BROKEN BAY NEWS Publication of the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay DECEMBER 2013 Issue 166
Lectio Divina for Advent Welcome Fr Vincent â€“ our newest priest Catholic Schools Celebrate 2013
Bishop David Walker Retires pgs 19-22
Bishop David Walker
A New Voice for Broken Bay By Annie Carrett, Editor Sixteen years ago, Bishop David Walker launched a ‘new voice in the diocese’, The Broken Bay Diocesan News. In that first edition of July 1997, the 8-page, black-andwhite newsletter introduced the Diocese to its parishioners and gave the recently installed Bishop David an opportunity to communicate directly with the faithful of Broken Bay. His first message read: “It is easy, as a bishop, to lose touch with the people you serve. While my work is totally directed to the care of the people of the Diocese, most of you would hardly know what decisions are being made and their effects throughout the Diocese. This newsletter is an effort to let you know: to inform you of what is happening, to interest you in what is taking place. I believe that knowledge can lead to deeper involvement. By sharing with you what is happening in the Diocese, I hope you will be drawn to a greater interest and participation. I am convinced that this type of communication can lead us all to a greater sense of identity as members of the Catholic Community of Broken Bay. Our three main communities, the North Shore, the Peninsula and the Central Coast, are so different, yet we are all one, constituting the Diocese of Broken Bay. Knowledge of our different communities could well bring us closer together.” David L. Walker In this 166th edition, we celebrate Bishop David’s episcopacy in Broken Bay, and in doing so express our gratitude for the continued support and wonderful opportunity he gave to us to tell our story as people of faith. Pope Francis calls us to be ‘Pilgrims of Communication’, to be a Church that walks with the people, a Church that accompanies them on their journey. The Broken Bay News is a wonderful window into that journey. Thank you Bishop David.
Diocese of Broken Bay P O Box 340 Pennant Hills NSW 1715 Diocesan Office: Tel (02) 9847 0000 Fax (02) 9847 0201 Caroline Chisholm Centre Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd Pennant Hills NSW 2120 (Access off City View Rd) firstname.lastname@example.org Marriage Tribunal Rev John Hannon Tel: (02) 9847 0458
Curia Diocesan Administrator Fr Vince Casey Co-ordinator of the Curia, and Diocesan Financial Administrator: David Penny Co-ordinator Office for Clergy: Anne Walker
PARISH SUPPORT UNIT Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Director: Carole Gan (02) 9847 0560
Catholic Schools Office Director: Peter Hamill Tel (02) 9847 0000 PO Box 967 Pennant Hills NSW 1715 Schools’ Editorial Co-ordinator: Kylie Gray Tel: (02) 9847 0270
CatholicCare Executive Director: Deirdre Cheers Tel: (02) 9481 2600 PO Box 966 Pennant Hills 1715 Children’s Services: Tel: (02) 9481 2660 Family Centres: Brookvale – Tel: (02) 8968 5100 Naremburn – Tel: (02) 8425 8700 Waitara – Tel: (02) 9488 2400 Warnervale – Tel: (02) 4356 2600 Foster and Residential Care: Tel: (02) 4340 0786 Mission, Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care (02) 9481 2658 Catholic Development Fund Chris Field Tel: (02) 9847 0748
Challenge Ranch Mr Gordon Crabb Tel: (02) 4372 1221
Communications Broken Bay News: Editor: Annie Carrett Tel: (02) 9847 0724 / Fax: (02) 9847 0501 email@example.com P O Box 340 Pennant Hills, NSW, 1715 Design: Chris Murray 22,000 copies of the Broken Bay News are distributed monthly through 26 parishes and 43 schools in the Diocese of Broken Bay. The Broken Bay News is a member of the Australasian Catholic Press Association and the Australasian Religious Press Association. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply diocesan endorsement of products or services advertised.
Bishop David’s Message
David L.Walker DD Bishop Emeritus of Broken Bay Brothers and Sisters in Christ, My term as your bishop has come to an end. It was a rather abrupt end, coinciding with my seventy-fifth birthday. However, I had been expecting it and preparing myself for it, and I feel very good about retiring. I have been bishop for seventeen years, and the responsibility does wear you down. I think it is easier to bear when you are younger, so whoever comes might find it easier. The highlight of my ministry as bishop has been to share the Gospel with you, the people of the Diocese, and to help you grow in your faith relationship with Jesus. As a bishop, one is in a unique position to do that: indeed the reason we have bishops is to do that. I will miss it. The focus of a bishop’s ministry must be the people of God, and probably the success of my ministry lies in how well I have served you in that way. Only the Lord can judge that. I am grateful to all those who have worked with me in my ministry, the clergy, the curia and many leaders throughout the parishes. All Christian ministries should be collaborative, the episcopal one especially. I have tried to introduce in the Diocese a spirit of collaboration; I believe we made some progress in that area. The bishop often gets the credit for things that others may have conceived or implemented. However, most things that are achieved in a diocese are the work of many rather than just one. I am grateful to the Holy Father for inviting me to be the bishop of Broken Bay. I believe we all have potential that we don’t use unless we are challenged to use it. A new demanding environment helps us to grow, and to achieve things we thought we could not do. I have grown personally in my faith life through this opportunity in a way that I might not have done otherwise. What of the future? I do not see retirement as the end of my ministry, but as a transition to a new stage of it. I will continue to serve the people of God through the proclamation of the Gospel and the fostering of the personal spiritual journey. This is a ministry I can continue, even though I do not do it now as bishop. Adult spiritual formation and education has been one of my main goals as bishop, and I certainly hope to continue this work in retirement. Retirement also lends itself to a ministry of prayer. As bishop, I have been grateful for all the prayers that have been said to assist me in my ministry. Part of my ministry was to return the favour, to offer prayerful support for you. However, I would see that retirement will be a time when I will be able to exercise a greater ministry of prayer for you. I hope you will continue to remember me in your prayers. Regards
Bishop David L. Walker DD
ACROSS Our Diocese
The Lord is my Shepherd Fr Vincent Ordained for Broken Bay By Debra Vermeer
hen Fr Vincent Trung Nguyen entered the Xuan Loc seminary in Vietnam in 2005, it never occurred to him in his wildest dreams that he would end up being ordained in Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral to be a priest for the Diocese of Broken Bay in Australia. But that’s exactly what happened on Saturday, October 26, when Fr Vincent was ordained by Bishop David Walker in the presence of his former seminary rector, Joseph Dinh Duc Dao, now the auxiliary Bishop of Xuan Loc Diocese, his family, clergy and members of the Diocesan and wider community.
“It was a really wonderful day. It was much more than I expected,” he says. “I was so honoured to have Bishop Joseph Dao come here to attend my ordination.” “And my mother and brother came. My mother has never been anywhere farther than her village before and coming to Australia was so far for her to travel. But she is very happy to have her son ordained a priest. And I felt so happy to have my mother here. She’s wonderful. “She cried all the way through the Mass. But they were tears of happiness. My mother, like the poor widow in the scripture, offered two coins to the temple. She doesn’t have much, but she willingly offers all she has – her son – to God.” Fr Vincent, who is assistant priest at Chatswood’s Our Lady of Dolours Parish, says the fact that he has ended up being ordained for the Diocese of Broken Bay, rather than his home Diocese of Xuan Loc, still comes as a surprise to him, but he is sure that this is where God has led him to be. Growing up in the countryside of southern Vietnam in a love and faith-filled family, where he was the youngest of four children, Fr Vincent says he traces his vocation back to high school when his father took him to the parish priest and asked him to guide him on the path towards priesthood. “I had received a good education and my parents, their faith is very strong, and they were very happy to offer their child to God and His Church” he says. That parish priest, Fr Dominic
Minh, became young Vincent’s sponsor priest and has remained in that capacity right up to the present time. But before entering the seminary, Vincent went to study at the University of Natural Sciences, faculty of Information Technology; and then the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, faculty of International Relationship. He sat the entrance exam of the seminary in 2000, but did not commence his studies there until 2005. After seven years of philosophy and theology studies he graduated in June 2012. Thinking he would be assigned to parish ministry in his home diocese, Fr Vincent says he set about devising pastoral plans to implement for the coming harvest. But God had something else in store. His Rector, Monsignor Joseph Dao, asked him to go to the Diocese of Broken Bay under the Covenant of Ecclesial Communion
signed between the two dioceses, Xuan Loc and Broken Bay. Fr Vincent says the request came as a complete shock. “When my Rector asked me to come here, I was so disturbed, so worried,” he says. “I never intended to go abroad. I had prepared my pastoral plans all ready to implement in Vietnam. When I was asked to come here I had to delete them and start again. “But I think it was the call of God and I believe that obedience is a very good virtue. Acting in obedience helped me to hear the voice of God. “And so I was able to keep my heart peaceful and accept my Superior’s request that I come.” Upon arrival in Australia on August 4th last year, the Feast of St John Vianney, Vincent undertook further studies in English and spent some time at the Good Shepherd Seminary at Homebush, where he made friends with other seminari-
ACROSS Our Diocese ans and learnt much about culture and ministry in Australia. “In December last year I came to Chatswood for one month, but my English more improved because of the many chances to speak to people here, that I ended up staying here,” he says. “When Bishop David asked me to be ordained a deacon, I was worried because the life, the culture over here was still new to me. “But many people, priests, and my superiors had encouraged me to be ordained and so I felt more confident to answer the Bishop that if God wants me to do it, I will accept it. “And the people here at Chatswood are so good. They pray for me here and they were very happy to have me ordained.” Fr Vincent says he hopes his priestly ministry will be focused on one key thing: “announcing the Love of our God, Jesus Christ”. “When I was asked to come here, I thought, what can I bring to the people here, in a rich country, who seem to have everything?” he says. “But my Rector told me that the people here, like people everywhere, are searching for the love of God, their real happiness. And so, that is what I hope I can do for people here. I will share the Love of God with them.” His priestly motto ‘miseria et misericordia’ (St. Augustine) addresses the boundless Love of God upon the weak human condition. Fr Vincent says he is settling into life in Australia and is thankful for the warm welcome he has received, especially from the Chatswood parish community and also the Vietnamese community in Sydney, who played an important role in his Ordination Mass and Thanksgiving Mass. “I don’t know why God has chosen me to be here. It seems very mystical. But I feel more confident now that God wants me to be here. I’ve met many people who share their stories, their difficulties, sorrows, distresses, and their faith with me honestly. And even though my English is still not very good, they can understand me by heart, more than by what I speak. “And I am happy, because I am going the way where God leads me, and I am living my life as a witness to the Love of God.” BBN
Nurturing the Seed of Vocation
“The duty of fostering vocations pertains to the whole Christian community…” Decree of Priestly Training, VCII
Manny Bautista Vocations Officer, Broken Bay
ongratulations to Fr Vincent Trung on his ordination to the Broken Bay Diocese. It is a time of great celebration for us all. Vocation is ultimately by God and for His reign on earth, and for the fulfilment Newly appointed Diocesan Vocations officer, Manny Bautista, comes from Pampanga in the Philippines. He studied Philosophy at San Carlos Seminary, Makati City and Theology at Mother of Good Counsel Seminary, Pampanga. Manny is currently undertaking his Masters of Theology at the Catholic Institute of Sydney. Having a long involvement with Couples for Christ and family ministry, Manny says “I’m very grateful and blessed to have been appointed to this position, and pray that I may, in turn, be a blessing to the Christian community of our Diocese. It is also great privilege to work with the Diocesan Vocations Director, Fr Paul Durkin.” Manny and his wife Jannette are parishioners of Warringah and live there with their two beautiful daughters.
of all creation. It is for this reason that God calls all of humanity to participate in His work of salvation and fulfilment. In this grand design of vocation God sows the “seed of vocation” in every human heart, which is grown through the light of faith and the nourishment of prayer. There is a sense of mystery that comes with the “seed of vocation.” Although it is the same “seed”, it evokes different responses. Its very nature constitutes a diffusive plurality that allows it to work differently in each individual, calling him/ her to respond in a particular way. Father Vincent has responded to that “seed of vocation”, the call that grew in his heart, specifically by becoming a priest. He responded to the call of ministering to the People of God in faith and love. He now participates in Christ’s work of redemption and the Church’s evangelical mission as priest. We are all instruments of God’s call and share in the divine work of sowing the “seed of vocation.” Guided by the words of the Conciliar Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, “ The duty of fostering vocations pertains to the whole Christian community, which should exercise it above all by a fully Christian life.” Keeping vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life and single blessedness in our prayers is something that we can all do. For inquiries and suggestions regarding vocations, please see the advertisement below.
