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CYBB Pilgrim Cross travels across Broken Bay Plenary 2020: what it means for the Church and you Catholic Parish of Pymble: A Christ-centred community of love and mercy

BROKEN BAY NEWS PUBLICATION OF THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY

APRIL 2018

ISSUE 193


HEART TO HEART

I want you to be a player in the game, not just a spectator on the sidelines.” A decisive moment for our Church DEAR friends in our Risen Lord, Easter greetings!

BY MOST REV PETER A COMENSOLI

…it feels like we have reached a decisive moment of Christian discipleship in our country, and it falls to us to discover in grace how Jesus Christ might be calling us into the future. 2 APRIL 2018

The key turning point in Jesus’ missionary journey, at least as St John experienced it, occurred as a consequence of his miraculous feeding of the multitude. Each of the Gospel writers tell us of this dramatic event, but only John goes on to let us know what occurred among the people as a result of it. Each year, during the third week of the Easter season, we reread of this turning point, often nicknamed the Bread of Life Discourse, because it is such an important guide to the Easter message. Jesus’ miraculous action, and subsequent words about it, took place in Galilee, between two journeys to Jerusalem, the first where he openly declared his divine identity, and the second when plans to end his life began to be discussed by his opponents. John’s Bread of Life Discourse has given us Christians some of the greatest and most beautiful phrases in our Faith: I am the Bread of Life; For my flesh is real food, and my blood real drink; Whoever eats this bread will live forever. For us as disciples, these words are precious – they speak to us of the Lord’s abiding gift of himself to us, sacramentally and really present – body and blood, soul and divinity – in the Holy Eucharist. Yet these same words have been a stumbling block for many people over the generations, even to the extent of fragmentation in the Christian Church. And this was the case right from the moment these words were spoken by Jesus of himself. John too, tells us that many felt this teaching difficult – who can accept it? and, as a result they no longer followed him.

I’ve wanted to draw your attention to the Bread of Life Discourse not to enter into a discussion of its meaning (I’ll leave that for another occasion), but to get you to the point at the end of the story, when Jesus is left alone with the Apostles. Jesus knows that his action and words have created a moment of fundamental decision in the hearts of his disciples. Will they stay or will they leave? He turns to them and asks: Do you also wish to go away? And here Peter, as weak as he will later prove to be, nonetheless makes the decision that would set in train his future: Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. (Jn 6.67-68) After the Resurrection, this future which Peter had earlier chosen would be confirmed by the Risen Jesus as they stood together on the shore of Lake Tiberius (Galilee): Do you love me... Feed my sheep... Follow me. (Jn 21.15-19) Just as Peter needed to discover his future with the Lord Jesus, so too with us, today’s disciples. We may not live anything like the life of Peter, or have little connection with the time and location in which he made his decision, yet we are likewise asked the question: With whom shall we walk into our future? Certainly, there are any number of signs which would suggest we – the members of the Church in Australia in the early part of the 21st century – are at a decisive moment in our journey: • Religious belief and practice has significantly waned, along with local vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life; • The Royal Commission has delivered a searing grace that calls for a deep and lasting transformation of our institutional culture and structures;


HEART TO HEART • Our face as Australian Catholics is taking on a more Asian appearance; • Young people live on a digital continent where a different language needs to be learnt by us if we want to accompany them on their faith journeys; • Local faith communities are searching for ways to move from maintenance to mission with an enhanced role of the baptised faithful in evangelising, catechising and decision-making; • There is a growing secularisation of Australian society and culture that is changing the shape of our engagement in the public conversation on matters pertaining to our lives and identity. There are any number of other signs you might add to this list. What we can all probably attest to, however, is that it feels like we have reached a decisive moment of Christian discipleship in our country, and it falls to us to discover in grace how Jesus Christ might be calling us into the future. We have, as it were, come to a ‘Peter moment’– our time of grace to be fed, to feed, and to follow. Over several years now, the Bishops of Australia have recognised that a decisive moment for the Church in Australia has been looming, that will involve the entire local Church in a process of prayer, consultation, discernment, and decision towards setting direction for the future. Privately and publically, they have been seeking to read the signs of our time in the light of faith. Remember the Year of Grace in 2012? The Bishops called for it as part of this process, to seek God’s grace in discovering our common future with Christ. Last year, we took a decision to initiate a formal, nation-wide consultation of all dimensions of the Church. This process is called a Plenary Council, and is the highest form of synod (= assembly) of an entire national Church, with legislative powers. In February this year, Pope Francis gave his consent for this to occur. The actual assembly dimensions of the Plenary Council – two national gatherings of laity, religious and clergy, with the bishops – will take place in 2020 and 2021. But before then an extensive period of praying, listening, consulting and discerning will take place at local (parish and diocesan) levels to feed into a national picture of how the Lord might be calling to us into the future as his Church in Australia. In our own Diocese of Broken Bay, this local process will begin at Pentecost this year, when animators will be called forth from all our parishes, schools, welfare agencies, organisations, faith groups, etc, who will then facilitate local conversations. I have set aside sufficient resources of the Diocese to facilitate these conversations, to collate what is learnt from them, and to feed this into the national picture. I will personally attend a number of these facilitations, simply to listen to what the Church in Broken Bay is saying. In November there will be a Diocesan BROKEN BAY NEWS

assembly to consider what has been heard, to articulate to our people what their concerns and hopes are, and to discern how to then act on these insights. On pages 4 and 5 in this edition of Broken Bay News you will find a much more extensive explanation of what a Plenary Council is, and how we, as a Diocese, will participate in it, in terms of both the nation Church and our local Church.

So, may I warmly and wholeheartedly invite you to be a participant in the Plenary Council process that now lies ahead of us. I want you to be a player in the game, not just a spectator on the sidelines. May we, like Peter, recognise that Jesus Christ has already prepared for us the words we need for the journey ahead, and that we, together, are willing, like Peter, to discover those words as life-giving.

For my part, the most important dimension of our local conversations will be what we discover together, as Christ’s faithful of Broken Bay, about the future the Lord is calling us into. For this to work well, it will mean finding the time and space for listening. But it is a particular kind of listening: to listen to one another, by listening to God (and not the other way around). Let the Lord have the first word, so that our words do not dominate. If I were to put this form of listening into a question, it might be this: How do we discover what the Lord wants for us – the Church of Broken Bay, and more broadly the Church in Australia – at this juncture in our journey to the Kingdom of Heaven?

With your blessing, I would like to place our endeavours ahead under the heavenly watch of Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890), one of the great reformers of the Church, who once said: “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” Along with Our Blessed Mother and St Peter, may Bl John Henry Newman pray for us, and aid us as we discover together how we might effectively follow along the path of Christ into the future he desires for us. May the Crucified and Risen Lord be with you! Please pray for me, as I pray for you.

In the end, this local synodal work is essentially the task of, together, making a common discovery: – a discovery of where God the Father is leading us; – a discovery of what God’s Son, Jesus Christ, will feed us with along the way;

Most Rev Peter A Comensoli Bishop of Broken Bay

– a discovery of how the Holy Spirit will accompany us; – a discovery of our individual and shared tasks in the journey ahead.

"To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often." APRIL 2018 3


CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY

Plenary Council 2020: Our Journey in Faith One of the convictions of Pope Francis’ teaching and witness over these past five years has been his deep trust that the Church, encompassing all of us as the People of God, grows through our mutual listening to the guidance and promptings of the Holy Spirit. BY DANIEL ANG

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hether through the conversations of bishops in synods on the family and youth, in the discernment of married couples and families amidst the complexities of relationship, or through the dialogue of the individual Christian with God at prayer, it is the Holy Spirit who enables us to discern and make decisions that are faithful to the good and saving news that comes to us in Jesus Christ. Pope Francis believes with conviction that it is in walking and working together in faith – our ‘synodality’ with one another at every level of the Church, in our parishes, schools and social outreach – that we can best discover pastoral responses to meet the challenges of today. The Church in Australia has heard this call to ‘synodality’, to ‘journeying together’, and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has announced a Plenary Council to take place in 2020. Pope Francis has approved the celebration of the Plenary Council under the Presidency of Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB. Our Diocese too recognises this need to pilgrim together and seeks to begin, even now, a process of mutual listening to the Holy Spirit who guides our Church in every age.

A Prayer of Discernment Father of all Goodness, send on each of us your Holy Spirit, a spirit of understanding and wisdom, which helps us to look at the present with gratitude and the future with hope. Help us to free ourselves from discouragement and from all kinds of resistance, opening us with courage and creativity to what the Church and the world need most. Grow in us the desire of discernment, so that our communities can be places of sharing and dialogue, witnesses of your charity and able to respond with generosity to what you ask us in each moment. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. Pope’s Worldwide Network of Prayer – Apostleship of Prayer. “Pope’s Intentions for the Challenges of Humanity.” Click to Pray. 2018. https://clicktopray.org

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Foundations

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s shared in the February edition of the Broken Bay News, a Plenary Council is the highest form of communion between the various local or particular churches (that is, dioceses) of a nation. As such Plenary Council 2020 will be not simply a meeting of bishops but a process that calls for the participation and conversation of the entire Catholic community, clergy, religious and laity. There will be two sessions of the Plenary Council in Australia, the first in October 2020 and a second in May of 2021, in which the Australian bishops, along with religious and lay delegates, will discuss, debate and develop legislation that will shape the Church for generations to come. The Australian bishops will be called on to vote on proposed legislation and are obliged to make their decisions on the basis of their careful discernment of the work of the Holy Spirit in the minds and hearts of all the People of God. This recognises that the sense of the faith of the faithful – what is known as the sensus fidelium – is a source of the Church’s life and learning as it seeks to live and share the Gospel more effectively.

As such, the Plenary Council calls each one of us as Australian Catholics to the act of discernment, grounded in prayer. We are invited to attend to the ‘signs of the times’ and then interpret and respond to these signs in the light of our faith. To what is God calling the Church at this time? What is God asking of us in Australia? Where is the Holy Spirit calling the Church to move and how might we get there? If the future of the Church is always connected to those who currently do not believe, how might we share the Good News of Jesus with those who are not yet a part of our parish or faith communities with renewed passion, by new methods and expressions?

