Viewpoint - April - June 2021

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CONTENTS 1 Bishop O’Mahony 2 Sesquicentenary Events Seminary Formation 3 My Project of Life In Memoriam Fr Peter Liu 4 & Fr Bernie Melville 5 News from the Diocese ADIG Customer Survey 6 8 World Day of Grandparents 9 Feast Day of Saint Hannibal 200 Years of Catholic 10 Education Mass Celebration Covid-19 Special Collection 12 India & Philippines 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines

Pictured: The Mass was concelebrated by L-R 1st row; Fathers Sabu and Vince; 2nd row Fathers Roel, Abmar & Vic; 3rd row Deacon Paul Manvell, Fathers Paul and James (altar servers Ralph Barril and Khyle Orobia, back Jack Smith).






local filipino’s celebrate 500 Years of Christianity in the philipPines Bishop Michael Kennedy celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on the 18th April 2021 at Mary Help of Christians Church South Tamworth in thanksgiving to God for the gift of faith to the Filipino nation in celebration of the 500 Years anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. Mass was attended by local parishioners and Filipinos in Tamworth and neighbouring towns. The Tamworth Filipino Community Choir sung the official hymn for the celebration “Live Christ, Share Christ”. The story of the Philippines is the story of the Church’s “most successful missionary effort in Asia” (Bokenkotter, 2005). Like the proverbial grain of the mustard seed sown in fertile earth, the growth and development of the Church and the Philippines were the fruits of the labors of missionary friars, sustained by an indigenous clergy, and made vibrant by a faithful people. Jesuit historian Fr. John Schumacher writes: “Whether one is a believing Catholic or not, the development of the Filipino nation cannot be understood without a knowledge of the major, often decisive role that the Church has played, well or ill, in that process, and continues to play.”



Bishop O’Mahony Sesquicentenary events

yet no religious sisters or brothers; no cathedral; just 4 stone or brick chapels and a few of timber; 2 presbyteries and 3 schools. But Timothy O’Mahony, emboldened by the grace of God and inspired by the Blessed Virgin Mary said “Yes Lord, let what has been asked be done to me. I will be who you want me to be; I will go where you want me to go; I will do what you want me to do.”

mass & blessing of the memorial stone

Bishop Michael said he was delighted that the Diocese had come together to celebrate the important anniversary in the life of the Diocese. “I hope,” he said, “that Bishop Timothy O’Mahony inspires us and the Blessed Virgin Mary prays for us.”

Cathedral Parish Armidale 25th March 2021 A Mass was celebrated in Saints Mary and Joseph Cathedral on Friday 25th March, the Feast of the Annunciation, and the anniversary date of Bishop O’Mahony’s installation as First Bishop of Armidale in 1871.

The Bishop O’Mahony memeorial stone will be affixed to the brick on the left of the entrance to the Cathedral at the end of June.

Bishop Michael Kennedy, was the principal celebrant, with Wagga Wagga Bishop Emeritus Gerard Hanna and Armidale Diocesan priests concelebrating. Bishop Michael blessed the memorial stone saying “And so, we pray O God, that you bless this memorial stone, Father Son and Holy Spirit. May it be a constant reminder to us of Bishop O’Mahony’s service as the first Bishop of Armidale and of Your goodness to him.” In Bishop Michael’s Homily he said; “I don’t know what the youngish Father O’Mahony was thinking when he was asked to be the first bishop of Armidale and said “yes”. But given his choice of the feast day of the Annunciation for his installation, I imagine he may have thought of today’s Gospel passage and of Mary’s “yes” which has inspired countless Christians in every generation to say their own “yes” to God -myself included.

Bishop Michael Blessed the stone in the Mass with the assiatnce of Deacon Paul Manvell.