SERRA COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND AND THE SOUTH PACIFIC
Open Letter to Priests, Deacons and Religious The coming months, and possibly the next two to three years, will be difficult for the Church as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to child Sexual Abuse progresses. Undoubtedly, all Catholics are saddened by the sinful actions of some priests and acknowledge the hurt and harm caused. The Serra Clubs of Australia and New Zealand know that the majority of our priests, deacons and religious are faithful servants of Christ and our communities. We wish to express our love and gratitude to those priests, deacons and religious who serve us so well and care for us throughout our lives. We appreciate the pastoral care at critical times in our lives in sickness and death and the support and encouragement offered to us to help us follow Christ’s teaching in our daily lives. Serrans across Australia and New Zealand pray daily for our priests, deacons and religious that they may have courage and perseverance in their vocation and we offer our support and encouragement in this difficult time. Max Spencer, President, Serra Council of Australia New Zealand and the South Pacific
Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you teach; Teach what you believe; and practice what you teach. Rite of Ordination Congratulations to Fr Vincent Trung, our newest priest in the Diocese of Broken Bay
Have you considered a vocation as a Priest or Deacon in the Diocese of Broken Bay? Rev Fr Paul Durkin Manny Bautista Vocations Director Vocations Officer T: 4393 4501 T: 9847 0422 M: 0425 746 749 M: 0418 995 824 E: firstname.lastname@example.org E: email@example.com
ACROSS Our Diocese
Biennual Conference for Australian Deacons Deacon Brian Myers
eacons from all parts of Australia and New Zealand came together in Canberra on 19-22 September for the National Association of Deacons Biennial Conference. The Conference was hosted by the Canberra/ Goulburn deacons at St Thomas the Apostle Parish in Kambah a Canberra suburb. The Conference which was officially opened by Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial and His Excellency, The Nuncio, Archbishop Paul Gallagher. The Conference had as it’s theme “The Future: Pope Francis calls for a New Evangelisation.” – Two excellent key-note speakers were Rev Deacon Bill Dietwig PhD from the USA, who is a decorated US naval commander, ander and past President of the US Deacons Association which currently numbers over 17000 deacons. The other speaker was Rev Fr Elio Capra SDB who lectures in litur-
gy and Sacramental Theology at CTU in Melbourne. Rev Fr Dr Peter L’Estrange AO who recently returned from Georgetown University in Washington, was the Special guest speaker at the conference dinner. Broken Bay, Parramatta and Sydney were well represented at the Conference. Some 80 deacons and aspirants, many with wives, attended, but quite a number could not be accommodated due to the size of the venue. This was a good number considering that there are only 140 Permanent Deacons in Australia and many are still employed full time in civilian life. Each session started and finished with morning and evening prayer. Fr Capra said Mass for those present and the Nuncio celebrated and preached at the closing Mass on the Sunday morning before attendees returned to their various dioceses. Deacon Bill started by discussing what many of the early Church Fathers said about deacons in the Church. He then went
on to describe how the foundations of the Restored Diaconate were based on the discussions of priests and bishops who were in the concentration camp at Dachau. Their suggestions, aided by the Hoy Spirit, were also talked about in Europe, and eventually the spread of these ideas led the topic of Permanent Deacons being added to the topics for discussion at Vatican II. Bill’s other topics included a different understanding of Permanent Deacons now, to what was envisioned in the ‘70s. He stressed obedience, flexibility,
adapting and respect are necessary in the Diaconal Ministry; He also looked at future possibilities for the deacons of the Church.” Fr Capra also spoke about the Family: Preaching with the breath of the Holy Spirit: Joyfully witness to the Gospel, fully and with confidence: and especially the attitude to Women in Ministry. A full summary of Fr Elio’s talks can be found at the National Association of Deacons website: http://www.ausdeacons.org.au/ . Deacon Bill’s paper will also be there shortly.
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ACROSS Our Diocese
Broken Bay Supports Independent Australian Film
A Priest in the Family (2013) Directed by Peter Humble and Anni Finsterer
By Annie Carrett
Diocesan Communications Manager
n what may seem an unusual arena for the Catholic Church to be moving, the Diocese of Broken Bay has chosen to financially assist in the production of an Australian independent film. A Priest in the Family, featuring a well-known cast of fine Australian actors including Lisa Hensley, Lynette Curran, Gillian Jones and Susie Porter, has now completed its initial filming, and Directors Peter Humble and Anni Finsterer are busy at the post-production end. Based on a short story by Irish author Colm Toibin, A Priest in the Family deals with the struggles and sadness that overcomes some people when confronted with child sexual abuse. In every case of clerical sexual abuse, as well as the primary victim and their family there are many ‘secondary’ victims. This film focuses on just one area: the accused priest’s family, particularly the relationship between a mother and her priest son.
Examining the testing of faith and relationships, the film explores the balance of love and loyalties within a family structure, and in doing so, highlights the damage that ripples out into the community. As a Church we remain committed to caring for all victims and their families who have been deeply affected by clerical sexual abuse. Whilst we welcome the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as a step towards assisting the Church in addressing the wrongs of the past, there will always be ‘victims’ – those who remain unheard and suffer in silence. The Diocese of Broken Bay strongly believes that by financially supporting the making of A Priest in the Family, we may be able to use this production to further open up the dialogue and conversation that needs to happen for healing to take place, and for all voices to be heard. In the current climate there will naturally be intense media scrutiny of Church activities, and questions asked like, ‘Why have you chosen to do this now?’ and ‘What else are you doing for victims?’
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Production shot from A Priest in the Family.
It is understandable that for some, trust in the Church and its relationship with the broader community is extremely low. But, it is not a time to hide from criticisms and difficult decisions, and certainly not a time to step away from our ongoing pastoral care for people. As a Church we fully accept those criticisms when they are rightly placed, and whilst we cannot undo the damage of the past, we remain strong in our commitment to act in justice and love, and with diligence and compassion, in how we both deal with those subject to the traumas of abuse, and how we move forward and meet the needs of today’s faithful. The Diocese hopes to use this
film as an entry point to facilitated group discussions that will assist parishes and small communities to better understand the complexity of this issue that society is coming to terms with, and their place in society as members of the Catholic Church. The program will also be made available to the wider Church. Diocesan support of this production has not influenced in any way the production values of the cast and crew, and we honour them for their commitment in opening up this difficult and heart wrenching chapter in Australia’s history. We look forward to the film’s release and the important dialogue it will open.
Family Prayer for Advent Heavenly Father, we come with thanksgiving for the lives You have given us, for the lives You have sustained through Word and Sacrament, for the lives You have redeemed through Jesus Christ. Send now Your Spirit to guide us as we pray in Advent and every day. Come, Lord Jesus. Come into our hearts, repair the brokenness of sin, heal the wounds of mind and spirit, comfort the sick and grieving, warm the coldhearted, fill the lonely and empty.
Pray the Scriptures
on your iPhone this Advent
Although our Advent journey of promise has already commenced, it is never too late to prepare for the celebration of Christmas in our spiritual life.
his year the Diocese is offering an exciting new way to undertake the prayerful meditation of lectio divina. The Sunday readings and reflections for Advent 2013 are now available as an App for you to use on your mobile device. Simply search for “lectio divina” in the App store to download it for free. The new technology is a great and convenient way to pray the scriptures during Advent, either as an individual
or as a group. All the weekly readings and reflections are included, as well as audio of the Sunday readings so you can listen whilst in the car, travelling to work, on holidays, or quietly at home. If you do not own a tablet, smart phone or other mobile device, don’t worry. The lectio divina for Advent booklet is available on the Diocese of Broken Bay’s website to download as a pdf as one booklet or as separate weekly readings. Visit: www.dbb.org.au
The Star of Bethlehem
The floral images used throughout the App and Booklet are commonly known in Australia as the Star of Bethlehem, Lily of the Nile, African Lilies, or Agapanthus. These beautiful globes of predominantly purple flowers are a well-recognised reminder that we are approaching the Christmas Season. The soft purple, with a hint of blue, reflect the Church’s seasonal colour for Advent, with their gradual awakening from deep-green seed pod to glorious display of blossom – a living example of the preparation and joyous expectation of new life we all share during Advent.
Come into our homes, make them grace places, places of forgiveness, of safety, of joy, of peace. Come to our children, babies, teenagers, adult children and all the ages in between, protect them from anything that would harm them, guide their learning and increase their wisdom as well as knowledge. Let them know love from those around them and the perfect love from You. Come to our parents, new parents, stepparents, single parents, foster parents, grandparents, and to all who do, did or would care for others. Give them wisdom, courage and the assurance that You are with them every minute as they nurture the lives entrusted to them. Come to our loved ones, our extended families, our church family, our friends and our neighbours. Thank You for the blessing they are to us and let them experience and extend Your grace into their homes, to their children and their parents. Come to all hearts and homes, in every country and culture. We ask for their families all the blessings we seek for our own, especially the gift of Your grace. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen. From the lectio divina Booklet Praying the Scriptures in Advent Year A 2013. Available for Free download at www.dbb.org.au
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Brookfield Multiplex, Downer Rail, Capral and CatholicCare: And the winner is…
CatholicCare’s work typically involves families, especially women and children in need.
icture then a room of some 400 people, mostly blokes in suits, executives from leading companies nationally, particularly industries such as mining, engineering and transport. To the audible surprise of most present, last month a little known organisation, CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay, was a finalist for one of seven national awards at the 21st National Safety Council of Australia’s NSCA/GIO Workers Compensation National Safety Awards of Excellence. One of only two not for profit organisations named as a finalist in any category, our CatholicCare was nominated for Best Solution to an Identified WHS Risk by a medium to large organisation, medium to large being defined as having more than 50 employees. CatholicCare Work Health and Safety Manager, Romaine Moss says, “With 500 employees and revenue of just on $30million dollars we were up against some of the largest businesses in Australia, billion dollar businesses such as Brookfield Multiplex
and Downer Rail as well as Capral Ltd and Namoi Cotton Co-operative Ltd. “It was a milestone for us to be selected against these major brand names in industry sectors long known for their focus on safety. It made us even prouder to be flying the flag for the not for profit and helping professions given person-centred care is our mantra and only one other NFP – the RSPCA of Queensland – was nominated. (We cheered very loudly when, to general surprise, they actually won the category in which they’d been nominated – best safety training program – and had a group photo together following to show our sectoral solidarity!) Says Romaine, “While we didn’t win our category the important thing was that we have devised an innovative, workable, proven solution to a workplace ‘body stressing’ risk confronting childcare workers at our Early Learning and Long Day Care Centres. Body stressing derives from manual handling, repetitive movement and maintenance of constrained or awkward postures with associated risk of soft tissue
EARLY LEARNING AND CARE
OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS CARE
Lake Munmorah Terrigal
Gosford • Forestville • Freshwater
Munmorah • Mona Vale • Pymble
and other injury and resulting periods of disability or absences from the workplace. “Across our organisation as a whole ‘body stressing’ accounted for only 8% of reported incidents yet more than 22% of worker’s compensation claims (2001/2012). Among staff in the Long Day Care Centre however ‘body stressing’ claims contributed to 50% of the high cost claims. Since the implementation of our solution this statistic has dropped significantly. Something which the team involved, including former CatholicCare Finance and Business Services Senior Manager Dennis Zandona, ELC Coordinator Simone Weingaertner and Work Health Safety Officer Jenny Margules are very proud! Looking ahead to the 2014 awards Romaine says, “I would encourage all Diocesan agencies to give thought to what proactive things you are doing to take care of your employees’ safety and enter the judging next year to be benchmarked against the best. It was a huge plug for CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay to have 400 odd senior executives listen to a blurb about who we are, what we do – and how well we do it!” OUT OF HOME CARE
• Waitara • West
Not your average happy family
Christmas in Tina and Dinko Fabrio’s house is a bit like Pitt Street in peak hour. Having been foster carers for more than 20 years (‘I don’t bother keeping count any more’, says Tina) the Fabrio’s have fostered more than 40 children – with whom they still have contact! ‘By the time you add in partners – and the kids – of those who are now grown up and parents themselves – plus siblings and other birth family members of our younger kids, you get the general idea. We have a constant stream of visitors for what feels like weeks. While many people might baulk at the thought of looking after someone else’s kids full time – even the best of grandparents – Tina is adamant that her atypical Christmas – and atypical family – can’t be beaten. “People have all sorts of negative ideas about what it is to be a foster family and lots of misconceptions about why kids might not be able to live with their own families. “We have our memories for ever. Don’t get me wrong. We’ve had some kids who’ve initially been difficult. Suicidal kids, drug-addicted kids, kids with behavioural problems. We’ve also had kids who are grieving, some who’ve lost parents or whose surviving parent can’t cope for a time, either mentally, emotionally or financially. “But looking around our school and our neighbourhood, I can scarcely point to a family where, at some stage, the parents haven’t struggled with managing kids’ difficult behaviour or with helping their kids deal with tricky or difficult situations. And what’s not to love. You can’t help it. Your heart just goes out to kids who need love and attention.” There is a big footnote to this story: CatholicCare Executive Director Deirdre Cheers says, ‘We know our foster carers receive no end of blessings through opening their hearts to kids who are not able to live with their own families. But sometimes even we underestimate the reverse – the influence our carers have on the kids for whom they care. Recently the Central Coast Advocate ran a story on Tina and Dinko in connection with National Foster Care Week. A child, now grown up, with whom Tina and Dinko had lost contact saw the story and wrote me a letter in response. Any parent, but particularly those for whom Christmas right now doesn’t look that bright or happy can take heart from this letter. You just don’t know what your love is doing and what the future holds.” FAMILY CENTRES • Brookvale • Lake
Munmorah • Naremburn
saw the you would be able tO help me I Hi myname is mel I was hoping while a for m the h wit d live I and dinko photo in the local paper of tina want not d with many people who did the happest time of my life I live eI ribl hor told me how selfish and me and told me so a lot of people bish rub my h wit up d enough to put was they said they did not get pai ed hat ly tru I p hel ded nee truly I just n I know I was realy mixed up but whe self my cut gs dru k too I es ny tim I myself I tried to kill myself so ma ybe ma else y y would be like every bod le I went to stay with I thought the whi t ges lon the re xbut no I stayed the would last a week or two at ma nged re things changed for me I cha the was I e I was there and becaus ly rea say ld wou I ry ang when I was I am alive today because of tina came y the and realy don’t know where me mean things that ididnot mean ed call er nev and cut my arms tina from then I would feel realy bad its t’s tha say to d use nge at first she names her reaation was so star not using words and she knew it was by out s ing good to get your feel ifelt how ing say of way a find me ld help a personal attack and she wou she was why why did she care enough so I could be heardyes she did you are her words which I still remember in difarant she used to tell me told she and for h wis e what ever you so a amazing person who can aciv her ed test I me for re the be ld always me me she believed in meand wou de ma r eve re I realy can say no one many times she allways was the ame to d loving words that I really bec kin believe in myselfhereing her g my ssin dre and g nin ng to meand clea rs believe she spent hours listeni idea at gre h wit up e cam mints she use arms never making any bad com l stil I s ust could help me her idea to for me to put my anger no sycollij meres one day she took me out me ght today if ineed to I have so mang tou I rs tea had she looked around and ed the surf shop to buy coltehes I look I said she no but ney nding her mo that it was because she was spe was I had ever said that to me before so beautifulme beautiful no one ly did mean kow what I believe that she rea always told how bad I was you ’t know don I how ved in me why and what she said to me and she bele ds I am wor s tina in and because of her as I said before I am alive today er nev I ls goa my g chin rea king on a amazing person who is and wor iwill will ays y person that I love and alw told her that I loved her the onl who on per g zin she turely is anama never forget what she did for me please look after them for me and nt me ede really cares with out jug mum she her she is a true mum my only would you please tell her I love person cial e you understand what a spe does make a diffrance and I hop it the ded nee I n I was sent an angle whe be she is I don’t believe in god but y ma r eve for me ons will stay with d most her words and love and acti nge cha tina how ple to be forster peo you could tell others who want a tina erstand what it takes to make und ple peo p hel my life it might to me for be read it has taken a lot in this worldi hope this leter will be to are be exceped for who you tell you all this but as I said to r the great words of all hea to in d listsned to to be believe she ment all that time that praise tina allways gave and er saying I was worth lisening never judgeing me nev to believe I don’t take ed less although that was what ius more because of one drugs any more nor do I cut ang please tell her from personwho makes a dirferance ld mean the tworld me I love don’t forget that wou nk you love mel to mei hope I can trust you tha HOSPITAL CHAPLAINCY • Gosford
• Hornsby • Manly
Vale North Shore • Wahroonga (Sydney Adventist) • Royal
Truth Justice and Healing Information about the Royal Commission
By Gail Gill
he Diocese of Broken Bay welcomes the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and is actively supporting the work of the Truth Justice and Healing Council in their coordination of the Catholic Church’s response to the Royal Commission. Victims of sexual abuse have the right to tell their stories and to expect justice and healing. Sexual abuse that happened in the past is still impacting on victims and survivors, their families, and friends in the present time. What has happened in our Church is painful for all of us who identify as Catholic. The Royal Commission has been and will continue to
discuss difficult issues that may re-awaken incidents that are particularly distressing for people who have experienced sexual abuse in the Church, the family or in other institutions. A booklet has been prepared which includes information about many helpful services both within the Diocese and through organisations that are not affiliated with the Church. A number of these services are available to anyone who is seeking assistance with confusing and distressing feelings about child sexual abuse in our Church and in other institutions. The services will be of particular assistance to victims and survivors, their families and friends. The booklet will be available through the CatholicCare Family Centres, Parishes and
Catholic Schools. Many of us may know someone who would be assisted by the information in this booklet but who may not be in contact with any of our Diocesan agencies. The hope is that friends would make the booklet available to people who most need the information. From 9 December the Royal Commission will hear evidence about the establishment, operation and review of the Towards Healing process by the Catholic Church. In addition, it will explore how that process works in practice with evidence from a number of people who have participated in it. Sexual abuse has touched the very identity of who we are as Church. We are all made poorer by every incidence of sexual abuse. We need to face
the inadequacies of the past while being open to the grace to respond compassionately towards those who have been abused so that we can bring the light and hope of the Gospel to all aspects of the life of our Church.
