Aurora November 2018

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Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle November 2018 | No.185

St Bede’s Benedict Building is opened 12

Kailani Craine never gives up: Ice skating champion on the road to Beijing 11

Saint Mary MacKillop book giveaway: Have your say about Aurora and win a book 17


The welcom ing Woolleys sh are their open adoption sto ry

Enrolments still open for 2019!


Schools Office


Find out more at

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A new team member

On the cover Anne, Mark, Jessica and Bella Woolley. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Sneddon

Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle November 2018 | No.185

St Bede’s Benedict Building is opened 12

Kailani Craine never gives up: Ice skating champion on the road to Beijing 11

Saint Mary MacKillop book giveaway:

This month we welcome a new member to the Aurora team in the form of Todd Dagwell.


The Welcomin g Woolley’s An open adoption story

Have your say about Aurora and win a book 17

Featured f f Novocastrians appointed to Apostleship of the Sea Committee 5 f f New phone app for Diocese


f f The welcoming Woolleys


f f Insights from the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention 8 f f Why I chose St Nick’s


f f St Nick’s to operate centre at Raymond Terrace


f f Kailani Craine never gives up


f f New Benedict building opened at St Bede’s


f f Who is Teaching With Miss M?


f f Finding our “Compass”


f f Gifted Education makes its mark in the Diocese


f f Three simple ways to save


f f Nominations open for Mary Magdalene Award


f f Saint Mary MacKillop book giveaway


f f Living the Change


f f How our Diocese makes a home


f f Are married priests a possibility?


f f Calling all young adults



Todd has a Bachelor of Social Science Degree from Newcastle University as well as a Diploma in Journalism from the University of Technology in Sydney. This after completing his HSC at St Francis Xavier College in Hamilton, a stone’s throw from Cathedral House. He has more than 14 years’ experience as a news journalist and sub-editor having worked for community newspapers in Sydney and in Newcastle. Todd worked for the Newcastle Herald as a sub-editor for three years and then as a news journalist for the next three years. He also had a stint with the Newcastle Sunday newspaper before it folded in 2017. Todd’s links with the Diocese extend to having a child at St Nicholas Early Education and you can read his story

John Kingsley-Jones P 4979 1192 E


f f Frankly Spoken


PO Box 756 Newcastle 2300


Subscribe E


f f Community Noticeboard


f f Last Word


Big news of the month is that Sean Scanlon - our CEO - has announced that the Diocese is in the process of buying a centre at Raymond Terrace which comprises a pre-school and an early education facility. This will ensure that childcare services now on offer at this centre will continue to be available to RAAF families at Williamtown and to other families in the Port Stephens area.

Good news! You can still catch up with

f f My Word

f f Wisdom in the Square

Kailani is well on the way to becoming an ice-skating superstar. She has a total of 11 national championship titles to her name and she took part in the recent Winter Olympics – all this and she is only 20! Her interview with Aurora can be found on page 11.

Next deadline 7 November 2018



Another story about a former student you might want to read is one about Kailani Craine who, like Todd, is a former SFXstudent.

Aurora online

f f First Word

f f CareTalk

about why he chose St Nicholas for his daughter on page 9.

Contact Aurora Aurora editorial and advertising enquiries should be addressed to:

f f Soul Food

First Word


We will be operating this centre under the St Nicholas Early Education banner from January 2019. Also in education, we have a story about the official opening of the new Benedict Building at St Bede’s on page 12. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to nominate for the Mary Magdalene Award. The award is seen as a public affirmation of a life lived in a way that mirrors and pays homage to the spirit of Mary Magdalene. More information can be found on page 17. You might also enjoy reading Living the Change on page 18, which is a campaign recognising that individuals need to adopt environmentally sustainable lifestyles. Finally, we would like your feedback on Aurora so please take part in the survey on page 17.

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

Aurora online, via

@MNnewstoday 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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A U R O R A C AT H O L I C D I O C E S E O F M A I T L A N D - N E W C A S T L E

Faith and Australia ‘What do you think God is asking of us in Australia?’ That’s the headline question for the National Plenary Council of 2020/21 and the starting point for the local consultations that are going on across the nation. It’s a good question. It asks us to try to put aside our pet peeves and opinions and to try to imagine how God sees things. That is not entirely possible, of course, but it is far from entirely impossible because we have seen, in the life and words of Jesus, a revelation of how God thinks. Again, the subtitle of the Plenary is ‘Listening to the Spirit…’, another call to get beyond just trotting out the opinions we hold or the conventional wisdom that is obvious to people like us. In a culture that puts a premium on everyone’s right to be heard, it invites a genuine willingness first to listen. That being said, I’ve not been enormously impressed by the thoughts of many who have already given us their minds on the matter. I’m not surprised, of course, that some people already know what the Plenary must do, it’s the same agenda they’ve advocated for years past. We must have optional celibacy for priests, women priests, further curtailment of the teaching and leadership roles of the clergy, revision of the church’s moral teaching in various areas, greater inclusiveness, re-vamping of worship to appeal to contemporary tastes, less dogmatism and invoking of ancient myths, more consultation on everything at every level, and so on. These aren’t silly views, of course, and some of them at least could lead to important discussions about whether we’re going where God would lead us or just sticking to past practice. What bothers me, however, is the top-

of-the-head, ‘everybody knows’, ‘it’s obvious’, kind of quality to some of the opinion-giving. As if, despite all evidence to the contrary, what people think in Western, liberal, consumer societies is self-evidently the summit of human wisdom. The other bothering thing is that they are all so inward-looking, so much to do with how the church should be and operate. Is that really all ‘God is asking of us in Australia’? I’m not going to go to that larger question, however, in these remaining few words. I’m going to look at questions about where the Catholic community is in Australia now. First, I’d like to assume that some of the indications of a healthy community of believers are that the churches are full, plenty of people offer themselves for ministry or religious life, there are many people volunteering for charitable or evangelical work in their local communities, there’s a lively interest in matters theological and ethical, and the contribution of believers to public life is notable and valued. Now, I know that some of these phenomena can be the product of certain social conditions and not necessarily happening for the best of religious reasons. But, on the other hand, I don’t think you can have a healthy faith community that doesn’t have these features. So, what do we make of a church where 10% of people attend Mass? Yes, yes, we’re not about ‘bums on seats’, but granted that, what is general non-attendance telling us? If the bums aren’t on the seats, where are the hearts and minds, the spirits? The surveys tell us that most people don’t have a particular reason for not going to Mass, they just don’t see the point or feel the need.

I guess my question is, is that just about ‘church’ or is it about God, about Christ? In Plenary terms, what is God asking of us in the way of spiritual renewal, growth in faith, in Australia? And what about vocations, priestly, religious and lay? If there’s a dearth of people so passionate about the gospel that they want to dedicate their lives to its service, what is that saying to us? Yes, there are all sorts of things to put people off ministry or religious life, if they hold other values as more important. But in any human group you expect some people to be so committed to what they believe in that they are prepared to sacrifice many personal considerations in order to do what they feel called to do. Again, the Plenary question could be ‘What is God asking of us to so fire people with love of Christ that they will give their lives to service of Him and His message?’ Finally, for now, I wonder what it means that religious questions barely feature in our public forums or are trivialised when they do arise. What does it mean

when being known to hold religious commitments is almost an impediment to public office? Is this part of a phenomenon by which the church, as a massive institution running schools and hospitals with tens of thousands of employees, is regarded as just an interest group pushing its own organisational concerns? Is it a question for the Plenary to consider how the faith community is represented in and by its various ‘enterprises’? Is God asking us to think about how dealing with a Catholic institution might be more assuredly an experience of seeing faith in action? There will be many things to discuss at the Plenary Council. ‘Should we have women priests?’ might be one of them. ‘Where are we, really, as people of faith in God and disciples of Christ?’ must, however, also be faced up to.