Our Journey in Broken Bay

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ur Plenary journey in the Diocese of Broken Bay will commence formally this year at the Feast of Pentecost (20 May) with the sharing of a Pastoral Letter by Bishop Peter. We will seek to dedicate this first year to listening – listening to one another by listening to God, to grow in a sense of where the Spirit might be calling the Church to move. As a Diocese we must first listen to understand, give our full attention to the Word of God and to each other, before we undertake a process of


CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY

discernment in 2019 and propose ideas for the good of the Australian Church as a whole in 2020. However, as Pope Francis himself recognises, ‘journeying together’ in mutual listening is often easier said than put into practice! In fact, to listen is one of the most important and difficult things for us to do. This is because it involves a decision on our part to give attention to the ‘other’ and to foster within ourselves an intense expectation that the other has something to offer us that can enrich and enhance our view of life. As Pope Francis has observed, it is not by chance that the ear is the organ of hearing but also of balance. We listen as Christians by receiving God’s Word, by our humility and tenderness in prayer, by attending to the graced details of our daily life, and by our dialogue with our fellow Christians and those who do not yet know their home is with us. By these various means the Holy Spirit enables us as a Catholic community to recognise and respond to the life and mission of Jesus in the present, to make decisions informed by our Christian faith and reached by listening. Our listening and dialogue as a Diocese throughout 2018 will not only inform the national Plenary Council but also the discernment of Bishop Peter, our parishes, schools and agencies on how best to express the life and mission of Jesus at this critical juncture of our life as Church.

Our Steps Ahead

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t our Pentecost launch, the call will be issued for ‘Local Animators’ in each of our Broken Bay parishes and church communities, each Catholic primary and secondary school, CatholicCare centre and network, religious order and ecclesial movement to assist in coordinating and encouraging listening sessions in their local community. A support kit will be distributed to each parish priest, principal and local leader throughout the Diocese outlining the role of these key leaders. Briefly, Local Animators will distribute Plenary Council guides that will support local conversations, and facilitate and encourage others to lead listening sessions with these guides. They will record and collate the feedback from their local community and, together with their local leader, complete a summary of the dialogue and share this with their own community as well as our Bishop and Diocese. Training for these tasks will be provided to our Local Animators in August 2018. These Local Animators will then facilitate and promote local listening sessions in our Catholic communities of Broken Bay from August to October. Again, guides will be provided to help with this process. During this three month period, Bishop Peter will visit many of our communities to hear firsthand the sense of faith among the people of Broken Bay. Regional forums will also be convened in October to give our different regions of the BROKEN BAY NEWS

Central Coast, North Shore and Northern Beaches an opportunity to share their experience and faith in further dialogue. Then in November and December we will hold diocesan assemblies with our people able to choose either the 24 November at The Cathedral Parish or 1 December at The Entrance Parish. The focus of these gatherings will be on the national agenda and an opportunity to share with the National Facilitation Team for Plenary Council 2020 a sense of where and how God is calling the Church to grow. As these months also mark the end of the Year of Youth, the youth of our Diocese will also take a central place in this dialogue and be invited to share their voice with all of us as the Catholic community of Broken Bay.

“Listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches” (Rev 2:7)

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encourage you, even now, to share the good news of Plenary Council 2020 with your local communities and to reflect on the ways in which your local community can engage as we anticipate the launch of the Plenary Council process at Pentecost. What is important is to share your gifts, your openness and sense of faith throughout this journey of prayer and discernment on which we are about to embark. Please pray for the opportunities and challenges that meet us as a Church in this 21st century. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to keep us faithful and ever responsive to the mission of Jesus in a new chapter of evangelisation for the Church in Australia. Daniel Ang is the Director, Office for Evangelisation, Diocese of Broken Bay and a member of the Executive Committee, Plenary Council 2020. Email: plenarycouncil@dbb.org.au

OUR JOURNEY IN FAITH

2018

A YEAR OF LISTENING

LAUNCH AT PENTECOST LOCAL ANIMATORS TRAINING LOCAL LISTENING REGIONAL FORUMS DIOCESAN ASSEMBLIES

2019

A YEAR OF DISCERNING

2020

A YEAR OF PROPOSING

How do I get involved? 1. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide the Church through the process, discernment and decisions of the Plenary Council for the life and mission of the Australian Church as we anticipate the national launch at Pentecost (20 May); 2. Start authentic conversations with your friends and neighbours about what it means as a Catholic community to live the life and mission of Jesus in contemporary Australian society. What do you think God is asking of us in Australia?; 3. Reflect on the Gospel as well as the emerging social issues of our time and how these are reflected in and impact upon the practice of our faith; 4. Personally engage with others in your parish, school or network on how you might create practical opportunities to listen and dialogue with others about the future of the Church, particularly between August and October 2018; 5. Create a group in your community to promote the Plenary Council and the conversations that will be encouraged; 6. Visit the new website www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au and learn more about the Plenary Council. Share and play the videos in the “Resources” section of the website in your local parish, schools and communities to spread the word about this once-in-a-century opportunity; 7. Diarise the date for one of our diocesan assemblies, at Hornsby Cathedral Parish on 24 November or The Entrance Parish on 1 December. APRIL 2018 5


NEIGHBOURHOODS OF GRACE

Exploring our missionary outreach

Catholic Parish of Pymble ‘A Christ-centred community of love and mercy’ The Catholic Parish of Pymble is a vibrant community with a long history and a shared vision for the future, to be “A Christ-centred community of love and mercy”.

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ituated on Sydney’s upper North Shore, the Parish goes all the way back to 1883 when the foundation stone was laid for the first Catholic Church in Pymble. In more recent times, the two Parishes of Sacred Heart, Pymble and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, West Pymble have come together to form the Catholic Parish of Pymble. The Parish has been in the care of the Salvatorian fathers since 2001 and Parish Priest, Fr Boguslaw Loska SDS has been in the Parish for three years. He is assisted by Fr Grzegorz Skulski SDS. Fr Boguslaw says while the Parish is located in

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BY DEBRA VERMEER a relatively affluent area, the real treasure of the Parish is in its people. “There are a lot of very dedicated people in the Parish, as well as many highly educated and skilled professional people in all the different areas of life, who contribute a lot to parish life and to the Church in general,” he says. A couple of years ago, the Parish Pastoral Council began a process of identifying a parish vision, based on areas where there were opportunities to strengthen the mission of the Church. “The latest Census data shows you the areas you need to focus on,” Fr Boguslaw says. “It shows

more people identifying as ‘No Religion’, so the Parish Council is focusing on trying to engage the larger community.” After consultation with the Parish community, the Parish Council adopted the Parish Vision Statement: ‘Building a Christ-centred community of love and mercy’. “From that vision, we are focusing on three key areas, because you can’t do everything at once,” Fr Boguslaw says. “Those three areas are Outreach, particularly to our large elderly community; Adult Faith Formation; and Integration between the Parish and school communities.”


Exploring our missionary outreach

The two schools, Sacred Heart Catholic School, Pymble and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Catholic School, West Pymble are delighted to be part of the team helping to bring the Parish Vision to life. “I think we have a really good relationship with the Parish,” says Sacred Heart Principal Mary Hor. “On a personal level, the priests come here regularly for morning tea and together we are working on encouraging the children and their families to become more involved in parish life. “We have children attending Mass in the Parish every Thursday and we also encourage them to get involved and be part of the liturgy, whether as altar servers or taking up the gifts or in other ways. “And we’re about to have a meeting with the Parish Council and priests to brainstorm ways we can work together on bringing the Parish Vision to life. “We’d especially love to be part of the idea of outreach to the elderly and we’re thinking of ways

BROKEN BAY NEWS

the children could be involved with that, perhaps by visiting the nursing homes and spending time with the residents. We see it as an excellent way to teach them about being of service to the community, reaching out and be respectful to our elderly, as well as a way of building community between parish and school.” Sue Host, Principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour agreed that there is a strong relationship between the School and the Parish, starting right at enrolment for the students and their families. “Father Boguslaw is very involved with the enrolment process,” she says. “He joins us in sitting with a small group and talking about what it means to come to a Catholic school. It’s a really nice way for Father to get to know the families and for the families to get to know each other.” The students at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour attend the lunchtime Mass with Parishioners at OLPS Church once a week, and the priests are available for Reconciliation once a term. There are strong ties between the School and the vibrant Children’s Liturgy held each Sunday.

NEIGHBOURHOODS OF GRACE

“We also had two of our children baptised in the Church recently, which was very special,” says Sue. Sue says she too is looking forward to the brainstorming meeting on how the Schools and the Parish can work even more closely together.

“We’d especially love to be part of the idea of outreach to the elderly and we’re thinking of ways the children could be involved with that…

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NEIGHBOURHOODS OF GRACE

Exploring our missionary outreach

Fr Boguslaw says the Parish is blessed with a strong music ministry, and a very committed Altar Society, both of which add to the beauty of the liturgical experience. “Pymble has always been strong in music,” he says. “We have a lot of talented people, and when they all come together on the big occasions, it is really wonderful.” Both churches have a choir and different musical groups for different Masses, and there is a Youth Mass every Sunday evening, where young people play different instruments, like violin and clarinet and lead the singing. “We are building up our youth ministry in the Parish, with the employment last year of a Youth Ministry Coordinator,” says Fr Boguslaw. “We have two youth groups – one for younger age groups which meets on Thursday night and one for older ages which meets on Sunday evenings after the Youth Mass. “We are also involved with the Salvatorian youth ministry. There’s a Salvatorian group which has gone to the recent World Youth Days and some of our young people have been a part of that.” While reaching out to its youth, the Parish also cares for its elderly parishioners, with regular visits to the three local nursing homes and those in their own home.

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“On the First Friday of each month, the priests and some Eucharistic ministers visit the sick and elderly and take them Communion and the priests can offer the other sacraments, such as Anointing of the Sick,” Fr Boguslaw says. Hospitality is a key value of Pymble Catholic Parish, and the Hospitality Group helps organise all aspects of the Parish’s social life, including morning teas, a Parish Dinner every two months, events like the popular Bush Dance, as well as parish outings. The Parish has an active social justice group which meets regularly and holds fundraisers for dedicated causes, often for people in less affluent areas. “For instance, we’ve helped support a women’s refuge in Griffith and we also have contact with some Aboriginal communities. We’ve had some Aboriginal women visit us in the Parish as our guests,” he says. “Our St Vincent de Paul also supports people in more needy areas. The Parishioners are always extremely generous with the Christmas hampers they provide, which go up to parts of the Diocese where there is more need. “We also have Parishioners cook meals which are then given to people in need.” There is an active ecumenical scene in the local

area, and Pymble Catholic Parish is a signatory to a covenant with the other main Christian Churches. “We all get together regularly for functions and every Sunday in our Prayers of the Faithful we pray for a different church community. It’s quite a strong ecumenical friendship,” Fr Boguslaw says. Parish life at Pymble includes a weekly Bible group and a Charismatic Prayer group, as well as an active RCIA group, which is currently helping four catechumens and two candidates to learn about the Catholic faith and be baptised or received into the Church at Easter. In line with the Parish Vision focus areas, Fr Boguslaw says there are also plans to provide more adult faith formation opportunities, with guest speakers on different topics. “We have a Marriage Enrichment Program happening in April,” Fr Boguslaw says. “But there are lots of other issues that we as Catholics have to face these days and I think people are looking for opportunities to understand the Catholic view on these matters. The recent same-sex marriage debate was an excellent example. “We are looking for new ways to really engage people in their faith in different ways, whether it’s through the Schools or the Parish, or both, as one community. We’re taking small steps to hopefully work towards the bigger vision.”


