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Year in Review

2015 Being the face, hands and heart of Jesus in our community.

» The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

Contents 3

Vision, Mission and Values


Our organisation


Snapshot of the diocese




Bishop’s report



We acknowledge Aboriginal Peoples are Australia’s first peoples and the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land in which we live the joy of the Gospel and share it with the world. We are in the country of the Worimi, Gamileroi, Wonarua, Wiradjuri, Darkinjung, Biripi and Awabakal peoples. We respectfully acknowledge their Elders, celebrate their continuing culture and the living memory of their ancestors.

Greater Taree Gloucester

Upper Hunter Vice Chancellor Pastoral Ministries report

Muswellbrook Vice Chancellor Administration report


Catholic Schools Office report


CatholicCare Social Services report


The 5 Foundations of the diocese


Identity and Community


Worship and Prayer


Formation and Education


Mission and Outreach


Leadership and Structure




Stay in touch


Acknowledgement of country and traditional owners


Great Lakes

Singleton Port Stephens Cessnock

Maitland Newcastle Lake Macquarie

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle covers approximately 65,000 square kilometres, encompassing the local government areas marked on the map above. The boundaries are from Swansea and Cooranbong in the south to Taree in the north, Merriwa, Cassilis and Scone in the west and the coastline in the east.

We dream of a day when children are no longer abused. Until that day comes we need to listen to our children, protect and empower them, as well as build supportive communities to enhance our survivors’ healing. Maureen O’Hearn, Coordinator Healing & Support, Zimmerman Services

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Vision, Mission and Values

The vision, mission, principles and teaching of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Vision To live the joy of the Gospel and share it with the world.

Mission The Diocesan Synod of 1992-93, acting on behalf of the diocesan community, resolved to embrace and promote the Vatican II understanding of the Church’s mission contained in the following: The Church, because it is the People of God and the Body of Christ enlivened by his Spirit, is called to be a sign and instrument of communion with God and of unity among all people (LG1). The Church exists to promote the Kingdom of God on earth (LG5). This it does by proclaiming Christ – the Good News of God’s love for all people – and by working in the world for justice, peace and reconciliation. This mission finds its source and summit in the Eucharist (LG11) which, when lived in everyday life and celebrated in the liturgy, is both the living symbol of Christ’s life, death and resurrection and celebrates the deepest identity of the Church as a communion of life, love and truth (LG9). All those who, through Baptism, have been initiated into the community of the Church have the right and duty to participate in its life and mission as a response to the Spirit in their lives (LG3). We are called to live out the commandment of Jesus: ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ (Jn 15:12).

Year in Review 2015

Theological Principles •

Seek First the Kingdom of God (Mt 6:33)

The Equality of All Believers

Faith Development is a Life-Long Process

The Dignity of the Human Person

Diversity of Gifts

Diversity of Ministries, Unity of Purpose

Servant Leadership

Decision-Making by Discernment

Read the Signs of the Times

Concern for Ecumenism

Catholic Social Teaching The Common Good The common good is understood as the collection of social conditions that make it possible for each social group and all their individual members to achieve their potential. Dignity of the Human Person Each member of the human family is equal in dignity and has equal rights because we are all children of the one God. Preferential Option for the Poor How societies treat their most vulnerable members, the poor, must have an urgent moral claim on the conscience of a nation. Solidarity An essential stance of faith and a feature of moral consciousness recognizing that we belong to one human family. Stewardship of Creation We must all respect, care for and share the resources of the earth, which are vital for people’s common good. Subsidiarity and Participation People have both a right and a duty to participate in those decisions that most directly affect them.


» Our organisation

Ministries of the diocesan church • Bishop’s Office • Archives • Tribunal • Pastoral Support Unit • Life and Faith Office (Special Religious Education (SRE), Sacramental Programs, Seasons for Growth, School Chaplains, Pastoral Placement Program, Marriage & Relationship Education, Bringing Baby Home, Parish-Family Liaison, Natural Fertility Services) • Catholic Schools and Catholic Schools Office • CatholicCare Social Services • Liturgy & Adult Faith Formation • Tenison Woods Education Centre (TWEC) • Zimmerman Services • Communications • Business and Community Engagement • Parish Assistance Unit • Chaplaincy (Aged Care, Armed Services, CatholicCare Social Services, Hospitals, Industry, Port, Prison, Schools & University) • Youth Ministry • Ecumenism & Interfaith • Social Justice (Social Justice Council, Aboriginal Ministry) • Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) • Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) • Catholic Women’s League Australia Inc. (CWLA) • Caritas Australia • Catholic Mission

Programs offered by CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning • Brighter Futures/Early Intervention • Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) • Adoptions • Early Intervention and Placement Program • Family Resolutions • General Counselling – encompassing Behaviour Support Intervention, Employee Assistance Program, Victims of Crime, Work Cover and Medicare • Work Development Orders • Parenting Hub • Taree Community Kitchen • Mental Health Groups • Out of Home Care (OOHC) • Supported Independent Living (SIL) • IMPACT • After Care • Community Care Van • CatholicCare Refugee Service • Disability Supported Accommodation • Disability case management and support, outreach and mentoring Other Ministries • Society of St Vincent de Paul • Mercy Services • Cursillo • Secular Franciscan Order • Knights of the Southern Cross • Legion of Mary • Charismatic Renewal • House of Hospitality • Mums’ Cottage • Anawim Prayer and Retreat Centre

Living Waters Meditation and Spirituality Centre • Mercy Spirituality Centre Parish Ministries (not all ministries active in all parishes) • Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) • Baptism Outreach • Sacramental Program • Marriage Preparation Outreach • Bereavement Outreach • Catholic Women’s League • Youth Ministry Groups & Young People’s Mass • Legion of Mary • Playgroup • Special Religious Education (SRE) • Children’s Liturgy • Family Group • Faith Formation • Anointing Masses • Communion to the sick & aged • Funeral Ministry • St Vincent de Paul Conference • Hospitality and Welcoming Group • Craft Group • Cursillo • MenALIVE • Real Women • Liturgy Planning • Holy Hour/Benediction • Home Masses • Fundraising Group • Music Team • School Masses • Social Group • Pastoral Care Teams • Multicultural Evenings • Rosary Groups

The students in our Catholic schools raised almost $260,000 for the world’s poorest during Caritas’ Project Compassion this year. We are so proud of the commitment to justice and compassion displayed by the young people, teachers and families of our schools and parishes. Patricia Banister, Caritas Parish Liaison


Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Snapshot of the diocese



Catholics in region (2011 census)


(27 incardinated, 6 international, 5 religious, 2 on loan, 2 overseas, 17 retired & 8 deacons)




Religious congregations


Ministries of the diocesan church


Employees - one of the top 5 employers in the Hunter (full time, part time and casual)



(45 primary schools/11 high schools)



(10,269 primary/8,317 secondary)


Programs offered through CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning


People supported by CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning


Members of the Catholic Development Fund (CDF)


682,000 Aurora

copies distributed (Feb – Dec)


Weekly Diocesan Update E-newsletter subscribers


Combined Facebook and Twitter followers Aurora, and CatholicCare Facebook and Twitter pages

Year in Review 2015


Diocesan website unique visitors

(, diocesan, CatholicCare Social Services and Catholic Schools Office websites)


Âť Highlights

Catholic Education Commission (CEC) visits the diocese.

Be, Grow, Show: Annual youth retre

Community Care Van providing meals to 2400 people annually.

Walking the Way of the Cross.


Celebrating common good at the Interfaith Dialogue.

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle


Âť Highlights

Cathedral Parish builds new columbarium.

Ordination to the priesthood of Peter Street.

St Aloysius: The Hunter’s newest school opens its doors.

Year in Review 2015

CatholicCare Social Services comes to Gloucester.

Launch of the Social Justice Statement.

Diocese announces major developments in education.


» Bishop’s Identity &message Community

Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle M OST REV WILLIA M WRI G HT The Spirit of God moves in the Church. If I did not believe that, I should not bother remaining in it. But it is my daily experience that our community is filled with people who have the heart and goodness of Jesus within them and who are led to live by faith, and to show their love in action, by and in and because of their experiences within the People of God. Our church community, for all its many faults, is still where people find God and find the courage to work for the Kingdom. Of course, it is axiomatic that ‘the Kingdom of God does not admit of observation’ (Luke 17:20). To put that another way, the life of the church is like the proverbial iceberg, ninety percent of it is below the surface. An annual ‘Review’ cannot tell of the person who, after years of bearing anxious guilt, has known the blessing of finding forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance and begun to rebuild his or her life. We can’t particularise the joy and the spiritual ‘lift’ for the catechist who has seen a child suddenly begin to understand what Jesus did for us. We only very occasionally hear what it meant to someone to see a grandparent pass peacefully from this life, sustained by confidence in the Lord of Mercy who would receive them ‘home’. I’m told there are even people who are occasionally inspired by the passionate talk of the community’s hopes and dreams that will (sometimes) break out at a Parish Council meeting! Such things are of the inner and mostly hidden life of Christ’s people. They generally do not admit of observation. Still, I am pleased and impressed by the degree of reflective, qualitative comment on events of the year in the pages you are about to read. True, in the next few pages my Vice‑Chancellors and Directors do a good deal of enumerating various public

Our God has a peculiar commitment to Incarnation, to being present and at work in the world through people. 8

developments, new programs and projects that have taken shape in their particular departments. They steal some of my thunder, if I may say so; but I must let you read of those things in their proper places. In later pages, however, where particular events or experiences are recounted, participants do talk about how these things have affected them and others. They lift the lid a little on what the Spirit does in our diocese. God, however, does not normally do things without the cooperation of his people. Our God has a peculiar commitment to Incarnation, to being present and at work in the world through people. So I am enormously grateful for the skills and dedication of so many people who work for the diocese. As you read of our services to the disabled, of the provision of affordable housing and childcare, of new social services and refugee services, of programs to develop the capacity of our parish leaders and, importantly, our young people, and of many other things, spare a moment for thankfulness that we have the people who can take up dreams and make them happen. We are very well served by our professional staff and our volunteers. It was a special pleasure and grace to me to ordain a young man, Peter Street, to the priesthood at the very end of 2014. I will have had the pleasure by the end of 2015 of admitting three young men to ‘Candidacy’ for diaconate and priesthood, a mark of their advanced stage of preparation, and to ordain one of them as a deacon. I honestly do not know how their priesthood, or the ministry of deacons, will pan out in the years ahead, except that it is clear that they will work alongside many lay ministers and leaders of the community. Whatever the ‘structures’ may be, however, the ministry of preaching the gospel and celebrating the Mass and sacraments remains vital. It is encouraging to see some revival in the numbers willing to give their lives to it. Finally, the tale of two churches. The work on restoration of St John’s Chapel at Maitland (1846) is well under way. The work on an entirely new church at Belmont is nearing completion. There is some sort of parable there. We are a people with a story to preserve and treasure; we are a people who must be able to move on and do new things that suit our time. A new church, and an old church. ‘Ever old and ever new’? Perhaps you may see that reflected in these pages, in our church in 2015.

