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Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle July 2016 | No.159



e Welcomr Fathe Camilluas Nwahi

Exercise empowers dads and daughters

'We're all strange' according to new ASPIRE production Stan Grant is talking to our country


Professor Richard Lennan

Richard Lennan, a priest of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, is Professor of Systematic Theology in the School of Theology & Ministry at Boston College

The Church:

Continuing the Pilgrimage of Hope





Sunday 31 July

1:00 - 4:00pm



Monday 1 August

9:00 - 12:00pm

Raymond Terrace


4:30 - 7:30pm

Hamilton – Diocesan Offices


6:00 - 7:30pm


5:30 Gathering 6:00 Lecture

Wednesday 3 August

Followed by wine and cheese (Dio Offices) Registration not required for this event

Thursday 4 August

1:00 - 4:00pm



Friday 5 August

2:30 - 5:00pm

Hamilton – Diocesan Offices

Open to all in leadership from across the Diocese

Saturday 6 August

9:30 - 12:30pm

Tenison Woods Education Centre, Lochinvar

In conversation with leaders Seminar

Teachers from Catholic Schools may have these presentations credited to their Faith Education and Accreditation currency hours.

For further information, please visit mnnews.today To register contact Sharon Murphy on 4979 1134 or email sharon.murphy@mn.catholic.org.au by Monday 25 July 2016.


First Word

On the cover Newly-ordained Fr Camillus Nwahia embraces Deacon James Odoh with Fr Henry Ibe on his right and Fr Stephen Onyekwere at left of image. Frs Henry and Stephen are from the Diocese of Wagga Wagga. Photo courtesy of Kate Bennett.

Featured  Welcome Fr Camillus!


 Always believe you can make a difference 5  People with disabilities reach personal goals 6  Walk in the footsteps of Bishop James Murray 7  Stan Grant talks to his country


 Fevola snags success at blokes only barbecue 11  Show us your works and we will believe you 12  Call to shift from fossil fuels


 Aspiring to weirdness


 Dear Brussels: Letters from Down Under 19  “Let me show you the world!”



The magic of correspondence you Margaret for your bravery and courage in writing this article and sharing your daughter with others...Congratulations to the Sobb Family for raising and loving a beautiful, passionate, adventurous and strong young lady.”

Since the last edition I have enjoyed correspondence from Year 4 students of St Joseph’s Primary, Dungog. Archer Hopwood suggested “a children’s section….about kids going to events like running, swimming and athletics. It could also include special events such as the winter sleep-out, mission days or fundraisers. It would be a great opportunity for children and adults to hear about other children’s schools.”

The story of students at St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton, reinforces the power of ‘real’ letters in a digital age. Teacher Rebecca Dawber tapped into her students’ empathy to build bridges across the world.

And from Year 2/3/4 at St Joseph’s Primary, Bulahdelah, “We read “Her sunlight is like gold”. It was an emotional story for us because Madeleine’s sister Emilie used to be our teacher. Some of us met Madeleine as she used to come to our school to visit and help us with our Christmas play. We loved seeing her and we miss her a lot. She was a very happy person and she was very brave. We couldn’t believe how much she achieved in her life....We’re proud she is still helping people with organ donation. Thank you for printing this story. We read this during our Religion lesson.” Thank you to teacher Amanda Pomplun for sending this letter.

There was a positive reaction to Margaret Sobb’s eloquent remembrance of her daughter Madeleine. Robyn Donnelly wrote, “Thank

This edition appears in NAIDOC Week and I am proud to reprint, with Stan Grant’s permission, an extract from his Talking to my country.

I would like nothing more than the space to take up Archer’s ideas but every month I’m working hard to include as many worthy contributions as possible. There are even more stories on http://mnnews.today.

I recommend the book. Greg Doepel has written an opinion piece which makes reference to Pope Francis and Stan Grant – each gentleman is in fine company! As the 150th year of the diocese unfolds, I continue to welcome your photos and stories capturing the way we were. At the last editorial meeting, Trish, Jo, Shirley, Michael, Monica and I had a lively conversation about such things as Holy Angels (red cloaks), Children of Mary (blue cloaks), Christ the King processions and other long-gone motifs of Catholic culture. Do send your ‘snippets and snaps’ and they are being posted at www.mn.catholic.org.au/parishespriests/st-johns-restoration/the-way-we-wereaurora-extra The winner of Gavin McCormack’s Are These Your Glasses? is J Tolazzi of Cardiff.


Contact Aurora Aurora online

 First Word


 My Word


 CareTalk


 One by One


 Family Matters


 The Way We Were


 The Catholic Thing


 Seasons of Mercy


 Frankly Spoken


Fairfax Media Phone 4979 5259

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Elle Tamata

Next deadline 7 July 2016

Aurora enquiries should be addressed to The Editor Tracey Edstein E aurora@mn.catholic.org.au PO Box 756 Newcastle 2300 P 4979 1288 | F 4979 1119 Subscribe editor@mn.catholic.org.au

Good news! You can still catch up with Aurora online, via MNNews.today. mnnews.today/aurora-magazine



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My Word

Foreign Parts BY BISHOP BILL WRIGHT Everybody seems to think that I should write about going to World Youth Day. I’m inclined to believe it would be more useful to write about it while I’m there, or even afterwards, but perhaps there’s something to be said for laying out my expectations, hopes and foreshadowings. People seem to think so. By the time you read this, I and the other 70odd pilgrims will be about to depart. First, then, I look forward to going to Poland. I’ve had a funny life in regard to travel, having been to many places across the world between the ages of ten and twelve and virtually nowhere for the forty-five or so years after that. I was a teenager in the ‘sixties, ordained in the ‘seventies, so naturally I was a bit ‘bolshie’. Though never a flower child by any measure, I did not think priests should have big cars, expensive wardrobes or overseas trips; I resented the diocese taking out private health cover for me and I never had ‘Fr’ on my driver’s licence. Anyway, it’s the travel thing that matters here. When asked if I’ve been to such-andsuch a place in Europe or elsewhere, I can often say, “Yes, in 1963”. But I’ve never been to Poland. Iron Curtain and all that, you know, back then. I should like to see Poland and, although WYD will dictate the schedule, I will at least see something of the land and its people and culture. Good. Secondly, I look forward to travelling with this group of people. I think we made a very sound decision in this diocese to make this pilgrimage ‘intergenerational’. I wouldn’t mind travelling as an old guy with a group of young people, but I think there will be a


special richness to having a group of all ages mixed together, sharing and reflecting on the experiences together, talking together, praying together. If there’s a prevalent weakness in a lot of youth ministry, in my view, it is that it is stuff put on especially for kids. That has its place, sure, but the bigger goal of all ministry is to bring people into relationship with God and Jesus and the Spirit and, hence, with each other as brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. I’ve often sat around with the elders of a parish and told them that their plan to employ a youth worker would be a waste of time and money unless or until the parish in general was really ready to welcome young people into all parts of parish life. The eye cannot say to the hand, in St Paul’s happy metaphor, “I don’t need you”; neither can it say “We have a special service for you the second Thursday of every month.” At least, it can’t say only that. The church is about coming together, men and women, rich and poor, black and white and brindled, and young and old. I think the sharing of the experiences of this pilgrimage between the generations will be enormously important. For one thing, many young Catholics in my experience live with the impression that their elders don’t really believe in anything much: they argue at parish council meetings about fixing the downpipes, and the rest is just respectability and habit. I hope the young will get to glimpse the passion older believers can have for the things that Jesus did and taught. I’m confident that, as always, the

oldies will be heartened by the honesty and sheer good intentions of the young. These things will emerge as we talk together about the spiritual experiences of the trip and, of course, about what Pope Francis has to tell us. That is the last of my particularly positive hopes for the pilgrimage: the message of Francis. Now I’m as suspicious of personality cults as anyone, but I don’t think that’s what we’re dealing with here. Turning on its head the modern media and celebrity phenomenon, with Francis the message is the medium, I think. He speaks the gospel in all clarity and simplicity, and I look forward to hearing it live, especially in this Year of Mercy when he will most certainly focus on that message which he calls “the beating heart of the gospel”. When Francis was elected I was asked what difference it would make that the pope was a Jesuit, and I said that any proper Jesuit should have a very clear understanding, perhaps one should have said ‘discernment’, of what is not important. I think I got that right. And I think that Francis speaking of what is truly important to people of faith will start our pilgrims thinking and talking about what is truly important to their faith. And what is truly important will draw together the generations in our pilgrim group. And that I hope to write about afterwards.

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Welcome Fr Camillus!


On Saturday 4 June, Bishop Bill Wright ordained Camillus Nwahia to the priesthood, in which he joins some 30 priests actively ministering to people across the diocese. This was a significant event for the diocese and for Camillus himself, who arrived in Australia from Nigeria only in 2011. Camillus then settled in Newcastle and began studying for a Master of Education at the University of Newcastle. It was during this time he approached the diocese as a prospective candidate for the priesthood and, after some preparatory time locally, from July 2014 he studied at the Catholic Institute of Sydney to complete his Masters in Theology. It is during this study that we as a diocese were pleased to welcome Camillus to the East Lake Macquarie Parish – now known as ‘Jesus, The Good Shepherd Parish’ − where he lived and worked pastorally supporting parishioners. He also provided pastoral support to students as a part-time chaplain at the University of Newcastle. Camillus was ordained to the Diaconate at Sacred Heart Cathedral on 21 November 2015 and now, just over six

months later, is ordained to the presbyterate. “I’m very happy to welcome Camillus to the priesthood here in the Diocese of MaitlandNewcastle. He brings many personal gifts to this role, as he has shown in his work here as a deacon and in other ministries. Beyond that, and while he has come to know the ways of the Australian community and its church, he also brings us some of the vigour and exuberance of African Catholicism. “The decision to become a priest is never one which can be taken lightly, and one I know Camillus carefully reflected on before and during his journey with us as a diocese. “Camillus is committed to spreading the Good News and sharing his faith with all in our diocese. I look forward to seeing him continue to grow as a priest in the years to come as he supports, and is supported by, the faithful in our parishes in our common calling to spread the message of God's love and mercy to all humankind,” said Bishop Bill. For now, Fr Camillus continues to minister at Jesus, The Good Shepherd Parish.

