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Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle March 2019 | No.188

Long journey ends in joyous ordination Huge crowd celebrates 5

Australian pilgrims enjoy adventure of a lifetime World Youth Day Panama 2019 11

Catholic Schools Week 2019 Catholic schools across the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are opening their doors 14


Internationa l Women’s Da y Special Edit ion

3-9 march

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#C S W 201 9 M N


catholic schools week

Celebrating International Women’s Day

On the cover Diocesan women in Leadership: Lauren Hayes, Sophie Smith, Teresa Brierley, Trish Hales and Cath Garrett-Jones. Photo courtesy of Jessica Ward.

Welcome to our edition celebrating women in our Diocese and Happy International Women’s Day!

Featured f f Long journey ends in joyous ordination


f f Women in leadership


f f Catholic Schools NSW seeks funding


f f How to keep the relationship flame alive


f f Mary MacKillop Chapel grounds buckling


First Word


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

Everyone is welcome to celebrate International Women’s Day with Mass at 9.30am on 10 March at Sacred Heart Cathedral. This will be followed by the announcement of the winner of the Magdalene Award. Presented for the first time in 2018, this award was instituted by the diocesan contact group of the Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW). Its aim is to recognise a woman who is an active member of her parish community and has made a positive contribution within the Diocese to one or more of the areas of decision-making, leadership, active service and lay pastoral ministry.

represents courage, leadership, fidelity and strength. It was a privilege for us to interview female leaders in the Diocese – such as, Teresa Brierley, Trish Hales, Sophie Smith, Cath Garrett-Jones, Lauren Hayes and Tanya Russell. These women are an inspiration to those who will seek to follow in their footsteps and become leaders in the future. They are also paving the way for a greater representation of women in leadership positions.

ff World Youth Day Panama 2019


f f Clean water changes lives in Zimbabwe


f f Protecting your super balance


f f How can I assist my child to prepare for ‘big school’?”


f f Catholic Schools Week 2019


f f Jasmine Sullivan is the 2018 Diocesan Dux


f f Scholarship aims to inspire students


f f Jennifer Holland: “Today’s no is tomorrow’s yes!”


f f Strong women close to home


f f Calvary Mater cancer app


f f Closing the Gap Refresh agenda


f f Soul Food


Contact Aurora

Aurora online

f f It is a privilege to be a volunteer


Next deadline 13 March 2019

Good news! You can still catch up with

f f Pope Francis paves the way for 17 female saints


f f Faces and Places in our Diocese


Aurora editorial and advertising enquiries should be addressed to:

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. She was the first to experience the Risen Christ and is the first Christian missionary, ‘the apostle to the apostles’. She


f f My Word


f f CareTalk


f f Community Noticeboard


f f Last Word


Pope Francis says: “Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” Let’s allow ourselves to be reawakened and renewed. Perhaps accept a call to stand up against inequality in all its forms. In closing, welcome back to Bishop Bill and a heartfelt thanks to Fr Andrew Doohan who contributed columns in Bishop Bill’s absence. John Kingsley-Jones is the Head of Diocesan Communications for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.



PO Box 756 Newcastle 2300

f f First Word

There are also stories about one of our Catholic school alumni Jennifer Holland, the creator of Throat Scope; Cath McCarthy, a volunteer for DARA; and Marli Wright, the Ma and Morley Scholarship winner.

The season of Lent begins on 6 March, which is a time to reflect and prepare for Easter.

Aurora online, via www.MNnews.today.

John Kingsley-Jones P 4979 1192 E john.kingsley-jones@mn.catholic.org.au


We have a story that welcomes three women to the Pastoral Placement Program - Johanna Soo, Caitlin Wakefield and Gabrielle Heffernan. This program provides opportunities for those who feel called to work in the church and to experience the different ministries of the Diocese.

Lizzie Snedden’s story, in which she interviewed the Director of CatholicCare, Gary Christensen, highlights the Closing the Gap Refresh agenda which – to quote Gary – “should serve as a mandate for all Australians to support government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve equality.”

Subscribe E aurora@mn.catholic.org.au @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 www.MNnews.today.

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My 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

Away and Home I had better tell you all about it. When a chap has had several months leave, people might just want to know the story. So, it seems that around the start of November I had a heart attack. The blood tests performed in Singleton Hospital’s A & E found the chemical traces of it, and no-one was letting me go home after that. I think the heart attack happened on the Eve of All Hallows, a Wednesday, when I was in Sydney chairing a meeting of one of our national committees. You all know that the signs are chest pains and a shooting pain down your left arm. Forget it. I had heart flutters and aching in my lower front teeth and chin. Quite normal symptoms, apparently, and all over by the close of the meeting. Then the same things happened when I woke on Saturday morning in Singleton on ‘visitation’. I proposed going home, but Fr Peter Street, ex-nurse that he is, was having none of it, so up to A&E at the hospital, as mentioned. Later in the morning they transferred me to Maitland Hospital. Then the hunt was on to find a place for an angiogram and possible surgery, and by dint of first availability, I moved on to Newcastle Private. On the Monday night, my cardiologist performed the angiogram. He had advance approval to stick in a stent, if appropriate, but decided that things were a bit more complex and we should talk ‘options’. There was a long section of blockage to one blood vessel and another blockage at a sort of arterial Y-junction. He talked to me about stents and found a surgeon to tell me about bypass surgery. I opted for the latter, as the surer and more permanent fix. Then I had about nine days while we waited for time in surgery. Finally, the triple bypass surgery happened on the morning of 15th November. Of course, I know nothing about that, being totally anaesthetised.

Now comes the interesting bit. Many hours after the successful surgery, and still unconscious, I died. You’ve all seen it on TV: the beepers going off, the monitor flat-lining, the chest pumping, the crash wagon arriving, ‘stand clear’, etc. I knew nothing about it at the time. When they finally allowed me to wake up the next day, the resident and later my surgeon told me that I had arrested and been revived. What I heard was, ‘These things sometimes happen after that sort of surgery, it’s not uncommon’. So I took it all very calmly, at least while I was still in ICU. When I went back to a normal ward, however, I ran into nurses and wardsmen who said things like ‘Oh, you’re THAT guy’ or ‘I wasn’t there, but I heard all about it’. The topper was ‘No, it’s not unusual; it’s just unusual that they got you back!’. Anyway, I’d missed all the excitement and, as I was feeling pretty good, all things considered, the story still didn’t bother me. It was just an episode by then happily concluded. My recovery was unusually quick and easy. There were a couple of occasions in ICU when my heart rate suddenly shot through the roof. There’s no real explanation for this but, on the positive side, I was all wired up at the time and my ECG showed that my heart had dealt with the strain very well, confirming earlier x-rays that had shown that it had not been damaged by any heat attack I may have had. I was out of ICU at least on schedule, out of the ward a few days early and out of rehab, by common consent, when it was obvious that I was restlessly wandering around the grounds all day anyway. Having demonstrated that I’d cope with the 26 stairs to my room in Bishop’s House, I was gone. My surgeon and my cardiologist both saw me before Christmas, the first declaring that he didn’t need to see me again, the latter wanting me back ‘in a few months’.

When I first decided on bypass surgery, all my appointments were cancelled up to the Ordinations of Frs John Lovell and Anthony Coloma on 16 February. During that long break I have basically been doing nothing, and I have become very good at it. I am fortunate that I can confidently leave things to the senior officials of the Diocese, and especially grateful to the Vicar-General, Fr Andrew Doohan, who, of course, was doing my job as well as his own. I am also thankful

for all the assurances of prayers from the clergy and people of the Diocese. As you have just read, they worked. And now I must work, too.

Bishop Bill Wright Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

Frankly Spoken We cannot honour the Creator without cherishing the sacredness of every person and of every human life: each person is equally precious in the eyes of God, who does not look upon the human family with a preferential gaze that excludes, but with a benevolent gaze that includes. Pope Francis Interreligious Meeting Address, Abu Dhabi UAE, 4 February 2019

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Long journey ends in joyous ordination ceremony in front of packed audience


Fr Anthony Coloma is finally at peace. After a 37-year wait the 42-year-old Filipino was ordained, alongside Fr John Lovell, at a packed ceremony on 16 February at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton. It was the first dual ordination in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in 15 years and possibly the first to be concelebrated by two bishops – Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright and Bishop of Wollongong, Brian Mascord. “I’ve been telling my mother since I was five-years-old that I wanted to be a priest,” Fr Anthony said. “Leading people in liturgy and providing the space for people to encounter God is what I’ve always wanted to do in my life.” Over 300 people and up to 30 retired and active members of the clergy, some of whom flew in from the Philippines, attended the ordination. A faith-filled atmosphere of joy was apparent in the church and the congregation broke into spontaneous applause often in recognition of the achievements of the two men. Fr Anthony’s journey to the priesthood had been prolonged and challenging

but he refused to give up on his dream. “I had some problems with a bishop in the Philippines and was not being progressed,” Fr Coloma said. “When I attempted to continue my training in Singapore or Hong Kong, this bishop would not support me and my journey stalled.” After he made contact with the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Bishop Bill agreed to consider the views of other referees, not only the dissenting bishop, and accepted Fr Anthony’s request to join the Diocese. “On the day of the ordination I was not nervous or even excited, I just felt so peaceful because I was finally beginning what I love to do - ministry,” he said. “I began telling parishioners right away, ‘chop, chop, it’s now time for me to go to work’.” Unlike Fr Anthony, Fr John felt his calling to the priesthood much later in life and in 2014, aged 56, began his studies in Rome at the Beda Pontifical College. “Upon returning to Australia in June 2018, I was appointed by Bishop Bill Wright as the parochial deacon for the Chisholm region of parishes,” he said. “Being ordained is kind of like the icing on the cake to that as it provides the fuller powers of the priesthood; I will

