Aurora August 2018

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Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle August 2018 | No.182

Helping daughters through tough times The Seal of Confession and the Protection of Children The accidental prison chaplain


Family brings new l i f e t o C a ro line Chisholm’s legacy

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First Word

A New Era For Aurora

On the cover Lindsay, Angus, Duke, Tobi and Valli pictured at Caroline Chisholm cottage.

Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle August 2018 | No.182

This edition of Aurora marks the start of a new era for this publication.

See story page 5.

Helping daughters through tough times

As was detailed in the July issue, Tracey Edstein has decided, after 17 years as Editor, that it was time to pass the baton. In her own words in a farewell email to colleagues, Tracey wrote:


Family brings new life to Caro line Chisholm’s legacy

The Seal of Confession and the Protection of Children The accidental prison chaplain

Featured  Family brings new life to Caroline Chisholm’s legacy 5  CLARE at St Clare's is about students’ wellbeing 6  Those who attend Catholic schools are more likely to have a job after five years


 Children floored by learning at St Nick’s


 Bishop’s Award – apply now! 12  The accidental prison chaplain


 What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?


 To what should we aspire? 17  What are you doing to care for you? 18  World Youth Day: 10 year’s on


 Supporting principals to support school communities 20


“As I look back on my years as Editor, I feel blessed to have been able to tell stories which have – I hope – enlightened, challenged and encouraged readers within our church and beyond. I am grateful to all – including the staff of the Diocese, the Catholic Schools Office and schools, CatholicCare and other agencies as well as parishes – who have contributed to and supported Aurora.” These words reflect the passion Tracey has demonstrated in her 17 years as Editor. It is thanks in no small part to this passion that Aurora has won a number of awards in Tracey’s time. So thank you Tracey for a job well done and bon voyage.

 Wisdom in the Square


 Frankly Spoken


John Kingsley-Jones P 4979 1192 E

 CareTalk


PO Box 756 Newcastle 2300

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 Soul Food


 Community Noticeboard


 Last Word


She is excited about this new role and is looking forward to news gathering, writing and sharing the faith-filled stories of the

Good news! You can still catch up with


 Seasons of Mercy

While Brooke grew up in the Catholic Diocese of Armidale, she is now a Novocastrian having moved here in 2000 to study teaching. She changed her career path when she heard the call to become a full-time missionary.

Next deadline 7 August 2018

 My Word

 Family Matters

She joined the Diocese after working for 10 years as a full-time missionary with Youth With A Mission, a Christian missions organisation based in Mayfield in Newcastle.

Aurora online



Brooke, a regular contributor to Aurora, joined the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in 2014 where she has held roles in Pastoral Ministries, Communications and the Diocesan Council for Ministry with Young People.

Contact Aurora

 First Word

 One by One

I have taken on the role as News Editor of Aurora and I have appointed Brooke Robinson as Deputy News Editor of Aurora.

people of Maitland-Newcastle. For those readers who don’t know me, I have worked as a News Editor, Chief SubEditor and freelance writer for newspapers and magazines overseas and in Australia for quite a while. My connection with Newcastle stretches back to 1983 when I worked at both Newcastle Star and the Newcastle Herald. This before moving into a variety of corporate communications roles which included editing, news editing and writing for weekly e-newsletters and monthly magazines. Like Brooke, I am excited about this responsibility but it is not completely new to me as I was Acting Editor of the February issue of Aurora while Tracey was overseas on holiday. So, if you have any ideas for stories, please email john. or JOHN KINGSLEY-JONES Head of Diocesan Communications

Aurora online, via

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Aurora appears in The Newcastle Herald on the first Saturday of the month, in The Maitland Mercury, The Singleton Argus, The Manning River Times and The Scone Advocate on the following Wednesday and in The Muswellbrook Chronicle on the following Thursday. The magazine can also be read at


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My Word

Young Lives, Old Woes There is something that concerns me because I know I don’t really understand it and, worse, don’t have a clue what can be done about it. But it is apparently the issue for young people. Many thousands of young Australians took part in the online survey for the forthcoming Synod in Rome on ‘Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment’. Overall, their greatest concern was ‘Mental Health’. Now ‘Well-being’ and ‘Mental Health’ are buzz-issues among those who work with young people, so I was inclined to think that the survey response was perhaps a bit of a pre-programmed answer, as beauty queens used say their greatest desire was ‘world peace’. But I was wrong. Recently I was with a group of our best and brightest – student leaders from some of our high schools – and I asked what they thought of the survey result. Basically, they all agreed with it. They all knew kids who had suicided or were self-harming, kids who were being treated by psychiatrists or who should have been. In short, they saw young people’s mental health as a major problem. To me, this is staggering. In my experience of high school, in the 11 years of students who were there during my six years, I don’t recall that there was a single suicide. I don’t think that, even in those days, it could have been covered up. There were ‘sex, drugs and rock-and-roll’ issues but not mental health. So what has changed? First, my young people thought that the internet had a lot to answer for. One young man said that many kids don’t know how to talk to each other in real life – and are not particularly interested in doing so. Their energies are caught up in online chat or constant gaming. In his Year 12 view, the junior secondary kids are different even from his time, worse in their online absorption. Secondly, some thought that a lot of students struggle with ‘gender issues’.

Social commentator Hugh Mackay has a different take on things in his 2013 book The Good Life. He gets stuck into the Utopia Complex, the conviction that, in our age of technical miracles and social enlightenment, everything should be perfect. And I did say should. It’s about entitlement. As the advertisers would have us believe, ‘You’re worth it’, ‘You deserve it’, ‘It’s all about you’. ‘The real victims of the Utopia complex’, Mackay says, ‘are our children… They might have been so deeply and consistently conditioned to expect the best to be provided for them – admiration and rewards for everything they do… constant support and guidance… – that their arrival on the threshold of adulthood will come as a shock.’ Mackay’s thoughts may look a little dated to teachers. While student ‘well-being’ is a focus in schools, the worship of ‘self-esteem’ is finally and thankfully over and ‘resilience’ is back. In practice this means that, if you get your sums wrong, it wasn’t a ‘good try’ (even if you didn’t), they’re just wrong and you have to do them again. We’re almost past giving out prizes to everyone for turning up. ‘Resilience’ made its ideological comeback in staffrooms in about 2008. Whether that’s true out in parent-land is harder to gauge. Now, gender issues. Once it was accepted that boys and girls didn’t like each other until they were about 14 to 16 at which age suddenly they liked each other a lot! Then in the later 70’s homosexuality was decriminalised and, in 1986, officially ceased being a mental disorder. Awareness of gays in society grew accordingly. By the mid-eighties I was finding that 15 and 16-year old boys who still preferred the company of their mates were thinking they must be gay. Then, in the internet age, 12 and 13-year olds were being expected to state on their profiles whether they were gay or straight. Now it’s a matter of ‘gender’ as much as ‘orientation’

– ‘I know I’m a boy, but I’m in a girl’s body’. These things, differences in sexual orientation and in gender identification, are real – and it’s good that we handle them better than we used to. But raised awareness puts a lot of pressure on kids who are still developing their identities. How do we deal with that? I’ve ended with a question, and that’s appropriate. Life has changed a lot in a short time and it’s confusing. But it’s tough on those growing up in the confusion. How can we help? Or is that even the right question? If we were less worried about everything being right in their lives, might they be less anxious when it wasn’t? Or is that question just an old guy not getting how it is now? I wish I knew.

Bishop Bill Wright Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

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Family brings new life to Caroline Chisholm’s legacy Caroline Chisholm cottage first registered on my Richter scale in 2011 when researching historical places to include on a diocesan pilgrimage route, evolving later into The Murray Pilgrimage. A rather sizeable tremor occurred when I noticed this cottage up for auction in late 2017. I was aware it was the only surviving NSW site directly linked to Caroline Chisholm and had gazed lovingly at its humble, simple construction – low, long verandah and sandstone walls book-ended by slightly less than vertical chimney stacks. I had also wondered about its earlier years around 1830 when its windows would have looked out on a very different scene – bustling workers, noisy mills, solid banks, dusty roads. Close by was the convergence of horse and carriage tracks from Morpeth to Maitland and then southwards

connecting with Wollombi and Sydney Cove, a route we now know as The Convict Road. The row of five worker cottages had been built in present day East Maitland, where the people wanted to live – centre stage where life was unfolding and thriving, close by the mighty Hunter River. I asked the owner of 3 Mill Street, East Maitland, Angus Smith, how he came to purchase the cottage. “I’m the proud great, great, great grandson of ‘Gentleman’ John Smith who in 1832, built the flour mill now fronting Newcastle Street, and the five adjoining cottages becoming known as Smith’s Row,” said Angus. “This one remaining cottage had been purposely converted for occupation as The Immigrants’ Home. When my

father, Lindsay, and I saw this cottage for sale three years ago, we weren’t in a position to buy. Come this recent auction opportunity, our intention was clear – let’s purchase! Surrounded by supporters, wife Tobi, children Beau, Duke, Valli, Archer and father Lindsay, Angus talked of his busy landscaping business and his growing passion for stone masonry. “My vision is to restore the integrity of this building while acknowledging the original structure, replacing broken lintels, repairing the simple windows and preserving and reusing red cedar ceiling timbers where possible. Early external work to secure both chimneys is already completed with a structural necessity for one to remain at a rather jaunty angle – a visual reminder of yet a third cottage originally adjoining, now long since demolished.” The foundations are in surprisingly good condition given its alarming flood history. Angus indicated the one-metre flood mark evident along exterior stone walls. “Every home we’ve ever lived in turns into a tribute to sandstone,” commented Tobi, warmly accepting of their latest purchase. “This cottage is not for our family to live in, rather as a retreat for Angus’ father Lindsay – an artist with flair.” Angus returns whenever possible to continue restoration. Flipping through documentation piled over the table, Lindsay began to expound on known facts about John Smith. ‘Gentleman’ was probably a title self-coined; John seeking to emerge from his dubious background as James Sidebottom, twice convicted in England and twice transported for seven years. His first land grant of 32 acres was here in 1819. John also built and lived in ‘Englefield’, known as Black Horse Inn, on the other side of the river at 49 Newcastle Street. He rose to Chief Constable in the district, became a propertied man and with his wife, widow Mary Furber, raised ten children.