Not all news this Christmas will be good… but we are helping to change it for the better
Preventing sexual abuse of children in Out of Home Care
his month the attention of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is turning full square upon the institutional responses of the Catholic Church as it holds its public hearings in Sydney.
CatholicCare Executive Director, Deirdre Cheers.
The headlines and news coverage will continue to be very distressing as the failures of our Church come under the spotlight and the pain and anguish of victims of abuse by members of our Church is made very public. As part of its process of inquiry, the Royal Commission is releasing Issues Papers on a range of matters to which it has sought submissions from interested individuals, and both government and nongovernment organisations. The most recent of these is Issues Paper 4: Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children in Out-Of-Home Care, a subject on which CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay’s Executive Director, Deirdre Cheers, is deeply knowledgeable and experienced. “Out of Home Care is defined as overnight care for children aged 0-17 and includes foster care, relative or kinship care, family group homes, residential care and independent living arrangements”, says Deirdre. “In many cases, children are in
OOHC as a result of orders being made by a Children’s Court, where parental responsibility for the child has been transferred to the Minister for Family Services, although in some cases the parents of a child may seek OOHC on a voluntary basis. “CatholicCare is involved in the provision of OOHC through providing residential care and managing placement of children with foster carers. Most recently we have been very much involved in the transition of OOHC services from the NSW Government to the non-government sector, a program that has gone very smoothly and is a step forward from past practice in the care of very vulnerable children. “So when the Truth, Justice and Healing Council sought to respond on behalf of the Catholic Church to the Commission’s Issues paper on this topic we were very pleased to formulate the draft document in order to invite comment from other Catholic agencies
with knowledge in this area. “Key areas of focus for our submission are on the core strategies to keeping children in OOHC safe from sexual abuse, suggestions to minimise the weaknesses of regulation and audit and measures to address allegations of sexual abuse brought against carers. Residential and foster care has come a long way from the orphanages and practices of last century but there are still things which we think can be incorporated into best practice to ensure the possibility for sexual abuse of any child in OOHC is minimised. In all we made 10 recommendations as to the best practice approaches to the prevention of sexual abuse in OOHC. “ The Commission will hold a public forum in the first quarter of 2014 into the matters raised in Issues Paper 4 and the submission which has gone in from the Truth Justice and Healing Council will assist shape the agenda of that forum.
Truth Justice and Healing Frank Conversations to Tackle Abuse By Michael McVeigh
rofessor Maria Harries brings 45 years of experience working with victims of sexual abuse to her new position on the Truth, Justice and Healing Council. She says the Catholic Church needs to have a frank encounter with the realities of sexual abuse, and its response to the Royal Commission is just one aspect of that encounter. Appointed as one of ten lay members of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, Professor Maria Harries says she believes the Church’s task in facing the Royal Commission is about more than just responding to questions about its past actions. ‘I think it’s not about writing papers, it’s about having the conversations’, she says. ‘My hope, and dare I say it’s an expectation as well as a hope, is that we engage this Church with a frank encounter with, not just the realities of sexual abuse and the vulnerability of children and people, but what that means outside the Church as well as in the Church.’ Professor Harries is Adjunct Professor at Curtin University and a Senior Honorary Research Fellow in Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Western Australia. She has worked extensively with children and families in relation to mental health and trauma associated with experiences of abuse and violence, including many who have suffered abuse in institutional situations. She says confronting its past responses to abuse in its submis-
Members of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council.
sions to the Royal Commission is just a small part of what the Church needs to do. It also needs to initiate difficult discussions about vulnerability and power, not just within the clergy, but between all Catholics. ‘Those points of discussion, in which we confront our own failures and our own misunderstandings and our own errors, and face up to them, are to me part of a journey of faith that that many people are on already, but many more people need to be on’, she says. From her experiences working with victims, Prof Harries says there are a number of things that are important in any response to abuse perpetrated. ‘One is the encounter with somebody on behalf of the people who’ve done the abusing, because often the person who has done the abusing is no longer alive. So it’s somebody who has made a really deep and humble encounter with the victim’, she says. ‘The other one that has been really important for a lot of the
people I’ve worked with is to free themselves from what they’ve seen as the yoke of hatred and despair associated with the abuse. ‘The third one, and I can only say this among the men and women I’ve worked with in the Alliance for Forgotten Australians [people who were raised in institutional or out-of-home care], is the importance of making sure this doesn’t happen again. ‘And the fourth bit, which always hangs around, is the issue of compensation. It’s important for many, but it doesn’t make up for the others.’ Despite having so closely worked with many victims of clergy abuse, Professor Harries says she hasn’t lost her own faith in God. ‘I’m shocked by the extent of the abuse, but I shouldn’t be’, she says. ‘Because I believe that it is about the abuse of power than anything else. Why would I be surprised that it’s in all faiths, as well as outside all faiths? ‘I see the Church as a divinely human institution, full of
people who don’t necessarily get it right. And it’s subject to exactly the same human frailties as the rest of humanity.’ Professor Harries says she was worried that victims she’d worked with would see her joining the council as ‘joining the opposition’. But that’s not how she sees it, and not how victims she’s spoken to see it either. ‘There will always be people who will see the council – or other organisations like the council trying to do what they’re doing – as motivated by a defensive posture. But the council isn’t, from where I sit and what I experience, motivated by anything other than “we’ve got to sort this out”. ‘Whatever can happen to bring the truth out, and whatever can happen to make sure that we have systems to prevent the abuse from occurring again – that is why I’m there.’ Truth, Justice and Healing Council – www.tjhcouncil.org.au Story reprinted courtesy Australian Catholics Magazine.
Parish priests asked to read Catholic Church sexual abuse commitment statement at Mass
arish priests around Australia have been called on to acknowledge the start of Royal Commission hearings into Towards Healing on 9 December by reading the Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse commitment statement at Mass over the coming weeks. The statement, which has been endorsed by Church leaders across Australia, acknowledges the damage sexual abuse has done. It acknowledges past failings including cover-ups, failures of leadership and not believing victims.
It also provides a commitment to work towards repairing past wrongs, listening to and hearing victims, putting victims’ needs first, and doing everything possible to ensure a safer future for children. Mr Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council has written to some 1100 priests suggesting they read the statement, first published in the Council’s Towards Healing submission to the Royal Commission in
September, during Mass, make it available in Church foyers and publish it on Parish websites. “On 9 December, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will examine the Catholic Church’s protocols for addressing sexual abuse within the Church, Towards Healing”, Mr Sullivan said. “This will be the first time the Catholic Church will be the central focus of the Royal Commission. “Catholics around Australia
need to know how Church leaders are approaching the issue of sexual abuse and the disposition we are taking to the Commission. This is succinctly outlined in the commitment statement.” The Truth Justice and Healing Council is engaging with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on behalf of the Catholic Church in Australia. The Commitment Statement can be read at the Diocesan website: www.dbb.org.au
Reading Scripture Together – So Who Was Genesis? By Pina Bernard, Parish Support Unit The Children’s Illustrated Bible is a very recent addition to the range of Bibles offered through the Fr Harry Davis bequest. I immediately took it home to my family to see how effective it would be at keeping the interest of the most discerning of audiences – my children (aged 12-15).
e started reading, of course, at the beginning, with the creation story in Genesis Chapter 1. It was here that I realised that one of my children thought that the Book of Genesis was written by a person called ‘Genesis’ just like Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. (It actually means ‘the origin’ or ‘beginning’ in Greek.) This made me realise from the start how much we really needed to do this! Talk of the creation of the world led to animated discussion about God, the Big Bang, science, evolution, and even dinosaurs. Everyone pitched in, as we managed to cover the whole universe and beyond – a really great conversation. We are getting through the Exodus stories now, and as we go through story after story, a few things have begun to emerge: 1. I was pleasantly surprised that they actually knew most of the stories and people in the Bible from school.
2. They found the stories really interesting – journeys, floods, plagues, as well as love, promises, jealousy, deceit, sacrifice and betrayal. There were actually looking forward to the next day to hear what happened next. 3. Some themes of what God was like started to come through – God as one who breaks into your life and calls you; and God as always faithful. 4. We found we could apply it to real life – the story of Abel and Cain led to a discussion of sibling rivalry; the stories of Isaac / Rebekah and Jacob / Rachel led to discussions of relationships and marriage. 5. It gave us an opportunity to spend quality time together and share our common faith. If you are thinking if giving this a go, here are a few things to note: • Enthusiasm is contagious – start off positive • Pray at the start – always read scripture in a spirit of prayer
• Ask what each person heard in the story, and value their contribution • Expect God to speak – let God tell you what he is like through the stories of his people • Apply it to life – find ways to make the message relevant • Enjoy the time together – it’s priceless
The Children’s Illustrated Bible – an ideal Christmas gift Through the generosity of Fr Harry Davis’ estate, the Diocese of Broken Bay is able to offer the Children’s Illustrated Bible at a subsidised cost.
This attractively presented hardcover volume (30 x 23cm) narrates the stories of the whole Bible in a vivid and engaging way. Each story includes colourful illustrations which draw children’s attention, as well as additional sections with further information that gives greater meaning to the story. There are maps and photos, as well as introductory pages which explain key areas of Biblical knowledge. At a cost of $25.00, it makes a wonderful Christmas gift. To place an order, please contact Dina Leverett on 9847 0442.
• Just start – don’t put it off With technology and social media keeping individuals more and more segregated and apart from each other in family life, this is one way to bring everyone together. For further resources and information on the Biblical Apostolate please visit
Matthew 2:6 “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.” Lord, this Christmas, help us remember that from small, insignificant things can come greatness. We also remember Jesus who came like a shepherd: he knows us each by name, cares when we are hurting, calls us back when we stray away from him. Shepherd us always Lord, Amen.
Family Synod Consultation 2014
Pope Francis wants to hear your views! Catholics around the world are being asked their opinion
By Janette Davidson, Diocesan Coordinator Family Life Ministries, Parish Support Unit Family life will be the focus of an extraordinary general session of the Bishops that will meet at the Vatican from 5 – 19 October 2014.
eferring to the extraordinary nature of the 2014 Synod Cardinal Baldisseri (Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops) stated that the social and spiritual crisis of today’s world had impacted on family life and created a ‘situation of genuine pastoral urgency.’ Catholics from every diocese around the world therefore are invited to participate in a questionnaire on the many challenges facing the family today and how the topics (covered in the questionnaire) affect their daily lives. The questions asked include such topics as: the Church’s teachings on the family, marriage, pastoral care in difficult marital situations, family evangelisation, same sex unions, family planning and openness to children. The Extraordinary Synod, like the Second Vatican Council will be a pastoral rather than a doctrinally focused gathering and it is hoped this will help the Catholic
and wider community to respond to the real life challenges faced by families. The following summary is provided to update you on our Diocesan action in light of information you may have already received/read. • Pope Francis has called for an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops to take place at the Vatican between 5 -19 October 2014 to consider Pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation. • On the Broken Bay Diocesan website www.dbb.org.au you will find links to the Preparatory Document and Survey. The Survey can be completed on-line (preferably) or downloaded and posted or delivered to Janette Davidson at the Diocese who is the contact person for this process. • The website contains instructions on how to complete the Survey and an explanation of key words and phrases.