In his homily the Bishop implored the two men to go out and work for the salvation of all, “not just the Catholics”, in the spirit of Christ.

now be much busier.” Both Fr John and Fr Anthony acknowledged the significant impact of Bishop Bill’s advice to them on the day. In his homily the Bishop implored the two men to go out and work for the salvation of all, “not just the Catholics”, in the spirit of Christ. “We have all been made for a purpose and it is now up to you to help people find that purpose and help them forge a relationship with the creator,” Bishop Bill said. “You are to care for your flock but not only those who enter your church.”

In his closing remarks, Bishop Bill noted it had been a long time since the Diocese had ordained two priests at the same time and, while it was unlikely this would occur again soon, “anything was possible”. For their first appointments Bishop Bill has allowed Fr John to remain in Chisholm for the indefinite future, while Fr Anthony has been appointed to the Singleton parish.

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



Women in leadership

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


In Australia women constitute 42 percent of all employees yet make up just a quarter of executives and only 10 percent of CEOs*. This imbalance is the focus of International Women’s Day 2019. Women are under-represented in decision making roles in the Catholic Church in Australia, however, within the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle we have wonderful women influencing others and leading a number of our agencies and Catholic schools. To celebrate the contribution of all women in our region, Aurora interviewed six inspiring women who hold leadership roles in the Diocese on what motivates them and what guidance they could offer to others. A selection of their responses are below. To read the full version of the responses – including interviews from Lauren Hayes and Tanya Russell - go to mnnews.today. * According to a January 2018 study by Business Council of Australia, McKinsey & Company and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Teresa Brierley - Director of Pastoral Ministries in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Does faith influence the way you lead in the Diocese? If so, how? Faith is at the very core or essence of why and how I lead in the Diocese. My role would not make sense to me, or to those with whom I minister with and to, if I was not a person who held a very strong and personal faith commitment. Encountering Jesus daily in the people I meet, in prayer and reflection and in my daily tasks is essential to be an authentic leader in the Catholic Church and indeed in the wider community.

deciding are essential for good governance and decisionmaking. When one gender dominates, the gift of balance and harmony is diminished. Styles of leadership will vary between the genders but this difference contributes to the holistic nature that organisations require for optimal functioning. What would you say to women aspiring to be leaders? Be true to who you are and help others become their best selves. Explore your dreams, skills and talents and work out where they can be best utilised. Love what you do and aim for excellence in whatever field of life you are living. The theme for International Women’s Day is ‘balance for better’. What does this mean to you? As humans we have many aspects to being human – physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, psychological. You should not ignore any of those parts of who you are to be fully human. It is important to ensure that all aspects of who you are, are in harmony or in balance.

Trish Hales School Principal of St Joseph’s Lochinvar.

Why do you think it is important to have women in leadership roles?

Does faith influence the way you lead in the Diocese? If so, how?

God created male and female. Both lead to a balance in families, society, workplaces and the church. Both voices need to be respected, as different aspects of being and

Faith is part and parcel of who I am and how I respond to people and situations. It comes into

every part as a leader in a Catholic School. I was raised and developed as a person of faith. I’m very comfortable taking time to listen to the Spirit. I’ll often say to staff if they put something to me or ask an opinion, ‘I just need to listen to the Spirit about that’, and then get back to them. Prayer is really important to me in helping push through the metaphorical ‘noise’ that goes on. I find prayer really grounds me, and helps me to remain calm. Why do you think it is important to have women in leadership roles? Our world needs to hear both female and male voices. For too long it’s been a real struggle for women’s voices to be authentically heard. Women’s voices have been heard often in subservient roles, but not in leadership roles. I think men and women are different in the way that they approach leadership. Woman are natural mentors and we really need that dimension of leadership. What would you say to women aspiring to be leaders? Never forget the importance of humility. By all means be ambitious and be courageous but don’t fall into the trap of trying to be one of the boys. Always appreciate that you can’t be successful on your own. You’ve got to be able to listen and observe and reflect and change. Change is not a sign of weakness. You can’t be successful as a male or female in leadership without the support of others.

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Cath Garrett-Jones Catholic Schools Office Family Engagement Officer Does faith influence the way you lead in the Diocese? If so, how? Absolutely. “Our reason for being” is to be of service. We are essentially people of service who are seeking to live out and be witness to our Catholic values through the work we do. It’s not always easy and I regularly need to remind myself of this but essentially, I try to place the “what would Jesus do” lens on my work and respond accordingly. What would you say to women wanting to be leaders? Jump in and have a go! Seek out other women (and men) who are supportive of your leadership aspirations and share your visions. Read, educate yourself, get involved and put your hand up to assist in projects that inspire you. The theme for International Women’s Day is ‘balance for better’. What does this mean to you? I am hopeful we are seeing a shift in culture and attitudes where we all recognise each of us has unique gifts and talents to share irrespective of gender. Ensuring women are offered a seat at the table and their perspectives are valued. Do you have a female role model? If so, what is it about them that inspires you? This is an easy one. My mother, Kath Garrett, is the strongest, most inspirational woman I know. Now in her 80s, she has weathered some significant challenges in her life but has always demonstrated such grace and poise. Mum was one of those children pulled out of school to raise siblings and work the family farm. Despite this, Mum made a life for herself – joining the defence force as a young woman and ultimately, meeting her husband – my dad. Together they raised four girls – all strong and independent. As they say, “the apple never falls far from the tree”.

Tanya Russell Assistant Director at CatholicCare What would you say to women aspiring to be leaders? The reality is that men tend to be better at selling themselves and creating more opportunities for networking, which can ultimately result in them being hired over equally experienced women. There is also an assumption that if you work hard and have positive working relationships, you might get promoted into a leadership role. Sounds reasonable but this is only part of the successful transition into leadership. Have you noticed that men tend to spend more time than women networking? For example: attending golf days, business lunches, arranging meetings with people of influence and generally just making themselves known in various forums. And sometimes they end up getting the job over a woman who may not do all of these things? Women need to get better at making themselves known for the good work that they do. My advice is “influence the right people”. Attend work-related and industry events and make sure you introduce yourself and talk about what

God created male and female. Both lead to a balance in families, society, workplaces and the church. Both voices need to be respected, as different aspects of being and deciding are essential for good governance and decision-making. TERESA BRIERLEY you do. Offer to share expertise with people from different teams, invite yourself to relevant meetings where you could contribute ideas and join committees. Don’t stay within your own team just doing the good work you do – create a profile for yourself so that the right people know you exist. One more thing, if you are serious about getting into leadership, review your interview style. I’ve been on many interview panels and I can anecdotally say that men tend to talk about their successes differently to women and often this comes across more confidently. Get a coach if you need one. All of this will be worth it – it’s not harder work but it is all about approaching employment in leadership in a smarter way. The theme for International Women’s Day is ‘balance for better’. What does this mean to you? For me this theme is about increasing the female leadership workforce and supporting women in balancing their priorities so that they can work in leadership and do all of the other important things in their life at the same time.

Sophie Smith - Head of Human Resources. Why do you think it is important to have women in leadership roles? Typically, research has shown that women score higher in the areas of empathy, the ability to influence and in conflict management. Often women are more attune to their own self-awareness and selfdevelopment. All of these attributes make a great leader. In Australia for instance, women are more likely to hold post-graduate qualifications then their male counterparts. But perhaps underutilised! And in the words of Beyoncé “Who runs the world? Girls.” What would you say to women wanting to be leaders? Seek opportunities. Find yourself a number of role models to reach out to for guidance. Make mistakes (you learn from these). Challenge yourself to be better – personally and professionally. Educate yourself by reading and watching ‘Ted’ talks. Work hard. Be agile and roll with the punches, gracefully. The theme for International Women’s Day is ‘balance for better’. What does this mean to you? That our male counterparts also need to take action and step up to address the gender imbalance we all face. Australia is currently falling behind other first-world countries which is so disappointing. Our culture needs an

awakening from our male counterparts too. Do you have a female role model? If so, what is it about them that inspires you? Lately I’ve felt energised watching Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand. She has a refreshing perspective and some youthful ideas. Her recent conference on addressing wellbeing in New Zealand was great! She holds down that big job while raising a daughter and is always smiling – go girl! What is your proudest accomplishment? The ability to juggle working full time, while being a mum and wife.

