. Receptive Ecumenism requires Churches to make a “programmatic shift” from asking what dialogue partners need to learn from us, to asking what we can learn from them. All Churches are thinking about how to present the Gospel in the face of post-modernism. Ecumenism can help Churches to learn in the face of challenges, by learning from each other. Dr Miriam Wiljens travelled from the Netherlands and in her lecture, Pastoral Care of Inter-Church Families, focused on Inter-church marriages and Pastoral Care in sickness. The Conference was a great experience for me, really opening my eyes to the world that is Ecumenism and Inter-religious relations. I met a lot of really interesting people from across Australia and New Zealand who are passionate about pursuing the ideas discussed at this conference further. The main point that I took away from this weekend was that “dialogue is Heidi with Bishop McKenna in Adelaide not simply an exchange of ideas; it relationship”. Being in relationship with is an exchange of gifts. The Church another doesn’t cancel out differences, receives the fullness of the Spirit it lives with them. It is important to note only in the totality of gifts made by that the aim of inter-religious dialogue all her members”. This means that is not to develop a ‘world civilisation’ there is co-operation required to based on compromise and sacrifice but make Ecumenism work. Dialogue is a ‘world of civilisations’ based on mutual an integral part of the Mission of the Church. The main aims of dialogue are respect for each other. Dr Gerard Kelly and Dr Denis Edwards to foster love, peace and unity among talked about Receptive Ecumenism. people; “There will be no peace within 40 years of Ecumenical dialogue has nations before peace within religions”. Heidi Welsh set Churches into new relationships
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CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 4
Vicar General Retires
A reflection by Father Aeneas (Hugh) Delaney
shall retire as Vicar General at the end of December. At this stage in my life, I have been invited by the Catholic Observer to share briefly some thoughts of my life. After leaving school, I trained for school teaching, which I loved, but I felt God was calling me to be a Priest. On fulfilling my bond, I went to Father Michael Dunne and Bishop Norton, who accepted me to go to the seminary. I was ordained by Bishop Norton at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John on 30th July 1955. I was the 10th in our family of 11 and my mother always let it be known that she prayed that one of the family would be a priest. My father and mother both died shortly before I was ordained. I pray for them at every Mass I celebrate. I am most grateful for the gift of Priesthood. It has been a happy 55 years, a few years doing supply work and seven months as Assistant Priest at Cowra and then as Assistant Priest at St. Joseph’s Orange for seven years. I was appointed Inspector of Schools at the time of the Wyndham scheme. It was a difficult time, with the closure of many small primary and secondary schools. Also, at that time, government money was given for science laboratories, so we had the building of Diocesan Catholic Girls High School (MacKillop College) with the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of St. Joseph sharing the staffing. The Religious Sisters and Brothers of the Diocese were a
constant source of encouragement and inspiration to me. Bishop Thomas appointed me Parish Priest of Mudgee and after three years, invited me to join the Movement for a Better World, where I served in the renewal of the Church according to Vatican II in Australia and other countries. After seven years, I returned from MBW headquarters in Rome to Bathurst and was appointed to parish work and then Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Orange for seven years, which was an instant call to growth and holiness. I applied to be Parish Priest of Assumption Parish, West Bathurst and after three
years, Bishop Dougherty appointed me full time Vicar General. After a short gap on the death of Bishop Dougherty, I was reappointed full time Vicar General by Bishop McKenna. Looking back, I am also most grateful for the opportunity to have made two 30 day Ignatian Retreats on my own with a director - the first in Wales and the second in Brisbane. As Vicar General, I found the weekly meeting with the Assumption Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society inspiring, as the members give themselves to the service of the poor. I was also inspired by the Holy Spirit 13 years ago to take up daily Christian Meditation and this expresses itself in two groups meeting for Christian Meditation every week. I have treasured the support and friendship - and trust in me and encouragement - of the bishops, priests, religious and laity of the Diocese. I have also been inspired by the staff at the Chancery Office and the Catholic Development Fund; and I constantly admired the staff’s work with the Bishop in administration of the Diocese. Finally, I pray that the Diocese will experience growth in the Youth Apostolate and the number of priests, deacons, religious and dedicated laity to proclaim the Kingdom of God. Father A.F. (Hugh) Delaney
Father A F (Hugh) Delaney
or two decades, Father Aeneas ‘Hugh’ Delaney has served the Diocese of Bathurst as Vicar General, first for the late Bishop Patrick Dougherty, more recently for me. The priest who holds the office of Vicar General has great trust confided in him by the bishop of the day. This priest has full authority of governance to ensure that the workings of the local church are not interrupted when the bishop is away or incapacitated. The bishop must be able to share freely with him all the concerns of his own office, confident of his discretion and loyalty. Both Bishop Dougherty and I found that this trust was well placed in Father Delaney. Moreover, we found that his integrity meant that he would be
completely frank with us whenever our views or judgment needed to be challenged. But, once a decision was made, Hugh backed us to the hilt. Father Delaney received a more basic trust when he was ordained a priest. He has lived this out with fidelity and a willingness to be constantly renewed. His openness to new developments in the Church, like Movement for a Better World and Christian Meditation, have been evidence of this. His continuing work for the Society of St Vincent de Paul has shown that he understands we can meet Christ today in our friendship with the poor and powerless.
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+ Michael McKenna Bishop of Bathurst
St Joseph’s School ~ Blayney Zoo Snooze
3 and Y4 students from St Joseph’s Primary School in Blayney, enjoyed an overnight excursion to Dubbo supervised by teachers Mrs Kellie Sullivan, Miss Karly Sullivan, Mr Joel Hartmann and six parents. The students visited the Old Dubbo Gaol. They had a fascinating tour learning about the conditions in past times, the different sections for the male and female prisoners and even heard a few haunting stories. There was a stop over at the Western Plains Cultural Centre where they met visiting artist, Penny Volkofsky. They interacted with Penny, learnt some tips on water colouring from another artist and then painted their own picture. On arrival at the Zoo, the group set themselves up in the semi-permanent tent before beginning a guided night walk with some of the Keepers. The next morning, they were involved in a Meet the Reptiles Keeper talk and then allowed some free time to visit the rest of the zoo. Kellie Sullivan
Invitation to Oberon On 24th/25th March 2012, St. Joseph’s Central School Oberon will be celebrating the centenary of its foundation. The School opened when four Josephite Sisters from Perthville arrived in Oberon in 1911 to provide Catholic education for the Catholic students of the town and parish. Past students are asked to leave school photos and memorabilia (clearly marked with the owner’s name) at the School for the Centenary display. All past students are cordially invited to attend the centenary celebrations to meet up with old friends and to share memories of school days at St. Joseph’s Central School.
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CATHOLIC CATHOLIC OBSERVER OBSERVER - DECEMBER SUMMER EDITION EDITION -- PAGE PAGE 6
Vale Sister Philippa Collins rsj W
19th May 1914 ~ 14th October 2011
hen her earthly life ended at St Catherine’s in Bathurst, Sister Philippa’s death, like her life, was particularly gentle and peaceful. In this quiet little Sister, the Josephites had lost one of their most refined and talented. Everything about her and everything she did had to be ‘just so’. But what was most special about her was her gentle love for people, a gentleness that overrode the perfectionist in her. For her Mass of Christian Burial in St Joseph’s Chapel Perthville, the Sisters were joined by family members, priests of the Diocese and a large number of friends. Dean of the Cathedral, Father Patrick O’Regan, was Chief Celebrant, assisted by Fathers Mark McGuigan, Garry McKeown, Hugh Delaney, John Frawley and Pat Ruane. Her nephew Phillip Collins was Acolyte for the Mass. Comparing Sister Philippa to Tabitha from The Acts of the Apostles (Ch 6), Father O’Regan remarked in his Homily: “… we are gathered here to mourn the loss of a disciple, and many of us could bring out from among our possessions items that are the handiwork, musical or actual, of Sr Philippa. And many of us can recall the good works she performed, whether to benefit us or other people”. In her personal profile Sister Philippa wrote, “I had a sheltered and loving childhood”. Born in Orange, the second of five children and the only daughter of James and Maude Collins, she was baptised Nancy May. When she entered the Novitiate at Perthville at 18, she had been educated by Perthville Josephites at Forest Reefs, Brown Josephites at
Six members of the Catholic Women’s League from Lithgow and one Diocesan member from Bathurst travelled to Melbourne recently to attend the CWL of Australia’s 45th National Biennial Conference. The Conference opened with 300 women from all over Australia attending Mass celebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The theme “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life” was followed over the three days by many wonderful presenters. The Conference ended with a dinner and the six ladies returned very tired but very happy after such an uplifting experience.
breaking the music down to what was “do-able”. From 1980 to 1984 she was engaged as a music consultant, making periodic visits to 15 schools in the Diocese assisting the school Sisters and lay teachers. In 1985 she began 10 years of what was referred to as “retirement”; appointed to a further four convents giving community support, assisting with visitation and training young organists to assist with Liturgy, all while keenly interested in day care and senior citizen activities. Philippa described her ministry in the Congregation as follows: “I chose this Religious Order to be a missionary. Because I had a love for music, my superiors decided I should be a music teacher. I became a hard-working teacher, striving to give the children a love for music. I thank God that I had the gift of composing songs and hymns and writing poems. I taught piano, violin, singing, speech and a number of other instruments. I also prepared the dinner for the Community each day. I had the honour of being Sacristan for many years. I prepared the choir for the Sunday liturgies, as well as speech and choral work for eisteddfods. Teaching a large number of non-Catholics, I was helping the ecumenical movement. The annual concert was my responsibility. The music teacher was, indeed, the breadwinner for the Community, teaching long hours six days a week. My great interest was school music”. In reading this, it is interesting to note her economy of words, especially “The annual concert was my responsibility”. By another, it was described as “contributing so much to the cultural development of the children in little isolated towns” and “frantically preparing annual concerts”. In 1995, having celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, Philippa came from Oberon to St Anne’s, “fully retired” this time. She was a lovely presence there and specialised in hospitality to visitors and her trademark afternoon teas. When she needed high level assistance, she moved to St Catherine’s where she was cared for beautifully and was a wonderful advertisement for her Congregation. Philippa was more than ready. She had spoken on a number of occasions about the thrill it would be to see the face of God and to come into that loving embrace. As Father O’Regan concluded his inspiring Homily, “Philippa, our sister, may you rest in peace and may you rise in glory!”.