Believe you can make a difference By TRACEY EDSTEIN

Professor the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir insists that she had no aspirations to leadership, yet she is an exemplary and universally respected leader who exudes grace and charm. Dame Marie was the guest speaker at the annual Tenison Woods Education Centre Dinner (TWEC) held in Maitland in June. The TWEC community was delighted to welcome Professor Marie, and she returned the compliment, saying, “It is a joy and a privilege to be here with you, among so many warm and wonderful faces.” Dame Marie shared her “idyllic childhood”, growing up in Narrandera and feeling that life was practically perfect. She has fond memories of the town’s Aboriginal children and envied them their freedom; “no shoes, and sometimes riding bareback to school”. She learned to play the violin as a child at the local convent school where the parish priest listened to her practise. He told her she played well but asked her to learn “Danny Boy”. The ‘PP’ was Fr Patrick Hartigan, the renowned poet also known as ‘John O’Brien’.

As she grew older Dame Marie’s ambition was “to marry a man on the land and have lots of children and raise wool and wheat.” However, tertiary education took her to Sydney and the beginnings of a highly successful career in medicine. She spoke warmly of her time at St Vincent’s Hospital, where the philosophy of care for all echoed her own. “We hated to go home from work,” she said. “Can you imagine?” The promotion of improved mental health became a passion of Dame Marie, and her work in this area was just one of the reasons for her being named a Dame of the Order of Australia in 2014. Dame Marie highlighted the importance of education in her story, stemming from her parents’ championing “the highest education you can have…use it to cross the road to help anyone in need”. She is well aware of the Josephite story, and said that the work of “Fr Tenison Woods and Mary MacKillop must raise the spirits of all who might despair”. Dame Marie’s topic was promoted as “Leadership” and she expressed some

concern that she had not addressed it sufficiently. However, woven through her narrative were pearls of wisdom which arose from deep reflection upon experience. Speaking of her

Bishop Bill, Dame Marie and Ray O’Brie n at the TWEC Dinner.

work in medicine, she said, “There was so much reward in just doing.” That might be said of her life as a whole, a life being lived in ways that

In the words of Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, a good leader • believes s/he can make a difference. • never becomes complacent.

daily make a difference in the community.

• is a lifelong learner.

The Tenison Woods Education Centre,

• finds sources of personal replenishment.

under the auspices of the Sisters of St Joseph, Lochinvar, is the adult faith formation agency of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Please visit www.mn.catholic.org.au/catholic-faith/

• recognises and nurtures wisdom. • is mindful of the cost to the disadvantaged of what s/he might be proposing. • supports those less senior.

spirituality-faith/twec. See a gallery of

• never ignores situations involving conflict.

images at http://mnnews.today/local-

• never gossips or betrays a confidence.


• recognises that supportive mentoring can be priceless.


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Opportunities for people with disabilities to reach personal goals experiences,” Orla Kingston said.

Since moving from a nursing home, Gordon now has the ability to interact with others who share similar interests, and has developed great friendships with his fellow housemates. With 24-hour tailored support, Gordon is also empowered to gain independent living skills. And yet, according to registered nurse and member of the Disability Services team, Orla Kingston, the advantages of CatholicCare’s supported accommodation extend well beyond those who access these services. “They are the most wonderful teachers that I have had. Through their own journey, they have displayed such positivity, determination and wisdom, it’s been a pleasure to learn from their amazing stories and life

Gordon’s aim centres on returning to the workforce. Already, Gordon is assisted to coordinate his active participation in the local community, which includes group activities such as karate and fishing. However, CatholicCare is currently working with him and the NDIS to achieve his ultimate goal. Again, staff have stressed the advantages of this are twofold. “I love working in a team that shares my passion for delivering a high standard of

“I am also thankful for the lessons they have taught me. Each of them has the best outlook on life. Despite the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis they have this wild enthusiasm for life and to keep improving. It is very much contagious and an admirable quality,” said Billie. CatholicCare Disability Services currently assists dozens of people who, like Gordon, could use a helping hand to achieve their personal best. “People with a disability have the same rights and responsibilities as all members of society. Their goal is our focus,” Director of CatholicCare, Ms Helga Smit, said.



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Housing Co-ordinator Billie Moore with Gordon and one of CatholicCare’s Disability Support Workers.


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For 47-year-old Gordon, relocating to CatholicCare’s supported accommodation in early 2015 resulted in a number of benefits.

Orla is not alone in helping Gordon receive customised support, unique to his needs. With a recently re-aligned Disability Services team, she works alongside a number of passionate House Co-ordinators, led by newly appointed Operations Manager, Dean Kidd. The qualified and dedicated staff pride themselves on developing strong relationships with not only those in their care, but also with families and carers, whilst working together to help those with a disability achieve their personalised goals.

care. I feel privileged to facilitate opportunities for people we support to achieve their goals and create opportunities to develop independence,” House Co-ordinator, Billie Moore, said.




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You’re invited to walk in the footsteps of Bishop James Murray


“You can’t get there, only be there.” Richard Rohr Envisioned by the small but enthusiastic ‘Team Murray’ as part of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s 150-year celebrations, a pilgrimage has been planned for Saturday 29 October 2016, exactly one week prior to the dedication of the historic, now restored, St John the Baptist Church. This Murray Pilgrimage re-enacts the route taken in October 1866 by Bishop James Murray after his warm reception at Morpeth Wharf. Murray, together with Archdeacon McEncroe and other clergy, had sailed from Sydney aboard the steamer “Collaroy”, continued up the Hunter River arriving at Morpeth Wharf to “hearty cheers” resounding in the air. Murray then completed the trip into Maitland by carriage, but we as pilgrims will walk some 12.4 km, mostly roadside along a route very ‘do-able’ for anyone of average fitness and walking ability. As 2016 pilgrims we will gather early on the Saturday at the Corcoran Centre, Morpeth, chosen for parking and gathering convenience. We will pause for the first of six stops at Morpeth Wharf, meet some interesting historical personalities, then follow the mighty Hunter River upstream alongside the convict-built road into Maitland, deviating as Murray had, uphill to St Joseph’s Church at East Maitland, then continuing down and across Wallis Creek. Murray’s triumphant entry into the precinct of St John the Baptist Cathedral was heralded by the ringing of the cathedral bell. Alas, not for us. St John’s bell within the impressive tower is to toll the very next weekend Sunday 6 November, when all members of the community are invited

to gather for the dedication of the restored Cathedral, thereafter to be known as St John’s Chapel. It is worth noting here and acknowledging the role of the early pioneering priests in fostering community prior to the arrival of James Murray as he came to claim Maitland as his Bishopric and St John the Baptist as his Cathedral. Following the itinerant ministries of Fathers Connolly and Therry, then the residencies of Fathers Watkins, Dowling, Mahony and the ‘mighty Dean Lynch’ (as John O’Brien, Catholic priest and author, described him), a strong Catholic community was indeed well established. And the ‘fine print’ of this Murray Pilgrimage? Details around route and hospitality are currently being planned, so be sure to read the September Aurora. Pilgrim registration will be required for safety and will take place via the diocesan website during September. So come journey together on the Murray Pilgrimage….and praise God for companions on the journey, both seen and unseen. Please visit www.mn.catholic.org.au/ about/history.






'Team Murray': Liza Ruitenbach, Frances Dunn, Margaret Exley, Kerry Lendon, Kay Amon. Photograph courtesy of Rhonda Baldock.

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Stan Grant talks to his country This edition appears in NAIDOC Week and Aurora is proud to reprint, with Stan Grant’s permission, an extract from his personal meditation, Talking to my Country. My school history books carried photos of Truganini. At first she was young, proud and defiant and then older, grey, in a white woman’s clothes. It was this later image that illustrated the fate of her people; how in one lifetime – I was taught – they had faded from the landscape. Of course that too was a lie, a tragic convenient version of history where guilt could be buried with the ‘last Tasmanian’. The Tasmanian blacks, just like us were clinging onto life, regrouping and replenishing on sparsely inhabited islands, the mixed offspring of whalers and Aboriginal women, with facial features that merged both and lighter skin, but outcast all the same and now told they were extinct. *** Exclusion and difference: these were the abiding lessons of my early school years. They could be days marked with ritual humiliation. I can still hear the roll call of our names. One by one the black kids were pulled out of class. We’d be searched for head lice, our teeth examined. Our fingernails examined for signs of dirt. We were questioned about what we’d had for dinner the previous night. We would have to open our bags to show what we had for lunch. I remember my teacher looking on and smiling as the government officers continued their interrogation. I recall grasping for answers. I did not know if I could satisfy them. These people likely thought themselves well meaning. But they scared me. My family – like any Aboriginal family – had seen children taken. It could just as easily be me. I remember after school, peering around my street corner looking for the tell-tale white cars of the welfare men,


as we called them. Any sign of them and I’d hide out for hours. I would wait until dark then creep back home. This is where I met white people. I met them in their imaginations. I was introduced in the snickering glances of my classmates, in the interrogation and implicit threat of the deceptively kind welfare officers and the complicit smiles of a kindergarten teacher who asked me to sing Cat Stevens songs for my class but was herself trapped in the prism of racism in 1960s Australia and could not see that morning had not broken for us. I had no illusions of equality. We were another class of people. Our poverty branded on us as clearly as our colour. I wore the hand-me-down clothes of other people, pulled from cardboard boxes in second-hand bins. There were frayed, ill-fitting shirts, and jumpers stinking of mothballs with the names of other boys stencilled in the collars. Like any childhood memories mine are sketchy. There are flashes of faces, perhaps a smell or a sound. Petula Clark’s “Downtown” is a blast of musical liberation stuck on permanent rotation in my mind with its promise of forgetting our troubles and cares. I saw the movie Born Free, entering the cinema and being transported to Africa, a lion and freedom. And I remember pineapple juice from a Golden Circle can. I can picture the two triangles punched in the lid to release the taste of a world of possibilities. I was probably five years old, and in one sip all of my senses were jolted to life. My small hands folded around the can. I can still smell that tangy, sticky, sweetness. Then there was the taste: an explosion on my tongue like a bee sting.