Lauren Hayes Director of St Nicholas Raymond Terrace. Why do you think it is important to have women in leadership roles? I think that it is important to have a balance in leadership roles between men and women as they can each bring their own unique qualities and experiences to their workplaces. I think that by having women in leadership roles, it empowers other women to believe that they are worth it and it can be done. It is often assumed that women can only be in leadership roles if they choose to not have a family of their own or that, if they do, they will have to choose between their children or their career. Why can’t they have both? What would you say to women aspiring to be leaders? If you believe in yourself, then you’re half-way there. The theme for International Women’s Day is ‘balance for better’. What does this mean to you? It’s being inclusive and acknowledging and respecting both men and women equally in not just the workplace but also in the community. In early childhood, we talk about inclusion and how we can best support children to be included in our classrooms and in every day. As early childhood professionals, we reflect and find ways to give children the ability to feel as though they belong and that they can be themselves and that they will be accepted and respected for who they are as individuals.

Brooke Robinson is 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

Catholic Schools NSW seeks capital funding boost ahead of state election BY TODD DAGWELL

NSW Catholic and independent schools are seeking a significant, long-term funding boost for new buildings and upgrades regardless of who wins the state election on 23 March.

St Joseph’s College, Lochinvar

Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW), is calling on the NSW Government and the NSW Labor Party to substantially increase the capital grants provided to Catholic and other non-government schools in NSW. Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, acting Director of Schools, Gerard Mowbray said a funding commitment from both parties was crucial for this region as the

St Clare’s High School, Taree

Diocese was in a significant phase of growth and development. “We have a number of major projects to complete over the next 15 years, including new school developments at Chisholm, Medowie and in the West Maitland corridor plus the constant renewal of current facilities.” The NSW Government currently spends around $41

A memorial to those harmed at Marist Brothers BY BRITTANY GONZALEZ A memorial to those sexually abused at the former Marist Brothers High School, Hamilton will be dedicated at a public ceremony to be held at 6 pm on 27 March 2019 at Saint Francis Xavier College, Hamilton. The ceremony will also include presentations and a dedication ritual led by survivors. Their families, friends and supporters will be invited to take part in this ritual.

families,” said Bishop Bill Wright. “The Diocese is very grateful to all who have helped to make this a fitting place of memory and reflection on what happened to those boys who suffered abuse in this school when it was Marist Brothers, Hamilton,” he added. Bishop Bill will participate in the survivor-led dedication service along with Br. Peter Carroll fms, representing the Marist Brothers.

The project to build the memorial was jointly funded by Marist Brothers and the Catholic Diocese of MaitlandNewcastle. It will stand as the Diocese’s commitment to change and a hope that healing may come.

Both the design of the memorial and the format of the dedication ceremony were developed in consultation with survivors.

The memorial will be visible from Parkway Avenue and will be complemented by a garden and private area for reflection.

If you would like to attend the dedication ceremony, please call 02 49230 659 or email Memorial@mn.catholic.org.au so we can determine catering requirements.

“The memorial will be a significant ongoing acknowledgement of the truth of what happened to victims and survivors of abuse as well as their

Brittany Gonzalez is a Communications Coordinator for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

million per annum across the state on capital funding for Catholic and independent schools, said Mr Mowbray. “A funding boost would mean the number of upgrades and the development of new facilities will be significantly enhanced,” he said. Catholic Schools NSW, CEO Dallas McInerney said capital funding from governments was prioritised to support the Catholic schools that had the greatest need. This included low Socio Economic Status (SES) schools, those in fastgrowth areas and those where learning facilities are in urgent need of repair or an upgrade. “Government funding enables Catholic education to build the new classrooms we need to meet our share of student growth,” Mr McInerney said. “Without those extra places, students will be forced into the public school system where taxpayers fund the full cost of educating and accommodating students.” A funding increase would also alleviate the added financial pressure placed on NSW families who attend Catholic or independent schools. “Currently, NSW Catholic school parents fund 90 per cent of capital works in their children’s schools (based on 2016 MySchool data),” Mr McInerney said. “Any additional funding will better support parents by funding more projects.” In the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, the expansion of St Joseph’s Lochinvar and St Mary’s Gateshead to Year 7-12 in recent years are examples of what can be achieved through sufficient levels of capital funding. “Instead of our schools waiting 10 years for a much needed upgrade or expansion, a funding increase may mean it is only a two or three year wait,” Mr Mowbray said.

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

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How to keep the flame alive: relationship courses keep partnerships strong and healthy BY TODD DAGWELL

“Marriage is hard - you will have problems so it’s important to be prepared.” Marriage and relationship educator, Robyn Donnelly, has been repeating this message to couples on a weekly basis for many years. “I regularly see people whose marriages are failing after only one or two years and we’re unable to help because they’ve left it too long to make contact. It is so sad to see,” Ms Donnelly said. As the co-ordinator of CatholicCare’s marriage and relationship education courses, Ms Donnelly assists people at every stage of the relationship journey, from those just starting a new partnership, to those who have been together for decades. “Prevention is far better than cure. We teach people to fill the emotional bank account through positive words and actions. This ensures the relationship is strong enough to withstand the regular strains of life.” With roughly one in three Australian marriages ending in divorce, relationship education is a vitally important service but one which would struggle to exist without volunteers. Rachel Furniss donates her time at weekend courses, arranging seating and organising food and drinks. This allows CatholicCare to direct more money back into the services provided. Ms Furniss believes so strongly in the benefits of the courses, she even takes her teenage children along to help so they can absorb the positive message. “It is so valuable in encouraging people to consider what a relationship entails and the work required to keep it strong and healthy,” she said. “When I take my children it sparks a conversation later about how to achieve this.” Surprised to learn there was no focus on religion, Ms Furniss said people of all ages and all walks of life attended and everyone she had met was glad they came. “It’s made me more proactive in my own marriage, I often come home with the question cards and initiate a discussion.” The courses teach the Gottman Method, based on the psychological research of American academic, John Gottman, world renowned for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction. “No one thinks divorce

Rachel Furniss and her two children.

will happen to them but if they start to ‘check out’ of the relationship it can happen very easily,” Ms Donnelly said. “The courses are so worthwhile as long as the participants come willingly.” The CatholicCare Marriage and Relationship Education team currently have a group of six volunteers who come along freely, alternating between each of the group programs to support the courses provided. For more information on relationship enhancement courses, please call Robyn Donnelly on 4979 1120 or email RDonnelly@catholiccare.org.au

Gottman Method: ‘The Sound Relationship House’ According to John Gottman, when a marriage has a shared sense of meaning, conflict is much less intense and perpetual problems are less likely to lead to gridlock. The ‘Sound Relationship House’ needed to make a relationship work is based on the following seven principles: • Create shared meaning • Make life dreams come true • Manage conflict • The positive perspective • Turn towards instead of away

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

• Share fondness and admiration • Build love maps

Mary MacKillop Chapel grounds buckling under the strain of popularity BY ALEXANDER FOSTER The number of pilgrims visiting the final resting place of Saint Mary MacKillop has skyrocketed since her canonisation in 2010 and the increase is causing significant problems for the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart who manage the site. In 2017 over 53,000 pilgrims visited the Mary Mackillop Memorial Chapel, North Sydney, to pray at her tomb and see the museum, with over 20,000 electing to stay at the lodge on the same grounds. The current guest’s lodge was built in

the 1960s and the Sisters of St Joseph say it is approaching the end of its life. To accommodate the increased demand, the Sisters would like to demolish the existing building and replace it with a four-storey lodge with a dining room, lounge and kitchen. The development would cost $17,143,948, but would increase the number of rooms available from 31 to 51 and would include a 43-space underground carpark and a circular courtyard.

A development application for the work was filed with North Sydney Council last year, but has faced a number of challenges. The planners working on the project withdrew the application after Council staff raised concerns about the design. This led to a lowering of the building height by 650mm, reducing the number of rooms in the lodge from 54 in the first application to 51, while also increasing the building’s setback from William Street.

The revision has also led to a change in building materials and colours, with planning documents suggesting it would look similar to many university buildings. The North Sydney Planning Panel is yet to approve the latest application, but hopefully will do so in March.

Alexander Foster is a Digital 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

The stress of starting school My five-year-old daughter started school this year and after a wonderful start, has become increasingly anxious about a number of issues. She becomes anxious if she doesn’t get things exactly right in class, she is constantly worried about the allergies suffered by other children (and how she might accidentally make them sick) and has been washing her hands and face a little obsessively. Her teacher says she over-reacts, repeats herself, can be withdrawn and finds it hard to let things go. What are some simple coping mechanisms/activities that I can implement at home (and ask the teacher to implement at school) that will help her to stay relaxed, let little things go and stop these issues from becoming more serious problems?