Sr Jean Cain rsj
Wyong and Sisters of Mercy at Monte Sant’ Angelo, Stanmore and again back in Orange at Santa Maria. Philippa was pre-deceased by her parents and four siblings. She was nine when she decided to be a Religious and a Missionary and never deviated from this decision. Later, when she confided this to Father Kelly in Orange, he directed her to Perthville, because it was “a missionary Order”. The Sisters are not sure how he came to this conclusion, but are very glad he did! After her Profession of First Vows in 1934 Sister Mary Phillip, as she was then known, remained at Perthville for musical training. From 1936 until 1980 she taught music in many parts of the Bathurst Diocese and was in charge of music in the large Federation Josephite School at Page ACT. She referred to her time in Canberra as the highlight of her life, especially meeting so many of the Sisters of the Federation. Philippa was particularly good at
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Aboriginal Advisory Committee meets in Bathurst O n 2nd November, the NSW Catholic Education Commission’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee visited Bathurst for a two-day meeting. The Committee meets four times a year three meetings at the Catholic Education Office in Sydney, while the final one is held in alternating venues and this year was Bathurst’s turn to act as host.
The Aboriginal consultants and representatives travelled long distances to attend the meeting at the Chancery Office and were impressed by the way the friendly staff there openly welcomed them to their working environment and made them feel very comfortable. The delegates were grateful to Bishop McKenna for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to join them briefly at the beginning of their meeting. The Bishop chatted to each person before warmly welcoming the delegates to the Bathurst Diocese and leading them in a ‘gathering’ prayer. The Acting Executive Director of Schools, Brian Morrissey, also welcomed the Committee, reflecting on the importance of Aboriginal history in Bathurst. Brian’s empathy for Aboriginal people and his knowledge of the Wiradjuri nation impressed the delegates, who appreciated his kind words about their culture.
Schools Consultant, Janine Kearney, highlighted the significance of the delegates’ respective roles in supporting Aboriginal children to achieve in our Catholic schools. Janine also touched on Aboriginal history and how the enrolment of Aboriginal students in our Catholic schools has risen significantly - credit for this being given to the Aboriginal Education Workers who work tirelessly supporting Aboriginal children to achieve. Education Officer, Lorraine Short, blessed the Committee with a presentation on the importance of the ‘Indij Readers’ being implemented into the new RE curriculum. This literacy resource will complement a greater understanding and acceptance of the language and culture of Aboriginal people. It will also be an extra learning tool that will enhance an Aboriginal
BISHOP NORTON’S DIARY – 1939 Edited by Fr Tim Cahill JANUARY... 6th: Mass in Saint Mary’s. Told Co-adjutor Archbishop of our progress with Brother Conlon. 7th: (1st Mass in Combara Church to-day) Mass in Saint Mary’s. Returned to Bathurst by train. Very hot. 8th: (100°) 6.30 in St Vincent’s & 7.30 in All Hallows. Very hot day. 9th: (103°) Mass in Oratory. Heat wave continues. Fr J Sexton arrives. Also Fr J Gleeson ofm. 10th: (103°) Mass in Oratory. Went to Perthville with Fr Sexton. Had swim with him in College at night. 11th: (105.5°) Mass in the Oratory. Fr Sexton & I had dinner at the College & a swim there at night. 12th: (103°) Mass in Oratory. Fr Sexton returned to Nyngan. 13th: (105°) Mass in Oratory. Heat wave continues. 14th: (105°) (113° in Sydney, the highest on record. In 1896 it was 108°) Mass in Oratory. This proves to be Sydney’s hottest day. Bad bush fires at Trunkey. Village almost destroyed. Our little Church escapes. D.G.
perspective across all key learning areas. The Committee welcomed this approach and was delighted with the introduction of this resource. The next day, the Advisory Committee was welcomed to St Philomena’s School, where they enjoyed another fruitful day of discussion and sharing. That afternoon they were treated to a cultural tour by local Wiradjuri man Bill Allen. They visited the grave of Wiradjuri Warrior ‘Windradyne’, Mt Panorama and a designated site on the Macquarie River. Bill’s knowledge was very valuable and appreciated by everyone. To finish off the productive days, the Committee enjoyed a Christmas themed dinner with guests and a special visit from Kris Kringle. Karen Andriske
The Catholic Observer is published by the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst (Diocesan Publications) PO Box 246, Bathurst, NSW, 2795 ph:(02) 6334 6400 fax:(02) 6331 9453 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor/Advertising ~ Fiona Lewis Designer ~ Jacqui Callcut Printed by Rural Press Printing, Richmond NSW All material in this magazine is copyright and may be reproduced only with the written permission of the Editor. The Catholic Observer is a member of the Australasian Catholic Press Association and the Australasian Religious Press Association.
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St Mary’s Catholic School ~ Wellington Fete embodies community spirit
he beauty of smiling faces and sweet smell of an early spring day inspired the Bi-annual St Mary’s Catholic School Fete in August. The Fete is a major fundraiser for the School’s P & F and money raised provides resources for the students. The Fete explores the wonders of a small school community spirit which comes to life with music, tasty food, handmade arts and crafts, children’s show rides and games, performing arts displays, massages, photography, Friendship Farm, Monster Raffle, face painting, train display, BBQ, Devonshire Teas, Trash and Treasure, Country Garden Stall, Cake Stall and a Make-Over Tent. A highlight of the day was watching our fearless leader Mr Simon Price wrestle with a slithering snake under the watchful gaze of the reptile handler.
Stepping into the past
he St Mary’s Kinders and Y1 visited the Red Hill Environmental Education Centre recently as part of the H.S.I.E unit on How We Live - looking at how life has changed. The Centre is located at Gulgong, a small historic gold mining town in the Central West. The centre provides students with experiences that enable them to better understand the environment and days gone by. The students enjoyed dressing up in ‘olden day’ clothes, exploring the Gold Fields of Gulgong and learning about life in a past era. Jennifer Simpson
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CATHOLIC CATHOLIC OBSERVER OBSERVER - DECEMBER SUMMER EDITION EDITION -- PAGE PAGE 9
Bishop visits Orange Hospitals I n September, Bishop McKenna made his first official visit to Bloomfield and Orange Hospitals. Along with Fr Paul Devitt (PP Orange), he met with Catholic Chaplains Robyn Blunt, (Co-ordinator of the Spiritual Care Department) and Ray Biernat, Ed Vandeburgt (Allied Health Manager MHDA), Scott Maunder (Acting General Health Manager) and Louis Christie (Director of Medical Services) of the Orange Health Service, to undertake a tour of the Mental Health Drug & Alcohol and General Health Hospitals, located on the Bloomfield Campus in Orange.
Committee which works collaboratively with local faith communities and Health to plan and provide a mechanism for ongoing C&PC Services to be delivered, including the visiting clergy and ministers who provide specific religious, pastoral or spiritual services. There are a variety services on offer within the Hospitals which include pastoral, spiritual, religious care; prayer support; undertaking special services (Memorials, Funerals, Baptisms and Sacramentals) or grief and loss support. C&PC personnel are often called upon to deal with ethical issues or faced with questions on death, by individuals attempting to find The delivery of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care (C&PC) meaning in life, hope in times of trauma or crisis or when Services throughout the Hospitals are met by team facing impending death and loss. members of the Spiritual Care Department who work Robyn Blunt has recently been appointed as the Catholic within multidisciplinary health teams and in consultation delegate on the Health Chaplaincies Sub-Committee. with C&PC visitors from local faith communities. With the integration of both facilities this year, the Spiritual Care Department continues to meet new challenges within the Orange Health Service, keeping up with the ongoing changes and adherence to policies, standards, directives and legislative requirements to ensure appropriate access to services for over 500 patients, their families and staff across various multicultural and population groups. In the new General Health Hospital, opened in March 2011, provision of these services is required for a very large facility, housing several medical wards and specialised departments for health care/treatment and a Child and Adolescence Mental Health Unit. The facility also includes a Prayer Room which is open 24 hours. It is a sacred space for quiet solace, reflection or services and displays beautiful stained glass windows with symbols representative of various faith communities. The Mental Health Drug & Alcohol (MHDA) Hospital is a major psychiatric facility with pastoral services provided primarily by Robyn and Ray who are both accredited to undertake Clinical Pastoral Care in several specialised units, including Rehab and a new Forensic Unit. The Good Shepherd Chapel is located on the Campus and Catholic services and prayer are offered there. Located opposite the Chapel is a beautiful Memorial Rose Garden.