Angus and Duke Smith at Caroline Chisholm cottage.

Asked if he was aware of the historical connection to Caroline Chisholm, Angus says, “Of course. Caroline’s amazing legacy and untiring work as the Immigrants’ Friend is well known, as


is her support of some 11,000 females over her seven years in Australia. She established refuges in Sydney, here in East Maitland, in rural centres from Goulburn to Brisbane and around the Victorian goldfields. “There has been much focus and research on this cottage variously titled as Caroline Chisholm Barracks, East Maitland Immigrants’ Home, Maitland Benevolent Asylum and Maitland Hospital. We’ve come to believe that my ancestor John and his wife Mary, both ‘Ticket of Leave’ convicts, being mindful of their own recent convict struggles, may have offered the residence to Caroline and the females in her care in return for workers in the flour mill. The prevailing perception during the early years of transportation was one of ‘damned whores’ but research now suggests young women in need of refuge, companionship, practical advice and fair employment conditions. “We have documents acknowledging this remaining cottage on the NSW State Register and on the National Estate with an interim order. We also have Flood Plain documents restricting further development, but, as that is far from our intention, council heritage officers have been welcomed and have given us every encouragement.” I ask what Angus would consider the best outcome for this cottage. He replies, with arms encircling his family, that “I have every intention of keeping this property in our family for many generations! Maybe an art gallery or a café – hopefully income-producing!” And yes, he would consider an historical marker, visible from the street. I left Caroline Chisholm’s cottage, blissfully free from future tremors and content that the legacies of Caroline Chisholm and ‘Gentleman’ John Smith are safe in the skilled and loving hands of the Smith family.

Frances Dunn is a parishioner at St John Vianney, Morisset.

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CLARE at St Clare’s is about students’ wellbeing BY AMY THEODORE

With statistics showing that many adolescents suffer from mental illness, many schools are now acknowledging the need to provide students with a holistic approach to education with a stronger focus on students’ wellbeing. St Clare’s High School, Taree is one, and it is trialling a Positive Education CLARE framework aimed at guiding staff to enhance the wellbeing of students using this framework. This teaches students how to develop a positive attitude, emotions, relationships and a sense of purpose about self, school and life. Currently in a trial phase, the program has been implemented at St Clare’s High School in a number of ways. The framework is embedded into all aspects of school life – spiritual, academic, pastoral and co-curricular – and represents five key domains: Connect, Learn, Aspire, Respect and Engage (CLARE). The Connect domain highlights the importance of having strong relationships with faith, tradition and community to enhance overall wellbeing.

The Aspire domain focuses on the individual – how they can be the best, most authentic version of themselves and find a sense of purpose in life. The Respect domain teaches staff and students to show love, kindness, generosity and fairness to all of those around us and our environment. It develops an understanding of the need to treat people the way you would like to be treated. The Engage domain develops an awareness around ones’ psychological connection to life and the impact of positive relationships and engagement on an individuals’ wellbeing and achievement. Students participate in weekly lessons about the framework, learning about each of the different domains and completing age appropriate activities from Beyond Blue about relationships, resilience, selfworth and personal responsibility. Students and staff have also begun to implement the framework and its language when planning school events and fundraisers and by getting involved in community events such as ANZAC Day and the Taree CatholicCare community kitchen.

The Learn domain teaches staff and students how to respond and adapt to difficult circumstances in an open-minded and optimistic way that will enable them to thrive and become more resilient.

Amy Theodore is a Marketing Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The CLARE Framework Image The CLARE image was created by Year 9 student, Elise Rourke. The nun at the centre of the image represents both St Clare, the school’s patron saint and founder of the Order of Poor Ladies, and Saint Mary MacKillop who founded the Josephite Sisters, whom both founded St Clare’s High School in 1926. The image also features indigenous dot painting, representing both the Biripi and Worimi people who are the traditional custodians of the school land and the naturally beautiful environment of the Manning and Great Lakes districts. The outer ring binds the key domains of the framework together as a reminder of the importance of focusing on growth and wellbeing. “This is a long term project that will, over time, become embedded in all aspects of school life at St Clare’s High School,” said Peter Nicholls, Principal at St Clare’s.

Left to right: Phillip Gibney with student leaders, Hannah Dormor, Rhys Hood, Ruby McIntosh, Macabe Grass and Jennifer Wesley.


“We intend to review the program in November and apply what we have learned to ensure that the content of the CLARE Student Framework is engaging student interests, is age appropriate and meeting the needs of students and staff,” he added.

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Wisdom in the Square

The Seal of Confession and the Protection of Children By DAVID RANSON

As has been reported extensively in recent weeks, the legal privilege of clergy in respect to the Seal of Confession is under direct challenge. As we know, in our Catholic understanding, the Seal of Confession is absolute, inviolate, held with the utmost sacred of trusts. Nonetheless, we have seen two State jurisdictions remove this privilege, South Australia and the ACT. The New South Wales Government has demonstrated maturity in deferring the question until a nationally consistent approach might be developed. It is curious indeed that of the 409 Recommendations presented by the Royal Commission, and of the 336 accepted fully or in principle by the NSW Government, as an example of one jurisdiction, the one point on which media focus almost exclusively is the recommendation about the Seal of Confession (the Seal). This curiosity requires interpretation. Why might there be such a focus on the Seal when its actual practice suggests that its removal from legal privilege is such a tangential mechanism for the protection of children in Australia? Will the children of Australia, the overwhelming majority of whom are not at all affected by the Sacrament of Confession, be made safe because the law has removed the legal privilege of the Seal? Therefore, it must be asked how a State intrusion into the sacred trust at the heart of the Seal protects our children. The Royal Commission has detailed, most regrettably, incidents where the Seal did not work for the protection of children. However, are such instances sufficient justification for its removal? Do we say family life should not exist because for some children this has not been the most protective environment? No, because there is a good in family life that transcends the difficulties and occasions of harm in some family circles. It is the same with the Seal: there is a good present in its retention that transcends the potential for its misuse. Notwithstanding this, we would not be in the current situation if crimes had not been committed, if children had been kept safe in our community, if there had not been such hubris in our Church about its own social and political status. Of course, what really lies behind the focus on the Seal is the power clergy have exercised in the past. Somehow, in the popular mind, the Seal is what most symbolises clerical power and immunity, and so it becomes very significant. Clergy have presented, all too commonly, as ‘above the law’,

This is the responsibility of each and every Catholic.

‘a law unto themselves.’ This clearly has been harmful; the evidence of such misplaced status is clear and this historical position cannot be left unaddressed. The Royal Commission has unequivocally, and rightly, laid bare the disastrous exercise of clerical power, built on the premises of exception, entitlement and exemption. There have been children, especially, who have been irrevocably harmed in the exercise of this power. We must be ruthlessly honest here and everyone, including ourselves, is right to demand the end to such power. Changes to legislation can be of welcome assistance in this. But, in the face of the rightful objection to clerical power, children will not be kept safer by laws removing the legal privilege of the confessional which is, at base, a forum of conscience – not only for the penitent but also for the confessor. The rights of a person, or group of persons, are not protected through a Stateimposed violation of conscience on another group of persons. This may seem to be protective of children, but in the end, it erodes social trust and confidence – a direction which cannot ultimately be for the benefit of children and of society. In the end, we cannot be morally bound by civil laws that are antithetical to religious conscience. Civil law can never be absolute. To think this is to abandon conscience to the State and to spawn the worst forms of fascism. And yet, society rightfully demands that Church communities, like any other, be fully protective of children. Clergy cannot be immune from that demand. But what will make children safe in the ministry of clergy are those mechanisms that hold us far more accountable in ministries where there is far more potential for children to be harmed. For this reason, I have argued the need for changes in legislation that demand national registration of ministers of religion, annual accreditation, mandatory professional development and professional supervision. These must be presented in the current debate as the real means by which children will be protected and I am at a loss to understand why Governments do not focus on these recommendations – all of which were presented in the outcomes of the Royal Commission. Perhaps because these innovations will cost money? The practice and nature of Confession is grossly misunderstood by both media and lawmakers and also largely misunderstood by Catholics. The private form of Confession to which we are now used came into the practice of the Church in the Middle Ages. For a thousand years earlier, the form of the Sacrament was quite different. It is the Sacrament that has undergone most change in its expression over the centuries. In