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 aurora@mn.catholic.org.au or write to Aurora-CareTalk PO Box 756 Newcastle 2300.

It is quite common for young children to experience some stress when they start school. Although your daughter seemed to be quite happy initially, she is being introduced to a world of many new challenges, some positive and some quite scary (to a small child anyway). The first thing you could try is to have a talk with your daughter about the physical nature of her anxiety. What does it feel like for her, and where in her body does she feel something when she is worried? Get her to name her physical sensations and possibly make it a bit funny, for example, “the worry monster in your tummy”. At the age of five, your daughter may not be able to make sense of her worrying thought patterns so I recommend starting with introducing when worrying is healthy and when it is not healthy (“good” worry versus “not good” worry). For example, you could explain that it is “good” to feel scared when there is an imminent threat of danger such as seeing a big angry dog running towards you, but “not so good” to feel scared and anxious about something like making a small mistake. Once you know how anxiety feels for your daughter, you can give her some basic strategies such as breathing deeply

through her nose to physically calm her down (in for 3 seconds, out for 3 seconds). To teach regulated breathing to a child, you could blow bubbles together and notice what happens when you breathe in an even, calm way, compared to the way you may breathe when anxious or scared (short and sharp). You have already noticed how your daughter behaves when she is anxious so now you can think about what your daughter can do “instead of” those anxiety-reinforcing behaviours. When you notice your daughter engaging in a behaviour that looks like a positive coping strategy, such as washing her hands only at the “usual” times, praise her and be over the top to start with. Also verbally reward and encourage her for socialising with children. Some of these strategies can also be implemented in a school setting. List the positive behaviours you would like to see more of and talk to the teacher about rewarding her intermittently for these behaviours. Praising her in front of other children is also a good idea, especially when she is playing with them, rather than withdrawing. Could blowing bubbles in class be a bit of stress relief for everyone?

It is also important that your daughter’s “anxious” behaviours are not punished at home or at school. External praise and rewards is a good starting point and then encouraging self-management strategies such as breathing and distraction with other activities (that she can think of) when she is anxious, and is helpful for the long term. In the early stages of teaching anxiety management, you could introduce a symbolic toy or comfort item that has the “power” to make her feel less worry. This could be something small that she can carry around with her or leave at her desk at school such as a stress ball, a worry doll, a special trinket or perhaps a special word she can say to herself during times of anxiety that have the “power” to chase the worries away. This can be used at times when she doesn’t have a physical comfort item. See how you go with these simple strategies and if you feel you and your daughter need further advice, don’t hesitate to seek counselling support. Some useful websites are: www.raisingchildren.net.au, www.kidspot.com.au, and www.kidshelp.com.au.

Supporting your changing needs Calvary Retirement Communities provides safe, secure and relaxed community living through residential aged care, respite accommodation and independent living villages. We have care choices available in Belmont, Cessnock, Eleebana, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Sandgate, Singleton, Tanilba Bay, Taree and Waratah to assist you.

Phone: 1800 222 000 | calvarycare.org.au



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Australian pilgrims enjoy adventure

of a lifetime at World Youth Day Panama 2019 BY SR CRISTINA RAMADA

“Do not only believe in God but believe God.” This meaningful message from Pope Francis stayed with me after coming back from my World Youth Day pilgrimage to Panama. Participating in the World Youth Day (WYD) for the second time since WYD Sydney in 2008, was an answered prayer for me as my community sent me to join the pilgrims from the Diocese of Parramatta with another sister. The excitement about the trip made the weekly two hour drive to Sydney to attend the WYD information sessions feel like an adventure rather than a task. The 170 pilgrims and I left Australia on the 15 January for Mexico, our first destination. There we visited three beautiful historical churches. One of my highlights was visiting the Our Lady of Guadalupe and seeing the original image of the Tilma. The prayerful atmosphere of this sacred place reflected its significance to the life of the Mexican people and the church as a whole. As our tour guide used to say, “Mexicans are first Guadalupeans before they are Christians”. This experience was enriched by our ministry immersion to the Fundacion Caritas de Puebla, a place where abandoned elderly are cared for. There my group and I were given an opportunity to interact with the residence by joining them in their recreational activities, such as: dancing, playing bingo with them, memory games and dominoes. Our visit to the two

seminaries gave us a taste of the richness of the Mexican culture as we were treated with authentic Mexican dishes and finished off the night with traditional dancing and music. After a week spent in Mexico we made our way to Panama where the World Youth events were held. As soon as we got out of the plane, we immediately felt the warm welcome of the Panamanian people from the airport personnel to police, ambulance, and truck drivers on the street who waved at us saying “Welcome to Panama!” not to mention the ordinary people who, because it was hot and humid, hosed us down on our way to our overnight vigil. We usually started the day with catechesis held in a car park a few minutes away from our accommodation. This was mostly followed by a trip to the city for either an event with the Pope or activities organised by various groups. One of the main events was the Opening Mass with thousands of people in attendance from various parts of the world, our first big crowd experience in Panama. This was followed by the official Papal Welcome the next day, which gave us the opportunity to see the Holy Father in person. Listening to the responses to parts of the mass said

in various languages by other pilgrims around us was amazing and made me appreciate the beauty of our Catholic faith. The biggest event for the week was the overnight vigil where we camped out in an open park along with around a million other pilgrims of various nationalities. After the prayer and adoration with the Holy Father, I had an opportunity to play card games with our own pilgrims and the Panamanian youth who visited us in our area. Although we couldn’t speak each other’s language, we manage to successfully play Uno Emoji together and

Clean water changes lives in Zimbabwe CARITAS AUSTRALIA Life in her village in north-western Zimbabwe wasn’t easy for 12-year-old Thandolwayo. Thandolwayo lives with her grandparents and attends the local school which has just 35 students. Every morning Thandolwayo would walk seven kilometres and risked being attacked by crocodiles as she collected contaminated water for her family. She’d then go to school feeling exhausted. Thandolwayo’s grandparents sell pearl millet bran to fishermen and farmers for animal feed. They also sell chickens - but the income it brings isn’t enough to support the family.

Thandolwayo’s hope to be a nurse seemed almost impossible to realise, until Caritas Hwange helped the village to install two solar-powered pumps and two 10,000-litre water storage tanks. The pumps draw the water up from the river to the storage tanks. Thanks to Caritas’ support, water is now on tap in the village, benefitting the whole community - and Thandolwayo can concentrate on her education. “Now I can bathe every day, the distance to collect water for the family has been reduced,” Thandolwayo says. “We now drink clean, safe water and diseases are no longer affecting us.”

The plentiful water supply has also triggered new ventures. Water is being used to mould bricks for building houses and to pound maize to sell. Plans are underway to establish a community garden and a fish pond, to generate a better income. “Hope is important because it makes me work harder so that I achieve what I want to be when I grow up. I want to live a good life in the future.” Thandolwayo says. Your donation to Project Compassion this Lent can help to transform the lives of children like Thandolwayo. Visit caritas.org.au

the competitive game of Snap! After a dusty starry night, we were awaken by an enthusiastic wake up call to prepare us for the Final Mass with the Holy Father. During his homily, Pope Francis, reminded us that being young “is not a kind of waiting room where we sit around until we are called. The young people IS the now of God”. He invited us to fall in love like Mary who did not only believe in God but who believed God. We concluded our WYD 2019 pilgrimage with a retreat in a spacious and peaceful ranch in Houston, Texas before flying home to Australia.



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Protecting your super balance when the markets become volatile


To put it simply, 2018 was a rough year for investing. The markets have been on a wild ride since Christmas and into 2019. So, what should you do to protect your super? The best answer may be, “nothing”. International share markets around Christmas time were, putting it politely, volatile. On Christmas Eve, the major US stock indexes had a really bad day. After hitting a 52-week high, there was a significant correction with the Nasdaq falling more than 2%. The drop left many people (quite understandably) feeling nervous over Christmas. On Boxing Day, international shares went through the roof, posting the largest oneday point gain in history! Stocks in the Nasdaq that day rose more than 5%*. Looking at your super balance, however, things have been pretty rough over the last few months generally. The swings and uncertain economic future might have you wondering what you can do to protect your super balance. Despite all this change, the best thing you can do right now might actually be nothing at all. Making a change from a risky asset, like shares, to a more conservative investment option like bonds might seem like a good idea when the markets are going down. What that does, however, is lock in losses.

Imagine that you saw the significant losses on Christmas Eve and decided to sell off all of your assets for cash. That means you would have missed out on the recovery that came on the next trading day, leaving you worse off. Of course, we never know when the market has actually bottomed out, so you might think changing out of risky assets is the best move because you’re not going to see any more losses that way. While that’s true, superannuation investing is for the long term – for many people, 40 years or more – and making adjustments based on short-term movements may prevent you from seeing long-term value.

done over decades, not days. We are working hard to find ways to not only help protect your balance against market instability but also find ways to continue to see growth during this tumultuous time. This includes taking on more bonds, which recently saw a price spike, and reducing our exposure to highrisk equities that have been volatile.

