Aurora August 2016

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Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle August 2016 | No.160



Learn how to live y sustainabl

Postcards from WYD2016 pilgrims It’s all too easy to hijack your conscience Our teachers are helping teachers overseas



Dep. March 8 & oct 19 EUROPEAN TOUR. Flying Singapore Airlines into Saigon and out of Hanoi $8,975 20 Day Tour $2,625


15 Day Tour

Dep. Apr 4 $8,675

plus 2 flights within Vietnam. 4 nights Saigon, 4 nights Flying Thai into Zurich & out of Brussels. A luxury 7 day Hanoi, 4 nights Hoi An, 1 night Halong Bay with cruise. Rhine River cruise from Zurich to Amsterdam in Avalon’s new river cruiser, Imagery II. 8 day coach tour of Holland INSIDE VIETNAM & Belgium including the spectacular Keukenhof Tulip $3,985 20 Day Tour Dep. Nov 16 & Feb 13 Field & Belgium’s Floralia Spring Flower Exhibition. Flying Singapore Airlines into Saigon and out of Hanoi. 2 day Thailand stopover including a visit to a huge orchid 18 day coach & air tour of Vietnam. For this tour there nursery & Bangkok’s spectacular flower market. is no extra charge for travellers requiring a single room.

Dep. Sep 20




17 Day Tour

Flying Qatar Airways (world’s best airline 2015) into London & out of Edinburgh. Inside visits to Buckingham, Hampton Court, Edinburgh & Holyrood Palaces and Windsor, Cardiff, Kenilworth & Ainwick Castles & the Royal Yacht Brittania, plus many historical sites & buildings with all entrance fees & tips payed.

24 Day Tour

Dep. Mar 2

$5,975 18 Day Tour Dep. Apr 27. Flying into Hanoi & out of Siem Reap with Singapore $3,815 3 Week Tour Dep. Nov 7 & Jan 26 Flying Qatar airways into Warsaw & out of Budapest Airlines plus 2 flights within Vietnam. 18 day Vietnam tour including many hill-tribe areas & a cruise on Halong Bay. Flying Singapore Airlines into Saigon and out of plus a flight Warsaw to Budapest. 11 day Poland 4 day Cambodia tour including Angkor Wat. 1 day Singapore. tour, 3 days Budapest including Danube cruise, Hanoi. 20 day tour of the coast of Vietnam. SOUTH AMERICA 2 day Doha, Qatar stopover.



3 Week Tour

Flying Singapore Airlines into Saigon & out of Hanoi. Plus 2 flights within Vietnam. 20 day tour of Vietnam including 2 days cruising Halong Bay & 2 days touring spectacular Sapa.


16 Day Tour

Dep. Mar 1

Flying Singapore Airlines into Colombo.14 day coach & rail tour of this beautiful country. Tips included.


Dep. Mar 9 $5,785

23 Day Tour

22 Day Tour

Dep. Oct 9

Flying Qantas & Lan Airways into Santiago plus 7 flights TRIANGLE ADVENTURE within South America. 20 day tour of Chile, Peru, Bplivia, $4,675 19 Day Tour Dep. Mar 13 Brazil & Argentina by plane, coach, rail & boat. Optional Flying Singapore Airlines into Chiang Mai & out extensions to Galapagos Islands and to the Amazon. of Phnom Penh plus 2 flights within S.E. Asia. 4 day AROUND TAIWAN tour of Golden Triangle, 7 day coach & boat tour $3,345 9 Day Tour Dep. Nov 2 of Laos including 2 days cruising the Mekong River, Flying Cathay Pacific into Taipei. 8 day Taiwan tour 5 day Cambodia tour including Angkor Wat. including spectacular Taroka Gorge. Tipping included. 2 night Singapore stopover. Tips included. No single room supplement for solo travellers.




18 Day Tour


Dep. Oct 7 $5,265

19 Day Tour

Dep. Nov 17

Dep. Dec 28 $7,625

19 Day Tour

Dep. May 1

Flying Singapore Airlines into Rangoon & out of Kunming, Flying Emirates into Athens. 11 day Greece tour, Flying Singapore Airlines into Delhi and out of Bombay. plus 3 flights within Burma & 1 flight within China. 20 day 4 day cruise of the Greek Islands of Mykonos, Patmos, 16 day coach, air & boat tour of India including the Taj Mahal. 2 day Singapore stopover. Tips included. tour of Burma, Yunnan South China & eastern Tibet. 2 day Rhodes, Crete & Santorini. 2 nights Dubai stopover. Singapore stopover. Tips included. BURMA (MYANMAR) SOUTH AFRICA WITH VICTORIA FALLS





16 Day Tour

$5,495 3 Week Tour Dep. March 15 Flying Thai into Rangoon plus 3 flights within Burma. Flying Qantas into Johannesburg plus 3 flights 13 day Burma tour by coach, plane & boat. 2 night within Africa. Game viewing in 3 game parks. Flying Emirates into Madrid. 16 day tour of Spain, Portugal 2 week tour from Johannesburg to Capetown. Bangkok stopover. Tips included. & Morocco. 2 day Dubai stopover. Tipping included. 4 days Victoria Falls. Tips included $3,268

10 Day Tour

Dep. Jan 18


2 Week Tour


Dep. Feb 1 $2,495

10 Day Tour

Dep. Nov 30

Flying Virgin into Launceston. Visits Launceston, Hobart, Port Flying Thai into Bangkok. 5 nights Bangkok, 3 nights Hua Flying Thai into Bangkok plus a flight within Thailand. Hin in centrally located hotels. Tips included. Twin share Arthur, Strahan, Cradle Mountain with Gordon River cruise. 4 days in Chiang Mai for their spectacular floral festival. accommodation guaranteed for anyone requiring it. Twin share accommodation guaranteed for anyone requiring it. 9 days around Thailand tour. Tipping included.


17 Day Tour


Dep. Mar 12 $8,795

34 Day Tour


$3,595 2 Week Tour Dep. April 26 Dep. Nov 2 Flying China Eastern into Shanghai & out of Beijing plus

Flying Air N.Z. into Christchurch & out of Auckland. Flying Cathay Pacific into London & out of Paris. 3 flights within China. 13 day China tour including 3 day Includes 4 cruises & Transalpine rail journey. 31 day European tour visiting 11 countries. 2 nights first class Yangtze cruise. Tipping included. CANADIAN ROCKIES & ALASKAN CRUISE Hong Kong. Tipping included.

Dep. May 5 VIETNAM HIGHLIGHTS Flying Cathay Pacific into Vancouver. 12 day tour $2,895 11 Day Tour $6,995

25 Day Tour


$6,995 25 Day Tour Dep. May 5 Dep. Jan 16 Flying Cathay Pacific into Vancouver. 12 day tour

of Western Canada & the Rockies. 8 day cruise Flying Singapore Airlines into Saigon & out of Hanoi plus of Western Canada & the Rockies. 8 day cruise of Alaska’s Inside Passage. 3 days Hong Kong 2 flights within Vietnam. Optional extension to Angkor Wat. of Alaska’s Inside Passage. 3 days Hong Kong

The prices listed mainly include return air fares from Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane, airport taxes & AW2069888

fuel levies, good twin share accom., many meals, all transfers, Australian tour leader & local tour guides.

First Word

On the cover Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle August 2016 | No.160

John and Rosie Hayes ‘at home’. Please turn to page 10. Photo courtesy of Priscilla Scanlon.


Learn how to live sustainably

Walking in mercy

Postcards from WYD2016 pilgrims It’s all too easy to hijack your conscience Our teachers are helping teachers overseas

Featured  WYD2016: In the footsteps of the saints


 Award honours saint with identity crisis!


 Domestic violence can and must be prevented 7  Teachers are helping teachers


 Young people learn to be more than they are 11  Foster carer weekend reinforces family-based approach


 Seeing God through the looking glass


 Restoration or restorative opportunity?


 At sea, plastic’s far from fantastic


 A call for peace on Hiroshima Day


 Putting on the habit of care and compassion 20


Our 71 World Youth Day pilgrims left this morning, full of excitement about walking in the footsteps of the saints and encountering Pope Francis. The diocesan pilgrimage is inter-generational and as Bishop Bill has said earlier, one of the WYD dividends will be the wisdom that arises from shared conversations, insights and experiences. Farewelling the pilgrims, I heard a young man who was not travelling say to his pilgrimfriend, “Praying for you.” Please keep them in your prayers, and by the time you read this, they will have countless stories to share! Rev Sally Gero, rector at St Luke’s, Wallsend, wrote, “It is not quite ’local’…but the labyrinth at your own Spirituality Centre at South Kincumber…previously an orphanage run by Mary MacKillop…has a wonderful labyrinth. My Anglican clergy brothers and sisters love walking it when we are there on retreat each

year….I hope to take my parishioners to do this later in the year.” You can ‘visit’ the Centre at There is also a labyrinth in Centennial Park, Sydney, although I have not walked it – yet. Conscience is much maligned in certain Catholic circles, at times by people who should know better. This month Dr Dan Fleming of Broken Bay Institute presents a clear understanding of this vital element in Catholic teaching – and life! Many of you will recognise our cover couple, John and Rosie Hayes of Mayfield. They would not call themselves a ‘power couple’, yet together, they have forged a happy and sustainable lifestyle and are generous in sharing their insights and practical approaches. Do read their story.


 My Word


Contact Aurora Aurora online

 CareTalk


Next deadline 7 August 2016


 Family Matters


 The Catholic Thing


 Seasons of Mercy


Aurora enquiries should be addressed to The Editor Tracey Edstein E PO Box 756 Newcastle 2300 P 4979 1288 | F 4979 1119

 The Way We Were



 Community Noticeboard


 Frankly Spoken


 Last Word



I appreciate the photos and stories that have been sent and hope to be able to publish all. They are posted on the diocesan website at st-johns-restoration/the-way-we-were-auroraextra. As the theme for WYD 2016 proclaims, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”

A number of gentlemen contacted me regarding the photo of celebrations for the

 First Word

 Two by Two

diamond jubilee of Bishop Edmund Gleeson in 1953. The train bearer is Peter Bogan, who has featured in Aurora before, and both Peter, and Terry Bailey of Greta, advised that on the right of the telegraph pole are Joe Saide and Brian Bailey. Fr Brian Bailey died recently.