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Vice » Identity Chancellor’s & Community report

Vice Chancellor Pastoral Ministries Teresa Brierley Pope Francis is inviting us to rebuild our church intellectually, relationally and spiritually. “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the centre and which then ends up being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.” (EG #49) During 2015 those involved in Pastoral Ministries – Parishes, Diocesan Councils, Chaplaincies, Life and Faith Ministries, Communications, Bishop’s Office − have engaged with people, explored possibilities and enabled passions. The overall purpose of this work is to “invite Christians everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them...(EG #3) So what new pastoral initiatives are we exploring in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle? At a diocesan level we have combined a number of ministries which serve parish communities to form the Office of Life and Faith. The key purpose of this Office is to assist parishes and schools to connect the Church gathered with the Church scattered. We do this through Special Religious Education in State Schools, through our Sacramental Programs, in Marriage and Relationship Education and in Parish Family Liaison by attempting to connect our school families to those who are actively involved in our parishes. This intentional outreach is also the mission of those who minister in our chaplaincies – Port, Prison, Hospital, University, Industry, Armed Services, CatholicCare Social Services, Schools and Aged Care. This year we introduced the Pastoral Placement Program for young people to explore their faith with our ministries of outreach – Parishes, CatholicCare Social Services, Schools, Refugees, Chaplaincies, Caritas as well as through formation opportunities. These young participants have journeyed with trust, enthusiasm, generosity and commitment, while continuing to explore the call of their baptism. Impressively, they are seeking first the Kingdom of God (Mt 6:33). Formation opportunities have been offered for those involved in parish ministries. Some of this formation has been practical eg Integrity in the Service of the Church or Spirituality for Ministry; while other offerings have been more personal and spiritual such as Fr Richard Shortall sj’s ‘Retreat in Everyday Life’. It is certainly our belief that faith is a lifelong process which needs is a lifelong process which needs nourishment through the intellect as well as an encounter with the sacred... nourishment through the intellect as well as an encounter with the sacred – in prayer, in community rituals, in silence, through scripture, in readings, through art and music. Many have availed themselves of the wonderful opportunities to grow their faith and to share it with others. These experiences have assisted and nourished the participants to go and make disciples (Mt 28:19). Some of our parishes are exploring models of lay leadership. The framework for this leadership comes from our Diocesan Pastoral Planning Framework which understands parish ministries in terms of five foundations – Identity and Community, Worship and Prayer, Formation and Education, Mission and Outreach, Leadership and Structure. Some parishes have lay Parish Leadership Teams; others are forming leadership teams to support the Parish Priest while some have a Pastoral Co-ordinator. Bishop Bill believes that parishes form the centre of the life and mission of our diocese. It is not possible for our clergy to support, sacramentally, pastorally and administratively, our 39 parishes and 78 Mass centres without the generosity and commitment of the lay people. The call of the baptised is both for the ordained and non-ordained who work with each other, collaboratively and co-responsibly, to be priest, prophet and king. I conclude with the words of Pope Francis: “I dream of a....missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelisation of today’s world rather than for her selfpreservation.” (EG #27)

Year in Review 2015


» Vice Identity Chancellor’s & Community report

Vice Chancellor Administration SEAN S C ANLON

The diocese remains one of the largest employers in the region with more than 3,500 people being employed in education, parishes, social services, pastoral work and other services. The past year has been a positive one for the diocese and its agencies. The financial position of the diocese has improved and we are now focusing on ensuring that Church patrimony is being directed to serve our community. The Catholic Development Fund (CDF) continues to grow with APRA indicating legislative changes to ensure that the fund and other religious charitable development funds are able to continue to operate so that the many good works they support can be maintained. This will require innovation to ensure that the Fund is able to continue to accept investments from the community, schools, aged care providers and our parishes. In addition, this will enhance the ability of the CDF to lend funds to develop new schools, affordable housing projects, social services expansion and early education. The diocese continues to make a strong commitment to the needs of our community by developing affordable housing in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland areas. By mid-2016 the diocese will have built 90 affordable housing dwellings and four group homes for people we support with disabilities. The diocese is committed to ensuring that, where possible, the patrimony of the Church is directed to providing real and tangible outreach in our community, to supporting our parishes and remaining faithful to the Church’s mission. We are working to identify property that may be better utilised to this end.


In addition, the diocese is the custodian of an important legacy in the region. One of the major projects currently being undertaken is the refurbishment of St John’s Chapel and surrounding Cathedral precinct in Maitland. Stage 1 works are scheduled to be completed in late 2016 to mark the 150year anniversary of the diocese and the 170-year anniversary of that church. We have to date received support from donors, Maitland City Council and the broader community to achieve these goals. The commitment to families is being underpinned by new diocesan early education centres in Newcastle CBD, Cardiff and Singleton. These will be followed by centres in other parts of the diocese to ensure that families are supported, that there is a pathway to our schools and that vulnerable children receive the best start in life. We expect that this will become a significant dimension of the diocese. The diocese remains one of the largest employers in the region with more than 3,500 people being employed in education, parishes, social services, pastoral work and other services in either full-time, part-time or casual roles. The majority of our workforce is female and we strive to support our staff and make the diocese a preferred employer with early education options and flexibility of hours where possible. There are many non-Catholics working within the diocese and sharing the goals of the Church in the region. Diocesan finances continue to face the significant challenge of meeting the commitment to victims of sexual abuse by some clergy and laity associated with the diocese. Over the past ten years the diocese has paid over $20 million to victims as compensation. This is an important part of the diocesan response to supporting victims. To date more than 130 victims have been compensated. We hope that this need will diminish but the diocese stands ready and willing to ensure that the responsibility for supporting the victims of abuse is met with compassion in an attempt to promote healing for those who have suffered.

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Catholic » Identity Schools&Office Community report

Director of Schools Ray Collins In 2015, Catholic schools continued to offer students and their families a faith-filled educational experience, where each individual’s growth was nurtured in an environment characterised by care. Catholic schools maintained their commitment to fostering the partnership of parishes, parents and staff in their children’s education, teaching students respect for each other and the broader community through active participation in social justice issues, the service of others and the promotion of peace. We marked special occasions such as National Reconciliation Week with informative, thoughtful commemorations and schools continued to show their commitment by contributing to the diocese’s record sum of almost $260,000 for Caritas Australia’s 2015 Project Compassion. During 2015, staff continued to offer outstanding educational experiences for students characterised by faith, hope and love. This was particularly evident during the annual Called to Serve Mass where new teachers were commissioned by Bishop Bill Wright and staff members recognised for their commitment to, and excellence in, education. In March 2015, the Diocese of MaitlandNewcastle officially opened a new primary school at Chisholm. Named for the patron saint of youth, St Aloysius Catholic Primary School was opened and blessed by Bishop Bill with the Hon Bob Baldwin MP, Member for Paterson. At the beginning of Term 3, the Catholic Schools Office announced that new Years 7-12 high schools will be built at both Chisholm and Medowie, commencing in

Catholic schools are an inclusive, affordable option, open to all and we are looking forward to growing the future of Catholic education in our region. Year in Review 2015

2018 and 2020 respectively. At the same time, it was announced that in 2018, St Joseph’s Campus, Lochinvar and St Mary’s High School, Gateshead will grow from offering Years 7-10 to offering Years 7-12. The announcements were among 12 recommendations to emerge from a study commissioned by Bishop Bill into the provision of secondary education in the Diocese of MaitlandNewcastle. All 12 recommendations are significant and present new, positive opportunities for Catholic education. In May, the Newcastle Catholic Schools Trade Training Centre (TTC) facilities were officially opened and blessed. St Francis Xavier’s College is the lead school of a cluster group of schools, including St Paul’s, Booragul; San Clemente, Mayfield; St Pius X, Adamstown and St Mary’s, Gateshead, which received Commonwealth funding of more than $6.8 million to build TTCs providing state-of-the-art Vocational Education and Training resources. In August, our diocese hosted a visit from the Catholic Education Commission. The Commissioners gathered, participated in a tour of schools and also met with clergy, principals and school leaders. Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart Cathedral with the Chair of the CEC, Bishop Peter Comensoli, presiding. Stranger Than Fiction was the ASPIRE production for 2015. The audience was taken on a journey between fiction and reality and treated to spectacular dancing, singing and acting, complemented by a stunning set and costuming, all made possible thanks to a dedicated back-stage crew and hard working team of ensemble directors, co-ordinated by Creative Director, Anna Kerrigan. Also at the Civic Theatre this year was DIOSOUNDS which showcases the outstanding musical talents and skills of students ranging in age from 12 to 18 years. This year, the annual music festival involved more than 350 students from all 11 high schools performing in front of some 3000 people. There were many key sporting moments, not to mention academic, science and engineering achievements, environmental initiatives and debating success. What schools can achieve in one year is exceptional. Staff are constantly working towards forming students as adults who are able to make an active, worthwhile contribution to their world. Thank you to all students, parents, staff, clergy and parishioners for their active participation and commitment to Catholic education. I invite you to learn more about the good things that happen daily in our schools by visiting


» CatholicCare Social Services report

Director of CatholicCare Social Services HEL G A S M IT I have served as Director of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning for a year now and am proud to share the past year’s achievements. There are too many successes to mention individually, but CatholicCare’s reason for being is the people we support. Making a difference to them is our mission. In our daily attempts to make a difference and to align with a reforming sector, the words, Unity, Quality and Sustainability – underpinned by a vibrant people strategy – serve as our future roadmap. Unity. We celebrated working together as one unified CatholicCare during our team celebration earlier this year and introduced a new Leadership Team. Restructuring some areas allowed for a better continuum of care and outreach. Our Out of Home Care portfolio includes the Manning area now and having a strong clinical services team across our offices increases our impact.