Above: Fr Paul Devitt, Bishop Michael McKenna, Robyn Blunt and Scott Mackander
Left: Ray Biernat
The Spiritual Care Department has a local C&PC Steering
Colours for a cause at Portland
he staff and students of St Joseph’s School Portland recently participated in ‘Footy Colours Day 2011’ to help raise money to fight cancer. Everyone in our community has been touched by cancer in some way - sometimes by knowing someone or a family member or friend who has suffered from the disease - or even lost someone they know through the disease. St Joey’s students took this great opportunity, that has become an annual event at the School, to come together and wear their favourite footy team’s colours and also help a great cause. The School would like to thank Mrs Lorna Nicholson for the organisation of this day and is happy to have raised $65.00 towards fighting cancer. Shireen Sheehan
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 10
Aiming for the Summit D
enise Doolan, a Wiradjuri Aboriginal woman from Cowra, and myself attended the GK Global Summit at University of Sydney Law School, with over 300 delegates from all over Australia and The Philippines. GK, Gawad Kalinga (Giving Care), is the brain child of Tony Meloto, who started to work with the poor through a youth programme in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City in the Philippines in 1995. Since then it has become a movement that builds integrated, holistic and sustainable communities in developing countries. The philosophy behind the movement is to empower those who are poor or underprivileged to help themselves by working side-by-side with a group of volunteers who go in and form community with the people first. GK believes that people can bring themselves out of poverty; that poverty should not determine one’s identity. Building an understanding through relationships is the basis for action. It is about giving the young hope for the future while involving them in the present. The heart of Gawad Kalinga is caring and sharing our resources with others who are less fortunate. For this reason it is vital that they ensure that people work with their volunteers and sponsors to build houses, develop gardens, etc. and at the same time build a sense of community. In this way no one is left behind. Their work is financed by generous business sponsors such as Globe, an electricity company, Dulux Paints whose motto is “To paint the world with colour”, and many other such companies. No government money is provided, therefore no outside control is exercised. One of the many Presenters was Andrew Chalk, Chairman of Gawad Kalinga Australia Limited which is the local arm of the international community development organization. He is the principal of Chalk & Fitzgerald, a specialist law practice focused on serving indigenous people, organisations and businesses. He invited a friend, Riverbank Frank Doolan a Wiradjuri man from Dubbo, who started the Dubbo Men’s Shed - an interracial group of men who work together on various building and fixing projects in rural communities. Its success in fostering reconciliation lies in the culture of respect, generosity and positivity between the men. Frank is an example of a man who not only dreamed of an
Australian community free from prejudices and past hurts, but also dared to make it a reality. Father Ross Jones from St Ignatius College Milsons Point, spoke of the Immersion Programme for students, Old Boys and parents who go as volunteers to third world countries to work with the people on the different projects. It enables those involved to experience first hand what it is to live simply, struggle with a foreign language, stand alongside the poor to learn from them and feel the plight of those with whom they minister. This has been a very successful initiative and has attracted wide interest in the community. The major challenge of this Summit is to return to our community and light the fire locally. Sr Robyn McNamara, rsj
Denise and Sister Robyn
Our lost Churches St. Mary of the Angels, Dubbo
n 1909, a brick church/school was opened on the northern side of the railway line in Dubbo. Dedicated to St. Mary of the Angels, it became a parish church in 1953, the second of three parishes that would at one time serve the needs of the growing city. From 1953 until 1987 the parish embraced not only North Dubbo, but Eumungerie, Beni and Ballimore. By the late 1980s, changing attendance patterns had made three churches redundant and with the St. Lawrence O’Toole church now providing for the people of South Dubbo, it was felt that St Mary’s should be closed. The last Mass was held in 1987. The church was later demolished, but the tradition of St Mary’s lives on in the school it was built to house and which has continued now the church has gone. David Billington
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WORLD YOUTH DAY 2011 There are some amazing things happening...yes the events, the amazing people and places, but to quote one of our pilgrims, “it is not so much what we are dong but what it is doing in us”. It is extraordinary what can happen when we let God in; courage, love and faith walk hand in hand. “It is wonderful to be here”... Daily we are having transfiguration experiences... I am blessed because I get to be part of everyone’s journey. I am honoured to share some of the deep journeying with our group, as individuals and as a unit. Each day someone is doing it tough, each day someone learns something new, each day someone finds God in a new day, each day someone is tired beyond measure.... actually that is everyone most days...however no one is prepared to let an opportunity slip by. Every day from deep within, sometimes very deep within, we take a new step forward with arms out stretched, offering a space for God to journey with us. Gabrielle Sinclair (August 17, while in Madrid)
My highlight of WYD was rediscovering the joy of celebrating Mass. In my busy, hectic and often wrongly prioritised life, I realise that I was often at Mass because it was the right place to be on a Sunday. But I was not fully there, or ‘celebrating’. Travelling with so many pilgrims and celebrating Mass every day opened my heart to the joy of Mass. I am so grateful to have had this experience and to bring this renewed joy home with me. Peta Bischof, Cowra Travelling together in faith changed my perspective and my journey because the strength of faith in the group encouraged me to explore my faith on a deeper level. This pilgrimage shared with others of the same faith as me deepened my faith and made my experience one of growth. Experiencing my faith on an international scale had a huge impact on my personal faith. Seeing the amount of people from all over the world celebrating the same faith as me was a touching experience. Makayla Bischof, Cowra Being a pilgrim is not about reaching a destination, but about being transformed along the way. As I reflect on the three weeks of pilgrimage I’m still being transformed in my attitude to prayer and how powerful it is in linking the Church together and trying to make each moment special and God filled. Jacinta Thatcher, Cobar, Wilcannia-Forbes.
We learnt and listened to people from many cultures. It was amazing as we where able to see how Catholics from different countries studied and lived a life of being Catholic. Paul Hannam, Dubbo
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WORLD YOUTH DAY 2011 Our recent diocesan pilgrimage to Madrid was preceded by around 10 days of ‘other’ pilgrimage, to holy sites and communities throughout Spain. I would have to say that, for me, these places came alive this time in a new and special way, because I was seeing and experiencing them in the company of friends and fellow pilgrims from ‘home’, who not only shared my Australian perspective on the world and faith, but were also processing a wide range of reactions to what we were seeing and experiencing, which in turn enriched my own journey. To pray and celebrate the Eucharist together as Central West NSW Australians in our own way, in all these wonderful sites and holy places, was truly a deeply enriching dimension to our time together. We really were ‘pilgrims’, and not ‘tourists’; and we came to grow into a closeness and sharing which simply would not have been possible in other circumstances. To be ‘plunged’ into the melting-pot that was the WYD week in Madrid, was also a tremendous experience. I found it a time that made me appreciate my own Australian faith, as lived in our Bathurst Diocese - and I have often since reflected on just how lucky we are here in the people and life of our parishes. We may not have the ancient cathedrals and monasteries that we saw in Spain - but we do have the same faith, and the same Lord who fills our lives every day, in our own beautiful country. Father Tim Cahill, Blayney I couldn’t stop smiling and in the moment of walking out in front of 3,000 Aussies, I knew that God was with me. It was one of those moments that you know why God put you there, to enjoy the moment, to live it, and be happy! The cross was so heavy and at one point a priest in the crowd touched me on the shoulder and said, “you can do it”. But the weight did not bother me because the excitement and happiness took over, and I couldn’t remove the smile off my face! This experience is one I will never ever forget; it is one of the most memorable moments of my life. Landon Brady, Coonabarabran (helped carry the cross and icon into the Australian gathering)
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All Hallows ~ Gulgong NAIDOC Day
aidoc Day was held on Friday 14th October. The School gathered for a Liturgy, focusing on the theme “Change: the next step is ours”. Classes participated in a variety of activities including boomerang making, beading, artworks and indigenous knitting throughout the morning. At recess everyone was given the opportunity to sample some kangaroo sausages and steaks. We were lucky enough to have Aboriginal Education Officers, Karen and Denise visit our school and help us with all the activities. One of the activities was animal stencil painting on calico. These squares have been sewn into a wall hanging for display in the School Hall. Many thanks to Mrs Kate Rouse and Karen and Denise for a great day.
Jump Rope For Heart
ump Rope for Heart is a biennial event for All Hallows and always provides our students with the opportunity to improve their skipping skills and overall fitness as well as raise money for the community through the National Heart Foundation. We had a fantastic day and raised $5,355 for the Heart Foundation. A massive effort from a small school and a generous community.
Dave Aldridge Memorial Touch Footy Gala
ll Hallows attended this Touch Footy Gala Day in Mudgee recently, taking almost all of our Primary students in five teams. As this was our first time at this event we were not sure what to expect and were just happy to be involved in a day of sport and fun. As this is a Gala Day there are no overall winners. Instead, a trophy is awarded to the school that displays the best sportsmanship, manners and teamwork throughout the day and this is voted on by the referees on the day. We were surprised, excited and very proud when All Hallows was announced as the winner of the ‘Good Sports Award’. We look forward to attending again next year.
All Saints Day
ll Saints Day is the Feast Day for All Hallows School. We celebrated our special day with a School Mass, celebrated by Father Greg Bellamy. All classes were involved and presented a short biography of a modern day saint. These people inspire us to work for God and be our best with His help. After mass we gathered together in the playground for a whole school photo. Our School Captains and Father Greg cut a cake which was shared by all. We all enjoy this special day where we stopped to remember those special people our school is named after. Kylie Statham/Catherine Gaudry
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Farewell to Peter Hill M
r Peter Hill, the Executive Director of Schools in the Bathurst Diocese since 2008, was recently farewelled at a large Diocesan gathering in Bathurst. Bishop Michael McKenna, Mr Brian Morrissey (Acting Executive Director of Schools), Mr Paul Crennan (Chair, Diocesan Catholic Education Council) and Mr Michael Croke (President, Diocese of Bathurst Principals Association) all spoke glowingly of Peter’s busy, fruitful and exciting time as Executive Director. Courage was highlighted as the keystone in all that Peter has achieved for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Bathurst this past three years. He leaves knowing that much has been achieved and plans are in place for much more. Peter’s colleagues noted though, that there is much more to appreciate in Peter - his confidentiality, his personal spirituality, his quiet unpublicised compassion, his empowering of colleagues, his upholding of gender equity, his commitment to Josephine and their children. In thanking Peter, Bishop McKenna expressed his great disappointment at seeing him leave the Diocese. The Bishop also thanked Peter’s wife Josephine for her great support of Peter in his
endeavours for Catholic education. The farewell gathering included many of the priests and school principals of the Diocese, members of the Diocesan Catholic Education Council, Father Paul Devitt (Episcopal Vicar for Education) Sister Therese McGarry rsj (Congregational Leader of the Perthville Josephites). Guests from other Dioceses included Dr Dan White (Executive Director of Catholic Schools Sydney) and wife Sue, Mr Alan Bowyer (Director of Schools Wagga Wagga), Mr Vince Connor (Director of Schools Wilcannia Forbes) and wife Cath, Mr Anthony Farley (CCER Executive Director), Mr
Bill Walsh (Director of School Resources CEC), Mr John Kitney (CEC Director, Corporate Services), Mr Crichton Smith (Education Officer, School Resources CEC), Mr Chris Barrett (Executive Officer, Conference of Diocesan Directors NSW&ACT) and Mr Bede Ritchie (CEnet Chief Executive Officer). The Diocese wishes Peter, Josephine and family every blessing on their return to Queensland where Peter takes up the role of Director of Employee Services for Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Brisbane. Sue Dixon
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Pathway to a vision
his year has again revealed the dynamism of education in a changing world. In his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, the great English Cardinal, John Henry Newman, stated that to grow is to change and to become perfect is to have changed many times. The revolution in education in Australia over the past few years provides the opportunity to create improved standards and outcomes for all students. Our social cohesion and our future national competitive economic advantage are aligned to this process. The Catholic Education Office’s Strategic Leadership and Management Plan 2009-2011 is predicated on meeting the goals for system improvement and the objectives set by the national agenda. Our strategic approach outlined in our Plan, attempts to provide a clear vision. Without it, we would be like Alice at the fork in the road in Wonderland. Unsure of which road to take, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat, “what path should I follow?”. “Where do you want to go?” asks the Cat. “I don’t know” replied Alice. “Well”, said the Cat, “then it doesn’t matter which path you take!” The Catholic Education Office has a pathway, and at the moment we are working towards the Plan for 2012-
