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Habemus Papam Franciscum

Habemus Papam ~ Franciscum O n 13th March 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected 266th Bishop of Rome and leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Bishop Michael McKenna welcomed the announcement saying “We thank God for our new Pope, Francis. We ask God’s blessing and guidance on him as he begins this unique and vital service for the Church….. We pray not only that Pope Francis will be blessed with such graces, but that the whole Church will be”. An Argentinean Jesuit - the first in his order and the first from Latin America to hold the See of Peter - he has chosen his name in honour of St. Francis of Assisi who was known for his simple lifestyle and dedication to works of mercy. Bishop McKenna said “In choosing the name Francis, the new Pope calls on the example and intercession of one of our greatest saints. Bishop McKenna remarked “St. Francis is popularly known for rejoicing in God’s creation and knowing he was part of it. He is also famous for his simplicity of life and solidarity with the poor. Both of these qualities come out of the fact that St. Francis took seriously the promises of Christ and lived joyfully and hopefully according to them”. As a Cardinal, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was appointed to several administrative positions in the Roman Curia, serving on various Congregations and Commissions. He was known for personal

humility, doctrinal conservatism and a commitment to social justice. He lived a simple life, in a small apartment, travelled by public transport, was a pastor among his people. He is robust in his defence of the poor and a staunch defender of the Church’s traditional teachings. His election as Pope was greeted in St. Peter’s Square by shouts of “Habemus Papam” (we have a pope) and also “Viva il Papa!” (long live the pope). Aged 76, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires is only two years younger than Joseph Ratzinger was when he was elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. Beginning his pontificate with simplicity, the first thing Pope Francis did after greeting the estimated 100,000 people in St. Peter’s Square was to ask them to join him in praying for Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI. Then he led the people in the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. Making reference to this later, Father Federico Lombardi - a fellow Jesuit and Director of the Vatican Press Office - spoke of Cardinal Bergoglio’s style of ‘evangelical testimony’. “To pray the simplest prayers with the people is the greatest sign of simplicity”. “And now, we take up this journey: Bishop and People….. A journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world, that there may be a great spirit of fraternity”. Before giving his blessing to the crowd in St. Peter’s and all connected with that event through radio, TV and internet, Pope Francis knelt and asked the people to pray for him. Bishop McKenna said by doing so “He reminds us that the mission of the Church is entrusted to all of us, each in his or her own way”.

“My brother cardinals have chosen one who is from far away, but here I am” Pope Francis is the first non-European pope in more than 1,200 years. Born in Buenos Aires in 1936, the new pontiff is the son of an Italian immigrant and railway worker and has four brothers and sisters. His original career choice was that of a chemist, but in 1958 he entered the Society of Jesus to study for the priesthood instead. Ordained to the priesthood in 1969, many of his early years were spent teaching literature, psychology and philosophy. Father Steve Curtin, Australian Jesuit Provincial, said the new Pope’s training in the spirituality of St Ignatius of Loyola will have fostered in his life of prayer a deep intimacy with God and with Jesus and a desire to share in the mission of Christ to uphold the dignity of all people. “Pope Francis has a very strong background as an advocate for human dignity and social justice, and his advocacy has been matched by a notable simplicity of lifestyle. The fact that he has been a Master of Novices and a Seminary Rector also point to strengths in the preparation of young people for ministry in the Church, and especially for ordained ministry. His interest in philosophy, literature and psychology suggests an insight into the human condition that will express itself in a deep pastoral understanding of the joys, hopes and struggles of ordinary people”. At the time of printing, the Papal Inauguration is scheduled for Tuesday 19th March 2013, the Feast of St. Joseph, at a special Mass in St. Peter’s Square expected to be attended by many thousands of people, including dignitaries and political leaders from around the world. Fiona Lewis

Volume 48, No. 1 March 2013 $2.00

Easter 2013

Bishop’s Easter Message 2013


e celebrate this Easter with a new Successor of Peter. May his election be part of the renewal in Christ, crucified and risen, that this season offers everyone. With Catholics all around the world, I thank God that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio sj has accepted election as Pope Francis and pledge our prayers for him and our willingness to receive and support his ministry to the whole Church. The Church is not a confederation, nor a corporation. It is a mystery of communion lived out in flesh and blood - in other words, in the difficulties and opportunities of human life in all its intricate reality. The Pope’s ministry guides and protects this communion of the Church on earth. In a particular way, I make this pledge as a bishop. In my communion with the Bishop of Rome, the one Catholic Church is fully present in the Diocese of Bathurst. The Petrine Ministry is unique and vital for the life of the Church. Above all, we look to the Pope to ensure that the Word of God is proclaimed in fullness and fidelity. This living tradition guards us from error as we seek the words and practices needed to proclaim the Gospel in our time. This should not make us forget that each member of the Body of Christ bears his or her responsibilities too. In fact, it should awaken in each of us the baptismal call to play our part in carrying out the mission that Christ has given. As we prepare for a Diocesan Assembly, we pray that the same Holy Spirit who will guide Pope Francis in his work will guide us too. The Assembly will gather in Bathurst over the Pentecost weekend (17th-19th May). In it, we will consider our mission as a local church.

This is not just about fashioning a better organisation. Whatever plans and structures may emerge from these deliberations will be only instruments and means to carry out the Church’s mission. That mission is to proclaim, by word and deed, that Jesus Christ is alive in the community that bears his name. It is to spread the good news that everyone is invited into a new relationship with God in Christ, where we can find the peace that is the fruit of forgiveness and the pledge of eternal life. By now, your parish will have chosen its representatives for the Assembly. It would be a good idea to know who they are and contact at least one of them to share your thoughts on how

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we are living our mission. And I invite you to take part in one of the coming regional meetings, in Bathurst, Dubbo, Canowindra, Coonabarabran and Mudgee, which will precede the Assembly. During these 50 days of Eastertide, together in the Mass, we read again the Acts of the Apostles. In those first days and months of the Church, we can see the Spirit at work, even in the midst of external and internal troubles for the new communities. Our troubles and our opportunities are different today, but the same Spirit desires to make the same Christ present in our midst for all humankind. + Michael McKenna Bishop of Bathurst

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Our Diocesan Assembly What is the Diocesan Assembly all about?

on them, you can do so on our Diocesan Website - www.bathurst. ts aims are simply stated: to inspire and educate more Catholics to take up their share of the Church’s mission; • Parishes selected their representaand to begin building new structures tives to the Pentecost gathering. of opportunity for service, worship and • Six working groups, each under one proclamation. of the headlines, were set up to The Pentecost weekend gathering (17thbegin planning the workshops at the 19th May) that we are preparing will be, Pentecost gathering. not an end, but a beginning.

3. During this phase, the six sets of outline questions will be developed into more focused and specific Working Papers.

The “headlines” for the Assembly are as follows:

The weekend will involve sessions of prayer, input, discussion and opportunities to eat and drink together.


• Hearing and Proclaiming the Word of God

Pentecost Gathering (17th-19th May) This will take place in Bathurst, hosted by the Cathedral parish, and comprise 200-250 participants. It will begin on the Friday evening and conclude on the Sunday afternoon.

Some of the sessions will be with the whole Assembly, others will be workshops of around 40 people each.

• Worshipping God in Prayer and Sacrament

• The Domestic Church: Marriages and Families

Before the weekend concludes, participants will be asked to nominate people to form an Assembly Council, which will be appointed by the Bishop to assist him in carrying forward the work. A detailed program is being prepared.

The stages of our Assembly work….

After Pentecost

• Building a Community of Justice and Love • Participation of Indigenous Catholics • Participation of Young Catholics

Lent (13th February-30th March)

Eastertide (31 March-17 May) • Outline questions under each of the six headlines were distributed 1. Preparation sessions will be held for parish representatives. to parishes and other groups of the faithful in our Diocese. 2. Regional meetings with parish representatives and open to all the • These questions were to get people Catholic faithful of the Diocese will thinking, talking and praying about be held around the Diocese. They the future of our local Church. They will be as follows: may produce some initial answers, 2nd April - Bathurst; or some better questions and these 3rd April - Coonabarabran; can be fed into the process through 4th April - Mudgee; parish representatives. If you’d like to 18th April - Canowindra; see the outline questions and make 29th April - Dubbo. your contribution to the reflection st


Having listened to what the Spirit is saying to us through the discussions of the Assembly, the Bishop will prepare a Pastoral Letter detailing policies and plans for the way ahead. The Assembly Council and the Council of Priests will help the Bishop in developing these policies. If all goes well, our hope is to hold such a gathering every two or three years. It will be the task of the Assembly Council to assist in its design and preparation. “One plants, another waters, but God provides the growth.” (cf. 1 Cor 3:6-7)

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Restoration - Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John


caffolding is now in place around the Cathedral tower, and stonemasons have begun looking in detail at each stone in the tower to assess the work required. Several stonemasons have been chosen to tender for this part of the project, and it is hoped that the work on the restoration of the tower will begin in earnest during the next few months. We are able to start this work due to the generous support given by the many donors to the restoration appeal; to-date, nearly $170,000 has been raised. In addition to the essential restoration work required on the Cathedral, we are taking the opportunity to develop an overall master plan for the Cathedral into the future, to improve its interior design and function; enhance the precinct and the Cathedral’s place within the streetscape and interaction with Machattie Park. Three firms of architects were invited to develop this master plan and there have been several opportunities for people to examine their plans and offer feedback. Heritage Architect Christo Aitken, who has been working on the Cathedral Restoration Project, gives us a little insight into the importance of this unique building and the plans to restore, rebuild and renew it…..