In our daily attempts to make a difference and to align with a reforming sector, the words, Unity, Quality and Sustainability serve as our future roadmap.

The Community Care Van continues to provide support to the disadvantaged in our local community. The van provides not only hot meals to those in need, but a place for people to come together for conversation and support. Each year CatholicCare participates in NAIDOC Week and this year we featured at many events around the Hunter and Manning regions. It’s a week to acknowledge and celebrate the history, culture and achievements and actively engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. CatholicCare Refugee Service became part of our portfolio of services in July. CatholicCare Refugee Service provides support, education, information and advocacy services to refugees throughout the Hunter. Goodstart Early Learning


has recently partnered with CatholicCare. This partnership has seen the addition of two Child and Family Practitioners who operate from the Goodstart Early Learning Centres in Taree and Glendale. Our practitioners support educators caring for children and families who have been exposed to trauma or are living in volatile environments. We are now able to provide ongoing support for all staff, children and families, and this support links with other services we provide, such as Brighter Futures, PHaMs, Parent Education and Counselling. We hope that this partnership will expand into the Hunter. Quality. CatholicCare was successful in attaining Third Party Verification for our Disability Services in March 2015, confirming 100% compliance across all Disability Service Standards. We continue to deliver a high standard of person-centred care to all the people we support. CatholicCare hopes to expand its support to more people living with a disability in the Upper Hunter and Manning regions. Our support assists people in gaining independence, increasing their involvement in the community and developing key living skills. CatholicCare also underwent the Office of the Children’s Guardian Compliance Monitoring Audit in June. The audit led to a very positive report, so we can confidently look ahead to the Out of Home Care services re-accreditation in February. Sustainability. November 2014 saw another milestone for CatholicCare with the opening of our Cardiff office to increase our service delivery to Lake Macquarie. August marked the opening of our fifth office, in Gloucester. Like many small rural communities, Gloucester has significant needs in the areas of social and counselling services. Our newest office will give Gloucester residents access to a vital service, which includes counselling, mental health support services (PHaMs), targeted early intervention services (Brighter Futures), youth services and disability support services, which will assist in building community capacity. Much was accomplished in the last twelve months and I look forward to continuing our mission and outreach, focusing on engaging with our staff, the people we support and our communities. I thank all members of the CatholicCare team for their passion and resilience in working together to make a difference. I will leave you with a quote I return to often which represents my inspiration. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” –Ralph Emerson

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» The 5 Foundations of the diocese

The five foundations (Acts 2:42-47) Identity & Community fosters Christian community, hospitality, welcome and respect... an identity grounded in communio.

Worship & Prayer gathers people for prayer, sacrament and liturgical Eucharistic in life and worship.

We challenge the concept that the Church is irrelevant. –Uta France, Lay Leadership Team, Morisset Parish

We offer the comfort of communion and healing Masses to three local aged care facilities. Deacon Noel Tucker, St Michael’s Parish, Nelson Bay

We value community spirit and faith formation.

Formation & Education facilitates spiritual growth and promotes empowerment through education and formation.

Mission & Outreach engages people in the transformation of society—outreach through mercy and justice – to build the Kingdom of God.

Leadership & Structure fosters effective Christian leadership, communication, organisational and maintenance structures.

MacKillop Parish

We imagine life where people understand difference as a good thing. CatholicCare Social Services Staff

We lead through the humility of love. There’s no other way. St Mary’s Parish, Dungog

The following pages illustrate just a fraction of the many ways in which the people of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle live their faith every day. The five foundations inform the ways the people of God in our region are disciples. The stories, quotes and images are representative of people working across parishes, schools, social services, religious congregations and Chancery ministries. As the

Year in Review 2015

diocese celebrates 150 years of service, worship and mission, we acknowledge the myriad ways in which the Catholic Church provides vital outreach within our communities. At the centre of each story is Jesus.


» Identity & Community

Faith in Action Karina Movigliatti is one of six young people who have taken part in the Pastoral Placement Program in 2015. The aim of the Pastoral Placement Program is to allow people to serve God and God’s people through various ministries, including chaplaincy, Catholic schools, CatholicCare Social Services, Special Religious Education, Seasons for Growth, parish ministries and many more. Karina was motivated to apply because she wanted to “gain a wider understanding of what the Catholic diocese actually does”. “I wanted to be open to possibilities and increase my understanding of how to help people. The placements that I have been on throughout the year, including the Seafarers Centre, Mums’ Cottage and CatholicCare Refugee Service, have really opened my eyes to how people see a need and do something about it.” Karina believes that the Pastoral Placement Program allows participants to really understand ‘Identity and Community’. “All the ministries and organisations I have been to exemplify Christian community, hospitality, welcome and respect. These people go out of their way to make people happy and comfortable and work hard to make the people they serve feel part of a community. It can be as simple as the care packages that the Seafarers Centre gives to visiting seafarers or story time at Mums’ Cottage – you can really see how these simple things make a difference to people’s lives and happiness.

people who share your faith.”

“It has really hit home for me how many places there are that we may never have heard of that are doing amazing things for our community.”

As part of the program Karina also organised a dinner at the Seafarers Centre to raise awareness of the important work it does and raise some much-needed funds.

As well as six hours per week in placement, Karina has spent a further four hours a week helping out at her local parish, Holy Trinity Blackbutt North. A graphic designer, Karina has used her skills to create a booklet for altar servers and has also created gowns for the babies who are baptised within her parish.

Her advice for potential participants in next year’s Pastoral Placement Program:

The program has enabled Karina to work with the diocese’s Community Care Van, feeding the homeless on Saturday afternoons, and also to take part in Clinical Pastoral Education Training at Calvary Mater Hospital. “I have had the opportunity to experience things I never dreamed I’d be able to do. The program has really helped to cement my faith in today’s world.” Karina’s faith will no doubt be further strengthened when she attends the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Adelaide in December and joins millions of others in Poland next year for World Youth Day. “Both the Festival and World Youth Day are so encouraging because although we may not see too many young people on weekends in our churches, when you get to Adelaide and Krakow there will be young people everywhere. It really helps knowing that there are millions of young


“Just go for it. It’s an amazing experience that you won’t forget in a hurry.”

It has really hit home for me how many places there are that we may never have heard of that are doing amazing things for our community.

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Identity & Community

We help young people encounter God, receive the Holy Spirit and witness to their faith in their daily lives. - ACTiv8 Chisholm


Real Women

With the support of our parish priest, Fr Kevin Corrigan, during 2014 and now in 2015, a group of men from Nelson Bay Parish started a Men’s Breakfast held on a Saturday morning. It began with a 25 year-old fighter pilot as our first speaker who talked of Catholic witness in the RAAF as a young officer. More recently we had an Australian cricketer, Rick McCosker, and an international adventurer, Sam Clear. Sam gave an ecumenical account and presentation which attracted members from other local churches and he also presented generally to the parish in a special session.

“Real Women” is based on a simple yet profound concept. Some thirty ‘café nights’ ago, the late Kerry Bush put into practice her conviction that women, who so often look after others, deserve to be looked after themselves. She believed passionately that God loves each of us “100%” and that one way of demonstrating this was simply ‘women caring for women’. Thus the café nights were born. The recipe is simple: gather women around beautifully dressed tables in a convivial atmosphere; share refreshments, graciously served; pray together; enjoy musical entertainment; listen to, and engage with, a thought-provoking speaker and most importantly, relish each other’s company.

The Men’s Breakfasts have created an increased sense of explicit Christian identity and belonging. From a small nucleus we have gathered over 20 men, enough to hold a Men ALIVE weekend. From this happy combination of faith and fellowship, 3 men’s ecumenical reflection groups began and men who were previously silent or who had life concerns have become ALIVE in expressing their faith. The men continue to make contributions to parish life in discipleship, hospitality and adult education.

Year in Review 2015

Over some eight years, and now under the leadership of Sue Campbell, “Real Women” has become an integral part of BoolarooWarners Bay parish life. The speakers have included a bush poet, a journalist, a policewoman, a colour consultant, an advocate for people with disabilities and so many more. Working throughout the year is a team of some 25 women. They plan, invite, sell tickets, make name tags, set tables, host the speaker, organise prizes, clean up – and next time they do it all again!


