The Catholic Observer - December 2021

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Volume 57, No 3 December 2021 $2.00

Christmas 2021

Christmas 2021

M need.

ay the celebration of Christmas this year bring you the gifts of healing and hope that we all

The harmful force of the pandemic that we have been living with for almost two years has affected everyone. Some of us have suffered physically; all of us have suffered mentally and socially. We need healing in our minds and in our relationships. We need to find the ways of patience and kindness with one another. How can we hope to do that? The light shone to send the shepherds to Bethlehem and led the wise men to the same place and the same child. This child is Emmanuel, God among us, entering our broken world to heal us and make us whole. This child started his earthly life as a refugee. In this year’s Christmas Story art exhibition for senior primary students, I was struck by William Horton’s painting of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt. It brought back poignant memories of recent “The Flight to Egypt” by William Horton pictures from Afghanistan, with desperate people clinging to the wings of planes taxiing away without them. is suffering. He is most present to you in you be your best gift to others. your times of trouble. Jesus is present in the eighty million people displaced from their homes in May finding him, who can heal all our +Michael McKenna our world today. He is present in your woe, be your best gift this Christmas; and Bishop of Bathurst family member, workmate or friend who may the compassion he will share with

Our front cover


he image on the front cover of this Christmas edition of the Catholic Observer is of Maggie Freebody, Year 5 student from St Matthews Catholic School, showing her beautiful work entitled ‘Joy to the World’. Maggie entered her art work in the 2020 Christmas Art Story Exhibition and Competition and was awarded the Catholic Observer Award. Maggies’s work is now part of the Christmas Story Art Exhibition in Sydney, where it will compete amongst entries from the Archdiocese of Sydney and Diocese of Wollongong. As part of the competition, each entry was based on a Scripture passage and the student includes a reflection about their work. Maggie’s reflection is below:

background, my artwork aims to draw the viewer’s focus to the Christmas family with their generous visitors. The painted lines of the characters’ curves are contrasted with the straight lines behind them. Also, the centralised star highlights how Jesus is the light of the world and everyone can look up to him. Influenced by art works that combine both colour and shape to enliven the background, like Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’, my artwork uses both bright colours and definite shape to energise the nativity scene. This will hopefully help viewers reflect on how Jesus brings joy and peace to our world.

I hope that my artwork brings joy to a viewer’s world, just like Jesus did at his “Joy to the World” “Inspired by the birth of Jesus in the birth.” by Maggie Freebody Gospel of Luke (2:9-14), I chose to create an abstract artwork that emphasises the shape, colour and stained glass window Although attention initially moves to Christine Sweeney designs found in churches. the diamond colours shining in the Page 2 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Post-Plenary meeting


he Catholic Diocese of Bathurst Plenary Council members Bishop McKenna, Fathers Paul Devitt VG and Greg Kennedy EV, along with Ms Hayley Farrugia and Messrs Michael Gibbons and Matthew Brown gathered for a post-plenary meeting at Shalom House of Prayer at Carcoar. Also in attendance were Mrs Jenny Allen and Mission and Renewal Project Officer Jacinta Thatcher, who had also attended the Plenary sessions in other roles. During this time, individuals shared their experiences of the First Session as well as their hopes moving forward. They also heard of plans and expectations for the upcoming Synod and shared ideas to help our Church to continue to journey on the path of Synodality. Fiona Lewis

Post-Plenary gathering at Shalom House of Prayer, Carcoar

Light and hope amidst lockdown


fears and deprivations. But the centre of the Christian story is the Resurrection, and I am delighted to share the way our Australian bishops stepped up to the challenge of Covid-19 and met it with all the conviction and Easter 2020 was unlike any other, faith of the Easter message.” celebrated in mostly empty cathedrals and churches, live streamed to The book is available from St Pauls parishioners in lockdown around the Publications: country. The sermons and pastoral letters of the bishops of Australia at that time have an enduring value as Streams of Light, Easter messages they capture a time of strangeness. from Australian Bishops during treams of Light: Easter Messages from Australian Bishops During Lockdown 2020 is a collection of messages by Australian Catholic bishops, including Bishop McKenna.

Editor Nigel Zimmermann said, “The pandemic story involves suffering,

Lockdown 2020

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 3

Continuing their journey


n 21 November, Bishop McKenna admitted seminarian Kieu Van Le to the Ministry of Lector and seminarian Ha Van Tran to the Ministry of Acolyte at the Cathedral of St Michael and St John. On the long journey of discernment and formation before ordination, seminarians make three important steps: Ministry of Lector, Ministry of Acolyte and the Admission to Candidacy. Those involved in this ministry are called to be servants of the living word of God. In proclaiming the readings, the lector does more than simply read. A lector’s spirituality must include an understanding of Holy Scripture as God’s word made present to mankind throughout history, but most fully present in the person of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Those who exercise the ministry of reader must be truly suited and carefully prepared, so that the faithful may develop a warm and living love for Sacred Scripture from listening to the sacred readings. Training includes both spiritual and technical preparation.

Seminarian Ha Van Tran being admitted to the Ministry of Acolyte

In the Ministry of Lector, the reader is ministering to the community. This is most appropriately done when the individual is able to proclaim the Scripture from the depths of their lived faith. An acolyte is instituted for service at the Altar and to assist the priest and deacon. It is his place principally to prepare the Altar and the sacred vessels and, if necessary, to distribute the Eucharist to the faithful as an extraordinary minister. In the absence of a priest or deacon, he may also be delegated to expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration and replace it in the tabernacle afterward.

Kieu and Ha celebrate with their brothers from the Good Shepherd Seminary

On a deeper level, through their attentiveness and constant study of the matters of divine worship, acolytes are called to foster “a sincere love for Christ’s mystical body, God’s holy people and especially for the weak and the sick” to whom they bring the Holy Eucharist when illness prevents them from coming to the church themselves. We offer Kieu and Ha congratulations and ask for your continued prayers as they mark these important milestone on their journey towards priesthood. Christine Sweeney

Seminarian Kieu Van Le being admitted to the Ministry of Lector

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Thanks to our Altar Servers


cross the Diocese our parishes have Altar Servers who start after their First Communion and continue for as long as we can keep them! The primary role of the altar server is to assist the priest in the celebration of the liturgy during Mass. Our

new and continuing volunteers attend training sessions in their parishes and we want to thank them for their much-valued contribution to our Masses, especially at celebrations such as the admission of Kieu and Ha. Christine Sweeney

Can you hear God’s call? You’ll never know unless you begin to open your heart in prayer to the possibilities; and then to speak to someone whose faith and judgment you trust. God does not usually reveal his will in a sudden dramatic way, but in the quiet steps of prayer, sacrament, service, reflection and sharing with other Catholics.

Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mk 10:28-30)

For more information about exploring your vocation contact Fr Carl Mackander: or Fr Reynold Jaboneta: C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 5

Caring makes a difference


he role of prison chaplain in a correctional facility offers a unique opportunity for anyone who is passionate about making a difference. Diocese of Bathurst Mission and Renewal Director, Deacon Josh Clayton, says that as the Diocese has a number of correctional facilities in its boundary lines, this presents great opportunities for service. “Yes, there are people in prison who have done bad things, but I sometimes think each of us could be one bad decision away from being in jail ourselves, whether it was texting while driving or making another silly mistake”, said Deacon Josh. “And I hope that if I ended up in prison that there’d be someone there who would come in and bring God’s love to me.” Four people who couldn’t be happier about spending time in some of the country’s harshest places are Fran Schubert, Deacon Mike Williams, Fr Greg Walsh CM and Geraldine Bowes, all prison chaplains for the Diocese of Bathurst. Their work sees them cover Lithgow, Bathurst, and Wellington Correctional Centres. Governor of the Macquarie Correctional Centre in Wellington, Brad Peebles, when asked what difference the chaplaincy service makes to the region’s prison inmates and staff, replied: “The chaplain is ‘the soul of the centre’ and the chaplaincy service in general is an essential part of the toolkit in managing behaviour in custody, and in effecting change in people who are often broken and feel rejected by the community. It’s essential that people, during the process of change, have a non-judgemental person who cares about them and accepts them as human beings. Although Catholic, our Chaplain Fran has the gift of being loved and respected by people from all denominations, and this also includes our Islamic and Buddhist inmates.”

Raising the new chapel artwork in place

Apart from their ministry of presence, these prison chaplains would also like to see better support for people upon their release into the wider community and to build the capacity in other like-minded people who could assist our chaplains in the complementary role of a chaplain assistant. Depending on their expertise and experience, this assistance may take a variety of forms, including helping to lead religious services, assisting in offering pastoral care to inmates and staff, and facilitating throughcare efforts. “We see it as a great opportunity to be able to remove some of the stigma people have about jails and those who live in them or are leaving them”, added Deacon Josh. A recent exciting outcome of our diocesan chaplaincy work has been a faith based art project created by inmates. One of the inmates involved in the project said “Prison life can be testing at times, but if you find faith, as I have, God, through his Son Jesus Christ, may set a path of opportunity and redemption for you.

The magnificent new artwork now in the chapel are adorned with beautiful artworks, so too at Macquarie Correctional Centre Chapel. Many people and other artists must be thanked for their valuable contribution and time in seeing this project through.”

Might you be called to be a prison chaplain, or a chaplain’s assistant, to bring hope to some of the most vulnerable I have been given the privilege of creating a series of people in regional NSW? Call Deacon Josh Clayton on 0458 paintings for the Macquarie Correctional Centre Chapel, 261 513 or email for more which I hope will inspire worshippers of all faiths to find details. peace of mind. Source: Marilyn Rodrigues, Catholic Weekly Many of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world Page 6 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Annual Diocesan Seminar


s the clouds of the 2021 pandemic’s isolation and lockdown situation parted ways, the opportunity for face to face meeting became available. This opportunity was immediately seized and our annual Priests and Parish Secretaries’ Seminar was organised. The two day seminar, held at Rydges on Mount Panorama was a chance for discussion, introductions, reflection and planning for the future. After many weeks of zoom meetings and Mass online, we were able to come together as a group to share our experiences and join together in planning. Outgoing Bathurst Director for Catholic Mission Australia Mike Deasy introduced David McGovern, who took over the role in October. We wish David all the best as he leads a new chapter for the Mission in our Diocese. The inaugural Diocesan Service Awards were the highlight of the Seminar, notably as an important moment to recognise and acknowledge the depth and breadth of the work of our Chancery and Parish staff. Congratulations to all those who were celebrated on the night. Christine Sweeney

Award recipient Edith Simpson with Fr Garry McKeown and Fr Carl Mackander

Seminar dinner smiles

Seminar dinner comeraderie C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 7

Annual Seminar

Bishop Michael McKenna congratulates Vicki Mair

Sandra Robinson receives her Award from the Bishop

Bishop Michael McKenna and Fr Owen Gibbons with Fr Owen’s family

Fr Brien Murphy catches up with old friends

Page 8 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Genevieve Inatey (Chancery) 10 years, 10 months

Robyn Blunt (Hospital Chaplain - Ministries) 17 years, 6 months

Roseanne Booth (Chancery) 18 years, 1 month

Vicki Mair (SRE - Ministries) 18 years, 8 months

Michelle Longdon (Lithgow Parish) 18 years, 10 months

Julie Finn (Cowra Parish) 19 years, 1 month

Louise Ellison (Cowra Parish) 21 years

Judy Clark (Dubbo Parish) 21 years, 2 months

Sharon Hughes (Oberon Parish) 21 years, 3 months

Sandra Robinson (CDF/Chancery) 22 years, 2 months

Cathy Griffin (CDF/Chancery) 22 years 8 months

Annette Evans (CDF/Chancery) 26 years, 5 months

Fiona Lewis (Chancery) 27 years

Enid Simpson (Wellington Parish) 40 years, 3 months

Gathering in hope with a listening heart


ommunity catch-ups took place over November and December of this year. These sessions provided an opportunity for a retreat experience, a chance to gather together in person, reflect on the year, share experiences and look to the future with hope. The gatherings were held throughout the parishes in the Diocese and where

possible, everyone who attended joined in the celebration of daily Mass. Our community catch ups were open to everyone in the parish and it was great to have members of the Parish Pastoral Council and other members of parish ministry teams in attendance. Jacinta Thatcher

Community catch-ups for Cathedral Parish

Summer contemplations


s spring is a time of renewal and growth, we hope that this summer’s anticipated sunshine will shed light and focus on the season of Advent and Christmas in a way that is energising and inspiring for all of us. Connect@home is a Diocesan resource of daily reading, resources and Mass online to assist parishioners with worship at home. One element of Connect@home is a daily email which invites individuals to enter into the beauty and power of the Scriptures. It offers a chance to be nourished and formed by the Word of God, especially at a time when gathering as a community for Mass has not been as accessible or as regular as in previous years. Connect@home has been one way our congregation has kept up a strong connection.

Each morning, you will receive an email with a link to the daily readings set by the Church and a short reflection and prayer. You could do this sacred reading on your own, or with members of your household.

This is a chance for us as a local church to connect with one another and with The Church teaches that Christ is truly Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, who present in the Eucharist, in a community is with us in all we are going through. of two or more gathered in his name and when the Scriptures are read or If you like podcasts then Connection: Faith & Life, a Podcast of the Catholic proclaimed.

Diocese of Bathurst could very well be your next favourite. Life can be hard, especially during these past weeks and months of lockdown and now living with the COVID pandemic. Each week there is an episode of the podcast to offer mutual support, necessary at all times, and to promote growth in faith and holiness. We are always looking for ideas for discussion as well as people to interview, so suggestions are always welcome.

Page 10 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Deacon Josh

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 11

Centacare Update Counselling program We are slowly emerging from the COVID restrictions we have all had to face, to again broaden our reach in the community where we are most needed. Counselling and other services have been offered face to face since late June, following health guidelines. Community Visitors Scheme Social connection and interaction are the best predictor of wellbeing among older people. The community visitors scheme offers volunteers the opportunity to visit residents of aged Member for Bathurst Paul Toole, right, with Robert care facilities and give our elders the beautiful gift of time and George, Centacare Director and Annette Meyers, connection. COVID restrictions had affected this program Facilitator Bathurst Early Learning Support greatly however Louise Hennessy, our project manager, found creative ways of keeping the connection going. With the Funding success restrictions easing, this great program is back on. Please contact Congratulations to all staff involved in our successful funding us if you are interested in this wonderful initiative. application for a NSW Government grant that will support us in continuing the delivery of our important social services. The Join us funding boost is part of the NSW Government’s $50 million We are desperately looking for people who can work casual Social Sector Support Fund, which is delivering a range of targeted or part-time hours in our Orange and Bathurst OSHC sites. If financial assistance to organisations working across the social you are someone who loves looking after children between the services and animal welfare sectors. Annette Meyers, Manager ages of 5 to 12 within a structured, fun-filled environment we of Early Childhood and Community Programs recently took would love to hear from you. Flexible work days and hours, possession of a $100,000 cheque which will be used to service subsidised fee for your own children attending the service, and the particular and increasing needs due to COVID, of vulnerable salary packaging option (for part-time) on offer. families with young children in the Bathurst region. Assumption Convent Christmas and New Year Centacare now occupies the former Assumption Convent Centacare offices will be closed from 1pm on 24th December to which was the home for many of our past Josephites. The 9am on 10th January 2022. We wish everyone all the blessings of office is called the Josephite Centre and we hope to continue Christmas. Robert George the charism and the great work of the Josephite congregation.