Bishop Bill Wright Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

Frankly Spoken Hope challenges us, moves us and shatters that conformism which says, “it’s always been done like this”. Hope asks us to get up and look directly into the eyes of young people and see their situations. Homily - Opening Mass of Synod on Young People - 3 October

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Novocastrians appointed to Apostleship of the Sea National Committee


The Church’s missionary work to serve the needs of seafarers has received a much-needed boost with the commissioning of a new national body. Australia’s bishops recently appointed seven members to create the Apostleship of the Sea National Committee. A commissioning ceremony and inaugural meeting was held in Sydney in September. Two of those appointed to the National Committee are Novocastrians. They are Ray Collins, former director of the Catholic Schools Office, and volunteer Maureen Grealy. Maureen has volunteered at Mission to Seafarers (MTS) Newcastle for five years, and was “surprised and honoured” to have her name put forward for the committee. Seafarers are confronted with genuine threats and dangers to their lives and can suffer from high rates of suicide, depression and self-harm. Some common issues affecting seafarers include: exposure to piracy and criminal activity in oceans surrounding Australia; poor working conditions; and isolation and distance from family while at sea. One million seafarers are on the world’s oceans at any time and 90 per cent of Australia’s trade is reliant on shipping. That means Australia’s ports are prime locations to

offer ministry and pastoral care. Mission to Seafarers Newcastle welcome anyone from the maritime community through their doors each year, in an effort to assist as many individuals as possible. Each seafarer has a different need when they arrive at the centre. Maureen shared a story of a man who sat in the centre at Wickham playing guitar and serenading his wife via Skype on the free Wi-Fi, while his fellow seafarers went shopping. The good work of the centre is kept going by committed volunteers. An afternoon tea was held on 10 October to farewell Margaret and Les Johnson who have been volunteering for two and a half years. They are now moving to Tamworth and are sad to say goodbye to their MTS family. Margaret said it had been a blessing being able to volunteer at Mission to Seafarers, and particularly “a blessing for Les and I to do ministry together as husband and wife.” The departure of Margaret and Les has created a need for more volunteers. The centre has a great atmosphere, and the volunteers are passionate about what they do, such as: visiting ships, driving

New phone app for Diocese The Communications Team is putting the finishing touches to a phone app which, if all goes according to plan, will be available throughout the Diocese in November. The app has six main functions – Find Mass, Events, News, Readings, Pray As You Go and Homilies. Find Mass enables you to find the location of the nearest mass to you and what time it will be held while the Events function is a calendar which has details of major events in the Diocese. Tapping on the News button will take the user straight to news of the day while Homilies will take you to the highly-popular Doohan Discourse -

the home of homilies delivered by Father Andrew Doohan, our Vicar-General. Pray as You Go gives you access to the prayer of the day while Readings will likewise take you to readings of the day. At the time of writing, the phone app was undergoing final testing and – as with all phone apps – Apple’s approval is required. We will provide further information about how to download the app via MN News and Dio Update.

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

Rick McCosker, Margaret and Les Johnson and Maureen Grealy

seafarers to shopping centres, working in the centre’s shop, providing opportunity for Mass, and collecting donations of beanies, toiletries etc to give to seafarers. All of this contributes to the wellbeing of seafarers in the short window of time that they are in Newcastle. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please call 4961 5007 or visit Brooke Robinson is a Content Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Seafarers are confronted with genuine threats and dangers to their lives and can suffer from high rates of suicide, depression and self-harm.



A U R O R A C AT H O L I C D I O C E S E O F M A I T L A N D - N E W C A S T L E

The welcoming Woolleys Have you ever met a person, or indeed a family, and felt instantly at ease? Their smile shines from within, their kind words have you nodding your head in agreement and their love for life and those around them radiates. This is how I would describe my first encounter with Bella, Jessica, Mark and Anne - the Woolley Family.


I first met with the Woolley family on the eve of National Adoption Awareness Week 2018. Bella entered foster care when she was just 18 months old. Initially, she was placed with immediate carers, Mal and Elaine, with whom she still maintains contact with today. Next, she was welcomed by the Woolley family and eventually went on to become their daughter, legally, via open adoption. National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW) exists to raise awareness of adoption and the importance of permanency for children, along with providing education on the support needs of children and families. As we sat around the table, sharing a meal, we discussed the importance of NAAW, community misconceptions about foster care and adoption and how Bella’s introduction to the Woolley family has changed all of their lives. When I ask Bella, 19 years, about her experience of foster care and open adoption she responded, speaking softly but confidently.

Bella’s Christening

“My parents, Adam and Anna, loved me from the moment I was born. I was taken into care because they did not have the capacity to keep me safe and secure, but I have no doubt that they only ever wanted what was best for me. I am incredibly blessed that Mum, Dad (Mark and Anne) and Jessica opened their home to me and welcomed me as part of their family. Mum and Dad really wanted to ensure there was no barrier to me loving my natural family and because of this I am fortunate to have a close relationship with both them and my adopted family. I think it was

really important from my natural parents’ perspective to know that the Woolley family could take great care of me. “While I don’t remember my early years with them, I have always felt like I belongthey have nurtured me, loved me and provided me with opportunities I would never have otherwise experienced. What they have taught me about compassion and acceptance has set me up for life; their guidance has had a more profound influence on me than even my schooling did.” By his admission, Mark had a fortunate upbringing. He beams as he tells me about becoming a father in his early 20s, with his former partner before going on to meet Anne, with whom he had Jessica. After becoming a father, Mark felt passionate about providing youth, who perhaps did not have the same opportunities as his own children, with an extended support network. Accordingly, he and Anne joined CatholicCare’s Aunts and Uncles program and loved having the opportunity to be a listening ear, mentor and confidant to young people. When Jessica was eight years old, and after intense consideration, Mark broached Anne with the idea of becoming permanent foster carers. Committed to learning more about what is involved, Mark and Anne attended information sessions and training where they had the opportunity to talk with agency staff and experienced carers about what to expect. They knew in their heart it was something they wanted to do - but they believed it should be a family decision. Accordingly, they had an informed

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I think it was really important from my natural parents’ perspective to know that the Woolley family could take great care of me. discussion with Jessica about what it would mean for them to provide permanent care for vulnerable children and how it might change their family. Together, the three of them decided that it was something they were committed to doing as a family. “I was old enough to understand what we were doing and importantly, why we were doing it,” Jessica says of this decision. To this, Mark adds “Jess has been a really big asset, playing a role in Bella’s life that we could never have fulfilled,” with Bella chiming in “I look up to Jess so much, she is a great role model and big sister to me.” The conversation about becoming a foster family was close to 20 years ago, and during that time the Woolley’s have cared for Bella and another child, Dillon. Dillon lived with the family for eight years and at a time when he was old enough, elected to move back with his family. The Woolley’s were accepting and understanding of this decision, and still maintain contact with Dillon who is now in his 20s. Over dinner Mark and Anne describe that a lot of people have been quite curious about their experience as foster carers, often asking “how can you give a child back, after fostering for some time?” Anne’s thoughts on this are clear, “a lot of people think that once you have a child in

your home that they are “yours.” A child is not a possession. As a family we are here to provide a safe and loving home for however long is needed.” The discussion continues, and it becomes apparent that Mark, Anne and Jessica, in welcoming Bella into their lives, embraced her entire family. They laugh and smile as they recount experiences with Bella’s family and my heart swells as they show me a photo of Bella at her Christening. Bella was primary school aged and in the photo are Mark, Anne and Jessica, along with her initial carers, Mal and Elaine, her parents Adam and Anna and her grandparents. To me, this photo exemplifies what foster care and open adoption are all about. Fostering a connection with family for the child, and helping them to develop a sense of appreciation of their origin and hope for their future. After 10 years in their care, when Bella was 13, Mark and Anne approached her and asked whether she would like to be adopted. They explained to me that they had waited for this length in time, as they wanted it to be a decision that was informed by Bella’s experience. “Having Bella in our lives has enriched our family in so many ways,” Mark begins. “To us, it made no difference as to

whether we continued to ‘foster’ Bella or whether we went down the path of ‘open adoption,’ we have loved her since the moment she came into our lives and no piece of paper was ever going to change that – to us, she was part of our family regardless of her decision. We chatted with Bella about her options, and she decided it was something she wanted,” Mark said. Anne agreed, remarking a lot of discussions were had with Bella’s family to help ease any anxiety around the possibility of open adoption. “We committed to ongoing interaction with her family, they are now our family too,” Anne said. After sitting with the Woolley family for an hour, it becomes abundantly clear to me that my initial impression of them perhaps undersells their warmth and generous nature, if this is even possible. Like everyone, they may not be perfect, but their heart is in the right place. Mark and Anne went into foster care not for themselves, but to provide security for vulnerable children and now have two beautiful daughters who consequently, are all the more rich in mind and spirit for it. Elizabeth Watkin is the Stakeholder Engagement Manager for CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning.

It’s a big step, deciding you’re ready to open your heart and home to a child in need. Preparing yourself for what it takes to be a foster carer is one of the first ports of call on the personal journey carers and their families embark on. Like in Bella’s circumstance, where children can’t be restored to their birth families CatholicCare supports the NSW Government’s plans to make it easier for foster families to adopt or become guardians of children in their care. This type of security is exactly what children and young people need to thrive now, and into the future. CatholicCare is seeking carers from all walks of life including people of various ages, cultural and religious backgrounds and relationship status’ who can provide immediate, restoration, respite and permanent care for children of all ages. If you would like to learn more about restoration, foster care, guardianship and open adoption I would encourage you to attend CatholicCare’s foster care and open adoption information sessions. You can also watch a video on the Woolley family’s story in more detail on the CatholicCare website along with the stories of many of our other families.