» Identity & Community

Catching Faith When people ask me what I do as a Parish-Family Liaison Officer, I simply respond “I connect and appear”. To me, forming relationships is the basis of having a successful parish/ school partnership. I predominantly work in Blackbutt South and North and the City Region, extending to Mayfield and Stockton, but I have been known to appear at Morisset or Windale on occasions. I often describe my role as “low stress, high energy” with lots of time spent talking! But in the words of Mary MacKillop, I “never see a need without doing something about it”. My activities include attending school assemblies, liturgies and family Masses; assisting with Mini Vinnies in the schools; taking groups of students to nursing homes where the ‘speed dating’ process is working to great effect; attending care group concerts; catching up with parish craft groups to improve my knitting skills and generally supporting the faith journeys of those in need. I subscribe to the phrase “faith is caught not taught” which means that I need to be present at Mass and on other occasions that engage the faith community. Today, when people are questioning their faith and deserting the Church, I believe that if people know you work for the Church and

you still have a smile on your face, then something must be working well. Whilst no two days are alike, some of the highlights of the role include preparing for the Deaf Pride Week Mass (which this year included a sacramental program for the children of St Dominic’s Centre); being a member of the Hunter Homeless Connect working group; establishing the annual ‘Raid Dad’s Wardrobe’ project to gather men’s clothing from targeted schools for those who need them and being involved in the lives of the schools.

Restoration of St John the Baptist Church, Maitland The last 12 months have seen the project to restore St John the Baptist Church in Cathedral Street Maitland (our original Cathedral, declared by Bishop Murray on 1 November, 1866) become a work in progress. It has been in the planning phase for almost 2 years but this year has seen the project receive development approval from Maitland Council, permission to commence construction, contracts signed and the building work commence in August. Since then some site preparation has taken place, the old roof has been removed, the classrooms that were constructed on the upper level demolished and the new roofing structure erected. The sandstone block repair work and the tower strengthening have begun. This work is Stage 1 of the planned broader Cathedral Street Redevelopment and along with the restoration of St John’s, includes the refurbishment of the Bishop’s residence and the surrounding landscaping. It is scheduled for completion in October 2016. 16

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Identity & Community

Image courtesy of ‘photography by Karen Davis'.

Ecumenism alive and well in the Upper Hunter The Catholic parishes of Denman and Merriwa are naturally ecumenical. The Christian churches in both areas host many events together throughout the year. They take turns in hosting Spring and Autumn events, Christmas get-togethers, trivia nights and World Day of Prayer events. The Lenten groups and sacramental program are both ecumenical. A special highlight of the year in Denman is the Anzac Day dawn service, followed by a church service (alternating between the Catholic and Anglican churches), then the march and ceremony at the town’s cenotaph followed by the RSL lunch. The local

community comes together to remember the fallen and the local Catholic school children take part in the march. In Merriwa, on the Saturday of the June long weekend, the Festival of the Fleeces draws huge crowds and sheep in red socks! The sheep parade through the centre of town and woe betide the parish priest if he is not there to bless them – the sheep that is! The three ministers of religion always gather together in the middle of the street for the blessing and once again, the community gathers in prayer ecumenically.

I imagine and hope for a school where all within its walls feel safe, empowered and valued by those around them. Colin Mulhearn, St Paul’s High School, Booragul

Year in Review 2015


» Identity & Community

Lee Sullivan teaches Years 5 & 6 at St Joseph’s Primary School in Gloucester. He loves being a teacher and making a difference in children’s lives. But it’s the school’s involvement in the extended Gloucester community that Lee feels sets it apart. “The uniqueness of St Joseph’s is that it is a small school with a big heart. Our students have the opportunity of taking part in so many activities such as bike riding for sport or walking to the park for a picnic. Every Monday parent volunteers prepare a hot meal for the students to purchase and we sit together around our ‘shared table’,” said Lee. “The school also organises camping weekends with fathers and significant males (FUDGES) and these weekends are wonderful. It is so great to see the kids interacting with their fathers and we sit around the fire and sing songs,” said Lee.

Reaching out to kids and the community

Lee believes that watching children master a task is “very fulfilling” and enjoys the opportunity to interact with the wider community through celebrations such as Mass, liturgies and prayer. He has inspiring advice for aspiring teachers. “It is the hardest job you will ever do, but one of the most satisfying and rewarding. When a parent tells you that you have been the best thing to happen to their child it is a pretty humbling experience. I cannot think of a job I would want to do more than teaching. It is easy to get up every morning and head to work,” said Lee.

Engaging young people Caring for Carers

Sam Hill, Stef Lloyd and a team of volunteers are working hard to fulfil the youth ministry vision in the Chisholm Region of building a community of young disciples who encounter God, receive the power of the Holy Spirit, and go out to be witnesses of their faith in their daily lives.

CatholicCare’s Out of Home Care Team is dedicated not only to the 170 children supported each year through foster care, but also to the wonderful people who selflessly devote time and love to children in need as carers. In December the Out of Home Care team hosted its annual Kids and Carers Christmas Party at Lambton Pool. During Foster Care Week in September CatholicCare hosted a lunch and discussion panel to thank carers for the way in which they change children’s lives for the better.

The goals of encountering and meeting young people where they are; engaging with young people from across the region and in the broader Church, and inviting them into active participation in the whole life of the Church, are only being enhanced by the ACTiv8 Chisholm youth groups, team participation and development of a range of youth ministry strategies.

“These gatherings highlight for carers the value that we place on them and our gratitude for the ongoing work they do. Events such as this demonstrate our commitment to building strong relationships and engaging with carers,” said CatholicCare Director, Helga Smit. CatholicCare is always happy to hear from anyone who is interested in learning more about becoming a foster carer.


With 5 youth groups currently being facilitated across the region on a weekly basis, along with monthly Youth Ministry Training & Formation Sessions, a regular eNewsletter, team-building opportunities, development of secondary and primary school relationships and outreach to other ministry group programs, as well as participation in the variety of events offered at diocesan and national levels, youth ministry in the Chisholm Region is certainly alive and well!

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Worship & Prayer

Liturgy & Worship: fostering a common identity

We weren’t just separate schools any more, we were ‘the Manning schools’, and of course part of the diocese.

One of the hoped-for outcomes of any liturgy is that it brings together the people of God in a meaningful way. That’s not usually easy to measure. However, the annual Special Needs Mass celebrated in the Manning region this year, had precisely that effect for two teachers. Genevieve Williamson, Religious Education Co-ordinator at Holy Name Primary School, Forster and Carmel Brown, Acting Creative & Performing Arts Coordinator, at St Clare’s High School, Taree were instrumental in preparing for the Mass held at Forster in August.

Carmel recalls the plants in pots that were given to each school at the end of Mass. “That was a beautiful idea, something to keep growing the message of the Word.”

While distance meant that regular face to face meetings were not possible, Genevieve and Carmel exchanged many emails and texts, and speaking to them, it was obvious that they are ‘on the same page’. Each woman has a deep commitment to faith, expressed through her profession, her parish involvement and of course, family faith.

Carmel and Genevieve are great believers in the value of such events as the Special Needs Mass being held in regional locations. With the other team members, including administrator at Forster Tuncurry, Fr Greg Barker, the hope was to involve and welcome members of the various school, parish and wider communities.

Carmel has a particular love for bringing young people to an appreciation of liturgy through participation in music. “They learn that what they’re doing is really worthwhile, and the congregation appreciates it. There’s no judgement.”

Special mention was made of the ongoing contribution of Josephite Sisters Catherine McCabe and Louise McDonell. Their role in Forster Tuncurry Parish, particularly working with the Indigenous community, is an echo of the significant presence of the Sisters over many years.

Genevieve described the collaborative process of preparing the Mass, with both Genevieve and Carmel insisting that it was very much a team effort. “With all of our stories in mind, the readings were chosen and then the music, to express that we all have special needs and we all have special gifts,” said Genevieve. “We listen to the Word, we’re renewed by the Word, we go out and it doesn’t end there. We weren’t just separate schools any more, we were ‘the Manning schools’, and of course part of the diocese.”

Year in Review 2015

“There was a lot of careful planning because we don’t just arrive, and listen to God’s message. The name of every school appeared in the church because the liturgy was inclusive. The colours, the vibrancy, the liturgical movement, the music, all contributed and were drawn together in Bishop Bill’s homily,” says Genevieve.

A word that’s prominent in the teachers’ conversation is the privilege that they both felt in being involved in the event that is the Special Needs Mass. Every aspect, from special candles in rainbow colours to the personal welcome extended to each guest, was carefully considered. In fact, as both women reflected on their experience and their learnings, Carmel said spontaneously, “When can we do it again?”!


» Worship & Prayer

Young Adults Mass praises with music and song at Wallsend-Shortland This year saw the start of a monthly ‘Young Adults Mass’ at Wallsend-Shortland parish. Young adults and older teens plan and organise all aspects of the 5.30pm Mass on the last Sunday of each month. The young people select from among themselves greeters, altar servers, readers, collectors, processors with gifts, and ministers of Holy Communion. They welcome the congregation to the celebration at the beginning of Mass and after the final prayer they generally issue an invitation for all to join them for a sausage sizzle in the school shelter area. At other times they get together

on their own for a more ‘youth friendly’ occasion. The highlight of the Mass is the wonderful music performed by a young Samoan band. They begin with praise hymns 30 minutes before Mass and follow with beautiful stirring hymns that enhance the various parts of the celebration. The Mass is becoming so popular among all ages that at times the congregation fills the gallery and overflows into the church foyer. On the last Sunday of each month, at 5.30pm Mass, we invite all to ‘come and see.’

Two bishops discuss health and wholeness This year’s Two Bishops’ Dialogue took place at the Therry Centre, East Maitland. The serving bishops of the Catholic and Anglican dioceses have met annually since the tri-diocesan covenant was signed in 2008. The Two Bishops’ Dialogue aims to be a vehicle for engagement with the local community on spiritual, religious, ethical and theological issues.


Bishop Bill Wright from the Catholic Diocese of MaitlandNewcastle and Bishop Greg Thompson from the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle demonstrated once again that they are pragmatic and in touch with contemporary societal matters, as the pair took turns in leading a discussion on health and wholeness. The event concluded with a ritual led by Bishop Wright and Bishop Thompson; guests were invited to be anointed by one of the bishops as a symbol of healing.