Restore ~ Rebuild ~ Renew The Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint John has been the primary place of worship in the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst for 150 years. The building was completed in 1861 and has been integral to the lives of the Catholic community in Bathurst and the Central West since that time. However, as well as being the Cathedral for the Diocese, the building is also one of the 19 Parish churches within the Bathurst Diocese. As such its design, function and presentation has to satisfy the needs and aspirations of the Diocese, the Parish and the Catholic community. In June 2011, the Cathedral celebrated the sesqui-centenary of its Dedication and in November 2015 the Diocese will commemorate another sesqui-centenary - that of the Consecration of Bathurst’s first Bishop. A happy conjunction of events also occurs during this period, with the related commemorations of the first crossing of the Blue Mountains and the Proclamation of Bathurst as the first inland settlement in Australia. To mark these significant historical events, the Diocese is embarking on a major restoration and refurbishment project of the Cathedral in order to better present the building but, importantly, to address the functional shortcomings of the

Scaffolding up and ready for work to begin Pic courtesy: Zenio Lapka, Western Advocate


building to ensure that it can effectively address the requirements of current Catholic worship. As well as the functional improvements to the Cathedral, the Diocese would also like to explore some wider issues including appropriate use of related buildings within the Cathedral precinct and greater integration of the Cathedral and its grounds within the urban fabric of William and Keppel Streets.

of buildings weaves interest, connections and sometimes awe. Many travel to far-flung places to absorb something of history, cultures and historic places. If we in Australia do not recognise the fledgling stories that are contained in our historic places, then in 500 years we will be a poorer culture for it. Cultural continuity is an important aspect of societies and heritage.

The Cathedral has evolved gradually over many years and its form today tells a unique story of that growth and the people who inspired it, created it and worked and worshipped within it. While it is intended that one aspect of the currently proposed program of work is a reassessment of Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley’s some of the Cathedral spaces, with a Requiem Mass was in the Cathedral potential outcome of controlled change, Pic courtesy: Chifley Home another aspect of the works should allow & Education Centre for a celebration and interpretation of the and our needs change and become building’s history and its people. increasingly complex. We must respect But why Restore? the time, the effort, the conviction and the Some people may ask why not demolish care focussed by those who precede us and begin again ‘to make it perfect’? not to mention the considerable cost and There are a few dimensions to that craftsmanship that went into the fulfilment of their dreams. We have a responsibility to response. Firstly, it is my belief that no building is them because we are now the custodians perfect and one certainly ‘can’t please all of the building that resulted from those the people all of the time’! The Cathedral positive efforts.

Thirdly, the principle of sustainability is a new concept, but one which we must learn to live by. The construction of a building such as the Cathedral not only embodies considerable energy in terms of the planet’s resources, but also considerable specialist skills now lost. For instance, the stonework and its detailed carvings by local specialists is something unique to Bathurst and the Cathedral that we need to conserve and celebrate. That celebration includes embracing the significance of the building, respecting its past, recognising its uniqueness, accepting its foibles, repairing its weathered edges and adding another layer to its form and character - so that in 500 years the Cathedral will say something of us today to those who peer through the past and wonder at those who cared.

In my opinion, restore, rebuild, renew is an was perhaps perfect in the eyes of those in Secondly, buildings tell a fascinating story excellent philosophy. the 1850s and 60s, totally suiting their needs of people, place and time, if we only read Christo Aitkin and aspirations. However, buildings evolve the pages. The rich layering of the fabric

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Changing places


f you visit the Chancery Office or Catholic Development Fund in Bathurst, you’ll find a few changes!

The reason for the changes is to bring the operations of the CDF and Chancery offices together, to provide greater efficiency and utilisation of staff resources. The renovations involved moving the Fund into the space that was previously used as the Conference Room. The Conference Room has been relocated to the CDF offices. This will facilitate the movement of staff between offices and allow for better use of meeting rooms, which will be the end of the building, instead of in the middle. The Chancery Office entrance has moved from George Street, with a single entrance to the Chancery and CDF from Keppel Street, allowing for disabled access to the Chancery via the existing ramp there.

Catholic Development Fund

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


Bathurst Diocese welcomes Bishop Ian Palmer


ishop Ian Palmer was consecrated as the tenth Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst on February 9th 2013, following the retirement last year of Bishop Richard Hurford. The new Bishop comes to Bathurst from the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, where he has served for the last seven years as Rector of the Queanbeyan and District Anglican Church. He has also served as Archdeacon of South Canberra, and as Archdeacon for Chaplains. Prior to his appointment to Queanbeyan he was rector of the parish of Muswellbrook in Newcastle Diocese. The parishes of Queanbeyan and Muswellbrook were both strongly represented in the 500-strong congregation taking part in the Consecration service, with representatives from the parish of Queanbeyan and the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn formally presenting the incoming bishop to the people of Bathurst Diocese at the beginning of the service. In his response to the warm welcome by various community leaders after the Consecration, Bishop Palmer acknowledged the challenges facing the Church in western NSW. He said that he felt like Frodo, the principal character in Tolkien’s epic ‘The Lord of the Rings’…‘I will take the ring, though I do not know the way’. “I don’t know the way that we will walk in the coming years or the dangers that we will face and overcome”, the newlyconsecrated Bishop said, “but I do know that the honour and glory of our Lord is our goal”. Bishop Ian Palmer was consecrated by Archbishop Peter Jensen, Metropolitan of NSW, supported by 12 other Bishops. Also attending was Bishop Michael McKenna, Catholic Bishop of Bathurst. In May last year, Bishop McKenna and Bishop Richard Hurford signed a covenant committing their respective dioceses to closer co-operation and mutual prayer support. Guest preacher for the service was the former Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Newcastle, Graeme Rutherford, who also conducted Bishop Ian’s pre-ordination retreat. Following the service, Bishop Ian and his wife Liz were welcomed by Wiradjuri Elder and Anglican Priest, The Reverend Gloria Shipp, and her husband Eddie, on behalf of all the nations across the Diocese of Bathurst. The Shipps presented the new Bishop with a coolabah, a traditional Aboriginal carrying basket hand-carved by Eddie, containing small samples of soil from each of the parishes in the Diocese of Bathurst. They then invited the Bishop to mix the samples together, symbolising the unity of the Diocese.

Bishop Ian paid tribute to the work of Archdeacon Frank Hetherington as Diocesan Administrator over the past three months, saying that the Diocese had been “blessed by (his) guidance … through this time of transition”.

A bit about Bishop Palmer Bishop Ian Palmer is 62 years old and was born in the United Kingdom. He gained his Theology degree at King’s College, London, in 1971, and his post-graduate diploma at Durham University four years later. He served in parish ministry and university chaplaincy in the north of England prior to moving to Australia in 1990 to take up an appointment as Director of Evangelism in the Diocese of Newcastle. He returned to parish ministry in the Newcastle suburb of Belmont and subsequently at Muswellbrook, before moving to Queanbeyan in 2005. He has also served as a member of the Management Board of Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT, the welfare arm of the Anglican Church which now operates as an alliance across the Dioceses of Canberra-Goulburn, Bathurst and Riverina. He is married to Liz, who has considerable experience as a spiritual director and leads residential courses in this field at St. Mark’s National Theological Centre in Canberra. They have two adult daughters. Source and Photos: Lew Hitchick, Anglican News

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Grace Full Year – Grace Filled Day


s part of our participation in the Church’s Year of Grace, members of the parish community of St. Patrick’s Wellington, St. John the Baptist’s Stuart Town and Our Lady’s Yeoval, gathered in response to the Parish Council’s call to ‘Come apart and rest awhile’. The new Infant de Prague Hall proved a delightful venue for the Reflection Day which was held recently. The theme of the day, which was facilitated by Sister Patty Andrew OSU, was: Reading the Sacred Text of our Lives: Finding God in all things. As a Pilgrim People - the People of God moving through history - we were invited to journey with companions - such as Ignatius of Loyola, John XXIII, Karl Rahner, Michael Leunig and Michael Whelan - lighting our way. This gave us the opportunity to reflect on the how of this journey: to share our reflections and to give thanks for the many graced moments of our lives. Sister Joanna Healey Margaret Jones, Carole Godfrey and Chick Jones

Sister Patty, Sister Marjorie and Jemmy Bremner

Participants in the Reflection Day

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Royal Commission and the Church’s response


he Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) have supported the establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia. Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the ACBC, and Sister Annette Cunliffe RSC, Chair of CRA, reiterated the Catholic Church’s support for the Royal Commission and the Church’s desire to openly embrace and cooperate with its work. “I am confident that the Royal Commission will enable an examination of the issues associated with child abuse nationally and the identification of measures for better preventing and responding to child abuse in all those institutions that work with children”, Archbishop Hart said.

with the Royal Commission and the pastoral and other ramifications that have arisen from the sexual abuse scandal. The Honourable Barry O’Keefe AM QC and Mr Francis Sullivan will be Chair and CEO respectively of the Council, which will include representatives from the community to provide expertise, wisdom and guidance over the course of the Royal Commission. The Council will comprise men and women with professional and other expertise and importantly will seek to have an effective on-going relationship with people who have been damaged by the sexual abuse scandal.