Good news! You can still catch up with Aurora online, via



Fairfax Media Phone 4979 5259

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My Word

Christian fundamentals I have an old grievance about the way a relatively small group has appropriated to itself, in Australia at least, both the designation and the popular image of ‘Christians’. I began to resent this, as I recall, back in the ‘seventies when figures like the Rev Fred Nile somehow came to be accepted as expressing ‘the Christian position’ on matters of the day like ‘victimless crime’ law reform, licensing laws, gambling and so on. To me, the puritan, ‘wowser’ tradition never represented the views of most Christians in Australia, so how did they come to be accepted as the public face of Christianity, the ‘Christian lobby’? My reason for mentioning this now is that I’ve been irritated more than usual lately by letters to the editor and talkback callers who blithely identify Christians, indeed religious believers more widely, with the really rather tiny groups whom the rest of us call ‘fundamentalists’. You know, we get these types of comment on any church-related story: ‘What do you expect from people who believe in an old man in the sky who made the world in seven days?’ Sometimes the barb is a bit more sophisticated, but the identification of Christians with fundamentalists is generally a large part of it. Actually, Fundamentalism is a small and quite recent phenomenon in Christian history. If I may quote from Diarmaid MacCulloch’s 2009 book A History of Christianity: “Fundamentalism is a distinctively Protestant idea, because it centres on the Reformation way of reading the Bible. Reformation Protestantism turned its back on most of the ancient symbolic, poetic or allegorical ways of looking at the biblical text, and read it in a literal way.” There are a


few things to be said here: first, that despite his Irish-looking name, MacCulloch is an exAnglican, son of an Anglican rector of Suffolk; second, that he is quite right that the ancient teachers whom we call ‘Fathers of the Church’ were extremely adept at recognising symbolic and non-literal meanings in the Scripture, and third, that while Fundamentalism may be “a Protestant idea”, not all Protestants are fundamentalists; indeed very few are.

things that God had produced at Creation. He was quite unfazed that the Book of Genesis told a different story, knowing that ‘science’ was not what Genesis was about. So can we please not have ‘Christians’ identified with biblical fundamentalists? Three-quarters of the world’s Christians, after all, are either Catholic or Orthodox and don’t qualify for holding to ‘the Reformation way of reading the Bible’. And most Protestants aren’t fundamentalists either.

Broadly, Fundamental-ism is a child of the American Bible belt of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some of those evangelical Christians thought that Darwinian evolutionary theory and liberal theology threatened the authority of the Bible, and the name Fundamentalism actually derives from a mammoth twelve-volume series of essays, The Fundamentals, that they published in the ‘States between 1910 and 1915. Otherwise, looking across the Christian spectrum, most scholars took the arrival of evolutionary theory, geological dating of the earth and so on, with remarkable equanimity. So, again, I dislike the way fundamentalist groups are taken as representing the ‘good ole religion’, as if all Christians once thought as they do. No, biblical fundamentalism is the innovation. Just as the ancients knew that the world was round, despite our myth about Columbus coming up with the idea, so they knew that the Bible was full of imagery and symbol, despite the fundamentalist myth that all Christians took the Bible absolutely literally until some time last week. Way back in the second century, Origen, one of the earliest ‘Fathers’, had speculated that the world as we know it may have developed from the simple ‘seeds’ of

The other aspect of the misapplication of ‘Christian’ that I mentioned, the assumption that as all ‘wowsers’ are Christians so all Christians must be wowsers, is equally unfair and wrong-headed. The ‘wowser’ in Australian folklore is against all drinking, smoking, gambling and any number of other aberrations, possibly including dancing and bikinis. This is demonstrably not the stance of most Australian Christians, but somehow the expectation persists that ‘Christians’ are like that. Every priest has stories of people who are astonished when they discover that priests drink or smoke or have a bet. Every priest has stories of people apologising for doing such things in their presence, or even referring to doing such things. I used to say, “Know a lot of priests, do you?” And yet a quarter of the Australian population is Catholic, to say nothing of nonpuritan Anglicans and others. How do these images persist? I am a Christian, right? And very proud to say so. Perhaps you are too. But I am not a biblical fundamentalist or a wowser. And I’m getting jolly sick of being lumped in.

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WYD2016: Walking in the footsteps of the saints At the time of writing, World Youth Day pilgrim and Communications Team member Joanne Isaac has written from Venice, Milan and Siena. These extracts and images provide a glimpse of the joy and wonder of this diocesan pilgrimage ‘in the footsteps of the saints’.

P ilg ri m s in fro n t o f D u o m o , M ila n .

Brian Lace y with guide s Silvio and Salva tore in Siena .

e, Br ad y, Ma de lain e Ra Eri n Mc Co rt, Sin ea d an O’ Br ien an d Ja rod ag Me r, ce en oe be Sp Be lind a Sk etc hle y, Ph lan Ca the dra l. Ge ne ng er on top of Mi an d pil gri ma ge To ur gu ide Sa lva tore tia n stree ts. ne Ve in y, rra ma sc ot Mu

Fr C am ill us , Jo A ili s M ac p he ha nn a S o o , B is ho p B ill rs o n at B as ili ca o f S t Fr an d an ci s.

e. Do ge s Pa lac e, Ve nic

To learn more, please visit /mnnewstoday


Des Thomas and John Leao in Piazza del Campo, Siena.

edral . Pilgri m choir at Mass in chap el of Milan Cath

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Award honours saint with identity crisis!

The Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle is pleased to announce the inaugural Magdalene Award. The Award was launched at the Day of Reflection at Broadmeadow in July. Chair of the CACW contact group, Patricia Banister, said, “The Magdalene Award will recognise a woman living in and committed to the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. It is a public affirmation of a life being lived in ways that reflect the gospel values of mercy, justice, peace and compassion.” The Magdalene Award honours St Mary Magdalene, often called the ‘apostle to the apostles’. Mary exemplified courage, leadership, fidelity and strength. She has often been a victim of ‘mistaken identity’, and so the

experience of contemporary Church women whose contribution is limited by Church law would resonate with her.

Aquinas and others as the “apostle to the apostles” - and is now commemorated with a liturgical feast.

was a risk-taker and a woman of mercy, and

St Mary Magdalene’s feast is celebrated on 22 July and a decree, dated 3 June and issued on 10 June by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, raised the obligatory memorial of St Mary Magdalene to the dignity of a feast. The Congregation has published a new Latin preface for the feast that will be translated into other languages. The decree states that in our times, the Church is called to a more profound reflection “on the dignity of women, the new evangelisation and the abundance of the mystery of divine mercy”, all of which are manifest in the life of the saint. St Mary Magdalene has been described by St Thomas

As Kathleen Murphy writes, “Excluding his mother, the leading disciple, and the one who appears to have been closest to Jesus not just during his ministry but on the cross, too, was Mary Magdalene. The fact that she was free to follow Jesus consistently indicates that she was a single woman who had few home duties and that she was of comfortable means….Mary is not to be confused with Mary of Bethany who anointed Jesus’ head in anticipation of his impending passion, death and rushed burial…. A careful study of Scripture shows Mary Magdalene to be a woman of exemplary character, courage, mercy, faith and unswerving fidelity….She

continuity from Galilee to Jerusalem, from

the cross…. She, not Peter or John, provides Jerusalem to Calvary, from Calvary to the tomb to a resurrected and glorified figure in the garden.” (The Women of the Passion Kathleen M Murphy St Paul’s Publishing 2005). Nominations can be received from any member of the diocesan community, and must be submitted with the permission of the nominee. Nomination forms can be downloaded from MagdaleneAward or obtained from Alyson Segrott, PO Box 756, Newcastle 2300, E


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Domestic violence can and must be prevented


In Australia, one woman is murdered each week by her current or former partner. This statistic can be changed by confronting the factors that predict high levels of violence against women. Research shows that beliefs that reflect disrespect for women, gender inequality and being trapped in stereotypical gender roles all contribute to the problem. Every Australian has a choice to create a country where violence against women and children is not tolerated and there are many organisations in Australia working to address this issue and bring about a solution. The Diocesan Social Justice Council is

raising awareness by hosting a dinner on 26 August in Newcastle. The speakers will focus on prevention, how to recognise signs of domestic violence and what each of us can do to help. The Hon Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC, Chair of the Parliamentary Friends for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse, will present on what is being done at a Government level to address, and ultimately to prevent, domestic violence. Robyn Donnelly (Diocese of MaitlandNewcastle) will present on healthy relationships; how to communicate more effectively and discuss the important issues.

Respect and communication are important steps in the prevention of domestic violence. Suellyn Moore (Nova Women) will suggest what to do if you or someone you know is in a Domestic Violence situation. The dinner will be raising money for Nova Women, a service that supports women, with or without children, in Lake Macquarie and the western suburbs of Newcastle, who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or escaping domestic or family violence. Nova Women believes in the rights of women and their children to live safely

and participate in the community by being empowered to make their own choices. The dinner will be held on Friday 26 August at Victor Peters Suite from 5.30pm, $35 per person to attend. RSVP to or P 4979 1111 by 19 August.

Domestic Violence Awareness Dinner 5.30pm Friday 26 August 2016 Victor Peters Suite, 841 Hunter Street, Newcastle West The Office of Life and Faith’s Marriage and Relationship Co‑ordinator, Robyn Donnelly, will present on healthy relationships, how to communicate better and discuss the important issues effectively.

Reserve your place now! Cost is $35 per head and donations from the night will support Nova Women.