ACROSS OUR DIOCESE

A gift of grace for the Jee family Ten years ago, a week after World Youth Day in 2008, my second son, Ignatius was born. A grace filled time for Sydney that has bore much fruit for the Australian Catholic Church. his year, Bishop Peter Comensoli invited our family to represent the Diocese of Broken Bay as witnesses to the joy of the Gospel of family life. Australia is grateful for the Irish missionaries who brought us the faith, even my wife’s first family member to arrive Down Under, was Monsignor Lynch, an Irish Missionary priest in 40 years of service in St Mary’s, East St Kilda, Victoria. Broken Bay’s first Bishop was Bishop Patrick Murphy with Irish roots.

In the COGS work, the history of creation, there is a blank page, a place for all of us to write our story of how we will use our talents to build the Kingdom of God on earth. As we prepare for WMF 2018, we hope the children will add to their story by seeing the examples of the Irish Saints, climbing the mountain of St Patrick, hear the stories of the families from across the world, to prepare them for the special purpose God has created each of us for.

Dublin, Ireland, has been chosen by Pope Francis to host the next World Meeting of Families from 21-26 August 2018, guided by the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”. World Meeting of Families started in 1994 after Pope John Paul II saw the graces flowing from World Youth Days.

We were excited to meet the McCaughan family from Sydney who took their 10 children to Rome in 2006. Their eldest son, Fr Daniel McCaughan now serves as a priest in the Sydney Archdiocese.

Our family is the new face of the emerging Australian Church, staffed by the Missionary priests of Asia, a mix of the old and the new.

We placed our pilgrimage under the intercession of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, at North Sydney, and St Joseph who was the patron of her order. Like our Irish ancestors and Missionary priests we ask for your

Ignatius always reminds me there are not 6 but 7 children. Our first son, Francis Xavier stillborn at 36 weeks gestation brought with him a life threatening haemorrhage to my wife. Through the sacramental grace of God in marriage to make the impossible become possible, Novenas, prayers of strangers, nuns, priests, religious and our children, we have been blessed with another six, healthy robust children who will witness to the Joy of the Gospel of the family in Dublin.

BROKEN BAY NEWS

We pray that Australia will be the next host of World Meeting of Families. But God has a plan greater than ours. Therefore, if we ask we will receive

the gifts of grace needed to make the impossible seem possible like our miraculous journey to Dublin. The Jee family will be joined at the WMF in Dublin by the Hyland family, also from Broken Bay, who are the official Australian representatives chosen by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

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In my grief, I cried out to God, “I get this, I know you are real and we are nothing without you”. “But for the grace of God there go I.” 1 Corinthians 15.10. Our six children have been attending Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium (COGS) at Our Lady of Dolours, Chatswood where they have fallen in love with the Good Shepherd, Jesus, who has permeated their whole person.

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BY DAVID JEE

APRIL 2018 9


CATHOLIC YOUTH BROKEN BAY

CYBB Pilgrim Cross already making an impact across Broken Bay

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The CYBB Pilgrim Cross is making its journey around the Diocese in this Year of Youth.

he Cross so far has taken pride of place at the St Paul’s Catholic College opening school Mass at St Mary’s, Manly while at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Forestville, a beautiful liturgy was celebrated by Fr Jose with the whole school which included the students carrying the cross into the school hall from the church. The North Harbour Parish community warmly welcomed all young people to attend Sunday night Youth mass, where the young people were encouraged to come forward for a special blessing.

Catholic Youth Broken Bay are extremely excited for the plans that are to come as the spirit continues to inspire creativity in parish initiatives. Pittwater Parish had the Cross visit each of the local Catholic schools and prepared a youth Stations of the Cross Liturgy to coincide with the “The Light is on For You” initiative. The Cross was also present for a Year of Youth Forum to listen to the feeling, thoughts, challenges and joy of the young people. A highlight moment at Pittwater parish was a walking pilgrimage up to Barrenjoey lighthouse with the Pilgrim Cross.

Many other parishes and communities have already planned wonderful events for the year, including a Holy Thursday Liturgy with all the students of St Joseph’s and St Edward’s College’s East Gosford, youth mental health awareness seminars and even parish to parish walking pilgrimages. And this is just the beginning! We hope you have your own encounter with the CYBB Pilgrim Cross in the near future and take time to prayerfully discern the irreplaceable and spirit-filled impact young people have on our Church communities.

CYBB Pilgrim Cross destinations: Gosford The Lakes Warringah Pymble Chatswood Wahroonga CYBB EVENT – Pentecost Vigil Hornsby Lindfield–Killara St Ives Chatswood Lower North Shore Epping & Carlingford

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26 March – 6 April 7 April – 13 April 14 April – 20 April 21 April – 4 May 5 May – 11 May 12 May – 18 May 19 May 19 May – 1 June 2 June – 15 June 16 June – 22 June 23 June – 29 June 30 June – 13 July 14 July – 27 July

Pennant Hills Arcadia Ku–ring–gai Chase CYBB EVENT – Praisefest, Woy Woy Woy Woy Peninsula Kincumber Terrigal The Entrance Wyoming Wyong Warnervale Toukley – Lake Munmorah CYBB EVENT – Youth Assembly

28 July – 10 August 11 August – 17 August 18 August – 30 August 31 August 31 August – 14 September 15 September – 28 September 29 September – 12 October 13 October – 19 October 20 October – 26 October 27 October – 2 November 3 November – 16 November 17 November – 23 November 24 November


CATHOLIC YOUTH BROKEN BAY

This amazingly vibrant and modern city will then be the back drop of our World Youth Day activities and the main events of the week.

Central America Here We Come!

CYBB prepares for our next World Youth Day Pilgrimage to Panama Pope Francis made the announcement in Krakow in 2016 that World Youth Day 2019 would be held in Panama City.

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or the first time in WYD history, this record breaking event will be held in Central America, which will give Catholic Youth Broken Bay the unique opportunity to not only explore Panama, but also Mexico! So what can our young people expect from this pilgrimage? The CYBB pilgrimage will begin in Mexico City, where we will have a small taste of the colourful, vibrant and ancient culture of the Mexican people. This leg of the pilgrimage will include a visit to the ancient pyramids of the Sun and Moon, a tour of the city centre and metropolitan Cathedral as well as sharing some time with a local parish community, where we will come to BROKEN BAY NEWS

know Mexicans personally through Mass, games, food and I’m sure dancing. The biggest highlight for this leg of the trip will be our day at Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica, one of the most visited Catholic sites in the World.

Miraflores Locks Visitor Centre, which is just 20 minutes from the city centre, which gives visitors an overview of the history of this stagging humanmade piece of engineering as well as viewing the Canal and the locks at work.

Then we will arrive in Panama City, a skyline of gleaming glass and steel towers. A centre of international banking and trade, international restaurants and shopping. Casco Viejo – the old Spanish quarter, also known as San Felipé, is an historic district that was first settled in 1673, and was designated as a World Heritage site in 1997 by UNESCO. And of cause there’s the Panama Canal – pilgrims will also have the opportunity to visit the

This amazingly vibrant and modern city will then be the back drop of our World Youth Day activities and the main events of the week. Pope Francis has already registered to join the young people of the world in Panama… now it’s time for you express your interest in our pilgrimage. For more information, go to our website: www.dbb.org.au/youth APRIL 2018 11


NEWS AND ISSUES

It is looking through a microscope at a thin slice of a meteorite and wondering what part of the asteroid belt could have provided those shocks, melted those minerals. What is the Vatican Observatory? Jesuit Br Guy Cosolmagno is a popular speaker and writer. With advanced degrees in theology, a science degree from MIT, and a PhD in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona, Br Guy is well qualified to speak at the intersection of faith and science. In 2014, he was awarded the Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist, and in 2015, he was named by Pope Francis to be the Director of the Vatican Observatory. Br Guy Consolmagno SJ is in Australia this month as a guest of the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay. Don’t miss his free presentations in the Diocese. On 24 April he’ll be giving a CYBB Twilight Talk for Youth aged 18-30 at Hotel Pennant Hills. On Saturday 28 April he’ll present to a general audience at The Light of Christ Centre, Waitara, and on Monday 30 April at St Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah, with a night time viewing of the skies, weather permitting. Please see the Office for Evangelisation calendar in this edition of the Broken Bay News for more information.

12 APRIL 2018

It is a week spent in near silence, awake all night on a cold lonely mountaintop under a starlit sky, quietly moving a telescope from star field to star field, typing a few commands into a computer, waiting for the starlight to be gathered into a frozen chip of silicon.

I

BY BR GUY CONSOLMAGNO SJ (VATICAN CITY STATE)

t is a noisy meeting room in a convention hotel filled with a thousand other scientists, old colleagues known from graduate school days and new grad students meeting each other for the first time. Amid the noise you hear friends chatting about new discoveries... worried about their next grant, their next job… overflowing with news of marriages, births, divorces since the last meeting… terrified because they’re about to try to jam a year’s worth of work into a ten minute presentation before 500 ultra-critical colleagues. And then one of them asks if he can talk to you, in private, for just a few minutes. It is standing in an auditorium before 200 high school students, their minds scattered in 200 different directions, and slowly enticing them with the glorious colours of galaxies and nebulae into a deeper contemplation of Self and Creation and Creator. It is a computer screen displaying not beautiful colour images, but stars as random dots of black and white

amidst every flaw on the detector chip, every speck of dust on the filter, the shadow of the moth that happened to fly into the telescope while you were taking the image. From this you must extract the brightness of one particular dot by counting the number of times a photon knocked an electron from your detector chip; and you know the relentless mathematical law that says the value you arrive at will be no better, statistically, than the square root of that number of hits. You hope that your count doesn’t also include the light from some faint distant galaxy nearby. And then you realise that the faint, anonymous, distant galaxy that’s getting in the way of your data is a collection of a hundred billion stars; each star likely surrounded by planets; and even if life is a one in a million chance, that would still mean a hundred thousand places in that little smudge where there could be alien astronomers looking back at you, muttering about that distant smudge of the Milky Way getting in the way of their observations.