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Farewell Kimbalee


imbalee Clews, Communications Co-ordinator for the Diocese for the past seven years, recently resigned to take up a position in the renewable energy industry. Dinner at Rydges, Bathurst on 28th October, during the recent Priests and Secretaries’ Seminar, was the perfect opportunity to farewell our valued colleague - with Chancery/CDF staff present, as well as our priests and parish secretaries, with whom Kimbalee had worked closely. While she was undoubtedly an intrinsic part of life at the Chancery Office in Bathurst, Kimbalee’s work developing our communication strategies over these past years also saw her form great relationships with the priests, religious and laity of our whole Diocese. As well as a wealth of expertise, Kimbalee brought great life and warmth to her role and she was always a wonderful communicator. Ever ready to assist, she quickly became a valued source of information and consistently ‘went the extra mile’ to help wherever she could to further the mission of our local church. Bishop Michael expressed his gratitude for

Kimbalee with Bishop Michael having Kimbalee as “a close collaborator Australasian Catholic Press Association in the work of bringing the people of our and she will be greatly missed by that Diocese together; and presenting our organisation also. message of hope and reconciliation to We wish Kimbalee every success in her the wider community. Kim was a joy to new career and thank her for all she work with, because her joy was part of contributed to the Diocese during her her faith.” time here. For the past few years, Kimbalee was Australian Vice-President of the Fiona Lewis

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Council of Catholic School Parents


wo local women, Mel Sullivan from Bathurst and Angela Duncan from Orange, are the representatives in the Diocese for the local Council of Catholic School Parents (CCSP) The CCSP is the peak representative body for parents and carers of children in NSW Catholic schools, and along with representatives from other dioceses, are a voice and advocate. Mel was born and raised in Bathurst and lives there with her family, who are active members of the Cathedral Parish. Angela’s family has a four generation association with Orange and she and her family are members of the Orange Parish. CCSP develops tools to assist parents and carers better engage with their child’s education. Research has shown that students of all backgrounds achieve more if parents/ carers are involved in their child’s education. CCSP is involved in many activities to deliver their mission to provide leadership, advocacy and support for parents of children in NSW Catholic schools. CCSP assists parents and carers by: • Promoting family, school and community partnerships • Advocating for student safety such as adequate protections for young people online • Supporting student wellbeing • Lobbying state and federal governments for school funding • Providing input into curriculum development • Influencing state and federal policy formulation • Providing advice to parents and carers to help them in their role as their parents

Angela and Mel represent parents for the local Council of Catholic School Parents

Children are more likely to build good relationships and do For further information about the CCSP or for assistance better at school when families and schools work together. for your school, please contact Mel: melsullivan3107@ For tips and advice on how to support your child at school or Angela: visit the CCSP website: Christina Trimble

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A fond farewell for Mike Deasy


he recent Priests and Secretaries’ Seminar was also a chance to bid farewell to Mike Deasy, who finishes up as Diocesan Director of Catholic Mission at the end of December. Mike’s association with the Diocese of Bathurst is a long one. He initially worked at the Chancery Office in the 1970s, before moving to Wollongong to set up the Catholic Development Fund, eventually taking on the role of Director of Catholic Mission there. In 2011, Mike took on the position of Director in our Diocese and later also added the neighbouring Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes. In expressing his thanks for Mike’s ministry in the Diocese, Bishop McKenna said, “Mike has done a power of good in strengthening the connections that are at the heart of Catholic Mission. In particular, he has served our local church in two important ways. First, he has been indefatigable and successful in raising the profile of Mission in our schools.

Mike with Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta, Bishop Michael McKenna and Fr Anthony Rodrick Parish Priest and Project Manager at St Joseph’s Parish Bopngan Kolkata Second, he has understood and guided the annual Christmas Appeal, a tradition unique to our Diocese. He has overseen and travelled to the projects in Timor Leste, Nagaland and West Bengal that we have sponsored over the years. And he has organised pilgrimages of the Bishop and people of our local church to these sister churches, who have shared their hospitality and faith with us.”

Mike Deasy visiting Missionary Sisters of Charity, Northern India

Mike at St Brigid’s Church Dubbo during the visit of the Relics of St Therese of Lisieux Mike is handing over the reins to David McGovern, who is the Director for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and has now added Bathurst and Wilcannia Forbes to his portfolio. We thank Mike for his great contribution to the Diocese of Bathurst, in a variety of ways, over all these years and ask God’s richest blessings on his future; and we assure David of a very warm welcome as he takes on this important work. Fiona Lewis

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C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 15

Joining together for i4give Week 2022 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” Ephesians 4:32


ydney parents Daniel and Leila Abdallah created i4give Day as a remembrance of four beautiful young children who were tragically lost in an accident on 1st February 2020, as they waited to cross the road with their bikes in their suburban neighbourhood. The i4give Foundation and i4give Week also exist to help others who have suffered in a similar way. i4give Sunday is now a national day of forgiveness; where you are asked to search and find it in your heart to forgive someone, forgive yourself or even ask for forgiveness. “Our four children are now our four saints and this day is for them. Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself and others. The more you practice the better you become at it and it allows you to live peacefully and to heal. Forgiveness is more for the forgiver than the forgiven” say Danny and Leila. We are encouraged to search and find someone we can forgive on this day. Set them free and feel the freedom of forgiveness.

Anna Cayton, Amber Calleja and Angelo Belmonte developing i4give resources

conversations around forgiveness and its power to heal and restore broken relationships. The message of deep forgiveness based in a forgiving God starts within and among churches i4give Sunday will take place on and goes out from there into the 6th February 2022 and will serve to community. engage all Christian churches across Australia to unite in a shared embrace As partners, our parishes and of the Christ centred approach to communities are encouraged to pray for reconciliation found in forgiveness forgiveness. through Jesus Christ during i4give We are all encouraged to engage in Week in Australia. Masses celebrated

in our parishes on this day will reflect the values and empathy of i4give Sunday. Throughout December, staff at the Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst planned and developed our own i4give program. Bathurst Diocesan schools will be participating in i4give Week through various activities and liturgies around the theme of forgiveness. Christine Sweeney