Chair of the Parliamentary Friend for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse, Hon Natasha Maclaren‑Jones MLC, will present on what is being done to prevent Domestic Violence and Nova Women’s Suellyn Moore will present on what to do if you or someone you know is in a Domestic Violence situation.

Direct payment can be made to Catholic Diocese of Maitland‑Newcastle BSB 062-808 Account 1025 5506 include reference ‑ "your name" DV Dinner.

RSVP essential by 19 August 2016 to Brooke Robinson, email

For more information phone 4979 1111.

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Of all the solutions put forward to address poverty in the world, education constantly ranks as most important. Almost a decade ago, the Teachers Helping Teachers outreach program was launched by the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to assist underprivileged areas of India, Cambodia and East Timor through the provision of funds to support the employment of teachers in each of these countries. Today, the unique program, now run in partnership with Catholic Mission, reaches over five countries and has raised over $200,000 toward various projects supporting this mission through generosity, passion and the ultimate goal of breaking the poverty cycle through education. For many years, the CSO has deeply engaged with issues of social justice, both in Australia and overseas, with staff and students involved in various immersion programs. In line with these initiatives, the Teachers Helping Teachers program was launched in November 2006. Due to a lack of basic resources and students living with disease and disability, committed teachers working in Catholic communities in developing countries around the world often struggle to make the most of their skills or the potential of their students. The Teachers Helping Teachers program was designed to provide a means to support education in less developed countries. In the program’s first year, teachers, principals and support staff pledged over $16,000 which covered the annual cost of employing in excess of 10 teachers in India, Cambodia and East Timor. Ten years on, the program continues to support the employment of teachers in schools. One of the initiatives currently receiving funding is Cambodia’s St Francis’ Professional High School. Located in Takeo, an hour and a half south of Cambodia’s capital, Phnom 8

Helen McIntosh, teacher at St Mary’s High School, Gateshead, with children who are benefiting from the Teachers Helping Teachers program.

Penh, the Catholic school educates boys and girls no matter their religion. When established by Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler in 2003, the school site was barren and dry and had an enrolment of just 32 students. With the help of various funding initiatives, including Teachers Helping Teachers, the school now boasts over 250 students, 40 staff and a revenue stream of rice fields, fruit trees and silk weaving.

students develop skills and secure gainful employment. Students will learn sustainable agricultural practices assisting them, their families and communities. The high school also owns a farm (located 25km from campus) for students to practise their skills whilst also generating revenue. For the students of St Francis’, the difficulty of getting a good education is compounded by the need to learn sustainable agricultural techniques and to care for the earth. Bishop Olivier’s vision is for this revenue to translate into an income stream for additional teachers for the school.

The quality of the education delivered at St Francis’ is also something to be proud of, with all Year 12 students achieving a final exams pass rate in 2014.

Last month, Vice School Director of St Francis’ High School, Mrs Lay Makara, visited the senior Agriculture students of St Joseph’s High School, Aberdeen. Delighted by the similarities between St Joseph’s and St Francis’, Makara spoke of sustainable agriculture and the challenges and rewards of student life in rural Cambodia.

The quality of the education delivered at St Francis’ is also something to be proud of, with all Year 12 students achieving a final exams pass rate in 2014.

“Our students value education highly as it is the surest way out of poverty and it is one thing that once gained, can’t be taken from you,” said Makara.

“Only 26% of the 90,000 Year 12 students across Cambodia passed their final exams which makes this a remarkable result,” says Catholic Mission Diocesan Director, Mark Toohey.

“In addition to the funding from the Teachers Helping Teachers program, at any time we also have graduates of St Francis’ return to teach for a couple of years as a way of giving back to the school.”

“This outstanding pass rate has encouraged the government to approve and support the establishment of two vocational streams at St Francis’.”

Also receiving funding from the Teachers Helping Teachers program are the Karunalaya Leprosy Care Centre in India and La Valla School in Cambodia.

Early this year, St Francis’ established a second stream with a focus on agriculture and hospitality to help disadvantaged

One teacher who has been touched by the Teachers Helping Teachers program is Assistant Principal of St Mary’s Primary

School, Scone, Kim Wilson. Kim has returned to Cambodia every year since her first CSOled immersion in 2013. “I have contributed financially to Teachers Helping Teachers since it started in 2006,” says Kim. “I have always been interested in mission work but didn’t know where to start, so when the opportunity came to visit Cambodia and Vietnam with Director of Schools, Ray Collins, and a team of CSO employees, I jumped at the chance.” One of the most influential parts of the immersion experience for Kim was seeing how Catholic Mission supports various projects and how the funds raised by the Teachers Helping Teachers program were distributed amongst the communities and schools. “It was great to see how the funds raised are making a difference over there and to see that the money donated is not being held up in admin,” says Kim. “Everywhere we visited, Ray Collins would actually point out tangible objects such as laptops and other teaching tools and resources that were funded by Teachers Helping Teachers. “Education is a way out of poverty for these people. Anything that makes it easier for the students to get to school, stay in school or for the teachers to deliver curriculums is one step closer to their getting out of that cycle of poverty.” Education is the key to breaking the poverty cycle. To learn more about this great initiative or to make a tax deductible donation, visit teachershelpingteachers

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Learning the truth about lying Q

By TANYA RUSSELL Registered Psychologist

CatholicCare's Counselling Team Leader, registered psychologist Tanya Russell, will address 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 131 114.

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


My five-year-old daughter began kindergarten this year and I have noticed that she has been telling a few lies lately. Some are little white lies and she seems to think these are funny. But she also becomes angry if we question her about the truth; particularly when we find out she has been throwing her lunch in the bin at school. How do I address this behaviour without making her feel that she is a naughty girl for lying? It seems that your little girl is well on her way to growing up. Without knowing if she has a history of other emotional or behavioural concerns, I will say that generally speaking, lying is a sure sign that your daughter is starting to understand more about how others think. This means that she might have discovered that people think differently from her, and that you cannot read her thoughts, which makes it ‘safe’ to tell a few lies. It is quite common for children to tell lies, particularly at the age of five. Why do children lie? Think about lying as a behaviour; all behaviour serves a purpose. Consider the times your daughter has lied and whether she could be: f f Covering something up so she doesn’t get into trouble (such as throwing her lunch in the bin) – also indicating she is learning right from wrong. f f Testing her boundaries with you to see how you will react – a bit of trial and error to see what she can get away with.

f f Making a real or imaginary story sound more exciting. f f Trying to get your attention for whatever reason – positive or negative. f f Twisting the truth to get what she wants – for example, telling grandma that mum lets her stay up late so this can also happen at grandma’s house. How should I deal with lying? Once you have worked out the possible reason for the lie, this will give you an idea as to whether you should approach the situation with a fun, imaginative response, or talk more seriously with your daughter about lying and consequences. For example, if your daughter was telling a lie to make a story more exciting, you might praise her for her imagination and say, “Wow, that’s an interesting story!” However, if you find out that your daughter is regularly throwing her lunch out, and she is missing out on lunch, you might need to look further into this, and find out why. This kind of lie seems to be related to her not

wanting to get into trouble for some reason but at the same time, throwing her lunch away is also telling you something about her food preferences or possible emotions at lunchtime. Then you could also talk to her about the importance of telling the truth so mummy knows how to help her. If, however, your daughter tells deliberate lies for other reasons, such as to get her own way, you might consider introducing consequences and let her know what is ok and what is not ok in your house. Praise your daughter whenever she is honest, particularly after you have questioned her about the truth. If your daughter was older, my advice would be a bit different as a pattern of lying in older children can be a sign of a learned habit or other concerns. You could also consider reading a story to her about lying, such as “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, so she can learn why lying can work against you if it keeps happening. At her young age, she would not be aware of the possible negative consequences of lying.

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Two by Two


John and Rosie Hayes are passionate about living a sustainable lifestyle. Rosie believes that their childhoods in country NSW instilled a sustainable outlook in each of them. Rosie grew up on a property at Gulargambone and John in the small town of Millthorpe. Each of their families relied on rain water and Rosie’s family generated its own power with diesel engines until power was connected in 1956. During their married life John and Rosie renovated many houses in Sydney. In 2004 they decided to leave Sydney behind and move to Newcastle. They renovated a 90-year-old house in Islington and renovated again in 2010 when they found a house in Mayfield that “had potential”.

John and Rosie planted “three lines of defence” to cool the front of their westernfacing house. There are trees, shrubs and plants on the nature strip, tall hedges at the front fence, more trees in the garden and a grapevine on a pergola attached to the house. Rosie said the trees create a breeze line – a microclimate − and often she sees people pausing in front of their house on hot days to be in the shade. John says the house is some seven degrees cooler in summer just because of the trees.

The Mayfield house was built in the 1920s and in 1976 was converted to three flats. John and Rosie removed three kitchens and three bathrooms and opened up small dark rooms. They knocked down walls and put up beams. A breeze curtain was installed which can divide the open plan area into zones for heating − a cave with a curtain or a lightfilled open area.

Twelve solar panels on the roof create more power than is used. The couple sells all the power to the grid and buys back what is used. In five years, electricity has cost them nothing and they receive a significant cheque from the power company every quarter. This system, however, ends in December and they are now investigating battery storage. On the roof is a vacuum evacuated solar hot water system which heats the water in their tank. They only switch on the booster heater at their main power board around four or five times a year when they have lots of people stay over or there are five consecutive days with no sun. Essentially, they have free hot water.

Solar orientation is critical in enabling John and Rosie to have an energy-efficient house. They believe houses need the northern and eastern sun for heat in the winter and for light. They installed pergolas with deciduous vines to let in the winter sun and shield themselves in the hot summer. The yard had grass but no trees when they bought it. They planted some 50 trees and shrubs, including a fig tree from which they make jam, and established a vegetable patch.