Francis Sullivan welcomed the appointment of the six commissioners by the Prime Minister Ms Julia Gillard: Chief Commissioner Justice Peter McClellan; former Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson; Truth, Justice and Healing Justice Jennifer Coate; Productivity Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald; Council established Professor Helen Milroy; and former The Catholic Church’s leaders have WA Senator Andrew Murray. recognised that the Royal Commission “Once again, we commit to fully will demand a sophisticated and cooperate and engage with co-ordinated response across the the Royal Commission and its country. To that end, the Church has deliberations,” he said. established a national co-ordinating body, to be referred to as the Truth, “At its heart, the Royal Commission Justice and Healing Council, to needs to let the full truth come out oversee the Church’s engagement and ensure that the dignity of those

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who have been damaged by these atrocities is preserved, that they are supported, and not subject to a retraumatising of their experiences”. “It is essential that the Commission’s process contribute to the healing of the victims, and that institutions develop best-practice processes to address child sexual abuse. The Church stands ready and willing to assist”. “Apart from participating fully in the Royal Commission, the Church will embark on its own processes of atonement and healing to bring light, hope and compassion to this very dark episode”, he said.

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World Communications Day - 12th May 2013

Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelisation


orld Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council (Inter Mirifica, 1963), is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost - this year on 12th May. One of the most important challenges facing the task of evangelisation today is that which is emerging from the digital environment. Pope Benedict XVI calls attention to this particular topic, in the context of the Year of Faith, in his choice of the theme for the 47th World Communications Day, “Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelisation”. The theme suggests a series of important points for reflection. During a time in which technology has emerged as part of the fabric of connectivity of human experiences, such as relationships and knowledge, we need to ask: Can it help men and women meet Christ in faith? It is not enough to find an adequate language, but rather, it is necessary to learn how to present the Gospel as the answer to that basic human yearning for meaning and faith, which has already found expression online.

Such an approach, which will serve to create a more dynamic and humane digital world, requires a new way of thinking. It is not simply a question of how to use the internet as a means of evangelisation, but instead of how to evangelise in a context where the lives of people find expression also in the digital arena. In particular, we need to be attentive to

the emergence and enormous popularity of the social networks, which privilege dialogical and interactive forms of communication and relationships. Pope Benedict’s message for World Communications Day - and more information on social media - is available from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications’ website - http://www.

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St Brigid’s School ~ Coonamble Lenten Groups


ach week during Lent students at St. Brigid’s were divided into Peer Support Groups. The Kinder students were with their ‘buddies’ and everyone else is combined with K-6 students. These groups allowed the children to meet, mix with and care for others. The teachers led the groups for half an hour each week before Easter. The activities were based around the countries mentioned in the Caritas Project Compassion information. This is the third year we have used the fantastic Caritas resources for students and the seventh year we have had group activities during Lent.

St. Brigid’s School Captains: (centre front) Abby Ryan and Harry Thompson and (back) Sports Captains: St John’s: Laura Williams, Josh Markey; St Bernard’s: Amy Ibbott, Lawson Goldsmith; St Patrick’s: Reece Heaney, Jamyn Cleary

The students’ social justice and care and concern for others has been heightened over the years. All money raised in Term One is donated to Caritas to enable the Organisation to continue and develop its programs.

Prayer Books Each year at the beginning School Mass, Kindergarten and new students to our School receive a personalised prayer book. The book contains the School Prayer, the Our Father, Hail Mary, Grace before Meals and so on. The students take the book home to be used with their parents and carers. Patricia Crawley

Some Kindergarten students with their Y6 buddies after receiving the personalised prayer booklet from the Y5 captains and Mrs Gilmour (our new Principal).

Fresh Start for Josephite Foundation


he Board members and Executive Officer of the Josephite Foundation met with the Congregational Leadership Team of the Sisters of St Joseph for a formation and visioning day last month. The gathering at Perthville was facilitated by Sister Therese Carroll from Sydney. Using a creative, interactive process, the participants considered the vision of the organisation, the Carver Model of Governance and set their direction for 2013 and beyond.

Kilby, Sister Alice Sullivan and Mark Worthington.

The Josephite Foundation conducts the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) in Bathurst, Lithgow, Cowra and Young. The Scheme is a contemporary social justice initiative which responds to the bias in the financial sector that denies credit to low income earners. It enables low income earners to access credit with no interest, to purchase essential household items. The Josephite Foundation also Four new members were welcomed manages StepUp loans at Bathurst onto the Board - Nick Packham and Lithgow. (Bathurst), Pam Haddin (Lithgow), A new initiative for 2013 is the Margaret Crowley (Sydney), and Josephite Action Group (JAG). Sister Therese McGarry (Perthville). Members of Josephite Action Groups These joined Board members Tony live the Josephite Charism and Eviston (Chair), Mary Handcock, Judy respond to needs through friendship,


advocacy and appropriate.



Chair of the Josephite Foundation Board, Tony Eviston, remarked that the day had “been very productive and will assist the Board to ensure that the Josephite Foundation continues to serve the needs of the community. The vision and future plans will build on the solid base of the Foundation established over the past 10 years”. At the conclusion of the day, the Congregational Leadership Team of the Sisters of St Joseph Perthville missioned the new Board and the executive officer. Sister Therese McGarry presented the Board Chairperson with a Josephite Foundation candle for use by the Board at their meetings.

Sacred Heart School ~ Coolah


acred Heart Coolah welcomed eight new Kindergarten children to the School this year. The children have settled in beautifully and are enjoying their new routines, especially with the help of their Y6 Buddies. The School began the new year with an Opening School Mass last month. The Captains and Sports Captains had their badges blessed by Father Carl Mackander and presented by their parents. Well done to Edward, Brody, Johnty and Harry. Sacred Heart also held its Annual Swimming Carnival last month. It was a very successful day, with lovely weather and lots of family and friends to cheer us on in our events. Well done to both the Emus and Kangaroos for your sportsmanship on the day! Amy Maslen

Excitement at the Swimming Carnival

School Captains Edward Cox and Brody Pettet with Sports Captains Johnty Pettet and Harry Malone

New Kindergarten children

Members of the Josephite Foundation during the meeting Page 12 story Photo courtesy Phil Murray, Western Advocate


Good Shepherd Sunday Vocations as a Sign of Hope founded in Faith On the fourth Sunday of Easter (21st April 2013), also known as Good Shepherd Sunday, we celebrate the 50th World Day of Prayer for Vocations. This is a day on which we particularly pray for vocations to the ministerial priesthood. Each year the Pope writes a letter announcing the theme for this day of prayer. The theme Pope Benedict gave for this year is: “Vocations as a Sign of Hope founded in Faith”. Recalling Paul VI In his letter, Pope Benedict recalled a message of Venerable Paul VI, who spoke of the importance of priestly vocations. Not only because priests are essential to the continuing identity and life of the Church, but also because vocations to the priesthood are an “inescapable indicator of the vitality of faith and love of individual parish and diocesan communities, and the evidence of the moral health of Christian families. Wherever numerous vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life are to be found, that is where people are living the Gospel with generosity” (Paul VI, Radio Message, 11 April 1964). For both popes, vocations to the priesthood are a fairly reliable indicator of the health of a local Church community. An Invisible Monastery Conscious of how important priestly vocations are, Pope Benedict used his letter not to suggest advertising campaigns, but to commend and encourage groups of the faithful who put vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life at the heart of their “spirituality, prayer, and pastoral action”. A Sign of Hope When I read this, I immediately remembered a phrase from As part of my vocations work, I have the opportunity to the “Guidelines for Fostering Vocations to Priestly Ministry” visit many schools throughout the Diocese to speak about published last year. This document says that “it would be vocations. Students are frequently surprised to encounter a good for the Diocesan Office for Vocations to propose and younger priest. The very existence of a young priest is counterorganise an ‘invisible monastery’ in which many persons, cultural and provokes them to question: there are young men day and night, are committed to continuous prayer for becoming priests today - why would they do that? Where priestly vocations”. does their hope come from? Our vocations ministry in Bathurst is very grateful that God So often our experience of decline in the Church can has recently raised up groups who pray for priestly vocations undermine our hope which we then, perhaps unconsciously, in our Diocese. They form an ‘invisible monastery’ through pass on to our young people: The Church is dying and its their commitment to Eucharistic Adoration and praying institutions have no future; Young people can’t make longthe Divine Office with their priests and religious. The ‘Good term commitments; Realistically, you should only live for Shepherd Network’ has two active groups in Bathurst and yourself. Priests and religious are miserable people missing out Mudgee-Gulgong. Perhaps this ‘invisible monastery’ will on life. spread to other communities in the near future. In his letter Pope Benedict reminds us that throughout the ABOUT CENTACARE.... Bathurst - Lithgow - Orange - Dubbo Mudgee and beyond Phone to make an appointment in your local area or register your interest for a personal visit wherever you are! Centacare is a non-government, non-profit organisation. Centacare receives funding from the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst and the Department of Family & Community Services. Clients contribute to the cost of services on a sliding scale. The inability to pay will not stop you from receiving these services.