I only took one sip. It was my father’s juice, his one indulgence. It was the small piece of the world he’d hold for himself, a reward for bending his back to put food on our table. My mother warned us not to touch it. But like any child that only made it more tempting. In one forbidden sip I tasted the promise of a world outside my own; a world of music and movies that shone so brightly but were ultimately counterpoints to a more grim reality. The abiding memories of my childhood remain the things that separated us. On my seventh birthday my mother threw me a party. It was the only birthday party I ever had as a child. Where she got the idea or imagined we could afford it I don’t know. Many meals in our house were rounded out with food begged off charity agencies. My mother and grandmother would make the rounds of the Smith Family or Salvation Army. Along with a ‘God is love’ sticker would come a food voucher to cover the bare essentials.

Worse than that I was afraid that they would laugh at my beautiful, kind, loving mother. These fears, the fear of being laughed at, the fear of being caught out wearing another

But I was a good boy, my mother’s helper. She could trust me. I’d help her clean. I would run to the shop, chop wood or help with my younger siblings. I guess she just thought I deserved a little party. She poured some cordial into paper cups and sprinkled some hundreds and thousands onto white bread and made some chocolate crackles. She set it all on a park bench and asked me to invite some kids from school.

boy’s cast-off clothes, the fear of the welfare

I can recall so clearly, how I felt. It is a feeling that has never left me. No amount of education, travel and prosperity can ever erase it. I was sick with fear. I had a headache – as a child I was plagued with sickening headaches – and a pain in my gut. I thought these kids would laugh at me.

an e-book.

men, all of this marked the territory between the world of Australia and me. This was the space that history had made and the place it had reserved for people like us. © Stan Grant. This is an edited extract from Talking To My Country by Stan Grant; HarperCollins Publishers Australia; rrp; $29.99; Also available as




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/mnnewstoday @mnnewstoday


Addressing a child's fear Q By TANYA RUSSELL Registered Psychologist CatholicCare's Counselling Team Leader, registered psychologist Tanya Russell, will address an issue each month.

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


At the age of seven, a child’s understanding of life and death is only starting to develop. It is not unusual for a sevenyear-old to express confusion about death and many young children still believe death is not permanent. Their ability to process information and think logically is in the very early stages at this age so it is understandable that your son has become frightened. Talking about death with a child of any age is difficult, but this is an important conversation to have now with your son. It may take some time for him to sleep in his own bed again but with reassurance and honesty, things will improve. Reassurance alone though is not enough. If we tell a young child that he won’t die in his sleep, he will probably not believe us. Telling your son the truth about death, with age-appropriate information, will be a positive step in helping him to make sense of what has happened, and why. Consider the following tips when having this conversation and also be prepared for questions from your son:

• It is natural for us to want to protect our children from difficult news and many parents tell their child that a loved one has “passed away”, or that s/he died peacefully while asleep or that their loved one has “gone to heaven”. It is important to use the word “death” or “died” so that they know this is very different from going to sleep or going to a place called “heaven” (remember your child may not even know what this is). This conversation is not about whether heaven exists; this is a conversation about what death is. • Describe why your father-in-law became unwell and sadly, died. Talk about what cancer is and how it makes someone very, very sick. Describe what happens to the human body when someone is very sick in a way that your son will understand. You may give specific information such as, “When someone has cancer, this means that some parts of their body cannot work very well, and when this happens, and the doctors try everything they can, the person sometimes dies. When someone

dies, this means they cannot walk again, they cannot breathe, they cannot wake up again and do the things you can do.” You want to make it clear that going to sleep does not make someone die – rather, being very sick and not being able to make the cancer go away is the reason that someone can die. You can also reassure your son that this is why he won’t die in his sleep and neither will you, as you are not very sick like your fatherin-law was. • It’s okay for your son to see you being emotional. If this does happen, let him know why you are sad. You might say, “I am feeling sad because grandpa died and I won’t see him again.” My advice may seem factual and quite clinical. I don’t want to take away from the grief and loss surrounding your fatherin-law’s death but it seems that your son has had an emotional reaction due to confusion. Once you have helped your son to understand the facts, then you, with your son, can focus on grieving in whatever way helps.

Volunteers needed

The St Vincent de Paul Society is a lay Catholic organisation that aspires to live the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society.

Become a member or volunteer today and join us in making a difference for those in need in your community The Society would not exist without its members and volunteers; they are the Society. Conference members put their faith into action by visiting people in their homes or in the community, providing friendship and support to those they serve. Volunteers help deliver much needed services to the community through involvement in our Special Works, including Youth Programs, Compeer (Mental Health Friendship Program), and Vinnies Shops. For further information or to register your interest, please call us on (02) 4967 6277 Or email us at maitland.newcastle@vinnies.org.au | 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


The advice provided is general in nature and does not replace ongoing support and advice from your health professional.

My father-in-law recently died from cancer. This was difficult for all of us but particularly difficult for my seven-year-old son. Although my father-in-law eventually died peacefully in his sleep, my son overheard us talking about this. Since then, my son has become afraid of sleeping alone and says that he is scared he could die in his sleep too. How can I make this better for him?


One by One

The years that made Mary By MARY CURRAN

In the Year of Mercy, Mary Curran from Hamilton reflects on a relatively brief but momentous period of her life, significantly influenced by the Sisters of Mercy.

“Sunday Breakfast” on ABC Radio features a segment, “The year that made me”.

a highlight. (If there were bats then, I did not notice them!)

No doubt it triggers the question for many listeners. I usually come up with two years − 1958 and 1969 − both highly significant and interdependent.

The rigid timetable of the school and my eagerness to fit in soon found me absorbed by the routine:

1958 found me, an 11-year-old from New Lambton, arriving at St Catherine’s College, Singleton. Having no knowledge of what the experience might bring, but having won a Bishop’s Bursary, I heeded my parents’ advice and took up the offer to board at this small school in a country town. St Catherine’s, a college for girls, was run by the Sisters of Mercy, an order of nuns founded in 1831 in Dublin by Catherine McAuley, a young, educated, woman of strong character and with great vision. In 1875, ten of those Sisters sailed from Ennis in Ireland to Sydney. They then travelled to Singleton, following the wave of Irish migrants. Their impact on the Catholics of the Hunter Valley was to be profound. Boarding schools dotted the countryside in those days. My brother had accepted a similar offer to board at St Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill, two years before me. The experience of leaving family, friends and neighbourhood is challenging, difficult and life-changing. Horizons are widened, self-image (a concept unheard of then) is examined and opportunities revealed. Very little of this experience comes without pain. Homesickness dogged me each time I returned after school holidays. No one could imagine mobile phones and today’s technology. We looked forward eagerly to any link with home: a monthly Sunday bus trip down the valley to Newcastle and back the same day by train, a fortnightly letter from my mother and a very occasional note from my father sustained me. To be called to the “Parlour” to receive a visitor was a rarity. The subsequent picnic in Burdekin Park was


Morning bell: 6.30am Daily Mass: 7.00am Daily Charge: (a domestic chore allotted to each girl) Breakfast: 8.00am School day begins: 9.00am After school sport: 4.00pm Study: 5.00-7.00pm Dinner: 7.00pm Study for Seniors: 8.00-9.30pm Upstairs to dormitories, in silence, showers, lights out: 10.00pm (The silence continued until after Mass the next morning.) A simple life, but with hindsight, a rich one. How could that be? Consider: Our lives were organised and supervised by the Sisters of Mercy, a society of strong women who ran the Convent (the Mother House for the Order), the school, the farm, the Mater Hospital, Monte Pio Orphanage and a network of primary and secondary schools throughout the Diocese of Maitland. They were the administrators, the teachers, the nurses, the farmhands, the cooks, the cleaners − the earliest and probably the greatest role models of independent women we were likely to encounter for a long time. The silence: this nightly requirement was more difficult for some than for others. You learned to love it. It became an opportunity for reflection, it was an exercise in selfcontrol, and what’s more, there was the shame of failure should you be called to account at breakfast! The discipline was strict. The cane was used. (This was the ‘50s and early ‘60s.)