the increasing privatisation of the Sacrament, there is now less than adequate understanding of the nature of sin and reconciliation. The current situation challenges us to a more serious catechesis about the nature of these. The Sacrament is not for the confession of crime, but for the admission of spiritual guilt. There is a time for the Sacrament to be celebrated, and, in respect to crime, its time is only after there has been public admission of wrong committed. This is the advantage, and benefit, I believe, of the current scrutiny of the Seal of Confession. It forces us to address very significant questions about the nature and practice of the Sacrament: what genuinely constitutes the Seal? Does the Seal pertain only to the confession of sin, or does it envelop whatever is said between penitent and confessor, including small talk about the weather? In respect to the Seal, is the disclosure of abuse by another the same as the disclosure of one’s own crime? On what grounds can Absolution be withheld? How can the community be educated to a more mature understanding of the nature of the Sacrament? There are currently very mixed views about this amongst bishops, theologians and canon lawyers. This alone forces us to admit the complexity of the nature of the Sacrament. However, the State also must address questions if it proposes changes to legislation that currently protects the Seal of Confession. What are the implications for the disclosure of crimes that are not child-related? If one disclosure is highlighted, why not others? Where do the requirements of reporting cease? Might any forum of trust disappear altogether? How is a confessor to be defended from entrapment? How is prosecution to be pursued when the priest is bound by ecclesiastical law to complete silence in the face of a charge of concealment brought against him? What evidence is required for a successful prosecution? How can a priest be held accountable for a confession made anonymously? As the questions arise, let us take the opportunity that presents itself. As citizens, let us make our position known to lawmakers. This is the responsibility of each and every Catholic. And as a community of faith, let us use this moment not only to deepen the way in which we understand the nature and practice of our sacramental life, but also the importance of seeing ourselves as both citizens and disciples. We can be both .

Fr David Ranson is Vicar General, Diocese of Broken Bay.

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Those who attend Catholic schools are more likely to have a job after five years Many Australian parents are worried about how well the education system aligns with the needs of the future workplaces and few are confident about the school curriculum equipping their children for the future.

Not in the labour force


That’s according to Real Insurance's Future of Education survey of 1000 Australians conducted last month.


The survey found that more than 42 per cent of respondents said the existing curriculum is not equipping children with the skills they will need in the future while nearly 30 per cent of respondents said they are "not confident at all" that children are getting the necessary education for future jobs.

EMPLOYED Government High School 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Catholic High School

Non-Government High School

That’s the bad news. The good news is that children who attend a Catholic schools seem to have a distinct advantage in the jobs market. That’s according to a story that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year. The Herald reported that longitudinal data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics had examined people in Year 11 or Year 12 in 2011 – and then tracked what they were doing in 2016.

There were 514,000 Year 11 and 12 students in 2011, and most had a job. Looking at the entire cohort, almost half were studying, while one in three who were working were also studying. Those educated at a Catholic high school were more likely to be employed five years later, with 76.7 per cent in a job, compared with 68.5 per cent for public schools and 71.9 per cent for non-catholic private schools. However, you can also break the data down to show who was working and studying, not working and studying, and so on. Young people who went to private schools were more likely to be studying than people who went to state schools. However, people who were working and not studying were most likely to have studied at a government school. Two in five young people in 2016 – who were in Year 11 or 12 in 2011 had completed a non-school qualification. The most commonly completed qualification was in management and commerce, followed by society and culture.

But there was a clear gender divide when it came to degrees like engineering and health in 2016. Brisbane mates Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, who graduated from Year 12 at St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace in 2011, know firsthand how hard-working MiIlennials are. The duo created Orange Sky Laundry in 2014, a free mobile washing service for homeless people, and were named Young Australians of the Year in 2016. Mr Patchett, 23, said he was impressed by the dedication of the charity’s volunteers. “I’m blown away with just how much those volunteers managed to fit on their plate, from volunteering at Orange Sky and studying at university and working, and managing a personal life as well,” he said. Out of his friendship group, Mr Patchett said the majority were working full time or had just moved into their first jobs out of university. Research assistant d’Arcy Patrick, 25, finished Year 12 at St Columban College in 2011, and also believed most of his peers were hard workers.

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The Diocese of Maitland Newcastle has paid for the rights to use sections of the article which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 1 March 2018. In future editions of Aurora, we will be producing articles about ex‑students of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle who have succeeded in their chosen fields of endeavour.

Frankly Spoken We need to ask the heavenly Father for the youth of today to receive the gift of a healthy restlessness, the ability not to be satisfied with a life without beauty, without colour. If young people are not hungry for an authentic life, where will humanity end up?” — Rome 13 June.


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Becoming a successful step-parent Q

CatholicCare’s Assistant Director and registered psychologist Tanya Russell, addresses an issue each month. A

The advice provided is general in nature and does not replace ongoing support and advice from your health professional. To talk to someone about counselling support, P 4979 1172. Call Lifeline 24/7 on P 131 114.

Do you have a question for Tanya? Email your question to or write to Aurora-CareTalk PO Box 756 Newcastle 2300.


I’ve just moved in with my partner and his two children; both girls, aged 10 and 13. I’ve never had children on my own and I don’t want to replace their mother but I do want to build a relationship with them. My partner would like us to parent them together and this scares me a little bit as I never want to come across as the “evil stepmother”. We got along well before I moved in and I would like to build on this relationship. How do I now adjust to this new role while preserving our positive relationship? Becoming a step-parent and successfully integrating into each other’s lives can be challenging, as well as rewarding. It’s wonderful that you are giving these new relationships particular focus and wanting to be proactive sooner rather than later. The transition for all of you may take some time and you might all learn from issues that arise but there’s no ‘best’ way of becoming a successful step-parent. How well you transition into this new role also depends on the other people involved such as your partner, the children, the children’s mother, the children’s extended family and your own assumptions and expectations. Other people may have different expectations of you as well as differing attitudes towards you. However, you and your partner are the most important foundation in making this work and talking through expectations and any concerns together will hopefully keep your relationship strong. Very importantly, don’t put pressure on yourself to create the perfect family; take it slowly and keep the following practical tips in mind. 1. Have a conversation with your partner about how he sees you fitting into their everyday lives. What

should you do? What shouldn’t you do? Ensure you and your partner present as a team to the children in your decision-making. Constantly communicate to each other about how it’s going − what’s working, what’s not working. 2. Initially, you really should focus on building a positive relationship with the girls – allow your partner to do the parenting (and disciplining) at first. It’s important to build a respectful and trusting relationship with the girls first before stepping in as their father might when challenges arise. As much as we don’t encourage parents just to be a ‘friend’ to their child, step-parents are in a unique position and really do need to build a friendship first, as another adult role model in their lives. Take an interest in their hobbies and activities and invite them to spend time with you. 3. Always be respectful of the children’s mother and acknowledge their mother in everyday life and conversation. This creates an atmosphere of openness and

respect and the girls won’t feel they have to keep their lives with their mother a secret. 4. Give the girls some time alone with their dad. Before you moved in, they had their dad mostly to themselves so this is an adjustment for the girls as they see their relationship with their dad changing. Sometimes children have difficulty with a step-parent taking a parent away from them so encouraging their time with their dad is a good strategy for all of you. 5. Expect some hiccups − sometimes it may feel like a rollercoaster! Even with kindness and good intentions, don’t expect perfection. Not all stepparents are immediately embraced by their step-children so be kind to yourself and find ways to deal with any stress that arises. Talk to your partner, other step-parents, friends or a counsellor. All families have challenges and it’s normal to expect some teething problems when joining another family.

Supporting your changing needs Calvary Retirement Communities provides safe, secure and relaxed community living across NSW, ACT and SA. We have residential care rooms available in Cessnock, Sandgate and Taree. We have self contained units and villas available in Belmont North, Muswellbrook and Sandgate.

To arrange a visit or for more information on services near you call 1800 222 000 or visit Continuing the Mission of the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary

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One by One

Eye to eye, mind to mind, heart to heart By KAREN EASTWOOD

I still smile to myself as I write Storyteller/ Writer when responding to the occupation question on official forms but I am pleased to confirm, these days, it really is how I make a living. When I consider my ‘why’ for pursuing storytelling it comes down to three Cs: communication, creativity and connection. After several years of teaching in secondary schools in London, I had been keen to pursue a more flexible and creative line of work. Then, with the birth of our first child, my husband and I decided one of us would be the stay-at-home parent and I was happy to take on that role. I soon realised the songs and rhymes I was singing quite innately to my baby had come to me from the far recesses of my childhood, connecting me to my family on the other side of the world! Like so many local parents without extended family, I wanted to contribute to building a supportive community. I also didn’t want to be driving around town to attend baby and toddler activities. I saw that there was an opportunity to share with new parents the joy that comes from interacting with their little ones through story, rhyme and song, so I established Chinwag Music and Storytelling. It was a great way for me to step into running my own business as well as connect with local like-minded parents who were at home with their little ones. As I repeatedly said to parents, it doesn’t matter if you’re not the world’s greatest singer, your child is too young to be critical and will simply enjoy the sound of your voice. Young children absolutely love the connection that comes with sharing familiar sounds and rhythms. One of the parents attending my Chinwag classes was the director of the Saturday School at which I was teaching Drama classes. She had the idea that I could also run Chinwag classes for the younger siblings of those taking drama and music classes at the Saturday school. It was a great success and a lot of fun, but sadly had to come to an end when my little family made the move to Australia. In 2009, when we eventually settled in Newcastle, I was extremely fortunate that the Newcastle Library advertised a position for a performer/storyteller to 10