It is encountering 25 brilliant young graduate students from around the world, meeting in the Pope’s summer home south of Rome for a month to learn more about astronomy… and to make those friendships that will be renewed at scientific meetings for the rest of their lives. It is looking through a microscope at a thin slice of a meteorite and wondering what part of the asteroid belt could have provided those shocks, melted those minerals. It is another long trip through Roman traffic from Castel Gandolfo into the Vatican, past busy nuns and suited functionaries and saluting Swiss Guards, to speak to an official (in a language neither of you calls his mother tongue) about a visa, a project, an accounting issue. It is explaining once again to the hundredth reporter this year, why the Church supports an observatory; why there is nothing new to say about aliens or the Star of Bethlehem; why the Galileo story is a whole lot more complicated than the story everybody


NEWS AND ISSUES knows – and yet, the truth about Galileo is no less embarrassing for the Church... an embarrassment that you feel personally because you love both your science and your Church. It is stepping outside your room late at night, to just look up at the stars. Even before Galileo ground his first lens, Jesuits were working in astronomy. Fr Christoph Clavius SJ helped Pope Gregory XIII reform the calendar in 1582, and then wrote the book to explain that reform to the rest of the world. He also wrote a letter of recommendation for a young Galileo, when he was looking for a teaching job; and late in his life he got to look through Galileo’s telescope and see the moons of Jupiter for himself. Other Jesuits, at the Roman College and elsewhere, devised the first reflecting telescopes; mapped the Moon; convinced the Vatican to remove Copernicus from the Index; observed the transits of Venus that let astronomers finally measure the scale of the solar system. From the

roof of St Ignatius Church in Rome, Fr Angelo Secchi discovered dark markings on Mars that he called canale (which were real, and quite different from the illusional “canals” that later astronomers thought they saw) and he first sorted the stars by their spectral colours.

it. This follows the long tradition of seeing knowledge of the created world as a path to the Creator.

All of these forebears did their work, too, in meetings and classrooms and alone at the telescope. They had moments of private spiritual conversation; Fr Johann Hagen, director of the Vatican Observatory in the early 1900s, was the spiritual director of St Elizabeth Haesselblad, the Swedish/American convert who founded the Swedish Bridgettine order. They too attended at weddings and baptisms and funerals for their colleagues, including many who might otherwise have felt uncomfortable around clergy. The Vatican supports an Observatory, and asks the Jesuits to staff it with astronomers, in order to show the world in a visible way that it does not fear science but rather embraces

And the reasons why we are astronomers are as old as the stars themselves, expressed in poetry since poets first wrote. The prophet Baruch spoke of “the stars at their posts [who] shine and rejoice. When He calls them, they answer, ‘Here we are!’ Shining with joy for their Maker.” Dante ended his Divine Comedy by referring to the “Love that moves the heavens and the other stars.” St Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits, wrote that “his greatest consolation came from the contemplation of the heavens and the stars, which he would gaze at long and often, because from them there was born in him the strongest impulse to serve Our Saviour.” Call it consolation; call it joy; call it love. It is in season in every year. It is the study of the universe, the “all things” where one finds God. It is the work of the Vatican Observatory. We call it astronomy.

...his greatest consolation came from the contemplation of the heavens...

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APRIL 2018 13


APRIL – JUNE 2018

Office for Evangelisation EVENT CALENDAR The Diocese of Broken Bay exists to evangelise, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, gathered as friends in the Lord and sent out to be missionary disciples. The Office for Evangelisation serves this mission and promotes the growing missionary outlook of parishes, faith communities and individuals.

CATHOLIC LIFE & FAITH FORMATION

BROKEN BAY BIBLE CONFERENCE – SAVE THE DATE

Vatican Astronomer Br Guy Consolmagno SJ

“St Paul: Persecutor to Preacher” 27 & 28 July 2018

The Diocese of Broken Bay welcomes Br Guy Consolmagno SJ, the Director of the Vatican Observatory, for a series of presentations. Br Guy holds a PhD in Planetary Science, and will explore the fascinating topic of how faith and science coexist. Be enriched by these stimulating conversations about the connectedness of life, science and faith, and share in the awe and wonder of God’s handiwork.

“In Awe of the Universe: Connecting Science and Faith” Date: Saturday 28 April Time: 10.00am – 12.30pm Venue: The Light of Christ Centre, end of Yardley Avenue, Waitara RSVP: www.trybooking.com/UCJJ

“Looking Up at the Stars: We’re all Connected” Includes a viewing of the night sky with telescopes (weather permitting)

Presented by world renowned biblical scholar by Rev Nicholas King SJ, Fellow in New Testament at Campion Hall Oxford; Dr Catherine Playoust, former Harvard lecturer in Biblical Studies, Catholic Theological College, University of Divinity; and Most Rev David L Walker, Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Broken Bay. Come and meet the endlessly fascinating St Paul. Journey with him on his path from persecutor to preacher, and celebrate his great love in announcing the Gospel. Enquiries: faith.formation@dbb.org.au or 9847 0474 Be kept informed about upcoming faith education and formation opportunities within the Diocese. Please contact Catholic Life & Faith Formation Team, at faith.formation@dbb.org.au to receive a monthly e-Newsletter.

Date: Monday 30 April Time: 7.00pm – 9.30pm Venue: St Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah RSVP: www.trybooking.com/UCJL

LIFE MARRIAGE AND FAMILY BROKEN BAY

Enquiries: faith.formation@dbb.org.au or 9847 0428

The FIAT event will provide a space for married women to gather together and be supported and encouraged by one another’s experience of saying ‘yes’ to God’s will in their lives. Six speakers will each give their testimony and then allow for an open discussion of how wives and mothers can bear witness in their lives to Our Lady’s FIAT and to the ‘fruit’ that her ‘yes’ bore for the whole world!

THE FATHER FACTOR Robert Falzon, acclaimed co-author of the book The Father Factor, will speak about the critical importance of fathering for success and happiness, and provide practical information on intentional fathering and recovery from poor or absent fathering. Date: Tuesday 8 May Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm Venue: The Light of Christ Centre, end of Yardley Avenue, Waitara Date: Wednesday 9 May Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm Venue: Harrington Hall, 94A Archer Street, Chatswood Date: Thursday 10 May Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm Venue: Holy Spirit Church, 55 Kincumber Street, Kincumber RSVP: faith.formation@dbb.org.au or 9847 0428

ALPHA TEAM TRAINING WORKSHOPS • Facilitating Small Groups • The Alpha Day/Weekend Away and Prayer Ministry These two workshops will cover how to facilitate an Alpha Small Group so that guests feel safe to share openly and honestly; and how to run the Alpha day / weekend away so that it can be a time where a personal encounter with Jesus can occur. Presenter: Lorraine McCarthy, Alpha in a Catholic Context Coordinator in Australia Date: Saturday 26 May 2018 Time: Facilitating Small Groups: 1:30pm—3:30pm Alpha Day / Weekend Away and Prayer Ministry: 4:00pm—6:00pm Venue: Jordan Room, St Patrick’s Church, 76 York St East Gosford RSVP: By Tuesday 22 May 2018 to faith.formation@dbb.org.au or 9847 0474

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APRIL 2018

FIAT – A panel of married women discussing their “YES” to God’s will in their life

Speaker: Six married women from different walks of life speak about their ‘yes’ to God’s will in their lives. Date: Saturday 12 May 2018 Time: 9.00am Mass in CCC Chapel L8 and then FIAT event commencing at 9.40am Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre L8, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills NSW RSVP: By Thursday 10 March 2018 to katie.fullilove@dbb.org.au or 98470486

Diocesan Men’s Breakfast – Pornography: The Silent Epidemic affecting the heart and home – Saturday 28 April 2018 – Pittwater Parish Pornography destroys lives and families. “When you look at the outcomes of watching porn, it’s really bad news for people, for marriages, for families and for society.” Paul Ninnes uses his powerful life story and fifteen years of ministry experience to present a life changing message of hope and the strategies that can bring about real culture change. His work aims at reclaiming a culture of love and life within our families and men have a huge role to play in bringing this about! Speaker: Paul Ninnes Date: Saturday 28 April 2018 Time: 8.00am Mass, 8.30am Breakfast hospitality, 9.15 – 10.30am Talk and the way forward. Venue: Pittwater Parish Sacred Heart Church, 1 Keenan Street Mona Vale RSVP: By Wednesday 25 April 2018 to steven.buhagiar@dbb.org.au or 98470502

Marriage Enrichment Morning – A Joyful Vision of Love, Marriage and Family Pope Francis breaks open St Paul’s beautiful ‘Hymn to Love’ in Chapter Four of Amoris Laetitia. Madeliene and Simon Carrington will assist us in making Pope Francis’ very practical suggestions a part and parcel of


APRIL – JUNE 2018 our own family life. They will also share their own experience in bringing young people to know the beauty of God’s unique plan for their lives and provide a strategy for making the family home a living heart of love.

CATHOLIC YOUTH BROKEN BAY

Speakers: Madeleine and Simon Carrington

Catholic Youth Broken Bay invites you to Twilight Talks. Join Young Adults from around the Diocese to connect, share a meal, pray and be nourished by inspiring speakers.

North Shore Venue: Date: Sunday 22 April 2018 Time: 9.30am Mass/ Hospitality, 11.00am – Talk, 12.15-12.30pm – Family Prayer Time. Venue: Pymble Sacred Heart Parish – 2 Richard Porter Way, Pymble RSVP: By Thursday 19 April 2018 to steven.buhagiar@dbb.org.au or 98470502 Central Coast Venue: Date: Sunday 27 May 2018 Time: 10.00am – Mass/Hospitality, 11.30am – Talk, 12.45-1.15pm – Family Prayer Time. Venue: St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Parish – 91 Sparks Road, Warnervale RSVP: By Thursday 24 May 2018 to steven.buhagiar@dbb.org.au or 98470502

St Dymphna Healing Mass – A Mass for those suffering from physical, emotional or mental illness – St Patrick’s Gosford 15 May Prayer for the restoration of health has been the Church’s experience in every age including our own. Fr David Lemewu, a Missionary of God’s Love, will first lead us through an evening of hope, healing and trust and then through the Mass where we will be invited to surrender our fears and illness to the loving heart of Jesus. Speaker and Celebrant: Fr David Lemewu assisted by MGL Mission Team Date: Tuesday 15 May 2018 Time: 6.00pm Talk and Healing Service followed by Mass at 7.00pm Venue: St. Patrick’s Church, 76 York Street, East Gosford RSVP: By Monday 14 May 2018 to steven.buhagiar@dbb.org.au or 9847 0502

Twilight Talks

“Maker of the Stars” with Br Guy Consolmagno Date: Tuesday 24 April 2018 Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm Venue: Hotel Pennant Hills, 352 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills

Pentecost Vigil Celebration This is going to be an opportunity for our young people to gather in this Year of Youth to celebrate Pentecost with the Bishop as he shares his heart and message for this year. Date: Saturday 19 May 2018 Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm Venue: Our Lady of the Rosary and The Light of Christ Centre, Hornsby Cathedral Parish, 23 Yardley Avenue, Waitara

World Youth Day 2019 Panama – Leaders’ Retreat Bringing together all WYD leaders and clergy to begin their own pilgrimage journey to WYD – the retreat will include time to bond in bus leadership teams, overview of leadership structures and functions, formation of discipleship and accompaniment, as well as scenarios to test potential leadership teams. Date: Friday-Saturday 1-2 June 2018 Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm (the following day) Venue: Canisius Centre of Ignation Spirituality, 102 Mona Vale Rd, Pymble – TBC For more details on any CYBB events and RSVP: youth@dbb.org.au

Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) CCD training and formation opportunities serve those involved in the mission of Special Religious Education (SRE) in our State Schools but are also open to those in catechesis and evangelising outreach in our Diocese. The Office for Evangelisation offers CCD training to all interested people providing formation that enables the Gospel to be taken into the lives of others.