A U R O R A C AT H O L I C D I O C E S E O F M A I T L A N D - N E W C A S T L E

Insights from the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention BY BROOKE ROBINSON

Ensuring the Church’s youth of today become its adult disciples of tomorrow was one of the most powerful messages of the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention (ACYMC) in Parramatta last month. The convention, held from 21 to 23 September, brought together 365 youth ministers from all over Australia and involved lectures, prayer, workshops, networking and friendship. The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle was represented by Sam Hill, Rebecca Piefke, Fr Camillus Nwahia, Sr Christine Ramada and myself. Bishop of Parramatta, Vincent Long OFM Conv, welcomed everyone to the convention by encouraging them to walk unfamiliar paths and become travelling companions for the young. “We want the church to be a radically inclusive community,” Bishop Long said. In discussion groups we shared stories about the often challenging realities young people face today and the gaps that exist in our ministry. Each group came overwhelmingly to the same conclusion that the greatest need exhibited by young people was a sense of community and belonging. Young people need to feel part of a community that walks with them when they face life’s tough decisions, reassuring them Jesus is real and able to walk alongside them on their journey. Fr Chris Ryan MGL spoke further on this topic, discussing the need for inclusive parishes that welcome young people into the whole life of the church - not placing them in a different group which doesn’t interact with the entire parish.

While these discussions were important, it was the final workshop of the convention that had the greatest impact on me when Diocese of Broken Bay Office for Evangelisation Director, Daniel Ang, spoke on bridging the gap between youth ministry and adult discipleship. He began by posing a question: “How quick is the church at ‘discipling’ anyone?” Ang said. “We have taken a pastoral approach that assumes the sacraments will take care of it. This neglects our duty to awaken in each person an active and personal faith.” This results in some Catholics being ‘sacramentalised’ but not ‘discipled’, he said. On this point the catechism says: “The sacred liturgy does not exhaust the entire activity of the church. It must be preceded by evangelisation, faith and conversion”. CCC1072. Jesus says in Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” A disciple is someone who knows Jesus as a friend, who speaks and listens to Jesus. If someone is never told that Jesus can be this close to them, and only experiences God as a distant presence, they won’t have their life transformed and share that experience with others.

Rebecca Piefke, Sr Christine Ramada, Fr Camillus Nwahia, Sam Hill, and Brooke Robinson.

In my early life I can’t recall anyone speaking of having a close relationship with Jesus even though I went to Mass every Sunday with my family, attended a Catholic school, and received the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation.

leaving university to become a volunteer missionary for ten years. Jesus is so real, so caring and he is able to communicate with us. As Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli said in his keynote address:

My ‘aha moment’ came when I was 15 and I went to a youth group called Antioch, where I heard Jesus being spoken of as a friend. As soon as I heard that I thought, “I want that”. That began a journey for me of building an amazing friendship with Jesus, praying and having prayers answered and later on,

We are creatures on speaking terms with God. Brooke Robinson is a Content Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Soul Food Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving. Madeleine L’Engle

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Why I chose St Nick’s BY TODD DAGWELL

When it came time recently to select a childcare centre for my hyperactive twoyear-old daughter, the question I kept coming back to was - who can I trust? As my wife and I discussed our options I struggled to get past the fact that many childcare centres were first and foremost money-making enterprises. While I’m not suggesting this means the care they offer is deficient in any way, I wanted more for my youngest child. The question of trust was nagging away and finally I recalled a comment I’d heard many times attending 13 years of Catholic schooling. “Health and Education - that is what the Catholic Church does.” This long-standing commitment to education within a Christian framework of “do unto others”, gave me confidence that St Nick’s was the right choice for my daughter. We were particularly impressed by the level of assistance St Nick’s provided with the new Child Care Subsidy. Understanding the criteria for the subsidy and ensuring all paperwork is lodged appropriately can be time consuming and stressful. St Nick’s provides informed advice from a proficient staff member tasked with resolving any issues that arise with the child care subsidy. When

St Nicholas


As my wife and I discussed our options I struggled to get past the fact that many childcare centres were first and foremost money-making enterprises.

we were unable to link St Nick’s to our MyGov account and progress the subsidy application, the staff member phoned, talked us through the steps and quickly resolved the issue. Before we enrolled her in St Nicks, Zara had been cared for exclusively by her parents and grandparents - so we were concerned it would be difficult for Zara to adapt. I needn’t have worried. Recently I picked her up and while driving home she asked repeatedly, “where’s Karen gone”? Karen is the educator with whom Zara quickly formed a close bond and she now talks about Karen often. Some of Zara’s favourite things to do at St Nick’s include: play dough, painting, craft, sandpit, singing, group reading, outdoor playtime, kitchen, dolls and trucks. Overall, our experience with St Nick’s has been both positive and productive. The speed at which Zara has settled in has been a great relief and left us assured we made the right decision.

Todd Dagwell is the Senior Content Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Karen, Todd and Zara

St Nick’s to operate centre at Raymond Terrace


Sean Scanlon, the CEO of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, has announced that the Diocese is in the process of acquiring a centre - which comprises a pre-school and an early education facility - at Kangaroo Street, Raymond Terrace.

banner from January 2019.”

At the time of Aurora going to press, Mr Scanlon said he was hoping to finalise the transfer of the centre before the end of October.

“We have also reached agreement with Michelle Curtin from Williamtown Preschool to extend the lease of the pre-school by 10 months,” he said.

“Our aim is to ensure childcare services now on offer will continue to be available to RAAF families at Williamtown and to other families in the Port Stephens area,” he said.

“Our aim is to enable RAAF families – who are now using the childcare services at Raymond Terrace – to continue to enjoy childcare services once the facility is open in January 2019,” Mr Scanlon said.

“We will do this by operating the centre under the St Nicholas Early Education

The Diocese is in discussion with the RAAF at Williamtown and Mission Australia to transition children currently enrolled at the childcare centre across to what will become St Nicholas Raymond Terrace in January 2019.

St Nicholas Early Education is already

taking applications for the Raymond Terrace centre ahead of the January opening.

“The Catholic Development Fund will provide the funding for these new early education centres.”

This will bring to six the number of early education centres that St Nicholas is operating in the Hunter Region. The other five are located at Cardiff, Lochinvar, Singleton, Newcastle West and Chisholm.

Among those to be opened in the next two years in the Port Stephens area will be one at Medowie where the Diocese is aiming to build a new school – the Catherine McAuley Catholic College – to be opened in 2020.

The Diocese is planning to expand the total number of centres under the St Nicholas brand to 20 within five years. In just over six months since March, it has opened three new centres – Cardiff, Chisholm and Lochinvar.

The $26 million development application for this new school – which comprises the college, a primary school and a new St Nicholas early education centre – has been submitted to Port Stephens Council.

“We plan to open six more in the next two years at an estimated cost of around $15 million,” Mr Scanlon said.

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



A U R O R A C AT H O L I C D I O C E S E O F M A I T L A N D - N E W C A S T L E

How to remain strong? I feel almost at breaking point. I have put up with so much in my life and I constantly seem to experience one bad event followed by another. How can I remain the strong person I thought I was?

It is a great that you can identify yourself with strength. This indicates that you have worked hard to be resilient with challenges that you have faced. CatholicCare’s Assistant Director and registered psychologist Tanya Russell, addresses an issue each month. 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.