As you get closer to retirement, most people want to protect their accumulated balance while keeping it growing. We do this gradually for members in LifetimeOne, over years rather than months, to prevent them being impacted by big movements in the market.

Wanting to do something to protect your money is a perfectly reasonable reaction. If you are concerned and want to chat, we’re here to help. Our financial advice team can talk you through your super investments and provide limited over-the-phone advice at no additional cost to you. A stronger

There’s no way to sugar coat this – the markets are tough right now. Although we’ve seen some nice rallies, things are trending downward. And, while that statement is hard to hear when you see your balance going down, it’s important to remember that superannuation investing is

understanding of investments will help ensure that your super is invested the best way for you, not just today but for years to come to provide for your future. Find out more by calling us on 1300 658 776 or visiting us at catholicsuper.com. au/advice. *Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/26/ us-futures-following-christmas-eve-plunge.html. This information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should assess your own financial situation and needs, read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement for the different financial products and consult a financial adviser, if required, before making an investment decision or a decision to acquire or replace financial products.

Need help to plan your super? We can help. Our phone-based advice service offers members clear and concise personal advice on four specific topics. A qualified adviser can provide personal recommendations for you on: The most tax-effective way to build your super via salary sacrifice and personal contributions.

How to protect your income and your family with insurance through Australian Catholic Superannuation.

Which investment option/s may be right for you.

Investing with non-super money.

Simple and straight forward financial advice over the phone can start you on the right track to achieving your super goals and help build towards the future.

Call us on 1300 658 776 to book an appointment Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Port Macquarie, Sydney, Townsville

PO Box 656 Burwood, NSW 1805

e fundoffice@catholicsuper.com.au

w www.catholicsuper.com.au

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Early Education

“How can I assist my child to prepare for

‘big school’?” Kindergarten students across the region have been exposed to an entirely new world this past month, some embracing it with enthusiasm, others somewhat daunted. Gone are the day time naps, casual clothes, and extended ‘free play’, and in their place are school, a more structured learning environment and often sharing the attention of a single teacher. As an Early Education Centre Director, I am often asked, “how can I assist my child to prepare for ‘big school’?” There are many factors that will contribute to a child’s readiness for school, but research strongly supports the benefit of enrolling children in early education for at least two days per week, in the year before they start school. My years of experience as a mother and educator tell me that a child’s emotional and social development is the most important criteria for a smooth transition. While literacy and numeracy skills are highly valued, if a child comes to a classroom prepared to learn, in most cases the ability to write the alphabet and solve maths problems will soon follow. St Nicholas Early Education Centres adopt a holistic approach to preparing children for school. We guide children proactively with the knowledge that their experiences in the first five years lay the foundation for sound emotional, social and cognitive development for the rest of their lives. In addition to supporting children’s foundational skills through activities that include exploring language by reading books and practising the fine muscle movements needed to enhance pre-writing skills, we have developed a Transition to School Program. This program is independent of the schools’ orientation programs and is designed to support confidence and resilience. As part of the exercise, children embark on regular excursions to local schools where they are able to improve their attention span by watching school assemblies, increase their confidence by purchasing goods from the canteen, have their curiosity encouraged by borrowing library books and elevate their social skills by interacting with primary school children.


St Nicholas parents have embraced the Transition to School program, with many telling us that it has opened up their children’s social networks and allowed them to develop their sense of identity with the community. Sarah is the mother of two boys who have both attended St Nicholas Early Education and was thrilled with the progress they made in readiness for school, thanks to the Program. “The transition program over to big school has been an amazing head start for them. It’s given them the confidence that they needed to start kindergarten. They’ve been there (to the school) and they know the environment,” said Sarah. Parents can reinforce their children’s early education centre experiences at home and so further develop school readiness. Ideas include: 

f ocusing on participation and involvement rather than competing and winning

h elping to develop pro-social behaviours such as sharing, listening, and patience

e ncouraging the gaining of sufficient confidence to ask for help and also to self-regulate emotions

roviding opportunities for the child to p be responsible for his/her belongings

s upporting independence in relation to toileting, hand washing and dressing and

a llowing the child to engage in physical activities that involve challenges and risk-taking.

Investing time in social and emotional learning will help your child to manage feelings and friendships, as well as the ability to solve problems. These are essential life skills that will support wellbeing and positive mental health long after that apprehensive first at school drop off. Elisa Edmonds is Lochinvar Director, St Nicholas Early Education

My years of experience as a mother and educator tell me that a child’s emotional and social development is the most important criteria for a smooth transition.

Ellie graduated from St Nicholas Early Education- Lochinvar last year and took part in the Transition to School program.



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Catholic schools across the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are opening their doors to families, friends and community members in celebration of Catholic Schools Week 2019.

Catholic Schools Week 2019 Events Calender 3 – 9 March 2019 3 March 5.30pm - Forster Parish Youth Mass

Catholic schools across the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are opening their doors to families, friends and community members in celebration of Catholic Schools Week 2019. The vision for Catholic schools in the Diocese is, ‘At the heart of everything there is always Jesus Christ’. This vision is the foundation of the education Catholic schools offer and is the lens through which everything is viewed – the belief that informs and critiques all policies and decisions. This vision informs the 2019 theme for Catholic Schools Week. ‘Learn, Serve, Belong’, celebrates the connection to the community, the diversity of learning and the supportive and inclusive environment that students experience as part of their Catholic education. A fundamental part of the journey through Catholic education for students is ensuring they feel a deep sense of being valued, develop a strong sense of self-worth and become well-rounded citizens whose social engagement is informed by the Gospel. This arises by creating a close and supportive school community that develops a sense of belonging for students. This sense of belonging is enhanced by the events, rituals and opportunities within the school which help to build a welcoming and inclusive environment and healthy and positive relationships for all. Catholic schools support parents,

carers and families, who are the primary educators of their children, through this journey. Time and effort is taken to build a close partnership between families and the school community to ensure both feels a sense of welcoming and belonging. We also celebrate and acknowledge the diversity of learners and learning that takes place for students and teachers across all our schools each day. From early play-based learning that encourages curiosity, creativity and flexibility, to the contemporary and 21st century learning environments of our classrooms that inspire collaboration, problem-solving and self-direction – each student is supported throughout their journey in Catholic education. As part of their roles as learners students are encouraged to understand their own learning process and understand how to handle and work through the mistakes and challenges they will inevitably face. In both life and learning, it is through these challenges and mistakes that students can learn some of their biggest lessons.

We acknowledge the call to serve and the challenge it brings us to step outside our comfort zone and live within our communities. Service allows us to push the boundaries of individualism, secularism and materialism as the call challenges us to reach outwards from ourselves in mission. It is through service to others and reaching out to those within our community that we also learn to be respectful and supportive of others and find a place of belonging, as our eyes open to new understandings and experiences. This year we encourage students, staff, family and community members to develop a relationship with their community and show support through action. With so many activities happening across all schools throughout the week, check out our Catholic Schools Week Events Calendar or contact your local school to make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to get involved in the celebrations and see why so many families choose Catholic education for their child’s school journey.

‘Learn, Serve, Belong’, celebrates the connection to the community, the diversity of learning and the supportive and inclusive environment that students experience as part of their Catholic education.

4 March 12.30 – 3pm: St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton Open Day 6 – 7.30pm: St Bede’s Catholic College, Chisholm Open Evening 5 March 10.30am – 12.30pm: Project Compassion Launch and Catholic Schools Week Liturgy – Sacred Heart Cathedral 7 March 10.00am – 11.30am St Mary’s Catholic College, Gateshead Open Day AM session 5pm – 6pm St Mary’s Catholic College, Gateshead Open Day PM session 5 – 7pm: All Saints’ College, Maitland Open Night 9 March 5.30pm - Blackbutt South Parish Mass and Art Exhibition 11 March 4 - 5.30pm: St Clare’s High School, Taree Open Evening 14 March 4.30 – 7pm: St Paul’s Catholic College, Booragul Open Day

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Jasmine Sullivan is the 2018 Diocesan Dux AMY THEODORE

With an ATAR of 99.50, former St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton student Jasmine Sullivan has been awarded Dux of the Diocese for 2018. Despite admitting it was ‘pretty full on and intense’, Jasmine found her last year of school the most enjoyable. “In Year 11, I was more consumed with study to a point that it was a bit ridiculous and then in Year 12 things shifted into perspective and I think I ended up doing more socialising than in my other years,” said Jasmine. “I did really enjoy it though despite everything and I do miss school a bit now.” Jasmine attributes her outstanding results to a combination of consistent hard work, self-motivation and supportive teachers. “I’ve always been quite self-motivated even since early junior high school and I think I established almost a precedent for myself, so I did it for me rather than anyone else,” she said. “I think my English teacher was amazing but also all my subject teachers were really great as they provided a lot of personal and emotional support, as well as giving us the actual subject material. I think if it wasn’t for those teachers and how supportive they were it would have been a lot harder.”