2014 to meet the continuing demands ahead. This year a number of schools piloted a School Improvement framework. It provides a way to reflect on the quality of catholic education provided in our schools and assists in identifying areas for improvement. The Quality Catholic Education framework (QCE) will be introduced in all our schools in the Diocese next year. Capital improvement has also been a continuing feature of 2011. The Building the Education Revolution funding designed by the Australian Government to stimulate the economy, has been a major windfall for the Diocese of Bathurst. $52 million
will have been spent on capital projects in our Primary Schools at the cessation of the Program early next year. On top of this, around $10 million will have been spent on Trade Trading Centres. As far as public policy in education is concerned, we await the Gonski Report which will set the blueprint for funding to schools in the years ahead. No doubt there will be careful analysis of the recommendations, especially in the Catholic Systemic Schools System. We have come a long way since the fight for ‘State Aid’ in the 1960s. Australia is unique in the financial support the Federal Government provides to the NonGovernment education sector. It is crucial, and a matter of social justice, that this support continues into the future. As I reflect on the history of Catholic Education in our Diocese, I acknowledge that our current modern and respected system of schools would not have been possible without the struggle, dedication and resourcefulness of the Religious Orders who have gone before us. The enterprise of the Catholic Church in the past never ceases to amaze me. We should never be complacent in continuing its vision. Brian Morrissey Acting Executive Director of Schools
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Mercy Sisters honoured in Dubbo
n Friday 23rd September, St. Laurence’s Primary School in Dubbo honoured the work of the Sisters of Mercy by naming the School’s new hall the ‘Catherine McAuley Hall’. St. Laurence’s was established by the Sisters in 1953 with either Sr. Kevin or Sr. Marie (Anslem) as the first principal. Many of the Mercy Sisters travelled to Dubbo for this important occasion. The naming began with the School band, though small in numbers, presenting three different songs and performing well beyond expectations. After the band, there was a Liturgy marking the life of Catherine McAuley and her influence from far away. The students, in the week prior, had spent their Religious Education lessons learning about Catherine and the works she was involved in - education being just one. Catherine’s work continues today, firstly through the work of the Sisters of Mercy and now the lay teachers who work in our Schools. Pauline Walkom
The school band
Sisters of Mercy with Father James Cutcliffe (Parish Priest) and Ms Pauline Walkom (Principal)
Mrs Mariette Gibson and Sister Gabriella Gresz
CEO Strategic Plan
n October, the Catholic Education Office staff came together to review their strategic Plan for 2009-2011 and to formulate the new strategic plan and annual improvement plan 2012. These new plans will be in draft form until our new Executive Director, Mrs Jenny Allen, has reviewed them. We were fortunate to have the support of Mr Chris Barrett, now an independent consultant, to assist with this. In late 2008, Chris came to the Diocese from the CEO Sydney, through the generosity of Brother Kelvin Canavan, and worked with the CEO Leadership Team to develop our first Strategic Plan. This was the basis of our annual plans and was used by the Leadership Team in their reporting
to the Diocesan Catholic Education Council. It was a good opportunity for the staff to get together, reflect on the achievements of the Plan and the areas that needed further development. By the end of the day, Chris had helped us to identify the external agents which would have an impact on our planning in the next three years, to clarify our goals and to identify any unfinished business. The plan was tabled at the recent Principals’ meeting for further feedback. “Our work with the strategic plan is making a difference to what is happening with schools” was a comment from one of those present. Gene Smith
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Gifted and Talented Education in the Diocese History of the G&T Committee
he genesis of the G&T Committee lay in the implementation in all schools in the Diocese of the Gifted and Talented modules published by the Federal Government in 2005. Denise Wood, a lecturer at CSU in Education, with expertise in gifted education, assisted in the rollout and became our critical friend on our journey. A Committee representing all school types in the diocese, small K-6, larger K-6, K-10 and 7-12, was formed with the aim of upskilling teachers and emphasising the importance of provision for gifted students in the classroom. The first work of the Committee was to develop the Diocesan G&T guidelines and the support documents in Enrichment, Acceleration, Grouping and Differentiation. Representatives from schools were involved in developing the final drafts. Work with schools focussed on within school projects which were developed with release time provided by CEO. These were mainly Enrichment projects such as Science Days, school newspaper writing and working with community mentors developing special skills. These were shared at the final G&T meeting for the year. We were fortunate to have visits to the Diocese by Dr Susen Smith from UNE Armidale and Francois Gagne from Canada whose giftedness model we had used as our starting point. Release days were provided for attendance at designated days such as the forum in
Sydney with Gagne, the International Giftedness Conference at Darling Harbour and CEO PD in G&T. The focus for the Committee moved to Differentiation with several days organised to support the implementation of the new Support Document. This year we started to develop differentiated units in HSIE in most stages in Primary and in Stage 5 in History and Geography. Identification has always been a concern for teachers and schools and several days in 2011 focussed on this topic. We have moved away from the myths that gifted students prosper inspite of the school and teachers. We realise that we need to identify students and provide for them, just as we provide for students who are struggling. Many schools have moved along this path to identifying their gifted students to ensure that there is adequate provision for them. The final meeting for the year will again focus on this with the aim of developing a school and a diocesan database.
Student workshops were first run in 2009. This brought the issue of identification of students to the fore. Criteria for identification to assist school selection processes were provided by Denise. We later used NAPLAN results for the writing and maths workshops which were successful and well attended. They helped with identification of students and supported teacher development by offering models of provision for students. The focus in 2012 is on identification of gifted students in all schools in the diocese. Differentiation of units of work will continue with a focus on Mathematics. Thank you to the enthusiastic teachers who have been part of the many workshops and have taken the messages back to their schools and to those who have supported Tournament of Minds and the formulation of differentiated units in 2011. It has been an exciting shared path which will benefit the students of today and tomorrow. Gene Smith
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CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 19
School improvement reviewed
n October, the Principals and Assistant Principals of 16 Bathurst Diocesan schools came together with CEO personnel to share their feedback of the initial implementation of the QCE Framework for school improvement in their school communities. The Quality Catholic Education Framework supports the development of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Bathurst by assisting schools to create a culture and practice of continuous development, with improved student outcomes as the goal. The Framework, which is underpinned by the CEO’s Vision and Mission, engages the school community in a process of self-review and self-improvement. The focus is on development of high quality Catholic schools and improved outcomes for students. School communities reflect ‘How are we going?’ in key areas, ‘How do we know?’ as seen in evidence and ‘What will we do now?’ which is incorporated into the School’s strategic improvement plan.
Overwhelmingly, the feedback it is expected that all schools will use indicated that the implementation of this model and the new guidelines for the QCE Framework was a valuable tool planning in their work in 2012. for professional dialogue and learning Sue Dixon within the School Communities. There was a strong focus on ‘what makes us a Catholic school’ and many school leaders reported that the responsibility and accountability of all staff was one of the highlights of the process. The school leaders were confident that the Framework processes would drive their school improvement plans, identifying areas and needs for major development as well as areas for finetuning. A general consensus from these feedback days was that we in the Bathurst Diocese are in a “new and exciting phase of education”. We were fortunate to have Ms Noelene Veness of the Sydney CEO to join us as ‘critical friend’ for the two days. All Noelene Veness (Sydney CEO) and Principals and Assistant Principals in Gene Smith (Bathurst CEO) the Diocese have now completed two during the day days of training in the new model and
wo young Aboriginal women have been working at St. Mary’s School in Wellington as teachers’ aides for the past year. Miss Mafi Kailahi and Miss Tiffany Peacock-Kelly are employed under a Federal Government programme that places Aboriginal youth as trainees in education support. Mr Simon Price, Principal of St. Mary’s, says the cultural exchange between the trainees and his students has made a big impact on the School and the Community. “The students look to them as mentors and although they work in classes which have predominantly Aboriginal students, their presence has helped with the whole culture of the School”. Mafi is an ex-student of Wellington High School. “Back then there was not really a lot of support for Aboriginal people in school. Now I have a great opportunity to help Aboriginal students get to know their culture and heritage and make it easier to combine that with the culture we live in. I hope I am breaking down barriers between students too, so they learn they should get to know a person, rather than just think about their heritage”.
Mafi and Tiffany (back) with students Oliver Whitley, Millie Mills and Principal Simon Price (Photo courtesy Wellington Times)
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 20
Promoting Asian A Day for Gifted languages and Year 7 Students culture R
t Mary’s Primary School in Orange is among a select group of schools to obtain funding to promote Asian languages and culture within their classrooms and school community. As part of the national Becoming Asia Literate: Grants to Schools (BALGS) initiative, St Mary’s Primary School will receive a $20,000 Federal Government grant. The funding will be used to increase the children’s knowledge of Korea, as well as to establish a virtual link with a school in Korea. The School will also be able to purchase digital cameras and video cameras to support this and resources which will help to develop Korean Language studies in the School. This is part of the $62.4 million National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP) to support Asia literacy. Minister for Schools, Early Childhood and Youth, the Hon Peter Garrett MP, announced the new funding in September. The original grant application was put together by a dedicated group of parents with support and input from School staff members Warren Ziebowski and Kerry Maher.
NALSSP aims to promote understanding among young Australians of the cultures and languages of the target countries: Japan, China, Indonesia and Korea. Principal of St Mary’s, Mrs Kerrie Basha, welcomed the announcement, saying that the grant will extend learning possibilities across the curriculum. “We are living in an increasingly globalised world” Mrs Basha said. “It is becoming more essential to promote Asian languages and culture in our schools so our students have a better understanding and knowledge of our near neighbours”. Executive Director of the Asia Education Foundation, Kathe Kirby, said all of the schools that made the effort to apply and were successful in receiving Round Three funding should be congratulated for their efforts. “These schools have outlined innovative programs to support the achievement of the NALSSP objectives. Their enthusiasm in helping to prepare young Australians for the demands of the future is to be highly commended”, Ms Kirby said. Kerry Maher
ecently, 28 gifted students from the high schools in the Diocese gathered at the Library of James Sheahan Catholic High School in Orange to investigate and portray some historical events. The day was prepared by a team: Mrs Katie Bennett from MacKillop History Department, Ms Liz Barclay from La Salle Drama Department and Mrs Vickie Vance and Mrs Gene Smith from the CEO.
Prior to the day the students had been researching and keeping in touch via a website set up by Mrs Vance. The three areas for study were the Peasants’ Revolt, the Bathurst Wars and Malcolm X. Students were asked to compare and contrast this historical period with a current event - the London Riots. On the day, students arrived dressed in black and carrying an artefact which symbolised their period of study. Objects ranged from a loaf of bread and dressed dolls to a halberd and Malcolm X’s glasses. Through the many warm up activities organised by Ms Barclay, students were soon mixing, sharing their research into their chosen period and selecting a performance or exhibition mode. By morning tea, there were drama groups portraying two of the periods, double expert interviews and ‘glogsters’ (interactive posters). From then on the groups were selfdirected - collaborating, composing and practising, ready for the performance and exhibition after lunch. After lunch, seven groups entertained the assembled students, parents and teachers with a variety of short drama pieces and two ‘glogsters’ which brought the historical periods to life. The final activity for the groups was a comparison between their period of study and the London Riots, a task the historical sleuths undertook with great flair and maturity. It was a great pleasure to work with so many eager and talented historians. Thank you to the students and the team who prepared the day, the video crew from James Sheahan, the Library staff for allowing us to use their space and Mr Pauschmann, Mrs Maguire, the canteen staff and the staff of James Sheahan for their warm welcome and hospitality.