Resilience is the ability to adjust to your circumstances and move forward after challenging life experiences; and resilience is a strong factor in living a fulfilling and happy life. Building resilience requires flexibility in thinking and acting. Accepting changes in life can be really challenging but recognising that change also creates opportunities will enhance your resilience. I see many people who believe that they have reached the “worst” low of their life and don’t know where to turn. Although they cannot change the past, they invariably learn new skills to help them cope and strengthen them for future challenges. Hence, the opportunity for improved mental and physical health can arise, despite challenging circumstances. Sometimes it is not possible to completely solve a dilemma but take small steps and set achievable goals so that you are able to clearly see the progress you have made at each stage. Try not to measure success with the end goal in mind as that can be overwhelming and deflating. Where problem solving is no longer an option, find ways to nurture yourself emotionally and physically. Set

time aside for activities that you find pleasant and relaxing and ensure you maintain a healthy sleeping pattern. If your self-esteem takes a battering due to negative life experiences, look for ways to build your sense of purpose and achievement. Focus your energy and effort into positive activities that also make you feel valued. You could join a community or physical fitness group, volunteer for a charity or school, undertake short courses or even join or form a book club (if reading is your thing). Also take some time to look at what you would personally like to achieve in your life in relation to your physical and mental health, employment, personal development, finances, leisure, spirituality... the list is endless. Is there one thing you could do that would take you a step closer to your goals in life? Think about steps you could take within 24 hours, within 1 week, within 1 month and within 3 months. Focus on one thing at a time and you will soon start to notice a more positive outlook. One of the most vital aspects of healthy resilience is having strong human connections. Do you have someone you can confide in? If not, don’t keep your worries to yourself. Reach out to family, friends and neighbours. But if any of these people are the source of your

If your self-esteem takes a battering due to negative life experiences, look for ways to build your sense of purpose and achievement. worries, engage with people outside of your immediate network. You may find some wonderful, caring people in any potential group you consider joining, as mentioned above. Friends and family can be a great source of support. If you are not sure where to start, remember you can always seek counselling support, to help steer you in the direction you would like to go. Stay hopeful because our circumstances are always changing. As long as you have hope, you have motivation to make choices that have the potential for a more valued life. This does not mean that you won’t experience negative life events, but it does mean that you can see the situation for what it is, assess what you can and can’t control and make the best of that situation.

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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Kailani Craine never gives up




Kailani Craine needs little or no introduction to ice-skating fans. In her short but spectacular career to date, she has won six senior international medals including a gold at the 2017 Nebelhorn Trophy which is held in Germany each year.

She has won four Australian national championships and is the reigning Australian national champion. In her younger years, she won nationals in the lower levels (novice and junior levels), so she now has a total of 11 national championship titles. She also took part in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. What have you been up to since taking part in the Winter Olympics? Straight after the Olympics I prepared and competed at the World Championships in Milan Italy. I love Italy and I especially love Milan and Lake Como. It was fun to be back in Italy. At the end of March, I was back at my home base in Los Angeles training for Autumn Classic - a competition in Ontario, Canada. I finished in fourth place. So what is on the radar for you from a skating point of view in the short-term, medium-term and longterm? Short-term: I have competitions in three weeks’ time in Riga Latvia, and Insbrook Austria. I’ll also prepare myself to defend my national title at the Australian Figure Skating Championships in December. Medium-term: I aim to increase my world ranking, take Four Continents Championships in Feb at Anaheim California, USA (which is convenient for me as it is only a 30-minute drive from my Manhattan Beach home) and compete in the World Championships in Japan in March 2019. Long-term: I am on the road to Beijing! I would love to represent Australia again at the Beijing Olympic Games. I feel I am in top shape, and I can achieve this goal. Which Catholic schools did you attend? I attended St James Primary School, Kotara South, St Pius X High School, Adamstown, and St Francis Xavier College, Hamilton, finishing my HSC with an atar. Why did you (or your parents) choose Catholic schools for you? My dad and his siblings went to St James Primary school. When I enrolled at St James Primary School it was amazing to find out that a few teachers that had taught my Dad, were now going to teach me too. Again, my Dad went to St Pius X High school, where I went, and there were teachers that were teaching me that had taught my Dad. The teachers still remember my dad too, which is pretty cool in itself. What do you consider to be the main benefits of your Catholic education?

The main benefit of my Catholic education is learning traditional values. I was taught values and it has affected the way I conduct my life. I am extremely grateful and blessed to have this education. I love seeing monuments of things that we talked about in school. I travel a lot, so I see a lot of countries and go a lot of places where people wouldn’t go normally. I used to collect different countries flags and bring them home to my teachers at St Pius. What does success mean for you? Success for me is being happy and having happy healthy family and friends. One article says your success is the result of a hefty dose of talent, skill and hard work. What other factors have played a part in you achieving the successes you have? Do you attribute this to things such as the values you were taught as a student, or your faith or the support of your family? I attribute my success so far as a reward for my hard work, my commitment to work ethic and the support I receive around me - not just in my sport but to all areas of my life. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to live my life the way he has intended, and with hard work, I hope to achieve and find a way to help others. I am very blessed that I was given a proper education and received unlimited support from everyone around me, including the teachers and staff, which provided strong foundations for me to achieve my dreams. Skating, like any professional sport, has its highs and lows. How has your Catholic education helped you deal with these highs and lows? Great question. I have had plenty of highs and lows. I was in Year 5 at St James Primary school when I won my first national title in Primary Ladies division. I remember, as it was my first title, the feeling of standing on the podium receiving my medal and flowers. Fast forward to World Championships Helsinki 2017. The top 22 ladies were given a ticket to the Olympic Games. I skated well in the short program, but when the final came I crumbled and made mistakes I wouldn’t normally make. I let the event and outcome prevent me from doing my job. I was devastated to not finish in the top 22, and knew I then had to go to the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany to fight for the last 8 places. It was a low day for me, and I counted on my family and faith to pull me through that day. I bounced back, had a little faith and continued training. I went to Nebelhorn and won the competition and my ticket into the Olympics. After growing through the experiences just mentioned, by the time I arrived at the Olympics I had

My advice is NEVER GIVE UP. Never. Not even an option. Even on the bad days. Today you have the chance to become better than you were yesterday. learned to control my feelings. I realised that anything can happen and anything can go wrong, but if I relax and have a little faith in myself, I actually skate better. What advice would you give to a student who, like you, had dreams of being a success in a chosen field of endeavour? I always write my dreams down, because once they are on paper they become goals, then it becomes a plan. My advice is NEVER GIVE UP. Never. Not even an option. Even on the bad days. Today you have the chance to become better than you were yesterday.

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



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New Benedict Building opened at St Bede’s


St Bede’s and the patron saints St Bede’s Catholic College is proud to have celebrated the opening of our first building in this new Catholic co-educational high school. This modern open planned building will be the first of four interconnected buildings that will be built over the next few years as the College grows from our current Year 7 student population of 120 to over a 1,000 Year 7 – 12 students in 2023. The four buildings will each be named after founders of religious orders who have had a marked impact on the religious history and life in our local area. These four founders are the patron saints of our student houses: Benedict, Dominic, Marion, and McAuley. The house key values will drive what we do as a College, with each being uniquely associated with these founders. Our first building will be named Benedict after St Benedict: the founder of the Benedictine order, with courage being the key value. The second which is due to open at the start of 2021 will be called the Dominic Building, named after St Dominic: the founder of the Dominican sisters, with knowledge being the key value. The third building which is due to open at the start of 2022 will be called the McAuley Building named after Catherine McAuley: the founder of the Sisters of Mercy that began teaching in the Hunter region in 1875, with community being the key value. The fourth and final building which is due to open at the start of 2023 will be called the Marian Building: named after Marcellin Champagnat - the founder of the Marist Brothers who began teaching in Maitland in 1898, with faith being the key value. By John Murphy the Principal of St Bede’s Catholic College

A cutting-edge building - officially opened late last month at St Bede’s Catholic College, Chisholm - has been designed with the changing pedagogy of teaching and learning in mind and with the aim of helping students succeed when they one day seek to join the ranks of those in employment. Photograph courtesy of North Construction & Building

The new building was officially opened by Bishop Bill Wright, Gerard Mowbray, the Acting Director for the Catholic Schools Office and John Murphy the School Principal. The Benedict Building, which will cater for up to 420 students, is the first of four buildings to be completed over the next few years as St Bede’s progresses towards becoming a Year 7 – 12 Catholic co-educational school by 2023. Another three buildings are scheduled for completion between 2020 and 2022. This will allow the school – the first secondary high school to be opened in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle since St Paul’s Booragul in 1984 - to accommodate up to 1,200 students. Elizabeth Brown, Director of SHAC Architects, has worked on the St Bede’s design project for the past four years. She said what was remarkable about the new campus was its complete immersion in providing modern learning spaces, in

The building’s flexible spaces would allow students to work in collaboration zones with the use of furniture and technology to dictate the type of teaching and learning to take place within each area.

lieu of the traditional teaching and learning classroom spaces. “The Catholic Schools Office directive for the design was around the changing teaching pedagogy which is currently being seen across the country, in both public and private education,” she said. “This changing pedagogy is also known as Future-Focused teaching and learning.” Gerard Mowbray, Acting Director for the Catholic Schools Office, said education was now about creating flexible spaces in which students could work creatively and in a team to solve complex problems. “In the past it was impossible to change the structure of the classroom,” Mr Mowbray said. “But the Benedict Building has been designed to be agile, flexible and adaptive in order to accommodate any significant changes to teaching methods as the years go by.” According to Gerard Mowbray, one of the most important elements of the design was the linking of the natural environment with the man-made structure and adapting the furniture accordingly. “The idea is to connect the indoor and outdoor teaching areas and create a range of different learning spaces.” Elizabeth Brown said the building’s flexible spaces would allow students to work in collaboration zones with the use of furniture and technology to dictate the type of teaching and learning to take place within each area. “This building is exciting because it is only the first of four stages of works onsite, which we will continue to emphasise the

cutting-edge of pedagogy being delivered onsite. The following buildings will provide more specialised teaching spaces, with an internalised circulation spine, known as the Peregrine Trail, which can also be utilised as function teaching spaces. We are thrilled to have been involved in this project, which has had the teaching and education focus, at its heart from the outset.” Elizabeth said. The need for a new secondary school at Chisholm was identified by the 2014 Study into the Provision of Secondary Education by the Catholic Schools Office in response to rapid population growth in the Maitland Local Government Area. “New secondary schools are a relative rarity but we are currently going through a significant phase of development in response to a growing school-based population,” Mr Mowbray said. Interestingly enough, research shows that those educated at a Catholic secondary school are more likely to be employed five years after leaving school than students from other secondary schools. Longitudinal data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which looked at students in Year 11 or Year 12 in 2011 and then tracked what these students were doing in 2016, showed that 76.7 per cent of former Catholic school students were in a job compared with 68.5 per cent for public schools and 71.9 per cent for non-Catholic private schools.