• The purpose of this consultation is to help the Church develop concrete proposals for another Synod in 2015 which in turn will produce specific guidance on the pastoral care of the family for our times. • All are encouraged to complete the Survey and invite others to participate as the Pope wants to hear from as wide a cross-section of the Catholic community as possible. • Survey responses must be received by 6 December 2013 at the latest to enable all responses to be collated and form part of a report by the Bishop to be forwarded to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. • An interim report has also been requested by 17 November 2013 and accordingly early completion of the survey would be of great assistance. Your participation in the Survey process is very important to the preparation of the report.
ACROSS Our Diocese
Bishop David L Walker Library By Heather Lang Diocesan Librarian
dvent is a time of joyful anticipation as we await the arrival of the Christ Child. A key element to this period of waiting is the opportunity to prepare hearts and minds, and to reflect and contemplate this amazing event. It can be difficult though to do this within a world which is rushing into a holiday season with an overriding message of commercialisation and selfish consumerism. The following selection of books will help to bring meaning back into this Holy Season. These and many more resources, including a great selection of DVDs, are available from the Bishop David L. Walker Library. If you are interested in borrowing any of these items, or would like more information about our service, please contact the library on 02 9847 0566 or emailing CIRS@dbb.org.au
Books Advent and Christmas wisdom from Henri J.M. Nouwen: daily Scripture and prayers together with Nouwen’s own words. Liguori, Mo.: Liguori Publications, c2004. [242.33 NOU 2004] The inspiring words of Henri J. M. Nouwen guide the faithful on a spiritual journey through the Advent and Christmas season in this book of waiting, hope, anticipation, and celebration. Each day of the Advent season (28 in all, to accommodate the varying number of days in the season) and each day of Christmas (12 in all, ending with Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist) contain a pertinent excerpt from the writings of Father Nouwen, a related quotation from Scripture, a prayer for the day, and a suggested activity that offers a concrete response to mark the season. Advent and Christmas Wisdom is indeed an easy-to-use, daily program to celebrate the momentous
arrival of the Christ Child and the joyous news of our salvation. It is also an ideal book for the individual seeking active participation in the season and a renewal of faith for the start of the liturgical year. Advent and Christmas wisdom from Saint Francis of Assisi : daily Scripture and prayers together with Saint Francis of Assisi’s own words. Liguori, Mo.: Liguori, c2008 [242.33 KRU 2008] It’s easy to get lost in the bustle of Christmas shopping and holiday parties, losing sight of God. Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St Francis of Assisi gives readers a momentary cease in the chaos, allowing daily meditation. Each day’s selection offers a new insight from one of the most beloved saints, St. Francis of Assisi. Through his words, we are reminded of the simplicity in poverty, the reverence of God’s word, of showing gratitude, and practicing forgiveness. Along with the words of St. Francis are daily Scripture readings and prayers that mirror his philosophy. After reflecting, readers will find an Advent action – something simple they can do to keep the words and prayers alive with them throughout the day. Catholic Christmas by Kathleen M. Carroll. Cincinnati, OH: St Anthony Messenger Press, 2011 [242.332 CAR 2011] What’s so Catholic about Christmas? The Church’s celebration of Christmas isn’t just for a day (or even twelve) but starts with the joyful waiting of Advent and lasts until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Fascinating stories of some favourite saints—such as Nicholas, Lucy, and Stephen—make their legends come alive, while the history and lore surrounding some of our most popular feasts—such as the Epiphany and the Immaculate Conception—will help you under-
stand the importance of keeping the Mass in Christmas. Embodied Light: Advent Reflections On The Incarnation by Melissa Tidwell. Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2013 [242.332 TID 2013] Embodies Light invites us to ponder our Creator’s daring adventure for taking on human flesh and living among us as Jesus of Nazareth. Melissa Tidwell’s reflections for Advent reveal how to follow this fully human, fully divine Jesus wholeheartedly with body, mind and spirit. She introduces specific spiritual practices to engage our bodies in prayer: gesturing, conversing, walking and singing. This four week journey is filled with scripture, stories, prayers and way to let our bodies guide us deeper into the mystery of the Incarnation. Exploring Advent with Luke: Four Questions for Spiritual Growth by Timothy Clayton. Notre Dame, Ind. Ave Maria Press, 2012. [242.332 CLA 2012] This exploration of Advent guides readers to rediscover the power of the events leading up to the birth of Christ. The four questions of Luke 1, as posed by Zechariah, Mary, Elizabeth, and the people in the Temple, spur readers to personal reflection on disappointment, inadequacy, openness, and trust. The author shows how Luke composed this first chapter of his gospel to deepen understanding of the birth of Jesus and how meditation on the questions posed by its main characters can help resolve issues that hinder the joy of Christmas. Designed to be used on a weekly basis through Advent and during the Twelve Days of Christmas, this reflective guide is ideal for individual and small-group use
Joyful Meditations for Everyday of Advent and the 12 days of Christmas by Warren J. Savage and Mary Ann McSweeny. Liguori, MO: Liguori Publications, 2010. [242.332 CLA 2012] The true meaning of Advent and Christmas finds its voice in Joyful Meditations for Every Day of Advent and the 12 Days of Christmas. From the First Sunday of Advent through Christmas and Epiphany for each liturgical year (A, B, and C), this book will help prepare for and deepen our experience this holy season. Opening each daily reflection is a Scripture quote from the day’s readings. The reflection then reaches out to us in our busy lives to consider what God’s Word has to offer us during the holidays. Next, a thought to ponder brings home the message for you – to really apply the reading and reflection to your life. Now say a Prayer, an offering and petition to the Lord in our anticipation of his arrival; finally a practice, a chance to change your daily routine in simple ways to bring God’s love to your life this joyous season. Singing Mary’s Song: An Advent Message of Hope and Deliverance by John Stroman. Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2012. [242.332 STO 2012] When Mary learns that she is to be the mother the Messiah, she sings an unusual song. It’s not just a sweet lullaby anticipating her baby’s birth. Instead the Mary’s song is an aria of freedom and hope for the homeless, the hungry, the refugee and the powerless. Gain a deeper understanding of the Advent journey through the eyes and experience of Mary, the mother Jesus. This book is ideal for individual and small-group use.
ACROSS Our Diocese
Growing Healthy Minds
KidsMatter Launch Day By Marianna Gale
St Mary’s School, Manly
ur childhood years are just as important for growing healthy minds as they are healthy bodies. With almost half of our mental health problems starting before we hit 14, it is important to provide young minds with the necessary tools to develop resilient minds and positivity. The staff of St Mary’s School, Manly have this year been working on integrating strategies and tools to enable children to develop these skills. The school officially launched a KidsMatter primary program on 1 November, at the end of Australia’s
mental health month and the day of our Catholic Church’s important feast of All Saints. The day began with a whole-school Mass in the parish church where they heard about the Saints of our past and present day. The children were actively encouraged to participate in a discussion about ‘what made a saint?’ Ultimately, it was agreed that Saints all put others before themselves. If we are able to be there for our neighbour we will be able to positively participate in and contribute to our future world as adults of tomorrow.
The KidsMatter framework that was launched at St Mary’s, focuses on the social and emotional well-being of every student, staff member and parent/carer. It is about providing lasting, continuous and sustainable change within the whole school community. It’s about working beyond the school building and forming partnerships with parents and carers. One of the most effective tools throughout the school’s community has been the concept of bucket filling. Students from K-6 are encouraged to fill ‘buckets’ with positive behaviour and awareness of others – putting others before ourselves. Bucket dippers are conversely those negative behaviours such as bullying and bad behaviour. We are already seeing positive changes this year as bucket filling is rewarded throughout the community with praise and acknowledgement for doing the right thing. The concept has also been brought to life through an enormous mural on one of the brick walls in the playground. The wellknown local graffiti artist Judd Shoppee offered us his valuable time to spray-paint a Manly beach sunrise onto the wall. Judd was given a standing ovation from students as they spontaneously clapped in admiration as they headed past at the end of the day. The image was designed to trigger positive thoughts, feelings and actions and work in conjunction with bucket filler drawings – to be added by every child in the school over the next few weeks.
Throughout the launch day, the school and parent community were able to visit classrooms, play games and join their children and friends for lunch in the playground. The children were so happy to have their parents with them and all the children had positive things to say about it, from “…my mum and I played soccer and it was so much fun” to “… I felt happy because my Dad played handball – I was winning.” Lunch came to an end with a surprise flash mob as the children from Yr K-6 started dancing. Class by class they fell into sequence to dance along to ‘Dare to be Square’ sung by Guy Sebastian. (You can see the Flash mob dance on the Diocesan website www.dbb.org.au) In the afternoon, the Diocesan leader of the KidsMatter framework, Liz Douglas, spoke to over 100 parents in the hall. They all walked away feeling positive and armed with lots of ideas to incorporate into their “parenting” arsenal. To help support parents with the KidsMatter framework, parent forums will continue to be offered on various social wellbeing and positive parenting topics. There is no doubt that the community of St Mary’s are benefitting from the fallout of this beautiful day and all the hard work and enthusiasm of a great team of staff. This is only the beginning and we hope that by continuing to promote these proven KidsMatter methods, we will ensure we are able to nurture happy, balanced kids.
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ACROSS Our Diocese
50th Anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium
By Fr David Orr osb
On the 4 December we will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy by the Second Vatican Council Fathers.
oday we take for granted that the liturgy we celebrate each Sunday will be in English, with a great diversity of ministers, that we will be fed a great fare of Scripture and take Communion from the altar, often under the signs of Bread and Wine. Our musicians will faithfully support us each week with a growing repertoire of music often sung by all. The Constitution in fact brought to our local community a new way of being Church. No longer were we to be spectators but we, the priestly people of God, now bring the sacrifice of our life to be consecrated through the ministry of the ordained to be formed the Body of Christ. While the ordained continues to serve the people of God through his presiding ministry, he no longer is expected to do everything himself. Today through our initiation into the life of Christ by Baptism and Confirmation we take our rightful place at the altar as the Constitution has reminded us. To celebrate this anniversary, and as a tribute to this great gift, a group of scholars from Australia and overseas has written a series of essays entitled Vatican Council II: Reforming Liturgy. They reflect on
Former Papal Master of Ceremonies, Archbishop Piero Marini, pictured with Sr Carmel Pilcher rsj and Fr David Orr osb.
the past but more importantly invite us to consider what still needs to be done to fully implement the liturgical reform. The book will be launched at Catholic Institute of Sydney, Strathfield, by Rev Tara Curlewis
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(General Secretary of the National Council of Churches) at 5.30 pm on Friday, the 6 December. All are most welcome to join us for this great event with Evening Prayer, the launch and light refreshments.
Bishop David Walker Retires Bishop of Broken Bay: 1996-2013
By Debra Vermeer
“My ministry as Bishop has enabled me to reach out to people throughout Australia, and I am happy to have made a contribution to their journey to God.”
ishop David Walker says that retirement will give him more opportunity to read, to catch up with friends and even perhaps to take up bowls, but mostly he is looking forward to doing more of what he’s always done – sharing the love of God with others through teaching and faith formation. Bishop David officially retired as Bishop of Broken Bay on Wednesday, November 13, when the Holy Father, Pope Francis, accepted his resignation, upon having reached his 75th birthday. He plans to retire to a unit in Chatswood and continue to be a part of the life of the Church, albeit at a more relaxed pace. “I’m looking forward to continuing on in the teaching side of the Bishops’ role, which I’ve enjoyed so much,” he says. “And teaching, of course, was something that I was engaged in even before I became Bishop. “There are a couple of natural outlets for me in that regard, in the Centre for Christian Spirituality at Randwick and the Broken Bay Institute (both of which he founded). And I want to explore using the Internet to do some teaching too.
“I also hope to be able to respond to invitations from people in the Diocese who might want me to do this or that in terms of teaching and faith formation or other things. “I feel like there are still lots of opportunities to be experienced. I might like to do some writing as well, write a book, and I want to read more. I also need to engage in more exercise, so I will probably look at doing something in that area. I might take up bowls. And it will be good to be able to spend more time with friends.” Looking back on his 17 years as Bishop, Bishop David says that the thing he has enjoyed the most is the contact with the people of the Diocese. “ That’s what it’s about, having that contact with people and helping them to grow in their faith. I see that as my role as Bishop,” he says. “Now those things, in a sense, are not measurable. Only God knows if I’ve been able to help individual people grow in their faith. But that’s what I’d like to be measured on.”