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 21
Small Schools Knockout
fter successfully winning the Dubbo Gala Day and defeating St Phil’s Moree in the Semi Final, the combined St Joseph’s/Oberon High Under 16 Rugby League team travelled to Dubbo to face Murrumburrah High School from Harden. The boys started well with repeated sets on the opposition try line but were unable to capitalise. Murrumburrah then scored the first try against the run of play. The Oberon boys settled into the rhythm of the game, and when Joel Christie-Johnston scooted from dummy half and converted his own try, the score was 6-4 in our favour. A scrum base kick then saw Ethan Barker chase down the ball, kick again and regain to score out wide. The first tough conversion by Joel was slotted easily. Just before half time some good lead up play lead to Brodie Maher scoring in the corner, with another excellent conversion giving Oberon an 18 to four lead at the break. After half time Murrumburrah started with renewed vigour and scored two quick tries to cut the deficit to just four. Tom McKinnon cleverly dummied and went in, which seemingly wrapped up the match, but again Murrumburrah fought back scoring one of their own. With five minutes on the clock, Ethan Barker scored the match sealer after some good hard running from our forwards. The final score was 30-18.
Joel Christie-Johnston was named Man of the Match with a good all round performance. Ball control (only three mistakes), defence and good goal kicking assisted in the win. This is the second consecutive year the combined side has taken out the Statewide competition. Congratulations to all players and schools on this success. Thank you to the parents for your stellar support throughout the three days of games. Clint Giddings
(Ryan Cummins absent from photo)
icole Twohill-Scott has been the Principal at St Michael’s in Dunedoo for the past five years. She and her family - husband Brendan and children Hamish and Alistair have also been active members of the Dunedoo Parish and part of the vibrant and inclusive wider Dunedoo community. In a surprise move, they are heading back to the Blayney district to take over the family property and Nicole will be taking some time out as the family re-establishes itself. We wish Nicole all the very best as she relinquishes the St Michael’s reins and thank her for all that she has given to this school community over the years. She has not only been involved in five whole school Speak Outs, but also House Sports, Tournament of the Minds and numerous other activities that are part and parcel of the busy life of schools these days. Nicole has also had the privilege of doing her bit in Building the Education Revolution and the wonderful new facilities and revamped hall are testament to the great planning and value for money from these projects. Nicole has been the leader of learning at St Michael’s, with National Partnership initiatives being a feature during the past few years. St Michael’s is an engaging Catholic learning community full of happy, enthusiastic students, dedicated teachers, a wonderfully supportive parent body and ‘connected’ wider community. In the words of the National Partnership evaluators who visit schools across Australia: “This school has something very special and unique. It has been a pleasure and an honour to spend time with these wonderful children and teachers in this beautifully situated school”. Nicole’s parents, Mike and Marg Twohill, are ‘institutions’ in the Dubbo community and in particular the St Brigid’s parish. I have it on good authority that Nicole actually began her formal
Nicole with Years 5 and 6 education at St Mary’s in Dubbo on her 5th birthday, and her teaching career at St Joseph’s Blayney on her 21st birthday. So, it seems she has really come full circle! Nicole spent 11 years at St Joseph’s in Blayney before accepting the position of REC at St John’s Primary in Dubbo. After three years there, she moved on to St Michael’s. During her 19 years in education, Nicole has taught every class, except for Kindergarten (…and don’t let this be the one class that ‘blots your copybook’ Nicole!). We wish you and your family all the best in your future endeavours and know that you all take with you fond memories of your five year sojourn in ‘Black Swan’ territory. A ‘Scottish’ Blessing for you: May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within. May the blessing of the rain be on you, may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean. May the blessing of the earth be on you, soft under your feet as you pass along life’s roads. Soft under you as you lie tired at the end of each day. And may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen. Janine Kearney - CEO Dubbo
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 22
Principal retires - but her legacy remains
ue Hargans and I basically started our journey together in 1995. I moved out of the School scene and into the Catholic Education Office, and Sue came over from “the dark side” to take on the role of Principal at, the then, St Bernard’s Primary School, Coonamble. So much has happened during those 16 years! Some of the highlights have been the School’s name change - back to St Brigid’s in acknowledgement of the School’s heritage; it was the first Brigidine school established in Australia. The School has also experienced a HUGE facelift, recently because of the Government’s Building the Education Revolution (BER), but even before this, because of Sue Hargans’ vision and effective administration. This resulted in numerous improvements to grounds and facilities…not the least being the ‘Taj Mahal’ of toilet blocks, the purchase of resources and technology upgrades to ensure that the latest Information Technology is available to enhance learning for both teachers and students. Our world is changing so rapidly that the challenge these days is in preparing children for a future that’s beyond our imaginings! Sue Hargans has ensured that she and her teaching staff have kept abreast of current trends in education and that professional development opportunities have been available despite the tyranny of distance. Her workload has been enormous. Sue Hargans has taught two days a week and had three days administration to deal with all the issues and the increasing demands and expectations from government, church, diocese and community. It’s interesting that any time I’ve scheduled a visit, Sue has usually either been in her classroom or helping out in another, even though this must have eaten enormously into her administration time! And that’s what has made her such a good leader! Her focus has never wavered. It’s always been on the children, and they are the reason any school community exists. Any decision Sue Hargans has made as the leader of the community has always been prefaced by: What impact will this have on the children?
You can’t always please everyone. And you can’t always give everyone all the information. But, when you have the trust of a school community, you can have conflict around ideas but total support and backing once decisions have been made. I believe Sue Hargans is farewelling such a community! ‘Strength and Gentleness’ is the School’s motto, and this is also the manner in which it has been led during the past 16 years. St Brigid’s Primary School and Coonamble is a far better place spiritually, educationally, aesthetically and pastorally thanks to Sue Hargans, her personal and professional qualities and her courageous, effective leadership. She has certainly earned that rest! We hope that she will enjoy good health and happiness as she moves into the next phase of ‘her life’s adventure’. I’m sure she takes many happy memories with her. She also leaves a great legacy in this quality Catholic school environment that respects the dignity of all and ‘grows’ good, happy people, critical thinkers and lifelong learners who will make a difference in our world. Thank you Mrs Hargans! ‘May God keep you in the palm of his hand!’ Janine Kearney CEO Dubbo
4 Lewis St Mudgee 6372 1742 www.stmattsmudgee.nsw.edu.au CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 23
St. Pat’s ~ Lithgow New School Hall Opened
enator Matt Thistlethwaite officially opened the new Saint Mary of the Cross Hall in Lithgow on 11th November 2011. Funding for this project was part of the Government’s stimulus package. Other distinguished guests included Parish Priest Fr. Owen Gibbons, former Parish Priest Fr. Greg Kennedy, Pastoral Associate Sr. Anne Housten RSJ, Principal Mrs Pam Haddin, P&C President Mrs Cassandra Yates, Aboriginal Elder Mrs Gloria Rogers and Acting Executive Director of Schools Mr Brian Morrissey. A whole school Mass was followed by a shared morning tea. Mrs Rogers gave a wonderful Welcome to Country in the traditional Wiradjiri language, then translated into English, which was really embraced by the children. Mrs Haddin gave the opening address
and Father Owen Blessed the Hall. An Address by Mr Morrissey was well received, especially when he asked everyone to sing Happy Birthday to Sr. Anne. And what is a celebration without a cake - cut by Sr. Anne and Junior Josephite, Josie Young. The school choir, accompanied by Mrs Scott, performed the new School Song for the first time in front of its creator, Mrs Cil Van Der Velden. During the course of the afternoon, the audience was entertained by St. Pat’s School Band with Mrs Debbie Edgell conducting and there were two very special performances by Callum Woodrow and Adrian Ma, both very talented children. Full credit must go to St. Patrick’s staff for their preparation for this event and a wonderful time was had by all. Tracey Young
he Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan (ATSIEAP) was launched by the Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, in June this year. The Plan outlines 55 actions at national, systemic and local levels, across six key areas including: Readiness for school; Engagement and connections; Attendance; Literacy and numeracy; Leadership, quality teaching and workforce development and Pathways to real post-school options. The Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers have agreed, through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), to achieve six significant targets designed to close the gap, which include: halving the gap in reading, writing and numeracy by 2018 and halving the gap in Year 12 or equivalent attainment rates by 2020. In the 2010 Budget, the Gillard Government prioritised $15.4 million over four years to deliver on its commitments under the Action Plan. The Action Plan commits all schools to involve the families of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students, teachers and Aboriginal Education Workers (AEWs) in developing Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs) for students from the first year of
Aboriginal Education Workers at the Term 4 Meeting in Dubbo schooling to Year 10. Many of our Primary schools have had classroom teachers and AEWs begin the PLP journey. Our aim as a Diocese is to strengthen the connections between Aboriginal families and their school communities. We want to begin the conversations to discover and nurture individual interests, talents and aspirations, as well as identify and
address gaps in knowledge and skills. The AEWs, in our Schools fortunate enough to have them as part of their team, are instrumental in highlighting Aboriginal issues within their school communities and liasing with Aboriginal families to build stronger, positive connections with school environments. Janine Kearney CEO Dubbo
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 24
St. Brigid’s ~ Coonamble
The 16 Confirmation candidates from Coonamble, who were confirmed at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church by Bishop Michael McKenna in September (and the four altar servers).
Students at St. Brigid’s School Coonamble recently staged their own Rugby World Cup. They came to school in their casual clothes, in football colours, and participated in a variety of exciting activities organised by Mr Nugent.
Cowra Ladies celebrate S t Raphael’s (Cowra) Ladies finished the year with a morning tea at the Breakout Brassiere. Each lady brought a gift for the Vinnies Christmas Appeal. Elves Len and Ken arrived to pick up the presents and take them to Santa Claus. A big ‘thank you’ ladies to all who contributed gifts. A special thanks to Carmel and her team for another job well done. Wishing everyone a happy and holy Christmas and all good things for the New Year. Margie Ryan
Right: Elves Len and Ken with Vinnies’ representative Margaret Wade
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SPONSOR A SEMINARIAN IN A MISSIONARY COUNTRY? WHO ME?