many ups and downs of their history, the people of Israel did not despair, but continued to have hope for the future, because they had faith in God’s love in the present. Their faith that they were not abandoned was the firm foundation for their positive expectation and hope for the future. When speaking to young people about vocations, an important priority for me is to communicate my hope for the future and my real joy of living the ministerial priesthood in the present: The Church is alive and has a future; Young people do make long-term commitments; Living for others is possible; You can be a priest and still be very happy. There is so much more to be gained by living and expressing a positive hope for the future; a hope not built on denial of our present challenges, but a hope founded on a strong faith in God’s love for us. Come, follow me! Jesus calls young people to follow him today, just as he called the first disciples. He also calls some young men specifically to follow him as priests. But how to hear the call in this noisy world? “Vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life are born out of the experience of a personal encounter with Christ, out of sincere and confident dialogue with him, so as to enter into his will”. For Pope Benedict it is all about prayer. When Christian disciples are able to be still, silent and attentive to the Word of God, who draws close in the Scriptures and the sacraments, they are able to enter into a deep dialogue with Jesus: heart to heart.

This also is a big priority for me when speaking to school students throughout the Diocese. I spend a significant portion of time speaking about prayer as silence, stillness and interior dialogue, and instructing the students on how to go about this themselves. Surely the personal experience of dialogue with Jesus is the start of any vocational journey, and in fact is the fount from which the Christian life itself springs.

ingredients for a culture that supports and encourages the discernment of a personal vocation and the courage to pursue it. The Pope concluded his letter with these challenging words:

“Dear young people, do not be afraid to follow him and to walk the demanding and courageous paths of charity and generous commitment! In that way you will be happy to serve, you will be witnesses of a joy that the world Prayer, Faith & Hope cannot give, you will be living flames of If there are three themes that weave an infinite and eternal love, you will learn their way through Pope Benedict’s to ‘give an account of the hope that is letter they are: prayer, faith and hope. within you’!”(1 Pt 3:15). Together, these three themes are the Father Greg Bellamy

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Sister Chanel O’Neal rsj 15th March 1917~8th February 2013


ileen O’Neal was born on 15th March 1917, the seventh child of Lavinia and Hugh O’Neal. There were 11 children in the family of five boys and six girls. Irene, aged seven, died a few months before Eileen was born. The family had a farm at Mookerawa, where Eileen began her schooling, but her primary education was at the Convent School at Stuart Town and her secondary education at St Joseph’s College, Perthville, where she completed her Leaving Certificate in 1936. After a brief holiday, Eileen came to the Novitiate in 1936 and was received into our Congregation in June 1937. She was Professed on 8th June 1939 and took the Religious name of Chanel. She spent many years teaching in Eugowra, Coolah, Coonabarabran, Portland, Molong, Perthville, Canowindra, Gilgandra and Oberon and she was one of the original staff of the Diocesan Catholic Girls High School, now known as MacKillop with Paul Coleman, Parish Priest, and Brother Claude. Every Sunday College, when it opened in 1967. afternoon, she drove to the Women’s Many stories can be told of her Refuge at Glebe, laden with home teaching in the College Hall, whilst the cooked food to share with these new school (now study rooms) was broken women. Chanel’s motto was being built. Imagine a Perthville winter, that we must heed the call of the a kerosene heater for warmth and needy and the children and she lived possums running along the beams. A this out in opening her hand to the poor valiant women indeed! and arms to the needy. From 1972-1975, Chanel was our In 1984, Chanel went to Gilgandra Bursar General. With the help and where she lived for many years. In her advice from her Solicitor brother, Les, unobtrusive way, she continued to live our Congregation began to develop out the qualities of the Josephite Valiant a financial and legal process of Women of our readings. Hospitality was operation. Besides her administrative paramount, and the Convent was a work, Chanel began the improving home of welcome and nourishment for of Perthville grounds, cemetery and all - the community of Sisters, visitors, the buildings which was a huge task. During wanderers who passed the word down this time, she also worked with Regina that there was always a good feed at as they planned and prepared meals the Convent and a cooked morning for over 100 boarders, St Anne’s and a tea most days for the School staff (even community of around 20 Sisters. coming back early from her holiday Chanel went to our house at Crow’s with Fildema to provide morning tea Nest in 1976 as Sister in Charge and lived for the beginning of the School Year). there for seven years. Always noted Chanel’s pastoral care in the Parish for her hospitality and care of others, brought good news to the poor, new Chanel made Crows Nest a home for sight to the blind, and freedom to the our Sisters who were living there whilst down-trodden, as she reached out to studying, those of us who had to go Indigenous people, parishioners, the to Sydney for appointments, Sisters local community, innumerable others who came for Meetings (especially and especially as Spiritual Adviser Federation Meetings), relatives, friends to the Gilgandra St Vincent De Paul and strangers. During this time, Chanel Conference, whose meetings she was became involved in the North Sydney very faithful to. Parish Ministries, Pastoral Care and Visitation. She became great friends From Gilgandra, Chanel thought


it time to come to St Anne’s, but, non-conformist that she was, she soon reversed that decision and went to Dunedoo. Her time there in Community ended sadly when she had a bad fall, and, after surgery, it would have been impossible to manage in a two storey house. Chanel then returned to the St Anne’s Community. Her physical abilities may have diminished somewhat, but her brilliant mind remained active, as well as her great sense of humour and her caustic remarks in summing up situations and people remained in play. Having to move to St Catherine’s in 2011 was a big blow to her, but she settled in and soon made her presence felt. She was to receive the care there that she had spent her life giving to others. Our Chanel was a woman of great depth of prayer and wisdom. Time was of little concern and often in Dundeoo, when we were ready to say Evening Prayer, Chanel would have just finished her Morning Prayer. It was not unusual to go looking for Chanel and find her in the Chapel in quiet or reading or asleep with Tinker, the Corgi from Terrigal, at her side when he was holidaying at Dundeoo. Chanel was a woman of great intellect, an English scholar, with love of literature and correct use of grammar. Crosswords, especially cryptic, were a daily must. Chanel’s love of music was inherited from her father from her early years. A wise and creative woman who relished beaut, she loved the garden, and was a great cook. Her mind was logical and she could sum up situations and people in her own way, often with a peppered ring of truth, as most of us have experienced. Love of family was a special gift of Chanel’s, and she kept regular contact with her siblings who all pre-deceased her, and with her nieces, nephews and extended family, many of whom were able to attend her Requiem Mass. Rest in peace, Nellie. Sister Therese Patterson rsj

15 th February 2013


Father Pat O’Regan, Dean of the Cathedral, with education staff at this year’s commissioning Mass

A Message from the Executive Director of Schools…..


he commissioning Mass held at the start of our new school year for staff and catechists in Bathurst, provided me with the opportunity to reflect with them about a key aspect of our common ministry in schools.

to seek ways to similarly enthral our students with the great narrative of our faith story and its worldview. This is one of our most significant challenges as Catholic educators, because each of us would acknowledge that the worldview which has the most immediate and perhaps the most significant influence on the thinking of our students, is that of our culture.

Jesus both taught and acted - and we must do the same. Students must see that our proclamation and our daily life are interwoven and we must believe that together we can, just like Peter Jackson, find ways to tell our epic faith story both wonderfully and beautifully so that it has contemporary appeal.

We know from our experience that students are attracted to the transforming action of God’s grace as we live out God’s love in our daily interactions with As we recommence our work with the our colleagues, our students and their students in our care, we are challenged families.

As we undertake our various ministries this year, we do so placing our trust in God, who we know will act through our weakness, to ensure the fruitfulness of our work.

I began by commenting that as we commence our work this year, we do so, as always, against the backdrop of popular culture and the various elements which are engaging and capturing Just as Jesus himself posed the question the imagination of our society and our with what can we compare the Kingdom of God - what parable shall we use for it? students. Many students in upper primary and As we start our new year, in this Year of in our secondary schools would have Faith - it would be good for us to reflect been amongst the significant number similarly. of people who raced to see the movie The Hobbit, following its release on Boxing Day. We are easily drawn to the character of Bilbo Baggins, who is at first timid, comfortable and complacent but who eventually prevails in the face of adversity, gradually perceiving that he has hidden reserves, growing eventually in confidence and resourcefulness. The talents of Tolkien and Jackson have combined to engage a modern audience, due mainly to the film being both cinematically beautiful and wonderfully told.