The nuns were devoted teachers. Their personalities came through in their teaching. Some we loved, others we feared. Some were brilliant, others less so. The single most significant aspect for me was the exposure to a wealth of cultural experiences. Our world was immersed in music. Blessed with highly talented musicians as teachers, the standard of music during our time was superb. The singing by the nuns in their chapel was uplifting. The beauty of the chapel was breathtaking. Choral singing was encouraged in the students. We sang our way through Masses, Benedictions, Novenas. We were surrounded by music students who practised in the many studios housed around the school. Our choirs practised regularly. We enjoyed “Verse Speaking” taught by Mother Augustine. Our repertoire of poems grew:

librarian had its beginnings in this exposure to learning. The landscape — the wide horizons, the brilliant country sunsets while we promenaded in the evening as we said the rosary; extreme heat, extreme cold — these were not noticed or seen in temperate, industrial Newcastle. The students from all over the valley, from the northwest of the state, daughters of local farmers, daughters of European post-war immigrants, refugees from Hungary, visiting girls from “mission schools” in Papua New Guinea − these girls became my peer group, my companions for five years and some, for the rest of my life. And my second “Year that made me”… In our final months we were addressed by

“The morning star paled slowly, the cross hung low to the sea…”

a former pupil who spoke of her travel in

“That is rain, Rain on dry ground! We heard it! “Heard the first spatter of drops, outriders, larruping up the road!…”

thinking, “If she can do it, why can’t I?” So,

Tarantella: “Do you remember an inn, Miranda? Do you remember an inn?”

“Fairstar” in Sydney and set sail for England

Our daily walk to Mass, across the gravel through the gardens, took us past jacarandas, wisteria, clivias, roses, pansies, a grotto, a fernery: an oasis of beauty and calm. My love of learning grew from the brilliant teaching, in particular of the Biology, Latin, French and English teachers. My enjoyment of the Leaving Certificate texts, Fire on the Snow, Australia Felix, Selected English Essays by Hazlitt, Bacon, Lamb, stays with me still. My success in and love of Biology led me to study Horticulture at TAFE and fed my passion for gardening. My occupation as a

Europe and shared her “slides”! I remember after university at Newcastle, and having started my career in librarianship, 1969 saw me and a friend from St Cath’s board the and all that followed… Last weekend, having maintained contact and friendship for 60 years, five girls from St Cath’s gathered with other life-long friends, to celebrate our 70th birthdays. Of course we reflected on how it came about…shared lives, shared dreams, shared tears and shared values – all arising from a small school in a country town!




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Fevola snags success at blokes only barbecue


From the lush, pampered lawns of the MCG, to the scrubby tangle of the African bush, Brendan Fevola seems to thrive in a variety of environments. In fact the Coleman Medal Winner has not only carved out a successful AFL career, but was this year’s winner of, “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here”. To top it off, he has now turned his talents to radio. However, speaking at the ‘blokes only barbecue’ last month, Fevola revealed that it was his battles with alcohol, gambling and depression which left him struggling in unfamiliar territory. Indeed, for many years, the AFL legend had a reputation for being talented on the field, but reckless off it. Fevola was involved in a number of controversial incidents, predominantly involving alcohol and/or gambling, that led to the end of his AFL career, the breakdown of his marriage, the loss of his family and long

periods of depression.

speaking up and seeking support.

October when CatholicCare will host another

Hosted by CatholicCare Social Services, the barbecue was held at Singleton Diggers and focused on the importance of mental wellbeing. The free event included a barbecue lunch and a chance for Fevola to talk to other men about the highs and lows of his career, on and off the field.

In any counselling service, it is common to see more women accessing help than men. However, research shows that well known individuals like Fevola can have a big impact on changing the stigmas surrounding mental wellbeing, particularly for males.

mental health forum in the Newcastle region

“With a large turnout, the event proved popular with members of the Lower Hunter community, particularly those from the Singleton district,” CatholicCare Social Services Director, Helga Smit, said. In particular, the event highlighted the difficulties men experience in seeking help for emotional issues such as depression and anxiety. According to beyondblue, more women than men report experiencing mental health issues, but more men than women die by suicide each year. This suggests that while men and women suffer with depression and anxiety, many men feel prevented from

– another important event to keep this conversation going in the hope that more people will seek help when they need it.

CatholicCare will continue to support people in breaking down the barriers and stigmas associated with mental health issues, and the ‘blokes only barbecue’ was just one of many planned public forums on this important conversation. “Regardless of whether you are a fan of AFL, Fevola’s story is truly inspiring and his determination to rectify his turbulent past is admirable,” Ms Smit said. Stay tuned for Mental Health Month in

Brendan Fevola and Director of CatholicCare Social Services, Helga Smit.


Are you looking for care and education for your child? St Nicholas Early Education, Newcastle West is now open. Register your interest for enrolment now at www.stnicholasmn.org.au. Or phone 4979 1110 for more information.

Employment opportunities also available. Visit www.stnicholasmn.org.au to register your interest now.

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Show us your works and we will believe you Leo Tucker introduces Blessed Frederic Ozanam, Founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society By LEO TUCKER

Frederic Ozanam was born on 23 April, 1813, a few years after the French Revolution, and died on 8 September, 1853 at the age of 40. As a student, Frederic wrote for the French Roman Catholic daily newspaper that strongly supported Church authority. Frederic and companions revived a discussion group that quickly became a forum for lively discussions based on the gospels. At one meeting, during a heated debate in which Ozanam and his friends were trying to prove, from historical evidence alone, the truth of the Catholic Church as the one founded by Christ, their adversaries declared that, though at one time the Church was a source of good, it was so no longer. One voice issued the challenge, "What is your Church doing now? What is she doing

for the poor of Paris? Show us your works and we will believe you!" This challenge was Frederic’s calling. In some ways the beginnings of the Society of St Vincent de Paul were motivated through an expression of the challenge presented to Frederic and his companions. Initially known as a Conference of History, it became a Conference of Charity. Under the spiritual advice and influence of Sr Rosalie Rendu, the group was moved to minister to the poor and needy. Frederic’s first act of charity came about when he and a companion, under the guidance of Sr Rosalie, were to visit a family and provide a bundle of firewood. They knocked at the door and simply left the firewood at the doorstep as they were uncomfortable about a personal encounter with the residents. In this there are two lessons. Firstly, true acts of charity are challenging and at times uncomfortable. Secondly, a true act of charity is relational and engaging. Indeed, it was through relationships that Frederic grew in love for the needy and the most vulnerable.

Frederic’s life can be summed up as, ‘grounded in faith, growing in love, living in hope’. These ideals express much of the life, work and legacy of Blessed Frederic Ozanam. His vision was for a Church inspired by gospel imperatives and a model of unconditional compassion and love for the poor. This vision today is echoed in the words and actions of Pope Francis as he leads the Church in living the joy of the Gospel. For Francis, as for Frederic, to serve the poor we must be led by the voice of the poor. The Society must always see that the poor are at the heart of the decision-making and the heart of the agenda and that it is the voices of the poor. Blessed Frederic was a champion of social justice, especially towards the end of his life. His relationships with the poor, the blindness of Government and Church and the continued oppression of the weak and vulnerable moved him deeply to speak out. These notions of justice and love permeate all aspects of the writings of Frederic. He wrote, “The order of society is based on

two virtues, justice and charity. However, justice presupposes a lot of love already, for one needs to love a person a great deal in order to respect the rights which limit our rights, and their liberty which hampers our liberty. Justice has its limits whereas charity knows none.” These words and passion are as relevant today as they were for Frederic and the early beginnings of the St Vincent de Paul Society. Pope Francis is, in many ways, today’s champion of the poor. His words and actions have captured not only a Church in difficult times but also the wider secular society. He, like Frederic, says, “Among our tasks as witnesses to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor.” (Pope Francis’ “Address to the Archbishop of Canterbury” 14/6/13). Would you like to continue the work of Frederic Ozanam? Your local conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society would welcome your enquiry. To learn more, P 4967 6277 or visit www.mn.catholic.org. au/church-community/social-justice/stvincent-de-paul.

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In considering the legacy of Blessed Frederic, it is important to open a window into the world of Paris, 1833. It was a time of revolution, a time reflected in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, a time when the Church was powerful, corrupt, abusive and exclusive, and a time when the poor were faceless.

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Family Matters

DADEEs girls demonstrate significant improvement in activity levels and wellbeing


Professor Philip Morgan of the University of Newcastle shares an innovative program designed to involve Dads in increasing their daughters’ physical activity levels and self‑esteem. Physical activity is associated with a wide range of physical and mental health benefits and participating in regular physical activity during childhood is vital for optimal growth and development. However, more than 80% of Australian girls are insufficiently active and are often marginalised in physical activity contexts at home, school and in the community. As such, girls have less opportunity, encouragement and support to be active, compared with boys. This has created a striking difference in activity levels and sport skill proficiency, with females being less active and less skilled than males at all stages. By the time they enter high school, less than 10 per cent of girls can adequately perform basic sport skills such as kicking, catching and throwing, which are the building blocks for confident and competent participation in physical activities through life. Current strategies to engage girls in physical activity and sports programs have had minimal impact and innovative approaches that address the underlying socio-cultural barriers girls face are needed.

Fatherhood is both an enormous privilege and a massive responsibility Targeting fathers to take an active role in increasing their daughters’ physical activity levels may be one such innovation. Over the last 30 years, studies have shown that fathers have a unique and substantial influence on their children’s physical, social, emotional and mental health. Actively engaged fathers also improve a range of developmental outcomes in their daughters such as cognitive ability, self-esteem, social skills, resilience, physical activity and educational achievements. The masculine interaction style of fathers (more physical, unpredictable, risk taking) impacts positively on girls and physical activity provides a unique platform to engage fathers and daughters. Fathers also have a critical role in helping their daughters form healthy body image views; important, given that selfesteem and body image are major concerns facing girls, particularly in the teenage years.