Continued from previous page
Bishop David says he has also tried to reach out to people beyond the Diocese, through the introduction of the popular e-conferences on the Gospels, and his work on various commissions of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. “I’ve tried to engage the bishops in some of the things that Broken Bay has done, such as the eConferences,” he says. “I think that finding new ways to communicate the message is so important.” He is eager to point out that much of the innovation and hard work behind such initiatives has been done by the Diocesan staff and others. “I’ve been very fortunate to have had people close to me who’ve been good people and very, very capable people,” he says. “So, often with these big initiatives, it would be these other wonderful people actually doing the work, but I’d get the credit.” Bishop David says he has also worked hard at promoting and developing the Catholic schools in the Diocese, including working with the teachers to enrich and deepen their faith. “I’m a believer in the schools,” he says. “We can always do better and we still haven’t found the answers in every area, but they do a wonderful job. The teachers set the tone, and I’ve enjoyed working with them. “And in the education area, of course, the BBI has been a big achievement
and I’m looking forward to remaining involved there. “I also think the Broken Bay News is something that people have appreciated.” The recent Diocesan Synod, which built on previous pastoral plans is another highlight for Bishop David as he looks back, as was buying the Caroline Chisholm Centre building at Pennant Hills, and moving the Curia, the Catholic Schools Office, CatholicCare and BBI all in together. “Bringing all of our agencies together has brought about a much closer and more collegial action within the Diocese,” he says. “I am grateful to the priests for working with me over the 17 years. I’ve always tried to work with the priests to ensure that the people are cared for well.” Bishop David says that in addition, he has sought to encourage lay people to take on leadership roles in the Diocese through initiatives such as the Star of the Sea Association of Ecclesial Women and introducing lay leadership to some parishes. “I’m aware that the lay leadership in parishes has been difficult for some priests,” he says. “But the lay leadership model is no threat to the priesthood. Ordained ministry is an essential part of our faith. However, we have been educating the laity for decades, but haven’t found places for them in the Church to exercise their skills and knowledge. So I’ve tried to work towards that.”
Bishop David is also thankful for the overseas priests who have come to Broken Bay to minister here, saying they have made a major contribution to the Diocese. The agreement with the Diocese of Xuan Loc in Vietnam, together with emerging relationships with the Archdiocese of Yangon in Burma and with Bishops in Zambia will all work together into the future to enrich the Diocese and, together with the local clergy, maintain good levels of pastoral care, he says. He cites the ecumenical covenant with the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle as a concrete expression of the commitment to ecumenism in the Diocese and says the decision to move the Diocesan Cathedral from St Ives to Waitara, primarily
because of better transport links, has worked out well. As he prepares to step back from his role as chief shepherd of the Diocese, Bishop David says he is thankful to God for the experience of the last 17 years. “I realise now that when I became a bishop, I certainly did not realise all that it entailed, and I doubt that anybody does,” he says. “But as I look back, I am grateful, because it has been a great opportunity to serve the Church in a new way. It opened up a whole new form of ministry for me and I don’t regret it by any means. It’s been wonderful.” A Farewell Mass for Bishop David will take place on Saturday14 December at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara at 12pm, followed by morning tea at the Light of Christ centre. All are welcome.
After a lifetime work of teaching and formation Bishop David was appointed Bishop of Broken Bay in July 1996. I first met him when I was appointed Bishop in November of the following year. I was impressed by his goodness and depth of learning. His natural gifts have always been placed at the service of people – of the Church in Australia, and of his brother Bishops. The formation offered by the Broken Bay Institute and its predecessors show his complete commitment to providing theological education broadly across the Church and of forming an educated and articulate laity. His tireless generosity and wise leadership have brought him to devote his life, with little thought of himself, to the needs of his people with whom he has formed a genuine bond of friendship and outreach, and has indeed provided great inspiration. Of particular value has been the formation he has offered and inspired reaching to the new media and engaging with the people of today. Bishop David is a valued member of our Bishops Conference and has worked with great generosity as Chair of the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry and as a member of the Bishops Commission for Health and Community Services. As we bid him farewell, he leaves behind strong structures for formation and theological education as well as pastoral concern, addressing the fact that priests are fewer in number, and that many lay people are seeking stronger involvement in the mission of the Church because of the depth and integrity of what he has inspired. Bishop David, we salute you and thank you for your gifts as a priest of God, an exemplary teacher and guide to the people of Broken Bay and beyond. Ad multos annos! Archbishop Denis Hart ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
In a very early meeting with Bishop David, I asked him how he saw him best fulfilling his role as pastoral leader in the Diocese. The clear message he gave was that he wanted to be a Bishop who was out with the people, to be with them in their lives and to be able to take every opportunity to provide faith formation whenever possible wherever people were in their faith journey. This conviction set much of the strategy for the next 15 years and lead to initiatives such as the Broken Bay Institute, new RE curriculum in our schools, revised professional development for our priests and the establishment of a Diocesan agency dedicated to supporting parishes. These are just a few of the innovations Bishop David has put his stamp on while at Broken Bay. While not all of the projects have necessarily gone as planned Bishop would always back his judgement following appropriate input from his advisors. While having real and appropriate regard for his priests, Bishop David particularly has honoured his view of a real and legitimate place for laypeople in the Church. The development of parish councils, Diocesan councils for women and laity, Diocesan pastoral councils and two significant pastoral planning initiatives in part is testament to this view. As one of these laypeople it has been my great pleasure and privilege to work with and alongside this contemporary Bishop. David Penny, Co-ordinator of the Curia, Diocesan Financial Administrator
On behalf of all involved in Catholic education within the Diocese, I thank you for the wonderful leadership you have shown of our school system. You have been generous and supportive of Catholic education. It has been obvious that you have seen it as vital to the Mission of the Church. Your vision of schools as centres for discipleship where students and staff grow in their understanding and practice as disciples of Jesus, has been central to your role as Pastor of the Diocese. Your imprint has been left on the schools through your statement about the Catholic Worldview and Catholic Character. These statements are now foundational to the school system and have formed a culture particular to the schools of Broken Bay. Your engagement with the schools through visits and attendance at meetings has been much appreciated. At the Year 12 BYTE and Year 6 Cluster Mass, students warm to you through your friendly, relaxed manner. Most notably, your generous commitment to the Ministry of Teacher course has been a powerful engagement with staff of the schools. This “hands on” professional development has been a formative experience for the critical mass of teachers within the Diocese. We thank you for your strong, clear leadership of Catholic education which has made it more effective in fulfilling its mission of bringing students, parents and staff into relationship with Jesus. Peter Hamill, Director of Schools
I have been privileged to be Bishop David’s Vicar General and to have worked closely with him for fifteen years. What has always impressed me is that his decisions and actions flow from his prayer life and his relationship with Jesus. He always says and does what he believes to be right, even if it may be unpopular. Under his leadership the Diocese has grown and he has given us a common mission statement, pastoral plans and a Synod. He taught us about pastoral charity, Catholic character, discipleship and Jesus. The Bishop has especially encouraged us priests to work with the people and has given the laity every opportunity to become involved in the leadership and mission of the Church in Broken Bay. He has established the Permanent Diaconate and Ecclesial Women and welcomed international priests into the Diocese. He has drawn the diverse parts of the Diocese together. First we came together under one roof and now increasingly the Diocese, parishes, schools, CatholicCare and BBI are working together on common projects. With Bishop David as our pastor the Good News of Jesus is being preached in the Diocese of Broken Bay. Fr Vince Casey, Diocesan Administrator Bishop David Walker will be remembered as a trailblazer in Catholic adult faith education. From the moment he saw the response of people to public lectures he and friends were giving in the 1960s, responding to the hope of Vatican II, Bishop David knew he must find creative ways to reach people with quality adult education, giving birth to distance education in 1969 when he and friends began the Catholic Correspondence Courses. These courses reached tens of thousands of people, and proudly continues to this day. Never complacent, Fr David established The Centre for Christian Spirituality in 1978, becoming affectionately known as “The Centre,” offering a year-long residential program, “Spirituality for Leadership” for almost a decade, and forming over 300 people during this time. However, his greatest legacy was giving birth to distance tertiary theological education, becoming a Member Institute of the Sydney College of Divinity in 1994. The academic programs of The Centre became the bedrock of The Broken Bay Institute (BBI) which began in 2003. This vision continued to expand when BBI entered the Public Square of tertiary education, becoming affiliated with The University of Newcastle in 2009. This vision sees BBI now delivering theological education for all people, not just Catholics, or Christians, even believers from other religions, but also for the many people searching for meaning and understanding in their life who claim no religious faith – truly a sign of the times, a sign of the Church being closely aligned to God’s mission to all. 2013, the year of Bishop David’s retirement as Bishop of Broken Bay, is the year BBI celebrates its 10th anniversary. Bishop David has much to celebrate, and the world of Catholic adult faith education, particularly those involved in distance education, have much to be grateful for his extraordinary legacy. As Bishop David says at the end of every homily, “Let us reflect!” Dr Gerard Goldman, Chief Executive Officer, BBI CatholicCare (previously Centacare Broken Bay) has drawn deeply from the wisdom and guidance provided by Bishop David’s leadership. Many thousands of children, young people, individuals, couples and families using CatholicCare programs throughout the Diocese have experienced the impact of Bishop’s commitment to practical support for the everyday issues faced by all of us from time to time in daily life. Bishop David has always believed that providing social care services and supports for all of our people is important. He has strengthened connections between our Diocesan agencies, parishes and priests leading to initiatives such as CatholicCare being able to work closely with many of our Catholic Primary Schools in running support groups for children and also parents, when a need for focus on particular issues such as family communication or childhood anxiety arises in a local school community. Bishop’s vision for filling the gap between baptism and school enrolment for young families has also resulted in the opening of three new Early Learning Centres for children co-located with parishes and schools at Forestville, Lake Munmorah and Terrigal, as well as the large scale refurbishment of a new Family Centre within the Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral Precinct at Waitara. His promotion of cross-agency support for marriage and family relationships has assisted CatholicCare staff to work closely with the Parish Support Unit so that priests throughout the Diocese can refer couples for pre-marriage workshops, and stressed families for assistance to hopefully avoid separation and divorce. Bishop David has been committed to the needs of all people, especially those affected by disability and also those who are hospitalised, via chaplaincy and direct pastoral care. We thank Bishop David for his practical translation of gospel values into the programs we provide, we will miss him greatly, and wish him all the very best in retirement. Deirdre Cheers, Executive Director, CatholicCare I have always found Bishop David to be very inspiring, both personal and professionally. You can tell that he’s got a love for learning and a real love and desire for everyone to be fully participating in the Church. This is evidenced by the fact that he has created so many opportunities for lay people to take a more active role in the local Church. He set up things like the Forum for Laity, the Council for Women and the Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC). Bishop David genuinely wants people to step forward and participate. On a personal level, I have been struck by his love for the Scriptures. In his teaching, you can tell he’s actually reflected deeply. It’s not just textbook stuff; it’s from his own reflection. And Bishop David is very easy to talk to. You can approach him and he’ll respond warmly. That’s a reflection of his inclusive approach. It’s not all about hierarchy for him. Carole Gan, Director, Parish Support Unit
ACROSS Our Diocese
What do you say? What do you do? By Phil Jones
Catholic Parish of Frenchs Forest
ow do you respond to sexual abuse? If it is you who has experienced it, if it was perpetrated on someone in your care, if you know a perpetrator, if you hear about it constantly through the media, or if you are a priest ministering to a congregation, the question remains a difficult one. We now understand that for someone who has experienced it, it is generally something they never forget. It is relived, often every day. Do they tell someone? If so, who do they tell and why? Is there anything to gain? Can telling the story prevent anyone else being afflicted in the same way? For some, the experience has been so painful that they end their life. For a carer, the nagging question might be, what could I have done to prevent it? Why was I so trusting? How much am I to blame (when common-sense tells me I’m not)? Some years ago a teacher at my daughter’s school as given adverse publicity in The Manly Daily. Shortly after, he took his own life. Three colleagues I have known during my teaching career, who certainly seemed to be very decent, caring and professional individuals have spent time behind bars – two of them for a very long time. In the past, offenders were moved on in the hope, or with the assumption, they would cease their betrayal, only for it to emerge that the inclination to offend
never seems to go away. How are perpetrators to be treated? How do you respond? What do you do? Leave the Church crying “hypocrisy”? Understandable, but not fair or logical. It is the Church first of all that preaches that this is wrong and promotes values appropriate to human sexuality. Nor do those who express their sexual disorder in this way represent the Church and its values. Our Christian faith says hatred of the perpetrator is not the answer as medicos and legislators struggle to decide on the acceptability of chemical treatments. Yet detection and prevention must also be the concern for a Christian. But for those affected and for those close to them, silence, secrecy or attempting to forget and “just move on” is not the answer either. Accordingly, members of the Catholic Parish of Frenchs Forest, led by Father Michael O’Toole and in the presence of Fr Tom McDonough, Fr Michael Hickey and Fr Brian Traynor of the Passionist Congregation gathered at St Anthony’s, Terrey Hills, on the evening of 17 September. It was the third such event in what has now become an annual occasion. It was not important to say or do anything, Fr Michael pointed out. What was important was to “be with”, to
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!” Lord, this Christmas help us to be peacemakers to all around us, to try to heal rather than divide, to bring a blessing rather than a curse. Bring harmony among families, communities and nations, and help us to foster a peaceful heart. Bring peace to all, Amen.
unite in solidarity. While the past could not be undone, those affected can always be told that those around them care. Solidarity, Solidarity, Solidarity was the loudly spoken message of the evening. As one of the readings stated: “But when we truly love, we are content to stand beside others in their struggles and sorrows. When we sit with someone who
is in pain or bereaved, broken or confused, without wanting or needing to do or even say, then we are bringing God’s unconditional love and compassion to others.” Finding Your Hidden Treasure – The Way of Silent Prayer, Benignus O’Rourke OSA For information and support services available within the Diocese, please see Page 12 or visit www.dbb.org.au
After you have
attended TO YOUR family,
relatives & FRIENDS, would you
TO LEAVE IN YOUR WILL
for your faith community?
For more information regarding a bequest to the Diocese of Broken Bay or your local parish, please contact the Diocesan Bequest Officer on 9847 0750
Faith into Local Action
Year 5 students from St Bernard’s Catholic School, Berowra Heights demonstrated their discipleship response during Lent by participating in the ‘The Dish’ project as part of the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Parish. Their contribution involved donating ingredients and then preparing a hearty vegetable soup and delicious berry trifle for the food van that supports the needy in the Hornsby area each week.