They converted a bedroom on the north and east to a sunroom, bringing the outside in. The hardwood wall frames were left and gauze to keep the insects out was installed along with bistro blinds (clear thick plastic) which are opened in summer. On a winter’s day the warmth from this room radiates to the internal part of the house. They also installed a glass door and large window on the northern side and a window in John’s office to let in the northern sun and light. All


the windows in the house are gauze so can be locked but partially open to allow breezes from all compass points. Another method to reduce summer heat was to put a floor vent under the fridge, covered with fine gauze, to draw up cool air from under the house. There are also two gauze vents in the pantry floor. In winter the vents are covered so the cool air cannot enter. Over many years of renovating they have learned to be resourceful, moving some walls and retaining others. This has involved cleaning bricks, relocating temporary plumbing, retaining and recycling original period features and reproducing other features. While renovating, they always lived in the house, which had its challenges, especially as their five children came along. Their bathrooms are deliberately small to allow more floor space for other rooms. Their current bathroom is only 1.8 metres wide and includes a shower, a basin that doubles as a laundry tub, full-sized bath, toilet, washing machine and dryer (rarely used) and a broom cupboard. They built an en suite which is 90cm wide with access from the kitchen as well as the main bedroom. John and Rosie believe buying second-hand rather than new is an important part of living sustainably. They find wonderful treasures and bargains such as good quality clothes and toys at op shops. An added bonus is that charities are helped. They also enjoy garage sales, markets and antique centres. During the renovations they recycled a lot of the timber in the house, selling or donating what wasn’t required.

Every day John and Rosie make an enormous difference to the environment through their lifestyle choices and their decisions around heating, cooling, insulation and lighting in their energy efficient home. To learn more about sustainable living, John recommends f f Pope Francis Laudato Si – On Care for Our Common Home f f The Francis Effect II, a series of essays about Pope Francis f f Michael Mobbs Sustainable Food and Sustainable House f f Mark Diesendorf Sustainable Energy solutions for Climate Change f f Tim Flannery Atmosphere of Hope – Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis f f Sharyn Munro Rich Land Wasteland f f Rob Hopkins The Transition Handbook f f media/717936/the_power_of_two_-_ updated_april_2016.pdf f f f f




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SIL clients learn to be more than they are By MADDIE BRADFORD

Designed by CatholicCare Social Services for its Supported Independent Living Program (SIL) participants, the recent Personal Growth Series focused on teaching important life skills to young people. Indeed, such life skills were readily imparted in presentations with some of Australia’s most sought after leaders, including Paralympian Kurt Fearnley, “Biggest Loser” trainer Shannon Ponton and finance guru, Peter Thornhill. “We want to empower the young people we support to live fulfilling lives in an adult world,” Director of CatholicCare, Helga Smit, said, “The Personal Growth Series is one way we are helping them achieve this.” SIL, a program offered to 16-18 year-olds who have previously lived in Out of Home Care, aims to help young adults transition into adulthood by providing them with guidance

on matters including basic housekeeping, finances, health, education and employment. “Many of the young people we support have had a difficult start in life, and it’s important they are given guidance to achieve success and not let the card they have been dealt define who they become,” Ms Smit said. “The presenters in the Personal Growth Series are at the top of their respective fields, and learning how they continued to strive for success in times of adversity was a valuable educational experience.” Kurt Fearnley began the series by sharing his own motivational tale, captivating participants as he detailed how he crawled the Kokoda Track, claimed victory at consecutive Paralympics and was part of the winning crew in the 2012 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. His message for the participants was a simple concept, but one he has said took discipline to master.

“I am someone who will never stop. Someone who will never ever give up. Ever,” Kurt said. There was no denying his effect on the crowd with one participant, Will, revealing, “Kurt showed us how to stay positive…I feel like he is a real hero.” Beyond personal goals, participants were also guided on how to set and manage financial budgets, when principal of Motivated Money, Peter Thornhill, presented. With over 45 years experience in the financial services industry, he imparted two overriding messages: don’t spend more than you earn, don’t borrow more than you can afford. “The speakers were incredible and really opened my eyes to what else is out there, and what I can achieve,” said SIL participant, Jessa. “They showed us we can be more than we are now.”

Kurt Fearnley addresses participant s in the Personal Growth series.

The series culminated with a presentation from “Biggest Loser” trainer Shannon Ponton, which focused on the importance of health and mental wellbeing, and was followed by a fun fitness session on Merewether beach. “CatholicCare wants those in the SIL program to successfully engage in the community and we work with them continually to help them achieve this. We thank the presenters for sharing their personal journey with the people we support and for the positive impact this has already had on their lives,” Ms Smit said.

Services for the whole community

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Disability Services Counselling, Family & Clinical Services Out of Home Care (foster care) Youth Services Refugee Service Early Intervention Programs Mental Health Programs Community outreach Marriage Education To learn more visit or call 4979 1120 /CatholicCareHM @CatholicCareHM | 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 | 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



Foster carer weekend reinforces familybased approach


Becoming a foster carer is a big step, but CatholicCare believes it’s not one you should have to take alone. Recently it invited carers involved in its Out Of Home Care program to take part in the inaugural Foster Carer Focus Group Discussions, held in the picturesque Hunter Valley. The discussions were run by an independent facilitator, enabling carers to provide honest and anonymous feedback on their experiences. “Carers not only provide young people with safety and stability, but they empower them to reach their full potential. For this to happen, carers themselves must feel supported and able to provide constructive criticism as and when it is needed,” Director of CatholicCare, Helga Smit, said.


CatholicCare offers a range of foster care options for children and young people who cannot live with their own parents or extended family. Child-centred case plans are developed in conjunction with clinical psychologists and support staff; however, these plans are constructed in consultation with carers.

such as adoption and guardianship, we rely on feedback from carers to ensure these are being delivered at a consistently high standard,” Ms Smit said.

“CatholicCare is devoted to working with carers because we acknowledge the best outcomes for the child occur when plans are implemented in partnership with quality carers,” said Ms Smit.

Set in the tranquil vineyard region, the weekend allowed many families a rare chance for a night’s getaway, and was given “top marks” by participants.

“Because we operate a range of services, such as specialised support groups, information on topics like contact anxiety and mental health, and assistance with processes

“The Foster Carer Focus Group Discussions have enabled CatholicCare to identify avenues for improvement and we look forward to acting on the feedback we’ve received.”

“We all had such a wonderful time together,” said foster carer Peter Di Girolamo. According to Mr Di Girolamo, the discussion in the focus groups was productive and gave carers a platform to express themselves freely.

Fo ste r ca rer Pe ter Di Gi ro lam o.

“We went over time…and carers still had more they wanted to say,” he said. Mr Di Girolamo said the weekend was thoroughly enjoyed by members of his family, and he particularly appreciated the chance to speak personally with members of CatholicCare’s management team. “At CatholicCare, our focus is on the child, but we care about our carers and recognise the need to support the household to support the child,” said Ms Smit.

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Family Matters

We’re talking ‘wellbeing’ but do we know what it means?


Image courtesy of Magnolia Star Photography.

Over the past decade, wellbeing has increasingly been positioned as ‘core business’ of schools, a development that is not altogether surprising, given school is the place where children spend much of their precious childhoods. Yet there is currently no recognised national policy framework for the wellbeing of Australian children to guide schools in this important and challenging work. Further, some suggest ‘wellbeing’ is at risk of becoming a kind of ‘hurrah’ word that everyone agrees with, even though there is little or no consensus about what it looks, sounds or feels like, especially in the context of schools. Wellbeing is often described in terms of ‘mental health’, ‘resilience’, ‘psychosocial competence’ and the like. Many communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, prefer the term wellbeing to mental health, because it reflects a more positive and holistic approach and goes some way to countering the deficit framing of children’s lives that dominated this field for many years. Generally, wellbeing is understood to encompass states of happiness, confidence and not feeling depressed; a feeling of autonomy and control over one’s life; the capacity to make a contribution within a given community and the ability to have good relationships with others. Reflecting on my own work over many years as a teacher and academic, including as author of the Seasons for Growth loss and grief education program, I have learned a great deal about children and their wellbeing – and I’m still learning! At times, I have had to challenge some deeply held assumptions (my own and others’) about notions of ‘risk’ and ‘vulnerability’ as I observed the immense potential of children

and young people to solve problems amid difficult circumstances and complex issues, transition through painful events, manage challenging feelings, identify what is in their best interests and make good choices. While I’ve witnessed, time and again, the potentially damaging effects on children and young people when key relationships in their lives aren’t functioning well and/or they are disconnected from positive social support, I’ve also been inspired and humbled by how adept some children are in the face of such realities. As a result, I have at times critically questioned research evidence and policy frameworks that overly generalise or universalise the experience of children and young people, often using only administrative data or proxy parent and teacher data, without hearing directly from the ‘experts’ themselves.

Being cared for, respected and valued (and providing this for others) was found to be central to the experience of wellbeing at school. This is exemplified in data where students frame wellbeing in terms of ‘being’, ‘having’ and ‘doing’: for example, being happy, having someone to trust, doing kind things for oneself and others. While trust featured strongly, so too did the need for connectedness, belonging and being known. For many students, being known happens at a quite tacit level – being ‘noticed’, ‘visible’, ‘somebody knowing you are there’, ‘people not forgetting about you’. This was often most powerfully conveyed through simple gestures such as being greeted by name, a teacher noticing if something has changed for the student, a quiet nod, a knowing smile, a timely enquiry about an ill family member or a weekend sporting outcome. Students reported that they valued having teachers who listened to them, supported them to make good decisions and enabled them to contribute to the life of the school and the broader community. Students provided many examples of how such support helped them to grow in confidence, set goals, make good decisions, be positive and care for themselves.

There is nothing quite so profound as to be present to children as they make sense of their experience.

Some of my most recent work has involved leading large-scale research on wellbeing at school. Such research has been tremendously enhanced by the opportunity to hear the views of students through interviews, focus groups and online surveys, as well as the perspectives of adult stakeholders. When I talk with principals, teachers, pastoral care workers, counsellors and others about key findings from this research, I’m often asked ‘Where/ how do we start to address these issues’? or ‘What should we change’? My response is consistent – the evidence points very strongly to the fact that relationships are the key.