Thank God Timothy O’Mahony said “yes”. Two priests that we know of had already said “no” to the requests from Pope Pius IX to be our first bishop. Perhaps they were afraid of the daunting task ahead in this beautiful but untamed part of God’s Earth. At the time the new diocese was huge - 700 miles long and 400miles wide; there was no railway and very few roads; there were ten thousand Catholics spread over this huge area with just 3 priests riding on horseback for hours and for days to minister to them; there were as

Students from O’Connor Catholic College gather to view the blessed stone after Mass. 2


SEMINARY FORMATION, MY PROJECT OF LIFE A reflection on life in the Seminary by Peterpaul Chikezie 19th February 2021 Over the years I have been in the Seminary, I have tried to know and understand more fully what path in life God wants me to follow. This is called discernment. It involves listening to God in prayer; but also involves doing my own homework. Just as the Apostles spent three years close to Jesus, preparing for the time when they would be sent out in his name, so the purpose of the years in the Seminary is to relive, in a way, the experience of the Twelve Apostles. Hence, seminary formation is a process of conversion and growth, of attuning seminarians ever more perfectly to the mind and heart of Jesus, so that they are captivated by his person and mission and want to be like him and serve him as priest. The work of the seminary formators involves a painstaking effort to help each seminarian know, accept and then work through his area of weakness and become the person and priest that God wants him to be. In the seminary, a seminarian is either growing in virtue or declining; and no one can see this better than the seminary formators, fellow seminarians, and of course the seminarian himself. As my remaining seminary formation days are numbered, two


Peterpaul will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacon through the laying of Hands and the Invocation of the Holy Spirit by Bishop Michael Kennedy at Saints Mary & Joseph Cathedral Armidale on the 12th July 2021 at 5:30pm questions that are of paramount importance keep surfacing in my mind. Have I come to a realistic sense of my strengths and weaknesses? Have I really listened to God and to my formators? Honestly, these are very challenging questions that will take a lifetime to answer; and this is exactly why I have seen my seminary formation as my project of life. The good news remains that, priestly formation is a life-long ongoing journey, which begins again after the seminary formation, and which never end until we behold the Lord of the harvest face to face. ‘’God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference’’ (Reinhold Niebuhr). O Lord grant us priests! O Lord grant us holy priests! O Lord grant us many holy priests! O Lord grant us many holy religious vocations! St. John Mary Vianney! Pray for us. - Peterpaul Chikezie


iN memoriam fATHER pETER lIU

fATHER bernie melville

9th June 1923 - 9th May 2021

12th March 1929 - 2nd April 2020

The Diocese of Armidale has lost our most senior priest. Aged somewhere between 94 and 97 years, Fr Peter Liu had a most extraordinary life on this Earth. Our Diocesan records indicate he was born on the 9th of June 1926, yet Fr Peter often told us that he was really born three years earlier in 1923 which would mean he died just a month shy of his 98th birthday.

The anniversary Mass in honour of Father Bernie Melville was concelebrated on 17 April 2021 by Bishop Michael Kennedy and clergy from the Diocese.

His life was celebrated in a funeral Mass on Tuesday 18th May at Saint Nicholas Catholic Church Tamworth. Father Liu was born in the in the village of Kongliuba, Renxian County, Hebe Province, China and was the third of seven children born to Liu Jinchao and Zhang Suxjang. He is remembered as a talented and intelligent child. Often praised by priests and teachers for his talent, rumours ran that he could memorise as he read. After completing his studies at the Saint Vincent Seminary in in Genoa Italy, he we was ordained a priest in 1955 and after meeting Armidale’s Fr Harry Leis who was studying in Rome at the same time, he decided to move to Australia in 1958 and settle in the Diocese of Armidale to the welcome of Bishop Edward Doody. His first appointment was as Assistant Priest in Tenterfield where his parishioners still remember him fondly. He went on to subsequent appointments in Narrabri, Gunnedah, Quirindi, and finally as Parish Priest of Emmaville. “May God welcome him home with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” May he rest in peace. Amen.” 4

Bishop Kennedy spoke of the long ministry in the priesthood of father Bernie covering the parishes of Armidale, Moree, Bingara and of course St Michaels Manilla where he served our parish from 1975 to 2018, after which he retired to live in Strafford Street and then later to Manellae Lodge where he received special care as needed.. Father Bernie relied on the Holy Spirit as he used his God-given intellect and extensive reading and study for the betterment of our Diocese and his parish. The Mass was attended by many parishioners, and other friends that had come from various localities around the state. Father Bernie’s family were also in attendance and in particular his sister Margaret Blomfield and her husband Bob, as well as their son Michael and his wife Denise. Mrs Blomfield had written a letter of appreciation to the parishioners of Manilla thanking them for the preparations for this particular mass and also thanked Bishop Kennedy and the clergy for their attendance at both Masses, but particularly at this anniversary Mass. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. A candle stand which was created out of a pew from Manilla and blessed by Bishop during the Mass was created by John Kirklaan of “Living Wood” at Quirindi.