deliver the ‘Wacky Wombat Show’. Never before had a job description fitted me so perfectly! This program eventually evolved into ‘Stories Come Alive’ but with funding cuts, it all ended in 2017. I could see there was still a demand for storytelling and so Story Spot was born. I deliver unique interactive storytelling programs to preschools within the Newcastle and Hunter region and I also offer Story Spot Storytelling Club as an extra curricular school program for primary schools. Watching children take up the mantle of storyteller is an absolute delight. In these classes we workshop ways to use gesture and voice effectively for characterisation and to convey mood and emotion. We explore a whole range of stories from family legends to Greek myths and fairytales. It’s not just children who enjoy hearing stories. Whenever I have attended storytelling evenings, I’ve been captivated by the teller’s delivery as well as the tales themselves. Stories ignite in us a little magic and wonder as our imaginations are unleashed. So it’s not surprising that a Story Spot Night for adults is in my sights! I also have an interest in the way in which storytelling can help shape and strengthen our identity as well as assist us to process our experiences. I’ve been working on a program for upper primary and secondary school students to help them shape their own stories. They are at an age when their story is so heavily influenced by their peers, society and advertising. Storytelling is a wonderful tool for nurturing a greater sense of self through the realisation that we have power over the telling of our story. I was inspired by questions raised in a workshop facilitated by American Story Activist, Mary Alice Arthur:

Storyteller Karen Eastwood at home.

What stories should we stop telling? What stories should we keep telling? What stories should we start telling?

better families and communities?

These are powerful questions to ask ourselves on a regular basis. What are the stories we are sharing about ourselves and others? Are they life-affirming or destructive? Are the stories we tell about ourselves and others serving to build

When a story is told with authenticity there is a magical connection between teller and listener: eye to eye, mind to mind, heart to heart. In our world of gadgetry and social media it’s challenging to find opportunities to connect in this way. It strikes me that

now, more than ever, we need to take the time to be present, sit down and listen to each other’s stories so as to develop greater understanding of each other’s culture and experiences and in doing so foster empathy and compassion. Please visit

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Children floored by learning at St Nick’s By TRACEY EDSTEIN

General Operations Manager of St Nicholas Early Education, Kerri Armstrong, has been clear from the very beginning about the educational philosophy behind the St Nicholas adventure.

and engaging way of documenting the learning that takes place each day.

“St Nicholas is dedicated to providing each child with a variety of child-led play based learning opportunities and intentionally designed educational experiences that extend and maximise each child’s individualised learning.

Educational Consultant, Clair Warden, says, “By really listening to children and giving them time to think and time to talk, we can create inspirational and unique learning opportunities. Like adults, children learn best when they are actually interested in a topic or idea: by nurturing their fascinations we can explore complex subjects such as aerodynamics or energy through the approach. Floorbooks ensure that the child's voice is at the heart of all learning experiences in a practice.”

“We document our learning in a way that includes and involves the families of children in our care. “It’s important to me to encourage parents – and the extended family – to be as involved in the learning process as they can possibly be.” To this end, all five St Nicholas Early Education Centres are dedicated to documentation and planning procedures that go far beyond mere record keeping. “Documentation and planning at St Nick’s are based on an emergent curriculum,” says Kerri. “This means that we begin with children’s interests and extend on those in a variety of ways. “For example, we use what we call ‘floorbook documentation’. You might think of it as a large scrapbook, at the children’s level, which provides a creative

“It’s vital that we include the children’s voices in that documentation and we soon learned that they want to be included!”

The day’s learning experiences are recorded collectively each afternoon. Photos and drawings are included and children can select and cut out photos, offer their own artworks and even write about their day. The record itself then suggests ways in which learning might be extended next time. “Children often grab their parents as soon as they arrive to show them the day’s floor book and they’re excited about this. It’s an authentic way to include families in the learning journey,” says Kerri. Mind mapping is another technique which builds on the interests and questions

children readily communicate. A map is built up on the wall – it might be the journey of the construction of a bridge after children have travelled over a bridge on an excursion – so the questions they pose are answered in conversation and in other ways. “The only piece of technology in each Centre is a high quality Smartboard which is used for investigation,” says Kerri Armstrong, “We might google how bridges are built – what materials are used – what do engineers do? – and so learning takes place.” Another advantage of this authentic and meaningful style of learning is that when the children go home, they have lots to tell their families. Some early education centres use a highly digital approach and no doubt parents are well informed, but the element of the child’s sharing of his or her experience may be overlooked. In terms of children’s speech development, extended conversation is best encouraged as often as possible. “It’s so much better for a child to be telling and showing a parent than for the parent to be reading or viewing remotely on an app,” says Kerri. “The child’s voice has been listened to and the engagement is encouraged.”

Yet another effective strategy is the use of portfolios for each child. These serve as both a record of experiences and at the end of the child’s time at St Nick’s, a treasured memento. However, parents need not wait until the child leaves St Nick’s to peruse the portfolio. It can be taken home anytime, so there are regular opportunities for children to recount and illustrate their experiences at home. As Kerri points out, “It’s meaningful because the children have been active in the documentation of the learning; educating and documenting are not discrete processes. “If we don’t pursue and build the link between home and early education we miss out on so much. The children are excited about including the rest of the family in their learning. It’s so important for us to be in partnership with families. “Parents give us feedback about what’s happened and how it’s been extended at home as well – they feel invested in and included in their children’s learning. “As the first formal education children receive, early education sets the platform for how children learn as they get older and if we do it well we create really confident, capable learners for the future. With my staff of educators, I’m dedicated to seeing that we continue on that path at St Nick’s.” The much-loved community camera, taken home by individual children in turn, provides photos which not only supplement the curriculum documentation, but provide opportunities for children to introduce their classmates to life at home. They learn to speak confidently before an audience – long before ‘big school’! As she visits St Nick’s Early Education Centres, Kerri has loved observing children and parents sharing experiences and the evidence of the learning that’s taken place that day – and every day. Please visit to enquire about vacancies at Newcastle West, Cardiff, Lochinvar, Chisholm and Singleton. Tracey Edstein is the former Editor of Aurora Magazine, 2002-2018.

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Bishop’s Award – apply now! Applications are now open to students and young people in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle for the 2018 Bishop’s Award. The award recognises and encourages the efforts of young people within the diocese who have contributed to the community through their parish, their church group or their church agency. This may include involvement in groups or agencies such as Caritas, Youth Ministries, St Vincent de Paul, Mini Vinnies or similar church groups. This also includes contributions made within parishes eg Liturgy and Youth Ministries. Bishop Bill, the Catholic Schools Office and the Federation of P & F Associations view this award as an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of students and young people to strengthening the links between parish communities, schools and the broader community. The Bishop's Award is open to students in Years 7-12 and young people who have completed Year 12 and

are under 25 years of age. The Bishop's Award comprises four categories: f f Students in Years 7 & 8 f f Students in Years 9 & 10 f f Students in Years 11 &12 f f Young people who have completed Year 12 and are 25 years of age or under. Each successful applicant will receive $1,000 which may contribute towards the applicant’s education or faith formation by assisting them to attend events such as World Youth Day or Diocesan Youth Retreat or be involved in music ministry. Each successful applicant will also receive a Certificate of Recognition from Bishop Bill.


Applicants may nominate themselves or be nominated by their parent(s), carer or a member of their community. In the case of a student/young person being nominated by a member of his/her community, the nominator must seek the consent of the parent/s (if the student is under 18 years of age) and of the student/young person prior to nominating. Applications close on 8 February 2019 and notification of successful applicants will occur early in Term One. Applications can be downloaded at If you have any queries, please email bishopsaward@

There is a maximum award pool of $10,000 for the 2018 awards. Applicants must live within the Catholic diocese and belong to a parish within this diocese.

John Kingsley-Jones is Head of Diocesan Communications, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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Family Matters

Helping daughters through tough times By STEVE BIDDULPH

We know a lot about girls and how to make them strong and free, and it’s never been more needed than it is today. While most girls – at least three out of every five – turn out just fine, one in five will have serious teenage issues, and her family will need to galvanise, make changes, or get help, so that she will be all right. But, according to mental health researchers worldwide, one in five girls today will have problems that carry into adult life. Anxiety, unhappy sex and relationships, eating disorders and self harm are the most common. It’s important to know that at any age, lives can heal and repair but if heartache can be avoided, that’s what each of us would choose. If a girl is going to struggle with her life, you will know it by 14, because that is the hardest age to be, and things come to a head. Sometimes the causes will go back to babyhood, toddlerhood or primary school, so there is plenty

we can do at each of these ages and stages. In my research for Ten Things Girls Need Most, I searched for the evidence-based practical things mums and dads could ensure.

aunties and other older women, to teach her, challenge her, ask her the big questions of life – what do you stand for, what matters to you most?

f f A time when bullying is dealt with and difference celebrated.

f f Interests – a passion or spark that makes her want to get up in the morning – as well as help from the adults to light that spark and keep it burning. It may be creativity, sport, or cause – whatever she really loves to do. We’ve learned that girls need dads, or dad figures in their lives. A girl needs someone to whom she knows she is unique and special, because he shows that every day. Every woman reading this knows how fathers can either wound or bless your life, and how long the effects of that last.

f f A time of puberty that is gradual so she does not have to grow up too fast and has the help of

The last of the ten things girls need is not so easy to put into words. It’s spirituality. For some this might be a

f f A secure and loving start from parents who are cared for and supported so she can relax in their arms. f f An exploring toddlerhood where she is praised and encouraged to be physical, noisy, wild and free – not a dressed up nice girl just wanting to please. f f A school time where she is helped to learn to get along with people, but not just ‘fit in’ by conforming.

faith tradition, owned by parents and well developed to support their children. But for others – and in fact, for all teenagers who must step outside their parents’ world to grow – it means a chance to discover, in the natural world, in reading, in poetry or art, or from the lives of others, that they belong. That they are part of the whole, and need never feel lonely. On a beach one day, or upon a mountain top, or under a starry sky, your daughter may feel that sense, and be set free by it. Nobody ever has all the Ten Things, it’s a life-long search. As parents, our role is to pinpoint what might be missing, and go searching for it. Steve Biddulph is a retired psychologist and author of Raising Boys, New Manhood and Ten Things Girls Need Most. Please visit www.