Similarly, teachers spoke about the importance of good communication, ‘attentive noticing’, trust and being proactive in supporting and facilitating good relationships in schools. They stressed the

importance of students feeling understood and cared about, their individual qualities, talents and differences acknowledged and valued, and of treating all children well, accepting and respecting them. One teacher put it this way, “I think there’s a relationship that the teacher builds with a child and your hope as a teacher, your greatest wish, is that you connect with every child.” Another suggested, “I don’t think we can have any clue about wellbeing if we don’t…know a student well enough so that when they walk into your classroom and [you] realise ‘They’re a bit down today’, ‘They’re a bit flat’ or ‘They’re really excited. What’s happened?’ If you don’t know them well enough then you don’t even register that.” While I’m quick to point out that the critical importance of relationships for children and young people’s wellbeing isn’t exactly rocket science, we do need to acknowledge there is often a gap between what we know and what we do when it comes to improving relationships. Children and young people, I’ve learned, are experts on their lives – including on what helps and hinders their wellbeing – and we’d do well as adults to continue to find creative ways to listen to their views and reflect these in our policies, programs and planning. There is nothing quite so profound as to be present to children as they make sense of their experience. For each of us, in the various contexts in which we work, this is a gift, a challenge and a tender responsibility. Anne Graham is Professor of Childhood and Youth Studies and Director of the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University.

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Seeing God through the looking glass


“You look like a pig!” The story goes that a young, strapping soldier blurted this out when he was passing through a village and saw Buddha sitting under a tree. The Buddha opened his eyes and gazed upon the young man. He responded, “And you look like God!” Taken aback, the soldier demanded, “What do you mean?” The Buddha explained, “When we look out at the world we don’t really see what’s there. We project what is within onto whatever meets our gaze. I sit under this tree thinking about God, and when I open my eyes I see God. You must have been thinking about other things.” This response could have landed a lance in the Buddha’s belly. However, it does contain a truth to be aware of, and a notorious tendency to be countered. Sometimes I have asked myself why I took a dislike to someone, only to realise on searching my soul that they reflected something I did not like in myself. Thrusting my presumptions and faults onto others is unfair. It is also very self-indulgent because I can then dislike them for ‘their’ faults, and don’t have to acknowledge those faults as mine. It’s self-protective scapegoating. Projection certainly happens in our human relationships. It is also common in our encounters with animals, and even inanimate objects. Very significantly, we do it to God. Aptly named ‘projectile vomiting’ provides an earthy – albeit unpleasant – illustration. (I apologise to the squeamish for conjuring these crass imaginings!). Imagine someone throwing up on another and

then telling the unfortunate person they stink and look disgusting, without acknowledging that it’s really their own inner contents that appal them. Imagine that person saying to the other, “You’re gross. I want nothing to do with you.” Metaphorically, on the interpersonal level, this can happen. I don’t want to associate with you because you reveal what I refuse to accept about myself. I have witnessed persons accused of attitudes, prejudices and behaviour which have barely been displayed by the accused but have been pronounced aspects of the accuser’s personality and conduct. For example, I observed one person constantly criticised for allegedly being constantly critical, when there was no basis in reality. The complainant, in fact, seemed compulsively critical. I have also seen uncaring individuals complain, “You don’t care about me” to genuine friends trying to offer consolation and help. Such situations call to mind Jesus’ observation concerning our tendency to be preoccupied with the speck in another’s eye while oblivious to the plank in our own. Sometimes, too, we can project goodness onto others that isn’t in them. Children, for example, have to learn not to see all adults as benignly as those who have nurtured them. There are some who will take advantage of the positive misconceptions projected onto them – and will actively foster such projections. Concerning animals, we have all encountered transference of human thinking and feeling to creatures incapable of such. Evil intentions assigned to the nasty species (think Jaws) is common, as is the application of human motivation to pets for heroism, loyalty and other animal behaviours.

For projection onto inanimate things, consider the times you have seen a face in a cloud, or a ‘ducky’, or the times you have accused your unco-operative car of ‘knowing’ that you had an important appointment the very day it ‘decided’ not to start.

forgiveness. We can spotlight his good actions and overlook his downtime in prayer. We can make much of his compassion, and relegate his insistence on truth to virtual nonexistence. We can make our own Jesus to suit us, according to our bias.

How about God? Possibly the worst casualty of projection of all time! The Bible tells us God made us in God’s image and likeness. We have spent human history ‘making’ God in our image and likeness. Instead of discovering the good features of the Creator to be found in the creature, we have been busy concocting notso-good aspects of ourselves which we have then projected onto an innocent God. The mean have created a mean god. The angry have created an angry god. The lax have created a lax god. The vengeful have created a vengeful god. The cruel have created a callous, whimsical, aggressive god who demands cowed obedience to stave off his wrath. What could God do about these false characteristics projected upon him? (Yes, even the masculine pronoun is a projection!) What God did was counter-projection. God projected himself in flesh into our humanity in the person of Jesus. Jesus is the perfect image of the Father. We look to Jesus in the Scriptures and in prayer so that we can see truly what God is in himself. God is perfect love, the clear-seeing St John tells us. Still, there is danger. Our propensity to project extends even to Jesus. We make Jesus in our image, too. We can emphasise his mercy and neglect his justice. We can highlight his respect for the Law and downplay his

What God did was counter-projection. God projected himself in flesh into our humanity in the person of Jesus.

Being aware that we are natural-born projectionists is the starting point for us to discern truth. Countering and overcoming the tendency is very challenging. It is a vital challenge, because truth is not something we create but rather something to be discovered. What we discover is infinitely better than anything we could fabricate. We need to let God project the reality, the truth about himself and ourselves, onto our awareness. Imagine if we really saw the God who is love in one another.




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Photo courtesy of Helena Cake.


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The Catholic Thing

It’s all too easy to hijack conscience put out of business – propaganda informed him that it was only a matter of time before a plague of Jewish tailors showed up and stole his customers. Point Three: But did that mean they should be driven out completely? Point Four: His family. Surely, he had to do whatever he could to support them. If that meant being in the Party, it means being in the Party.


In an episode of The Simpsons, Bart confesses to Lisa that he has caused grave distress to his classroom teacher and has a “hot feeling in the back of his head”. Lisa says this is his conscience, making him feel guilty (in fact it’s a spider biting Bart’s head) (Baezer, 1993). The Simpsons often captures popular understandings of complex ideas. Typically, when we use the word ‘conscience’ we think of that guilty feeling we experience after doing something wrong. Within the Catholic tradition the idea of conscience is, I believe, much richer. Well understood, it has the capacity to tell us something about ourselves, and to shine a spotlight on those times when we lapse morally. Had this teaching been more thoroughly understood, and better practised, it’s likely the horrendous abuses within the Church that have rightly been brought to light would have been avoided, or at least reported more readily. More later, but first, how might we understand conscience? Let’s begin with another example. Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief tells a story of World War II Germany. Here the narrator reflects on the thought process of a character called Alex Steiner: Point One: He was a member of the Nazi party but he did not hate the Jews, or anyone else for that matter. Point Two: Secretly, though, he couldn’t help feeling a percentage of relief (or worse – gladness!) when Jewish shop owners were

Point Five: Somewhere, far down, there was an itch in his heart, but he made it a point not to scratch it. He was afraid of what might come leaking out. (Zusak, 2007, p. 65) Point five captures the first dimension of conscience. Often we experience that itch in our hearts – a suspicion that perhaps our treatment of others falls short, how we spend our money isn’t really best for our families, or there’s something amiss in the vast chasm between rich and poor. That itch can be considered a call to think more deeply about the decisions we make and the kinds of people we are, and that’s the first dimension of conscience in Catholic teaching. More significantly, that call is the voice of God, “echoing in our depths” as the Second Vatican Council put it. When we stop and listen, we begin to consider, ‘What should I do here? What kind of person should I be?’ We don’t know the answers immediately, so we need to search for them. Our ability to undertake this search is the second dimension, and it tells us that conscience functions best when it is formed. We don’t expect young children to navigate the complex moral terrain of friendships – indeed we often witness their crossing boundaries; sometimes they gossip, lie, exclude, even lash out physically. However, as we develop we learn to moderate these ways of relating to one another (unless we’re malicious people) which learning enables us to cultivate more stable friendships. The same applies to other areas – it’s only with

formation that we know how to respond to the call, and formation is a life-long process. Religious folks will undergo that formation in dialogue with their tradition but this is not only the domain of religion. We all seek to form our consciences in dialogue with sources of wisdom around us: friends, family, trusted leaders, great literature and our own capacity to reason. Listening to that call and forming our consciences only take us so far, though. Eventually, we will need to make some form of commitment: if my formed conscience leads me to believe this or that way of life is the right one, will I now commit to that? This becomes a key question, because it normally challenges us towards moral transformation. If, in forming my conscience, I realise how I spend my money isn’t the best way for my family, it can take a lot of effort to change, and may involve a good deal of sacrifice. This choice to commit − or not − is the third dimension of conscience. So within the Catholic tradition, conscience is a far richer concept than Bart’s ‘guilty conscience’. It invites us to listen to the call to a moral life, to search for moral wisdom so we can understand what we might be called to do or the kinds of people we might be challenged to be, and finally to commit to the fruits of that search. The Catholic tradition places such commitment at the heart of our moral lives: conscience is primary in the sense that, if we have sincerely undertaken this process, we need to see it through to the level of commitment. Hence, the role of the Church is not to make decisions on behalf of God’s people, but to provide the kind of formation that empowers people to respond to conscience’s call in light of the Gospel. As Pope Francis wrote recently, the Church is “called to form consciences, not replace them”. Conscience is primary, but it must be formed: there is little value in my following my conscience if I have not done the work required to form it, just as there would be little value in my trusting my driving

skills if I had not done the work required to learn how to drive well. Such formation might be limited, of course, and it could be that in retrospect we discover our formation was inadequate. Since we grow over time, this is to be expected. We can all recall notions we once believed firmly, only to realise later that they were incorrect. Hence we must have a degree of humility, and a willingness to be wrong. That also involves some self-forgiveness, and the knowledge that we’re not always fully accountable when we get it wrong. This should be of great comfort! On the other hand, we can also observe that it is all too easy to hijack conscience; to ignore the call to moral responsibility; to form a conscience that bows to false authority or personal interest before it protects vulnerability, or to lack the courage to commit to standing up for fear of reprisal or peer pressure. This may help us to understand how a Church with a rich ethical tradition has been complicit in the horrendous abuses brought to light in the recent Royal Commission. We cannot know what was happening in the consciences of those who committed such horrible abuse or allowed it to happen, but we can examine our own consciences and be vigilant, to ensure it does not happen again. Dr Dan Fleming is Dean of Studies and Lecturer in Theology and Ethics at The Broken Bay Institute. Please visit www. References: Baezer, C (Director) (1993). “Bart the Lover”, The Simpsons episode, Twentieth Century Fox. Zusak, M. (2007) The Book Thief London: Transworld Publishers.