Level 1 – Tools for teaching in the SRE Classroom Level One units will be offered over 3 terms as one day training days (two units per day). All catechists are welcome to attend all units to gain a Level 1 certificate (CCDMI must be completed to receive certificate) or may attend the topics of interest. CCDL1-08-14 CCDL1-09-14

Teaching Strategies: Prayer in the Classroom Teaching Strategies: Listening and Questioning

Central Coast Region – Course Type: Level 1 – Units CCDL1-08-14 Teaching Strategies: Prayer in the Classroom & CCDL1-09-14 Teaching Strategies: Listening and Questioning Location: Lecture Room, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, The Entrance (Parking entry via Ashton Avenue) Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch Date: Friday 18 May 2018 Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm RSVP: By Friday 11 May 2018 Northern Beaches Region – Course Type: Level 1 – Units CCDL1-08-14 Teaching Strategies: Prayer in the Classroom & CCDL1-09-14 Teaching Strategies: Listening and Questioning Location: Our Lady of Good Counsel, 9 Currie Road, Frenchs Forest Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch Date: Friday 25 May 2018 Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm RSVP: By Friday 18 May 2018 Northern Shore & Hornsby Region – Course Type: Level 1 – Units CCDL1-08-14 Teaching Strategies: Prayer in the Classroom & CCDL1-09-14 Teaching Strategies: Listening and Questioning BROKEN BAY NEWS

Location: Caroline Chisholm Centre, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch Date: Friday 1 June 2018 Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm RSVP: By Friday 25 May 2018

“Lesson Planning”: Teaching the Authorised Curriculum All Catechists welcomed to attend this morning session. Northern Shore & Hornsby Region – Course Type: “Lesson Planning”: Teaching the Authorised Curriculum Location: Caroline Chisholm Centre, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills Date: Monday 16 April 2018 Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm RSVP: By Monday 9 April 2018 Northern Beaches – Course Type: “Lesson Planning”: Teaching the Authorised Curriculum Location: St Kieran’s, 2 King Street, Manly Vale Date: Wednesday 18 April 2018 Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm RSVP: By Monday 9 April 2018 Central Coast Region – Course Type: “Lesson Planning”: Teaching the Authorised Curriculum Location: Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish Hall, Serpentine Road, Terrigal Date: Friday 20 April 2018 Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm RSVP: By Friday 13 April 2018 For more details on CCD courses and RSVP: 9847 0448 or 4332 3825 or registrations@dbb.org.au APRIL 2018

15


VOCATIONS

Seminary Year begins for 2018! On Thursday, 8 February the seminarians for the Diocese of Broken Bay – Samuel French, Martino Hoang, Hien Vu, Aldrin Valdehueza and Peter Lennon – joined their fellow seminarians at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd (SGS) in Homebush for the Opening Mass. BY FR PAUL DURKIN, DIRECTOR OF VOCATIONS

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ishop Tony Randazzo was joined by 12 concelebrating priests, along with family and friends of the seminarians. The Seminary Schola led us with beautiful sacred music. This was followed by a lunch to further celebrate. It was a day filled with thanksgiving, joy and hope for the local Church. Bishop Tony shared his clear memories of beginning at the Seminary and encouraged the seminarians to be, above all, men of prayer, and offered us a personal reflection of what that meant for him in his life. He acknowledged that, in these days, it takes great faith and courage to set out on the path to ordained priesthood. Fr Danny Meagher, the Rector of the Seminary, warmly welcomed the families and friends of the

It was a day filled with thanksgiving, joy and hope for the local Church. first year seminarians, assuring them that the Seminary is a place of love and prayer, where those in formation are encouraged to find their deepest happiness, as they grow as human beings and as men preparing to be good and dedicated priests. This year eight young men began their studies for the diocesan

(l-r) Fr Stephen Wayoyi, Peter Lennon, Fr Paul Durkin, Martino Hoang, Hien Vu, Aldrin Valdehueza and Samuel French

priesthood at SGS. In all, 51 young men are currently studying at SGS, preparing for Ordination, preparing to share in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ and to serve the people of NSW. On Friday, 9 February Bishop Peter Comensoli led a reflection morning for the seminarians. He explored the Church’s vision for priests to be men for others, living with generosity of spirit and a willingness to build community. The people of Broken Bay wish the seminarians every blessing for the years ahead. Let us pray for all seminarians throughout the world. May these young men encourage others to consider how God is calling them in their lives. Are you being called to the priesthood

or to consecrated life? Do you know someone whom you would encourage to consider this call? The Vocations Office welcomes Fr Stephen Wayoyi to the team this year. The Vocations team offers an opportunity for discernment through participating in a regular monthly meeting held every last Wednesday 7:00pm-9:00pm at St Agatha’s Parish, Pennant Hills. There are opportunities for discernment retreats or to meet with someone to help with your discrnment. If you are interested and want to know more contact Vocations Ministry: https://www.dbb.org.au/vocations; or Vocations Broken Bay; Fr Paul 0425 746 749, Fr Stephen 0450 321 966 & Sr Margaret 0418 522 449.

...men preparing to be good and dedicated priests. 16 APRIL 2018


life faith Life Is Not Fair But It Can Be More Just

L By Fr Charles Dittmeier

Fr Charles Dittmeier is a priest from Louisville, KY. He is a Maryknoll Lay Missioner, and since 2000 has lived and worked in Cambodia. He currently serves as Project Director of the Deaf Development Program.

ife is not fair. That statement should not surprise any of us. One of the most common laments we hear—even from young children, maybe especially from young children, is “That’s not fair!” We see this injustice and unfairness all about us. In our global world, many nations consume far more of the earth’s resources than their population would justify. The overuse of fossil fuels that made possible the industrial revolution is now causing Pacific Island nations to disappear. There are calls to limit the use of those fuels, but less developed nations want the same access to those fuels to bring their own nations into a new era of development. In many countries, indigenous peoples have been abused and driven from their ancestral lands. Cut off from their traditional lifestyles, they have often fallen into poverty and cycles of alcoholism, abuse and family dysfunction. Once the proud owners of the land, they are now unable to live out their traditional lifestyle and heritage. They lack power and respect.

In the Church, women have felt excluded from leadership and decision making. Too often the Church, failing in creative ministry, have closed parishes in changing neighbourhoods rather than recreate the presence of the Church for populations that are now poorer and less affluent and are often people of colour. We as Church have often been slow to create a safe and welcoming space for our brothers and sisters who are gay. The Church has sometimes shown less concern for the abused than the perpetrators. In our societies, we have experienced an increasing gap between those who are very wealthy and those who are very poor. Many business and corporate decisions are motivated by increased profit for stockholders rather than concern for the common good. Neighbourhoods that vote the “wrong” way may see themselves receiving fewer government services. In schools, girls may not necessarily have the same access to sports and other activities. Some children may be bullied physically, verbally or online.


The Kingdom of God

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Jesus never promised his followers that they would have no problems. Jesus never promised them that he would solve all their problems. He did promise them that he would be with them to help them with their problems.

In families, parents can favour one child over another, maybe being more forgiving and less demanding of one child than of his or her brothers and sisters. Spouses may make decisions on the basis of their careers more than on the basis of their love and responsibilities for the family. One spouse may verbally, emotionally or physically exploit the perceived weakness of a loving partner. In general, there is unfairness in our world because of race, disability, language, skin colour, gender, age, beauty, sexual orientation and country of origin.

What can we do?

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e can’t take on all the world’s problems on our shoulders. We are limited in our own abilities and resources. Do we then just give up in despair and take care of our own? We know that life is unfair and that it will never be fair. But we can work to make it a more just and caring world. That is what Jesus did. We just recently finished the season of Lent in which the Sunday Masses started off with readings from Mark’s Gospel. There Mark introduced Jesus and his ministry rather quickly and dramatically. On the First Sunday of Lent, Mark had Jesus in the desert and then moved him into Galilee where he began his preaching with a dramatic announcement: “This is the time of fulfilment. The Kingdom of God is at hand” (Mk 1:15). Then on the Second Sunday of Lent, at the Transfiguration, the voice from the cloud said: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him” (Mk 9:7). The voice spoke to Peter, James and John, but also to us. What is it that we are to hear from Jesus? We are to attend to what Jesus said in the First Sunday’s Gospel: This is the time. The kingdom of God is here. In this place. Now.

hat is the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom or reign of God is not a physical or spiritual place. It is not some place we wait to go to at the end of the world or when we die. Rather, it is the reign of God made visible as Jesus heals the sick, raises the dead, comforts the afflicted, befriends sinners and outcasts, feeds the hungry, and clothes the naked. It is God’s love in action. It is a set of circumstances, an environment, rather than a location. Throughout much of the Hebrew Scriptures, God was a powerful God in covenant with the Chosen People, leading them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, establishing the House of David and Kingdom of Israel, and forming the tribes into God’s own people. The Israelites worshipped God from afar, finding God on the mountain tops, in the cloud, or in a fiery column. Their God was a God of power and might and they kept a respectful distance. Now Jesus comes and announces that the time of fulfilment, all that Israel had hoped for, is now. The Kingdom, the reign of God, is at hand in the person and the actions of Jesus. God is with the people in a new way. They are to experience God in a new and different way. They were waiting for, hoping for, a Messiah who would come and drive out the Romans, re-establish the Kingdom of David, and restore Israel to its former glory. But Jesus came and proclaimed a different kind of kingdom. It was a kingdom built not on military prowess and a restored royal household, but on loving actions. The Kingdom had arrived not because Jesus was a successful commander of the army of Israel but because he reached out to and loved and cared for the people on the margins— the people Pope Francis sends us to today. Through Jesus, God was no longer such a mystery but someone who became present and visible in Jesus. As Jesus walked among God’s people God was made present and was sharing their joys and sorrows and supporting them as they encountered the difficulties and the unfairness of life. In the eyes of those who beheld him on the Cross, Jesus did not appear a success in his striving to reveal God and God’s love to us. He died a lonely and ignominious death as a convicted criminal, surrounded by a taunting crowd, two thieves, and only his mother and one disciple to befriend him. And those he touched were so few. He had helped and cured many suffering people in his travels through Galilee and Judea but there were still many other sick and suffering persons who never had a chance to encounter his love and mercy. But Jesus did leave behind, in his disciples, in the Church that emerged from them, in us, the reign of God, the love of God active in caring for the poor, the suffering and those experiencing the unfairness of life. And he calls us now to continue building up this Kingdom of God.