Todd Dagwell is the Senior Content Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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Who is Teaching With Miss M? A leading local education influencer - Teaching With Miss M - who is also a teacher in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, shares a range of information about educational resources, classroom décor, affordable teacher outfits and the everyday moments of teaching life on her rapidly-growing Instagram page @ teachingwithmissm.

Inspired by the accounts of other teachers, Miss M started her page during the 2016 Christmas school holidays to share her ideas for activities and other fun things to do in the classroom. Since then she has amassed an international following. “My following grew quite quickly and I had 2000 followers by April 2016; after a year I had 5000,” said Miss M. “My followers are mainly from Australia but I also have followers internationally in places such as the UK, Canada, USA and South Africa.” Since starting her page, Miss M has found it allows her to connect with other educators from across the diocese. “It’s always lovely to hear someone say that they like my work and I’ve also communicated with people who I wouldn’t have otherwise and even connected with teachers in our diocese who I hadn’t met previously. “I can be quiet at times and this gives me an outlet to share my ideas without putting myself in the spotlight. I find at times that Miss M is wiser than me and that I even could use some of the advice shared on the page.” For others thinking about taking a step into the online world, Miss M has a few tips and tricks for growing an audience.


successful than photos alone – she wasn’t wrong. Some of my most popular posts have been quotes or anecdotes about #teacherlife. But it’s also really important to keep it professional and not overshare. My tip is, if it’s something you wouldn’t tell a parent or colleague don’t put it on a public account,” Miss M said. “Value your privacy; I am a big believer in cyber safety and I am protective of my privacy. I never share my name, school, my students or their uniform. My advice to someone starting a page is to consider if they really want to sacrifice their privacy for Instagram.” Miss M is looking forward to being able to create more resources to share with her followers and maybe even start a blog. “I have written a few blog posts in the past and if I find something inspiring to write about, I may write more,” Miss M said. “I will probably create more Teachers Pay Teachers products and I would like to continue making more Catholic themed resources too. “It’s been really heart-warming to discover that teachers in our diocese have my prayer posters in their sacred space.”

“Be relatable but keep it professional; a friend who works in the media told me that photos with writing are more

Finding our “Compass” The 57 schools in the Diocese, in partnership with the Catholic Education Network, are busily implementing a new student information system called Compass. The comprehensive new system, part of the Catholic Schools Office’s commitment to the renewal of ICT systems, offers a range of services for students, staff and parents that will improve communication and information


delivery between families and the school. It will also ensure teachers have a common platform to use across the Diocese. The project began in 2012 with a business architecture team comprising of representatives from 16 dioceses to investigate the market for a product that met the needs of our organisation. That initial investigation has turned into a full-scale implementation of Compass,

Photo: Amber Kelly, Alex Madden, Elizabeth Stokes, Isabel Gaminde and Ryan Goodhew

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

which started in July 2017. A pilot at St Clare’s High School, Taree saw it become the first to launch Compass in July 2017. The successful launch was thanks to the efforts of a fantastic school implementation team led by Assistant Principal, Phil Gibney and assisted by Clerical Administrator, Anne Havard. St Clare’s was soon followed by three other pilots – at St Patrick’s Primary School, Lochinvar; St Michael’s Primary School, Nelson Bay and St Joseph’s College, Lochinvar. To date, 40 schools have launched Compass and the aim is to have 50 schools using the system by December 2018. This rapid rollout of the software is aimed at meeting the administrative and communication needs of the schools. The speed of the rollout is also the result of the many school implementation teams whose members have worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth transition from their previous systems. More than 10,000 parents across all our

More than 10,000 parents across all out schools have already accessed Compass to view key information. schools already access Compass to view key information such as attendance records and academic reports of their children, parent-teacher conference bookings and the school calendar. The Compass project is now moving into its next phase with the inclusion of the finance component taking shape. This is being led by Project Manager for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Andrew Swadling and the MaitlandNewcastle Student Information System (MNSIS) team.

Elizabeth Stokes is an Education Officer for the Catholic Schools Office



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Gifted Education makes its mark in the Diocese


In 2016, the Catholic Schools Office acknowledged the need to review its policies around gifted education to help high-ability students to reach their full potential.

Central Cluster Kotara South St James’ Primary School Lambton St John’s Primary School Merewether Beach Holy Family Primary School Merewether St Joseph’s Primary School New Lambton St Therese’s Primary School Adamstown St Pius X High School Adamstown St Columba’s Primary School

Manning Forster Holy Name Primary School Taree St Clare’s High School

North Cluster Mayfield St Columban’s Primary School Waratah Corpus Christi Primary School Mayfield San Clemente High School Nelson Bay St Michael’s Primary School

Lochinvar Cluster Lochinvar St Joseph’s College Lochinvar St Patrick’s Primary School Branxton Rosary Park Primary School

All Saints Cluster East Maitland St Joseph’s Primary School Maitland St John The Baptist Primary School Maitland All Saints’ College, St Mary’s Campus Maitland All Saints’ College, St Peter’s Campus

The CSO Gifted Education K-12 Policy (2017) and Gifted Education K-12 Procedure were created to assist schools in providing appropriate learning opportunities for students identified as gifted. Rolling out the Gifted Education initiative last year, the implementation of the 2017 Gifted Education K-12 Policy and Procedure documents began in conjunction with the cluster program. This program consists of primary and secondary schools in the Diocese that work together in clusters to strengthen the opportunity for gifted students to succeed and excel in their learning throughout their schooling. These schools are known as Gifted Education Lead Schools (GELS). GELS are schools that have identified Gifted Education as a part of their school improvement plan and demonstrated a motivation, willingness and commitment to implementing Gifted Education across the curriculum. “We have a Kindergarten to Year 12 approach,” said Sally Brock, CSO Education Officer for Gifted Education. “If a student comes into kindergarten and is identified as gifted then we now have a whole and integrated pathway with information shared between schools, strengthening the transition processes from kindergarten to Year 12.” The GELS are committed to establishing a school and cluster committee; identifying gifted students; developing an action research; collaborating within the school and across the cluster; and participating in professional learning and development to create a change in culture and improve outcomes for students. “We started with 15 schools across the Diocese and we added five more last term – three more schools are coming on board in term four and we are identifying schools for next year,” said Sally. “I think our structure is innovative and will prove to be effective.” This cluster process helps to strengthen the links

Another major aspect of the new Gifted Education Policy is the implementation of the Virtual Academy. between the high schools and their associated feeder primary schools and encourages a stronger and smoother transition for students from Year 6 to Year 7. There are currently 20 schools involved in the program, with seven in the Central Cluster, two in the Manning Cluster, four in the North Cluster, three in the Lochinvar Cluster and four in the All Saints Cluster. The aim is to have all schools involved in the cluster structure within the next few years. Another major aspect of the new Gifted Education Policy is the implementation of the Virtual Academy. There are currently 35 students in Years 5, 6 and 7 from 11 schools across the Diocese taking part in the Virtual Academy, which provides gifted students with units of work that go beyond what is provided in a regular classroom. “There are differentiated tasks in the classroom and then the Virtual Academy is on another level,” explained Sally. “The Virtual Academy really challenges students, linking work to real-world problem solving and across different subject areas, which gives them lots of choices for their areas of interest and passion.” The Virtual Academy is a flexible online platform that can be accessed 24-hours-a-day. Participating students from Years 5, 6 and 7 complete Virtual Academy research and activities instead of some of their regular class work. Students from Year 8 are expected to join the program next year. Amy Theodore is a Marketing Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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The young Church: bearing fruit that lasts


Wisdom in the Square

It is important to acknowledge that the young people in our care are already being formed by this culture of sacramental routine, marked by gentle decline.