Indigenous Reconciliation Pilgrimage In April, twenty students from Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood and St Paul’s Catholic College, Manly travelled on a unique indigenous reconciliation pilgrimage to Broken Hill. The aim of the pilgrimage was for students to gain a broader worldview of the lives of others in Australian indigenous communities and a deeper appreciation of indigenous issues and culture. One of the most significant and spiritual parts of each day was the yarning circle which provided an opportunity for prayer, reflection and thanksgiving.
25 Years and Going Strong
St John Fisher Catholic School, Tumbi Umbi celebrated their twenty five year anniversary in great style by staging a whole school musical, “Parrabbables” – the first in their new hall. The students performed ABBA
Landcare Project at MacKillop
Primary students from MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale have been working with WetlandCare Australia and Wyong Council on a number of practical activities designed to improve the catchment values for Porters Creek Wetlands. During this time they have not only increased their knowledge and appreciation of wetland biodiversity, but have been able to educate the wider student population on ways to care for this important ecosystem. The children and members of staff participated in a Junior Landcare project in May which involved planting over 160 native plants in the primary grounds.
Central Coast Catholic Schools Primary St Patrick’s Catholic School, East Gosford Holy Cross Catholic School, Kincumber St Brendan’s Catholic School, Lake Munmorah
songs to tell some of the better known parables from the Bible. Each grade was responsible for a song and worked hard for over a term during music classes with music and classroom teachers.
Central Coast Catholic Schools Choral Day The third Central Coast Choral Day was held in August with 360 students from ten Central Coast Catholic primary schools taking to the stage at St Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah. Performing to an audience of over one thousand, each school sang two songs and then joined together for a grand finale of a number of entertaining melodies. St Peters’ students provided live music to accompany the massed choir and also assisted by managing the sound, stage and lighting on the day. A gold coin donation at the door raised over $660 for St Vincent de Paul.
Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic School, Terrigal Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School, The Entrance St Mary’s Catholic School, Toukley St John Fisher Catholic School, Tumbi Umbi MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale (K-12)
Good News Stories from Broken Bay Schools Buy a Brick’ Day
St Mary’s Netball Dads!
The school communities of St Joseph’s Catholic School, Narrabeen, along with the St Rose Catholic School, Collaroy have been supporting the building of a church in South Korea through fundraising activities. The schools together with The Lakes Parish initiated a ‘Buy a Brick’ Day in September. Children were encouraged to do a special job around the house in exchange for a gold coin which was then used to buy a paper brick and decorate it. These bricks were displayed on one of the church walls to make a beautiful paper church.
The school community at St Mary’s Catholic School, Toukley celebrated Father’s Day with their annual Dads vs Year 6 netball game with the students keen to avenge their loss in 2012. The near capacity crowd was treated to an exciting 9-9 draw. The penalty shootoff proved the deciding factor with the Dads scoring two goals.
Social Justice Day Over 220 students attended the fourteenth annual Year 10 Broken Bay Social Justice Day at Oxford Falls in September. The theme, Together for Humanity, provided students the opportunity to gather, learn and be challenged to live out their Catholic faith by contributing to a more just and sustainable society. Students attended diverse workshops and representatives from the Together for Humanity Foundation facilitated a plenary session. Students used the ‘see, judge and act’ method to identify ecology as one of the main areas of concern for 2014.
Choir Wins National Eisteddfod Fine-tuned voices from St Joseph’s Catholic College, East Gosford combined to win the Australian National Eisteddfod in Canberra. As well as taking first place in the under 19 showcase division of the eisteddfod, the choir also came second in the under 19 open section. The talented and hardworking Year 7 to 12 students performed an entertaining and varied repertoire with plans to use the prize money for a professional recording.
Whether it is dancing as a couple, a team or as an individual; students from Maria Regina Catholic School, Avalon love to participate in the Dancefever programme. This year the children learnt the Cha Cha, Fox Trot, Jive, Salsa, Samba and Paso Doble. Students from Years 3-6 competed in the recent Dancefever Interschool Challenge held at Homebush State Sports Centre and were thrilled to win the overall challenge trophy for Year 6 and second place for Year 4 in Division B.
Broken Bay Catholic Schools Going Forward Together St John the Baptist Catholic School, Woy Woy Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School, Wyoming St Cecilia’s Catholic School, Wyong
Secondary St Joseph’s Catholic College, East Gosford St Brigid’s Catholic College, Lake Munmorah St Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale (K-12)
Celebrating 2013 KidsMatter Launch at St Philip Neri A number of schools within the Diocese of Broken Bay have implemented the KidsMatter program, an Australian Primary Schools Mental Health Initiative aimed at helping schools work with parents and carers, to nurture happy, balanced kids. St Philip Neri Catholic School,
Northbridge gathered together to celebrate the launch of KidsMatter in their school community with activities including the official presentation of a KidsMatter mural, a parent / child picnic lunch on the green and a students vs teachers vs parents netball competition.
t r a e H r o f e p o R p Jum
d as was a sea of re , East Gosford ol pe ho Ro Sc p ic m ol Ju th niversary of St Patrick’s Ca w y for the 30th an ne da f eir of th p f of jum ing eir they held th ng and show pi ip sk n fu d en ha udents e term. Stud ts for Heart. The st rnt throughout th lea d ha ns, ey th s ck hip and donatio skills and the tri rough sponsors th 0 20 $6 . e rk bl wo di g raised an incre inue their life savin t Foundation cont helping the Hear
Parents eager for tips on digital play Early childhood expert, Dr Kate Highfield from Macquarie University addressed over 100 parents from Maria Regina Catholic School, Avalon and Our Lady Help of Christians, Epping and their local commu-
nities at a free seminar about apps for learning and creativity. Parents learned what makes for good gaming, how much is too much screen time and how to assess the educational quality of apps.
Inaugural Bishop David Walker St Religious Art Prize Exhibition udent
Over 200 artworks were submitted as entries to the Ina David Walker St ugural Bishop udent Religious Art Prize Exhibitio commended entri n. W inning and es were awarded at the official op exhibition by Vica ening of the art r General, Fr Vinc e Casey. First pla ary category was ce in the second awarded to Year 9 Stella Maris Co Fletcher for her llege student, Av artwork titled, ‘Y a ou are the Light Your Light Shine’. s of the World, Le First place in the t primary category Alysha Ibarburu was awarded to in Year 6 at St M ar y’s her artwork titled Catholic School , ‘His Sunset’. , Manly for
North Shore Catholic Schools Primary St Patrick’s Catholic School, Asquith St Bernard’s Catholic School, Berowra Heights St Gerard’s Catholic School, Carlingford
Our Lady of Dolours Catholic School, Chatswood Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic School, Epping Holy Family Catholic School, Lindfield St Philip Neri Catholic School, Northbridge St Agatha’s Catholic School, Pennant Hills
Good News Stories from Broken Bay Schools OLGC Mission Awareness Day
Mater Links Day
During Catholic Schools Week, Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood welcomed hundreds of Year 3 students from the Peninsula Learning Community of Catholic Schools within the Diocese of Broken Bay, to take part in the College’s annual Links Day. This event allows the Year 3 students to get
a taste of high school as well as develop relationships with other students in the community of schools. The students participated in a range of activities in the areas of visual arts, drama, physical activity and science. The students then finished off their day with a sausage sizzle cooked and prepared by the Year 11 Mater Maria House Captains.
Science Week a Blast at Sacred Heart
Celebrating Literacy & Numeracy Week
Students at St John the Baptist Catholic School, Freshwater, were thrilled to meet and learn from nine children’s boo k authors and illustrators who visited as part of the school’s celebration of Liter acy and Numeracy Week. The children were treated to presentations from the auth ors and illustrators, learning how to make their own writing and illustrations tell a stor y. Authors and illustrators then joined in, as the school celebrated literature and a love of reading with a whole school afternoon tea. Authors and illustrators were more than happy to sign and write personal message s to children in copies of their books.
Over the past four years there has been a focus on Science and Technology at Sacred Heart Catholic School, Pymble. The School recently held a Science Day with a focus on chemical science to celebrate National Science Week. During this day, Kindergarten to Year 2 rotated between classes, learning about food mixtures. Year 3 and 4 students participated in a variety of experiments that examined solids, liquids and gases and their properties, while Year 5 and 6 students investigated states of matter and looking at physical and chemical changes. Science activities included making sherbert, exploding rockets and changing the colour of white carnations.
Catholic Good Counsel Our Lady of ated in le recently particip School, Forestvil nce life rie ess Day to expe a Mission Awaren asses Cl . te na hers less fortu in the shoes of ot ricity, ct ele s, ht lig without me spent the day So . coloured pencils e on desks, books or on rk d all their wo il nc classes complete pe d lea e using only on hs piece of paper at ted m ergarten comple for the day. Kind her classOt s. ve lea d an tasks using twigs limited ed outside and us es had lessons Lunch . ing rn lea ort their resources to supp d to eat. wl of rice or brea consisted of a bo have been s and staff may Although student a worthall agreed it was a little hungry they e. ng experienc while and humbli
Mercy Students Make Connections Two students from Mercy Catholic College, Chatswood, Cynthia Constantin and Emma Woo, recently had the privilege of representing their school at the bi-annual Australian Mercy Secondary Schools Association (AMSSA) Conference, held in Auckland, New Zealand. The girls had the opportunity to meet with students from other Mercy schools from around Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Through a range of speakers, workshops, group discussions and practical activities, the gathered students developed ‘Mercy Plans for Action’, by using their schools as launching pads.
Broken Bay Catholic Schools Going Forward Together
Sacred Heart Catholic School, Pymble Corpus Christi Catholic School, St Ives Prouille Catholic School, Wahroonga Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School, Waitara Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Catholic School, West Pymble
St Thomas’ Catholic School, Willoughby Secondary Mercy Catholic College, Chatswood St Leo’s Catholic College, Wahroonga
Everything OLD is NEW again at OLD Chatswood The annual Creative Arts Festival is a great tradition at Our Lady of Dolours Catholic School (OLD), Chatswood, showcasing talented singers, dancers, musicians and actors at the school. A highlight of the Festival each year is the presentation of the Kindergarten Debutants and their partners in all their fin-
St Brigid’s Set to Open
Preparations are well under way to open the Diocese’s newest seconda ry school in 2014, St Brigid’s Catholi c College at Lake Munmorah. Founding Principal, Mrs Julie Terry, together with a committed group of parents and staff at the Catholic Schools Office have been working hard to realise Bishop David Walker’s visio n of a new Diocesan Catholic College. The College will welcome seventy Year 7 stud ents at the beginning of the 2014 school year .
Peninsula Catholic Schools Primary Maria Regina Catholic School, Avalon St Cecilia’s Catholic School, Balgowlah St Rose Catholic School, Collaroy Plateau
ery to the Mayor. OLD Kindergarten teacher, Sarah Onishe has a special perspective on the tradition, not only has she helped prepare her Kindergarten debutants this year, she herself was one of the debutants when she attended the school.
St Peter’s Secures Project Funding in the Arts St Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah has been awarded a $20,000 grant to promote Asian perspectives across the curriculum. The grant was used to develop teaching resources and cross-curricular links between Senior Music and Dance classes at the College. A major outcome of the project was the creation of Balinese influenced performance pieces by senior Music and Dance students. As a follow up to the project, and due to high student interest, students experienced a cultural exchange to Bali to train with Balinese musicians and dancers.
s the Broken Bay Students from acros ve achieved fantastic System of Schools ha of sports in 2013. results in a wide range primary students ten d Eleven secondary an Representative teams made NSW All School luding baseball, basin a range of sports inc rugby union, swimketball, cricket, netball, ll. Congratulations tba ming and touch foo MacKillop Catholic to Francis Brown, who was selected for College, Warnervale oy Rugby Union Team the Australian Schoolb St Leo’s Catholic t, gh and to Rohan Bri who claimed nine College, Wahroonga m the 2013 World swimming medals fro USA. Dwarf Games held in the
Tower Model Attracts Attention Recognising the way Australian is presented to the world is important to the students of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School, Wyoming. Students chose to express their appreciation of Australia by researching an Australian icon. The students worked independently to research their chosen icon and then were given the brief, to use a collection of natural and man-made materials to replicate their icon. One student, Mitchell Benson, researched Westfield Centrepoint Tower and was impressed by the design and its unique position in the Sydney skyline. His scaled model was displayed at Westfield Tuggerah during Education Week.
St Martin’s Catholic School, Davidson St Kevin’s Catholic School, Dee Why Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic School, Forestville St John the Baptist Catholic School, Freshwater St Mary’s Catholic School, Manly
Good News Stories from Broken Bay Schools Child and Parent Project Day St Brendan’s Catholic School, Lake Munmorah held their first Child and Parent Project display in October. The six week initiative provided a quality opportunity for adults to connect with their children. The event showcased the creative talent within the school community, with projects including billy-carts, possum houses, bird cages and tree-houses. There was great enthusiasm from the children at the culmination of the project, when all involved came together for a display evening, presenting their project and discussing their key learning from working together.
Students Teach the Teachers
Broken Bay Catholic schools who are embracing digital learning shared their expertise with fellow schools at a mobile learning showcase in October. The innovative day included a wide variety of student led workshops for the gathered principals and teachers. A live twitter feed provided instant feedback, with students on hand to help teachers learn to
tweet. Students from St Patrick’s Catholic School, Asquith; St John the Baptist Catholic School, Freshwater; Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School, Waitara; and St Thomas’ Catholic School, Willoughby showcased their school’s approach to learning in the digital age.