The Presence of Jesus Today

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ost of us will not be great leaders in the political or social or corporate worlds but we can be the presence of God, the presence of Jesus, among those who suffer so much because of sinfulness—theirs or that of others—or who suffer simply because life is often unjust and unfair. What Jesus did 2,000 years ago he calls us to do today. The Church in Australia celebrated Project Compassion during Lent. Project Compassion is an attempt by the Church to make Jesus visible in our day and time by our working together in loving service to our brothers and sisters. The word “compassion” is important. It comes from Latin, the prefix “com” meaning “with,” and “passion” meaning “suffering.” To have compassion then means to suffer with someone. That is what Jesus did and that is what he calls us to do. Jesus’ suffering with his brothers and sisters was portrayed very graphically in a wood carving of a crucifix made by a Cambodian man, an amputee because of landmines. The crucifix had a wooden cross bar as would be logical in Cambodia, but also Jesus’ leg was blown off. That woodcarver got the message of the Gospel, that Jesus came to be among us, to suffer with us. The Church is given the mission to make sure that God is still with the suffering people of the world, present in our day and time through our love, our concern, our interest, our actions of love and service. We cannot heal all ills or undo all unfairness, but we can bring Jesus to the poor, the suffering, and let them know that they are not alone, that God’s love which Jesus taught us so well in his words and actions is still with them and supporting them. Jesus never promised his followers that they

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would have no problems. Jesus never promised them that he would solve all their problems. He did promise them that he would be with them to help them with their problems. That is what the Cambodian woodcarver understood so well.

From the Scriptures

here do we begin? For a start, we can turn to the Scriptures. The late convert and devout Catholic social activist, Dorothy Day (1897-1980), who opened her Houses of Hospitality to the poor and homeless of New York, lived by the following passage from Matthew 25: 31-40: When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me

clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you? And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” These works of love are also known as the corporal works of mercy and overleaf are some suggestions as to how we can practice them, in particular in our homes and families. Even one small action can make a big difference to someone else’s life.

Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food…


Works of Mercy Feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty • Share a meal with a neighbour or friend in need • Donate food items to a local soup kitchen, or volunteer as a family • Make an extra effort to avoid food wastage; and conserve water

Clothing the Naked • Sort out clothing and donate unwanted or excess clothes to charities • Donate school shoes to a suitable charity • Knit a scarf or blanket and donate it

Sheltering the Homeless • Help an elderly neighbour care for their home • Actively welcome new Australians in your community • Acknowledge the traditional landowners at your gatherings

Caring for the Sick

Let’s keep it simple, declutter, recycle, and consider our purchases so that the choices we make today free us, and are considerate of others and our environment.

• Spend time with family members and friends who are sick at home, in hospital or a nursing home • Send a get-well card to someone who is sick or provide a meal • Volunteer at a hospital or respite centre

Visiting the imprisoned • ‘Be there’ as a caring presence for those who feel imprisoned by loneliness or isolation • Pray for those imprisoned and their families • Support prison chaplaincy and social support services by donating to relevant charitable organisations There are in fact seven corporal works of mercy, the seventh being “to bury the dead”. This is

found in the Book of Tobit where he instructs his son Tobiah to take care of his mother and when she dies, to bury her next to him because “she faced many dangers for you while you were in her womb.” (Tobit 4:4)

Burying the Dead • Share consolation and prayers at funerals, wakes and visit family graves in remembrance and hope • Cook, babysit or offer help to families when a death or tragedy occurs • Send condolence cards, flowers or remembrances to grieving families

Three Sayings to Adopt for a More Just World “Live simply so that others can simply live” Our choices have consequences, and often it can be easy to accumulate much more than what we need. Let’s keep it simple, declutter, recycle, and consider our purchases so that the choices we make today free us, and are considerate of others and our environment.

“Never see a need without doing something about it” St Mary MacKillop’s challenge to all of us is to ask what I can do about a situation, rather than leaving it for someone else. Do I look at the world in terms of what I can give, rather than only what I can take?

“Love your neighbour as yourself” Jesus summarises it well, challenging us to treat all people with equal dignity and respect, no matter who they are. If I can be a little more just in all my daily interactions, then I have contributed to a more just world. Dr Cristina Gomez, Pina Bernard

Life + Faith is a series of informative articles that link faith and everyday life, prepared by the Catholic Life & Faith Formation Team, Office for Evangelisation. Contact: 9847 0474 faith.formation@dbb.org.au


ACROSS OUR DIOCESE

An afternoon to remember Early last year, Fr Norberto Ochoa challenged the Filipino Chaplaincies of Broken Bay (Central Coast, Chatswood, Dee Why and Waitara) to take on an Evangelisation Project – Marriage Convalidation.

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s soon as approval from the Bishop’s Office was granted, planning began and the Marriage Convalidation Project was promoted during Filipino masses of each chaplaincy. Posters and invitations were published in parish newsletters and emails sent to families, friends, acquaintances and parishioners. It was a Saturday afternoon, on 10 February 2018 at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara, when four couples from Chatswood and Dee Why walked down the aisle to receive the Church blessings. The couples had already been married in a civil ceremony, but always wanted to get married in the Church. Due to a number of challenges, the idea kept on being postponed. The Marriage Convalidation invitation was the opportunity to finally receive the Church blessings on their marriage. It was a hot afternoon (probably triggered by the love in the air). The four couples attended the sacrament of Reconciliation before the Nuptial Mass, celebrated by Fr Norberto and assisted by Deacon Roberto Corpuz.

BY CYNTHIA ALIPALO “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Mark 10:9. A very powerful verse in the bible that Fr Norberto shared in his homily during our Marriage Convalidation last February. “We have been happily married civilly for 14 years blessed with two beautiful kids and yet there’s this emptiness and longing in our hearts for a blessing in our marriage. No words could ever describe the happiness in our heart to be united and be blessed in the eyes of the Church which is instituted by God, a permanent covenant between husband and wife. “Our hearts are at peace, knowing that we come back into full communion and are once again welcome to partake in the rich sacramental life of the Church, especially the reception of the Eucharist, with the Church’s assurance of God’s special blessing upon our marriage. Having been convalidated, we get closer to the Church and to God and have built a stronger foundation for our family. We are truly blessed to have been part of the Diocese of Broken Bay Marriage Convalidation program.”

The couples marched on the flower-decorated aisle with their sponsors. Filipino tradition was observed during the wedding ceremony: candles symbolising God’s presence in the union, veil to show that couples are dressed for the world as one, and cords for everlasting fidelity. The readings and the homily were profound and inspiring. Music from the Filipino choir of Waitara evoked love and solemnity to their vows and the ceremony. After Mass, celebrations followed at the Light of Christ Centre. Light yummy refreshments were served and enjoyed by the guests. A lovely cakecutting ceremony followed by the couples’ wedding dance completed the afternoon. A big thank you to the four couples for accepting the invitation, to Fr Norberto and Deacon Roberto and the many volunteers who helped in making it an afternoon to remember. One of the couples who participated, Francis and Jeralyn Adao, reflected on their time. BROKEN BAY NEWS

APRIL 2018 21


EDUCATION

A Lesson on Burning Palms

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Students from St Kieran’s Catholic School, Manly Vale certainly know where the ashes used on Ash Wednesday come from.

ollowing the Opening School Mass, Fr Paul Maloney showed the children how the ashes were made. Outside the church, students, parents, parishioners and staff gathered a safe distance from the urn in order to see the palms on fire. Many parents had never seen the ashes being prepared for Ash Wednesday and were pleased to be invited along for the burning of the palms. Students at St Kieran’s participate in many of the traditions of the Catholic Church. It is by being immersed in the customs and practices of the Church that our children learn to understand and become part of the Church. When Ash Wednesday arrived all students knew exactly how the ashes used on their forehead were made and what they represented.

Award Winning Kincumber Holy Cross Catholic School, Kincumber was strongly represented at the local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) awards night.

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he awards consisted of three categories namely outstanding academic achievement, sporting achievement and community participation.

in all three categories and against strong competition, from both primary and high schools in the local area, the school managed to take out all three categories!

The AECG is a state-wide, not-for-profit organisation which ensures that Aboriginal Education continues to be represented in our schools and learning institutions. As a voluntary organisation, their main role is to promote active participation by Aboriginal people in the consultative and decision making process of education.

Neo Thompson, Year 4 student won for his outstanding achievement in mathematics, along with Hamish Taylor, Year 5, for his outstanding sportsmanship and achievements in a variety of sports including swimming and athletics. The Holy Cross Dance Troupe also won for their newly formed Aboriginal Dance Group, which have successfully performed at a number of occasions in schools across the Diocese.

Holy Cross were proudly nominated for awards

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EDUCATION

First Aid for Mental Health The team at St Mary’s Catholic School, Toukley recently brushed up on their Mental Health First Aid in a course run by Catholic Schools Office accredited trainers through Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia.

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rincipal Kevin Williams attended a course for senior leaders within the Diocese last year, and thought all the staff should attend it too.

“It gave us a really shared and contemporary understanding of mental health.”

He approached the co-ordinators from the CSO to ask them to run the course over two “twilight” sessions after school hours, and all staff, including educators, office staff and support staff, attended. “It gave us a really shared and contemporary understanding of mental health,” said Mr Williams. “It was a wonderful opportunity, with the major point being that it was a shared understanding.” Staff learned how to recognise a potential mental health issue in another person (student, friend, parent, family member, colleague) and were brought up to speed with current research into mental health. They were taught strategies to help people in need and have already used these

strategies within the workplace, the classroom, and with parents and grandparents. “The course covers skills and situations you need in your everyday life, not just in education,” said Mr Williams. “Everyone is touched by mental health issues in some way.” The MHFA commenced running courses in 2000 and now runs regular courses to help workplaces and communities recognise and manage mental health issues. “Staff have been very grateful and you can tell that it helped them not just as educators but also as people,” said Mr Williams.

From the Beaches to the Chelsea Flower Show When Jordan Cahill left Mater Maria Catholic College in Warriewood in 2013 he had no idea that in a few short years he would be competing in garden design on the world stage.