For example, studies have shown that more than half of primary school girls desire to be thinner and report being unhappy with the way they look. Despite the many benefits that result from a strong father-daughter bond, research suggests that up to 70 per cent of fathers only see themselves as an ‘extra set of hands’ when raising their daughters. In addition, fathers are often less involved with daughters than mothers, spend less time with daughters than sons, and discount their role in fostering their daughters’ physical activity behaviours and social‑emotional wellbeing. To address these issues, the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition developed and tested an innovative, world-first program called DADEE; Dads And Daughters Exercising and Empowered. The program was based at The University of Newcastle and targeted fathers as the agents of change to improve their daughters’ physical activity levels, sport skills and social-emotional wellbeing. Importantly, the program also targeted girls to improve fitness and physical activity levels, and parenting skills of fathers. The DADEE program included eight weekly sessions. During the program, fathers learned about evidence-based parenting strategies to improve their daughters’ physical and mental health. Topics included fitness and physical activity, sport skills, female role models, challenge and adventure, parenting, emotional mirroring and ‘pinkification’. The program also promoted the idea of ‘equalist’ parenting, which addresses the culture of gender prejudice that permeates all aspects of girls’ lives, particularly in relation to physical activity. The daughters were given opportunities to practise key social-emotional skills including self-control, persistence, critical thinking, resilience and self-reliance. Importantly, the program also included fun practical sessions for the dads and daughters where they would practise sport skills, participate in rough and tumble play and engage in fun games to improve aerobic and muscular fitness. The study findings were outstanding for both fathers and daughters. The program greatly improved the girls’ social-emotional wellbeing by empowering them to be resilient and critical thinkers, to take on new challenges, to be persistent and brave and to take a leadership role in the family’s physical activity habits with renewed

physical confidence. After participating, daughters felt better about themselves, had stronger relationships with their fathers and were active within the family. We also saw meaningful improvements in physical activity levels and dramatically improved sport skills. By improving the girls’ confidence in kicking, catching, throwing, striking and bouncing, the program has put these DADEE girls on a new trajectory where they will be much more likely to lead a physically active life and engage in a broader range of community sports. Fathers experienced meaningful improvements in a host of outcomes including increased physical activity levels, improved father-daughter relationships and enhanced parenting skills. Interestingly, the biggest impact of the program for many fathers was not necessarily what they anticipated. Although they may have enrolled to help their daughter become more active, or more interested in sport (or because their wives told them to!), they left with a greater understanding of their unique and powerful influence on their daughters and how the way they interact with their daughter can profoundly influence her wellbeing. The program also taught dads about becoming equalist parents by removing the gender straitjacket and acknowledging their daughters more for their physical confidence, passions, insights and beliefs, rather than their looks and passivity. They learned to honour their daughters’ unique experience in the world and to encourage them to define femininity in their own terms. Fatherhood is both an enormous privilege and a massive responsibility. Seeing children grow and thrive is one of life’s greatest rewards. This was the first international study to target the fatherdaughter relationship as a key strategy to improve girls’ self-esteem and physical activity. We are excited that the DADEE program received the

national award for ‘Best study in physical activity and health promotion’ at the 2015 ASICS Sports Medicine Australia conference and are looking forward to a wider implementation of the program. The research team includes Professor Philip Morgan and co-investigators Dr Alyce Barnes, Professor David Lubans, Dr Myles Young, Dr Narelle Eather, Emma Pollock and Kristen Saunders from the Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle. We received funding from Port Waratah Coal Services, Hunter Medical Research Institute and the Hunter Children’s Research Foundation. We are currently recruiting local participants and facilitators. Please E DADEE@newcastle.edu.au or P 4913 8759 if you are keen to be involved. Our team invites you to follow us on Twitter: @philmorgo, @DADEEprogram, and like our DADEE Facebook page.




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Enthusiastic program participants Shane and Isobel Smede.

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Sharing the vision: Pope Francis and Stan Grant By GREG DOEPEL

Credit: Kathy Luu 2015

“We are better than this.” The words are those of Stan Grant in a passionate address which tore away the curtain from what he called, “the Australian Dream” and revealed the ugliness of this country’s inherent racism and its shameful history of murder, repression and dispossession of the First People of this land. He was recounting the history of the “War of Extermination” waged by white people against the Aborigines which marked much of the first 200 years of European settlement. While the reality of this history is deeply regretted by most thinking Australians, incidents like the attacks on Adam Goodes reveal that this racism still resides in the hearts of a few; a few who are too many to be ignored or countenanced. If, as Grant asserts, we are better than this, then it is high time we demonstrated it, not by dwelling on the sad history of the past, but by acknowledging it and working to put

to rights the wrongs visited upon the race who managed and nurtured this land for at least 40,000 years.

licence, but they replicate in many ways the savagery visited upon our First People by the war that Stan Grant described.

this year an unmissable opportunity to

In doing this, not only would we be taking the first step in establishing a more just and equitable society, but restoring a balance between the rights of not only the indigenous peoples but also of the rest of us; immigrants who, drawn from every nation on earth, make up our nation, Australia.

So it is clear we are speaking of what Pope Francis calls “our common home”.

our country and its many diverse people,

He goes on to say that “…the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (Laudato Si’, 14). The well-being of the planet, and of all those who dwell upon it, are inextricably linked. What we do to the land, and what we did to its original occupants are sides of the one coin. As we sow, so shall we reap. We need look no further than the sad state of the Great Barrier Reef for example and similarly the fact that while the Aborigines make up some three per cent of the population, they represent 25 per cent of prison inmates. It seems that we have some way to go before we can rest on our oars.

the leadership of Francis and the many

When Pope Francis leads us in prayer to “…rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth…” (A prayer for our earth, Laudato Si’ 246) he is certainly referring to the poor of all the nations, but I feel sure that his vision would encompass not only our indigenous brothers and sisters, but also all those other Australians so heavily affected by the assaults upon our land by mining developments. These are government approved but totally inappropriate and hugely destructive. Not only do they lack a social

let our politicians know they have largely failed us in their stewardship and care of and that we and they together, by heeding Australians committed to a better way, can share his vision, “The entire material universe speaks of God’s love….Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.” (LS 84) Let us accept it. Greg Doepel is a parishioner of St Joseph’s Parish, Gloucester.




On the other hand I believe that we have

The Way We Were:

Diamond Celebrations This month, ‘The Way We Were’ asks the question ‘Whom do you know?’ This photograph captures the diamond jubilee of Bishop Edmund Gleeson, DD, CSsR in 1953. Cardinal Gilroy is in the lead to the left. Can you identify any of the men or boys depicted? The editor notes the absence of women – no doubt they had duties elsewhere! Please E tracey.edstein@mn.catholic.org.au or P 4979 1288.


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The Catholic Thing

Pilgrimage: learning to travel lightly on the road By VERONICA ROSIER op

People are always on the move. The increasing popularity of walking ancient pilgrimage routes like the Camino in Spain appeals to our desire to travel to foreign lands, experience different cultures, see new things, taste new foods, enjoy temporary release from the monotony of daily existence, escape from challenging circumstances or trying relationships, or simply take a holiday. Is there a difference between pilgrimage and tourism? The large numbers of medieval Christians visiting Christendom’s most important sites in the Holy Land, Rome and Santiago de Compostela or revered local sacred places made no distinction between their ‘Club Med’ experience and the religious activity of pilgrimage. Pilgrimage has been a constant in human existence, well before Christianity, with women, men and children, elderly and young, the well and the sick, the hopeless and the hopeful, journeying to sacred places and shrines near and far, at particular times and seasons and engaging in associated rituals. This sense of movement is connected to something deep within us: the inescapable realisation that human life is a journey. There is a purpose to this journey, a pilgrimage towards God, with God, and in God. While we may be hard pressed to name it, our understanding of life and of faith urges us forward, mindful that wherever we are at any given moment, being led through deserts and seas, our ultimate destination is in God. Every pilgrim path carries risks, rewards and responsibilities. No matter how well prepared we think we are, it is an arduous journey, with disappointments, mistakes and unexpected setbacks. Graces and blessings abound, seemingly unearned or undeserved; pilgrims may be moved to silence, simply overwhelmed: “I rejoiced when I heard them

say: ‘Let us go up to God’s house’” (Ps 122). Tapping into human vulnerability, a pilgrim learns to let go of the belief that if only she can “get it together”, all will be well. Who cannot fail to be moved by the sheer faith of the many suffering pilgrims in Lourdes? Pilgrimage celebrates memory and hope in a way that enriches the soul and nourishes identity. The outer journey is an expression of our inner journey, a response to a spiritual thirst that is prompted by God’s grace. Pilgrimage is praying with our feet (or by air or coach), consciously making a journey that stimulates the eyes of the mind and the ears of the heart to the movements of the Spirit as we work, eat and sleep, which, for most people, is ordinary living. Such mindfulness is a potent result of pilgrimage, learning through experience that living deeply in the present moment is the place of encounter with God. Pilgrimage itself is an act of worship. Wise walkers on the Camino carry little in their backpacks, and off-load, literally and figuratively, unnecessary ‘stuff’. Learning to travel lightly is a reminder that it is in Christ “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). The call to conversion and a desire to be reconciled with God, Church and neighbour are expressed through popular piety (hymns, processions, prayers of thanksgiving, supplication and blessings; stations of the cross; labyrinth walking, a means of journeying locally when a longer pilgrimage is impossible), and celebration of the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. They are essential affirmations of this journey in faith. Of course, liturgical celebrations should nourish and edify. Unfortunately, the noon pilgrims’ Mass at

Santiago Cathedral is conducted entirely in Spanish, compromising what should be a significant moment for all who have ‘made it’ to the tomb of the apostle, St James. A gospel proclamation alongside a short Spanish homily, each translated into several languages, would meet this basic requirement.