Tribunal of the Catholic Church Marriage breakdown is a traumatic experience for all those concerned. The Church reaches out in support of those who are divorced, while upholding the permanence of a true Christian marriage. The Bathurst Office of the Tribunal extends an invitation to any divorced person who would like to talk about the annulment process. You can be assured that your privacy will be respected. Should you choose to apply for an annulment, you will be guided and supported through the process. For further information please phone the Bathurst Office of the Interdiocesan Tribunal on 6334 6409 or email: Page 16 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Looking back, to move forward


his time last year I reflected on what had been an extraordinary school year and described the many changes and challenges to our schools as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. While we knew the pandemic was far from over, I believed that in regional New South Wales we considered that the worst was behind us. In fact, it had barely begun. Again in 2021 we have been blessed in the Diocese of Bathurst. Many of our schools were only in remote learning for a few weeks, although schools and families in Bathurst, Dubbo and Lithgow LGAs had a longer experience. We have had, to date, only three schools directly impacted by positive COVID cases and our students, families and staff have remained well. There have been challenges associated with this period of remote learning for some students and their families, while for others the experience has been wholly positive. This variety of experience has been noted in both academic research and in the media. COVID-19 lockdowns have shown that technology has a key role to play in education, and that some students may benefit from more of it, while others struggled and would hope to never revisit those weeks. For some students being at home was challenging, being away from their friends, while others relished the freedom of a less structured day and fewer social expectations. Increased levels of anxiety have been evident for some students when they returned to school, while others have adapted quickly. Schools and families have had to work together to overcome the challenges of the variety of responses. Thanks is owed to our principals and staff for their adaptability and commitment to their students. Thank you to our parents for your support. We know that many of you had your lives turned upside down by the stay at home orders and are happy to see your children safely back at school. “The one thing we can be sure of is that there is no substitute for face-to-face learning” SMH October 25, 2021.

Executive Director of Schools, Mrs Christina Trimble’s school visit Class of 2021

School visits

I would like to congratulate all of our Yr 12 graduates on their successful completion of 13 years of education. We are proud of the manner in which you have navigated your senior schooling, as both years were impacted by the pandemic. This cohort has had to endure two lockdowns, cancelled events, and lots of uncertainty throughout their two most important years at school. Despite this challenge, the students can be proud of what they have achieved at their schools this year, as well as the way they have achieved it. Congratulations to all our Yr 12 students. Thank you for what you’ve contributed to your schools, your parish and the diocese, and best wishes for the future. We wish you God’s every blessing in your future endeavours.

One of the many facets of our normal routine which has been interrupted by the pandemic has been the opportunity for me to visit schools. It was therefore with great pleasure that I was able to travel to Sacred Heart Primary School in Coolah, one of our smallest schools, to celebrate their Mission Day with them on 29th October. The community had planned a wonderful centenary celebration which, like so many other events, had to be postponed. However, as the rules allowed them to invite the Executive Director, I was able to participate in the fun. Thank you to the staff and students for the warmth of their hospitality.

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 17

Principals news


wo principals will be concluding their principalship at the end of 2021. We appreciate their commitment and dedication over many years of service to our diocesan system of schools. During his more than four decades of commitment to teaching and leadership in Catholic schools, including 30 years as a Diocesan principal of which the last 22 years have been as Principal of Cathedral Catholic Primary School, Patrick Allen has made an outstanding contribution to Catholic education in the Diocese of Bathurst. Patrick will leave a school which is well nurtured and resourced, where student faith, learning and Michael Gallagher wellbeing is at the heart of an authentic school in the Diocese of Bathurst when in Catholic community. 2016, the school was registered to include Michael Gallagher’s commitment Yr 11 students, with the first Higher to Catholic education has also been School Certificate being undertaken in extensive, with 29 years as a principal, 2017. Michael has placed particular focus including 23 years as Principal of St in recent years on Vocational Education Raphael’s Catholic School in Cowra. He and there is a growing emphasis on led St Raphael’s to be the second K-12 Agriculture, linking the School to its local

Patrick Allen community and providing learning and career opportunities for students. I thank them for their dedication to our system of schools and wish them good health and happiness. Christina Trimble Director of Schools

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Catholic Education - Quality Education Page 18 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Diocesan schools taking on a new curriculum


athurst: It’s the first major overhaul of the NSW school curriculum in over 30 years and Catholic schools across Bathurst are among the first to adopt the new system. Holy Family Primary School, Assumption Catholic Primary School, St Philomena’s School and Cathedral Catholic Primary School have all started the introduction process of the new curriculum which will be mandatory in all schools by 2023. Catholic Education school’s consultant Rose-Marie van Raad said there’s been a lot of consultation with teachers, parents and students since 2018 and they are really looking forward to the implementation of the new curriculum.

“Basically, what it means is the whole curriculum, from K to 12, is going to be redone,” Ms van Raad said. “So, every single syllabus in a school that teachers in NSW have to teach from, is being updated and changed, taking on board the feedback. “The teachers are so excited about it.” The new syllabus was released on 15th November, with maths and english from Kindergarten to Yr 2 the first to be phased in. Ms van Raad said the new curriculum focuses more on real-world applications and it’s crucial to build those foundations early. It also sets out to remove any ambiguity for teachers when planning lessons around the curriculum.

Camille da Silva Tavares, Karen Smith, Angela Johnson, Alison Curtin and Rose-Marie van Raad excited about the curriculum revamp “The curriculum reforms are focused on building strong foundations for future learning” Ms van Raad said. “We’re trying to get an early start on the mathematics so we can work through one syllabus at a time, rather than trying to do both at the same time not as well.”

learning to real-world situations. The aim is to make students critical thinkers by taking their knowledge from the base level of recalling information, to really understanding and using it.

With around 200 syllabuses from years K to 12, the NSW Education Standards With some schools already implementing Authority is giving schools a 12-month the new maths syllabus for years K-2, Ms van Raad said they are using a lot phase-in period. of hands-on material to move towards Source: Amy Rees students being better able to apply their Western Advocate

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 19

Mercy and Justice Service Group gets creative


ATHURST: Despite the disruption of COVID-19, MacKillop College Mercy and Justice Service Group students continued to give of their time and resources to help those in our local community. Students were involved with and implemented a variety of community focused initiatives over the year, in particular The Neighbourhood Centre Holiday Workshops and letter writing to the residents of Macquarie Care Centre, Bathurst. A number of very talented students engaged with the opportunity to record a Holiday Workshop for The Neighbourhood Centre. These workshops included dance, origami and even a drumming tutorial. They were shared with primary school aged youth via The Neighbourhood Centre website to follow along with over their school holidays while in lockdown. The time and energy that students applied to each of their workshops was greatly appreciated by The MacKillop College's Mercy and Justice Service Group Neighbourhood Centre and was thoroughly enjoyed by their many viewers. Centre. Discussing their studies, furry involved for the implementation of both friends and lockdown activities, their initiatives. It is reassuring to see this next In a usual school year, MacKillop students letters made for an enjoyable read. The generation of young women give of their would enjoy visiting our local nursing home overwhelmingly positive response to this time and resources to help those in need residents. However, with restrictions in initiative was appreciated by both the staff and live out their Christian call to live as place, we had to find another way to stay in and residents of Macquarie Care Centre, Jesus did. contact. To do this, Mercy and Justice and Bathurst. Year 9 CSYMI students wrote thoughtful Lillian Shone, letters to the residents at Macquarie Care I would like to thank all the students Youth Minister

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Page 20 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t


ATHURST: Receiving the sacraments is one of the most special moments for Assumption Primary School.


BERON: The staff and students of St Joseph’s Oberon enjoyed celebrating Fr Reynold’s milestone birthday recently. Our Yr 6 Captains were given the honour of presenting a school gift and singing happy birthday on behalf of the Joey’s community.