atholic Mission’s Seminarian Supporters’ Programme has traditionally focused on supporting candidates in formation for the Priesthood at diocesan seminaries in Papua New Guinea, drawing students from almost every diocese in the country and the neighbouring Solomon Islands. It was broadened last year to include Zambia, following a visit to Australia by Father Bernard Makadani Zulu, Zambia’s National Director for the Pontifical Mission Societies. Catholic Mission has a distinguished record, through the generosity of its many donors, as an advocate for the ministerial Priesthood. It currently supports over 900 seminarians in seminaries in mission dioceses and territories throughout the world. The goal is to provide a new generation of priests and future Church leaders for service in their home countries. It is an undeniable truth that properly resourced seminaries are the life-blood of the Priesthood and without the formation and scholarship opportunities they provide to aspirant candidates and deacons, there would be a serious shortage of priests, not just in the developed world, but in the mission territories as well. Many dioceses in Australia are experiencing a shortage of priests and it is interesting how the numbers in some dioceses are being
supplemented by overseas priests from SE Asia, India and Africa. Following a visit to Australia in 2004 by His Eminence Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala, Archbishop of Kampala Uganda, His Eminence Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, generously provided places for two students for the priesthood from Kampala, - Simon Kitimbo and John Ssemaganda - to complete their studies at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd (SGS) Homebush. They were ordained to the Diaconate by Cardinal Pell in their final year of study at SGS and ordained Priests for the Archdiocese of Kampala at an impressive ceremony in the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Kampala on 4th July 2010. After Ordination, Father Kitimbo and Father Ssemaganda returned to the Archdiocese of Sydney where, with the concurrence of the Archbishop of Kampala, they were appointed by Cardinal Pell to Sydney parishes for five years. The two priests will return to Uganda at the end of this time. Their presence in the Archdiocese of Sydney is greatly valued by Cardinal Pell, the Presbyterate and their “adoptive” parishioners. The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways! It is an interesting observation that candidates for the Priesthood sponsored under the Seminarian Supporter’s Programme could well find themselves in parishes in Australia after ordination for one or more “pastoral” years baptising,
confirming and marrying the children and grand-children of the very sponsors who so generously provided for their priestly formation. Mike Deasy, Diocesan Mission Director, urges Catholic families, individual parish and school communities especially, to consider the merits of “sponsoring” a seminarian and providing another priest for the many underresourced mission dioceses and territories of the universal Church. The financial commitment under the Programme is $125 per month or $1,500 p.a. for three years. In return for such generosity, sponsors receive a booklet identifying the seminarians currently in formation at Zambia’s only Theological College, St Dominic’s, and are provided with regular quarterly updates from the Rector of the Seminary. Sponsors also receive a Certificate of Acknowledgement and a prayer card as a daily reminder to pray for seminarians and increases in priestly and religious vocations world-wide. Sponsorship enquires can be directed to either Lucas Olmos, Programme Director, at the Catholic Mission National Office, North Sydney on 1800 257 296 or Michael Deasy, Catholic Mission Director for the Diocese of Bathurst, on 4284 0970 - mobile 0417 04 8880 - PO Box 1015 Wollongong NSW 2500 or email: wollongongdd@ catholicmission.org.au Mike Deasy
Mandurama Anniversary A round 50 people braved the inclement weather of the long weekend to gather on Sunday 2nd October to celebrate 75 years of worship in St Laurence O’Toole’s Church at Mandurama. Built during the Great Depression and opened on 9th Sept 1936, it was part of Carcoar parish at the time, transferring to Blayney parish upon the closure of the former in the 1970s. For the Jubilee Celebrations, the entrance procession was led by Mr Ted Prosper, who served as an altar boy at the Church’s opening all those years ago. Also present on both occasions was Ted’s younger brother Paul. The Thanksgiving Eucharist was celebrated by Bishop Michael McKenna (making his first visit to St Laurence’s) assisted by Father Tim Cahill (Blayney Parish Priest) and David Billington, the regular Acolyte at Mandurama. Mrs Judy Newstead was the organist and the regular Mandurama congregation was swelled by visitors from Carcoar, Woodstock and Blayney, as well as a number of former residents who returned for the occasion. Mass was followed by a luncheon in the Mandurama Hall, at which a small presentation was made in thanks to Bishop McKenna, and all enjoyed the copious food and reminiscences.
David Billington, Bishop McKenna and Ted Prosper David Billington is also the Bathurst Diocesan Archivist and has produced a commemorative booklet for the occasion. Copies may be purchased for $5 plus p&p by contacting him at the Chancery Office on 6334 6400 or emailing: archives@bathurst. catholic.org.au. Father Tim Cahill
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 26
Christian is a seminarian in training at St. Dominicâ€™s, the only theology college in Zambia. With just 650 priests for Zambia's 3.3 million Catholics, your support will help people like Christian and the Catholic Church to grow.
With the need so great, why is it so hard to become a priest? For seminarians in Zambia the biggest obstacle to joining the seminary is the cost. Join the Seminarian Supporters Program and make training of a seminarian possible today.
Call 1800 257 296 now. SEMINARIAN SUPPORTERS
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catholicmission.org.au CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 27
Aboriginal Anglican Bishop visits Wellington
ishop Arthur Malcolm, the first Aboriginal to be ordained as an Anglican Bishop, visited St Mary’s Catholic School community in Wellington recently and attended Mass. He spoke about his childhood, his young adult life and of his work in vast areas of Northern Queensland. He also talked about his experiences preaching throughout Australia, but focused on the importance of seeing people for more than their skin colour, by encouraging students to get to know someone before forming an opinion. Carol Conn from St Mary’s said that it was a great opportunity to meld the Christian religion with that of the Aboriginal community. It was a change for an Anglican Bishop to be addressing a Catholic congregation, but Bishop Malcolm said the point was to bring people together under God as a family.
Bishop Malcolm with Wellington’s Parish Priest, Father Tony Hennessy (photo courtesy of Wellington Times)
ishop McKenna celebrated Mass with the Legion of Mary in the Cathedral in Bathurst on 7th September. Monsignor John Frawley and Father Mark McGuigan concelebrated the Mass, which marked the 90th anniversary of the Legion which was established by Frank Duff in Dublin in 1921. Bathurst has two ‘Praesaedia’ of the Legion, the first was established over 68 years ago and the second 28 years ago. Robyn Pearce, Betty Webster, Margaret Stephen, Lurline Bell, Bishop McKenna, Father Mark, Rita Loneragan, Nola Ryan, Noeline Lynch and Monsignor Frawley after the Mass.
Shop for Life - Visit Vinnies
When you shop at Vinnies you assist us to provide services to those in the Community who need a helping hand. Money spent in a shop goes directly back to the local Community. There are so many treasures just waiting to be discovered in our shops…. clothing, linen, bric-a-brac, books galore, toys and furniture and more. The list is endless. It is no secret that wonderful styles can be created by shopping at Vinnies at a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere. When you are donating to Vinnies please ensure your goods are in a clean, saleable condition. IF YOU HAVE SOME SPARE TIME AND WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER IN ONE OF OUR SHOPS, PLEASE PHONE BILLIE KIRKLAND ON 02 6362 2565. Happy Bargain Hunting!
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CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 28
Savers are Winners!
s 2011 comes to a close, it is time to report on the winners of the Koala Club School Savers competition. First prize in our competition went to Keiran Stocks from St. Josephâ€™s Catholic School Oberon. Helen Howard and Michelle Austin from the CDF office in Bathurst travelled to Oberon to present Keiran with his prize - a weekend in Sydney with accommodation for his family and tickets to some of Sydneyâ€™s attractions. Second prize - a portable DVD - was awarded to Ethan Kenney from Sacred Heart School Orange by Sandra Robinson from the CDF. Third Prize went to Sam Cantrill from Assumption School Bathurst who won a backpack with some small items in it. CDF Manager, Tony Eviston, had the pleasure of presenting Sam with his prize at a School Assembly. While travelling around the Diocese, the CDF staff presented the Agents with a small gift in appreciation of their hard work. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people who help out voluntarily each week, collating the school savings accounts for the children at their respective schools. Their support is so important to this service being available to the children. Helen Howard
Catholic Development Fund The Staff and Board of the Fund wish you a Happy and Holy Christmas Season Disclosure: The Catholic Development Fund Diocese of Bathurst (CDF) is not subject to the provisions of the Corporation Act 2001 nor has it been examined or approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Deposits with CDF are guaranteed by CDPF Limited, a company established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for this purpose. We welcome your investment with the CDF rather than with a profit oriented commercial organisation as a conscious commitment by you to support the Charitable, Religious and Educational works of the Catholic Church. CDF, nor the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Bathurst are prudentially supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority; contributions to CDF do not obtain the benefit of the depositor protection provisions of the Banking Act 1959; CDF is designed for investors who wish to promote the charitable purposes of CDF
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 29
Historic Mass commemorated
ishop Michael McKenna recently invited parishioners to join him for Mass in the Holy Family School Chapel. The occasion was All Saints Day - and it was also the 181st anniversary of the first Mass west of the Blue Mountains. Holy Family students participated in the Mass, assisting with the readings and serving on the altar. Staff from the nearby Catholic Education Office also attended and assisted with the offertory procession. During the homily, the Bishop recalled Dean of the Cathedral, Fr Pat O’Regan and Bishop McKenna the history around the celebration of the with Holy Family School Students first Mass at Kelso in 1830. It was the early Sydney to Kelso to celebrate that first is hoped that the Mass will become an days of the colony and it was Father Mass when he was called to attend the annual event. John Therry who made the journey from execution of a convict, Ralf Entwistle. It Kevin Arrow
St. Matthew’s ~ Mudgee
Literary and Visual stars in Mudgee
iterary and visual arts are alive and well in St. Matthew’s Mudgee with two students recently making an impression in National and State competitions. Congratulations to Jai Gunton (Y9) who recently participated in a prestigious national photography competition, gaining four semi finalist certificates in the Y9 and Y10 division. There were more than 122,000 entries nationally, so Jai’s selection is an exceptional achievement. We congratulate him and look forward to further successes in the years to come. Congratulations also to Isabella Harris
(Y6) who has achieved a bronze award in the WriteOn 2011competition. To enter, students in Y1 to Y6 completed a short piece of writing. Experienced teachers on the judging panel selected nine gold,13 silver and nine bronze award winners from schools across the State. President of the Board of Studies, Tom Alegounarias, announced the winners of this year’s WriteOn competition. “The judges were amazed by the standard of writing and I’m sure anyone who reads this year’s winning entries will also be impressed by the quality of students’ work,” he said. Rose-Marie van Raad
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Call 1300 655 003 or visit www.kidswillbekids.com.au * $32 per kid, per year inclusive of GST and statutory charges. Prices based on a policy with one insured person. This Insurance is underwritten by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited (Allianz) ABN 15 000 122 850 AFS Licence No. 234708 and is arranged by Catholic Church Insurances Limited ABN 76 000 005 210 AFSL 235415, 485 La Trobe Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, as a promoter for Allianz. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for insurance products can be requested by calling 1300 655 003; or online from www.catholicinsurances.com.au. Any advice here does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs, which you should consider before acting on any recommendations. You should read and consider the PDS before deciding whether to acquire any products mentioned. If you purchase this insurance, Catholic Church Insurances will receive commission on these insurance products as a percentage of the premium paid for each policy. Ask us for CCI0048 more details before we provide you with any services on these products.
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CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 31
Introducing Dong Nguyen W e currently have three young men from Vietnam living and studying in various parishes around the Diocese. These men and Bishop McKenna are using this time to discern their vocations and suitability to study for the priesthood. This issue, we introduce you to Dong Nguyen (Paul) who is presently enjoying life as part of the Dunedoo/Coolah Parish.