One World at Waitara
With over 42 nationalities at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School, Waitara, their annual multicultural day is a highlight of the school calendar. The students came dressed in their elaborate national costumes or in the colours of their heritage. The day began with a Mass of thanksgiving followed by multi-
age group activities involving art, music and dance from around the globe. Children nominated themselves to perform a special item from their culture for the school. Performances ranged from Indian Bollywood performances, Korean folk songs, Filipino traditional games and a Brazilian samba.
St Paul’s biggest building project underway
is undertaking the largest building St Paul Catholic College, Manly n. Worth $7.5 million, the building project since the school’s inceptio d since the College was built in work is also the single biggest spen 4, the College will for the first time 1965. When complete in late 201 e hall as well as new music, art and have a contemporary multi-purpos rbishment of the North Block, due hospitality facilities. Extensive refu . 3, was completed earlier this year to major storm damage in mid-201
Broken Bay Catholic Schools Going Forward Together St Kieran’s Catholic School, Manly Vale Sacred Heart Catholic School, Mona Vale St Joseph’s Catholic School, Narrabeen St John’s Catholic School, Narraweena
Secondary St Paul’s Catholic College, Manly Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood
‘Spark of Mercy lights up my heart’ Sr Katrina: What first drew you to the Sisters of Mercy?
McAuley, who said: “The poor need help today, not next week”.
I was fascinated by their caring, generous and compassionate hearts. When I first met Sr Catherine Ryan RSM she made a deep impression on me. She said to me, “We support you, Katrina. It doesn’t mean you have to join us. Don’t feel obliged. We support you to stand on your own feet and choose your own path for your life.” I have never forgotten her beautiful words. This was when the first Spark of Mercy lit my heart. In 2010, I entered the novitiate as I wanted to be a member of the Sisters of Mercy, whom I witnessed as having a strong sense of mission to the poor and marginalised. I’ve lived with the Sisters of Mercy for three years now, and have grown in my appreciation of their kind, compassionate and generous spirit as they follow in the footsteps of their founder, Venerable Catherine
Sr Katrina: What do you love best about your ministry? I work as a pastoral carer in a hospital and really enjoy and value my ministry there as I feel that whenever I visit patients and encounter their vulnerability and pain, I’m meeting the suffering Jesus. My deepest desire is to serve the poor and the sick who may be in physical, emotional, spiritual or psychological need. Although I can never fulfil every need, I’m grateful if I can give some comfort to patients and their families. “A sorrow shared can be a sorrow softened. A happiness shared can be a happiness heightened” is a Chinese proverb which often comes to mind. The Spark of Mercy continues to light up my heart. To find out more about a vocation to religious life contact: Sr Margaret Sheppard RSM Tel (02) 9683 2555, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sr Katrina: “My deepest desire is to serve the poor and the sick.”
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Could the Spark of Mercy, light up your life as a Sister of Mercy? To find out more about a vocation to Religious Life contact: Sister Margaret Sheppard, RSM Phone 02 9683 2555 email@example.com Websites to check: www.parramattamercy.org.au www.mercy.org.au/mercyworks/ www.mercyinternational.ie
News and Issues
Together for Humanity The Together for Humanity Foundation is an inclusive, multifaith, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to diversity education, teaching students to replace religious and cultural prejudice with mutual respect and cooperation. We are Muslims, Christians, Jewish and Indigenous people and others who show how we enjoy being together. Our National Director is Rabbi Zalman Kastel from St Ives. The Diocese of Broken Bay supports our vision. Together for Humanity was the key feature of the recent Year 10 Social Justice Day where the Rabbi Zalman; Ahmed, a Muslim; and Sue, a Catholic demonstrated how we need to get people ‘Out of the Box’ of stereotype and prejudice.
Come ye to Bethlehem 2013
“Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem to the city of David called Bethlehem…” (Luke 2:4) By Bishop Pat Power
s we remind ourselves each year, Joseph and Mary made their long journey, compelled by a census. It became a journey of joy as Mary gave birth to a baby whom we call the Prince of Peace. As we sing Christmas carols we are invited to think of Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born. This year I’d invite you to think also of what Bethlehem has become today. To make the journey from Nazareth in Israel to Bethlehem in the occupied Palestinian territories today, Mary and Joseph would have to cross through approximately 70 Israeli barriers – checkpoints, fences, walls and barriers which would involve multiple interrogations and delays – and they would be lucky to be allowed through at all. These same barriers prevent shepherds watching their flocks, either by day or by night. Most people in Bethlehem have been cut off from their grazing lands, having significant economic effects. To get work in nearby Jerusalem means being able to get a special permit, which are difficult and few in number. The Magi would probably not have been able to get anywhere near Bethlehem, and the Holy Family certainly couldn’t have fled to Egypt when the threats to life began. As I write, there are reports of Israeli settlers throwing rocks at Palestinian cars entering Bethlehem, and destroying Palestinian olive trees. A new film made
by Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers titled Bethlehem is dubbed a ‘dark thriller’ for its close-up portrayal of life in the West Bank. So is there a bright shining star over Bethlehem today that guides us to the Christ? Indeed there is! Ask any who have taken the road to Bethlehem – and they will speak of the life of Christ lived out among the people. Firstly in this place there is such assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. That while the reality of life stands so bleakly – people know without a doubt that God continues to dwell amongst the people, and that the love of God will prevail. You can hear the convictions of Christ from Church leaders, who speak with the words of the prophets calling for justice and mercy. And of the many Christian organisations in Bethlehem there are so many people who follow the way of Christ – to both resist evil and love our enemies. I invite you to behold the Bethlehem of today and enter the story of the journey of Christ. The parallels of the suffering of the people today with the story of Jesus’ entry to this world allow us to enter the story of Christ’s entry to our world in a profound way. Because the journey of Christ, though it comes through suffering, is always a journey of joy. Bishop Pat Power is a member of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network www.pien.org.au For some Advent reflections from Christian Palestinian leaders, please see www.kairospalestine.ps
Do you want to make a difference? Together for Humanity is funded through donations, government grants and volunteer work.
Are you able to do some parttime volunteer or pro-bono work in our office or as a bookkeeper? Would you like to volunteer as a Christian presenter? We are looking for dynamic volunteers and presenters who are great with kids, and have a passion for interfaith work. Jewish, Christian and Muslim presenters conduct workshops and presentations ranging from one hour to full days. If you are interested in becoming an office or presenter volunteer, please contact John McGrath, Assistant Director (Mission), CSO, on 9847 0292 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ACROSS Our Diocese
Northbridge Children’s Choir visit St Mary’s Cathedral
By Lisa Lewis
ctober 22nd, was a very special day for us all; the recently formed Northbridge Children’s Choir had been invited to observe and rehearse with the Choristers of St Mary’s Cathedral for the afternoon, take a tour of the Cathedral, followed by Mass at 5.30pm. Twenty one very excited young choristers-in-training boarded the bus at St Philip Neri school, accompanied by staff and parent helpers. The Northbridge Children’s Choir members come from local schools;
Northbridge Public school and St Philip Neri, plus a member from Cammeray Public School, and they all contribute their time and talents by singing regularly to rehearse for the fourth Sundays of the month, when they sing at the 9am Mass at SPN. This was their first big excursion into the Cathedral to witness the extraordinarily talented choristers at work, and an amazing opportunity to work with Mr Thomas Wilson, Director of Music at the Cathedral and Mr Oliver Brett, Organist.
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Here, our choristers sang Ave Maria by Lindley, conducted by Mr Wilson and accompanied by Mr Brett on the organ. It was marvellous to hear how their voices sounded in the Cathedral! Having thanked Mr Wilson and Mr Brett for a wonderful experience we had a little break outside while the choristers did their final rehearsal before Mass at 5.30pm. The choristers processed solemnly in their robes, singing in Latin. They also sang Panis Angelicus by Franck and Lindley’s Ave Maria; they sound so impressive. Their voices are so incredibly pure and strong. The boys themselves are already formidable musicians and still so young; they have amazing teachers and precious talents. We thank them for sharing this with us. What an experience!
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We arrived in time for afternoon tea under the arches of the Cathedral, near the crypt, where we met Mr Wilson, Mr Brett and the choristers. Then off to work! They invited our choristers to stand in front of the piano, surrounded by the sounds of the St Mary’s choristers, which was truly inspiring. They sang music by Mozart, Franck and Lindley, and invited NCC to join in with Lindley’s Ave Maria. During the break, Mr Wilson kindly gave us a tour of the Cathedral, from the crypt upwards into the main body of the church. Next came the Baptistry, the Confessionals, the Altar and the organ, where we could hear the music both close to, and far away – as the sound can be heard coming from the back of the church, which demonstrated how huge the space is.
Handel’s Messiah at Hornsby Cathedral for the 5th year Donrita Reefman Come along to what is now becoming a tradition of attending our own Diocese’s performance of Handel’s Messiah and supporting talent and needs within our own local community. December 19 this year will mark the 5th annual performance of Handel’s Messiah at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara, featuring the Hornsby Ecumenical Choir and young up and coming soloists. Doors open at 7:30pm and the performance begins at 8pm. As well as being a centre of unity for a Bishop with his people and a liturgical model, a Cathedral Church is traditionally both a centre of art and culture and a place of welcome and care. It is therefore fitting that an oratorio about Our Lord, born homeless, would take place in a Cathedral and that all proceeds would go towards the Hornsby Homeless Task Force once again. Funds raised in past years contributed to the shower facility at Brooklyn. This year’s project is the establishment of a Women’s Shelter in the Hornsby Shire. Ticket prices are $30 for adults, $20 concession, $10 students and children under 5 enter for free. Phillip Linquist will again direct the performance, accompanied by Heather Boyd on organ. Choristers from all parishes and churches have been attending rehearsals at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesdays from 20 November to 11 December at St Swithuns Anglican Church, cnr Merrivale Road and Telegraph Road, Pymble, with the final rehearsal at the Cathedral Church, 23 Yardley Ave, on Tuesday 17 December, evening 7:30pm. A $10 participation fee will entitle each chorister to a complimentary ticket. Book online at www.trybooking.com/DLXX For more information go to https://sites.google.com/site/hornsbykechoir/
ACROSS Our Diocese
Diocesan Charity Race Day
…putting the fun in fundraising
The 10th Annual Diocese of Broken Bay Charity Race Day was held at Gosford Racecourse on 31 October. The day was another roaring success with over $16,000 raised for the Charitable Works Fund. The Charitable Works Fund supports CatholicCare, St Lucy’s School, St Edmund’s School, the Ephpheta Centre for the Deaf and the Confraternity of the Christian Doctrine in the Diocese of Broken Bay. More than 280 people, including Bishop David Walker, enjoyed a fantastic day whilst raising money for a very worthy cause. Special mention must go to the Lakes Parish who brought a large contingent of 50 people to the Gosford course!
Thank you to our major supporters who sponsored a race on the day: • Moore Stephens Accountants and Advisors • Makinson d’Apice Lawyers • Paynter Dixon • Focus Press • Co-Wyn Building Group • WN Bull Funerals • Empire Air Conditioning Services A special thank you goes out to Donnie Sutherland, who again as MC made the day extremely enjoyable.
The success of our Charity Race Day would not be possible without the sponsorship and donations of generous supporters and we sincerely thank you for your generosity towards our 2013 event: Church Resources; Catholic Church Insurance; Asquith Rubgy League Club Ltd; Australia Walk About Wildlife Park; Betty Klimenko from Erebus Motorsport; Big League Magazine; The Beachcomber Hotel; Blue Moon Accounting & Finance; Boomerang Matrix Pty Ltd; Boydita Flowers Delivered Florist; Brookvale Probus Club; Bunnings Chatswood; Bunnings Thornleigh; Central Coast Reef & Game Fishing Charters; Claws Paws & More, Berowra Heights; Diggers @ The Entrance; The Good Guys, Erina; The Entrance Parish; Ku-ring-gai Chase Catholic Parish; Hoyts Erina; The Lakes Catholic Parish; Lindt & Sprungli; McDonalds; Skydive the Central Coast; Taronga Conservation Society Australia; Wahroonga Flower Shoppe; Terrigal Parish; B-Mac Constructions Pty Ltd; Gosford Parish; Kincumber Parish; Waterford Retirement Village. BBN
ACROSS Our Diocese
Celebrating Onam Building Bridges in Our Parish
By Toni Byrne, Warringah Parish Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of Kerala, India. This festival was celebrated in the Warringah parish by the Indian families from Kerala.
ne remarkable thing about Onam is that it is celebrated by all, not only Christians but also by Hindus and Muslims who are from Kerala. It is one festival that unites all people regardless of race and religion. The theme is Harmony and during Onam, the King returns to Kerala to visit his people. This was the case at
St John’s, Narraweena. “The king” was magnificent. They didn’t have the colourful parade of elephants and fireworks but the traditional clothes of colourful saris and the feast of many vegetarian curries and the children’s cultural dances were a joy to everyone. There were songs and dances to delight all. The circle of flowers
traditionally grows in size and pattern over 10 days of celebrations. After the meal, there were races and fun. It was a sight to behold to see the lovely ladies running in gorgeous saris in an egg and spoon race. It was a wonderful day and a joy to join in a special celebration. This epitomises Australia, a country of diverse and wonderful cultures.
Taking Bids for Faith and Grace Hornsby Cathedral Parish has placed a beautiful Michael Leunig signed and framed drawing that was completed during his Conversation event with Fr David Ranson on eBay. Proceeds from the auction of the piece entitled ‘Faith and Grace in Everyday Life’ will go to the African Orphans in Dundee.