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Seasons of Mercy

Retiree and wise woman Felicity Lee shares her reflections on the season of retirement. By FELICITY LEE

Time to retire. Retirement time. Time of retirement. These phrases, while seeming to say the same thing, are actually saying quite different things, things which retirees have to discern so as to decide which is the best fit.

spirits meet in harmony and understanding; peace reigns. Kairos time is surely one of the great mercies of life and its instances are not easily forgotten.

According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, “to retire” means, among other things, “withdraw, go away, retreat”. Retreat, in the Catholic context, is a fairly familiar word and, for many, a familiar experience. It is a time to go away somewhere quiet and withdraw from everyday life for a period in order to reflect and re-evaluate what one’s life is about and where it may be heading. A retreat, in this sense, is a great blessing and mercy, as many people find when they “go on retreat”. Retirement is an opportunity to go on retreat on a much larger scale, for a much longer time, and to assess life’s journey on a much more serious level.

When nearing what the government, or circumstance, decrees is retirement age, one faces some fundamental life choices. One can look solely to chronos time, focus on time passing and view it as the waiting room for death, which is now closer on the horizon. One can fear the loss of “busyness” and try to fill the gap. One can throw oneself into a “new career” such as looking after grandchildren, travelling the world, volunteering for one’s church, sport or one of the many worthy charities. There are many instances throughout history of people who have embarked on amazing and wonderful new enterprises after they have been thought to be approaching life’s end. The freedom of retirement appears to have energised them in a creative way. Abraham and Sarah had a son, Grandma Moses took up painting and Albert Schweitzer went to Africa as a missionary.

As for time, there is chronos time with which we are daily familiar; sun rising and setting; night and day succeeding each other; clocks ticking to mark the hours. There is, in the Greek language, another form of time called kairos time, which is sacred time, and it exists outside the boundaries of chronos time. Sacred time happens when ‘rightness’ occurs; love is exchanged; hearts, minds and

Another approach is to appreciate the gift of kairos time and savour and enjoy ordinary life as a “new” experience. One can learn to live as Michael Leunig urges, in his Curly Pyjama Letters. In answer to Vasco Pyjama’s question, “What is worth doing and what is worth having?” Mr Curly replies, “It is worth doing nothing and it is worth having a rest. In spite of all the difficulty it may cause,


you MUST rest Vasco – otherwise you will become RESTLESS!” In our frenetic society, resting is viewed in pejorative terms as laziness. It is unproductive, of no commercial value. It has become something of a lost art. However, resting is like a retreat, it refreshes the body and clears the mind and allows you to focus on the essentials of life, whatever you consider they may be. It is, as Shakespeare says of mercy, “twice blessed. It blesseth him [sic] who gives and him [sic] who takes.” A person who is truly rested is of great value to society. Rest brings calm and calm allows thoughtfulness and thoughtfulness often leads to positive and beneficial acts and action. Retirement is an opportunity to take kairos time. Time to stroll everywhere, time to look around and notice the world and its goings on, time to stand back and allow others space, time to say out loud that encouraging word, admiring remark or helpful reply. These are small things to do, perhaps, but in simple, ordinary, low key acts of kindness and consideration, some light, some relief from a burden, some pleasure is given to others. This is a mercy! A blessing! A sacred moment for God’s kingdom! Mercy is always available. It is there to be given and to be taken. Both chronos and kairos time will yield opportunities and occasions of mercy for the one

with a listening ear, an open look and a compassionate heart. The secret of retirement, as it is of life, is to get the balance right. Retirement is another season of life. Like every season it has its own particular flavour. The aim of this reflection is to try to capture the particular ‘mercy flavour’ of the retirement season of life. As a retiree, the greatest mercy of retirement is to have time and, hopefully, the capacity to use that gift wisely and well. Leunig offers a prayer which might well be the prayer for those who are blessed to be able to withdraw, retreat and retire.

God help us to live slowly: To move simply: To look softly: To allow emptiness: To let the heart create for us. Amen. Michael Leunig The Curly Pyjama Letters Viking 2001 Common Prayer Collection CollinsDove 1993.




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/mnnewstoday @mnnewstoday

News St John’s Church, Maitland, as it currently stands. Photograph courtesy of Kurt Daley.


According to The Australian Oxford Dictionary, restoration can describe “the act or process of bringing something back to its original condition” which implies an age factor, a deterioration from the original condition and perhaps loss of functionality. We generally apply this concept to material things – buildings, furniture, vehicles − which are items of significance or value considered worthy of restoration or renewal. When restored, they can become more valuable, maintain or extend their functionality and demonstrate our respect for them. St John the Baptist Church, Maitland, offers both restoration and restorative opportunities. In November, it will be 150 years since our first resident Bishop, James Murray, claimed it as his cathedral and formalised the diocese.

Bishop Bill has stated, “St John’s is a piece of our heritage. I have it in my imagination that, like St Francis, I’ll see to the repairs of an ancient church which will long live as a sacred place.” And so St John’s is undergoing a process of restoration. Can we go beyond the sandstone blocks and the aesthetics of a building to look more deeply at how this restored church, effectively the birthplace of our Catholic faith in this region, can offer a restorative opportunity? Dean Lynch and the clergy before him ministered to a growing community of people for whom faith was their rock and their strength. They were the original Missionaries of Mercy, travelling on horseback, covering large distances to share God’s message

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of love, mercy and hope in small, isolated communities. With the arrival of Bishop Murray, additional priests and religious began to set up churches, schools and pastoral services. Most of our parishes began as a result of the outreach from this ‘hub’ of the diocese, East and West Maitland, and the centre of that faith was the Cathedral of St John’s. It was integral to the fabric of the Church in this region. It was recognised as the focal point for gatherings and celebrations. Whilst it has served various purposes over the years, the functionality, condition and value of St John’s have diminished. The centre of the faith of our diocesan community is less well defined and social patterns are now individual rather than communal. Maybe the restoration can be a catalyst

to reflect on and review our faith to see if, like St John’s, it has aged, weakened or lost some significance. Maybe this is an opportunity, as individuals and as a diocese, to rebuild, renovate and restore our faith. Many of us maintain strong links to our place of origin, notwithstanding later journeys. While we may have grown up belonging to different parishes, as a diocesan Church, St John’s is very much our spiritual home. We are restoring it to its rightful place – “an ancient church which will long live as a sacred place”. Barry Urwin is Manager, Business and Community Engagement. You can follow St John’s restoration at






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At sea, plastic’s far from fantastic Did you know that so much plastic is consumed by marine organisms that no seafood can be classified as organic? Read on and learn more. India na Kear ney, Irela nd Man usiu and Darc y Pign er prod uced the winn ing entr y.

Novocastrian Tim Silverwood, and some passionate teachers, really cemented my belief that our students belong to the generation which needs to take steps to address problems such as pollution, overfishing and climate change. By LUKE KELLEHER

The initiative for a project that immersed our students at San Clemente High School, Mayfield, in custodianship for the environment came when attending the 2015 Independent Education Union Sustainability Conference. A significant point of discussion was Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’ and his focus on the earth, acknowledging that today’s environmental issues have been ignored for too long. Subsequent discussions with the cofounder of “Take 3, a clean beach initiative”,

Did you know that so much plastic is consumed by marine organisms that no seafood can be classified as organic? This fact helped form the basis of my project. While researching, I discovered a collaborative initiative run by Newcastle City Council and Hunter Local Land Services whereby students create educational video advertisements and enter a competition to be broadcast on NBN television. This task formed the basis of a larger project which involved students designing a social media campaign to educate society. Students are immersed in social media in everyday life and I wanted to show students

how effective it can be to spread their cause. Students spent a day cleaning Throsby Creek to experience marine debris firsthand and discuss some of the impacts of pollution. I wanted students to learn how to solve problems, rather than just recount issues in an essay, so I chose the more practical approach of designing a social media campaign. Students worked incredibly hard throughout Term 2, and were rewarded, gaining first and second places in the competition! The winning entry, produced by Darcy Pigner, Indiana Kearney and Ireland Manusiu of Year 10, focused on micro beads. Micro beads are tiny pieces of plastic in many brands of exfoliating creams, body washes and cosmetics. Many people do not realise these products contain plastic as the ingredients list uses scientific names for chemicals rather than colloquial terms such as plastic. Plastic micro beads are often labelled as

Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP) or Polyethylene (PET). These are the plastics from which your drink bottles, lunch boxes and plastic bags are made. The unfortunate fact is that these tiny plastic pieces are washed into our oceans, consumed by organisms in the food chain and eventually end up on our plates. “In marine studies we’ve been learning about the consequences of incorrect rubbish disposal and how it is affecting our oceans. Although we were aware of what was happening, a lot of people probably weren’t so our aim was to spread awareness of how even the smallest of things can have a huge impact on our environment,” said Darcy Pigner. Educational tasks like this can prepare our students to take the lead in tackling the problems inherited from earlier generations... including my own.