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Worship & Prayer

We are making the dream of our God happen here. We will keep coming together and praying together for as long as it takes to build community. Teresa Brierley, Vice Chancellor Pastoral Ministries

We acknowledge the gifts our international clergy bring to the life and mission of our diocese and thank them for their grace and fellowship. Fr Brian Mascord, Vicar General, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

International Clergy In 2007 Bishop Michael Malone, Fr Brian Mascord and Mr Wayne Tinsey embarked on a trip to India to explore with a number of bishops and religious congregations the possibility of priests coming to minister in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. At first, eight international priests came to join us – Fr Albert D’Souza, Fr Maurice Mascarenhas, Fr George Mullappallil, Fr John Kedari, Fr

Year in Review 2015

AT James, Fr Nicholas Dias, Fr Peter Nguyen Ngoc Thoai, and Fr George Anthicadu. Seven were from India and one from Vietnam. Several of those priests have returned to their homeland and sadly Fr Maurice Mascarenhas died following surgery that took place in India. This year Fr Albert D’Souza and Fr Peter Ngoc Hein Tran have returned to India and Vietnam respectively and we have welcomed the arrival of Fr Thomas Chirackal, Fr John Vo and Fr Sabu Adimakiyil to minister amongst us.


» Worship & Prayer

Year of Consecrated Life In 2015, dedicated by Pope Francis as the year of Consecrated Life, the Church of Maitland–Newcastle gave thanks for those men and women throughout the history of the diocese who have given themselves in faithfulness, whether for a short time or for life, to the service of God. We continue our prayerful support of those who today serve God, both within and beyond the Church.

Soul Compass at CatholicCare Social Services

We have many religious congregations working in the diocese.

Sr Kim Barnes rsj is the chaplain at CatholicCare Social Services, based at Mayfield. She is the first chaplain at CatholicCare and sees her role as one that is evolving and will continue to evolve. “For me, chaplaincy is about being with others in their need and in doing so personifying the love, care and compassion of Jesus. “I am not a counsellor or a therapist, but aim to be a ‘presence’; to listen and respect, to be non-judgemental, to be discreet and caring and to be with people both in times of joy and times of pain. I also see my role as one of service. “Since I began at CatholicCare twelve months ago, I have supported both staff and clients. I have regular clients I visit, some of whom have been referred to me by managers and staff, and some from incoming phone calls. I visit nursing homes and hospitals, as well as rehabilitation hospitals and people in their homes. From time to time, on Friday afternoons, after Oz Harvest makes its delivery of food to be distributed to those in need, I help other staff prepare food parcels for the Community Care Van. I offer support, when necessary, to the disability homes, attend funerals, have phone contact with people and attend several meetings. I have provided prayer and reflection for staff for special celebrations, meetings and just recently have begun to offer a monthly prayer and reflection.

Sisters of St Joseph, Lochinvar

Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea

Dominican Sisters of Eastern Australia and the Solomon Islands

Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Marian Sisters)

Presentation Sisters (Lismore)

Good Shepherd Sisters

Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth

Sisters of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptoristines)

Marist Brothers

Redemptorist Fathers

Society of Christ

Our Lady's Nurses for the Poor

Sisters of Charity

Sisters of the Good Samaritan

On Saturday 31 October the diocesan community joined the religious of the diocese to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life. A large number of religious gathered with the bishop to pray on this special occasion, giving thanks for the ministry that has been carried out by those who have gone before us, the ministry that occurs in the Church today and that which will come in the future. Consecrated life is changing and as the Bishop said during his homily, “we have to trust in the newness that the Lord is calling us to.”

I see my role as a calling – not a job. It is a great honour and a privilege to walk alongside and be a companion with someone at a particular stage of their life’s journey,” said Sr Kim. Sr Kim is highly valued by the staff of CatholicCare. “Sr Kim has been an amazing addition to CatholicCare. Her positivity and incredible sense of calm, and fun, are infectious. I have witnessed the change in people around me, just by having someone that they can readily seek out when they need spiritual guidance or when they just want someone who genuinely wants to listen. I find her an angel in disguise – she is our soul compass,” said staff member, Pamela Wastell.


Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Worship & Prayer

We pray for the young people of our diocese, that they will be captivated by God’s love for them. Brooke Robinson, Spirit and Truth band

We pray for the insight of Jesus, who could recognise gifts in people that they didn’t even see in themselves. Bishop Bill Wright

We dream of a community of inclusion and participation. CatholicCare Social Services Staff

We value trying to be welcoming and joyous communities gathered around the Liturgy of the Word and Eucharist. Fr Brian Brock, Parish Priest, BoolarooWarners Bay and Booragul Parishes

We imagine a community that heeds the words of our Pope in preserving our world into the future. St Joseph’s Parish, East Maitland

Year in Review 2015


» Formation & Education

God comes to all of us, disguised as our lives John Cavenagh of The Junction believes firmly that people benefit enormously from keeping a check on what he calls “spiritual fitness” − in the same way they attend to physical fitness, finances, relationships, home or vehicle maintenance. Upbringing, commitment to various parishes and a deep faith, shared with his wife Christine, no doubt contribute to this view. Another dimension of John’s conviction is his work life. He has just retired after many years in medicine, most recently as senior staff specialist at Calvary Mater Hospital’s Department of Palliative Care. John is a repository of stories of patients and their families, and he is often a patient listener at the bedside of an individual whose life has become sharply focused. His view that “all medicine is palliative, simply because we don’t live forever”, is another reason for his commitment to “spiritual fitness”. It’s not about being ready for the end of life as we know it, but about making the most of the lives we are living.

I’m optimistic, because I know it doesn’t depend on us – it never has!

John is currently pursuing a Masters in Theology through the University of Newcastle and Broken Bay Institute. The enthusiasm with which he talks about exegesis, essay writing and ecclesiology is a tonic! Earlier, he and Christine both completed the Tenison Woods Education Centre’s Christian Formation course, and he regards it as “life-changing”. He has also undergone formation in spiritual direction, which he describes as “drawing out the wisdom that is in each of us, in the context of a relationship with a loving God”. All of these forays into spirituality are attempts to nurture what he calls the “universal spiritual instinct” which he believes each of us has. Perhaps another way of looking at this notion is through the insight of Paula D’Arcy who has said, “God comes to you, disguised as your life.” John tells one endearing story of a man raised in an orphanage, with no religious affiliation. Since his early childhood, he maintained the practice of “talking to the boss” each night before sleep. He confided this to John, and presumed that everyone did the same. All John’s insights are grounded in direct experience, his and others’. He is a keen distance cyclist, and says that at the end of a long road, as well as refreshment and rest, often in fairly humble surroundings, there are often deep questions and fascinating conversations. While he’s not oblivious to the fact that the Church he was raised in, and in which he and Christine raised their three sons, is struggling in many ways and doesn’t have all the answers, he’s not concerned. “I’m optimistic, because I know it doesn’t depend on us – it never has!” John insists that he’s “nothing pious” and in fact a colleague described him as having “an earthy sense of humour – otherwise he would be a living saint!”. He’s keen to encourage others to consider the formation opportunities that abound in the diocese and beyond. “Don’t ignore the inner voice – if you do, you’ll never be as fulfilled as you might be. Just trust it, and follow it.”


Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Formation & Education

Many members of the diocesan community have become tangled up in faith formation! Adult Faith Formation opportunities are alive and active across the diocese. These opportunities are organised by parishes, schools, agencies and groups. The Tenison Woods Education Centre (TWEC) has been the primary provider of adult faith formation in the diocese since the Synod in 1992. A recent development has been the fostering of a closer relationship between TWEC and the diocese, such that ultimately TWEC will hand on to the diocese the formation patrimony it has developed over these years. To assist with this an Adult Faith Formation Office has been established with a co-ordinator who works with the Adult Faith Formation Council. Together, TWEC and the diocese have been focused on planning

formation pathways, that not only address people’s individual formation needs but also formation for ministry. A significant development has been the opportunity for parishes to host a Retreat in Everyday Life ( facilitated by Fr Richard Shortall sj. This retreat has run in 6 parishes/regions and for the staff at the diocesan offices in 2015. All formation opportunities are advertised in the Diocesan Update and via the diocesan and TWEC websites ( catholic-faith/spirituality-faith). The Catholic Schools Office runs a comprehensive program of formation and education opportunities for staff in Catholic schools.

Seminarians of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle At the end of 2014, with the ordination to the priesthood of Peter Street, the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle celebrated its first ordination to the priesthood in seven years. The year 2015 has given us the further opportunity to celebrate the presence in the diocese of five seminarians. Our seminarians are men who are in formation for the priesthood. That formation can take a couple of forms, study and formation in the context of a seminary or formation in a parish and diocesan context. Our five seminarians are Camillus Nwahia, John Lovell, Michael Nwanguma, James Odoh and Graham Fullick. John and Graham are both studying at the Beda College in Rome. Camillus Nwahia, who was recently ordained to the Diaconate, is working in the Parish of East Lake Macquarie. Michael Nwanguma has been on pastoral placement from the Seminary of the Good Shepherd. He completed a six‑month placement in the Cathedral Parish and is presently on placement in the parish of St Patrick’s Singleton. James Odoh has been studying at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Homebush.

Year in Review 2015


» Formation & Education

Developing the whole child

Jack O’Toole was thrilled when he was appointed to St Aloysius Primary School in Chisholm last year. “Being a foundation teacher at a brand new school in only my second year out of university was a very exciting experience for me. It has been a unique opportunity to help create a school from the ground up,” said Jack. Asked what is unique about being a teacher in a Catholic school, Jack points to faith development, social justice and service to others. “We instil gospel values and place Christ at the centre of all that we do. I strive to create an environment based around respect. Students have the opportunity to develop their faith in a supportive environment. “Catholic schools are about developing the whole child by integrating gospel values into the educational experience. I feel a real responsibility to help students recognise their potential to effect positive change within the community,” said Jack. While Jack is relatively new to teaching he brings “lots of ideas” and real “passion” to his work.