We understand that Catholicism is a way of being human, a way of being religious, and a way of being Christian. This ‘way’ has been lived out in many cultures and through a number of ages. The commissioning Mass reminded us that we commence this academic year as Catholic educators. Surely in coming together to celebrate the Eucharist, we We could start that reflection by deeply are reminded that Catholic is not simply considering who is the God that we bring a workplace brand - rather it is our to our students? To be authentic in their collective identity. eyes, students will want to see that we have a real and personal relationship With our imaginations fired by the Holy with Jesus. Whether our students be five Spirit, this Year of Faith is an opportunity to or 18 years old, they will want to see that discover new paths so that the power of we are not speaking of mere ideas and the gospel and the Catholic worldview philosophy but out of the reality of our may become the wisdom for life that our students are so keenly seeking. lives.

Jenny Allen



Spelling it out!


pelling is an important life skill and is fundamental to each student engaging fully in the academic, social and religious experiences of school and beyond.

The Catholic Education Office recognises the importance of spelling development and the role that the Bathurst Diocese’s school educators have in addressing the diverse spelling needs of students. At the commencement of the school year, the Catholic Education Office launched its first position paper for the Diocese. It provided practical information for professional school learning communities on critical aspects of effective spelling practice. Schools will take this position paper and develop their own school spelling plan for 2013. One exciting initiative for 2013 is that a Diocesan Spelling Bee is being introduced as a fun and educational way for primary and secondary school students to engage in spelling. The program includes activities to encourage all students to engage with spelling and to promote improved literacy in combination with the English K-10 Syllabus. The Diocesan Spelling Bee is open to all primary, central and secondary schools. The competition comprises two divisions th in primary and two in secondary - Junior for Ys 3 and 4 and The Diocesan Finals will take place on Wednesday 29 May th (Secondary) and Thursday 30 May (Primary) in week five of Senior for Ys 5 and 6; Junior for Ys 7 and 8 and Intermediate Term Two. for Ys 9 and 10. Rose-Marie van Raad Each school can enter a maximum of two students per division.

Welcome New Principals


e welcome four new Principals to our Diocese in 2013.

Mr Tony Logue (St. Joseph’s Oberon) and Mr Robert Keady (St. Pat’s Lithgow) have joined us from the Sydney and Wagga Dioceses respectively. We appreciate the different experiences and approaches they bring to our Diocese and their roles - and hope that their introduction is a positive and welcoming one. We are also very pleased and proud to have ‘two of our own’ step up to Leadership positions in the ‘Northern Kingdom’. Mrs Gai Gilmour has been the REC at St. Joseph’s in Gilgandra and has taken up the position of Principal at St. Brigid’s in Coonamble. Mrs Amy Maslen is on staff at Sacred Heart School in Coolah and has stepped into ‘the hot seat’ for 2013. Congratulations ladies! Janine Kearney

Mrs Amy Maslen, Mr Robert Keady, Mrs Gai Gilmour and Mr Tony Logue



Masters of Educational Leadership


5 teachers from around the Diocese, including Mudgee, Lithgow, Dubbo and Orange, converged on St. Matthew’s School in Mudgee last month, to participate in the first weekend of their residential school as part of their Masters of Educational Leadership course. This course is now in its third year. Lecturer Vicky McGahey, from Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Strathfield, lectured on: Leading Educational Change in Catholic Schools; the historical developments and change forces. These teachers will return in April for their second weekend of study for this unit. Rose-Marie van Raad



Final Farewells!


t. Brigid’s Primary, Coonamble and Sacred Heart Primary, Coolah farewelled their Principals at the end of 2012. Jane Scahill, who had only been at St. Brigid’s for the year, moved on to take up a position at the CEO in the Diocese of Newcastle. This is the stomping ground of one of our ‘almost home-grown’ favourites, Ray Collins, whose wife Annette is a Coonamble ‘girl’. Isn’t it a small world after all? David Garstang has been Principal at Sacred Heart for the past six years. He has taken up a temporary position as REC at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Oberon. The CEO joined with their schools and parishes to thank David and Jane for their contributions to their schools and wider communities and to wish them all the best in their new positions and locations. Janine Kearney

Father Carl Mackander and the Parish hosted a morning tea for David after the weekly Mass

Jane Scahill and her class preparing for their end of year concert

Farewell to Sandy Dunn (Y5-6 teacher) and to David and Denise Garstang

Holy Family Primary School Kelso

Catholic Education Quality Education



Leadership Framework


t last month’s Principals Meeting in the Diocese of Bathurst, the CEO launched its new Leadership Framework titled “Leading the Way”.

based on individual needs. This leadership framework will support a range of diocesan processes which enrich and sustain quality leadership. Most importantly, this document can be used by emerging leaders to challenge and inspire them to build their leadership capacity.

This is a combined project between CEO Consultants and School Principals and is designed to establish a shared understanding of leadership. The framework supports all layers The framework has three core of leadership, within our diocesan elements: religious leadership; educational community. educational leadership and enabling It is designed as a tool for school lead- leadership. Each of these elements has ers to reflect on their practice, en- a context statement, accountabilities hance their continuing professional and capabilities designed to give development and assist them in de- life to the framework in different signing professional learning plans leadership contexts.

As a Diocese we are committed to building leadership capacity in our current and aspiring leaders. We provide effective and contemporary programs to prepare them for the challenges of being a leader in a contemporary Catholic school. As a result of this new leadership framework, the CEO will now embark on reviewing its suite of school leadership programs to ensure that the students in our system of schools experience high quality contemporary leadership, underpinned by our Catholic worldview. Rose-Marie van Raad and Warren Frew

Curriculum Hub and Spoke for Diocese


ith the familiarisation phase of the Australian Curriculum well under way, teachers in the Diocese of Bathurst will soon be supported through a K-6 Curriculum Hub and Spoke structure designed to promote discussions at a school level around the curriculum needs of all students. Members of the ‘Hub’ will be assigned to a group of schools to work closely with the school based ‘Spoke’ member, to begin discussions in relation to the Australian Curriculum. Through a series of meetings between Hub and Spoke members, a Hub member statement of purpose has been finalised. Members of the Hub aim to assist teachers to develop a deep understanding of the philosophy underpinning the K-6 English syllabus, within a contemporary and school context. A number of support modules will be developed by members of the Hub to introduce the Australian Curriculum and NSW BOS Syllabus in the first instance, followed by work around student needs (differentiation, program adjustments, contemporary learning), assessment of, for and as learning, planning and

programming (online tool, teacher Hub members will meet early March collaboration, adjustments) and for two days, to begin work on the the process for developing units of support modules. work. Michael Flood



Outstanding HSC Results


tudents from the four Catholic High Schools in the Diocese of Bathurst have once again achieved some outstanding results from the 2012 HSC. Diocesan Y12 students were amongst 73,397 students who sat for the Higher School Certificate in NSW in October 2012. Of the 73,397 students enrolled, 35,950 - or 49% - were male and 37,447 - or 51% - were female. In our Diocese, 362 of these students studied at one of the four Catholic Secondary Schools in the Bathurst Diocese: La Salle Academy Lithgow (41), MacKillop College Bathurst (89), James Sheahan Catholic High School Orange (104) and St. John’s College Dubbo (128). Courses were offered in over 50 subjects and included vocational as well as academic courses, providing students with a full range of options for their chosen courses of study. In addition to the written examinations, students had to produce major works in Music, Drama, Design and Technology, Visual Arts, Dance, Textiles and Industrial Technology and sit for oral examinations in French and Japanese. The increasingly popular Vocational Education courses included Metals and Engineering, Hospitality, Entertainment, Primary Industries and Retail and Construction. Schools have reported many excellent individual and whole school results. Students from Diocesan Schools scored well above the State Mean in many subjects, with exceptional results noted in 2 Unit subjects including Ancient and Modern History, Legal Studies, Mathematics, Physics, English, VET Entertainment, VET Metals and Engineering, Industrial Technology, Geography and Agriculture. Many students received entry offers from universities, with one school having over 70% of the cohort receiving offers.

Richard Chatoor, being presented with the Diocesan scholarship and medal on behalf of the Catholic Development Fund, by Mr Tony Eviston, ViceChancellor Catholic Diocese of Bathurst and Manger Catholic Development Fund. these students from Diocesan schools were awarded Band 6 scores for Studies of Religion 1 Unit and three students for Studies of Religion 2 Unit.