Our Yr 6 Confirmation course, in preparation for this sacrament, exposes our students to the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, the lives of Saints and how to live and treat others as fully initiated members of the Catholic Church. Catherine Connor

Glen Brown


ARADINE: Alicia, Artie, Joshua and Maddison from St John’s Catholic Primary School celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation this term. Particular thanks to class teacher, Mrs Tym and to Fr Francis Muhenda for all their work and support. It was Fr Francis’ first Confirmation and he was nearly as excited as the candidates to have such an honour. Margaret McKinnon


ITHGOW: All staff and students from La Salle Academy would like to wish our beautiful Sister Anne a lovely 80th birthday! She is very active and very much loved in our school community and we thank her for everything she does for us all. Margaret Doohan

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 21

Christmas Story Art finalists celebrate


he Christmas Story Art Competition and Exhibition is an initiative of the Catholic Education Offices in Bathurst, Wollongong and Sydney, designed to celebrate and explore children’s creative and artistic ability in illustrating the Christmas story. This exhibition and competition provides the opportunity for Yrs 5 and 6 students to share with the wider community, a greater awareness of the role of the arts in Religious Education. Children can develop deeper appreciation for their talents and recognise the value of the arts in expressing understandings of the Catholic faith.

Dean’s Award: Beau Nicholls, Y5, St Patrick’s Primary School, Lithgow “Pierced Soul” The Catholic Observer Award: Maggie Freebody, Y5, St Matthews Catholic School, Mudgee - “Joy to the World” Year 5 First Place: Edward Bunting, Y5, St Joseph’s Primary School, Molong - “A great Adventure” Year 5 Second Place: Abe Jones, Y5, St John’s Catholic Primary School, Dubbo “The Long Journey”

Year 5 Third Place: Ava Collins, Y5, Cathedral School, Bathurst - “Angel Students are invited to submit art, in Above” different mediums, illustrating the Christmas Story, with various criteria Year 5 Highly Commended: Sally to be met. Winners of the Bishop’s Kearney, Y5, St John’s Catholic Primary Award and the Executive Director’s School, Dubbo - “Journey to Bethlehem” Award have their work printed on their respective Christmas cards and the Year 5 Highly Commended: Leeona Catholic Observer Award appears on the Kele, Y5, Cathedral School, Bathurst front cover of our December issue each “Visit to our Saviour” year. Those selected as finalists from each Diocese see their artworks travel Year 5 Art Teachers’ Award: to Sydney for judging, alongside finalists Madeleine Gaden, Y5, St Michael’s for the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Catholic Primary School, Dunedoo “Joseph’s Journey” Diocese of Wollongong.

“Pierced Soul” Bowman, Y5, St Joseph’s Primary School, Molong - “The Path of Enlightenment” Year 6 First Place: Mabel Keightley, Y6, St Matthews Catholic School, Mudgee - “The Gift of Hope” Year 6 Second Place: Kourosh Bavafa, Y6, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Eugowra - “The Escape to Safety”

Year 6 Third Place: Marni Thompson, Y6, St Patrick’s Primary School, Lithgow Year 5 Art Teachers’ Award: Tate - “The Wings of an Angel” Bunting, Y5, St Joseph’s Primary School, Year 6 Highly Commended: Onslow Molong - “Blinded by the Light” Vogelsang, Y6, Cathedral School, Year 5 Art Teachers’ Award: Ziaire Bathurst - “Christmas”

In past years, the Christmas Story Art Exhibition was held in the crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral and opened for display to the public. This year, due to COVID-19, the Exhibition will take place online, with the launch of Forrester, Y5, St Laurence’s Primary students’ art and reflections available School, Dubbo - “Worry” to view as part of the Christmas Story Year 5 Art Teachers’ Award: Annie Art Exhibition and Competition website Congratulations to all students and teachers for what was an overwhelming response, and a level of work that can only be described as outstanding. More than 181 entries were received from 24 of the 29 primary schools within the Diocese, with 14 being selected as finalists to be displayed in Sydney. Those finalists are listed below:

Year 6 Art Teachers’ Award: Jackson Smith, Y6, All Hallows Catholic Primary School, Gulgong - “Gabriel” Year 6 Art Teachers’ Award: Claire Daunt, Y6, The Assumption School, Bathurst - “The Flight to Freedom” Year 6 Art Teachers’ Award: Elena Ryan, Y6, St Joseph’s Catholic School, Blayney - “Having Faith”

Bishop’s Award: William Horton, Y6, St Mary’s Catholic School, Wellington “The Flight to Egypt” Executive Director’s Award: Ruby Reid, Y6, St Joseph’s Primary School, Molong - “Mary’s Blessing”

Year 6 Highly Commended: Digby Evans, Y6, St Joseph’s Primary School, Molong - “A Holy Vision”

Year 6 Art Teachers’ Award: Hugh Anderson, Y6, Cathedral School, Bathurst - “The Visit Of The Three Magi” “Mary’s Blessing”

Page 22 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Christine Sweeney

“A Great Adventure”



“The Gift of Hope”

Issue 81 • MSC Mission Office • PO Box 177 Kensington NSW 1465 PH: (02) 9697 0983 Read more at “Mission Outreach” is the newsletter of the MSC Mission Office Australia to inform you about our work with people in the Pacific, Asia and Africa. You can assist us with your prayers and financial support or by becoming a missionary! Come and join us in our daily five-minute webcast called ‘Mission Alive’ on our website

Email Fr Roger at C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 23

Art in time for Christmas


ATHURST: Mrs Rebecca Nicolson worked with a number of Yr 5 and 6 Assumption School students, preparing pieces of art for this year’s Christmas Story Art Competition that was to be held in September. Gracie Eaves, Connor Burns, Sophia Jones, Amelia Theobald, Eva Colley, Mylah Shields, Hugh Drum, Bridie Worthy, Madalene Groves, Claire Daunt and Hannah Hayes all worked very hard and created amazing artwork. Mrs Nicolson shared her expertise with these keen students, who were very grateful for her wonderful support. Bridie Worthy and Hugh Drum received exciting news that their artworks had been chosen to be submitted into the Sydney Christmas Story Art Competition. If they are successful in that, they will be included in an online exhibition. We can’t wait to see what these young artists create next. Catherine Connor

Christmas Art Group

Bridie Worthy’s Christmas Artwork

Hugh Drum’s Christmas Artwork

Lewy’s will only be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Greg, Kieran and all the team at Lewy’s wish you a Happy and Holy Christmas, filled with peace and joy. Thank you for your continued support of our local family business! We look forward to serving you great pizza and pasta in a happier 2022!



Page 24 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

La Salle Academy student success


ITHGOW: Congratulations to Mia Carrasco, Isabelle Youman and Ava Nicholls, who have all had artworks selected to feature on our enrolment packages and senior and junior diaries. Our student voice is proudly displayed through these original and inspirational artworks. Margaret Doohan

“The Crucifixion” by Mia Caruso

“The Burning Heart” by Ava Nicholls

“A mothers love” by Isabelle Youman

Back on track in the ‘Doo!


UNEDOO: Sunsafe sunnies are a uniform accessory her independent learning session with the assistance of a at St Michael’s in Dunedoo. chrome book and headgear.

They make a difference to outdoor activities during the hot summer months and seem to be a hit with the St Michael’s girls as they enjoy their outdoor time

Janine Kearney

Classroom accessories also ensure prime learning time is valued and protected. Katie in Yr 1 is busily working through

Sunnies in Dunedoo

Katie in a class of her own in Dunedoo

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 25

Catholic Mission Expo 2021


range: James Sheahan Catholic High School was delighted to hold its annual Catholic Mission Expo on November 16th. The event, focusing on our Yr 8 cohort, is now also connected to the visit of Year 6 students, with a range of fund-raising activities being developed and run by the Year 8 students, supported by their teachers. This year, the Bathurst Diocese Catholic Mission Appeal has focused on raising funds to support the amazing work being done by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Bangkok, Thailand, reaching out to vulnerable women and children, providing love, care and skills at a time when they need it most. In Bangkok, the Good Shepherd Sisters run a Mothers and Babies Home where mothers and their babies (often abandoned by their partners) can receive nutritious food, medical care and parental skills training.