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The accidental prison chaplain By TRACEY EDSTEIN

Tracey Edstein spoke to Fr Peter Carroll msc, Chaplain to the Corrective Services and Chair of the Australian Catholic Prisoners Pastoral Care Council which advises the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life. The word ‘accidentally’ occurs often in Peter Carroll’s conversation. He has a warmly disarming manner and it’s easy to see why prison ministry suits him, although he says it happened without design – like his priestly vocation as a Missionary of the Sacred Heart. Sydney’s Carroll family gave birth to many priestly and religious vocations so the idea was not foreign to Peter, but he did work in a bank for some years post-school. He says, “I haven’t had a ‘zap moment’ yet – I’m waiting for it!” but hearing a visiting MSC priest speak about vocations sparked something. “I went to a weekend and that was it.” He was ordained in 1981 after formation at Yarra Theological Union, Melbourne. Peter describes himself as “practical rather than a student – my life has been quite pastoral”. Having worked in parishes, on school retreat teams and in ministry to Aboriginal communities, he says, “I didn’t choose prison ministry – it kind of chose me… I had worked voluntarily in prisons after an Aboriginal mother asked me to visit her daughter in prison. That was an introduction to the ministry, so when Bishop David Cremin asked me to take it on officially, I agreed.” As a chaplain to several prisons, Peter visits those who ask to see a priest, or those whom he’s asked to visit, but is also generally available – to be a listening ear, a source of practical support and a sacramental minister. He describes his ministry as “wandering with intent”! While he doesn’t read individuals’ sentencing remarks – which determine how prisoners are assessed and to which prison they are sent – Peter knows that many of those he meets have been convicted of sexual offences. “They’re telling me their story – it’s so important for them to be listened to without being judged. In prison environment they’re not telling their story but talking about their offence.” In fact, programs for sexual offenders have the highest effectiveness in reducing recidivism. 14

Peter believes strongly in restorative practice. “Prisoners with a long sentence don’t just ‘do their time’. They are required to complete a program as they approach release, but is there nothing that can be done earlier to assist rehabilitation? The authorities prefer that once a prisoner’s completed a program, he or she doesn’t return to the prison environment where – as is often said – they might well learn to be a better criminal.” Peter can tell story after story. One concerns a young man in prison because he breached an AVO. His explanation? “I just don’t push the pause button.” Peter suggested that meditation would help; “Yes, I’ve been told that,” was the response. “Well, if you start now it will help you when you’re released.” One of Peter’s regular tasks is accompanying prisoners on day leave as release approaches. The period immediately after release is critical, as many ex-prisoners are no longer in touch with family and former associates and in fact their closest connections may well be ‘inside’. Also, the world has changed while they’ve been living the regulated life of a gaol – prisoners don’t have mobile phones, Opal cards, email addresses… Finding accommodation is vital and Peter has networks to assist with this need. Cana Communities, which have a reputation for ‘loving people back into life’, are just one way of meeting this need. “It's about relating, belonging, connecting, providing opportunities.” The gospels speak of care for those on the margins and Pope Francis echoes this, in word and deed. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim the release of captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18-19). A recently released man or woman may well be ‘free’, but poor, blind to opportunity and promise, and oppressed.

Fr Peter Carroll msc.

Each year on Holy Thursday Pope Francis visits inmates of a prison and washes their feet. He preaches the gospel of service on his knees, with basin, water and towel. As a Missionary of the Sacred Heart, Peter Carroll’s mission is “To be on earth the heart of God”. He maintains parish connections and presides regularly at the ‘Call to mercy’ Mass at Erskineville which is, like any Mass, open to all who would come but is Peter’s answer to prisoners or former prisoners who ask, ‘Where do you say Mass?’ He believes strongly that parishes have a part to play in welcoming those who have served their sentences and wish to contribute again to society. He says, “The Jesuit Social Services report,

‘Dropping off the edge’ (2015) says that we know the postcodes, the villages from where people will go to prison – so what are we doing with that knowledge? Can Catholic parishes somehow engage on this level?” I ask, ‘Are there enough prison chaplains?’ and Peter’s response is, “There is a chaplain in every gaol. I think the issue is community support rather than the number of chaplains. People leaving prison need relationships – the church does relationships. How open is our church to building bridges not walls?” Tracey Edstein is the former Editor of Aurora Magazine, 2002-2018.

To learn more about the issues raised, you may wish to visit: ff

2011-12 Social Justice Statement, “Building bridges not walls” &


“Dropping off the edge”:


Cana Communities:


Kairos Prison Ministry Australia:

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What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time? By VIVIEN WILLIAMS

Brand New 2 & 3 Bedroom Villas

Calvary Muswellbrook Retirement Community’s brand new villas are ready to move into. Featuring open plan living with a modern entertainers kitchen, some offer convenient study nook or extra room. The main bedroom includes walk-in-robe and ensuite, and additional bedrooms includes a built-in robe. Garages offer internal access. The Village is located close to shops, transport, health services and offers Gym, BBQ / Community Area, Children’s Playground, Chapel Learn more about independent living and take a look inside our beautifully designed villas and other facilities. Call to arrange a tour and find out about our special pricing offer.

To arrange a visit or for more information on services near you call 1800 222 000 or visit Continuing the Mission of the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary

Diocesan Co‑ordinator, Adult Faith Formation, Vivien Williams, responded to this question posed in the July edition of Aurora. It seems to me that a Vatican II Australian church, tasked with reading the ‘signs of the times’ can presume God is speaking in the reading of those signs. Some that immediately come to my mind are: 1. The Report of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, especially the recommendation to abolish clericalism – something which is being echoed by Francis Sullivan, former chair of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Bishop Vincent Long and many of us in the pews. As long as clericalism remains we will have a submissive laity, with stifled gifts, and clerics who are out on a limb, rather than immersed in the people of God. 2. A recent study by the Religious Women of the United States which made the observation that the day of the individual is gone. We are called to work collaboratively: women and men together. The lifegiving experience of the Diocese of Wellington, New Zealand, regarding very well prepared and resourced parish leadership attests to the wisdom of this. 3. From all corners we, the baptised, are being invited to engage actively in the life and future of the church – no longer leaving decisions to others or refraining from being involved. Summoning voices include those already mentioned, and most notably Pope Francis (who is doing so repeatedly). Decisions need to be truly sensus fidelium – ‘sense of the faithful’. That means active and inclusive participation and dialogue across all levels: hierarchy, theologians, People of God. Anything less is not the voice of the church. A truly synodal church, as our many diocesan visiting theologians have reiterated, is one in which we ‘walk the way’ together, seeking to follow in Christ’s footsteps. 4. Pope Francis’ call to move to the margins seems to be a top priority. We need to mobilise to be people

of engagement, attending to the cries of the most vulnerable: the planet, the homeless, the addicted, the vulnerable. There are numerous examples from across our nation and the globe (many schools are doing this remarkably) of people coming together for local projects, such as a community garden – bridging gaps and generations. Then our celebrating, sacraments and rituals will actually derive from and flow back into a community that is sharing together the work of the gospel and impelled to be together in prayer, aware that it is God’s reign in which we are engaged. So animated, we might not continue to sit in evershrinking, predominantly monogenerational pews. 5. A key insight from the Vatican Council is the church as the ‘People of God’. This raises exciting and mostly overdue prospects for liturgical renewal. Our liturgical space needs to reflect such a reality, so that people are enabled to focus upon the symbols of font, tables of word and eucharist as well as engage with one another as the gathered body of Christ. I have a strong sense (and experience) that if we can move from worshipping in seeming ‘corridors’ and get our liturgical spaces ‘right’ – with liturgical leaders, homilists and ministers competent in drawing a people into unity – our worship could indeed be life-giving. If liturgical language was also inclusive, reflecting God as God – neither male not female – and all God’s people as equal before God, that would also be a more than timely bonus.