Two students from the Diocese were also recognised in the Order of Merit lists for the HSC. They were Alana Hewish from There were 132 Band 6 results awarded to students in the St. John’s College in Dubbo for 2 Unit Standard English and four high schools. Band 6 is the highest achievement and Ailie McGarity from MacKillop College in Bathurst for History was awarded in many courses across the curriculum. 17 of Extension. Both of these students were ranked in the top

Studies of Religion Award Recipients from MacKillop College Bathurst - Emily Clinton, Emily Hockey, Ailie McGarity and Alexandra Ireland


CATHOLIC EDUCATION OFFICE BATHURST 10 students in the State in the subject listed. The Highest ATAR in the Diocese this year was awarded to Richard Chatoor from St. John’s College with a score of 98.8. Richard was this year’s recipient of the Catholic Development Fund Scholarship and hopes to study Medicine at University. The recent Bathurst Diocesan Awards Ceremony in Orange recognised the outstanding results achieved by the students. The following students received Diocesan awards on the night: • The CDF Scholarship for Highest Diocesan ATAR: Richard Chatoor of St. John’s College Dubbo 98.8 ATAR • Studies of Religion I - Highest Diocesan Mark 2012: Emily Hockey and Emily Clinton of MacKillop College Bathurst, both scoring 49/50 • Studies of Religion II - Highest Diocesan Mark 2012: Alexandra Ireland and Ailie McGarity of MacKillop College Bathurst, both scoring 91/100 Certificates were also presented to those students who have achieved Honour Listings in their chosen courses of study for the Higher School Certificate (see right) Congratulations to the HSC class of 2012 and best wishes in your future careers.

James Sheahan Catholic High School, Orange - (Principal Mr Mark Pauschmann) Nicholas Allan Naomi Blissett Eloise Borschtsch Kelsy Burns Nathan Byrne Glenn Cardinio

Sean Dixon Nicole Goodman Kaedla Hutchings Patrick Jasprizza Sarah Joseph Laura Kable

Sophie Matthews Rosario Ortiz Castillo Stephanie Phillips Sophie Ryan Georgina Williams

St. John’s College, Dubbo - (Principal Mrs Kerry Morris) Jasleen Bansal

Jack Hayden

Meegodage Rushani Perera

Zach Beavon-Collin Richard Chatoor Amelia Christensen Emily Davies Annaleigh Davis James English Lauren Feather Rachel Field Nicole Gauci Rory Greer

Alana Hewish Geraldyne Keen Emma Kilsby Femy Koratty Harrison Lance Iga Leszczynska Livia Mannix Jed McAnespie Molly Minehan Thomas Peacocke

Elise Powning William Sears Madeleine Simpson Hannah Soole Katharine Thorburn Kate Thorne Amy Walton Joshua Ward Isaah Yeo Kathryn Young

MacKillop College, Bathurst - (Principal Mrs Maureen Moore) Tarah Arrow Ailie McGarity Meg Savage Taleisha Bartlett Katharine Mills Lara Smith Emily Clinton Keltie Mitchell Cassandra Townson Genevieve Evans Samantha Morrison Aisling Visser-Connolly Emily Hockey Eloise Nankervis Emily Wood Alexandra Ireland Sally Nguyen Laura Yen Alison Malligan Abbey O’Connell Sophie Zachulski Chloe McCormick Madeline Robinson La Salle Academy, Lithgow - (Principal Mr John Emms) Sophie Willis

Sacred Heart Primary School Coolah Church Street, Coolah

Kindergarten to Year 6 Ph: (02) 6377 1132 Fx: (02) 6377 1458



New Curriculums in the Making


he Catholic Education Office has formulated four secondary curriculum writing parties in response to the new Australian Curriculum that is to be introduced into schools from 2014. We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of teachers across our eight secondary schools and their commitment to this project in 2013.

has been a member of the NSW HSC English (Advanced and Standard) Examination committee and an HSC marking supervisor. She is an occasional teacher at the University of Western Sydney.

Her previous roles include: Senior Curriculum Officer in Science at the Board of Studies; Co-ordinator of the new Science syllabus for the BOS; a former council member of STANSW. Trish is currently a Senior Projects Officer for Quality and Credentialing I would like to thank Jo McDonald at the Board of Studies. (English Co-ordinator at St. John’s College) for taking up the role of We are very fortunate to have Trish group facilitator. convening this workshop.

We have been busy sourcing experts, group facilitators, and in conjunction with our very own diocesan expert staff will now commence writing the new curriculum papers for English, We are very fortunate to have a Maths Maths, Science and History. specialist employed at the Catholic For each group we have appointed a Education Office, Bathurst. Pat Eakin group facilitator, and in some cases, has an outstanding knowledge of have engaged an outside expert as Mathematics K-12 as well as a working a ‘critical friend’. The expectations of knowledge of the 33 schools across our Diocese. Pat will be leading and these writing parties will be to: facilitating this group. • survey syllabus documents and support documents and establish Pat has worked across three systems group goals to assist schools with - DEC, the private system and the the introduction of the Australian Catholic education system and has held positions of Subject Co-ordinator Curriculum; in Mathematics as well as Technology • evaluate changes that may and Administration. be necessary for syllabus implementation (including the Pat has also lectured at CSU development of contemporary Bathurst in Primary Mathematics; has facilitated workshops in HSC marking learning) across the Diocese; for Mathematics and Technology; was • using the e-syllabus and other part of the Quality Assurance Team for online tools, produce a scope and the Department of School Education; sequence scaffold that may be and was part of the team setting up used across Diocesan schools; CSU online for Mathematics. Pat has • develop teaching strategies, done extensive research in schools resources, assessment instruments for a qualitative longitudinal study about ‘The Transition from Primary to and programs for 7-10. Secondary School in Mathematics’ Maths has hit the ground running. The and on ‘Secondary Mathematics English, Science and History working Teaching as a Career’. Pat is trained parties will commence shortly. to deliver First Steps in Mathematics professional development, remediation in Mathematics in terms of Quicksmart; and liaises with MANSW regarding professional development The Bathurst CEO has arranged opportunities for our system.



for Ann Small to present the first workshop. Ann teaches English at Catherine McAuley High School, Westmead. She has been a writer for the Australian Curriculum: English K-10, and the national senior English course Literature, and a syllabus writer for the NSW Board of Studies. Ann has developed units of work for the English Teachers Association NSW and

She will be supported by the Board of Studies Liaison Officer, Alanah Miszuk.

I would like to thank Steph Newman (Science teacher at St. Matthews, Mudgee) for taking up the role of group facilitator.

History The Bathurst CEO has arranged for Kate Cameron to present the first workshop. Kate has held a number of Head Teacher of History positions; she was the Senior Assessment Officer for HSIE at the BOS between 2006 to 2009; a member of the Ancient History Advisory Group for ACARA 2010 to 2012; the former president of both the National and NSW History Teachers Associations; the author of a range of textbooks; the recipient of the Annual History Citation by the History Council of NSW for her contributions to the teaching and learning of History in 2010; and is currently lecturing at Macquarie University in the History Teacher Program. We are very fortunate to have Kate convening this workshop. We thank Kathleen Collin who has agreed to be our history group facilitator. She is currently the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Macquarie Anglican Grammar School and was the History Co-ordinator at St. Johns College (2003-2011). Kathleen has extensive HSC Marking Experience (Ancient and Modern History).

She was the facilitator for the Bathurst Diocese to the Australian Curriculum History 7-10 and Senior (Drafts) (20102011) and facilitator for the Bathurst The Bathurst CEO has arranged for Diocese writing party for the 7-10 Trish Stockridge to attend the third History syllabus in 2003 and 2006, workshop. Trish has held a number of during periods of change and review. Head Teacher of Science positions Rose-Marie van Raad prior to joining the Board of Studies.



Covenant in Action


he Dunedoo-Coolah Parish Council met with the Anglican Parish Council recently to discuss ways in which the two bodies could give practical expression to the Covenant signed last year between the Catholic and Anglican Dioceses of Bathurst. The first step was the sharing of Lenten Reflection Groups in each of the four communities of the parishes, using the Wollongong Diocese booklet. Father Carl Mackander

Important Dates

Thank You

April 2013


he Murphy family of Orange would like to thank the Diocesan family for its prayerful support on the deaths of David and Kevin. Large congregations attended both funerals and expressions of sympathy were extended to the family from all around the Diocese.

Regional Diocesan Assembly Meetings 2nd April - Bathurst; 3rd April - Coonabarabran; 4th April - Mudgee; 18th April - Canowindra; 29th April - Dubbo. 21st April - World Day of Prayer for Vocations

The family also thanks Bishop Michael for his attendance at Kevin’s Requiem Mass, along with the many Priests and Sisters who attended from around the Diocese.

May 2013 5th May - World Communications Day 12th -19th May - Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 17th - 19th May - Diocesan Assembly, Bathurst

Thank you also for the prayers and good wishes for Brien during his illness. Pat, John, Brien and Bill

HERE’S A GREAT WAY TO SERVE GOD IN 2013 o In 2013 we will need SRE Scripture Teachers & Assistants. More men who have flexible working hours would be especially welcome! or o Could you be a Prayer Partner with a Scripture teacher?

OUR CHALLENGE FOR 2013 is to have…. • a Scripture teacher for every Primary class

Greg and Kieran at Vic’s Pizza House Wish you a Joyous Easter! 145 George St, Bathurst (opposite the Carillon)

phone 6331 7311 or 131 PIZZA

• a Prayer Partner for every Scripture teacher

COULD YOU HELP??? Please contact your parish priest!


We are open: Mon-Thur 4.30pm to 9.30pm Fri-Sat 4.30pm to 11.00pm Sun – 4.30pm to 9.00pm Also open Mon-Friday for Lunch – 12 – 2.30pm We will be closed Good Friday & Easter Sunday.