“I have always been passionate about learning and the way in which education can empower people and influence change. As a teacher I am enthusiastic about encouraging my students to find creative and innovative solutions to problems. The best part of my day is when a student is proud and excited about their learning,” said Jack. St Aloysius has been formed around contemporary learning methods which focus on collaboration, with students encouraged to be visual learners. The open plan classrooms, glass walls and unique learning spaces of St Aloysius encourage these teaching practices, which are based on research and evidence. “Students are encouraged to take risks with their learning and to challenge themselves to reach high expectations. The staff empower their students to become reflective learners through individualised, student-centred learning,” explains Jack. While Jack concedes that teaching can be challenging, he knows that it is also deeply rewarding. “Great teachers are lifelong learners and they produce lifelong learners,” said Jack.

The founding Sisters of St John’s Lambton, St Columba’s Adamstown, St James’ Kotara, St Therese’s New Lambton and St Patrick’s Wallsend would be proud of the 400 children who raised almost $4000 for the Mercy Sisters’ Little Learning Centre in Alice Springs. These children are being formed in compassion, justice, respect, hospitality, service and courage. Annie Duggan, Principal, St John’s Lambton

Image courtesy of the Singleton Argus.


Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Formation & Education

We acknowledge that the people we support have much to contribute to society. CatholicCare Social Services Staff

Inspiring a love of art and culture in Cessnock This year the fourth annual CatholicCare Indigenous Art and Culture program was held in Cessnock. Cessnock has a substantial Indigenous population and a supportive community, however it was evident that an art and culture program would be beneficial for young Indigenous students. The feedback from local schools was that students who completed the program who had not previously wanted to identify as Indigenous, were putting up their hand asking to do Welcome to Country at school assemblies and wanting to be more involved in any in-school programs the Indigenous teachers were organising. The program engenders a deeper sense of pride in the participants, which is always evident on exhibition night, with students bursting with pride looking at their works of art on the walls. The program has evolved to include parents. CatholicCare now welcomes whole families who are coming together to

learn more about their culture and ancient art techniques of the local land, whilst developing stronger bonds both as a family and within the wider community. The program was facilitated by local Indigenous Elder and artist, Uncle Les Elvin. Sadly, Uncle Les passed away in August, and is greatly missed by the entire community. This year saw many families returning to the program, as well as new families who left inspired. There were approximately 20 attendees this year, held over three weeks at the Cessnock Regional Art Gallery. The art works produced from the program were displayed during NAIDOC week. CatholicCare’s Kylie Pratt, the caseworker who organises the program, received a standing ovation at the exhibition opening after Uncle Les thanked her for her dedication in providing this program to Indigenous families every year.

We value the tireless voluntary efforts of our many Ministry Team members who have made our parish such a caring and considerate Catholic community. St Patrick’s Parish, Singleton

Year in Review 2015


» Formation & Education

We are committed to supporting our young people to grow and develop in their faith journey. Lay Leadership Team, Morisset Parish

“The Diocesan Social Justice Council’s Renewable Energy Forum focused on transitioning to renewable energy and climate change in our region, and across Australia and encouraged people to support real action, just as Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ implored the world to do the same.”

We make a difference when we stand together as Christ’s people. St John the Baptist Parish, Maitland

John Hayes, Diocesan Social Justice Council


Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Mission & Outreach

Advocating for ability Henry and Wendy Ponsen are two of the most caring people you are ever likely to meet. Parents of two sons, Andrew, a teacher, and Jonathan, born with an intellectual disability, they speak with such love about both their boys. Last year, the Ponsens made the difficult decision to find a new home for Jonathan. “Jonathan is 33 and in ten years’ time we’ll be 80 and we couldn’t just leave Jonathan in a world with nothing organised. Wendy heard about CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning and simply contacted them to find out what they did. They told us to come in for an interview and six days later we got a call to say that they would be very happy for Jonathan to come and join them. This was devastating for me in the sense that I wasn’t ready. I cried for the whole week,” said Henry. Although used to respite, Jonathan had never lived away from the family home before moving in to CatholicCare’s supported accommodation at Mayfield. The transition was much tougher on Henry and Wendy than on Jonathan, who is thriving in his new home. “Jonathan is kind, gentle, loyal and fun. He’s just an easy guy to live with. We’re very attached to him, but knew that he was getting bored and was ready to move out. He hardly ever comes back to our place now. When he does, he wants to go ‘home’ which is with CatholicCare. He loves his place, he loves the other guys he lives with and he’s very happy,” said Henry. Although they had not previously had an association with CatholicCare, the Ponsens were very impressed with the thoroughness of the process prior to Jonathan moving to Mayfield.

which was great. There was a wonderful sense of caring right from the start. CatholicCare looks after his whole life and it’s a great spot. The units are very safe,” said Wendy. “Even if there were other houses in Newcastle, we wouldn’t move Jonathan. There is no way we would take him out of there. We wouldn’t swap this for anything at this stage,” said Henry. Although Jonathan can’t speak, his parents and loved ones like to focus not on his disability but on his many abilities. “I think only as parents can you understand the depth of emotion and understand that the grief and loss never go away for your child’s unrealised potential. Our grandkids are way ahead of Jonathan now. We’ve had to go through the grief and loss at every age and stage of life. His brother Andrew is two years older and a married school teacher with three kids. We’ve always known that these things will never happen for Jonathan. He has disabilities but he’s got many abilities. We’ve had to learn that he is a person with disability and now it’s up to us to educate and advocate for him,” said Wendy. The Ponsens have nothing but praise for the staff of CatholicCare and the way they have helped the whole family cope with the transition. “It’s been a wonderful transition for Jonathan. It’s taken a lot of the stress, strain and worry away. Even though I wasn’t ready, we were ready. I would never have believed that he would just come over here and enter this sort of life like he has. Andrew from CatholicCare has been very good to us. He cares for all of us,” said Henry.

“They asked a lot of questions and wanted to know everything,

There was a wonderful sense of caring right from the start. CatholicCare looks after his whole life... Year in Review 2015


» Mission & Outreach

Zimmerman Services: Healing & Support when and where it’s needed Zimmerman Services is a diocesan agency accountable to the Bishop and providing specialist child protection services, including the innovative and unique ‘Healing and Support’ program. In the 2015 liturgical year, the Healing and Support Team has been particularly active in contributing to the mission and outreach of our diocese. To demonstrate this contribution, I want to tell you about ‘Kevin’, an amalgam of actual Healing and Support clients. For 30 years, Kevin had kept his secret from everyone. However, by 2014, the impact of it all was starting to show at work and in his relationships: he was estranged from his parents, his wife and children had left him. Kevin disclosed his abuse to his best mate and through this friend, Kevin was referred to the Healing and Support Team. Many decades ago, over a two-year period, Kevin had been brutalised and abused by a lay teacher, ‘Tony’. The Healing and Support Team believed Kevin, organised and funded counselling for him and when Kevin was ready, facilitated and supported him to make a statement to the Police. Kevin was the first but his statement began an investigation. Many more men disclosed their abuse. During this year, Tony was exposed as a predatory offender who pleaded guilty to physically and sexually assaulting a dozen boys.

A member of the Healing and Support Team was with Kevin when he confronted Tony in court and told the judge how his abuse had affected him. There was Healing and Support when Kevin had to bury his best mate. Kevin wanted to tell the Royal Commission about his story, so Healing and Support facilitated a private session with a Commissioner and supported Kevin through the process. Healing and Support introduced him to other survivors and ran a number of survivors groups where Kevin and others in similar circumstance can call on the wisdom of individuals and a community of strength and support. Kevin’s mum now understands why Kevin used to run away from school and why he turned to drugs. Kevin understands that his Mum always loved him and wanted to know what was going on for him; and now through tears and hugs, they can both talk about it. Kevin, his wife and children are working on reconciling. There are still difficult days but now there’s an understanding why the bad days happen. There was always love in the family and now they have also learned other strategies to help them get through. And after the bad days Kevin believes there are better days ahead.

Gresford parish lends many helping hands

One of the highlights so far this year has been completing work on the old convent near the church which had been used as the local Community Health Centre for many years. While it deteriorated badly over four years while empty, we discovered a needy parishioner who required a new home urgently. Work


was carried out by many professionals and parishioners to bring it up to standard and our parishioner now uses part of the building as home and could not be happier. The front of the building is used as parish rooms for meetings and group gatherings.

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Mission & Outreach

Our job is to have a presence amid all the turmoil, to offer peace, harmony and compassion.