Pilgrimage celebrates memory and hope in a way that enriches the soul and nourishes identity Like our pilgrim ancestors in faith, the Israelites who were led out of the foreign land of Egypt, the prophets in the Old Testament and Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and our Saints who mark the way forward, we are always being called back to our true homeland. Vatican II’s Lumen gentium affirmed that “on earth,” Christians “are pilgrims in a strange land, tracing… the paths Christ trod.” At the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the famous Thomas Cooke, in his Tourist Handbook to Palestine and Syria (1876), offered a moving reason for first-hand travel to sacred places: “Upon those waters He [Christ] trod; those waves listened to his voice and obeyed; from one

of those rugged hills the swine fell into the lake. Every place the eye rests upon is holy ground, for it is associated with some most sacred scenes from the life of the Master; everywhere the gospel is written upon this divinely illuminated page of nature, and the very air seems full of the echo of his words.” Cooke’s description reflects the joy and awe anticipated in “being there” where the very reality is engaged and experienced as sacred. Perhaps tourists who come to “sight-see” become pilgrims in the process of “site-seeing.” It is the experience of the presence of God that makes certain places “holy”. The Church believes that Christian shrines and churches have great symbolic value as icons “of the dwelling place of God among us” (Rev. 21:3). They have “always been, and continue to be, signs of God, and of God’s intervention in history. Each one of them is a memorial to the Incarnation and to the Redemption” (Code of Canon Law). Christian pilgrimage is never a solitary journey. We journey as a pilgrim people and come to learn that we are in the company of all other peoples and nations who are our sisters and brothers, including those who have gone before us. Praying for the dead has always been a hallmark of Christian pilgrimage on earth. In the Mass, the pilgrim people of God is the Church, the Body of Christ that moves towards its ultimate destination, the heavenly banquet that awaits each of us still travelling towards the promised land. Veronica Rosier OP, PhD, lectures in Liturgical and Sacramental Studies at the Catholic Institute of Sydney and the Broken Bay Institute/University of Newcastle. She is a volunteer guide for Catholic Mission’s Pilgrimage on the Camino.

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Seasons of Grace

Labyrinths are not mazes but they are amazing


Max Greive has been a farmhand, mortuary attendant, pastor, community worker and is currently a counsellor, spiritual director, artist and labyrinth facilitator. He shares his appreciation of the ancient practice of labyrinth walking. A labyrinth is not a maze or a puzzle, it is a path or pattern with a purpose. There is one way in and the path leads to the centre. You can leave the path at any point but you will usually gain some insight by completing the journey − inwards and outwards. For some, it is plainly the journey from birth to death with a beginning, a series of twists and turns which take you all over, sometimes in what seems to be the wrong direction. Eventually you arrive at the final destination. I encountered my first walk with a group of friends one June long weekend when we designed a labyrinth on a six metre square cloth. It was a fun experience. I walked and talked with God as I twisted and turned from start to finish. It became meditative as I slowed down, following the path with both sides of my brain engaged. As I walked towards the centre I gained some insights, which surprised me. One walker was heard to say, “Well, that should take me ten minutes.” An hour later she was still in the middle. Profound? Definitely. Since then I have become an enthusiast. I make temporary labyrinths on beaches with a stick and more lasting ones on holidays with seaweed or pumice to mark the lines. It might take me six hours to create and every day there is some ‘maintenance’. I enjoy starting the day with a sunrise walk, and any time is good. I love watching others as they encounter the labyrinth. I make finger labyrinths from timber and find the creating therapeutic. I often quote the Irish saying, “If you want to know the Creator − create.” I have been making them for many years and have had orders from schools and community groups.


My wife Bronwyn and I have run workshops with specific themes, often in churches and parks. We have a temporary labyrinth on our property and there are plans to make permanent ones. My favourite design is from Chartres Cathedral in France, a classic 11 circuit path. It was inlaid in 1201 and you can usually access it on a Friday when they move the pews. Labyrinths have been part of our human history for thousands of years. How were they used? One can only surmise. That they have been found in different parts of the world with differing cultural and religious backgrounds – Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, India, the Americas − suggests there is something universal in their appeal. I work as a counsellor and use labyrinths in my work. If a client wants some clarity I will often give him or her time with a labyrinth; “Even a muddy puddle of a mind will clear if given time to settle.” That has certainly been my experience. I have used labyrinths when troubles and problems plague me. I do walk them just for the fun of helping me get ‘in the zone’ and create some quiet within. Once I was finishing my day at a community centre when a man arrived, desperate for help. He said he was homeless, depressed and had been suicidal. I told him I needed 15 minutes to complete the day’s task and would be with him after that. I suggested he walk the labyrinth while he waited. I gave him the basics of what was required and left him. He returned sometime later and I asked, “How was that for you?” “It was amazing.”

Surprised, I enquired further.

agitated with my inability to stay focused?

He said as he entered the walk and came to one of the turns next to the centre he thought, “This is stupid. All I have to do is step over the line into the middle and have done with it.” Then he said, “That’s what I always do, take the easy road. I have to do the hard yards.”

There are a hundred questions − meditations

I asked what the hard yards might mean. “I need to detox and go to rehab. I need to get myself sorted.” This depressed, suicidal man had worked out his own path without any help from me other than to provide a walking path that helped him settle and be stilled. Another time a woman said, “Well that was a waste of time, all I got was a sense of peace.” I apologised that she thought she had wasted her time. It’s probably true to say that no two walks are the same and that it can be unhelpful if you have expectations. Enter a walk with open hands, letting go of what is troubling you. There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. It is a tool, a path with a purpose, to help you. It is not magical, yet some pretty amazing things can happen. Kids will often skip, jump, play and enjoy. Some people have been too scared to try, once I suggest that they may go into their own heart as they walk towards ‘home’, yet I have never witnessed anyone having a negative experience. Walking with a group of people is a great canvas for working with metaphor and symbols. What do you do when the person in front is too slow? Can you overtake? Go outside the lines? How do you pass someone coming the other way? Why am I

− to be had. Fosterton Retreat has self-contained accommodation with two cabins and a five-bedroom house. It provides nature and nurture. For guided retreats/ workshops you can leave an expression of interest at www.fostertonretreat.com. au. If you are aware of a local labyrinth that can be walked, please contact the editor.




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Walking the labyrinth 1 Clear your mind and become aware of your breathing and feelings. As thoughts drift in, make a note, then let go of them and receive whatever is revealed. 2 Enter with a problem/persistent issue and carry it along the path. Ask for wisdom and guidance rather than a yes/no. 3 Repeat a phrase over and over to yourself as you journey, eg “the Lord is my shepherd”, “I belong to God”, “I am loved”, “Send your light”… 4 Pray your way continuously. 5 Carry someone (friend/foe) along the journey and be surprised at what emerges. 6 Enjoy the adventure of making time to be quiet and listen.

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Encyclical anniversary sparks religious call to shift from fossil fuels By STEPHEN PICKARD AND THEA ORMEROD Few papal proclamations have reverberated more strongly throughout the world than Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’. Released a year ago, the encyclical was part of a deluge of statements from the major faith traditions in the lead up to the Paris Climate Agreement. Today, diverse Australian religious leaders note that Australia was a signatory to that historic agreement, but they ask: where are the policies to match? In an open letter, they say the tragic bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef should be a wake-up call, yet new coal mines were approved within weeks of Minister Hunt signing it. The harsh reality is that both sides of politics are committed to the continuation of coal and gas mining. The realities of global warming are being felt more painfully by the year. Polls show there is strong electoral support for climate action and now Australia has international obligations. In the meantime, our national emissions keep rising and climate policy scarcely rates a mention in election  debates.

We know why. Both sides of politics have overly close relationships with the fossil fuel industry, and this has a profoundly distorting effect on our democracy. The common good is being sacrificed for political self-interest.

The common good is being sacrificed for political self‑interest

We have a stark choice before us. On one side are civil society, innovators in low carbon technologies and socially responsible investors working for a transformation of our economies which will protect our life-sustaining eco‑systems. On the other side are sheer inertia, our collective addiction to fossil fuels and industries which are

fixated on continuing as usual, regardless of the long term costs to people and the environment. As Pope Francis says, “There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected.” The need for action can no longer be postponed. Australia urgently needs to transition the economy away from fossil fuels to one which is broadly based, innovative and sustainable. We need to declare a moratorium on any new coal, oil or gas mining and expansions of existing mines and end subsidies and assistance to fossil fuel industries. We need commitments to large scale renewables projects and incentives for citizens to escalate rapidly the take-up of renewable energy. A rapid transition would not only meet our environmental responsibilities, it would also contribute to a stronger economy now that mining is in structural decline. Renewables are now cheaper than fossil fuels and they create many more jobs. We need restructuring plans to ensure mining communities are not left behind as Australia

transitions from a fossil fuel-based economy to one powered by renewable energy. Finally, Australia should restore trust internationally by contributing new money, not money from the overseas aid budget, to Climate Finance for developing countries. We are a relatively wealthy nation so we have the capacity. Pope Francis drew the world’s attention to the “urgent challenge to protect our common home”. Leaders of the various faith traditions are speaking with one voice: now is the time to act! The Rt Rev’d Professor Stephen Pickard is Executive Director, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University. Thea Ormerod is President, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change. Please visit www. arrcc.org.au