“I

did the HSC subjects of Woodwork, Business Studies, and Earth and Environmental Science and I was looking for something which would combine them all,” Mr Cahill said.

Gold medal at the State championships, Silver at Nationals and was recommended for a scholarship to do work experience.

A careers advisor at the College suggested landscaping. “I thought why not give that a shot,” said Mr Cahill. “The school gave me a great reference and I got a job at The Gardenmakers. It’s been pretty perfect. I love the hands-on experience and I like being outdoors every day.”

He won the scholarship and approached British landscape company The Outdoor Room to work on their Chelsea Flower Show exhibit.

At just 21, Mr Cahill won a competition to do work experience in the UK, and ended up constructing an exhibit for the 2017 Chelsea Flower Show. “It’s an internationally recognised competition where winners are awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals,” he said. Mr Cahill took out the BROKEN BAY NEWS

“It’s essentially the trades Olympics,” he said.

“I worked for a month constructing the exhibit,” he said. “It was amazing going through three years of my apprenticeship and then working at the most prestigious flower show in the world.” After returning from London, Mr Cahill was awarded NSW Apprentice of the Year across all trades in 2017 and is now an ambassador and spokesperson for VET. “VET helped me to pursue my career and go the distance, and go worldwide,” he said. APRIL 2018 23


EDUCATION

Swimming his way to success NSW Blues Awards are the highest sporting award given to students at Catholic Schools in NSW and it was with great honour that recently Thomas Peregrina from the St Leo’s Year 12 graduating class of 2017 was presented with a NSW Blues Award.

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he Blues Award is awarded to students who achieve greatness in their chosen sports by either representing NSWCCC, NSW All Schools or School Sports Australia, and also who are involved in a wide range of aspects of College life. At the ceremony, held at St Paul’s Catholic College Manly, Thomas’ Blues Award citation read “Thomas is a talented swimmer who represented

NSW Combined Catholic College and NSW All Schools at the Pacific School Games in Adelaide. During the NS W All Schools Championships, Thomas represented NSW Combined Catholic Colleges with pride and took home a Gold medal, two Silvers and a Bronze. His strong performance gained him selection in the NSW team for the Pacific School Games, where he swam in multiple events winning silver medals in the 200m backstroke, 400m individual medley and

the medley relay, as well as third in the 200m individual medley and the 200m freestyle. Away from the pool, Thomas was also very involved in social justice initiatives at St Leo’s including travelling to Kiribati on two occasions. He was a College House Captain, and also maintained a high level of academic achievement. Thomas is the 10th St Leo’s student to receive this prestigious award since introduced 21 years ago.

Tour De Cure

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Approximately 30 riders from Tour De Cure recently visited Maria Regina Catholic School, Avalon to present their Be Fit – Be Healthy – Be Happy program.

our De Cure is a cycling foundation committed to finding a cure for cancer. Since it began in 2007 they have raised over $35 million to help fund 306 cancer research, support and prevention projects. The students at Maria Regina enthusiastically greeted the riders as they entered their school playground and then listened intently to the presentation entitled Be Fit – Be Healthy – Be Happy. The presentation was specifically designed for primary school students with the aim of

24 APRIL 2018

demystifying cancer and raising awareness of the factors that can increase the risk of cancer: The students and their school community were encouraged to make healthy lifestyle choices going forward. Students received a bag of goodies and staff members a book to reinforce the Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy message. Year 2 student Michelina said she was really inspired. “I know we need to be healthy, be fit and be happy to live a good life. We even got a pack to take

home with a book, ball and cool stickers.” Fellow student Marco commented, “We played a cool game where we had to call out the special messages the loudest. We versed the teachers and we won!”


EDUCATION

Nothing like a traditional classroom The new building at St Brigid’s Lake Munmorah looks nothing like a traditional classroom.

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n an open-plan teaching area, students sit at communal tables which can be broken into individual desks if needed. They face each other instead of the teacher, and can break into smaller, more casual areas for small-group work, including on the balcony. On the ground floor, new rooms are fully equipped for both art and science, and can be used interchangeably to allow for flexible delivery of the curriculum. The new building was opened on Friday 23 February by the Bishop of Broken Bay, Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, and Federal Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells on behalf of Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training. “It was a pleasure to visit St Brigid’s Catholic College to see the new facilities firsthand and

the impact they will have on students’ learning potential,” Minister Fierravanti-Wells said. The Federal Government contributed $3.5 million in funding from the Capital Grants Program towards the building, which was designed to support the school’s state-of-the-art model of ‘student-centred learning.’ The architect, Matthew Greene from Paynter Dixon, said he and Principal Julie Terry wanted the design to reflect the collaborative approach St Brigid’s takes to teaching. “[The student-centred learning model] means that teachers are really facilitators of learning and students have the freedom to occupy a myriad of different spaces depending on their task, including outdoors,” said Mr Greene. The new building is the second of several

“It was a pleasure to visit St Brigid’s Catholic College to see the new facilities firsthand and the impact they will have on students’ learning potential.” planned for St Brigid’s, with construction of a third two-storey building, including a hospitality learning space with a full commercial kitchen, soon to be commenced.

Digital Technologies Ace Special congratulations to Michael Dalton, a Year 5 student at St Patrick’s Catholic School, Asquith, for his outstanding achievement in the area of Digital Technologies in this year’s ICAS Program administered by the University of NSW.

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CAS is an independent, skills-based assessment program which recognises and rewards student achievement in a variety of learning areas. It is a prestigious quality assessment and over one million student entries are accepted from over 6,300 schools in Australia and New Zealand annually.

and 100 students from New Zealand and the Pacific Region were awarded medals for their outstanding achievement. Michael was the only Year 5 student in NSW and the ACT to achieve the highest mark in the Year 5 Digital Technologies Competition.

Michael received a medal at the University of New South Wales ICAS Medal Award ceremony. Medals are awarded to students with the top score in each subject in each year level. This year over 980,000 entries were received but only 514 students from Australia

Whilst waiting to accept his medal, Michael said that he felt nervous but excited. He indicated that Digital Technologies is an area of learning that he particularly enjoys. He likes writing programs and enjoys helping the teacher each week with his school’s Coding group.

BROKEN BAY NEWS

APRIL 2018 25


NEWS AND ISSUES

Celebrating International Women’s Day Women in the Church On Saturday, 10 March, about 60 women and men (yes four brave men to be exact, including a bishop!) gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day at the Caroline Chisholm Centre at Pennant Hills. BY DR CRISTINA GOMEZ

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he day was about celebrating women’s participation and indelible contribution to the Church throughout the centuries and up to this day. While ancient Roman society ordered itself around such distinctions, leading to exclusions, inequalities, and ultimately oppression and marginalisation for certain peoples, St Paul believed with the new reign of God, this brought about a new order, which went as far as the cosmic level. This new order involved not only the dignified inclusion of widows who had become a problem category in ancient Roman society, but also the leadership of both women and men (usually wealthy) in spreading the Good News.

Bishop David Walker gave examples of women from the 4th to the 19th centuries, who responded to the needs of both Church and society, then gathered like-minded people around them to continue the work they had begun. These women instinctively lived by what our own St Mary MacKillop taught us which is “Never see a need without doing something about it.” Bishop David sought to encourage us that in whatever situation or role we found ourselves, either as daughters, mothers, teachers, scientists, directors, artists or all of the above, we have an indelible contribution to make in both Church and society. This contribution is not just at the administrative or pastoral level but also as leaders leading change, as already exemplified by the women presented to us. The challenge is to find new ways of responding to the emerging needs, taking into consideration that what met a need in the past may not necessarily

26 APRIL 2018

meet the needs of today. We are called to be creative and lead together in faith, hope and love in this endeavour. The panel presentation included Ms Ashleigh Green, social worker and Australian Catholic Youth Delegate at the Vatican Conference for the Synod with Young People in April 2017, Andrea Dean who is Director of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference National Office for the Participation of Women, Dr Michele Connolly and myself as panel chair. Ashleigh spoke about the concerns of young girls and women, particularly through her work in CatholicCare. She shared that the most important thing for young women is to be heard by those with decision-making powers within the Church. When those opportunities are made available, as relayed to us by Ashleigh’s experience of the Synod in April 2017, it truly brings hope for them because it shows that they are valued and they can bring their experiences and expertise to the conversation. Andrea Dean, in response to questions put forward to the panel, spoke frankly about the permission to feel the gamut of feelings of being a woman in the Church. Like all relationships, a relationship with the Church involves both joy and frustration and sometimes the experience can be more frustration than joy. Therefore self-care is important. Andrea showed us, by example, that whilst we continue to live in the complexities of our current situation we can trust the work of the Holy Spirit and continue ourselves to push for opportunities for and recognition of women in the Church.

Dr Connolly addressed what was seen as the ‘elephant in the room’ which was the participation of women in the exercise of governance and decision-making. Dr Connolly spoke of her experiences with women in other denominations and concluded that we needed to mature as a Church before we sought simplistic solutions. Before all else, she shared the need to address the issue of clericalism in our Church and this was not simply solved by a ritual or a commissioning. Dr Connolly also assured us that whilst the numbers of women in religious life were significantly dwindling in nations like Australia, we should not be alarmed but rather see this as hopeful and an opportunity for God to call us in new and creative ways. I spoke briefly about the language and symbols in our Church and whether or not they help to serve the purpose of communicating the Good News to people today. I quickly touched on Mary and how she must be seen as more than a mother but also a courageous woman and model disciple who carried the hopes and dreams of her Jewish people and overcame societal and personal obstacles in order to bring about God’s reign on earth. As we enter the process of dialogue for the Plenary Council in 2020 in Australia, and we grapple over the various issues we face, including the place of women in the Church today, one woman presented by Bishop David stood out for me: St Catherine of Sienna of the 14th century. Although her experience of visions of Christ is very particular and I would not be keen to join the rather strict women’s

…we needed to mature as a Church before we sought simplistic solutions monastery she founded in later life, I do like her gutsiness as a woman – resisting the roles that others sought to impose on her as a woman. She did not see herself in marriage, as a mother, or wearing the veil. Instead, she chose to live at home and dedicate herself to prayer and social action, as a lay Dominican tertiary. She was known for her work with the sick, poor and marginalised, including caring for victims of The Plague. St Catherine is credited with convincing the Pope to return the papacy from Avignon back to Rome. For the rest of her life she spent her days preaching and building peace in society, in the Church, and between Church and society. She is only one of four women declared as a Doctor of the Church. The International Women’s Day event was a great day with many attendants expressing a desire to meet again or connect, to learn more about certain women in the Scriptures and in Church history, and to continue to discern together how to help the Church to mature and find new ways to involve women and meet the emerging needs of people and all its living creatures.