God calls on the Church to work towards the transformation of the world to reflect more of God’s Kingdom. This Kingdom comes about when people encounter Jesus, surrender, and make the decision to follow him by becoming his disciple. The disciple is then required to go out and transform the world. However, in this Kingdom mission and the work of making and forming disciples, we are challenged by the realities of declining participation in many communities of faith.

can take a pastoral approach that assumes the sacraments will simply ‘take care of it’. We have neglected our duty to awaken in each person that active and personal faith, that fertile soil, in which the grace of the sacraments can take root and bear fruit.

Many people, young and old, continue to disengage from ecclesial life and we acknowledge the confronting reality that in the current climate some will question if the Church has anything worthwhile to say. Another challenge presents itself in our parishes. If we measured how many of the hundreds who received the sacraments in our local parishes each year, or attended Mass week to week, actually emerged on the other side as missionary disciples, we would find something is amiss. Where is the fruit?

To make the point, “baptisms, confessions, weddings, funerals, daily devotions, anointing, and adoration. It’s all good stuff, it’s how some Catholics grow spiritually. For others, it’s what they do instead of grow . . . For certain, the sacraments give us grace to put us in the right relationship with God and his life in our soul, nourishing and strengthening us for our discipleship walk. But they’re not meant to replace it’”.1 This is not to discount the centrality of the sacraments or to deny the place that devotions have in the Catholic life. However, it is to say that people can be ‘sacramentalised’ without being evangelised. It is entirely possible to undertake a routine of religious custom without a personal and responsive relationship to Jesus Christ.

The reasons for our gradual decline have become clearer over time. At its heart, we have a discipleship dilemma. When it comes to a personal and active relationship with Jesus, our communities

In this Year of Youth, we are challenged to name and then meet the situation of young people in our Church. Children and youth who have no explicit personal attachment to Jesus are likely to grow up

Many people, young and old, continue to disengage from ecclesial life and we acknowledge the confronting reality that in the current climate some will question if the Church has anything worthwhile to say.

to be adults with no personal attachment to Jesus, unless that relationship is introduced into their life through a process of evangelisation.

the young. We desperately need adult or older mentors in the lives of young people for experience is a rough teacher, it costs precious time and leaves regret.

Jesus himself gives us this Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19). We are to make disciples and then baptise, for the mission of the Church is not sacraments but disciples which the sacraments nourish.

All of us can bring something of our imperfect selves and the treasure of our life and experience of the world to young people who are shaping the Church by their questions, witness and hope. Having adult mentors and witnesses in the midst of youth ministry, and a variety of adults, is essential if talk of discipleship and the Church is going to be meaningful in real-life ways.

It is important to acknowledge that the young people in our care are already being formed by this culture of sacramental routine, marked by gentle decline.

As it has been said, “our faith is ever one generation away from its silence if it is not passed on”. By our renewed dedication to young people in our midst as: agents of change, inspiration and innovators, and learners and teachers, we can together promote God’s Kingdom, making and forming disciples who “bear fruit that will last” (John 15:16).

Through many of their eyes, church attendance doesn’t seem to make a great difference to people’s lives. When present they may hear a little about the Church, its history, or even morality, but they may not hear much about the life of Jesus himself which is present to us now in the Holy Spirit. Indeed, they may never have witnessed an adult actually speak about how Jesus has changed their life or heard conversations among adults about Jesus. They may witness very little outreach to those outside the community, despite the fact that the future of our parishes depends on those who currently don’t believe. As a Church we all have a role to play in the evangelisation and mission of

This is an abridged version of a workshop given at the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention held in the Diocese of Parramatta from 21-23 September 2018. Fr Michael White and Tom Corcoran, Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, Making Church Matter (Ave Maria Press: Notre Dame, Indiana, 2013), 77. 1

Daniel Ang is the Office for Evangelisation Director, Diocese of Broken Bay.



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Three simple ways to save BY CATHOLIC SUPER

Keeping more of your money in your pocket helps support independent living. While there is a lot of value in creating a budget and planning for your finances, sometimes small actions can have a big impact on how far you can stretch your dollar. We asked our financial adviser Boris Tesanovic to recommend ways that everyday Aussies can hold onto more of their hard-earned savings. He says that one of the ways is to put your expenses into two different categories: essential expenses (ones that are fixed and not likely to change, like your electricity bill) and discretionary (things that we want but could live without). “If you can save 5% on your discretionary expenses like lunches and coffee, that can add up to a significant amount without compromising your lifestyle.”

A limited income doesn’t mean you have to live a limited life

 Check your rates You may have set up your gas and electricity contract years ago and not given it much thought (aside from when the bill is due). Now there might be a better deal available. “One of the first things we look at is

where your money goes,” Mr Tesanovic said. “It’s important that you’re getting good value, especially for the essentials.”

 Review what you need It is important to know what you actually need to ensure that you’re not paying more for something you’ll never use. Do you need international calling or heaps of data on your mobile phone plan? If not, there might be a better deal available.

 Put together a plan When you’re on a fixed income, you need to balance your income and expenses. A budget can help you identify necessities and be realistic about what you can – and can’t – afford. Making a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrifice, it’s just about being smarter with your spending to help you live the kind of life you want in retirement. “A plan is one of the most powerful tools available to pensioners,” Mr Tesanovic said. “A limited income doesn’t mean you have to live a limited life.” You don’t have to go it alone. We’re here to help.

We have seminars coming up in your area! Let us answer your questions about super and your future. Register now to reserve your seat at

Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Port Macquarie, Sydney, Townsville

PO Box 656 Burwood, NSW 1805



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Nominations open for the Mary Magdalene Award 2019 BY JESSICA WARD

The Council for Australian Catholic Women contact group in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle is seeking nominations for the Magdalene Award.

Who is St Mary Magdalene? Mary Magdalene was the first to experience the Risen Christ and is the first Christian missionary, ‘the apostle to the apostles’. She represents courage, leadership, fidelity and strength. How to make a nomination

The winner will be announced as part of celebrations surrounding International Women’s Day 2019. All those nominated will be recognised and the successful nominee will receive the award at the Magdalene Award presentation at Cathedral House. The presentation will follow Mass which will be led by Bishop Bill Wright at the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

The award is seen as a public affirmation of a life lived in a way that mirrors and pays homage to the spirit of Mary Magdalene. Last year’s recipient of the Magdalene Award, Claire McWilliam, said: “I don’t do the things I do to be recognised but it was an honour to receive this award in front of other inspiring women from the Diocese. With grace, compassion and a peaceful nature, we all have the abilities

and opportunities to support each other and our church.” Claire’s contributions span liturgy, participation in Australian Catholic youth festivals, Caritas, ministry to young people, Catholic Mission and more.

Jessica Ward is a Digital Officer in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Nominations can be made by any member of the diocesan community with permission of the nominee. Each nominee will:  be an active member of her parish community  have made a positive contribution with the parish and/or Diocese in the area of decision-making and leadership and/or pastoral ministry  be 18 years old or over and;  not be an employee of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Women may be nominated in more than one year. The nominator must clearly address the criteria within the nomination form. The nominee must sight and endorse the supporting information. All nominations must be submitted by 30 November 2018. For more information, go to

Bishop Bill and Claire McWilliam at the Magdalene Award Presentation in March 2018

Saint Mary MacKillop book giveaway The book One Door Closes Another Opens: Mary MacKillop in New South Wales 1880-1909 was written by Bernadette O’Sullivan rsj, to give a glimpse of the vision and work of the woman we now proclaim as Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop. Extract from Chapter Three:

Aurora has two copies of One Door Closes Another Opens to give away. To enter the draw, simply answer a short survey about Aurora online at or post your answers to the questions below to Aurora, PO Box 780, Newcastle 2300 NSW. Entries close 20 November.

After a good night started with Sister M Collette in a nice buggy drawn by Jack, Mr Hanrahan’s servant- visited a number of places- and begged a lot of fowls and geese to bring home with me for Xmas. Jack quite enthusiastic and doing a good part of the begging. Great fun on getting back to the convent when Sister M Gabrielle came to take a bundle from me, and first hearing a hiss, found her sleeve pulled by something which turned out to be a goose and which she nearly let fall in her terror. (Mary MacKillop’s Diary 20 December 1884)

2. Have you any suggestions about this new design?

Bernadette O’Sullivan sj, ATF Press Publishing 2018

5. Do you have any other feedback about Aurora?

Questions: 1. What do you think of the new design of Aurora?