Where the rubber hits the road Pastoral care in a hospital is full of challenges and joys. Just ask Deacon Peter Little and Sr Mary O’Hearn rsm. While Peter is new to the role of hospital chaplain, he is experienced in pastoral care. Sr Mary, who seems to know each staff member by name, has been ministering at John Hunter Hospital for ten years. With chaplains from other denominations, they begin each day with prayer in the chapel, broadcast throughout the hospital. A prayer tree is filled with names of patients and the chaplains pray for each person by name every day. “The prayer requests aren’t always for someone who is really sick. It might be that a longed-for baby has arrived and someone wants to give thanks,” said Sr Mary. Peter believes that their role is to journey with people. “You are often with people dealing with pain, suffering and death. Our job is to have a presence amid all the turmoil, to offer peace, harmony and compassion,” said Peter. When asked what brings her joy, Sr Mary unhesitatingly says it’s being present with people as they die. “I see it as being like a midwife, trying to ease them into that experience of God or whatever the deepest part of them that gives them meaning is. I like to help them know they have nothing to worry about, to help them reach peace. It’s the fullness of life and hope. There is no right way to die. Like every birth is different, every family’s experience of death is different. I have the luxury of time to be with people through this – an utter privilege,” said Sr Mary. For Peter, the joy comes when people reconnect with their faith. “That brings such comfort. This is a very non-judgemental

Year in Review 2015

environment. We are meeting people where they are, as Jesus did. But there is joy when people get back in touch with the deep meaning our faith brings,” said Peter. Sr Mary and Peter visit the Catholic patients (while being available to anyone), spend time with staff, sit in prayer with the dying and assist families. Both agree it is important to develop and nurture their own spirituality. “Trying to help people express how, even though the meaning of their life has been ripped away, the deepest part of them, their meaning, their God, is still there. Sometimes people are very angry and I can only be game enough to face their Jesus if I am very much in love with my Jesus. Otherwise I would not be able to keep doing this,” said Sr Mary. Peter sees chaplaincy as part of the Church’s mission. “The Church is out there, active in the world where experiences and humanity are; where the rubber hits the road. We’re here to show compassion and share the joy,” said Peter. While the support they receive from each other and other chaplains is vital, both Peter and Sr Mary have rituals to nurture their own peace of mind. “We pray, we wash our hands, we see the threshold of the hospital as a place of entering and leaving behind; we spend time alone and have fulfilling ‘other’ lives,” Peter said. These gracious people are truly living out the foundation of Mission and Outreach, sometimes well beyond what’s expected. “Once a beautiful old man came in. He’d had a fall and thought he would simply need a hip replacement, but he had a massive heart attack. His wife arrived with their 55 year-old intellectually disabled son and tragically collapsed on the floor and died, such was her grief. Their son had never lived away from them and so I visited him in his new group home for twelve months after his parents died. He adapted really well and this experience helped me to see that there is always hope,” said Sr Mary.


» Mission & Outreach

Finding comfort and hope The dying and bereaved ministry is a vital, thriving, life-giving ministry in the Chisholm region, initiated almost fifteen years ago. Our dying and bereaved are conjointly supported in a team ministry approach that comprises clergy and seventeen lay ministers. Families, friends and clergy alert the dying to our ministry and we then give support at their invitation. We offer spiritual, psychological and emotional support as we companion the dying. We likewise offer the same as we assist the bereaved with funeral preparation and as we support them through their grieving. Our funerals are booked through the coordinator (lay minister)

who then contacts a presider along with a lay minister. They visit the bereaved to prepare the funeral liturgy and then attend the funeral with another team member to minister to the bereaved. The ministry is enthusiastically received. Many recipients comment on how they value our care and compassion which affords them an enhanced sense of comfort and hope. Those who have experienced funerals with and without lay ministers’ involvement, eagerly applaud our team ministry model with gratitude. It has been convincingly demonstrated that our team ministry approach has facilitated for all a greater sense of ‘church’ and God’s love.

There is room in my heart and in my home “Never see an evil without trying to remedy it.” –Julian Tenison Woods (1870) This year we have been overwhelmed by the plight of thousands of refugees fleeing the horrors of their homelands. Pope Francis, sensing global indifference, asked the world, “Have you forgotten how to weep?” How do we respond? As a sign of our readiness to welcome our homeless brothers and sisters we place a candle on our window sills at 7pm each night. We invite you to join us in this tiny movement to witness to welcome. Sisters of St Joseph, Lochinvar


Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Mission & Outreach

We walk with families as they transition from difficult times to a brighter future. Sr Helen-Anne Johnson rsj, Mums’ Cottage

It is humbling to see the generous spirit of the children and families of our schools and parishes who each year raise close to $500,000 to support the Church in need throughout the world. Mark Toohey, Diocesan Director, Catholic Mission

A lighthouse to wellbeing

enable them to thrive in life. We are very proud of this initiative and the way in which both staff and students are responding to it,” said Scott.

Scott Donohue, Assistant Principal (Wellbeing) at San Clemente High School, Mayfield, is focused on outreach to students with the backing of “a supportive and compassionate staff”.

While Scott acknowledges that all schools value community he emphasises the holistic approach at Catholic schools.

“We have introduced Positive Education this year which shows great potential in equipping students with vital life skills that will

Year in Review 2015

He adds, “There are five key steps to wellbeing – to connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and to give and serve others.”

“As a Catholic educator I am proud of the genuinely holistic education our students receive and the care shown to all, particularly the more marginalised and in need in our school,” said Scott.


» Leadership & Structure

We want to send a positive image out to the community, to let people know that we’re here if you need us. Vision Ministries at Mamre Farm during this period as the family lived outside Parkes. “They celebrated so differently to Catholics and they were really good at community building. From that experience my mindset changed,” said Therese. The family eventually moved to the Lake Macquarie area and became part of the Catholic parish of Morisset. When the parish commenced exploring the Moderator model of leadership in 2013, Therese felt called to step up to a leadership role with the encouragement of retiring parish priest, Fr Reg Callinan. Therese is now one of seven lay leaders, each of whom is responsible for one of the Foundational Teams within the parish. Therese’s foundation is Identity and Community which comprises the welcoming team, the knitting group, the zone teams, gardening team and the parish postie network.

The wave’s worth catching

“My focus has been on involving more families in the life of the church. We have set up a family group that regularly has lunches with over 35 people and have run the Conversations about Catholics program through St John Vianney Primary School.

One of Therese Dawson’s earliest memories is the smell of diesel fuel. She remembers standing with her father in the engine room of a boat as they fled Vietnam after the war. She was almost four. She credits her faith with keeping her family strong during an often perilous journey to Australia, via Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

“We want to send a positive image out to the community, to let people know that we’re here if you need us,” Therese said.

“On the trip from Vietnam my family relied on God’s presence. He has always been with me,” Therese said.

“It hasn’t always been easy, we don’t always see eye to eye, but we all strive towards a common goal. We do this work to honour our God and that’s what keeps us unified, that’s why the lay leadership team is working so well,” explained Therese.

Therese commenced school on arrival with no English and as the only Asian child in her class. But her belief in herself enabled her to achieve great results at school, complete electrical engineering and science degrees, build a career across the telecommunications industry and eventually become a teacher. With her husband Brett and daughters Laura, Hannah and Grace, Therese spent a number of years working with an Aboriginal community in Peak Hill, introducing people to technology. She often celebrated with the congregation of


Although it has taken a while for the parish to adjust to the new model, which is supported by Fr Geoff Mulhearn and Fr Reg Callinan, Therese believes that the model helps the parish really represent the community in which they minister.

Therese believes that although it is sometimes tough, taking on the leadership role is something very worthwhile and valuable. “There are times when you’re riding in on a wave towards the shore and there’s a synergy - you’re just cruising, you’re going in the right direction. Other times you miss the wave or you get crushed and need time to recover. But you always get up and try again because you know the wave’s worth catching,” said Therese.

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Leadership & Structure

Commitment to supporting families through affordable housing and child care The diocese is committed to providing both affordable housing and early education in the region. Joining the 22 affordable housing units opened in Mayfield last year, nine new townhouses will be opened in Maitland in 2016. There are plans to build more in the Lake Macquarie area, bringing the total to 90. The affordable housing units are rented through the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). Tenants must meet an eligibility test (low – middle income) and only pay 80 per cent of market value rent.

Leading with compassion for asylum seekers and refugees The Catholic Bishops of Australia released their annual Social Justice Statement in September. Titled, ‘For those who’ve come across the seas – Justice for Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ the statement challenges all Australians to demand a more compassionate response to refugees and asylum seekers. Locally, the statement was launched at Mayfield and those gathered heard some powerful and moving stories from local refugees. As Vice Chancellor Pastoral Ministries, Teresa Brierley noted, our church has the opportunity to be a leader in the community. “It can be difficult not to demonise the other, and to be threatened by difference and fear. As a Jesus person, I am commissioned to reach out to those who are aliens – the ones who are without a voice, without a home, without resources, without the means to make the change, without...This can be challenging and difficult as an individual, and so the place of church is to provide us with a community of like-minded people who are prepared to do this as one. Are we such a church?” said Teresa.

“We are always looking for ways to reach out to the community. Providing more affordable housing in the region is a way for the diocese to support people in a very practical way,” said Vice Chancellor Administration, Sean Scanlon. This year also saw the introduction of a new service agency for the diocese – St Nicholas Early Education. To meet growing demand for early education services in the region, the diocese plans to open centres in Newcastle West and Cardiff in 2016. The diocese also has a centre in Singleton. “Our Church is open to all and the St Nicholas centres will be no different, welcoming children from all cultural and socio‑economic backgrounds,” said Bishop Bill Wright. “At St Nicholas we will be providing high quality child care and education for children aged eight weeks to five years, and with smaller group sizes we aim to create an environment where all children can not only develop but excel,” Sean said. Nigel Bates resides in one of 22 diocesan affordable housing units in Newcastle.

CatholicCare Refugee Service was blessed at the same event. Director, Helga Smit, quoted student Caelan Beard, “I am a stranger but for that one smile, Why not quit? I almost do but for that one smile.” Helga concluded, “CatholicCare Refugee Service is that smile.” CatholicCare Refugee Service provides outreach and care to refugees in our community, including literacy and numeracy services, engagement with Afghani clients in conjunction with the Multicultural Men’s Shed and Ethnic Communities Council and a very successful Talking Tactics Together program.

Year in Review 2015


» Leadership & Structure

Teaching is human interaction Colin Mulhearn, Student Coordinator and teacher at St Paul’s High School Booragul, has a natural rapport with the senior students in his care and a pragmatic understanding of the challenges they face in today’s society. “St Paul’s is committed to a student wellbeing program that is implemented across each year group. The young people hit very different issues from year to year, from how they fit in at high school, to building an identity and gaining confidence to be themselves to stress and time management and understanding life choices. What’s unique about a Catholic education is that students are challenged to be conscious of their actions within the context of the example of Jesus. This is obviously very challenging for students and the school in a world that moves so quickly without much thought or reflection on the validity of some life choices,” said Colin. The school hosts dramatic productions each year that act as a conduit to talking about the issues facing young people.