nEWS FROM THE DIOCESE PARISH NEWS AND EVENTS Papal Medal Awarded to Don Hewitt, Cathedral Parish - 13th June 2021 On Sunday 13th June Cathedral Parish parishioner, Don Hewitt was awarded a Papal Medal. Don has been a dedicated parishioner for many years and joined the St Vincent de Paul Society in 1966 and has been an active member ever since. Now, in his 80’s, Don continues to provide support to needy people as a member of the St Augustine Conference of St Vincent de Paul. In June 2015 he was awarded a life membership of the St Vincent de Paul Society. In September 2020 Don retired from active service with the society although he continues on in a mentor capacity. On 1st February, 2017 Don was made Armidale Senior Citizen of the Year for his work with the St Vincent de Paul Society. Don wouldn’t have been able to do all without the support of his loving family, his wife Barbara, who also was a St Vincent de Paul member for many years and his six children and six grandchildren; each serving their community in their own way. Bishop Michael Kennedy said “Don has always acted out of faith to bring hope though serving in a sensitive manner those in need. He is deserving of this decoration of the Holy See, and the medal “pro ecclesia et ponifice” (For the Church and the Pope) for his distinguished service to the Church.” Don Hewitt and Bishop Michael Kennedy

L-R; Fr Roel Llave, Barbara & Don Hewitt, Bishop Michael Kennedy 5


ADIG Customer survey Enabling local parishes to build their future Every year since foundation, the Armidale Diocesan Investment Group has provided distributions to parishes throughout the Armidale Diocese. Over $42m of direct financial support for Charitable, Pastoral and Educational works has been delivered. This year ADIG has again delivered upon its commitment with a further $661,500 in direct Parish allocations for the support of local Catholic Communities.

Over $42m of direct financial support for Charitable, Pastoral and Educational works has been delivered.

Whether replacing church guttering after a Cockatoo attack, providing new carpet, paint and sound systems or replacing water tanks, these allocations make a real difference to every Parish providing them with some financial security. This funding also assists them to cover everyday costs, helping them pay bills and providing the Catholic Church with a tangible presence across our regional communities.

ADIG has created strong relationships with many individuals across New South Wales who have joined in our journey to make a difference. These distributions are just one component of support from ADIG underpinning the delivery of services across the Diocese to communities in need. The purpose of ADIG is to support the works of the Catholic Church, grow God’s Kingdom and help others to do the same. The ability of the ADIG operation to maintain this support is heavily reliant upon those who choose to invest in something that they can believe in. Their support is invaluable through the direct financial backing, their shared faith and the support of the Catholic mission.

Bernie Munro from ADIG presenting Fr Anthony Koppman with a donation for St Patrick’s Parish West Tamworth

Fr Vince Amaro, Ms Bernadette Press & Mr John Webster, Parish Finance Council Members accepting a donation for St Brigid’s Parish Quirindi from Bernie Munro from ADIG 6

ADIG, taking the time to listen... The Armidale Diocesan Investment Group (ADIG) has achieved great outcomes since the inception of our business in 1974. These results have only been made possible through the continued support of those who invested in something that they could believe in.

close friend. This is a critical component of our fund remaining relevant and providing investment products that meet the needs of our clients.

What is your highest priority when investing?

Now more than ever the ability for ADIG to listen, react and deliver satisfaction in what we offer our stakeholders is paramount in ensuring future success. In March and April of this year, ADIG undertook a client survey to ensure that we are delivering on our promises and meeting the needs of our investors.

Relationship Price

The survey looked to identify any shortfalls that may have existed between our customer’s expectations of service, perceptions of the services received and areas of opportunity for our business to change, grow and improve.

Product Social Loyalty

Respondents of the survey overwhelmingly acknowledged satisfaction across the key areas of delivering on our promises, our employee’s willingness to help and the ability of staff to answer their questions. Eight key expectations of service and perception within the survey scored ADIG as 4.6 out a rating of 5, meaning that the majority of participants identified an outcome between “Satisfied” and “Very Satisfied”.