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Aspiring to weirdness


ASPIRE is an audition-based drama, dance, music and creative and performing arts program which was launched by the Catholic Schools Office in 2011 to provide opportunities for students from Years 5-11 in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Led by Artistic Director, Anna Kerrigan, and five Ensemble Directors, ASPIRE invites talented students from across the diocese to audition to develop and enhance their skills through vocal, instrumental, drama and dance performances. Anna encourages the community to come along to this year's performance, "There's something strange about Marvin McRae", and gives Aurora readers a glimpse of what we can expect from the production. We are fewer than two months away from the world premiere of ASPIRE’s annual production, this year titled, There’s Something Strange about Marvin McRae. The cast of 125 dedicated young performers, representing 26 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle,


is enthusiastically working towards performance week at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. So what makes this year special? Maybe it’s because ASPIRE is in its fifth year, maybe it’s because the program continues to go from strength to strength, but most likely because this year is the first time the entire story and script are completely original. The story centres on Marvin, a young boy who is going to high school next year. Marvin is obsessed with the fact that he’s weird and discusses it at length with the school counsellor. He just doesn’t know how to be ‘normal’ like everyone else. His mum is too busy to talk about it, his dad keeps making lame jokes and his sister is obsessed with all things wheeled. He wonders if his imaginary friend Gus might be part of the problem. If he could only do something really heroic, then everyone would accept him…wouldn’t they? The inspiration for the story came from our students. “I’m weird!” is something I hear all the time from young people I work with.

Students are often ready and comfortable to share what it is that makes them different. I guess it takes one to know one; I’ve always considered myself uniquely weird. Many students wear it as a badge of honour, “Yeah, I’m weird and what of it?” Many embrace their quirks, which is fabulous. However there are many students who try to hide their idiosyncrasies for fear of ridicule.

the writing and gives us an opportunity to

The quest to be normal is something I think many of us have experienced during our growing up years. I remember desperately trying to keep up with what was ‘cool’ at school and was generally a week behind. But just what is ‘normal’ anyway? And what do you have to do to be normal? Ultimately do we really aspire to being ‘normal’, whatever that might be? This rather existential question is at the heart of the script and with it the overarching theme of acceptance of both each other and of ourselves.

Pat Benatar’s classic anthem, “Love is a

Anyone who has worked with me knows I am an advocate for making your own theatre. It empowers those who are involved in

McRae will be performed at the Civic

comment on the world around us. I believe it is a very important tool, particularly for young people to decipher the world around them. There are so many students who have contributed to this year’s production, directly and indirectly, and that makes it so special. Add to this that the script is punctuated by a host of popular tracks ranging from Battlefield” to Coldplay’s beautifully haunting “Shiver”, all performed by our band and vocal ensemble comprised solely of young musicians. All this while we transport the audience from the classroom to the bush, under the water and back in time. It’s a rollercoaster not to be missed! And there’s a giant chicken involved…that’s surely worth a look? There’s Something Strange about Marvin Theatre from 4-6 August. Bookings can be made through Ticketek.

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Dear Brussels: Letters from Down Under


In the digital age, letter writing could easily be seen as somewhat passé. Surely Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even ordinary old email are so much quicker and easier? Some students of St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton, might disagree. On the morning that news of the terrorist attacks in Brussels broke, following similar events in Paris, a Year 8 class gathered for its weekly pastoral time. Like her students, teacher Rebecca Dawber had seen television footage of the aftermath of the attacks and was distressed for the residents of the city, despite its being so far away.

parcel of handwritten letters. In due course a parcel arrived from the Brussels school and the two groups of students began to make connections as individuals. Photos helped to put faces to names. The Belgian principal, Eddy Van de Velde, wrote to Rebecca, “Receiving your

pupils’ letters made us very happy. It’s nice to find out that people on the other side of the world are concerned with us.”

about security remain, the tone of the

The next stage of this developing international relationship involves the Belgian students learning more about Australia, and especially Singleton. While the concerns

scared. It’s also easier ‘cause we’re young

students’ letters is uniformly optimistic. One group wrote, “We are all trying not to be and innocent and so we have a different perspective on what’s happening in Belgium. But hey, let’s all keep dancing on rainbows, swimming with mermaids and flying with unicorns!” The St Catherine’s students have been preparing to send to their counterparts all sorts of goodies, from Vegemite to coal, flag stickers to Tim Tams and Australian-themed pencils, toys and books. Tema Whatham

Rebecca recalls, “Students were asking questions and expressing their concern over the attacks. We decided as a class to find a school in Brussels to send letters of our thoughts, prayers and best wishes.”

has explained the importance

Some student research followed – admittedly, courtesy of the internet! St Catherine’s Catholic College is unique among diocesan schools in being a K-12 school on one campus. The students located a Kindergarten to Year 12 Jesuit school, Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege, and sent a

further conversation.

of Fantales and Kirby Egan provided some background on the Australian flag. When it arrives, the parcel will open a window on life down under and will be sure to promote Student Lewis Hamilton reflected on ‘Letters to Brussels’: “This exercise has helped me realise that we are not alone in the world and we are not the only people who struggle to cope with the happenings in this Grace Geddes, Kaitlin McIntosh, Danielle Buitenhuis, Charlie Mann, Tema Whatham and Kirby Egan with their letters to Brussels.

world we call home, and that we should help whomever we can.” 

Services for the whole community Disability Services

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Mental Health Programs Community outreach To learn more visit www.catholiccare.org.au or call 4979 1120 /CatholicCareHM @CatholicCareHM

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“Let me show you the world!” It is an attitude that arouses my instant and involuntary aversion! Kenneth Grahame, the writer of The Wind in the Willows, knew of this mindset, illustrating it to perfection in his description of Mr Toad standing beside his canary-coloured caravan summoning his long-suffering friends: “Let me show you the world!” He’s an image of pomposity, boastfulness, snobbery and self-delusion! While that might seem a harsh judgement of poor old Toad, it is somewhat akin to the reaction I have towards people who, like Toady and without invitation, feel obliged to cast before me the minutiae of their travel experiences, folk who seem to be in no doubt that accounts of their exotic journeying will be fascinating to all and sundry. ‘Travel buffs’, I label them. And if my dislike of their pretentiousness characterises me as a narrow-minded stick-in-the-mud, then, like Ratty, I am content that it is so. Travel has become a boom industry of second-millennium Australia! Only this morning, on my hundred metre trek from the carpark to my Monday morning coffee, I walked past no fewer than four travel agencies, busy ones at that. The mantra of the industry is inescapable. ‘Travel broadens the mind’ screams the cliché! I am offered guided tours to ‘behold the wonders of the modern world’. ‘Go Wilderness! Get off the beaten track!’ another sign implores. Travel is so easy in this global village. For the young, student deals and rates are available, specially designed for those taking a gap year.

Backpacking has become a rite of passage. For folk who have survived the rigours of the twenty-first century and made it to plump middle age, cruising the waterways of Europe is not a mere privileged indulgence. Such people are so deserving of pampering. And so it goes... The vicarious adventures conjured in the mind from reading books in what now seems like the ‘Dark Ages’ have been replaced by the ‘real thing’: the exotica of the global village now waits at the very doorstep of the homes of most western folk. And here the travel buffs are in their element, furiously ticking off the boxes that signify the far-flung destinations they have been to and moving on to the next, all the while flashing the stamps on their passports like military decorations. Over time I have tended to stay in my foxhole, preferring to travel neither frequently nor extensively. Even so, I’m not so jaundiced that I do not retain a few fond and indelible travel memories. Sometimes at the end of a heated day, I find myself in a Crab Temple on Penang looking down the Straits of Malacca where the ships of the world are plying their trades. Night has long since fallen and our meal completed, we breathe in the silence allowing an onshore breeze, thick with the scent of hidden flowers and hints of ginger, to wash over us with its warm tendrils. In our tea-cups a full moon floats, buttercup on dark Assam. It’s a personal thing. For me, it works. Returning in my mind to such places can usually soothe

the stress of trying days. Surely memories have always been invoked in this way?

is not insatiable greed or blind hedonism. It

The captains of the industry tell me I should feel differently but I feel no compulsion to

it is a loss of a sense of proportion about

lies on a different and more compelling plane: our journeying. For mine, the peril is that the whole travel-compulsion thing can become

And like a horde of modern-day Magi astride their camels... the afflicted travellers come, following not one but five stars

a sort of snow-blind for another greater (and vastly more important) reality: that we are, all of us, travellers. Wittingly or not, flying, running, walking or sitting still, each of us is on a cosmic ride through time and space − a circumstance which, if it comes into our conscious minds, must inevitably raise questions: where are we? Where we are going? If, as the astronomers assure us, by merely standing on the earth’s surface, every passing second will have taken us thousands of kilometres from where we were the second before, the wonder of it all can scarcely be

travel frequently. I have resisted most of the inducements offered by people whose task is to ensure that the ‘travel bug’ is communicable. Incessant titillation without satiation is symptomatic of the infection. And like a horde of modern-day Magi astride their camels, madly thrashing their whips and feverish under the onset of this contagion, the afflicted travellers come, following not one but five stars. However, unlike those wise and blessed souls of old, they usually stop over at the inn − never reaching the stable.


In my estimation, the fatal flaw in all of this

a guided one!