3. What topics do you enjoy reading about in Aurora? 4. What new topics would you like to see covered in the future?



Living the Change

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Individuals are invited to commit to making changes in those areas of their life that will have the best impact on the environment.

The local launch of Living the Change at Adamstown

Recently, people have begun saying that we are not so much facing climate change as climate destruction. Yes, the words are alarming but they echo the UN’s recent IPCC report that said “rapid and far-reaching” actions are needed to prevent dangerous global warming.1 Our response could be resignation and despair or personal action and righteous anger. The latter approach is being taken by the Living the Change campaign. Living the Change is global multi-faith campaign built on the recognition that all faiths hold that:

ffthe Earth is a sacred gift; and ffeach of us has the responsibility to live in a way that supports and sustains our common home. While still advocating for strong government policies, the campaign also recognises that individuals need to adopt environmentally sustainable lifestyles. Individuals are invited to commit to making changes in those areas of their life that will have the best impact on the environment. The Living The Change website contains useful information – as well as a place where you can add your

commitment to those of other people of faith: the_change The local launch of Living the Change took place on 14 October 2018 at Adamstown Uniting Church. About 45 people attended the event at which they also watched a New Zealand documentary which is coincidentally called Living the Change. The documentary, which can be purchased online, tells the story of several people/families who are living in harmony with the rest of nature. The documentary begins by pointing out

What can we do? There are indeed sacrifices, but there are many co-benefits that come with simpler lifestyles. Just as following Jesus brings fullness of life, moving towards plantbased diets and walking and cycling bring health benefits. It is also important to remember using public transport and reducing air travel slows down the frenetic pace of life; more energy efficiency and renewable energy means less pollution; and congruence with personal values enhances self-worth. So which changes will be of most benefit to protecting the climate? For many, the imagination seems to leap to recycling, switching off lights or replacing lights with

the error of the philosophy that endless economic growth is both possible and desirable. The more hopeful alternative is to see ourselves as interconnected with the rest of creation. From this perspective, our own wellbeing is only possible when we are bringing life, not destruction, to the rest of creation. events/pr_181008_P48_spm.shtml <accessed 15 Oct 2018> 1

Lawrie Hallinan is a parishioner at Tighes Hill


LED’s. However, replacing incandescent bulbs with LED’s save around 470 kg Co2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) in a year while a 2kW solar array avoids around 2,600 kg of C02e. The most impactful step for the average household, however, is to switch to GreenPower, which would avoid around 5,900 kg of CO2e p.a. Probably the most impactful actions an individual can take are to avoid long-haul flights (Melbourne to London return causes around 6,000 kg CO2e) and do without a car (around 1,800 kg CO2e). It may also surprise some readers that

reducing meat consumption has significant environmental benefits. For anyone consuming around the Australian national average of meat, to halve this would bring a saving of around 470 kg CO2e p.a. We are Living the Change, and we invite all people of goodwill to join us. If anyone would like to make a commitment, please go to https:// Thea Ormerod is President, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

W W W. M N N E W S . T O D AY / A U R O R A - M A G A Z I N E



How our Diocese makes a home


The Australian Bishops’ Social Justice Statement was launched in Newcastle by Bishop Bill on Friday 28 September. This year’s statement is titled: A Place To Call Home: Making A Home For Everyone In Our Land. The statement raises awareness of the crisis Australia is facing in the area of homelessness and the lack of affordable housing. According to the Commonwealth of Australia’s 2017-18 Budget, Australia needs more than 270,000 additional affordable houses for low-income families. The Australian Parliament recognises housing as a human right and the Australian Human Rights Commission states, “every person has the right to an adequate standard of living, which includes the right to adequate housing” (ICESCR, article 11).

Accommodation is provided at the hostel for three months for men in need. During that time, the men see a support worker every day to help them reconnect with the community and find long term housing.

To launch the statement, local Catholic organisations who work together to combat homelessness gathered at Matthew Talbot Hostel in Wickham. Manager of Matthew Talbot Hostel, Karen Soper, spoke about the specialised homeless service they provide. “We operate from a ‘housing first’ model,” she said. “Our aim is to break the cycle of homelessness.” Accommodation is provided at the hostel for three months for men in need. During that time, the men see a support worker every day to help them reconnect with the community and find long term housing. Matthew Talbot is the only men’s service in Newcastle and the only one that helps men who have children. If anyone sees a rough sleeper in Newcastle they can contact Matthew Talbot Hostel on 4961 1411 and someone will visit that person. Karen concluded by sharing the quote, “‘Do not judge my story by the chapter you walked in on. Remember, we are all three life events away from being in the same situation.” Catherine Mahoney lives in affordable housing built by the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Catherine is blind and lived at home until she was 43. “Where I would live plagued me for most of my adult life,” she said. The

Bishop Bill launches the 2018 Social Justice Statement

opportunity for her to move out and find independence would not have been possible without the help of the Diocese. Catherine had contacted the Department of Housing and was told there was an 18 year wait on affordable housing. On Catherine’s 44th birthday, she woke up to her first morning in a home of her own. “I found support through a community that was so important to me,” she said. Assistant Director of CatholicCare, Tanya Russell, spoke

Ten steps to make a home for everyone in our land 1

Reflect on the parable of the Good Samaritan.



Get the facts about homelessness and the housing crisis.



Reach out to people experiencing housing difficulties and homelessness.


Understand the bigger picture behind the housing crisis.


4 5

Make our parishes and communities welcoming places.

Visit for details.


Take action to support housing initiatives and programs. Advocate for change locally and nationwide. Help combat misunderstanding and misrepresentation. Remember: standing with those in need is central to our faith.

about the Supported Independent Living program, designed to assist those that are leaving foster care. The young people in the program are very vulnerable to homelessness and CatholicCare caseworkers help them to overcome barriers to find and maintain housing. Head of Property in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Ray Bowen, spoke about affordable housing. The Diocese has built 65 affordable housing dwellings, which are rented 20% below market rental rates. Sites have been built in Booragul, Mayfield, and Mount Hutton. Ray said “It’s wonderful to hear how access to housing has positively impacted Catherine’s life, I don’t often get to hear the stories of those impacted by our work.” “We’ve tried to make everything work without being given extra funding,” Diocesan CEO Sean Scanlon said. “We don’t get any leeway from local government, and are treated like normal developers.” Bishop Bill officially launched A Place To Call Home, reminding everyone that the bishops use their Annual Statement to address an issue of concern that impacts the whole community, not only Catholics. “I’m happy that they’ve gone with homelessness for the statement. This issue must grow in the consciousness of the whole community. It is a very important document for Australia now,” Bishop Bill said. He then encouraged all those gathered to “mention it to your relatives and friends.”

Let us pray. Brooke Robinson is a Content Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.



A U R O R A C AT H O L I C D I O C E S E O F M A I T L A N D - N E W C A S T L E

Calling all young adults A new community for young adults has begun at St Laurence O’Toole, Broadmeadow. This is an opportunity for prayer, worship, adoration, reflection on the gospel, and outreach to others. It is a collaboration between Jesus Youth (an international Catholic youth movement) and the Diocesan Council for Ministry with Young People’s Sacred@Seven. The group meets every first and third Thursday of the month at 7pm at 125 Broadmeadow Rd, Broadmeadow. For more information, contact Wayne Caruana on 0466 631 394.

Are married priests a possibility? BY TODD DAGWELL

Pope Francis has once again highlighted his progressive tendencies by permitting a discussion on the possibility of priests in remote areas being one day allowed to marry. The subject was raised in relation to the large shortage of priests in the Amazon region of South America. According to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), the ratio of Catholics to priests in the Amazon region is 10,000 to one, roughly three times the world wide ratio of Catholics to priests. According to CNA, the discussion so far has focused solely and specifically on the possibility of whether “viri probati” or “proven men” in the Amazon could one day be ordained as

priests. CNA states there is no reason to think the Pope’s comments suggest he is open to a married priesthood in a broader context.

“I would not exclude that. A celibacy debate is certainly possible – the ordination of tried and true married men, for instance.”

The discussion, however, has generated significant interest in Australia where there is already a handful of former Anglican priests who have converted to Catholicism and serve now as Catholic priests, while remaining married.

The Catholic Leader reports that Pope Francis has said that while he favoured a celibate priesthood, celibacy technically could be up for discussion since it was a discipline of the Church, not a dogma. Such comments and a shortage of priests around the world seem certain to keep the topic of married clergy on the agenda for the conceivable future.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, told the Courier Mail that the Plenary Council, to be held in Adelaide in 2020, may elect to debate the idea of allowing Catholic priests to marry.