Jasmine began her catholic education at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in Tarro before attending San Clemente High School, Mayfield and finally St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton. With school behind her, Jasmine intends to continue her educational journey at the University of Newcastle by beginning a psychology degree this year. “I was tossing up a bunch of different options last year and was going back and forth. But in the end I decided to start a psychology degree at Newcastle University,” Jasmine said. “I did also have Medicine on the table but I didn’t end up sitting the UMAT. So I think I will sit that this year and see if I get in then I’ll transfer across at the end of this year. If not, then I think I’ll stick with psychology and see how that goes.” Good luck and all the best to Jasmine in her future endeavours.

Director of Catholic Schools Office Gerard Mowbray with Dux Jasmine Sullivan

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

Scholarship aims to inspire students to make a positive change in the world


Former All Saints’ College, Maitland student, Marli Wright is about to embark on a transformational journey after being awarded a Ma and Morley Scholarship in the Indigenous category. The Ma and Morley Scholarship is a revolutionary program offered to students of the University of Newcastle. It aims to inspire and educate students to be responsible, courageous and socially conscious leaders who want to make a change in the world, by providing recipients with life changing experiences and friendships. The scholarship program was founded by Jack Ma, who was inspired to ‘give back’ to the local community after he formed a close friendship with Novocastrian, Ken Morley. The pair became lifelong friends after Ken and his family visited Jack’s hometown of Hangzhou in China as part of a tour with the Australia-China Friendship Society. Ken became a mentor to Jack who eventually achieved outstanding business success and after Mr Morley’s

passing in 2004, Jack made a US$20 million philanthropic commitment to the University of Newcastle.

hard to get. So I wanted to prove that, as an Indigenous woman, I would be able to receive this,” said Marli.

With the scholarship program Jack hopes future generations of young people, from diverse backgrounds, will find positive influences just as he did, and so drive constructive changes in our world. The application process is designed to ensure a variety of students have a fair opportunity to access this life changing experience by providing specific submission categories such as: ‘Academic Excellence’, ‘Indigenous’ and ‘Educational Disadvantage’. Half of the scholarships in each category will be allocated to students who have completed a University of Newcastle enabling pathway like Newstep, Yapug and Open Foundation.

The program provides 20 different scholarships for new university students and 10 immersion experiences for continuing students. The scholarships not only provide financial assistance but also give recipients access to an enrichment program, mentoring sessions and opportunities to interact with other scholars.

Though many people told her how competitive applications for the scholarship were, Marli was determined to apply. “People told me to keep applying for other scholarships because this one is

“Our first camp provides an opportunity to meet the other scholars and start to build friendships. We also find out about what will happen for the rest of the year and the dates for our China trip in June where we will get to meet Jack Ma.” With the help of this scholarship, Marli is now working towards her dream of helping children achieve their dreams. “I have always wanted to help people and study psychological science, as I’m so fascinated by human behaviour and what makes individuals act a certain

way,” said Marli. “This course is very long and very expensive and without the opportunity and financial support of the scholarship, I simply would not have been able to study. This scholarship has also provided me with the motivation to complete this course and begin helping within the community. “In the future after completing my university degree I hope to specialise in child psychology, which I then want to move to Indigenous communities. As mental health, addiction and many other issues continue to rise, it means that people like me are needed to help out. “I want to help continue closing the gap between Indigenous and nonIndigenous Australians and show young Indigenous children that they can achieve something like me and build a future for themselves. “This scholarship will help me towards this major goal.”



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Jennifer Holland: “Today’s no is tomorrow’s yes!” BY BRITTANY GONZALEZ

Jennifer Holland, the first Australian female to be awarded the Silver Edison Award in New York, is an inspiring Hunter woman whose determination has revolutionised the medical industry.

Jennifer with children Ronan and Victoria

In 2015 Jennifer invented Throat Scope, an all-in-one light and tongue depressor that is used by medical, dental and healthcare professionals as well as everyday consumers at home. Since receiving the backing of Steve Baxter, tech entrepreneur on Australia TV show Shark Tank, Jennifer has been on a mission to “light up throats around the world and educate people to recognise the signs of oral cancer”. In her short career she has been named Young Business Person of the Year (2017) and Ausmumpreneur (2017) along with a host of other accolades. She is now set to launch Holland Healthcare Inc in the US. A genuine local success story, Jennifer was born at the Calvary Mater Newcastle, grew up in Dudley and currently lives in Lake Macquarie. She is an entrepreneur, CEO, inventor, mother to four beautiful children and wife to a marine engineer.

Born with innovative prowess and a whole lot of passion, Jennifer has been recognised by the international medical community multiple times for one simple idea that is lighting up the world - Throat Scope. Which Catholic Schools did you attend? • St Joseph’s Primary School, Charlestown • St Mary’s High School, Gateshead • St Pius X, Adamstown • Saint Francis Xavier, Hamilton (only for a week) Why did your parents choose Catholic Schools for you? My mother has a strong Catholic background and she believed in her children being nurtured and educated through the Catholic education system. What do you consider to be the

The doctor struggled to hold my child while opening his mouth with the wooden tongue depressor, and that was the moment that my inspiration + passion + idea hit me!! Throat Scope was born!

main benefits of your Catholic Education? Belief, faith and a great education! Do your children - Ronan, Victoria, Isabella, and Ethan – attend Catholic Schools, and – if so – why did you choose Catholic schools for your children? No they do not attend a Catholic primary school but they will attend a Catholic high school. Distance from our home played a major factor in deciding where to school our children during the primary school years. Being a mum, wife and an entrepreneur must be hard work. How do you manage to balance all your responsibilities? My number one priority has always been my children; I juggle my work around their activities and needs! Work will always be there but my children are growing up fast and won’t want me hanging around forever! What inspired you to start and run your own business? Since I was 16, I had a feeling that I wanted to do something different and there was more to life than working every day to make someone else rich. At 19 I purchased my first home and worked two jobs while completing university online. It was then I

began to realise I had the ability to simplify processes and products. So I started a business journal and started making plans for all my ideas. I wasn’t really passionate about any of these ideas, but I couldn’t help myself, I had this drive to keep searching. A couple of years later I visited the doctor’s clinic with my sick 15-month-old baby. He had a sore throat, so the doctor pulled out the wooden tongue depressor and handheld flashlight to look inside my child’s mouth. The doctor struggled to hold my child while opening his mouth with the wooden tongue depressor, and that was the moment that my inspiration + passion + idea hit me!! Throat Scope was born! What advice would you give anyone wanting to start and run their own business? My personal motto along my business journey has always been: Believe | Act | Persist BELIEVE in yourself and your ability to achieve it; ACT on your idea, no one will do it for you and; PERSIST because Today’s no is tomorrow’s yes!

Brittany Gonzalez is a Communications Co-ordinator for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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Strong women close to home inspire placement participants ALEXANDER FOSTER

The Pastoral Placement Program (PPP) is an opportunity for those who want to work within the Catholic church to experience the various ministries of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, including Catholic schools, CatholicCare Social Services, St Nicholas Early Education, Development and Relief Agency (DARA), Catholic Mission, Diocesan Shared Services, chaplaincies, pastoral ministries, children’s ministries, youth ministries, parishes and more. Sam Hill, past PPP participant and leader of this year’s program, gave me an insight into what this year’s participants can expect:

“The participants will spend one day per week in an agency connected to the Catholic church, with a different agency each month. The participants will also be involved in an immersion experience with Caritas Australia, and spend time assisting in their local parish each week,” Ms Hill said. “They will come together once a month to unpack and share their experiences with each other and the supervisors and undergo theological reflection and formation in ministry.” Three of 2019’s PPP participants, Johanna Soo, Caitlin Wakefield and Gabrielle

Left to right, Samantha Hill (Family Ministry Coordinator), Johanna Soo (participant), Gabrielle Heffernan (participant), Caitlin Wakefield (participant), Natalie Farley (Library Officer).

Calvary Mater cancer app A cancer diagnosis usually leaves people in a state of shock – unsure what to do or where to turn. In a world first, Calvary Mater Newcastle has unveiled a new cancer app, CANcierge, to give patients and their family a ‘roadmap’ to follow on this distressing journey. Launched on 4 February to coincide with World Cancer Day 2019, CANcierge provides easily accessible, relevant and reliable information on cancer care at Calvary Mater, the major cancer care centre for the Hunter New England Local Health District. Medical Oncology Staff Specialist, Associate Professor, Craig Gedye said the app was inspired by the experiences of cancer patients treated at the Calvary Mater Newcastle. “Being told you have cancer is a life-changing moment, where you are transported to an unexpected place. The CANcierge App provides a concierge to help people living with cancer navigate this unplanned detour in their lives.”




Heffernan, also shared what motivates and inspires them as they prepare to take on their next 10 months of placement. “I first heard about [the program] through my mum and my nanna because they’re pretty heavily involved in my parish,” Johanna said. “We’re a very faith-enriched family. I just thought, this would be a really cool way, as a young person, to put my faith into action.”