Counselling, Family and Clinical Services expands Over the past 12 months, CatholicCare’s Counselling, Family & Clinical Services team has continued to provide support to many people across the Hunter, Lake Macquarie and Manning regions. As a result of the good work we do, more clients are attending our service through word of mouth and this growth continues to inspire us to look for ways to reach more people who need support. We are helping more and more children and families through our close relationship with the region’s schools (public, Catholic and private). We also pride ourselves in providing specialist clinical and therapeutic support to children in foster care, as well as adults with intellectual disabilities. We have just commenced counselling services in our Cardiff office, following from these services being offered for the first time in Gloucester.


“We also invite speakers from the community to raise student awareness – police liaison officers, Matthew Talbot House volunteers, St Vincent de Paul, cancer fundraising groups, Catholic Mission and Caritas. These speakers build in our students a real empowerment to deal with issues as they arise and an awareness of those in the community who need our support,” said Colin. Colin names the relationships that form over the years with students as the most rewarding aspect of his job. “Teaching is a vocation. It is, at its heart, about the relationships you build with those around you, most importantly with those you ‘teach’. The best chance of helping students to achieve educational requirements is to invest yourself in the relationships you have with them. You have to allow them to see who you are and be interested in their lives. You need to know them. Teaching is not only dot points and outcomes – it is human interaction,” said Colin.

We have commenced Autism and other assessment services, helping to alleviate growing wait times and assist children, young people and adults who weren’t easily able to access these assessment services elsewhere. We continue to connect with other service providers to find ways to work together and complement how we support each community according to its needs. The coming year is an exciting time of new partnerships and growth for the Counselling, Family & Clinical Services Team.

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

» Leadership & Structure

Leader challenges during parish anniversary dinner

Stay informed and talk about refugee issues with friends and colleagues;

Raise concerns about current refugee policies with local politicians;

Volunteer in services supporting refugees;

Create opportunities for people to speak about their experiences as refugees;

Holy Trinity Parish, Blackbutt North, celebrated the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the parish with a Spring Dinner and an inspiring talk from the CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia, Paul Power. Paul spoke about the refugee crisis in Europe, concerns surrounding the plight of refugees and asylum seekers internationally and Australia’s response, historically and more recently.

Encourage local councils and councillors to become involved in ‘refugee welcome’ zones and

Support fundraising to assist people who work with refugees (in our region CatholicCare Refugee Service fulfils this function).

Paul also outlined ways in which people and communities might respond:

Mr Power’s comments highlighted the urgent need for individuals, communities and governments to reflect on current attitudes and policies and work towards greater understanding and acceptance of refugees and asylum seekers.

Assembly of Catholic Professionals (ACP) The ACP was established in 2013 and provides an opportunity for business professionals to gather over lunch to network, share a meal, be informed of developments within the diocese and listen to a guest speaker.

encourage other Catholic business people to join our group and enjoy the many benefits we share together.” For more information or to join please visit:

The speakers provide a wide cross section of topics and experiences, as well as presenting current issues within the community generally, or the workplace, more specifically. Previous speakers have included – Frank Brennan SJ (priest, lawyer and social justice advocate); Rick McCosker (Chaplain to the Port of Newcastle); Paul O’Rourke, (principal, Emily’s Voice); Phil Glendenning (Director, Edmund Rice Centre and filmmaker); Jack Sobb (retired local businessman). The luncheons are held on a quarterly basis at various venues around the city. A member of the ACP, Mr Peter Dodds commented, “The values I learnt through my Catholic upbringing and education are the same values that I carry with me through life. I believe as professionals in the business community it is equally important for us to display these values and characteristics in our working lives. I would

Year in Review 2015


» Leadership & Structure

National Science and Engineering Challenge Champions STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students from three diocesan schools competed in the annual National Science and Engineering Challenge at the University of Newcastle. All Saints College, St Peter’s Campus, Maitland, took out the top honour for the national competition, while St Pius X, Adamstown placed fourth and St Mary’s, Gateshead placed seventh. Students worked in teams across eight activities, including building airships, sailing boats, electronics and bridge construction. Points were accumulated throughout the day for successful problem‑solving and execution of challenges such as building a mechanical hand that could grasp a ball. Acting Principal of the winning school, All Saints College, St Peter’s Campus, Maitland, Pamela Kedwell, said, “This is an outstanding win! I’m really delighted and really proud of the students. They’ve displayed huge teamwork and perseverance skills, and good sportsmanship throughout the competition.” While the challenge fosters teamwork and problem-solving skills, the program also aims to inspire students to study science and engineering subjects during their senior high school years, in an effort to address a skills shortage in those fields and open up further study opportunities and career paths.

Director of Catholic Schools, Ray Collins, was thrilled to see that three of the eight competing schools were from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. “The ultimate delight is the fact that All Saints College, St Peter’s Campus, Maitland, is the 2015 National Champion. We’re very proud of them and we’re very proud of all our students who have always excelled in this competition. This shows there’s some great stuff happening in our schools,” said Mr Collins.

150 editions, thousands of stories Q&A with Aurora Editor, Tracey Edstein What do you love most about being Aurora editor? I love the opportunity to tell our people’s stories. So many individuals are doing wonderful work and Aurora is a window to it all. Jewish philosopher Elie Wiesel wrote that God made us because God loves stories. I believe we are all made in the image and likeness of God, and so we all love stories! Each edition brings so much energy and variety in contributors and content, where do you get story ideas and source so many excellent writers? Aurora’s stories reflect the variety of ways in which members of the community are engaged in schools, parishes, organisations,workplaces and neighbourhoods. The editorial team – Trish Bogan, Michael O’Connor, Shirley McHugh, Monica Scanlon and Joanne Isaac – and the Communications Team – are gifted individuals who are generous in their commitment. I appreciate too the many phone calls and emails from people with story ideas or comments. The media-scape has changed greatly since 1996. How has Aurora adapted to the digital world? While many still prefer to read Aurora in hard copy, Aurora also appears online on our news site, and has a social media presence. 38

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

Âť Financials

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Year in Review For the year ended 30 June 2015



Rental income


Contributions from other diocesan entities for services


Fundraising and bequests


Other income


Total Income


EXPENSES Information Technology




Interest paid to Catholic Development Fund




Property expenses


Professional fees


Salaries & salary-related costs


Other expenses


Total Expenses




Total assets


Total liabilities


Total Equity






Total Equity


Diocesan assets consist mostly of property including affordable housing dwellings, corporate offices for the diocese and CatholicCare Social Services, and investments in the Catholic Development Fund.

Year in Review 2015


Âť Financials

Catholic Development Fund Maitland-Newcastle Year in Review For the year ended 30 June 2015



Interest income


Other income


Interest expense


Total net interest income


EXPENSES Fees and commissions


Salaries & salary-related costs


Other expenses


Total expenses


OTHER Distribution to Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Revaluation of available-for-sale assets

(4,000) (105)

Total other




Total assets


Total liabilities


Total equity


Restricted - internal


Equity required to meet diocesan Capital Adequacy Policy Unrestricted

22,761 -

Total equity


Equity is held to meet capital adequacy obligations to external depositors.


Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

Âť Financials

Catholic Schools System Year in Review For the year ended 31 December 2014



School fees, excursion & trips income


Trading activity income


Other private income


State Government recurrent grants


State Government interest subsidy


Commonwealth Government recurrent grants Other recurrent grants

140,903 1,491

Sub total recurrent income


Commonwealth Government capital grants


Fees/Levies - Private capital income


Sub total capital income


Total income


EXPENSES Salaries & salary-related costs


Building & equipment maintenance & replacements


Interest expense - capital loans


Depreciation expense


Bad & doubtful debts expense


Other operating expenses


Trading activity expenses


Total expenses




Total assets


Total liabilities


Total equity


Restricted - employee entitlements


Restricted - other



Total equity

The financial information provided above is an extract of Audited Special Purpose Accounts. The Total Equity includes the estimated value of school buildings and retained earnings. The retained earnings are to provide for future growth and development of the system of schools inclusive of Educational Programs, Information Technology and capital projects.

Year in Review 2015


Âť Financials

CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning Year in Review For the year ended 30 June 2015



Grant funding


Contributions from other diocesan entities for services


Fee for service


Other income


Total income


EXPENSES Advertising Client support costs

122 3,354



Information Technology


Management fee


Property expenses


Salaries & salary-related costs


Other expenses


Total expenses




Total assets


Total liabilities


Total equity


Restricted Unrestricted

Total equity

3,561 -


CatholicCare is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Upon winding up or dissolution of CatholicCare, or if the deductible gift receipient status is revoked, any property or income must be transferred to another deductible gift recipient and is therefore restricted.


Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

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Thank you to all who support our work Across the diocese we undertake a wide range of activities and provide many and varied services from weekend Masses and other liturgies, to pastoral support, school administration and teaching, social service outreach, faith formation, myriad ministries, communication, property development and planning, general and parish administration and financial management.

to achieve the desired outcomes which support our community in many and varied ways.

In almost all of these areas we can identify volunteers, carers, support workers and committed board and committee members who help, guide and complement the work of staff and religious

We, as a broad community, extend a very sincere thank you to each of you for your time and service.


It is appropriate, as we look back over the year and reflect upon the activities undertaken, that we acknowledge the wonderful assistance, service and skills that you, our valued supporters, bring to the work of the Church in this diocese.





Development Fund

Schools Office


Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle 841 Hunter Street Newcastle West NSW 2302

Catholic Schools Office 841 Hunter Street Newcastle West NSW 2302

CatholicCare Social Services 50 Crebert St Mayfield NSW 2304

Catholic Development Fund 841 Hunter Street Newcastle West NSW 2302

02 4979 1111

02 4979 1200

02 4979 1120

02 4979 1160

Year in Review 2015


Âť Identity & Community


Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

Diocesan Year in Review 2015  
Diocesan Year in Review 2015  

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle's Year in Review covers the liturgical year (Dec 2014 – Nov 2015) and features stories, information, image...