From the art of the circus to the art of mercy By ELIZABETH YOUNG Along the paths of a privileged and colourful life journey, I have been called by God's mercy to join a group of consecrated women in the Catholic Church. My story began on a farm in South Australia, near St Mary MacKillop's first school. Although my family was actively involved in the Uniting Church, my siblings and I attended this school and received Catholic sacraments along with my mother. Both the ministers in our family's church and the priests in my new church


were instrumental in my faith journey, and I aspired to follow in their footsteps and commit myself to God and Jesus' gospel. Towards the end of school my solid, narrow faith began to break up. I questioned my vocation call and Christianity's relevance. Over the next few years I worked in a nursing home, organised local and international interfaith events and completed a Bachelor of Circus Arts in Melbourne. In the circus

course I worked with amazing people who challenged the status quo, saw the potential in the world and sought to bring it colour and life. It therefore seemed an easy transition to vows as a Sister of Mercy! Through interfaith involvement I learned to rediscover and value my own religious tradition, seeing it with new, more openminded eyes. The call to a committed public life of faith continued and led me to

women who found strength from prayer and community to participate in God's reign in the world through the works of mercy. So at 22, I joined the Sisters in Adelaide and at 25 I took my first vows. Since then I have been privileged to work with people in homeless shelters, youth ministry, detention centres, prisons and parish − and to study theology. For all of these gifts, I am truly grateful! Please visit

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A call for peace on Hiroshima Day short poem follows each image. The panel completed in 1955 called ‘Petition’ ends with the words: “For the first time, the people of Japan asserted themselves with a silent cry. A voice that echoes throughout the land A call for peace.”


I was 20 when I first saw the Hiroshima Panels at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in the late 1950s. The searing images drawn by Maruki Iri and Maruki Toshi show men, women and children dying in the terror that followed the dropping of the first atomic bombs on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Now, looking at the panels exhibited on the internet, I feel again my visceral reaction to these black and white ink drawings interspersed with the red of atomic fire. A

That call was heard throughout the world where the anti-nuclear movement had begun after the Second World War. The powerful imagery of the Hiroshima Panels was to make this protest even stronger. Over time, the movement has declined. The Palm Sunday marches which spoke out so clearly against the horror of nuclear war have lost their popularity. It is clear that younger people do not know the details of the first use of atomic weapons. And perhaps we have failed to draw attention to the effects of nuclear radiation from so-called peaceful

sources so horribly apparent in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster five years ago, described as ‘a nuclear war without a war’. We also have to acknowledge that people in our world are still dying in great numbers as a result of new and terrible weapons devised by armament makers.

be forgotten. That day in Hiroshima, 80,000 people died and with the dropping of the second bomb on Nagasaki the number of dead increased by 40,000. Thousands more would die later of radiation exposure. To remember that cataclysmic event, people still gather on Hiroshima Day.

the dropping of the first atomic bomb remains an event that should never be forgotten

Here, in Newcastle, an interdenominational group, Christians for Peace, has been holding services on Hiroshima Day for over 30 years. We meet on 6 August in the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral, beginning in the morning as the city wakens and using music and prayer to grieve for all victims of war and injustice and to pray for the peace that still eludes us.

Nevertheless, the dropping of the first atomic bomb remains an event that should never

Come and join us this year on Saturday, 6 August, at 8.00am, in the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral. Breakfast will follow in the vestry. For more information, P Christians for Peace, 4957 1466.

Do you want to make a real difference and reach out with compassion, hospitality and justice to the broken and displaced people of the world?

We invite you to explore Mercy

Claimed by God, grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and fired by the Spirit burning in Catherine McAuley... phone: (02) 9572 5400 AW2082793

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Putting on the habit of care and compassion By MICHAEL O’CONNOR

‘Lucie’. That’s the name embossed on the smart uniform she wears to work at St Nicholas Early Education, Newcastle West. At home she is Sister Lucie, one of the four Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Wallsend. Two others of this Vietnamese community live at Glendale. In Vietnam it is common for the Sisters to run pre-schools. Lucie spent some years in one of her Order’s convents where the ministry was caring for scores of youngsters. The Communist authorities don’t permit religious women to have similar involvement in higher forms of education. At this stage Lucie is not primarily in an educational role. She is in the second of a four-year course in Early Childhood Education at Glendale TAFE. Providentially, St Nicholas Early Education came into being as an initiative of the Diocese of MaitlandNewcastle at a time that has allowed Lucie to slot right in. Not yet a qualified teacher by Australian standards, Lucie is responsible for that very basic requirement – food. She has added online qualifications in nutrition and food handling to her degree in English Literature from Vietnam and her partially completed TAFE course. The children’s morning and afternoon teas are her thing! Fruit platters, yoghurts,

custards. Avoidance of allergy-triggering nasties. Shopping on line. From eight o’clock in the morning until ten, the kitchen is Lucie’s domain.

enjoying themselves. These little ones would be constantly warmed and encouraged by Lucie’s ready smile and her never-far-away giggle.

She appreciates this opportunity to be part of the integral team that makes the centre function, and the chance to learn the practicalities of running a pre-school to Australian standards and conditions, including administration.

Lucie is the first of the Sisters to become an Australian citizen. She has left behind in Vietnam a widowed father (whom she claims is much more religious than she), four sisters, three brothers, and nine nephews and nieces. Two of her sisters are also Sisters. The children of St Nicholas are the beneficiaries of the love and dedication Lucie has brought from her own nurturing family.

However, it’s when Lucie talks of the ten to eleven time-slot that the joy really shows in her eyes. This is when she is with the kids. This is when she is playing, singing, reading stories. It is the time she can share directly with the children, freeing other staff for their scheduled breaks. “It is definitely the best time,” says Lucie. “It is a beautiful job with all these innocent people,” she declares, referring to the children she feels “privileged” to be helping to form. “They are like white paper,” she says, artfully translating her Vietnamese thought into English. The complexity of the English language is a challenge for our Vietnamese Sisters. Yet, the language that speaks without misunderstanding is love, and this is Lucie’s finest way of communicating with these innocents. “The main thing is to make sure they are safe and happy,” she says, explaining how they learn important skills and grow in confidence while playing and

Sr Lucie cares for Amelia Connors.

At Wallsend we routinely see the Sisters going about their pastoral roles in civvies – often jeans and T-shirt. We see Lucie and her Sisters at Mass and other solemn occasions in their neat religious habits – navy for half the year, white when it’s warmer. At parish celebrations we are treated to the Sisters singing and dancing in their brightly coloured, traditional silk costumes. Now Lucie also proudly wears the uniform of St Nicholas. It would be enriching if her co-workers, and especially the little people she tends – and their parents – were to see her in these other arresting manifestations. Please visit

The Way We Were:

Is St Mary’s Maitland part of your story? By JANE MCDONALD In August 1945, the historic World War II victory in the Pacific was well celebrated at St Mary’s Dominican Convent, Maitland. My mother, Barbara Laird, was a third form boarder. Since my mother’s passing in 2015, many wonderful photos of her life at St Mary’s Maitland in the 1940s have come to light, including VP Day! One of these shows Sr Benedicta Mary, fondly called ‘Benny’, whose face reflects the joy and relief that must have been felt that day. The absence of a father at war for students such as my mother would have been a sobering reality during their education. However, the friendships made endured a lifetime, through many school reunions, local community and parish life.


The highlight of St Dominic’s Day exemplified the strong religious identity of St Mary’s and another photo, dated early August 1945, shows the boarders with a Saturday task cleaning the statue of Michael the Archangel! While contemporary education has changed enormously in these ensuing years, many aspects of life at school have not. The simple joys of friendship reflected in Mum’s photos taken at St Mary’s, I see daily in my work as a teacher there today. I think of the many students, nuns and teachers who passed through the school, lived there and have celebrated countless St Dominic’s Days since 1867. They prayed in the magnificent chapel, enjoyed the beautiful gardens, played sport,

expanded new buildings and developed a ‘living community’. The Dominican motto Veritas (truth) still speaks at St Mary’s in its contemporary commitment to ‘Integrity’. Following observances of 150 years of the diocese this year, the sesquicentenary of St Mary’s in 2017 will celebrate the Dominican story and its continuing significance. Memories/stories/photos from past students/Sisters/ teachers/parents/ clergy are being collected and readers are invited to contribute by contacting jane. (née Jane Burg) or leaving a name and phone contact at the school P 4933 6177.

St Mary’s Maitland students enjoying giving ‘St Michae l’ a good clean! Photograph courtesy of Jane McDonald.