“My mum works at the Diocese. She told me about [PPP] years ago, when it first started, and I thought it would be interesting because you get to do so many different things across the organisation. She inspires me because she always taught me to treat people as you want to be treated and to have respect for people because you don’t know their stories.”

Caitlin was interested in the program because she was keen on furthering her ministry experience in order to help her local community down the track.

But Gabrielle wasn’t the only person inspired to participate in the program because of her mother; Johanna also cites her mum as a source of inspiration.

“The more I know, the more I can recommend these to people who really need help,” she said.

“She’s such a beautiful, caring, strong role model for me. I love her so much,” Johanna said.

Caitlin was inspired to serve her community by a number of women in her local church’s ministry team, particularly the children’s minister.

Despite the different sources of inspiration, Johanna, Caitlin and Gabrielle all say they’re most excited to meet different kinds of people across the Diocese’s various agencies.

“It’s just amazing seeing how she shows the spirit of the Gospel in her everyday life and it’s very encouraging,” Caitlin said. “She’s always looking for different ways to help people out. She’s a very caring, giving and loving person.” Gabrielle was also inspired to partake in the program by someone close to home, her mum.

“I really like talking to people,” Gabrielle explains, “so I’m very interested to see what everyone does in their jobs.” Alexander Foster is a Digital Officer for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.


Calvary Mater, Oncology Nurse Practitioner and CANcierge Project Lead, Gillian Blanchard said there were good sources of general information available about cancer and treatment, however, specific details were lacking. “Professor Gedye was being asked questions he didn’t have the answers to, which made us realise something was missing,” Ms Blanchard said. “We recognised that members of our community wanted specific information about how cancer treatment and support is delivered to them where they live – Where do I go? How do I find the clinic? Who can help me solve each problem?” The app, which has already been downloaded over 200 times, allows users to access an abundance of information in one convenient place. Ms Blanchard said where to park and where to eat were questions regularly asked by patients and this information

was now available via the app along with a wealth of other local content. “This app has been designed by Calvary Mater Newcastle patients, carers and staff allowing these questions to be answered and the desire for 24/7 information to be met,” she said. The largest population of Aboriginal people in NSW reside in the Hunter New England Health District and the app provides specific services and resources to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples affected by cancer related illnesses. “We have worked very closely with the Aboriginal community on this and believe the app will be an important part of the ‘closing the gap’ initiative,” Ms Blanchard said. The Calvary Mater Newcastle Auxiliary provided the $70,000 required to create the app plus a yearly amount on an ongoing basis to keep it updated.

“Aside from donating a significant amount of money, the Auxiliary also engaged patients with focus groups to ensure it’s exactly what they wanted,” Ms Blanchard said. “We are extremely grateful for the Auxiliary’s support, without their assistance this App couldn’t have been developed.” Users can record vital information; make note of members on their treating team; find helpful support information; access information about chemotherapy and other treatments; access information about the range of services, amenities and support services at Calvary Mater Newcastle and access a range of community groups and services. The CANcierge App can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.

Todd Dagwell is the Senior 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

Two agencies unite to promote the

Closing the Gap Refresh agenda


It’s been just over a decade since former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Brendan Nelson signed the Close the Gap Statement of Intent, but with many of the targets still well out of reach two local agencies are combining forces to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians accessing their services.

the quest for equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians should be shouldered by every Australian.

CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning will partner with newly established Aboriginal agency, Connecting Culture, to promote greater knowledge, understanding and inclusion of Aboriginal people amongst their staff and within the community. Connecting Culture is a fee-for-service agency dedicated to assisting community service organisations develop cultural plans, facilitate family mediation, provide youth mentoring and deliver cultural awareness training. On the eve of National Close the Gap Day, observed annually on 21 March, Connecting Culture Services Manager and proud Bundjalung and Gamilaraay man, Ian Eggins, said he was buoyed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) commitment last year to place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the heart of the Closing the Gap Refresh agenda. COAG introduced the Closing the Gap agenda with one of its key aims being to reduce the 10-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 2030. “It deeply saddens me that we are not on track to achieving this goal, or many of the other priorities relating to education, health and employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” Mr Eggins said. “These poorer outcomes should not only concern Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are directly affected, but all Australians.” CatholicCare Director, Gary Christensen echoed Mr Eggins views stating “the quest for equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians should be shouldered by every Australian.” CatholicCare aims to drive cultural change that will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people move

beyond just surviving to actually thriving.

communities. We must start somewhere” Mr Eggins said.

“Australia’s First Peoples have shown extraordinary strength and resilience, particularly through the trauma inflicted on them by past government policies. It is important our staff work proactively with this knowledge when supporting Indigenous Australians who access our mental health, early intervention and family support programs,” Mr Christensen said.

Mr Christensen added that for too long many Australians had ignorantly proclaimed we’re the ‘lucky country’ while ignoring the ongoing poverty and premature death of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community.

A key component of the partnership between CatholicCare and Connecting Culture will be educating CatholicCare staff on Australia’s complex history and supporting them as they review their programs and policies in order to ensure they are community-led and culturally sensitive. “It is only through increasing community awareness about the impact that policies, such as the White Australia Policy, have had on our people that we will, as a nation, be truly able to ‘close the gap.’ For example, many people do not realise that due to epigenetics (the study of heritable changes in genes that does not alter the DNA sequence), as a population we are still experiencing the repercussions of the Stolen Generation,” Mr Eggins said. “Although combined our agencies only support a small percentage of the nation’s Indigenous population, any progress is valuable and can have a flow-on effect across

“For over a century our First Australian people were subjected to policies that left them at a disadvantage and caused trauma that has spanned generations. “The Closing the Gap Refresh should serve as a mandate for all Australians to support government efforts in the quest for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve equality with their countrymen,” he said. “It starts with each of us at an individual level: educate yourself on the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, have awareness of what is going on in your local community, offer support, be an advocate for change and show compassion. These are all small, but important steps on the path to equality.”

Lizzie Snedden is the Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Soul Food “Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” Pope Francis

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



It is a privilege to be a volunteer BY CATH McCARTHY

Nine years ago when I first started volunteering with the Development and Relief Agency (DARA), formerly known as Penola House, I set out with the aim of assisting vulnerable people in our community. What I didn’t expect was the profound impact it would have on my own life. My husband Shaun and I have been married for 25 years and together we have twins, Georgia and Thomas, 17 years of age. Volunteering has, without doubt, enriched my life and that of our family. Together we have formed new friendships, broadened our thinking and united to assist others. Soon after Georgia and Thomas started at a new school I came across an advertisement in the school newsletter seeking a volunteer to look after a baby while its young mother attended lessons. I soon learned that the mother was a refugee supported by DARA, which at the time was referred to as Penola House. Other volunteers from all walks of life were also inspired by the work of DARA’S Refugee Hub and together we offered support to new migrants. Many of the refugees arrive at the Refugee Hub in despair after fleeing their home country in fear of their lives, leaving behind family

and friends. They wish to contribute to our community but they often incur many barriers including language, education and access to affordable housing; all the while they are trying to heal from trauma. As volunteers, we assist them to forge local connections that support their transition to Australian life. We develop friendships based on mutual respect and compassion, celebrate their victories, and provide guidance when setbacks occur. Most of all we listen. Within a short period of volunteering at the Refugee Hub my life had become so enriched that I asked my children, then aged 10, if they too would like to become DARA volunteers. To the delight of Sean and me, they said yes. As a family, each Friday afternoon for the past few years we would package food that was then served to friends of DARA at Islington Park the following day. Providing our children with the opportunity to volunteer is important to us. It shows them that an act of caring either by packing a food parcel, serving a meal or simply speaking kind words could make the difference in someone’s day. As a family one of the highlights of becoming involved with DARA has been to collect soccer boots so that children who have arrived here from other countries with few belongings can play soccer and become part of a team. In

Cath McCarthy and friends volunteering in DARA’s Van

this vein, some years ago - with assistance from DARA staff including John Sandy and in collaboration with Tom Garnham from the Mayfield Baptist Church - Youth with a Mission (YWAM) and the Jesmond Baptist Church we organised a soccer afternoon for refugee families. The event was a celebration of soccer, friendship and new beginnings. There are many people who require assistance and support. By showing them kindness, respect and sharing of time, we can make a positive difference in their lives as well as our own. I encourage all individuals and families to find a form of volunteering that aligns with their lifestyle and values; I guarantee you won’t regret it.

We develop friendships based on mutual respect and compassion, celebrate their victories, and provide guidance when setbacks occur. Most of all we listen.