Todd Dagwell is the Content Officer for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Term investments with the CDF offer a way to invest while also supporting the Catholic community. Earn a competitive rate of interest, while choosing the timeframes that are right for you. Choose from 3, 6 or 12 month options. For more information about our services, including our Terms and Conditions. Freecall 1800 810 330 or visit Investments with Catholic Development Fund (CDF) are guaranteed by Bishop William Wright, Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle Diocese and CDPF Limited, a company established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for this purpose. We welcome your investment with the CDF rather than with a profit oriented commercial organisation as a conscious commitment by you to support the Charitable, Religious and Educational works of the Catholic Church. The CDF is not subject to the provisions of the Corporation Act 2001 nor has it been examined or approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The CDF is also exempt from the normal requirements to have a disclosure statement or Product Disclosure Statement under the Corporations Act 2001(Cth). Neither CDF nor the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are prudentially supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Contributions to CDF do not obtain the benefit of the depositor protection provisions of the Banking Act 1959. CDF is designed for investors who wish to promote the charitable purposes of the Diocese.

W W W. M N N E W S . T O D AY / A U R O R A - M A G A Z I N E


Community Noticeboard

Community Noticeboard Mass in Morpeth Cemetery The Catholic Community of Morpeth warmly invites all family and friends who have loved ones buried in the Morpeth Catholic Cemetery to our annual Mass in the cemetery on 5 November at 6pm. Bishop of Wollongong, Brian Mascord will celebrate Mass. Please bring your own chair. In the event of rain, Mass will be held in the Morpeth Church. P 49336201 Christian Meditation - Contemplative Reading St. Benedict saw reading as one of the pillars of the good life together with Prayer and Work. Another great thinker - Hugh of St Victor saw reading as a remedy and a medicine. Join us on Saturday 10 November 9.30 am to 12.00pm in the Chapel of Newcastle Parish Centre, 25 Farquhar St, The Junction (Enter via laneway) Morning tea provided. RSVP: or 0407 436 808 Cost: $5.00 Catholic Women’s League Mass of Thanksgiving Catholic Women’s League in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle warmly invites all women in the diocese to attend their annual Mass of Thanksgiving on Wednesday 21 November at 12 pm at St John’s Chapel, Cathedral Street, Maitland. Bishop Bill will preside. Lunch will follow at The Old Maitland Inn, New England Highway, Rutherford. Cost $30.00pp. RSVP: 12 November to 0409300192

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.

Couples are advised to attend a course around four months prior to the wedding. 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. 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. For further information on all our courses please contact Robyn Donnelly P 02 4979 1370 or E Join the annual Liturgical Year Party An invitation is extended to all liturgical, sacramental, funeral and bereavement team members; parishioners and members of the assembly; school RECs, RSCs, MCs; Assistant Masters of Ceremonies; liturgical and music ministers; Family Ministry Coordinators; campus ministers; all staff of CCSS, CSO, Dio and St Nicholas and all clergy. Join Bishop Bill and the Diocesan Liturgy Council for food, music and a light-hearted version of ABC TV show You Can’t Ask That. Join the 2017-18 Liturgical Year Celebration on Friday 23 November, 5-7.30 pm in the Victor Peters Suite, 841 Hunter St Newcastle West. RSVP for catering purposes by Friday 16 November to Sharon Murphy P 4979 1134 or E sharon.murphy@

For your diary

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. If you would like to attend, please contact Colleen 0412 321 740 or Janice 49540276 St. Nicholas visits the Dutch Society ‘Concordia’ Newcastle and Hunter The Dutch community will celebrate its 61st annual Dutch Day in the park with the official arrival and celebration of St Nicholas, patron saint of children. This children’s celebration will be held 12pm on Saturday 1 December at Marmong Park, 31b George Street Marmong Point. Look for the Dutch flags. Everyone is welcome to attend, admission is free. Parents who would like their children to attend must book them in before the event takes place for catering purposes. Parents are advised to buy a small, clearly-named present for their children. For further information and to make a booking, phone the Secretary Joop de Wit on 4954 5227 or the President Toni Somerville on 4958 1552. E concordianewcastle@

November 5

Mass in Morpeth Cemetery (see opposite)


Christian Meditation (see opposite)


Bishop Bill celebrates 9.30am Mass at Cathedral for Prison Sunday.

Mater Graduate Nurses Association Reunion

Remembrance Day- 100th anniversary of the end of WWI


World Day of the Poor


World Toilet Day


Universal Children’s Day

Bishop Bill opens and blesses St Pius X High School, Adamstown’s library.


Catholic Women’s League Mass of Thanksgiving (see opposite)

Bishop Bill opens and blesses St Aloysius Primary, Chisholm’s Stage 2 facilities.


Before we say I do (see opposite)

Liturgical Year Party (see opposite)


St. Aloysius Girls High School Reunion (see opposite)


Feast of Christ the King


Bishop Bill leads prayers for deceased priests and bishops at Sandgate Cemetery.

Sacred@Seven Adoration with Bishop Bill will be held at St John’s chapel, Maitland on Wednesday 5 December at 7pm. Join us for music, gospel reflection and silent Eucharistic adoration. P 4979 1288.

December 1

St. Nicholas visits the Dutch Society ‘Concordia’ Newcastle and Hunter (see opposite)


First Sunday of Advent

Bishop Bill commissions chaplains at 9.30am Mass at the Cathedral.

For more events please visit and

Stay up to date with news from across the diocese




Last Word


A U R O R A C AT H O L I C D I O C E S E O F M A I T L A N D - N E W C A S T L E

Book Review: A Gentle Unfolding: Circling and Spiralling into Meaning BY TRACEY EDSTEIN Judith Scully had me hooked with her opening sentence: “At some point in my early teens, just when I was discovering there was more to the opposite sex than beneath-my-notice little brothers, I fell in love with God.” Judith’s memoir is indeed a love story, drawn from her gift for words and the wisdom that age brings. In this memoir, she looks back over her life − at times in anger, occasionally with a tinge of regret, but more often than not with a loving appreciation infused by deep faith. Judith entered the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at 16. “I was in love and, when you are in love, you will go wherever and whenever the loved one calls,” she said. When she left the congregation, it was not because she had fallen out of love. Instead, after 16 years, she recognised a gentle unfolding from that life and a

Chef Bartholomew Connors, Cathedral Café.

Ingredients Meatballs ff 500g pork mince ff 6 finely sliced chives

yearning for something more. The world − and the church − had changed and the transition wasn’t easy but it was fruitful. “Moving away from what had been my centre had freed me to hear God’s voice in new and different ways,” Judith said. She married Terry - and together they raised three siblings who needed a stable and caring home environment. Teaching and parish ministry also offered many challenges. Another dimension of Judith’s life shared in A Gentle Unfolding is her regular encounters with Sophia women. She describes them as: “Women who no longer feel nourished by the institutional church….without exception, all of them live with a creative openness to the needs of others… family, friends or the wider community”.

Ginger Pork Meatballs with Soba Noodles Healthy, quick & tasty with little fuss. You may have most of the ingredients already in the pantry to give this weeknight recipe a try.

ff 2 tbsps. soy sauce


ff 2 tbsps. sweet chilli sauce

Using disposable gloves, place all the meatball ingredients into a bowl and mix together.

ff 2 tsps. fresh grated ginger

Roll into small balls about 2cm wide and place onto a cling film lined tray.

ff 1 tsps. sesame oil

Place into the fridge for half an hour to cool and set.

ff Pinch of salt

Pre heat oven to 160˚C.

ff Pinch of white pepper

Roll balls in cornflour.


Heat a non-stick frypan. Add a little peanut oil and sear the meatballs to a nice brown colour (do not overcrowd pan or stew balls). Add the stock and soy and put into the oven for 5 to 8 minutes.

ff Little peanut oil ff 1 packet soba noodles ff 1 bunch broccoli ff 2 tsp sesame oil

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to packet directions, drain and coat with 2 teaspoons of sesame oil.

ff 1/2 cup of chicken stock

Steam broccoli.

ff 1/4 cup cornflour

Toss all items together and place onto a hot serving plate.

ff 1 tbsp. soy sauce

Add coriander or sliced bullseye chill if you wish.

I love the insistent femininity of the memoir’s title, A Gentle Unfolding: Circling and Spiralling into Meaning. An alternative title could have been simply Being Myself. “The older sisters who hadn’t let years of religious life squash their personalities touched into something in me that I was vaguely beginning to recognise as ‘being myself’ – without knowing exactly what that might mean,” she wrote. Judith Scully is still being herself – and the reader is richer for sharing the journey. Judith Scully A Gentle Unfolding: Circling and Spiralling into Meaning David Lovell Publishing Melbourne 2018. Please visit

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.

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