Expo gathering

Catholic Mission in Australia provides hope and support to many disadvantaged people and communities both in Australia and overseas. The work of Catholic Mission goes to the heart of the Catholic proclamation of the worth and dignity of every person-“To be Christian is to be missionary and to be missionary is to speak out in words and actions against exploitation and to give new life and hope to those who are vulnerable.” The School feels blessed to have had the support of Bishop Michael McKenna, Parish Priest, Father Greg Bellamy, Father Brian Lucas, National Director of Catholic Mission and Michael Deasy, Bathurst Director of Catholic Mission, together with the newly appointed Director, David McGovern and Alan Wedesweiler, Director of Catholic presentation of the preparations and Mission for Sydney Schools. work of Yr 8 Religious Education classes, Susan Cameron, the School’s Religious who learnt about Catholic Mission and Education Coordinator: Curriculum, the work of the Good Shepherd Sisters together with Belinda Lee, Leader of in preparing for the Mission Expo. Mission and Formation, co-ordinated the event in 2021. It was lovely to have This was followed by a tour led by the the support of Michael Deasy, in his final School Captains and Mission Leaders, year as Mission Director, after providing together with Yr 8 students, of displays wonderful service to our Diocese with developed by the students to recognise and support Catholic Mission Month. A Catholic Mission. Staff morning tea was also organised by The Expo, as always, commenced with RE teachers as a supporting fund raiser. a liturgy, with Bishop Michael speaking to the Yr 8 cohort, followed by a video Yr 8 student comments reflect the impact

of this learning and the event on their understanding of Catholic Mission and indeed the core teachings of Jesus. • “The Good Shepherd Sisters demonstrate Catholic values by always trying to give more than they have, they help who ever needs it no matter who they are or where they live.” • “The Good Shepherd Sisters demonstrate Catholic values by showing stewardship and preferential option for the poor, and by giving and supporting the less fortunate.” • “We can support the work of Catholic Mission, by donating to Catholic Mission charities, by providing canned food, or communicating with people overseas in Thailand and by praying for them.” School Principal, Peter Meers, is very proud of the efforts of the Yr 8 students, supported by their Religious Education teachers. “This is a wonderful opportunity to teach our students about the core mission of the Church, of the impact and difference they can make in the lives of others, animated by Christian teaching and Christ centered.”

Page 26 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Peter Meers

Much ado about Mudgee


UDGEE: Thank you to all our families for all your work during online learning. Here are some photos of Yr 4 having lots of fun with their Extreme Reading Challenge and a Spring Art Challenge! Yr 6 were asked to think about an activity that brings them joy, something that makes them feel relaxed or something that fills their cup. They were then asked to take a photo to share with our school community for ‘R U OK? Day’. Thank you to all the staff and students who proudly wore pink and donated money in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month and raising funds for the McGrath Foundation. Gina Forster

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The great year that was


LAYNEY: This year began with a strong focus on student voice. This theme has been ever present in our teaching and learning this year and we have watched students grow in confidence as they use our Student Representative Council as a vehicle to lead and discuss issues important to them and suggest ways to ensure our school is a happy and safe place to be. An example of this has been asking staff if students could have a special step installed in our playground to help our little ones reach the equipment more easily, a simple suggestion that enabled students to be responsible and safe whilst playing. Another great initiative at St Joseph’s has been the Kids to Farms Program. Students had the opportunity to meet with farmers and discuss aspects of agriculture, such as food and fibres and how they are produced on farms. Crop production, life cycles and needs of plants were also covered. It was an engaging program enjoyed by students and staff. It also allowed students an opportunity to appreciate the resources, both human and environmental, that go into producing the food we eat. This program has culminated in our School being represented locally on Prime News and we were able to showcase some of the learning experiences from Kids to Farms. Early in Term 3, Kindergarten celebrated 100 days of learning at school by dressing up as their future older and wiser self. They shared a lovely morning tea and talked about all of the things that they could do now, that they couldn’t do at the beginning of the year. It was a wonderful day of fun, learning and celebration. Kindergarten students continue to grow and learn at school, developing lovely friendships along the way.

St Joseph’s Blayney “Kids to Farms” Program

St Joseph’s Blayney “100 Days of Learning” - Kindergarten

As we live with COVID, we continue to find ways to connect with the community and practise the social justice that is the very mission of our School. Mini Vinnies raised $802.75 in support of the Winter Sleepout appeal. We were unable to camp out as a group, however students and families participated in their own homes and we are very proud of the funds raised. Sally Murphy

Page 28 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

All Saints’ Day at All Hallows


ULGONG: All Saints’ Day on 1st November each year is our School Feast Day at All Hallows Gulgong. All Saints’ Day is a time to consider the example saints offer us and to reflect on how we can imitate their lives. As Pope Benedict XVI said, All Saints’ Day calls us ‘to see the Church… as Christ wanted it, that is, as the communion of saints.’ This year marked 138 years since the Sisters of St Joseph came to Gulgong and started the first Catholic school here. Sisters de Pazzi Betts, aged 29; Bernard Eather, aged 22 and Sebastian Carden, aged 21 taught the infants and primary classes, while Sister Pius Breen, aged 19, taught music. Our school theme for 2021 has been “Faith in our Future” and All Saints’ Day was a great opportunity for us to reflect on how we have grown over the past year. During Term 4, we have been looking at the successes we have all had, both through the help of others and also our own motivation. Bringing the two ideas together, we celebrated our School Feast Day by coming to school dressed as our “Future Self”. Future selves are specific ideas about who one might become in the future. Future selves can serve as a roadmap to guide individuals from where they are in the present to where they imagine being in the future.

All Hallows School Gulgong “Doctors”

For the previous Feast Day celebrations, we have gone out into our community to serve others, but this year we had to celebrate our school community by staying at school and serving each other. We began with a whole school liturgy on the playground. After morning tea on the lawn, we participated in a range of fun activities like face painting, pillow fights, sponge-throwing, croquet, badminton, and finished with a sausage sizzle and icecream to cool us down. It was a great way to celebrate our School’s special day. Kylie Statham

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C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 29

Socktober and an HSC surprise


RANGE: On 22nd October, the teachers and children fundraised to wear ‘Crazy Socks’ for the day. Congratulations to the St Mary’s community in raising $680. All money received will be given to Catholic Mission to help the vulnerable children in Thailand and around the world. Our Mini Vinnie’s team also created goodie bags, including letters of encouragement for the current Yr 12 students at James Sheahan Catholic High School, who are sitting their 2021 HSC. Yr 6 children remember having some of these Yr 12 students as their Kindergarten buddies, so it is a lovely gesture for them to show their support. Rebecca Jeffries

Page 30 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Kicking goals


UGOWRA: October was Mission Month for Catholic Missions and our students spent an afternoon making their own soccer balls, much like the children in poverty stricken countries like Thailand. The sock balls were made of newspaper, plastic bags, fabric scraps and twine or wool, and then kicked around the playground. For each goal scored, the staff and SRC promised to donate $1.20 and our children managed to kick 214 goals! We kicked the goals of education, awareness and empathy, as well as raising some money for the Kindergarten Centre in Bangkok run by the Good Shepherd Sisters. On the same day, some of our teachers were acknowledged for their dedication and inspiration with a gift from the Yr 6 students as part of World Teacher’s Day celebrations. May God bless all those teachers in our lives. Cathy Eppelstun Image top: Gifts to Staff on World Teachers’ Day Image right: Socktober in full flight