As a direct result of the ADIG client survey a special investment term was offered and ADIG will be implementing a guide to frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) about the ADIG. We truly appreciate each and every client who took the opportunity to articulate their views. ADIG thanks you for your input and joining us to make a difference.

in excess of 95% rated their experience in either the “Very Good” or “Excellent” response categories.


Client surveys provide insights into opportunities that are available for ADIG to grow and further meet the changing needs of our client base. This survey has been invaluable in providing feedback on the preferred channels for communication, new product options and to understand some frequently asked questions.

When the survey reviewed participants about “all of their experiences dealing with ADIG and the rating of service that they receive”, in excess of 95% rated their experience in either the “Very Good” or “Excellent” response categories.


The promotion of the ADIG investment fund relies very heavily on “word of mouth” with 96% of respondents saying they would either definitely recommend or consider recommending ADIG to a family member or 7


Grandparents I am with you always... world day of grandparents - 25th july Pope Francis has established a World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly as a reminder of the important role they play as a link between generations. This will be celebrated every year on the fourth Sunday of July to coincide with the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ grandparents. The first celebration of this day will be 25th July, 2021. This date coincodes with the annual Marriage & Family Week for the Armidale Diocese in which married couples in the Diocese reach out to parishioners and schools to discuss marriage and the importance of family. Bishop Michael Kennedy has announced that the Marriage & Family Week theme for 2021 will be “I am with you always”. He said “Grandparents are of unique importance in family life generally and particularly in the transmission of faith through the generations. They provide children with a stability and sense of identity and continuity. Many grandparents are also significant carers in the lives of their grandchildren, sometimes even the primary carer.” Marriage & Family Week is held from Sunday 25th July to Friday 30th July.


For My Grandparents God of love,

We thank you for our wonderful grandparents. They bring such joy and happiness into our lives.

Thank you for all the special times that we have with them.

Please watch over them, protect them and care for them now May they know your goodness and love always.


feast day of saint haNnibal A reflection on the day’s celebrations by Fr Sabu Pulimalayil 1st June 2021 On Tuesday 1st June The Diocese celebrated the Feast of Saint Hannibal at Narrabri Parish. They started with morning tea in the Parish Centre followed by the celebratory Mass with 16 priests concelebrating with the Bishop Michael Kennedy. After the Mass, a lunch was held at the RSL Club in Narrabri. We asked Father Sabu Pulimalayil, Parish Priest of Narrabri to reflect on the day; “My heart is filled with joy and gratitude to God as we celebrate the Feast of St Hannibal Maria Di Francia today, 1st June. St. Hannibal was widely known as the Father of the orphans and of the poor. Enlightened by the Word of God, he worked with every means in the propagation of the command of Jesus to pray the Lord of the harvest for the gift of good labourers. To actualise this in the Church and in the world, his apostolic ideals, he founded two religious families: the Daughters of Divine Zeal and the Rogationist Fathers.” “Due to his sanctity and his mission, St Hannibal was proclaimed as the “great apostle of prayer for vocations and as the Anticipator and Zealous teacher of the Modern Pastoral Care for Vocations” By Blessed Pope John Paul II. As we celebrate the feast of saint Hannibal let us ask God through his intercession many and holy vocations to the Church especially to our Diocese.” “Thank you to all who came from different parts of our Diocese to participate at St Hannibal’s Feast Day Mass. I especially thank our Bishop, the Very Rev. Michel Kennedy who has been a great friend of the Rogationists and a great support to our religious order. Thank you, Bishop for the Mass and your loving presence and support. I thank also Mons. Ted Wilks, Chancellor Jennifer Harman, all our priests, Deacon, Sisters, our school principal Michael Ball, Parish and Finance Council Chairs with their respective members, guests, parishioners, students and staff of our St. Xavier Catholic School. Thanks and God Bless.” 9