Pope Francis paves the way for 17 female saints LA CROIX INTERNATIONAL Pope Francis has approved the next step in the canonisation process of 17 women, including 14 nuns killed during the Spanish Civil War. Francis met with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Becciu on 15 January and recognised the martyrdom of Sister Isabella Lacaba Andia, who was known as Mother Mary del Carmen — the mother superior of a community of Franciscan Conceptionist nuns — and 13 of her companions. The nuns were killed “in hatred of the faith” in Spain in 1936.

of great physical suffering and for bearing the stigmata of Christ. Born in La Pierraz, Switzerland in 1815, Bays was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. Pope Francis also recognised the heroic virtues of Mother Soledad Sanjurjo Santos of the Servants of Mary. Born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, in 1892, she extended the congregation’s work in caring for the sick throughout Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. She died in 1973.

Recognition of the nuns as martyrs clears the way for their beatification, putting them onto the next step of the canonisation process.

The Pope also recognised the heroic virtues of Polish Sister Anna Kaworek, who lived 1872-1936, and cofounded the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Michael the Archangel.

Pope Francis also recognised a miracle needed for the canonisation of Blessed Marguerite Bays, a laywoman from Switzerland known for her spirituality in the face

With thanks to La Croix International and Catholic News Service, where this article originally appeared.



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

Faces and places in our Diocese CatholicCare Film Premier Over 200 people attended CatholicCare’s premier screening of the movie ‘Instant Family’ at Event Cinemas, Kotara. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne whose characters navigate the ups and downs of becoming foster carers. Cath Cifford and Chris Clifford

Geoff Mackenzie and Luke Mackenzie

Jenny Di Girolamo and Peter Di Girolamo

Kindy Starters Over 1,000 children commenced Kindergarten at one of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s 46 primary schools. Students from St Joseph’s Primary School, Kilaben Bay were beaming with excitement and enthusiastic to start their formal education journey. Ezek Emmanuel

Nina Reed

Ivy Gibson

Ordination Ceremony Hundreds of people gathered in the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton to witness the Ordination of Fr Anthony Coloma and Fr John Lovell. The auspicious occasion was the first dual ordination in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in 15 years. Alvin Coloma, Rona Coloma, Fr Anthony Coloma, Beng Coloma, RJ Rivera, Apple Coloma

Anne Lloyd, Fr John Lovell, Don Lloyd

Fiona Halason and Bishop Brian Mascord

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 www.cdfmn.com.au 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 Marriage and Relationship Education Courses 2019 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. 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. Before We Say I Do, 5 and 6 April at the Toohey Room, Newcastle. Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm. Marriage and Relationship Education Course – FOCCUS at the Toohey Room, Newcastle, 6 and 13 May. 5.15-7.30pm (Session 3 to be confirmed). Before We Say I Do, 7 and 8 June at the Toohey Room, Newcastle. Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm. Marriage and Relationship Education Course – FOCCUS at the Toohey Room, Newcastle, 29 July and 5 August. 5.15-7.30pm (Session 3 to be confirmed). Before We Say I Do, 23 and 24 August at the Toohey Room, Newcastle. Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm. Marriage and Relationship Education Course – FOCCUS at the Toohey Room, Newcastle, 28 October and 4 November. 5.15-7.30pm (Session 3 to be confirmed). Before We Say I Do, 22 and 23 November at the Toohey Room, Newcastle. Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm.

We also have a wait list for our Bringing Baby Home workshop which assists couples transition to parenthood. FOCCUS Individual Sessions by appointment only. For further information on all our courses please contact Robyn Donnelly P 02 4979 1370 E rdonnelly@catholiccare.org.au.

Mums’ Cottage Invites grandparents to Grandparent and Toddler day held 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 you are most welcome to attend. For more information, P Mums’ Cottage 4953 4105 E admin@mumscottage.org.au or visit www.mumscottage.org.au.

For your diary March 3-9

Catholic Schools Week


Caritas Project Compassion Launch and Catholic Schools Week Liturgy, 10.30am, Sacred Heart Cathedral


Ash Wednesday


International Women’s Day


Bishop’s Award Liturgy, 6pm, St John’s Chapel Maitland


Christian Meditation (see opposite)


Magdalene Award Presentation and International Women’s Day Mass, 9.30am, Sacred Heart Cathedral (see opposite)


Rite of Election, 2.30pm, Sacred Heart Cathedral


National Close the Gap Day


St Patrick’s Day


Sisters of Faith Dinner, 6pm, Victor Peters Suite

Annual TWEC Dinner


National Harmony Day

Will be held on Friday 31 May at 6:30 PM at Therry Centre, New England Hwy, East Maitland. Speaker will be Dr Michele Connolly rsj on ‘Does the New Testament speak to contemporary Australia?’ $65 includes canapés, drinks and dinner. Bookings by 21 May P 4979 1134 E Sharon.Murphy@mn.catholic.org.au.


Feast of the Annunciation

Christian Meditation In the 5th century John Cassian wrote: “Simplify Your Life. Abandon Anxiety and Strive for Simplicity. Distractions are Inevitable.” How does this relate to the 21st Century? Come to the Chapel of Newcastle Parish Centre, 25 Farquhar St, The Junction (Enter via laneway) on Saturday 9 March 9.30 am to 12.00pm to find out. Morning tea provided. Cost: $5.00 RSVP to E annecuskelly@hotmail.com P 0407 436 808. 2019 Magdalene Award International Women’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday 10 March with the presentation of the annual Magdalene Award. Please gather for Mass at 9.30am celebrated by Bishop Bill at Sacred Heart Cathedral and then enjoy morning tea with the nominees for the 2019 Magdalene Award, their families and friends. All are welcome!

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 palms@palms.org.au.

For more events please visit mn.catholic.org.au/calendar and mn.catholic.org.au/ community.

April 5-6

Before We Say I Do (see opposite)

Stay up to date with news from across the diocese mnnews.today mnnews.today




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

What the Bible Really Says About Women: Book Review BY BRITTEN THOMPSON

“As you read this book and absorb the stories of all the women mentioned, note how each one of them was a special servant of God, open to his leading.” This is the beginning of the Forward introducing Rev Tony Lang OAM’s book What the Bible Really Says About Women. Rev Lang continues: “When we turn to the Gospels and beyond, we find the same message. God shows no discrimination.” Right from the opening few lines of the Forward, I was hooked. To this reader, the concept of equity of men and women has a naturalness to it reminiscent of divine planning, yet many - both in secular and non-secular communities - act in ways that contravene this self-evident ideal. Owing to painstaking-research, Rev Lang does a great job of taking on a difficult concept. In What the Bible Really Says About Women, Rev Lang dares to challenge the gender normative roles of Christian tradition while succeeding admirably at presenting an engaging and evidence-based case for gender equality within the Church and in everyday life.

rib, so she must be subordinate to him.” Citing Dr Andrew Sloane, author of At Home in a Strange Land: Using the Old Testament in Christian Ethics, Rev Lang debunks this theory by pointing out: “...there is nothing in those words to suggest a hierarchical order. Man’s substance is from the ground - but he is not subject to the ground. The woman is dependant for her existence upon God, not the man”. While the substance of Rev Lang’s book is likely to appeal to women readers, particularly Christian women readers - and it is not by accident that the review of a book with a strong gender equality theme is included in the special International Women’s Day edition of Aurora - What the Bible Really Says About Women will fully engross all readers. Most importantly, it contains a message important to both genders and society as a whole. To pick up your copy of Rev Lang’s book, visit: bit.ly/ WhatTheBibleReallySaysAboutWomen. The book is also available as an eBook from sellers including: Apple, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and more.

Before delivering evidence, grounded in scripture, that God offers the same eternal life to both men and women while asking for the same faith and commitment, Rev Lang debunks five common arguments amongst “subordinationists”, my favourite being: “Because woman was taken from the Man’s

Spicy Coconut Rice Chef Bartholomew Connors, Cathedral Café.

This month I have prepared a ‘throw-together’ rice dish which is stunning with crispy skin chicken (as pictured), slow roast lamb, pan fried fish or just on its own.


It is vegetarian (on its own), gluten free and packs a punch with flavour. It can be eaten hot, warm or cold so makes a great next day lunch meal.

Serves 4

I hope you enjoy.

ff 1 cup of uncooked basmati rice ff 1 Spanish onion - finely sliced ff 1/2 green capsicum - finely chopped ff 1 raw ear of corn - kernels removed ff 1 tablespoon cumin seeds ff Pinch of Salt ff 1/2 teaspoon white pepper ff 1/3 cup shredded coconut ff 1 tablespoon curry powder ff Half a bunch of coriander leaves only ff Chilli - sliced

Method Cook rice as per packet directions. In a large frypan with a little oil on medium heat Cook onion 4 mins. Add capsicum and cook 1 min, then add corn and cook for 2 mins. Lower heat, add cumin seeds and cook 1 min, add pinch of salt, white pepper, and shredded coconut and cook for 2 mins. Reduce heat, add rice to frypan and stir through for 1 min. Add curry powder and cook for a further 3 mins. Remove from heat. Stir through coriander and chilli.

Serve with your desired protein.

Britten Thompson is Team Leader Digital, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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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