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School EUGOWRA

In the tradition of the Sisters of St Joseph established in 1882, our school continues to thrive in an ever-changing world. We encourage the development of each child, spiritually, cognitively, emotionally and physically. Pye Street, Eugowra NSW 2806 Principal: Cathy Eppelstun 02 6859 2485 Website: Email: C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 31

Busy Bees caring for our land


ATHURST: Thanks to a $1,600 grant from Landcare Australia, students at St Philomena’s Catholic Primary School are working to bring back a very important aspect to their school grounds, with native bees, birds and insects having a new place to call home. Grant funding, provided through the Woolworths Junior Landcare program, aims to assist in improving the sustainability and biodiversity of spaces within our community and the program St Phil’s Busy Bees, Mathew and Bailey has created a celebration of partnerships have really enjoyed being a part of the between students, staff and local business. planning and implementation, as well as noticing the increased activity in our It has been wonderful to see the gardens, very evident at the moment with developments within our beautiful spring in the air. playground of specific native plants and insect houses, to help bring back a very Local plant nursery, Riverside, was engaged important aspect to our gardens. Students to assist us in selecting specific plantings

that will assist us in achieving our goal of creating a habitat and environment that will encourage native insects and birds to inhabit the grounds and gardens. I would like to pass on a big thank you to the staff at Riverside who have worked closely with staff and students to deliver the garden. It was very exciting to receive our big delivery of plants and the interest and activity certainly kept staff and students busy through the COVID-19 lockdowns. Open to primary schools and early learning centres across Australia,the grants aim to inspire kids with hands-on projects focusing on sustainable food production, improving waste management practices and enhancing native habitats. Grants will be available again in early 2022. Jaydem Hadson

St Columba’s smiles!


EOVAL: There certainly were miles of smiles at St Columba’s School recently as the lockdown


Students back on familiar ground and enjoying each other’s company. Dressing up is always fun at break times, it is also wonderful to see our students connecting with each other as a proud and positive school community. Janine Kearney


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Page 32 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

A little taste of homelearning


ne of the key insights gained from our home learning experiences over the last 18 months or so has been a deep appreciation for our school communities and their staff.

Back together again


ILGANDRA: We congratulate and thank all our families, students and staff for their amazing effort, support and understanding during remote learning. Everyone certainly showed creativity, staying connected through online meetings. At all times we reminded each other of our School motto to ‘Give of our best’! Class Masses and liturgies have returned and we have even been able to share these special celebrations with our families via video. We thank Fr Greg Kennedy for all his guidance and support and for ensuring we could celebrate the sacraments of First Communion, First Reconciliation and Confirmation this year.

Home learning

This is a ‘positive’ gained from our COVID experiences that cannot be taken for granted. While home learning had many facets and faces, the relief and joy of students returning to school was heartfelt by parents and students alike.

St Joseph’s Gilgandra friends

Our teachers have excelled in their support for families during this period, ensuring that our students remain front and centre at all times, regardless of the learning environment.

Probably one of the most important things that we have been reminded of this year is the power of opening our hearts and showing empathy for others. Go Joey’s!

Janine Kearney

Dominica Banks

Please give generously to the Cathedral Restoration Appeal. Donations can be made: In Person: Catholic Chancery Office Bathurst, or your local Parish Office By Phone: 1800 451 760 By email: Online: where you will find more information. Or via the app: Cathedral Restoration Appeal Donations over $2 are tax deductible. C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 33

Future scientists


ATHURST: Yr 4 jumped back into science investigation mode in their first week back from online learning in Term 4.

predicted or expected result did not occur. For parents, the students should now be really useful in hanging clothes for drying, for as a result of the experiment process, they are well trained in using pegs.

The task for the students was to test the tensile strength of various everyday materials. They used pegs to see if the materials snapped, tore or stretched when pressure was applied. Using Chromebooks, the students then recorded their observations.

The students have benefited enormously and are looking forward to the next science experiment. David Maher

Apart from learning through scientific experimentation, there was a lot of fun in observing what happened with each test and sharing discussions about what happened. Sometimes the

Assumption scientists at work

Two very hungry Book Week bears! COONABARABRAN: The Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week celebrated 76 years this year and we were able to enjoy participating and getting involved with all thing’s books to mark the occasion. Our event in August was one of the last times that schools were able to actually celebrate as a community (albeit somewhat differently to other years, with parents not being allowed onsite) as the day was swiftly followed by the State lockdown. We were bemoaning this state of affairs, little realising that this was but the tip of the COVID-19 iceberg. This year’s Book Week theme was Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds. These two very hungry bears, fortunately, are partial to icebergs and enjoyed sharing their fish feast. Janine Kearney


Two very hungry St Lawrence’s bears

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Page 34 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Discover the Stannies boarding difference


ATHURST: Stannies boarding offers a safe and friendly country lifestyle for our students, while being just two and a half hours from major metropolitan regions. The College is conveniently located with effective transport links to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Canberra, and there is no shortage of things to see and do when visiting. The College is within walking distance of shops, food outlets and sporting venues, allowing our boarders to experience, throughout their time at Stannies, the hospitality and sense of community found in country towns. Nestled at the base of the famous Mt Panorama, the 50-acre College farm, Sunnyside, is a short drive from the College and accommodates the Stannies Shorthorn and Suffolk studs and meat and layer bird systems.

Stannies students at Sunnyside Farm

Students from Yrs 7 to 12 are offered the option of full-time or weekly boarding. Weekly boarding includes four or five nights, with a flexible option and occasional boarding for students who need an overnight stay to accommodate co-curricular commitments or family circumstances. Juniors in Yrs 7 to 9 live in dormitories with single cubicle bed spaces. Seniors have single rooms. There are seminar rooms for collaborative learning, with teacher and boarding staff supervised evening study. Qualified medical support staff are onsite daily, with an in-house doctor’s clinic twice a Stannies students testing water rockets week. Each dorm has a central common where they learn the importance of Mr Dan Bradford, on 6331 4177 or email room with mini kitchen facilities, trust, good communication, and respect complemented by a four-week rotating for others. Call or email to book a time menu from the Stannies kitchen. to speak with the Head of College, Mr Dan Bradford Our boarders are the heart of the College Lindsay Luck, and our Head of Boarding,

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C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 35

Socktober for Mission Month


ANILDRA: On Children’s Mission Day, St Joseph’s Manildra celebrated Socktober by wearing odd socks to school and making some handmade sock balls for our Socktober Shootout. We raised money for the Good Shepherd Sisters Kindergarten Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. By making their own sock balls, the students felt a real connection with those children who cannot afford to have soccer balls like we have in Australia. Also, it was a lot of fun! Jacky Parmeter

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The Catholic Observer is published by the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst (Diocesan Publications) PO Box 246, Bathurst, NSW, 2795 ph: (02) 6334 6400 fax: (02) 6331 9453 email: Editor ~ Fiona Lewis Communications Coordinator ~ Christine Sweeney Designer ~ Jacqui Keady Printed by: IVE Group 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.