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This Christmas give a loved one a Global Gift that makes a difference A re you looking for the perfect gift this Christmas? By giving a Caritas Australia Global Gift, you are not only giving a loved one a beautiful present – you’re also giving the power to make a difference in the world. There are six Global Gifts to choose from including; the Gift of Water, the Gift of Food, the Gift of Healthcare, the Gift of Emergency Response and the Gift of Education and they range in price from $10 to $200. Caritas Australia, the Catholic Church’s International Aid and Development agency, works in partnership with local communities in over 35 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, Indigenous Australia and the Pacific. Caritas Head of Community Engagement, Helen Forde, said the money raised through Global Gifts goes towards vital programs such as education, which help change lives of the most marginalised around the world. “At Christmas as we celebrate Christ’s life, these Global Gifts are a way of showing the world’s poor that they’re not forgotten,” Ms Forde said.
“Caritas provides a beacon of hope for millions of children, women and men in times of hardship and contributes to the development of social justice in times of peace. “For example, thanks to Caritas’ support of families, supply of books and educational materials for schools and the training of teachers, children have the opportunity to attend school and receive a life-changing education,” Ms Forde said. This has meant a lot for 10-year-old Khin, who along with her family fled poverty, violence and instability in Burma to live in Thailand. She’s part of a program coordinated by Caritas Australia partner – Jesuit Refugee Services ( JRS), which focuses on the vulnerability of Burmese children whose parents have migrated for work. Khin is in grade four at Ban Klang learning centre, one of six JRS schools for children aged 5-14 years. More than 1,000 children have now attended JRS’ learning centres. With your compassionate support, Caritas Australia and JRS
provide infrastructure, books and tables for students. To enhance their dignity in the classroom, each student also receives a uniform, textbooks, stationery, and lunch every day. Khin has great ambitions. “I want to be a teacher when I grow up. Please open more schools like this one. This is
very good for poor families who cannot afford to send their kids to Thai schools.” You can support many more children like Khin by giving a Caritas Australia Global Gift this Christmas. You can purchase a Global Gift at www.caritas.org.au/globalgifts or by calling 1800 024 413.
Luke 1:46-49 ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, 48 for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. Lord, this Christmas help us to be always grateful for the grace that God brings into our life. Give us the eyes to see the goodness of those around us and the blessing that we receive each day in many unexpected moments. We praise and thank you Lord God, Amen.
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St Vincent de Paul
for Believing in me
It is with great appreciation and thanks that I report to you how the St Vincent de Paul Society (Broken Bay) Ind igenous Students Scholarship has assiste d me. As you are aware, I am curren tly studying the Associate Degree in Indigenous Education, which will shortly roll into a Bachelor of Education (Primary). I can definitely say that this year’s study has been made much, MU CH easier with the financial assistance you hav e provided. With this scholarship, I have bee n able to purchase a range of text books, literature, stationery, electrical and technical equipment. One of the larger purchases I have made was the acquisitio n of an iPad. This has enabled me to tap into teachin g and learning Apps, which support not only my stu dies, but the teaching of my current Aboriginal studen ts. This is one of the highlights, as I am now usi ng this not only for my studies, but also in the clas sroom, as an IT focus, especially for students with lear ning difficulties. I have also used this to create my own Units of Work, outside of my studies, in preparation for the beginning of my teachin g career. Just some of the lessons I have taught, with the aid of these resources, have proven very successful in the classrooms here at my cur rent school. I am already finding the engagement of the Aboriginal students very high, as compar ed to how they engage with their classroom teacher. Not that I want to take from the teacher, but I am terribly excited to begin teaching, and make sure that ALL Aboriginal students are catered for, ad are n’t just floating on the fringes of the classroom as I see so often. This scholarship has helped me immensely in this area, as I have purchased countless teaching resources, with particular focu s on Indigenous themes, teaching methods and perspectives. It has also fired my passion for tea ching Aboriginal Education. I am now dreaming up new and exciting ways to teach, that before confou nded me. My most humble gratitude and thanks for your support of my studies this year, and for finding me a worthy recipient. This only enc ourages me further to complete my studies and be the best of teachers I can be. Thank you for believin g in me, and for believing in the future of all Aboriginal students, by suppor ting an Aboriginal teacher in trainin g. It means the world to me Yours most sincerely Tracy Saunders
Puppies for Sale
By Barry Finch
Diocesan President, St Vincent de Paul Society
A farmer had four puppies for sale so he painted a sign advertising the pups. As he was driving the last nail into the post he felt a tug on his overalls and looked down to see a small boy beside him.
want to buy one of the puppies”, he said. “Well”, said the farmer, “these puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money.” The boy thought for a moment and then reaching deep into his pocket he pulled out some change and then looking up at the farmer said, “I’ve got 35 cents, is that enough to take a look?” “Sure is”, the farmer replied and with that he let out a whistle and called “Here Dolly” and out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly with her four little balls of fluff behind her. The little boy pressed his face against the chain-link fence, his eyes dancing with delight/. As the dogs made their way to the fence the little boy noticed a stirring within the doghouse and slowly another little ball of fluff appeared. Visibly smaller it slid down the ramp and began hobbling toward the others. “I want that one,” the little
boy said pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down by the boy’s side and said, “You don’t want that puppy, he will never be able to run and play with you as the other dogs would.” With that the boy stepped back from the fence and reached down and rolled up one leg of his trousers revealing a steel brace running down both sides of his leg, attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back at the farmer, he said, “You see, I don’t run too well myself, and he needs someone who understands.” With tears in his eyes the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed it to the boy. “How much?” said the boy. “No charge” said the farmer “There’s no charge for love.” The world is full of people who need someone who understands.
News and Issues
New ways to enjoy the holiday season If you are looking for something to ‘read’ during the holiday period (and have already downloaded and tried the Diocesan lectio divina App for Advent), why not continue exploring new ways for reflection and meditation by downloading Bread 4 Today and The Majellan – new Apps developed by the Redemptorists.
Bread 4 Today is a free accessible meditation aid which people can use to come closer to God and effect positive change in their lives and their community. It provides access to daily prayers for reflection, and the Prayer Archive allows users to search past entries by category so that they can reflect on prayers that match their frame of mind. Categories include: Courage; A Just World; Relationships; Hope; Hard Times; Faith; Forgiveness and Special Intentions (calendar days of prayer and reflection). All prayers can be shared via social media with a tap of the screen. The Majellan Family App has been developed to accompany parents and families through all stages of Catholic life and family living. The App seeks to offer inspiration and help to families, including mums and dads raising children, introducing children and adults to the traditions of our faith, in a practical, good-humoured and anecdotal way. It is an exciting extension of the Majellan magazine which has been running for 65 years. Both Apps are available for Apple and Android devices.
Help Religious Sisters - the unsung heroines in the Church!
hey smile, they heal, they teach, they comfort. Around the globe Catholic religious sisters quietly perform their dedicated and heroic service without remuneration and barely even noticed by the wider world. But in order to help others, they themselves also need to be helped, for although they are ministering angels to so many, they themselves still need their daily bread and a roof over their heads.
Sr Lucia a religious sister from Italy rendering assistance to the poor in Ethiopia
The average grant that the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) gives to support a religious sister is $300 – but whatever you can afford will be enormously appreciated. ACN forwards the donations directly to the religious superiors in charge of the religious communities and congregations. Each year ACN supports over 9,000 religious sisters in every corner of the globe. It is vital that the indispensable work of religious sisters in Christ’s Holy Catholic Church and throughout the missions worldwide continues. Religious sisters are the unsung heroines in the Church. ACN is therefore proud to help them in their efforts to make the world a better place.
Send to: Aid to the Church in Need PO Box 7246 Baulkham Hills NSW 2153 Tel No: (02) 9679-1929 Email: email@example.com Web: www.aidtochurch.org I/We enclose $................... to support the work of Religious Sisters for the poor and persecuted Church.
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The Papal rosary designed by the Vatican rosary makers will be sent out to all those who give a donation of $15 or more and tick this box.
AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED...a Catholic charity dependent on the Holy See, providing pastoral relief to needy and oppressed Churches BBN
Christmas Mass Times
All are invited to join us this Christmas as we
celebrate the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ
For a full list of Christmas Mass Times in the Diocese of Broken Bay, please visit:
Thank you for your continued support of the Broken Bay News throughout 2013. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the peace and joy of Christmas – Annie Carrett, Editor The Broken Bay News will return in February 2014 Deadline for items is Monday 6 January Why not stay in touch with our Diocesan eNewsletter. Subscribe now at: www.dbb.org.au
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Naremburn Family Centre
Brookvale Family Centre
Parenting post separation (0 -18 years)
STEPS - Building resilient stepchildren: Designed for couples of ‘blended’ families this program focusses on parenting roles and challenges, developing boundaries, managing conflict, and building children’s resilience.
Keeping kids in mind: Learn strategies for working better as co-parents for the well-being of your children and how to support them through and beyond the separation to deal with feelings of loss and grief and to build resilience. Learn how to communicate with less conflict and how conflict impacts on your children.
Naremburn Family Centre 8 week group program (women only) Free
4 week group program $TBA
Backchat: Learn how to maintain or restore a respectful and positive relationship between you and your teenager: learn how to talk so your teenager will listen to you, and how to listen so your teenager will talk to you.
Parenting step-children (0-18 years)
Living beyond abuse: Provides a confidential and supportive group to women who are currently in, or who have been in, an abusive relationship.
Waitara Family Centre 8 week group program (women only) Free
Handling teenager backchat (12-17 year)
Dealing with domestic abuse
Women of strength: Provides a confidential and supportive group for women who are currently in, or who have been in, an abusive relationship.
(Course conducted in partnership with NSW Health)
Beyond domestic violence
6 week group program (women only) Free
Waitara Family Centre Tuesday evenings • Starts 11 February
Nurturing kids after domestic violence
Reclaiming home: Focuses on understanding and addressing the impacts of domestic violence on children, how and when to talk about the violence, how to manage anger and difficult behaviours, and how to rebuild family relationships and manage post separation contact with the other parent.
Warnervale Family Centre 6 week group program (women Mondays • Starts10 February only) Free
5 week group program $TBA
Staying Home, Leaving Violence
Regaining self: This education and support group for women living with or escaping domestic violence (DV) focuses on what is DV, DV and the law, healthy relationships, impacts of DV on children, self-esteem and boundary setting.
Brookvale Family Centre
Naremburn Family Centre
Warnervale Family Centre
Brookvale Family Centre
Warnervale Family Centre
Brookvale Family Centre
Warnervale Family Centre Tuesdays 10-12.30 pm • Starts18 February
Free, independent and confidential: Our financial counsellors assist families with short-term crises and long term prevention strategies, including budgeting, advocacy and negotiation with utilities or creditors, and referral to other services if necessary. (Please note: Our counsellors are not legal advisors, mortgage brokers, financial planners, investment advisors or money lenders).
[Parent] Education: Because your children are worth it Most parents struggle from time to time with difficult child behaviours or with helping their child manage difficult issues and situations. Your local CatholicCare Family Centre provides parents with a range of free or minimal cost seminars and groups on key parenting topics, as well as on other issues commonly faced by families. All courses and facilitators are fully accredited by the trademarked program owner and the appropriate funding agency at State or Commonwealth level.
FORMAT / COST
WHERE / WHEN
2 0 1 4 T E R M 1 S E M I N A R S A N D G R O U P S F O R PA R E N T S A N D C A R E R S CHILD AGE / COURSE / CONTENT FAMILY ISSUE
Waitara Family Centre Thursdays 10-12pm (TBC) • Starts 20 February
Toddlers to pre-teens (2-10 years)
Toddlers to pre-teens (2-9 years)
Tuning into kids: Use emotion coaching to help your child understand and manage their feelings. Learn to understand your child’s emotions, how to manage your own and how to guide your child’s behaviour with appropriate limits.
Triple P (Positive Parenting Program): Builds on the seminar program. Learn easy to use, proven parenting strategies to develop a positive and caring relationship with your child and techniques for dealing with specific behaviour problems.
Triple P (Positive Parenting Program): Introduces a system of easy to use, proven strategies to manage everyday parenting concerns which will assist you to raise confident, competent and resilient children.
3 week group program Free
6 group sessions Warnervale Family Centre $40 / $20 concession Brookvale Family Centre
5 group sessions Naremburn Family Centre Wednesdays 6-8pm • Starts 19 February + 2 telephone consultations Brookvale Family Centre $TBA
3 week seminar series Free
8 week group program $30
Toddlers to pre-teens (2-10 years)
1-2-3 Magic: Explore strategies for handling misbehaviour without arguing or shouting. Learn how to manage misbehaviour in public as well as how to encourage good behaviour and cooperation around home.
5 group sessions Naremburn Family Centre + 2 telephone Brookvale Family Centre consultations $50
Infants to pre-teens (0-10 years)
Naremburn Family Centre Tuesdays 6-8pm • Starts 18 February
Discipline for toddlers to pre-teens (2-9 years)
Teen Triple P (Positive Parenting Program): Understand adolescent development and what can contribute to problem behaviour. Learn strategies for encouraging positive teenage development and for managing undesirable or ‘risky’ behaviour.
6 group sessions Warnervale Family Centre $40 / $20 concession
Circle of Security: Learn how to better understand your child’s needs and behaviours; help them manage their emotions, develop their confidence and strengthen the parent-child relationship.
Brookvale Family Centre
Teens (12-16 years)
Tuning into teens: Learn the core skills of emotional awareness with sessions on understanding adolescent development, accepting and guiding your teen’s increasing independence, dealing with peer pressure and how to create opportunities for connection.
4 week group program $40 / $20 concession
Lane Cove Library (Call Naremburn Family Centre for enquiries) Thursdays 10.30-12pm • Starts 13 March
Teens (12-16 years)
Hey, Dad!: Add to your toolkit a range of practical tools around communications, emotions, child development and self esteem.
Warnervale Family Centre
Naremburn Family Centre Wednesdays 9.45-12pm • Starts 12 March
Brookvale Family Centre
Practical parenting for dads