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Community Noticeboard Being Well: An evening with Craig Hamilton and Jaelea Skehan The Tenison Woods Education Centre, with the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, invites all to attend a community forum on Tuesday 9 August, 6.30/7pm at Belmont 16 Foot Sailing Club, The Parade, Belmont. The evening will address building resilience and improving mental health and wellbeing. Craig Hamilton is a wellknown local ABC Radio announcer and sports commentator who has publicly battled his mental health issues since 2000. Jaelea Skehan is an internationally respected leader in the prevention of mental illness and suicide who has worked at the Institute for 15 years. Cost $5pp (incl booking fee). Information and tickets (pre-purchased only) at Ecumenical prayer in the spirit of Taizé The next service will be held on 14 August at St Columban’s Catholic Church, Church Street, Mayfield, 7-8pm, followed by light supper, gold coin donation. P Anna & John Hill, 4967 2283. Seven@Sacred Heart The next gathering will be on Wednesday 17 August at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 7pm. For enquiries, P Brooke, 4979 1111. All welcome! Celebrate 20 years of Seasons for Growth Professor Anne Graham will speak about “Supporting children and young people through grief and loss” and also help celebrate 20 years of the Seasons program on Monday 20 August from 4.30-7pm. Addresses by Teresa Brierley, Kerry Stirling, Helen Bourne, Debbie Hill and Anne Graham will be followed by drinks. On Tuesday 30 August from 9-10.30am, Benita Tait and Anne Graham will speak followed by morning tea. Both events will be held in the Toohey Room, 841 Hunter Street, Newcastle West. Rsvp Monday 22 August. Register online. Enquiries P 4979 1355 or E See story page 13. St Brigid’s Markets, Branxton These monthly markets assist the parish and wider community at Branxton. Every third Sunday, (next 21 August) the Old School Grounds, 9am2pm, Domestic Violence Awareness Dinner The diocesan Social Justice Council is hosting a dinner to raise awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence. The dinner will be at the Victor Peters Suite, 841 Hunter St, Newcastle West on Friday 26 August, 5.30/6pm. Cost $35pp, rsvp 19 August to Brooke Robinson, 4979 1111 or Donations from the night will support Nova Women. See story page 7. Upper Hunter Regional Gathering The annual Upper Hunter Regional Gathering will be held on Sunday 28 August at St Thomas’ Church, Aberdeen, with Mass at 10am followed by morning tea and a presentation by Srs Maureen Salmon and Patricia Egan rsj themed around the Year of Mercy. In line with the theme, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered afterwards. Vigil Masses will be held in

Muswellbrook, Merriwa and Murrurundi and there will only be this one Mass on Sunday 28 in the Upper Hunter. It is anticipated the day‘s activities will be completed by 1.30pm. Contact your parish to arrange carpooling if required. Annual Special Needs Mass All are welcome to the Special Needs Mass where Bishop Bill will preside at St James’ Church, Muswellbrook, on Tuesday 30 August at 7pm. For information P Cath Garrett-Jones 4979 1303 or E Seasons for Growth Companioning Training Children & Young People’s training Metford 1-2 September (DET only) & Newcastle 16-17 November. Adult training Newcastle: 17-18 August. This training is essential for those wishing to facilitate the Seasons for Growth program with children/ young people or adults. Please P Jenny or Benita 4947 1355 to find out more about becoming a Companion. Enrolments for training are completed at Understanding change, loss and grief seminar This 3-hour seminar provides the opportunity for participants to examine the meaning and types of grief, explore grief reactions and different styles of grieving as well as strategies of empowerment and the importance of support networks. Dungog 8 September. Registrations 4992 1644 or dungogcarers@ For more information visit www. Parent Program: Supporting your child following separation and divorce This short program offers parents the opportunity to explore ideas and strategies that might assist in supporting their child/ren through the changes happening in their family. Kahibah Public School 12 & 19 September, 6-8pm. To register P 4943 4501. Mercy Spirituality Centre Events Dealing with Difficult People: Evening seminar providing an opportunity to work out practical ways to stay connected to love while dealing with difficult people. Tuesday 6 September 7-9pm. Facilitator Sue Collins. Cost $30. A Way of Presence: Residential Retreat weekend A time of silent reflection and prayer to explore meditative and creative processes for care and tending to your soul life. From Friday evening 9 Sunday 11 Sept, 2.00pm. Facilitator: Anne Ryan rsm. Cost $250.

For all these events at Mercy Spirituality Centre, 26 Renwick Street, Toronto, details/bookings P 4959 1025, E Exploring the Seasons of Grief small group program Using the metaphor of the changing seasons, this 2-day program assists individuals to understand their grief experience as a normal and natural response to change and loss. Calvary Mater Hospital is running this small group for the bereaved on September 7, 14, 21 & 28. For more information P Carolyn 4014 4687 or E Carolyn. Please P Jenny or Benita 4979 1355 for other opportunities to attend an adult small group. For more information please visit seasons-for-growth. Before We Course 5

Say I Do Program 10 and 17 September (Toohey Room, Diocesan Offices, Newcastle West)

Course 6

5 and 12 November, Newcastle

For your diary August  4 National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day  6 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, 1945  7 National Vocation Awareness Week begins.

All courses are on Saturdays, 9.30am-4.30pm. Please P Robyn 4979 1370.

 8 Feast day of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop

Council for Australian Catholic Women Colloquium “Women as Witnesses to the Joy of the Gospel: developing a more profound theology for women, by women.” 16-18 September at North Sydney. Please visit regularly

 9 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, 1945

Resilience: A Springtime Dinner Join guest speaker Gail O’Brien at a dinner to mark the golden jubilee of St Therese’s Church, New Lambton, on Friday 21 October at St Therese’s Hall, Royal St, New Lambton at 7pm. Cost $30 pp. For information and tickets, P Gail 0410 523 165 or Margaret 0409 966 109.

 12 International Youth Day  15 Assumption of Mary, the Mother of God  17 Bishop Bill launches new vision

Attention pilgrims! As part of the diocese’s 150-year celebrations, there will be a guided pilgrimage in the footsteps of Bishop James Murray who arrived in Maitland in 1866. The pilgrimage will occur on Saturday 29 October, 8am-3pm, over 12.4 kms for average ability walkers. The route will begin at Morpeth, head to St Joseph’s East Maitland and end triumphantly at St John’s Chapel. Pilgrim registration required for safely and hospitality; there is no charge. Watch this space!

Women of Mercy “sitting with the sick, hanging out with the poor, caring for the ‘least ones’, sharing the tenderness of God”. By popular demand Val O’Hara rsm will present this time of reflection again on Thursday 29 September, 9.30am-1.00pm. Cost: $20, light lunch included.

Mums’ Cottage Invites grandparents to Grandparent and Toddler day, every Wednesday during school terms from 10am-noon at 29 St Helen’s Street, Holmesville. Enjoy some companionship with other grandparents while children play. Mums’ Cottage offers a range of services, programs, workshops and family events and would love to welcome you at any time. For more information, P Mums’ Cottage 4953 4105, E au or visit

Enneagram workshop Helen Baguley rsm will facilitate this workshop from Friday evening 7 October - Sunday 9 October. Cost: residential $250, non-residential $150.

Youth Mass On the last Sunday of each month, the 5.30pm Mass at St Patrick’s Church, Macquarie St, Wallsend, has a youthful flavour. Everyone is welcome.

statement for Catholic schools.  18 Vietnam Veterans Day  20 Bishop Bill confers confirmation at Nelson Bay.  26-28 Bishop Bill visits and confers confirmation at Wallsend-Shortland.  28 Refugee and Migrant Sunday  30 Bishop Bill celebrates Special Needs Mass at Muswellbrook. For more events please visit and

Frankly Spoken I ask you…to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. To pilgrims at World Youth Day, Rio, 2013.

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Last Word

Aurora on tour While visiting Milan Cathedral, this young lady chose to catch up on news from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle!

Soul food How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. Annie Dillard, The Writing Life


Heroes of the Faith was originally published in The Melbourne Anglican as a collection of short essays on individuals who are considered heroes or saints of the Christian faith. Each chapter was written by a different author, and so initially it was difficult to get used to a new author’s style in each chapter, but I soon found it refreshing, closing the story on one hero and beginning with a new voice telling me of the extraordinary life of the next. Considering ancient giants of the faith such as St Augustine and St Francis of Assisi, more contemporary pillars of the church, Blessed Mother Teresa and Desmond Tutu, and then public figures of their time, Abraham Lincoln and JS Bach, this book provides an encapsulation of what it takes to become a saint in our own Christian lives.

synonymous with ‘celebrity’ status. In contrast, ‘the Saints’ have become so safely installed and cemented into stained glass windows that their true humanity gets lost. We need to remember that many of the saints were not lionised in their day.” As each of these saints or heroes was taken down from the pedestal and observed in their human weakness and frailty, with no covering of their failings, we were reminded that each of us is called to sanctity, and it isn’t unattainable or impossible. Yet while showing these heroes in their humanness, the authors did not minimise or disqualify their impact and the amazing lives they lived, and the great boost they gave to the faith in their time, whether on a small scale in their own community or changing the face of Christianity throughout the whole world. The common thread of this book is that when confronted with their own shortcomings and failures, these heroes would not despair and quit, but continue to strive towards God and his plan for their lives.

As observed by Dr Peter Hollingsworth, former Governor General and Archbishop of Brisbane,

This book encourages us to do as the saints did and, after failing, stand up, apologise to God, and begin our faith journey again.

“These days, words like ‘heroes’ have been so popularised that they have become

Heroes of the faith, (ed) Roland Ashby, is produced by Garratt Publishing.

Penne Arrabiata

A quick and easy pasta dish that tastes delicious. It’s up to you − how mild or hot will you make it? Omit the chilli flakes altogether, or if you like it hot, add a finely sliced birdseye chilli as well as the chilli flakes.



f f 2 x 400g tin diced tomatoes

To make the passata, add the tomatoes to a large saucepan along with the oil, sugar and salt and pepper. Simmer 20 minutes.

f f 100ml olive oil f f 1 teaspoon sugar f f Salt and pepper f f 1 red capsicum

Place whole capsicums on an open flame and scorch the skin until blackish, turning as necessary.

f f 1 tablespoon butter

Remove from the flame and while hot, place in a plastic container or plastic bag tied at the top. Sweat the capsicums for 15–20 minutes. Peel capsicums and cut into thin slices.

f f Pinch chilli flakes

Cook pasta according to packet directions.

f f 1/4 teaspoon paprika

In a frying pan, heat a splash of olive oil and the butter. Add capsicum, chilli flakes and paprika and toss through.

f f 1 green capsicum f f 400g penne pasta

f f 1 tblsp parmesan per serve f f 1/2 bunch chopped parsley



Chef Bart’s culinary gifts can be enjoyed at The Cathedral Café, 843 Hunter St Newcastle West, 10am–1.30pm, Monday to Friday. P 4961 0546.

Stir in passata, cooked penne, parmesan and parsley. Serve immediately.

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