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Holiday with a Difference


n January, Parish Priest of Dunedoo-Coolah, Father Carl Mackander, spent his annual leave in Vietnam with three of our Vietnamese seminarians as his guide. Father Carl shares some of his experiences with us…. Some memories of the people and experiences I had during three weeks holiday in Vietnam will remain with me, because they were unusual and often unexpected. I went without any itinerary planned and allowed Dong Nguyen, Diep ‘Anthony’ Quang and Andrew Van to be my guides and translators. Dong had worked out a rough plan, being aware of my interests through living with me during the latter half of 2011 in his rural pastoral placement at Dunedoo. We didn’t visit any war sites, but saw many war cemeteries and monuments as we passed by in bus or car. Nha, a seminarian who had lived with me in Orange Parish during 2010, was our first host on the Mekong River, 3.5 hours drive south east of Ho Chi Minh City (Siagon). The weather was hot and humid and the scenery full of green rice paddy fields, flocks of white ducks and palm trees. The chaotic appearance of so many motor bikes on streets and roads, carrying all sorts of cargo including pigs, ducks and half grown cattle, is a shock after our ordered approach to driving in Australia; but it works in Vietnam because they are limited to 80kms on roads and drive at about 30-40kms in towns and cities. Even so, the annual road toll is about 11,000 deaths! A great way to see the countryside and village life was from the back of a motorbike in the Mekong, as well as in Dong and Diep’s home towns. A boat trip of some hours on the Mekong River revealed it as the life-blood of the southern part of the country, with many living on the banks and others using it to fish or as a means of access to other towns and villages.

Dong, Diep and Van outside Dakmil Church’s Christmas Nativity Scene. Dakmil is Van’s home parish.

Food and rice wine (a mostly home-brewed spirit with 30% alcohol) are the central aspects of hospitality. The round table for dining was apparently invented by Asians to give everyone equal recognition at the table. Food was on plates ready for the cooking pot of boiling spiced water in the centre of the table. The host or others cooked according to desire. My first eating of dog meat happened on the

Mekong. Luckily I was not aware until the sixth time it was placed in front of me - and this caused some amusement to Dong, Diep and our hosts. It is considered good meat to eat in the winter time; it warms you up! Porcupine is also considered a special meat, with chicken and beef most common for the guest. The everyday food of the people is very simple and small in quantity!

Catholic Diocese of Bathurst Diocesan Assembly Pentecost Weekend (17th-19th May 2013) To rebuild and renew our community of faith Diocesan Assembly [di-oc-e-san as-sem-bly] - a beginning - not an end; - to inspire and educate more Catholics to take up their share of the Church’s mission; - to begin building new structures of opportunity for service, worship and proclamation. Are you contributing to the conversation? Regional Meetings being held around the Diocese during Eastertide. More information is available from your Parish Office or our Diocesan Website ~ ~


An outstanding memory is the Independence Palace, formerly the President’s Palace in central Siagon, where visitors get an insight into the war and politics before and during the 1950-1970s.

Pope John XXIII in 1961, was significant on Epiphany Sunday. Dong’s i-Phone provided the Mass prayers of the day. This Catholic Shrine was also a source of spiritual strength for Catholics during the war years. Unfortunately the old church was destroyed by American Daily Mass in parish churches is usually bombing, with only the bell tower celebrated at the extraordinarily still standing and a new church nave early time of 4.30am or 5.00am. In added to it. Dong’s parish church, three young couples celebrated their weddings Paradise Cave in the limestone during Thursday 4.30am Mass. Can mountains of central Vietnam was a you imagine this ever happening in surprise and natural wonder; 1.5kms Australia? The marriage is considered of cave with extraordinary stalactites to be a community event, which is and stalagmites tastefully lit with blue theologically correct, so it is celebrated and gold lighting. with the parish community present! Further north towards Hanoi and west Afterwards, there is a simple breakfast of the city of Vinh, I spent a week in the at the bride’s family home, under a villages where Dong and Diep were marquee set-up for the occasion. reared. I stayed with family members Guests left at 8.00am and returned and met cousins and neighbours. The at 11.00am for the formal reception. hard life of growing two rice crops I attended one with Dong, who is a each year under adverse weather friend of one of the brides through both conditions, following the water buffalo being involved in the parish choir some pulling a simple plough, with the farmer years ago. We were invited to the ‘topup to his knees in mud and water, table’ to sit with the bride’s widowed gave me sympathy for their tough life mother, grandparents and uncles and on the land. Women planted the rice aunts. Dong was the able translator of seedlings when the weather warmed conversation, as no one else had any a little; a back breaking task! English; he didn’t get time to eat much food! Faith-filled and cheerful On a Saturday morning at 4.30am It is estimated that 80% of the Mass in Diep’s parish, many primary Vietnamese people live on less than and high school students were present $A1,000 per year. In spite of their and led the singing; school happens poverty the people live faith-filled and on Saturday as well as through the cheerful lives, with the Church being week. central to family and community La Vang National Shrine to Our Lady life; 10% of 86 million people being in central Vietnam, originating with a Catholic. Homes show evidence of vision of Mary in 1798 and approved by family faith, with crucifixes and statues

of Mary and St Joseph being in the centre of the wall cabinet in the front reception/lounge room; in the 1990s, churches were physically built by the parishioners out of reinforced concrete, over 6 to 8 years; full singing happens at all Masses, even 4.30am and Christmas lights, cribs and decorations are prominent on the outside of churches and Catholic homes. An obvious statement of the faith of the occupants! I was often asked about the differences between Australia and Vietnam. To me it seemed that their priorities are family, community, then the individual; ours seem to be individual rights, family and then community. This is where the Vietnamese Catholics’ witness to Christian faith and worship is so evident in their involvement in their local parish community and diocese. Australian Catholics have become more reticent about proclaiming their faith through statues or holy pictures on the walls of their homes and many do not participate in the worship of their local parish community. Maybe a little oppression and less material comfort would strengthen our Australian Catholic faith? We are similar in our humanity though; a good sense of humour which makes the best of challenging situations. I felt at home amongst them during the friendly, welcoming celebration over many meals and rice wine toasts. They are as curious about our lives in Australia as we might be about theirs! Father Carl Mackander

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Peter’s Successor Q: How is the Pope the successor to Peter? A: Peter died in Rome as the Bishop of Rome. Jesus had appointed Peter as the leader of the apostles, the Rock on which he would build his Church (Mt 16:18). Jesus first changed Simon’s name to Peter (Rock) (Mt 10:2) and then Jesus founded his Church on the Rock of Peter. Following Peter, each Bishop of Rome, as the Bishop of Rome, has been regarded as the Pope. The Orthodox Churches, while not acknowledging universal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, still regard the Bishop of Rome as the successor of Peter. Is there something about the Catholic faith you want answered?

Contact: Catholic Enquiry Centre Ph: 1300 4 FAITH (1300 432 484) Web:

“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” —Psalm 34:14

Just as we in Australia know conflict within our own communities, so do our neighbours in Papua New Guinea. With more than a thousand different tribes across the country, tribal conflicts over such things as land claims and religious differences can lead to the burning of churches, schools, homes and most devastatingly, the loss of life. Thankfully, the Catholic Church and local priests play an important role in reducing the hostility and animosity between the different tribes. As respected leaders of the community, the priests act as mediators and encourage harmony and reconciliation. Through our Church leaders, your support will play a huge part in helping to bring faith, tolerance and peace to those in turmoil in this culturally diverse part of the world.

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Bishop meets with NSW Ecumenical Council


embers of the NSW Ecumenical Council came to Bathurst to meet with Bishop Michael McKenna and Father Tim Cahill recently. Right: Kathy Moroney, Father Shenouda Mansour, Father Tim Cahill, Bishop McKenna and Doug Hewitt

Thank You!


nce again, our Diocesan family has answered the call to help our brothers and sisters in the missionary Church of Timor-Leste. The amount donated to our annual Missionary Appeal, held at Christmas, was $42,843.35 for 2012. This money has been forwarded to Catholic Mission who will use it to support the construction of a new church in Cairui, in the Diocese of Bacau in Timor-Leste.

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Celebrating SRE Teachers Farewell Faithful Catechists


at Wilcox has taught SRE at Oberon Public School for about 10 years; firstly when it was Catholic SRE, then when it became Ecumenical. She has also coordinated the Catechists of Oberon for many years.

out the story of the day and enjoyed seeing pictures of how the people actually lived in Jesus’ time. They would get excited about that and look with amazement. Teaching the children about Jesus has strengthened my faith in prayer and meditation”.

Pat first became involved in teaching SRE through some of the Catechists she knew, who were already teaching at the local School.