If you would like to express your views about what you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time, please email Brooke.Robinson@

Vivien Williams is an Adult Faith Formation Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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Seasons of Mercy

Embrace the sounds of silence When I was a young mother back in the early 80s, I was given a special gift from my Mum. It was a silent weekend retreat. The unique value of that experience and opportunity stayed with me for the next 25 years until I was able to offer the same to others. Our lives are just so incredibly full, crammed with so much coming and going, juggling and striving, we often lose sight of, or have no time for, our deeper selves and our personal needs. I wanted to create an opportunity for those men and women who spend so much of their time meeting the needs of others to enjoy a small dose of simplicity, silence and nurturing themselves. The Missing Peace weekend is offered in March each year and is open to all who would like to take a break from their usual hectic and demanding life and enjoy an informal experience of silence and ‘down’ time. There is no formal structure or program, and no activities that must be participated in. The only requirement, really, is silence. Over the ten years this retreat weekend has been running, many participants relish the rare chance just to read, sleep, write or perhaps draw. Others might delight in the time to meditate, do tai chi or yoga or walk in the surrounding bushland. Held in a rustic former monastery at Stroud, the retreat takes full advantage of the beauty and peacefulness 16

provided by the secluded rural setting as well as the monastery itself. The retreat begins with a casual shared meal, explanation and chatting on the Friday evening to help everyone wind down and relax. From about 8pm on the Friday night, silence is observed until we come together again to share a late lunch on Sunday when the ‘cone of silence' is lifted. During all other meal times, silence applies. Needless to say, no television, DVD player or even a humble clock radio will be found in one’s room while staying at the monastery. With the emphasis on simplicity, this short weekend is offered to give people an opportunity to relax, reflect, recharge and ‘slow down’. Silence is a powerful and rare commodity in our busy, noise-filled lives. It is not easily found and enjoyed these days. Silence is something most of us think little about. Noise, on the other hand, is all-pervasive. Noise underpins the way we communicate, learn, seek entertainment and generally relate to the world around us. It feeds us all sorts of external stimuli that make our lives feel richer and engaged, yes, but also demanding and often unsatisfied. Silence though, can nourish the part of us that feels frayed, drained or frazzled by our oh-sobusy lives at times. Silence can feel very foreign to begin with but by the end of the retreat


weekend, participants often don’t want it to end. The Monastery at Stroud is a truly unique refuge in our bustling modern world and to this day, it retains the peace, humility and earthiness of its original purpose. Hand-built in mud-brick and timber in the early 1980s with extensive community involvement, the monastery supported and enhanced the spiritual calling of the Sisters of St Clare for more than 20 years. In spite of the venue having been a real monastery, there is no formal religious framework or emphasis at this weekend. There is, however, a sincere hope that the experience will speak to each participant’s personal spirituality and core of peace. Accommodation is basic but comfortable and numbers are limited as all participants have their own rooms. All meals are vegetarian, freshly prepared and served with simplicity in mind. Participants are not the only ones to benefit from The Missing Peace weekends. Proceeds from this annual retreat support the work of the Himalayan Light Foundation to provide solar power and lighting in remote communities in Nepal. If anyone would like more information about the retreat, they can contact me on 0403 246 163 or E

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To what should we aspire? BY GREG DOEPEL ‘Aspiration’ is the latest buzzword, the magic touchstone which will apparently give us entry into a golden age in which individual striving for wealth will solve all the problems of wide-spread inequality and disadvantage presently existing in a country once known as the land of ‘the fair go’ for all. This message certainly came to me, and I would think to many others, from our Prime Minister`s recent exhortation to follow the example of “my wife Lucy’s and my hard work” spurred on, of course, by their aspirations, which led to the accumulation of substantial personal fortunes. Therefore, the nation’s problems would be solved by a simple change of attitude on the part of the lower orders to aspire to personal wealth, and by the simple strategy of heeding the advice of the Prime Minister, echoing that of a previous Coalition minister, now sadly departed, who said that all that was needed was to “get a better job which paid more money”. Problem solved! Now while personal aspiration to build better and more secure lives for ourselves and our families is the normal instinct of ‘everyman’, this simplistic advice from our so-called leaders reveals an appalling grasp of the realities and experiences of a great many Australians today.

The attack on the wages and conditions of workers has been ongoing and relentless over recent years and the memories of a past era of secure jobs and fair conditions are, in many cases, just that – distant memories. Furthermore the record of behaviour of many previously respected corporations and both large and small enterprises has led to a disastrous and general loss of confidence in the leaders of our business world. Every day there is a new revelation of the lack of ethical standards in many of the institutions which constitute our society with the standard response from the boards of management being, “Our prime responsibility is to the ’bottom line’, the dividend to the shareholders. So we have done all that is required of us.” Their confidence disregards completely the consequences for other sectors of society and to any possible degradation of the environment. This is the logical conclusion of a hegemony of ‘aspiration’ based solely on the accumulation of wealth without reference to the Social Contract explained by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the eighteenth century, and embedded in the Christian principles upon which Western society is based. If we accept the benefits of

society, we must abide by the rules and ethics of that society. Is that what we are seeing today? Aspiration is essential to the progress of our personal lives but more importantly for the whole of society to progress. Such an aspiration could be that envisioned by Bishop Desmond Tutu when he said, “No humanmade problems are intractable when humans put their heads together with the earnest desire to overcome them.” Certainly such an aspiration is difficult to achieve, but is surely what the world needs? Would it not be preferable that our leaders recommend this aspiration rather than one based on the accumulation of personal wealth? As Pope Francis reminds us, all things are interrelated, and we cannot act only in our individual interests with no regard for any detrimental consequences for the environment, which is “a relationship existing between nature and society” (Laudato Si’ 139) Aspiration should not then be a code word for greed, but for “a broader vision of reality”, a society where we strive for a ‘fair go’ for every living creature.

Greg Doepel is a parishioner of St Joseph’s Parish, Gloucester.

Soul Food What would it mean for Christians to rediscover their faith not as a problematic system of beliefs, but as a just and generous way of life, rooted in contemplation and expressed in compassion, that makes amends for its mistakes and is dedicated to beloved community for all? Could Christians migrate from defining their faith as a system of beliefs to expressing it as a loving way of life?” — Richard Rohr, “A System of Beliefs or a Way of Life?”

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What are you doing to care for you? By ELIZABETH SNEDDEN Most adults have a car, right? Functioning without one would be hard. I’m sure we can all agree that none of us would want that car to break down. Not only is it usually a costly exercise but one that creates massive inconvenience in our home and work lives. That’s why many of us do the ‘right’ thing and have our cars serviced regularly. It helps us to prevent any major issues or if one is on the horizon, to prepare proactively. Well, what if I were to ask you to consider managing proactively your mental health, in the same way? Good mental health underpins all aspects of a person’s life, including self-worth, forming and maintaining relationships and the ability to perform well in work and study. It’s what helps you move from crying over spilt milk to knowing you can just as easily pop down to the shop and buy another carton. Proactively seeking counselling on a regular basis can help to navigate mindfully many of life’s challenges, embrace opportunities and in some cases avoid a breakdown – of relationships, trust and confidence. Prime Minister John Howard was so

convinced of the benefits of counselling that he introduced ten heavily subsidised sessions for each Australian, per calendar year, as part of ‘Mental Health Care Plan’. So, embrace it! CatholicCare Social Services HunterManning recently hosted a community event, featuring the talented and passionate author and advocate, Tracey Spicer. Renowned for the courage of her convictions, passion for social justice and commitment to equality, she also has a wicked sense of humour. In recent years Tracey made national headlines for her candid insight into life as a female presenter – including being sacked via email after having a baby and being subjected to stifling grooming standards. In 2017 Tracey released her first book, The Good Girl Stripped Bare, which became a best-seller within weeks. CatholicCare’s event was a sell-out, attracting over 200 Novocastrians including the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Nuatali Nelmes. It was facilitated by Newcastle City Councillor and former ABC Radio presenter, Carol Duncan. Proceeds from the event were directed to local charity ‘Got Your Back Sista’, which works to see women and their children happy, thriving and living independently after escaping the trauma of domestic violence.

Tracey’s presentation left attendees feeling empowered. She encouraged them to move away from social expectations to embracing new opportunities created through authenticity. She spoke about the support she received from family and friends as well as through counselling. As moving as Tracey’s presentation was, and indeed it was – with many standing to applaud – all too often when you attend events with inspiring speakers, read a self-help book or listen to a podcast, you’re motivated in the moment but seldom follow through with the action required to make lasting change. Instead, we’re easily overcome with negative self-talk, don’t have the tools to build resilience or find mustering motivation isn’t always as easy as first thought. That’s why I want you to know you’re not alone. CatholicCare is here to help. We help people just like you – people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and walks of life. Some seek guidance on family matters, others may desire coaching so they can progress in their career, parents may need advice on managing their children’s behaviour and some may need support to leave an abusive relationship. The list goes on. Accessing counselling is not a sign of weakness. It is an act of courage

and an invaluable investment in your emotional, physical and mental health. Many people who initiate counselling do not have a mental illness. Often they are facing challenges that may be taxing their current ability to cope. Your psychologist will help you to know that it’s okay not to be okay all the time. Like a mechanic asking about your car, s/he will listen to you. A psychologist can also assist you to gain clarity on issues that matter to you and build on your strengths, all heightening your ability to cope. I urge you to consider investing in a good psychologist – one of our skilled psychologists at CatholicCare, where we have just recruited additional team members who have appointments available as soon as tomorrow; or somewhere else. We’re happy to fork out the big bucks for a gym membership or a trip to the hairdresser but reluctant to look after our mental health – and yet it’s our mental health that underpins every relationship in our lives. Please visit or P 02 4979 1120 to learn more. Elizabeth Snedden is Stakeholder Engagement Manager at CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning.