My name is Dong Nguyen (Paul), from Vietnam. I was born in Vinh Diocese at Nghe An province, Southern Vietnam. I am number four of nine brothers and sisters. My village in Vinh Diocese at that time is a very poor community. The only job people could do to earn a living was to grow rice. Belonging to the area of annual disasters, people in the village cannot even earn enough for their daily needs. As a result, those who are of working age usually go to the north of Vietnam to earn a living and come back to their families at the end of each year. Unlike others, my father went to Daklak province, the mountainous area at central Vietnam where there is a lot of land available for planting cash crop trees. Then he came back to bring his family with him to Daklak. In 1996, we moved to Daklak province. The change of residence turned my life to a new page. A page, in which there were sufferings, dreams and successes, etc. I was 10 years old when my family moved to Daklak. A Vietnamese 10 year old boy usually could not help his family to do anything but only trying to study. Therefore, I was studying hard hoping to help my family when I grew up. One year after moving to the new place, with my friends in the parish, I began to work in the church as a volunteer. I was an altar server at Vinh Duc church, joining in the choir of the parish, etc. At such a young age, I did those jobs without awareness of serving church, merely because I wanted to be with friends. In consequence of continuing involvement in the services of the church, which then left in me a desire to become a priest in the future. When I was 16 years old, I came back to Nghe An to study at high school and lived with my grandparents, with the purpose of helping them in their old age. This was really a tough time for me, not only because of having to live in the poor village with many floods and storms, but
also having to live away from the love of my family. The other reason which made it difficult is the climate in this area. It is very hot in summer and freezing in winter. Despite all the difficulties, I always tried my best to help my grandparents as much as possible in doing housework as well as work in the field when needed. Apart from studying and helping my grandparents, I continued serving in the local church by playing the church organ, training the choir of the parish and, in the meantime, keeping in mind the desire to serve the altar someday as a priest. After two years living at Vinh Diocese, Nghe An province, I came back home to Daklak in 2005. I was now 18 years old; the age was not very young for one to make some decisions for his life. It happened to me that I had to choose between continuing to study at the university or going straight to the religious house to devote my life to God. Of course I chose the latter because that was my thirst during my schooldays. Then I had a period of six months living at Lac Son parish, studying English and getting used to
the communitarian life. In December 2006 I went to the Philippines, because the house of formation is there. I could not be welcomed by the government due to some political events happening in the Philippines at that time so I had to come back to Vietnam. One week later, I tried to go to the Philippines again, but the result was not changed. Perhaps, God did not want me to go there, I thought. I went home and thought about my life and the way God might want me to follow...??? A year later, I decided to study for the university entrance exam. I passed the exam and began to study at the Van Lang University majoring in foreign languages. During the days at the university, I kept on hoping to go to a seminary after I graduated. At the end of 2010, when I had finished the third semester, I came back to Nghe An for Tet holiday, a very important holiday for Vietnamese, and had a good chance to meet Bishop Michael there. I could not imagine that after talking and having some meals together in Vinh Diocese I would have the opportunity to accompany Bishop Michael on a trip to Saigon, which meant that we had much time talking, telling the story about Vietnam and, of course, my own story as well. After hearing my story about the desire to be a priest, especially about the unsuccessful trip to the Philippines in the past, Bishop Michael was sympathetic towards me. Indeed, until now, when I think about my life, especially about my vocation, I feel it’s happening as a mystery. Above all, I realise that it’s truly God’s willing. I had never thought I would come to Australia before I met Bishop Michael. In March 2011, I came to Australia with the sponsorship of the Bishop. Now, I am living happily in the “house” God has prepared for me and being surrounded with His love. I would like to give my thanks to Bishop Michael, the priests and the staff in the Chancery Office for their efforts in sponsoring me to come to Australia despite the many difficulties. I also repeat my deep gratitude to my parents, cousins and friends for helping and praying for me always.
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 32
School Uniform Pool Pooling Resources
any families find uniform pools invaluable in outfitting their children for school at a reasonable cost. Some Pools work on a commission basis enabling families to recoup some of the cost of outgrown uniforms. The proceeds are to outfit those in financial need and charities. Others rely on donations and sell the clothes at a nominal cost using the proceeds for other purposes. These too outfit needy children at no cost. Which kind a school has usually depends on who they can find to run it. Almost always, it is volunteers and many of these don’t want the responsibility of pricing. A few schools sell some new uniforms and incorporate their pool with this outlet. In Bathurst the Uniform Pool arrangements are:Cathedral School - is a donation pool and has general primary uniform for all local Catholic Schools, Cathedral sports uniform and occasionally sports uniform for the other three Primary Schools. They do not sell new uniform. Located at the back of the Parish
Holy Family - is a commission pool. Sells all general primary uniform plus their own sports uniform. The school office sells hats, ties and sports uniform. Located opposite School Library near Tuckshop opposite the Library. Opening hours are:- Term time – Thursday 3 -3.30 or by asking for the key at the office. Holidays Contact – Mindy O’Leary (0438800544) or via Combined Catholic Colleges Pool. Information available at www. holyfamilykelso.catholic.edu.au. Combined Catholic Uniform Pool is a commission pool for MacKillop, Stannies and sport uniform for Catholic Primary (except Holy Family). Trousers, shirts and shorts also suitable for All Saints and Scots boys. Names taken Assumption School - is a donation pool for waiting list for high demand items. for their own uniform and sells new Located at rear of Marietta’s (233 sports uniform and hats. Not open George Street) Open 9.30-5.30pm school holidays. Contact office during weekdays; 9-1pm Sat. Cash or cheque term for opening times. only. Contact 63311078 business St Philomena’s School - do not have hours; Marilyn Pratley 63376548 AH or a Pool but use Cathedral and Holy firstname.lastname@example.org Marilyn Pratley Family. Centre between the school and the Cathedral. Opening hours are:- Term time - Tuesday 12.30pm-1.30pm; Wednesday 8.30am-9.30am; Thursday 2.30pm-3.30pm; Holidays: Friday 27th January 10.00am-12.00pm and 1.00pm3.00pm.
Aid to the Church in Need PO Box 6245 Blacktown DC NSW 2148 Phone/Fax No: (02) 9679-1929
E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.aidtochurch.org
I/We enclose $.................. to help keep Christianity alive in the land of Christ’s birth.
Yes please send me the set of 6 Christmas tree ornaments*
Made from olive wood, this delightful set of hand carved ornaments is powerfully evocative of Christ’s birthplace, The Christmas tree ornaments are lovingly, handcrafted by families in need in Bethlehem and your donation helps them survive. I enclose a cheque/money order payable to Aid to the Church in Need OR please debit my Visa or Mastercard
The Holy Father’s concern for the Christian presence in the Holy Land and Middle East led him to call on the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to prioritise support for a Church that is “threatened in its very existence”. Benedict’s XVI’s plea for the faithful in the Middle East follows an upsurge of anti-Christian fundamentalism, which has helped cause a mass exodus from the region. Among the places worst affected is the Holy Land, where the number of Christians has dwindled to barely 150,000. Over the past 60 years, the percentage of Christians in Bethlehem has plummeted from 85% of the population to only 12%. In Jerusalem the figure has fallen from 20% to just 1.1%. What would Christmas Day at the birthplace of Christ be like if the faithful were no longer there to gather, worship and celebrate? Please help us to sustain the ‘living stones’ - the faithful themselves - who walk the lands Christ knew so well, otherwise Christianity worldwide runs the risk of losing this first-hand witness and the Holy Places simply becoming museums for tourists to visit. Your donation will help ACN’s projects to support the faithful in the Cradle of Christianity. These include support for priests, religious and lay people, offering subsistence help to refugees and building and repairing churches and convents. Help is also given to crucial media projects aimed to promote the message of Christ. A beautiful set of six handcrafted Christmas tree ornaments, made of olive wood in Bethlehem, will be sent to all those who give a donation of $15.00 or more to help this campaign. Please tick the box if you would like to receive the Christmas Tree ornaments*
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Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms/Rev . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Postcode . . . . . . . . . . . Ph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 33
James Sheahan Catholic HS Building Community
tudents at James Sheahan are encouraged to engage in the community building spirit of the School, in addition to the learning opportunities that are provided for them. Recently, two events saw demonstrations of School pride and spirit as students participated in the Sheahan Cup and our first Dragon Boat Racing competition. The Sheahan Cup is run on the same day as that other famous race, the Melbourne Cup, but there are major differences. The older, bigger students perform the role of the horses and the younger, smaller students become the jockeys. The horses wear papier mache heads in their house colours and the jockeys have specially made silks. Dragon Boat Racing is a new activity available to students prepared to attend training. Approximately 40 students have been training at Lake Canobolas every Friday afternoon since the warmer weather arrived, with the assistance of Pearl from the Orange Colour City Dragon Boat Racing Club. We are indebted to her for the generosity she has shown in giving up her time to help the teams. Her enthusiasm and passion for the sport is infectious, her encouragement of our students boundless. The teams recently competed in their first event, ending the day in second place overall and have now set their sights on the Chinese New Year Dragon Boat racing competition at Darling Harbour. Both these events build a strong sense of community within our School and with the world beyond our boundaries. Lynelle Maguire
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• Lightweight clothes with long sleeves
• Lovely range of maternity wear
• Pant and skirt suits • Wool coats to Size 24 • Huge range of cardigans and pants with pockets • Pleated, straight and gored skirts – longer lengths • Good quality at a reasonable price • Half price alterations on clothes bought at Marietta’s • General alteration and repair service • Senior discount or alterations free
231-233 George St Bathurst 2795 Ph 6331 1078 Fax 6337 6552 Easy Parking near the cinema
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 34
St. Patrick’s ~ Lithgow W e have had a few busy months here at St. Patrick’s, Lithgow. The cold weather has been relentless and we are now very glad that the warmer weather is upon us.
Back in August we were busy with the Saint Mary MacKillop of the Cross Feast Day. Our celebrations started with a whole school Mass, where Sister Anne - our very own Josephite Sister was joined by the Junior Josephites to lead the prayers. Afterwards a shared morning tea was held and fun and games delighted the children for the afternoon. During August we also celebrated Book Week with a week of competitions followed by the annual Book Week Parade and stall. The children looked absolutely wonderful and some of the books that were for sale were preloved ones, donated by the children themselves. This great idea raised much needed funds to top up our library resources. Thanks must go to Ms Barbara Hart for her dedication to this event, and also to the parents who helped out on the day. Our Parish welcomed two new R.C.I.A candidates also in August and we wish them peace and happiness. Congratulations to Charlotte and Duane. We also had communion and confirmation in the Parish. The community also gathered for a thanksgiving Mass to celebrate Father Owen Gibbon’s 30th anniversary of Ordination. Tracey Young
BATHURST CENTRAL COUNCIL - SOCIETY OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL 27-31 McNamara Street Orange NSW 2800 Phone: 02 6362 2565 Fax: 02 6362 2830
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul - Helping people to help themselves by giving a “hand up” not a “hand out”. To make a donation to the Society, Visit your local St Vincent de Paul Centre or complete the following for cheque/money order/credit card donation YES, I WANT TO HELP, Please find enclosed my gift of
0000 0000 0000 0000
Other $ Expiry Date:
Name: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ P/Code: ____________ Phone No: (h)_____________________________________ (w)____________________________________________
Please send me some information about leaving a gift in my Will.