Vanessa Russell has taught SRE at Raglan Public School for about 17

When asked what she enjoyed most about teaching SRE, Pat said, “It was so rewarding to see the enthusiasm in the smiling faces of the children”. Pat also found it rewarding “to know that the children were getting at least some understanding of their Christian faith” through the teaching of SRE. Thank you Pat for the superb job you have done co-ordinating the Catechists and teaching the Infants children at Oberon Public School. Annette Nimmo first became involved with teaching SRE about 19 years ago; first as a helper, then as an SRE years. She first became involved when teacher. She taught SRE in the Infants some friends who taught SRE at the school encouraged her and made her Department at Kelso Public School. feel welcome. One of these friends, Ali Annette enjoyed teaching the Lavis, taught SRE to Vanessa’s first child children about “how much God loves whilst he was in Kindergarten. Vanessa them and how they should try to live began as a helper, but after the first His way”. lesson, the teacher announced that She said, “The children loved to act this was her last SRE class, as she was

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leaving, and handed Vanessa the books! Before she realised what had happened, Vanessa had become the new Y2 Scripture Teacher! Vanessa said she enjoyed teaching the children that “God always loves them, will always forgive them and that he will always be with them”. She also said that she enjoyed the support given to her by the School and staff. Vanessa feels that her own faith has matured since she began teaching Scripture. Vanessa is a talented musician. She contributed significantly to our Raglan Easter and Christmas Assemblies, helping to make them truly delightful with her piano playing and children’s ensemble and percussion groups which she especially trained for these Assemblies. May God bless each of these ladies every day for all that they have given to His little ones. Farewell and thank you Pat, Annette and Vanessa for your dedication to the Ministry of Special Religious Education.

Perthville Students making a difference


ach year, the SRE teacher at Perthville Public School, Beverley Bryce, would give each of the Kindergarten and Y1 children a $2.00 gift.

Five years ago, the children decided to pass on their money towards buying a gift for a family in a third world country. In past years, the classes have purchased two goats, a toilet, clean drinking water and a vegetable garden. This year, the children have purchased a bicycle. This will enable people to transport their produce to market to sell and to cart water to their homes. Beverley says the children are taught in their Scripture classes that God gave his son to us as a gift and that Jesus gave his life for us. They also realise that the presents they receive at Christmas are ‘wants’ whereas the gifts they have purchased for families in third world countries are very much ‘needs’. Vicki Mair




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St Philomena’s School - Bathurst Dean of the Cathedral, Father Pat O’Regan, with students at the Opening School Mass at St. Philomena’s School in Bathurst last month

This was the first School Mass for these Kindergarten students at St. Phil’s.

For a century and a half, the Catholic community has gathered in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John to Worship God. Into this sacred space, all have been welcomed for baptisms, marriages, funerals and other significant moments in the lives of families, Parish and the Diocese. The generations before us have built and cared for this place. Now it is our turn. Please give generously to the Cathedral Restoration Appeal. Donations can be made: In Person ~ Catholic Chancery Office Bathurst, or your local Parish Office By Phone ~ 1800 451 760 By email ~ cathedralrestoration@ Online ~ www. where you will find more information. Donations over $2 are tax deductible CATHOLIC OBSERVER, DIOCESE OF BATHURST • MARCH 2013 - PAGE 32

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/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.

Celebrating 25 years of priesthood


ather Tony Hennessy, Parish Priest of Wellington, celebrated his 25th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood last year, culminating in November with a special Mass at Wellington. This was followed by luncheon in the school hall, thanks to the School’s P&F. The celebration was organised by the Wellington Parish and around 180 families, friends and parishioners attended - including some Father Tony had not seen for many years. A presentation was made to Father Tony by the parish - a stole with aboriginal artwork – and the hall was decorated in blue and white (Bulldog colours!). Stuart Town and Yeoval are also part of the Wellington parish but are distinct faith communities in their own right, and had previously held celebrations for Father. Over the years, Father Tony has been involved in some way in most places in the Diocese. There were also Masses at Blayney, Cowra and Orange and a chance to celebrate with brother priests, some also marking anniversaries, at the Clergy Gathering in Bathurst in October. Mass with his Seminary classmates at the Good Shepherd Seminary was also a highlight. Father Tony also had a chance to celebrate Mass in Bribbaree, Parkes, Bourke and Gunnedah - places of his childhood and family background. Father says he has many fond memories of parish life in places like Mudgee, Dubbo and Coonabarabran that have stayed with him and helped shape his spiritual life and helped in his life’s journey. “Celebrating Masses in the different places was a chance for me to say thanks for the memories, help and prayers over the years and to acknowledge my appreciation for people. It was also an important opportunity for me to say that there were times I could have done better in my work in the parishes and express my sorrow for times I had failed”. “I found the overall year to have been a positive and life giving one and a wonderful sharing of memories that were happy and faith based for many people. I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by Bathurst Diocese since my ordination in Lithgow. Please remember me in your prayers”.


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

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


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

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

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




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Vale Faithful Sister Sister Marie Pattison rsj 19th February 1925~25th November 2012


ister Marie Pattison (formerly Sister Borgia) died at Canterbury Hospital on Sunday 25th November, in her 69th year of Religious Profession.

Marie was, for the last 15 years, a resident at Cardinal Freeman Village in Ashfield. She had ministered previously in many places in the Bathurst Diocese; first as an Infants’ Born in Baradine in 1925, Marie was teacher for 15 years and then, with a the youngest of five children. He fapassion for Science and Geology, she ther was killed in a timber accident was a Secondary teacher in Portland, when she was only four years old. A Canowindra, Oberon and Gilgandra. few years later, the family moved to She was also the Religious Education Manly and Marie boarded at St. JoCo-ordinator at “The Dio” (MacKillop seph’s College, Perthville for her secCollege) in Bathurst. Marie also spent ondary education. Marie’s sister, Vea year as the Religious Education Coronica, preceded her into religious life ordinator at Sacred Heart College, at Perthville and to heaven - they are New Town, Tasmania. buried side-by-side in the Sisters’ cemetery at Perthville. In 1983 Marie moved to the Crows Nest Community and after gaining a diploma in Clinical Pastoral Education she ministered for seven years as a Pastoral Care Worker at the Mater Hospital, Sydney where she showed great compassion and was very highly regarded. Marie was also a volunteer Marie remained an interested and at the Mary MacKillop Chapel and prayerful member of the Perthville Josephite Community. Museum at North Sydney. In December 1996, Marie retired to In the week before Marie died, one of Cardinal Freeman Village where the sisters was speaking to her about she lived the Gospel in her simple, her being 87 years old. In response, Josephite way, ministering by her Marie simply replied “87 years and it’s thoughtfulness and interest to both all been for God”. This sums up Marie’s residents and staff alike. A bright and attitude to her life - it was lived with intelligent woman, she was aware of no fuss, in a straightforward manner, in world news and she could converse simplicity and faith. on many subjects. She loved Sport May she rest in peace. and was a one-eyed supporter of the Manly Sea Eagles and enjoyed Sister Maria Sullivan rsj following the Australian cricket team.

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 CATHOLIC OBSERVER, DIOCESE OF BATHURST • MARCH 2013 - PAGE 35

Ministers to be Instituted


n 7th April 2013, at 10.00am Mass in the Cathedral, Bishop McKenna will institute to the Ministry of Lector, seven men who have been undertaking the Diaconate Formation Program in our Diocese. 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. Biblical formation of the reader should enable the reader to understand the readings in context and to perceive, by the light of faith, the central point of the revealed message. The liturgical formation should equip the reader with some grasp of the meaning and structure of the Liturgy of the voice along with proper use of sound equipment. Word and of the significance of its connection with the In the Ministry of Lector, the reader is ministering to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. community. This is most appropriately done when the The technical preparation should make the reader more individual is able to proclaim the Scripture from the depths skilled in the art of reading publicly, and include their own of their lived faith.

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

n 11 February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI made an historic announcement to Cardinals during what was supposed to be a routine meeting to discuss the canonisation of three potential saints. He told the Cardinals that, after repeatedly examining his conscience before God, he had come to the certainty that his strengths, due to an advanced age, were “no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry”. “I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me”. With these words, Pope Benedict became the first Pontiff in six centuries to retire. Pope Benedict, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was elected on April 19th, 2005, a ready successor after serving beside Pope John Paul II for more than two decades. “After the great Pope John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble labourer in the vineyard of the Lord”, he said at the time of his election. The Church’s 265th pope, Benedict was the first German to hold the title in half a millennium and his election was a milestone in Germany’s spiritual renewal. At 78, he was also the oldest pope to be elected since 1730. His work as a scholar and respected theologian will long be remembered. He was a prolific writer, who wrote encyclicals on spiritual, social and economic issues and gave us insightful and powerful accounts of Jesus’ life. His speeches will stay in the memory of all who witnessed and heard them. He visited mosques and entered into inter-faith dialogue, really reaching out to those of other faiths. He was also the first Pope to own an iPad and to Tweet! Aged 85 years, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI now retires to a monastery within the Vatican for a life of prayer, no doubt study - and hopefully more writing. Pope John Paul II taught people how to suffer and accept illness and death in a very public way. Benedict XVI chose a different way to witness, but still one of courage and humility. th

Fiona Lewis

Profile for Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

Catholic Observer Magazine  

Quarterly publication of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

Catholic Observer Magazine  

Quarterly publication of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

Profile for diobxobs