Meg Purser, Councillor Carol Duncan, Lizzie Snedden, Mel Histon Browning from Got Your Back Sista, Tracey Spicer, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.


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World Youth Day: 10 years on

Ten years ago, Pope Benedict XVI visited Sydney to celebrate World Youth Day (WYD), a celebration intended to reinvigorate parishes, schools and leadership within the Church in Australia. Now, 10 years on, celebrating the anniversary of WYD is providing an opportunity to rejuvenate our hearts and our vision by remembering WYD08.

World Youth Day 2008 The 23rd World Youth Day was celebrated in the Archdiocese of Sydney in 2008. The festival, which lasted five days, marked the first WYD held in Australia and the entirety of Oceania. Nearly 500,000 young people from more than 200 countries took part in that week’s festivities. That number ballooned to more than 1,000,000 during the weekend. In addition to the youth who attended in attendance, WYD Sydney attracted more than 600 bishops and cardinals as well as 6,600 reporters from around the world. No doubt, Pope Benedict’s attendance was a major drawcard. The theme for WYD 2008 was: You will receive the power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. The official song for the festival was “Receive the Power” by Guy Sebastian and Gary Pinto.

WYD08 changed youth ministry and the youth scene in the Catholic Church in Australia forever.

World Youth Day: 10-year anniversary “Remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the future with confidence.” These are the words of St John Paul II, the founder and patron saint of World Youth Days. St John Paul II’s words are especially poignant now as, a decade later, we reflect on World Youth Day 2008 “As I remember the preparations and the events of WYD08 I am grateful for the young people whose life the Holy Spirit touched, and who have gone on to take up the mission of Jesus Christ in countless ways,” says Fr Chris Ryan MGL on the Office for Youth website. “I think of young people who, from their involvement in WYD08 have gone to serve as youth ministers, priests, consecrated sisters, worked in the media to communicate the Gospel of the Church’s teaching, become leaders in the Church’s ministry to families and in the service of life...the list could go on. “I am filled with gratitude when I remember these World Youth Day gifts to our Church. In fact, it is vital to remember these gifts if we are to look forward to the future with confidence.”

Celebrations in Sydney "Amazing, staggering, phenomenal, overwhelming." These were some of the words pilgrims used to describe their experience of World Youth Day in Sydney all those years ago. More than 1,000 people filled St Mary’s Cathedral for a WYD08 10th Anniversary Mass at St Mary's Cathedral on 20 July to celebrate the event that ignited the faith of young Australian Catholics. Many had been pilgrims, group leaders and volunteers at the momentous event that took over the streets of Sydney a decade ago. “WYD08 changed youth ministry and the youth scene in the Catholic Church in Australia forever," Archbishop Fisher OP said in welcoming attendees. "Ten years ago today Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the biggest Mass in the history of our nation," he said.

He said Pope Emeritus Benedict has often referred to his experience of WYD in Sydney. The retired Pope sent a special message for the 10-year anniversary celebrations which was read out during the Mass. "Recalling the wonderful experience of WYD in Sydney in 2008, I gladly invoke God's blessing upon you, your Archdiocese and all those gathered here to celebrate this 10-year anniversary," Pope Benedict wrote.

Reflecting on World Youth Day Taking the time to reflect upon World Youth Day 2008 provides the opportunity to be re-immersed in the memories and grace the festival brought with it. It is also an opportunity to continue with the celebration of life and the many contributions of young people within the Church.

The Archbishop recalled that the final mass held at WYD08 was attended by over 4,000 concelebrating priests and bishops and over 400,000 of the faithful. It was the "culmination of an extraordinary week-long festival of faith.”

Britten Thompson is Team Leader Digital, Diocese of MaitlandNewcastle.

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Supporting principals to support school communities By BRID CORRIGAN

Research undertaken by Associate Professor Phillip Riley and his team at Australian Catholic University confirms that the increasing complexity and workload demands of school leadership roles are impacting on the health and wellbeing of Australian school leaders. The principals of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle indicated as far back as 2015 that the introduction of Principal Coaches may assist in supporting their wellbeing and ongoing development. Many principals report burgeoning pressures upon them to manage their schools; to support staff, students and families, and in particular to focus on improving teaching and learning outcomes, at the level and standard they would like. In a world of accelerating change, schools are dealing with new technologies, increasing compliance and ongoing curriculum changes. Email and social media have also contributed to a blurring of lines between home and work time, resulting in increased demands on staff and principals. Luanna Fletcher, Roisin McVeigh and Sue Dietrich.

What is the role of a Principal and Middle Leadership Coach? To reduce pressure on schools and particularly principals, new paradigms are being considered whereby schools provide more flexible studentcentred and enquiry-based learning opportunities. The Catholic Schools Office has a continual focus on improving teaching, leading and learning within schools and is also committed to working to support the wellbeing of principals. We explored the Principal Coach role within government schools which is largely focused on providing support for new principals and existing principals across all aspects of their role. Following consultation with the University of Newcastle, the decision was made to pilot a coaching model that focuses on building the capacity of principals and middle leadership teams through building a coaching culture within schools. The pilot is based on the Cognitive Coaching model developed by Arthur Costa and Robert Garmston. Feedback from principal working parties indicated an interest in strengthening the partnership between secondary schools and their feeder primary schools and in sharing best practice across and between these schools. The Leadership Team also identified the need to strengthen professional learning communities and the use of teaching and learning data across our system as part of this pilot. These aspects have been incorporated into the pilot program. Luanna Fletcher and Sue Dietrich, both experienced principals, have recently been appointed to the role of Principal Coach (0.5 FTE). Roisin McVeigh, currently


assistant principal at St Paul’s Catholic College, Booragul, has been seconded to the full-time role of Middle Leadership Coach and will commence at the beginning of Term 3.

 building on a foundation of trust which furthers confidence and belonging

Principals who lead high-quality learning organisations are engaged, connected, supported and learning/ learner-focused. The coaching pilot will centre on building the leadership traits of principals, developing principal wellbeing and building their skills to develop coaching-centred organisations in their own schools to result in positive impact on staff and on student learning outcomes.

 translating to individual classrooms, as teachers use the strategies with their students.

The University will work with the appointed coaches to support their work, their knowledge and their professional practice and will run a series of workshops for principals involved in the pilot during 2018. The Australian Professional Standards for Principals and Teachers will be used to provide a focus in this work. Coaching is increasingly recognised as a foundation for school improvement. The team from the School of Education at the University of Newcastle recognises five major benefits of a coaching foundation for this project. These include:  developing cognitive skills of educators, enabling

them to reflect on, analyse, evaluate and improve their practice  supporting wellbeing of participants as the project

empowers and acknowledges the intellect and talents of all involved

 promoting the development of a learning organisation

Coaches have commenced meeting with pilot schools. The role of the coaches will be to build trust with assigned schools and to work with principals and their teams to support them in trying new skills in the classroom, in reflecting upon their teaching and learning practice and in mutually increasing their capacity for self-improvement. The coaches will also support principals and their professional learning teams in collecting and examining data and in developing their ability to monitor their own and their students’ behaviours. Luanna and Sue state, “As experienced principals, we both understand the challenges of leading instructional improvement. This project will operate from a growth mindset, supporting the members of the pilot group to build upon and celebrate their capacity to lead teaching and learning. Throughout the project, principals will engage in professional learning designed to enrich the continual refining of their craft.” It is hoped that the program will be modified for 2019 based on feedback and extended to all schools within the Diocese. Brid Corrigan is the Strategic Programs Advisor at the Catholic Schools Office.

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Community Noticeboard “Before We Say I Do” 2018 Marriage Education is a vital part of planning for a life partnership. CatholicCare offers a selection of courses for married and soon-to-be married couples to assist them in preparing for, and maintaining, their commitment to one another. Couples are advised to attend a course around four months prior to the wedding. Book early as some courses are very popular. “Before We Say I Do” is a group program held Friday evening and Saturday as advertised and the FOCCUS group program is three Monday evening sessions. ff






Marriage and Relationship Education Course – Before We Say I Do, 3 and 4 August, Toohey Room, Newcastle. Friday 5pm-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm. Marriage and Relationship Education Course − (FOCCUS) at the Toohey Room, Newcastle, 3 and 10 September. 5.15-7.30pm (Session 3 to be confirmed). Marriage and Relationship Education Course – Before We Say I Do at Singleton CatholicCare, 19 and 20 October. Friday 5pm-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm. Marriage and Relationship Education Course – (FOCCUS) at the Toohey Room, Newcastle, 29 October and 5 November. 5.15-7.30pm (Session 3 to be confirmed). Marriage and Relationship Education Course – Before We Say I Do, 23 and 24 November at the Toohey Room, Newcastle. Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm. FOCCUS Individual Sessions by appointment only.

We also have a wait list for our Bringing Baby Home Workshop which assists couples transition to parenthood. For further information on all our courses, please contact Robyn Donnelly P 02 4979 1370 or E rdonnelly@catholiccare.