Travel buffs – the very words should be a source of such laughter in Paradise! What celestial irony is here! What a trick upon the lot of us – from jet-lagged sybarites to plodding killjoys like me. As sure as the seconds ticking away our allotted spans, we, and the world we say we know, are being carted through space at an incredible velocity. It all leads me to hope that this tour is indeed

Frankly Spoken “He brought me this jacket, and with tears in his eyes he said to me, “Father, I couldn’t do it. There was a little girl on the waves, and I did all I could, but I couldn’t save her. Only her life vest was left.” This life vest was worn by that girl… Let us think of this little girl. What was her name? I do not know: a little girl with no name. Each of you give her the name you would like, each in his heart. She is in heaven, she is looking on us.” - To 500 children as he showed them a life jacket given by a refugee rescuer, May 28


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Community Noticeboard Before We Say I Do Program Course 4 23 and 30 July, Newcastle (Toohey Room, Diocesan Offices, Newcastle West) Course 5 10 and 17 September, Newcastle Course 6 5 and 12 November, Newcastle All courses are on Saturdays, 9.30am-4.30pm. Please P Robyn 4979 1370. Seven@Sacred Heart The next gathering will be on Wednesday 20 July at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 7pm. St Brigid’s Markets, Branxton These monthly markets assist the parish and wider community at Branxton. Every third Sunday, (next 16 July) the Old School Grounds, 9am-2pm, www.facebook.com/ stbrigidsmarket. Mercy Spirituality Centre Events Reflection time: Celebrating the Sacred in the Ordinary How often do we look and wish we had the time to be with those moments that catch our breath – that could take us to a ‘different place’, a place of peace and celebration, knowing that what is, is beautiful, sacred and enough! Friday 29 July and Saturday 30 July, 10am-3pm (light lunch included). These sessions of input, silence and sharing of insights are an invitation to reflect on the ordinariness of The Elements; The Seasons; The Interconnectedness of our Universe; The Artist. Cost $60, facilitator Anne Ryan rsm. Images of Mercy: Two days of reflection on biblical images of steadfast love, making right relationship with oneself, loyalty, compassion, healing through viewing art works and personal exploration of these concepts. Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 August 10am-3pm (light lunch included) Cost: $60. Facilitator Anne Ryan rsm. Facilitated Retreat: Six day residential retreat program Praying with Hadewijch – living the Humanity of Christ. Friday evening 12 August – Friday morning 19 August. Facilitator Colleen Rhodes rsm. Cost $540. Further details available. 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 7pm-9pm. Facilitator Sue Collins. Cost $30. For all these events at Mercy Spirituality Centre, 26 Renwick Street, Toronto, details/ bookings E mercytoronto@mercy.org.au or P 4959 1025. Diocese partners with Maitland Regional Museum Maitland Regional Museum will hold an exhibition in St John’s Hall in Cathedral Street, Maitland, 20 June-10 July to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first resident Bishop, James Murray. The exhibition will highlight the stories of people, families, groups and institutions within the Church. Aurora is also inviting you to contribute a story about your school or parish life for “The Way We Were”; P Tracey Edstein, 4979 1288 or E tracey.edstein@ mn.catholic.org.au. Woman: the Way of Mercy The Council for Australian Catholic Women and Catholic Women’s League, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, are hosting a Day of Reflection led by Anne Ryan rsm on Saturday 23 July, 9.30am-3.30pm at St Laurence Centre, Broadmeadow Rd, Broadmeadow. Cost of $20 includes soup and sandwich lunch. Rsvp 1 July at latest, P Patricia Banister 4932 5601 or E pabanister7@gmail. com. Mercy in the Movies Richard Leonard sj will address this engaging topic under the auspices of the Tenison Woods Education Centre on Monday 25 July, 8.30/9am-3.30pm at Souths Leagues Club, Llewellyn St Merewether. $30 includes morning tea and lunch. To rsvp, P 49309601 or E twec@ssjl.org.au Seasons for Growth Companioning Training Children & Young People’s training Taree 26-27 July, 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

For your diary

Companion. Enrolments for training are completed at www.goodgrief.org.au. 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. Speakers include Teresa Brierley, Kerry Stirling, Helen Bourne, Debbie Hill and Anne Graham, 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 seasonsforgrowth@mn.catholic.org.au 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.Nichols@calvarymater.org. au. Please P Jenny or Benita 4979 1355 for other opportunities to attend the adult small group. For more information about this program please visit www.mn.catholic.org. au/agencies-services/seasons-for-growth. 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. See story page 7. Mums’ Cottage Invites grandparents to Grandparent and Toddler day, every Wednesday during

Combined Parish Golf Day

Before 22 July by: Collecting a registration form from your local Parish E: bce@mn.catholic.org.au or P: 49791142


Easts Leisure & Golf, 3 Tenambit St, East Maitland Friday, 5 August 2016 (8:00am arrival)

July  3 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday NAIDOC Week begins.  7 Eid-al-Fitr, the Muslim breaking of the fast  10 Apostleship of the Sea Sunday  14 Diocesan World Youth Day pilgrimage begins!  22 Feast of St Mary Magdalene  24 Bible Sunday  30 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons International Day of Friendship  31 National Missing Persons Week begins.National Tree Day

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 admin@mumscottage. org.au or visit www.mumscottage.org.au. 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. 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 opw.catholic.org.au. For more events please visit mn.catholic.org.au/calendar and mn.catholic.org.au/community.

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$50 per player Fee includes tea/coffee, a light lunch & prizes Game format: 4 person Ambrose, shotgun start Arrive at 8am for 8:30 hit off

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Last Word


Aurora on tour


Christians of all denominations to ‘pray for one’, ie unity, at 4.01 – am or pm. Sam takes very seriously the injunction of the gospel of John, 17:21, “I pray…so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.”

The inscription in my copy of Sam Clear’s Walk4One: Paving a path to unity is “keep serving the Adolfos of the world.” In recounting his remarkable 15,636 kilometre walk around the world, Sam writes far more about the people he encountered than the challenges he met – despite the latter including a puma, various snakes, swindlers and stalkers, and injury and illness.

Even the gorgeous blooms of Monet’s garden at Giverny could not distract this reader from Aurora!

He has many setbacks along the way, but also great support and encouragement – and incredulity. From the media savvy Fr Fox in Casper, Wyoming, to Cardinal Walter Kasper in Rome, who tells him, “Sam, unity is far from being a political gathering. It’s a passionate desire to worship God alongside all Christians in truth and in love” to fellow pilgrims on the Camino Frances, he is strengthened to walk on to Finisterre, Spain, ‘the end of the world’. The statement he makes about one South American family could apply to dozens: ““Their simple life and hospitality to a complete stranger left an indelible mark.”

Adolfo, his wife and little girl, barely surviving in a Panamanian village, had more of an impact than anyone Sam met in his epic walk. So much so that Walk4One ends with the promise of another tale, the quest to find Adolfo again. Adolfo impresses because he has nothing but he offers his ‘nothing’ to a stranger whom he is unlikely ever to see again.

Soul food Tell me, what is it you plan to do

Sam Clear is walking as an advocate for Christian unity, which can really only occur one to one. How a young Tasmanian Catholic mechanical engineer feels called to leave his ministry with youth and become a missionary who is ‘walking for one’ is a unique, at times rollicking and always engaging read.

with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver

The “deep thirst for adventure” Sam admits in his prologue is surely, well and truly sated by his experience – or is it? If you have the opportunity to hear Sam speak, don’t miss it. Walk4One: Paving a path to unity Garratt Mulgrave 2013. Please visit www.walk4one.com.

In simple terms, his aim is to invite

Layered Crespelle Lasagne To make crepes    

To make creme spinach



85g plain flour 250ml milk 2 eggs Pinch salt


Sift flour into a bowl. Whisk in milk then eggs and salt.

Heat a frypan over medium heat, add a dash of butter and oil and swirl to cover base. Pour in enough mixture to make a thin crepe. Cook for 2–3 minutes then turn over and cook for a further minute. Remove and place on an inverted plate. Repeat this process until you have 7 or 8 crepes.

22 2

1 bunch silver beet or chard, leaves removed and stalks washed and chopped (or 250g packet frozen chopped spinach, thawed) 1 brown onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, sliced 250ml thickened cream Salt and pepper

Method In a pot of boiling water, blanch silver beet leaves. In a heavy-based pan on low heat, cook onion and garlic in a tablespoon of oil until soft. Add silver beet stalks and cook down. Add squeezed and chopped leaves along with the cream. Season and cook for about 10 minutes. Blend in a food processor and allow to cool.

To make bolognese sauce          


1 onion, finely chopped 1 medium carrot, grated 1 stick celery, chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 350g beef mince 250ml milk (optional) 250ml white wine 500g tin tomatoes Salt and pepper Nutmeg


In a heavy-based pot, heat a tablespoon of oil and cook onion for 3 minutes. Add carrot, celery and garlic and cook a further 5 minutes. Add mince and a pinch of salt and cook until mince has browned. Pour in milk and reduce until liquid has evaporated. Stir in wine and reduce liquid again. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.


To make the lasagne

Ingredients  

4 balls bocconcini, finely sliced 1/2 cup parmesan


Preheat oven to 160°C. Spread a 9-inch greased and lined springform cake tin with a thin layer of bolognese. Add a layer of thin slices of bocconcini and a sprinkle of parmesan. Follow with a thin layer of creme spinach then a crepe. Repeat this process several times, finishing with a crepe. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes .Serve with a fresh salad. 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.

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Profile for Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

Aurora July 2016  

Our cover story for July marks the ordination of Camillus Nwahia to the diocesan presbyterate. Aurora appears in NAIDOC Week and we have a...

Aurora July 2016  

Our cover story for July marks the ordination of Camillus Nwahia to the diocesan presbyterate. Aurora appears in NAIDOC Week and we have a...

Profile for diomn