200 YEARS OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION CELEBRATIONS The National Mass and Spirit of Catholic Education Awards 24th May 2021 Schools from across the Diocese gathered on Monday 24th May to celebrate the National Mass for 200 Years of Catholic Education and Spirit of Catholic Education Awards. The Mass was a celebrations of 200 Years of Catholic Education with Schools of the Diocese each bringing soil from their school to combine together to celebrate the traditional land we stand on. The music was provided by O’Connor Catholic College Staff and Students and was a highlight of the Mass. Bishop Michael Kennedy celebrated the Mass alsongside of Bishop Gerard Hanna and members of the Clergy. In his homily the Bishop spoke about his own parents’ decision to send him and his siblings to a Catholic School saying: “They wanted the best possible education for us to acquire the knowledge and skills we would need to have a good and successful life; and they wanted us to receive a religious education and faith formation to compliment and strengthen the Catholic upbringing they were giving us at home. In other words, they wanted our minds, bodies, and our souls to be healthy and strong, and they believed a Catholic School was the best place for this.” Speaking of the task of Catholic Schools today he said that “we endeavour to do and need to do so much for the young people who have been entrusted to us in our Catholic Schools. It’s an enormous task – one we cannot do on our own. And so, aware of this great task and aware of our own shortcomings, we entrust our Catholic Schools, our students, principals, teachers, and staff to Mary the Mother of God and her powerful intercession before God. We pray that He who has done great things in her, will also to do great things in us and through us in our Catholic Schools for the sake of our children and young people.” The annual awards recognise outstanding contributions from those across the Armidale 10

Diocese in the categories of Early Career Teacher, Experienced Teacher, Volunteer Supporter, School Officer, Innovative Program and Student Catholic Spirit as well as Leadership. “This year is extra special because not only are we thanking those who contribute to Catholic education in our Diocese, we are also celebrating over 200 years of Catholic schools educating millions of young people and today educating one in five Australian students,” Diocese of Armidale director of schools Chris Smyth said. Top Left: A Student of the Diocese presenting soil from his school. Top Right: The O’Connor Catholic College Choir. Middle: Mary Hull, Edmund Heap, Nigel Garrahy Brennan, Bishop Michael Kennedy, Makaala Dodd, Terry Hynch, Montana Hayes, Cherie Yates, Genevieve Vickers and Chris Smyth *Images courtesy of CSO Armidale

Congratulations to the deserving special award winners Early Career Teacher: Genevieve Vickers St Mary’s College Gunnedah Experienced Teacher: Toni Palmer Holy Trinity School Inverell School Officer: Henry (Terry) Hynch St Francis Xavier’s Narrabri Volunteer Supporter: Edmund Heap St Mary’s College & St Xavier’s Primary Gunnedah Innovative Program: St Joseph’s Uralla Sheep Manure Project Student Catholic Spirit: Makaala Dodd O’Connor Catholic College Leadership: Cherie Yates St Joseph’s Tenterfield 11

IMPORTANT COVID-19 SPECIAL DATES COLLECTION A Special Collection to provide assistance to those suffering in MONDAY 12TH jULY 1 Deaconette Ordination of the Philippines and India. Peterpaul Chikezie 2

13th july Clergy Winter School


25th - 30th July Marriage & Family Week


Saturday 14th August Priestly Ordination of Deacon Damien Locke


31st August - 1st septemer Clergy Assembly

In order to help aid our brothers and sisters in the Philippines and India struggling through Covid-19, the Diocese of Armidale put out a special collection throughout our Parishes and asked our congregation’s to generously donate. The response was overwhelming and in total $30,864.60 was collected in only one week! The amounts were split between the La Salette’s and the Rogationists and was immediatly sent to aid the people of the Philippines and India. Three LaSalette priests from the Philippines and two Rogationist priests from India ministor in our Diocese. These Religious Orders will be able to directly help people in the Philippines and India affected by the pandemic. Bishop Michael said that he was “so happy and impressed with the peoples response to those in need. It fills our hearts with happiness to see the generous donations after the year of struggle we have all had. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by Coronavirus and we ask that you please keep them, their families and the people of India and Philippines in your prayers.”

contact us Catholic Diocese Of Armidale 3/131 Barney Street Armidale NSW 2350 E. P. 02 6771 8700

SOCIAL MEDIA For More News On The Diocese Of Armidale Follow Us On Facebook at; @catholicdioceseofarmidale



People wait for their turn to get vaccinated against COVID-19, at BKC, on April 19, 2021 in Mumbai, India. Image: Getty.

I will say of the Lord, ‘ You are my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’. God of power and might we lift our brothers and sisters to you. When people are in need, you are our refuge. When people are scared, you are our refuge. When people are mourning, you are our refuge. Compassionate God, draw close to those who seek your refuge today. Amen

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