Page 36 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Vale Sr Joan Farrell


24/6/1927 - 23/9/2021 athleen Joan Farrell was born in Orange on 24th June 1927

to parents Edward Farrell, a shopkeeper and Margaret Quinn, a book-keeper and carer of the home. Joan was educated by the Sisters of Mercy in Orange, then worked in an office of a menswear store for nine years before joining the Sisters of St Joseph at Perthville. She made her first profession in 1954 and was known as Sr Elizabeth of the Trinity. Trained in teaching at Perthville, Joan spent many years as a primary teacher and school principal throughout the Diocese of Bathurst in Gulgong, Forest Reefs, Wattle Flat, Coonabarabran, Oberon, Molong, Manildra, Blayney and Portland. She worked with the Bathurst Catholic Education Office as an ACER Testing Officer, before taking the role of Congregational Bursar for 12 years at Perthville. Joan served on the Perthville College Board and was a member of the Rural Ministry and Justice groups. She was a homemaker too, with excellent housekeeping and culinary skills.

that accompanied it. One of her great joys was her Golden Jubilee trip to New Zealand.

In her retirement years, Joan was a dedicated Parish Assistant in Oberon, Molong, Perthville, and Bathurst. Through her kind-hearted visitation, she made many friends. Reliable and dependable, Joan was conscientious and constantly attentive to detail. Joan, a gracious woman of integrity, was compassionate and committed to her religious vocation. Sister Joan died in Bathurst on 23rd

September 2021. Being a loved and respected Josephite, Joan will be missed by the Sisters and her loving, extended family.

Sister Joan was an intelligent, Joan forever enjoy the independent woman who continued her May education throughout her life, studying companionship of her loving God. Educational Psychology, Counselling, Literature, Religious Education, Accounting, and Business Data Processing. She thoroughly enjoyed her Sister Maria Sullivan rsj renewal time in Dublin and the travel

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 37

Joe will be missed


It has been my honour and delight to know Joseph Lenehan, a gracious, kind, generous, humble and a true gentleman. I have learnt so much about life through the eyes of this wonderful gentleman, who had such a zest for living. He took up new challenges and loved learning new things. Every day had a new purpose and there was no time to waste.

RE in the Diocese experienced a great loss with the recent death, at 92 years of age, of our most senior Catechist, Joseph Lenehan. Each Friday Joseph went to Raglan Public School to assist Paul Morrison with his Yr 3/4 class. He was always perfectly punctual and immaculately groomed, arriving at least 30 minutes before classes commenced. He never liked to take his walking stick with him to class in case the children might think that he was elderly. Joseph would often say “the children were perfect because they were not long from the Master’s hands, so how could they be anything else but perfect?” Joseph was keen, enthusiastic, always wanting to learn more and would turn up for all our many years ago, but he would always SRE training courses. conclude by saying “I’m too old now”. For many years, Joseph approached However, in 2018 he decided that he me after the Catechist Sunday Mass would like to come on board yet again, to tell me how he used to teach SRE this time as a SRE helper.

‘Our Joe’ will be very much missed by the SRE teachers, school staff, and most of all by the children he helped come to know and love God. Vicki Mair

Editor’s Note: If, like Joe, you feel you have something to offer this very special, rewarding ministry, please contact your local parish office. You can be assured of full support every step of the way!

Find oud more

Learn how you can give the gift of health and hope this Christmas


Page 38 • December 2021 • C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t

Catholic Diocese of Bathurst Bishop Michael McKenna 118 Keppel Street PO Box 246 Bathurst NSW 2795 Tel: (02) 6334 6400 Chancellor & Diocesan Secretary Fiona Lewis Tel: (02) 6334 6418 Vicar General Fr Paul Devitt Tel: (02) 6331 3066 Archives Peter Condon Tel: (02) 6334 6464 Catholic Development Fund Manager: Annette Evans Tel: (02) 6334 6400 Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst Executive Director: Christina Trimble Tel: (02) 6338 3000 Catholic Mission Diocesan Director: David McGovern Mobile: 0431 481 731 Caritas Australia Diocesan Contact: Carmen Beard Tel: (02) 6334 6407

Centacare Bathurst Director: Robert George Tel: 1800 231 118

Clergy Care Clergy Care Coordinator: Antonella King Tel: (02) 6334 6415

Communications and Media Communications Coordinator: Christine Sweeney Tel: (02) 6334 6429

Diocesan Finance Office Administrator: Patrick Cooper Tel: (02) 6334 6402

Hospital Chaplain Robyn Blunt Tel: (02) 6434 6400 Marriage Tribunal Director of the Regional Office: Mary Clancy Tel: (02) 6334 6403

Prison Chaplains Fr Greg Walsh CM Deacon Mike Williams Geraldine Bowes Fran Schubert Tel: (02) 6334 6400 Professional Standards and Safe Church Awareness Deacon Joshua Clayton Tel: (02) 6334 6414 RISE - Diocese of Bathurst Youth Project Officer: Jacinta Thatcher Tel: (02) 6334 6426 Shalom House of Prayer Community Steward: John Hansen Tel: (02) 6367 3058 Web: Special Religious Education/CCD Southern Coordinator: Vicki Mair Northern Coordinator: Jacinta Thatcher (02) 6334 6400 Vocations Director Fr Carl Mackander Tel: (02) 6845 2061

Office of Mission and Renewal Director: Deacon Joshua Clayton Tel: (02) 6334 6414

C a t h o l i c O B S E RV E R , T h e D i o c e s e o f B a t h u r s t • December 2021 • Page 39

Bishop McKenna’s Annual Missionary Appeal


ach year, the Bishop’s Annual Missionary Appeal is held at Christmas Masses across the Diocese, with the proceeds supporting projects in various mission territories. Last year, a mission partnership was established between the Diocese of Bathurst and the Diocese of Calcutta, SE India. In 2019 Bishop McKenna met His Grace, Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta, to discuss supporting, financially and prayerfully, a visionary, multi-staged school development in the Archdiocese, at St Joseph’s Parish, Bongaon, West Bengal. The Council of Priests for the Diocese of Bathurst endorsed the project and recommended to the Bishop that Stage 1 of the St Joseph’s Primary School redevelopment at Bongaon be the focus of the Bishop’s Annual Missionary Appeal for 2020 and 2021. The formerly under-resourced and over-crowded primary school provided faith-based, educational opportunities for children from Nursery and Kindergarten to Yr 4. The Yrs 5 and 6 enrolments were limited to small class sizes. Today, with the additional classrooms constructed in 2020/21, enrolments have increased to 600+, with a teaching complement of 18.

St Joseph’s, Bongaon, Primary School Section

The Bishop’s Christmas Appeal continues to support the vision of Archbishop D’Souza and the St Joseph’s Parish to respond to the community need for a full Nursery to Yr 12 comprehensive educational facility at Bongaon. It will only be fully realised, within the multi-staged development plan by 2028, with the financial support of an overseas, missionaryfocused benefactor, such as our Diocese. In the spirit of the Christmas season, you can share in the vision and mission of the Diocese in its outreach to the church in Calcutta, to help bring this vital and imaginative, multistaged, school development project to fruition. Your generous support can truly make a difference to a deserving faith-filled parish and COVID affected community in SE India. Mike Deasy

St Joseph’s, Bongaon, High School Section

Bishop McKenna’s Special Christmas Missionary Appeal for 2021 Name: Address (for tax receipt): Phone: Email: I wish to support Bishop McKenna’s Special Christmas Appeal with:






In Person: At the Bathurst Chancery Office or any parish office Post: PO Box 246, Bathurst NSW 2795


Other $_______

Online: Phone: 1800 451 760