Council for Australian Catholic Women The diocesan contact group for the Council will meet on the following Saturdays, 9am for 9.30am and all are welcome. Dates are 25 August, 27 October, 24 November (Christmas gathering; time may change slightly). The group meets at St Benedict’s Centre, The Chapel (entrance through driveway), 25 Farquhar Street, The Junction. For further information, P Ellen Hazelton on 0407 513 813. Hiroshima Remembrance An ecumenical service remembering 73 years since 1945 will be held on Sunday 5 August at Adamstown Uniting Church, 228 Brunker Road, Adamstown at 6pm. Fr Frank Brennan sj, long-time advocate for human rights and social justice in Australia, will be a special guest. The organisers are Christians for Peace and to learn more, please P Doug Hewitt 0431 935 097 or E doug.isabel35@ Returning Theologians Mid 2018 will see national and international theologians return to the diocese for a variety of speaking engagements: ff


7 August The return from Boston of our own Rev Dr Richard Lennan for The future of faith: challenges & possibilities. One twilight event only. 5.30-9pm at Newcastle. 11-15 August Dr Richard Gaillardetz will again engage with us on issues of church leadership in a variety of seminars and open lectures across the diocese.

For information, including dates, times and venues, visit or contact the diocesan Adult Faith Formation Office. E or P 4979 1334. 14th National BBI-ACBC eConference This will be held on Wednesday 8 August from 10am to 2.05pm. Topic is Synodality in Practice: Listening to the Spirit and Leading Change. Speakers and panellists include Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Mrs Lana

Turvey-Collins, Professor Massimo Faggioli, Professor Richard Lennan and Dr Gemma Cruz. Further information P 9847 0030 or E

For your diary

Blessing of our Land – Together we stand on Sacred Ground A liturgy and picnic will be held at 11.30am on Sunday 26 August at Pokolbin Community Hall, 128 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin. This is an expression of the TriDiocesan Covenant between the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle and the Catholic Dioceses of Maitland-Newcastle and Broken Bay. All are welcome. BYO everything. Further information, P Chris Parker 0434 332 217 or E


St. Aloysius Girls High School Reunion Looking for past students of St. Aloysius Girls High School, Hamilton, Forms 1-4 (1962-1965) for a reunion at the Duke of Wellington Hotel New Lambton on Saturday 24 November, contact Colleen 0412 321 740 or Janice 4954 0276. Mums’ Cottage

 6

Hiroshima Day Uniting Church service with Fr Frank Brennan sj as guest speaker (see opposite).

 7

Returning Theologian: Rev Dr Richard Lennan (see opposite)

 8

St Mary Mackillop

14th National BBI-ACBC eConference (see opposite)

 9

International Day of the World’s indigenous Peoples

 11-15 Returning Theologian: Dr Richard Gaillardetz (see opposite)  12 International Youth Day  15 Assumption of Mary  19 World Humanitarian Day

Invites grandparents to Grandparent and Toddler day, every Wednesday during school terms from 10am-noon at 29 St Helen’s Street, Holmesville. Enjoy some companionship with other grandparents while children play. Mums’ Cottage offers a range of services, programs, workshops and family events and would love to welcome you at any time. For more information, P Mums’ Cottage 4953 4105, E or visit Volunteering with Palms Australia Palms is seeking qualified and experienced Australians to assist in various missionary and development activities. There are opportunities in a wide range of areas, from teaching in Timor Leste (pre-school, primary and secondary) to assisting with the development of a brass band in Kiribati; from plumbing/building in Papua New Guinea to English/Science teaching/mentoring in Samoa. Whatever your skills and experience, there is a place for you! To learn more, P 9560 5333 or E

 25 Council for Australian Catholic Women meeting (see opposite)  26 Blessing of our Land, Pokolbin (see opposite)

Refugee and Migrant Sunday

 29 International Day Against Nuclear Tests  30 International Day of the Victims of Forced Disappearances

September  1

World Day of Care for Creation

 2

Father’s Day

For more events please visit and

Stay up to date with news from across the diocese




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Last Word

Aurora on tour Margaret, a parishioner of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Diocese of AlotauSideia, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, catches up with news from Maitland-Newcastle.



Sarah Ferguson’s On Mother is part of a series by Melbourne University Press, ‘Little Books on Big Themes’. Think rage, ecstasy, doubt, resilience… You will probably read it in one sitting, but the memory will long outlast the reading. And if your mother has died, it will make you cry. In fact, it will probably make you cry anyway and that’s not a bad thing. I loved that, as I read, I heard Sarah Ferguson’s familiar voice telling her mother’s story. The sadness is mitigated – measured – but nevertheless profound. The fact that Marjorie Ferguson died unexpectedly and alone, far from her daughter and son, is desolate enough. When the explanation for her death is inadequate, her journalist-daughter’s grief dictates that she pursue the truth. It will not alter the outcome, but it will make a difference. “She would expect me to look for answers, fight against cant, hypocrisy and bureaucratic indifference. She would want me to try to make them tell the truth, to go in to bat.” As the oh-so-very English funeral, in the church where Sarah Ferguson and Tony Jones married, gives way to the reality of the inquest, it’s hard not to take some pleasure in anticipating the contretemps between hapless hospital lawyer and the seasoned investigative journalist. However, the heart of the essay is not Ferguson’s response to the inquest but her avowed love for her mother which she knew was reciprocated.

often, loves any more or provides more security by declaring it in every phone call. I knew her love was there, I know it with complete and easy certainty, as it was in countless other scenes in the landscapes we shared.” I think perhaps the greatest compliment that could be paid Sarah Ferguson is that she is her mother’s daughter. Sarah Ferguson On Mother, Melbourne University Press 2018.

“I don’t think my generation, which expresses love so easily and so

Chef Bartholomew Connors, Cathedral Café

Ingredients f f6 lamb forequarters f f1/4 bunch of parsley, chopped f fRind of a lemon

Tracey Edstein is the former Editor of Aurora Magazine, 2002-2018.

Parsley, lemon & rocket marinated lamb Let’s raid the garden for the fresh, zesty ingredients needed for this very simple and delicious recipe. This will be my last recipe with Tracey as Editor of Aurora and so, with a heavy heart, I hope you enjoy this dish. It’s been a deeply treasured time, sharing meals and conversation, and like everyone else, I wish her all the very best.

Chef Bart’s culinary gifts can be enjoyed at Cathedral Café, 843 Hunter St Newcastle West, 9am–1.30pm, Monday to Friday. P 4961 0546.

f fJuice of a lemon f f1/3 cup chopped rocket f fOlive oil f fSalt and pepper f f12 chat potatoes f f3 handfuls of green beans.

Method Combine rocket, parsley, dash of oil, lemon rind and season in a bowl. Coat the lamb in half the marinade mixture and reserve the remaining mixture. Set the lamb aside in the frig for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 220 deg.

and top with lamb. Stir lemon juice into remaining marinade along with the juice from rested lamb. Drizzle over the dish and serve with a little extra chopped parsley. Enjoy with a glass of red wine of your choice!

Par boil chat potatoes, place on an oven tray, drizzle with oil and salt and bake for 25 minutes. Take the lamb and sear on a hot barbecue or griddle. Turn over four times within about 6 minutes and rest on a plate covered with foil. Keep the juice from the resting lamb. Steam or boil the green beans al dente. Place the chat potatoes and greens on warm plates


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Synodality in Practice: Listening to the Spirit and Leading Change This 14th National eConference will focus on engaging communities around Australia in a landmark discussion around the future vision and direction for the Catholic Church in Australia. Speakers at this year’s BBI eConference will focus on models of leadership in the contemporary Church, draw fresh insights from Pope Francis’ vision of synodality and examine how the upcoming Plenary Council may help promote a more inclusive, dialogical Church. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate at one of the local screening sites listed below, or individually at your home computer. For further information, go to the BBI eConference website




What to bring


Wednesday 8 August

Victor Peters Suite Newcastle West

10am - 3.30pm

BYO lunch

Zoë Marr P 02 4979 1328 E

Wednesday 8 August

Callinan Centre Morisset

10am - 3.30pm

Bring plate to share

Rosanna Suckling (Mon-Fri 9am – 2pm) P 02 4973 6859 E

Wednesday 8 August

St Clare’s High School Taree

10.30am - 3pm

BYO lunch

Denise Ryan P 02 6552 3300 E

Thursday 9 August

John Lavery Hall Glendale

10am - 2.30pm

Bring plate to share

Jenny Harris P 02 4979 1334 E

Monday 20 August

Murray Room Newcastle West

5 - 9pm

Refreshments available

Jenny Harris P 02 4979 1334 E

Tuesday 21 August

Holy Spirit PS Kurri Kurri

5 - 9pm

Refreshments available

Jenny Harris P 02 4979 1334 E

Wednesday 22 August

Parish Hall Charlestown

10am - 12pm (Excerpts)

Sunday 14 October

St Joseph’s High School Aberdeen Upper Hunter Regional Gathering


CSO personnel accreditation to Work Teach and Lead hours: 4 hours for evening sessions and 5 hours for day sessions.


Lovedale Rd 10mins Anaconda Amart Toys R Us

New England Hwy

Anambah Rd

Opal Nursing Home (Under Construction)

Newcastle 40mins Newcastle Airport 40mins Sydney 90mins

To Hunter Valley

Domayne BCF Harvey Norman Ten Pin Bowling

Rutherford Shopping Centre

Medical Centres Woolworths, Coles, Chemist, IGA, Aldi

To Newcastle

01950 22149

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