Please make cheques payable to the Society of St Vincent de Paul and send to PO BOX 8317, ORANGE NSW 2800
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 35
100 years and growing strong Some information about CCI C atholic Church Insurances (CCI) is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011 by thanking the people it holds most dear – its valued clients in the Church community and beyond. CCI began from simple origins in 1911 when the Catholic Bishops of Australia decided that it was prudent for the Church to establish its own insurance company to provide fire insurance for Church properties. Today, Catholic Church Insurances has diversified into a general insurance and financial services provider offering insurance products to Church and Religious Institutes in Australia, including property, motor vehicle, liability, workers compensation, as well as providing personal insurance products to the broader community. Catholic Church Insurances CEO, Peter Rush, says the Centenary celebrations provide an opportunity to reflect on CCI’s history, its place in the Church today, and its vision for serving Church into the future. “Catholic Church Insurances is proud to be the trusted partner of so many different Church entities and operations,” Mr Rush says. “The occasion of our Centenary gives us the opportunity to thank our customers for their ongoing faith in us and to recommit ourselves to protecting their interests in the best possible way. “There’s no-one we’d rather share this historic milestone with more than our valued friends, clients and partners right across the Church community”. Mr Rush says that Catholic Church Insurances is one of the oldest insurance companies in Australia and that right from the beginning it was unique among its competitors. “It has always existed not to make a profit, but to protect the interests of the Church community and to return any surplus made back to the Church community in this way, helping to support the mission of the Church,” he says. And, being owned by the Catholic Dioceses’ and Religious Congregations of Australia, CCI continues to understand the unique needs of the Church community like no other. “It’s this understanding that has helped us build a valued relationship of trust with the community we serve,” Mr Rush says. “It’s a trust that we never take for granted as we continually strive to grow and develop according to our clients’ needs. We hope that our friends in the Church community will join us in celebrating the Centenary of Catholic Church Insurances and that together we can embark on a new century of Serving Church”.
Why insure with the Church’s own insurer?
The Church is not like a business or any other charitable operation. Its mission is unique and so are its needs. It requires a specialised insurer who, being a part of the Church, truly understands how best to serve the Church community. Some of the benefits of insuring with Catholic Church Insurances include: Guaranteed continuity of property cover - There are many benefits to the Church owning its own insurance company, the most important being continuity of cover. Regardless of the size or number of claims, CCI guarantees to continue property cover. No other insurer in Australia would give such a guarantee. Fair settlement of claims - Catholic Church Insurances has an excellent reputation for fair claims settlements. All claims inquiries are judged on their merits and every effort is made to provide assistance to our clients where possible. At Catholic Church Insurances, all third-party claimants are treated with respect and dignity and in a manner that reflects the Church we are a part of. You deal directly with the underwriter - Catholic Church Insurances is a licensed insurer authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Catholic Church Insurances underwrites most classes of general insurance. Financial security - Catholic Church Insurances’ solvency coverage has consistently exceeded the statutory requirements. This ensures that you are dealing with a very financially secure company. Peace of mind - The master policies covering property and public/products liability generally provides immediate protection for newly acquired property. In addition, up to the value specified in the policy schedule, the motor fleet vehicle policy generally provides automatic cover on all of your vehicles. CCI gives back to the Church community - Being a co-operative allows CCI to distribute profits back to the clients of the company. After claims, expenses and prudent reserves, a distribution is made to share any profit. In this way CCI supports many Church activities.
St Mary’s Bombala (Canberra-Goulbourn Archdiocese) is cleared out for work to repair damage caused by an earth tremor. Following the tremor, the first phone call Fr Mick MacAndrew made was to CCI. He was so grateful to them for the way they handled the Parish’s claim, he included them on a plaque commemorating the opening of the new section of the church.
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 36
We see a church as so much more than just a building... At CCI we understand a church is the heart of a Catholic communityâ€™s faith, and in protecting the bricks and mortar we are ensuring the parish community will always have access to this important spiritual centre. CCI was formed by the Church for the Church 100 years ago and we share a common passion and mission to protect the people and property of Church. Over the past 32 years CCI has returned more than $223 million in distributions, sponsorship and grants from the surplus made from the operations of the company. We are a stable and financially secure company committed to continuing our support of Church. In this our centenary year we extend our sincere thanks to our loyal clients for allowing us to support their mission and thus fulfil our vision of serving Church. Weâ€™ll see you through now and into the future.
www.ccinsurances.com.au Catholic Church Insurances Limited ABN 76 000 005 210 AFSL 235415
CCI Centenary ad CathObserverBathurst.indd 1
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 37
20/10/2011 8:01:24 AM
MSC Mission Office
PO Box 177, NSW 1465 Ph: 02 9697 0983 / 9662 7188 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.australia.mscmission.org
Water Project: a school with 300 students in the rural area of Guatemala is seeking assistance for clean water. Currently, students have to walk 3 km daily to bathe & wash. The local Government has no interest in helping them. Drilling cost is high, due to all equipment needing to be transported 400km from the nearest town. We are seeking $63,000 - Can you help? Disadvantaged Youth: Australian sister-Mary Batchelor (85) has been working in Mapourdit, a small rural village in the diocese of Rumbek South Sudan and is seeking financial help for providing students to continue their education as they come from disadvantaged families. She has 1000 students at the primary school. We are seeking $20,000 - Are you able to help her? HIV/Aids: New cases of HIV/Aids in poor countries has increased dramatically. The Mission office has offered to support several HIV/Aids awareness programs. Anyone interested in supporting our programs? Priestly Formation: For anyone interested it costs an approx $4,000 per year to train a seminarian.
I wish to support:
Clean Water Projects
Seminarian (non tax deductible)
Most Urgent (Domestic / Overseas) Enclosed is my gift
I wish to claim a tax deduction
Please debit my credit card: Visa / Master / Amex
Name: Address: PCode Ph:
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 38
Trade Training Centre Opened
recent cause for celebration was the opening of the brand new Trade Training Centre at MacKillop College in Bathurst. Honoured guests on the day included Mr Peter Hill (then Executive Director of Schools), Mr Gerry Lynch (P&F President) and College Principal Mrs Maureen Moore. Students and staff are thrilled with the new facility, which boasts a fully appointed industrial kitchen that ensures hands-on experience for those students wanting to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. Recently, this facility allowed our girls a competitive edge in the World Skills Commercial Cookery Competition. This is a competition open to all school students in Australia who study a Vocational Education & Training course.
Mr Hill, Mrs Moore and Mr Lynch
Penny Duggan was victorious in this competition. Currently in Y10, Penny was the youngest competitor in the first heat of the Regional World Skills Commercial Cookery Competition. She was up against a dozen Year 11 students from the Central West. The judges, renowned chef Michael Manners and TAFE chef John Olewicz, were most impressed with Pennyâ€™s skills and awarded her the highest points. Linda Aldwinckle
Years 11 and 12 Hospitality students in the kitchen
MacKillop College ~ Bathurst
tudents at MacKillop are encouraged to develop a sense of responsibility and structures such as the Senior and Junior Councils to help them to participate in the decisionmaking process in the College. A recent College project saw the Mercy and Justice Group at MacKillop proudly send off over 100 Shoe Boxes filled to the brim with gifts for needy children overseas. They are taking part in Operation Christmas Child, an annual collection that occurs in October each year. For the last few weeks students from Y6 to Y12 have generously donated gifts for boys and girls ranging in age from two to 14 years. The destination of this yearâ€™s National Shoe Box collection, organised by the Good Samaritans, could be anywhere in the world where children would not receive a gift on Christmas morning.
CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 39
Same appeal - but different! F or a good number of years now the people of the Bathurst Diocese have given generously each Christmas to support a particular Church in need. These have included the Diocese of Tarawa in Kiribati, and the Diocese of Wau in Sudan. Following a review by the Bishop and Priests of the Diocese in conjunction with the Diocesan Director of Missions, Bishop McKenna is inviting the people of the Diocese of Bathurst to join him in our annual missionary Christmas Appeal to support the people of Timor-Leste in the Parish of Same (pronounced ‘sah-may’). This community is located in the central highlands of the Diocese of Dili. It is a community eager to develop a meaningful faith-based relationship with a supportive diocese in Australia. The money donated at Christmas Masses in the Bathurst Diocese will be used to build a parish and community multipurpose hall. Various organisations exist in the Parish of Same to help promote and strengthen the faith of the people with these groups usually meeting on a monthly basis. Up until now, the meetings have been held inside the Church, because there is nowhere else for the people to gather, so a new facility is desperately needed. Bishop McKenna has asked that the proceeds of our Christmas Appeal for the next few years be directed to the Parish of Same, with the aim of funding the Same Community Hall through to the completion of its third and final stage, estimated for completion in 2013-2014. Timor-Leste is described by the United Nations as ‘one of the poorest countries in the world’. Half the country’s population lives below the poverty line. Life expectancy is less than 68 years and less than 60% of the population is literate. It is one of the two predominantly Catholic nations in Asia, alongside the Philippines. 97% of Timor-Leste’s population identifies as Catholic. Church membership grew considerably following Indonesia’s annexation of TimorLeste in 1999. Although the independence struggle was not about religion, as a deeply rooted, pre-Indonesian local institution, the Catholic Church played a significant role in the resistance movement. In recognition of the Church’s contribution to independence, the Timor-Leste constitution acknowledges the Church’s role as a national institution,
while guaranteeing freedom of religion to everyone. The Church continues to advocate for social justice and endorses efforts to promote national reconciliation in TimorLeste. There will be an opportunity at every Christmas Mass across the Diocese to contribute to the Same Appeal. Alternatively, you can send your donation to the Bishop’s appeal to: Same Appeal, c/- Diocesan Secretary, PO Box 246, Bathurst NSW 2795. This Christmas, please remember how fortunate we are in the Diocese and the endless opportunities we have to foster and develop our own faith. Your contribution to this Appeal will help our neighbours in Same to have a chance to do the same!
Servicing the people of Orange and District Community
“Offering helpful advice and care” Proudly and Locally owned by John and Cath Murphy 1 Cameron Place, Orange NSW 2800 Phone: 02 6360 1199 Fax: 02 6360 2999 www.orangefuneral.com.au CATHOLIC OBSERVER - DECEMBER EDITION - PAGE 40
Quarterly publication of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, NSW, Australia.