ACROSS OUR DIOCESE

Robert Falzon brings the Father Factor to Broken Bay In the ever-changing landscape of family life, family groupings, and roles for men and women today, Robert Falzon, founder of menALIVE, highlights the vital role that men have as role models, fathers, and co-parents, for children today. BY DR CRISTINA GOMEZ

Falzon has been involved in this ministry to men for over 15 years through the menALIVE ministry which he founded in 2003. The purpose of menALIVE is to bring men together, to renew their faith in God and to encourage them to become an active force of renewal in the Church. Previous to this role, Falzon was a successful businessman. Over time he realised he needed to dedicate himself fully to the menALIVE ministry and so he sold his business and never looked back. To date, the ministry has delivered over 350 events in 26 dioceses between Australia and New Zealand, to over 20,000 men.

To learn more about menALIVE, go to http://www.menalive.org.au/

Robert Falzon will be presenting “Father Factor” seminars in the Diocese of Broken Bay on 8 May in Waitara, 9 May in Chatswood, and 10 May in Kincumber. For more details, please see the Office for Evangelisation Event Calendar within this edition of the Broken Bay News, or email faith.formation@dbb.org.au or call 02 9847 0428. All fathers and husbands are especially invited, but all men and women are more than welcome to attend.

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Footsteps of St Paul.

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BROKEN BAY NEWS

for all of us. For husbands and fathers today who feel lost in the constant changes in definitions of fatherhood and family, Falzon, through the “Father Factor” seminars and menALIVE ministry, provides some anchor points and most of all communities of men for which men and their families have benefited and can continue to benefit for many years to come.

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Previously, studies have pointed to absent fathers as a major cause for dysfunction in the home, in the development of children, their likelihood of success in the future, and to such things as the number of men incarcerated and the younger age in which youth engage in sexual activity. But recent research has shown the reasons are more complex: factors connected with one’s environment and genetic risk factors also play a

What Falzon brings into this conversation is that fathering is not just about being present but it is about being involved as a firm, loving and open presence to one’s child. For Christians, this parental image is not something new – Jesus told us to call God, Abba, a loving Father, and he gave us images of God as prodigal, that is, exorbitant in love and mercy

...fathering is not just about being present but it is about being involved as a firm, loving and open presence to one's child.

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Falzon is the author of two books, How to Grow a Men’s Ministry (2011) and The Father Factor (co-authored with Peter O’Shea, 2014). While the menALIVE ministry is faith-based, the “Father Factor” seminars are no-nonsense talks about practical things to do with family life and being a father and a husband. Married to a psychologist, Alicia, for 34 years, and with four adult children, Falzon is more than equipped to speak about the hard facts and tools for parenting gained from both research and experience.

large part in these negative outcomes for young people. At the same time, researchers like Paul Amato found that strong relationships between fathers and their children do make a difference and being a non-resident father can make it difficult to build these strong relationships though not impossible. In addition, Amato found that the successes of children in school was not necessarily dependent upon the number of times the father made contact with the child, but rather factors such as emotional bonding and authoritative parenting.

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alzon encourages men to take up their roles of being fully involved in family life and modelling to children what healthy relationships can look like – between men and women, between other men, and between male adults and children, especially those under their care.

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14 Days: Mt Nebo / Dead Sea Resort (2 Nights) / Bethlehem (2) / Nazareth / Mt Tabor / Cana / Sea of Galilee (3) / Mt Carmel / Jerusalem (4) and more

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2018 Departures: 7 Jun, 6 Sep, 4 Oct, 15 Nov. 2019 Departures: 21 Feb, 9 May, 6 Jun, 5 Sep, 26 Sep. Or ask us about our full range of Holy Land departures.

16 Jul 2018 - with Fr Peter Stojanovic PP 17 Sep 2018 - with Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett 15 Oct 2018 - with Mons Stuart Hall PP

“An experience of a lifetime! Reading the Bible has taken a completely new meaning since this pilgrimage – I am now living the words!” – Emily, Melbourne ★★★★★

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APRIL 2018 27


Thank you to the Everglades Country Club  fundraiser for Mary Mac’s

Mary Mac’s is open to anyone down on their luck, homeless or transient. Mary Mac’s supplies a two course lunch daily and a place to shower and to wash clothes. Mary Mac’s Place provides social, community and friendship opportunities for men, women and families, young people, elderly people and anyone facing difficulties in their lives. On Friday 16 February 2018, Everglades Country Club Woy Woy hosted a Charity Golf Day on behalf of Clubs NSW – a fundraiser which had Mary Mac’s Place and Invictus Games Veterans Program as the beneficiaries. Mary Mac’s received $8000 which was absolutely incredible! A big thank you to the sponsors of the event: • Bella Group Services • Central Coast Leagues Club • Easts Group • EBET • Ettalong Diggers • Gosford RSL • Sharp DS Central Coast.

The beautiful Everglades course saw 31 teams (124 people) playing 18 holes. In addition to the fundraising registration fee, the generosity of the players for the ‘Closest to the Pin’ and ‘Pro Long Shot’ was very much appreciated.

A heartfelt thank goes to Sam Higgins from Everglades who organised the day. Also a big shout out to Kevin, Susan and Sean for volunteering on behalf of Mary Mac’s. Mary Mac’s Place is located at the Ethel Cox Centre, 100 Blackwall Road, Woy Woy.

We urgently need foster carers For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me … Matthew 25:35 There are children in our community who, without our help will go through childhood without the love and support of a family. These children have the same needs as all kids – love, care, safety and consistency. Somewhere to belong. There are families too who struggle daily, and as a result face the prospect of short and even long-term separation from their children. We believe all children deserve a safe home, and by providing one we can help them build their self-esteem and develop the skills they need to succeed in life. We’re looking for everyday people to provide a home for these children – whether for one or two nights, a few weeks, months, or as permanent carers for life. This might be you … If you have space in your home and room in your heart, please reach out now. CatholicCare Foster Care P: (02) 4320 7700 E: fostercare@catholiccaredbb.org.au

FAMILY CENTRES: Central Coast • Naremburn • Northern Beaches • Waitara DISABILITY FUTURES: Central Coast • Northern Beaches • Northern Sydney OUT OF HOME CARE: Foster Care • Residential Care EARLY LEARNING & CARE CENTRES: Forestville • Lake Munmorah • Terrigal • Waitara • Woy Woy

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APRIL 2018


Can you spare one hour a fortnight?

There are residents in aged care homes and hostels across the Northern Beaches who may not have family or friends living nearby to visit them. CatholicCare’s Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is looking for volunteers who would like to spend an hour once a fortnight to develop friendships, have a chat and share a cuppa. You’ll be surprised by the joy you can share! We are able to match volunteers to residents in most of the aged care homes on the Northern Beaches from Dee Why to Avalon. The visiting times are very flexible and volunteers need to commit to just one hour each fortnight. Orientation and ongoing training and support is provided. There is also an opportunity for social gatherings. If you can help, please contact:

CVS was established in 1982 and is funded by the Australian government.

Rosemary Edgar Northern Beaches Family Centre P: 0418 435 304 E: cvs@catholiccaredbb.org.au

New Outside School Hours Care centres open in Kincumber & Lindfield CatholicCare recently launched two new Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) Centres – at Holy Cross Catholic School in Kincumber and Holy Family in Lindfield. Our experienced team of educators strive to create environments where children feel welcome and encouraged to experiment and grow. We have many activities for children – from sports, craft and imaginative play to music, painting, board games and more. We program our activities around the interests of the children so if there’s something that a child wants to explore, we facilitate that opportunity. Central to this is creating strong relationships with the children. We focus on getting to know each child, their interests and hobbies, so that we can provide the best possible care and the children feel comfortable. For more information about our before and after school care and vacation care options, please contact: CatholicCare Children’s Services P: (02) 9481 2600 E: childrensservices@catholiccaredbb.org.au

OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS CARE: Avalon • Carlingford • Collaroy Plateau • Davidson • East Gosford • Forestville • Freshwater • Kincumber • Lake Munmorah • Lindfield • Manly • Manly Vale • Mona Vale • Narrabeen • Pymble • Tumbi Umbi • Waitara • Warnervale • West Pymble • Woy Woy HOSPITAL CHAPLAINCY: Gosford • Hornsby • Manly • Mona Vale • Royal North Shore • Wahroonga (SAN) • Wyong APRIL 2018

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NEWS AND ISSUES

Renaissance of Marriage Conference provides hope and a fighting spirit

Shane and Leanne Hyland and Bernadette and David Jee

“Married family life is under great pressure these days, with competing agendas and social fragmentation. But there is also a deep and abiding goodness in family life, lived out in the midst of their daily circumstances. This is worth fighting for, especially where hope seems impossible.” Bishop Peter Comensoli BBN, December 2017 BY STEVEN BUHAGIAR, TEAM LEADER, LIFE MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

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he 2018 Renaissance of Marriage Conference held at the University of Notre Dame Sydney campus on the 16-17 February, certainly provided much ‘hope’ and ‘fighting spirit’ for the close to 300 participants who listened to and discussed the central issue of marriage and the possible means of reawakening the social consciousness to its fundamental role in underpinning the good of every flourishing society.

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The Conference was organised by the Parish and Marriage Resource Centre (PMRC) and hosted by the ever dynamic duo Byron and Francine Pirola of ‘SmartLoving Engaged’ and ‘Breakthrough Workshop’ renown to name just a few forums in which the couple has wonderfully contributed to building a culture of marriage here in Australia and, more recently, around the world.

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Geoff and Rebecca Duffy

There were at least 10 couples present at the conference who are active in parishes across the Diocese of Broken Bay. This included Shane and Leanne Hyland who have been chosen to represent the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland in August of this year, as well as Bernadette and David Jee who have also recently been announced as the Diocese’s own representatives at the international event. Geoff and Rebecca Duffy, from the Manly Freshwater Parish, made time in the midst of their busy family schedule to attend the Renaissance of Marriage conference and came away knowing that it would leave an indelible mark on their marriage and family life going forward. Rebecca made the following comment and it is quite telling in light of what one hopes marriage can mean not only to married couples themselves, but also in terms of the legacy that parents want to leave to their children: “I have been speaking to my friends about how touched I was by the commitment and passion of the speakers at the conference. I was touched by the hope for the future of our children to experience the gift of a Catholic marriage, and how it can shine as a beacon of goodness in a society that is so full of confusion. It reinvigorated my love of Christ and I have felt the calm of His love and presence in every moment of

the past couple of days. Stopping and taking time to listen with my husband was invaluable.” The keynote speaker for the conference was Dr Gregory Bottaro, founder of The CatholicPsych Institute and a practising clinical psychologist from Connecticut in the US. Dr Bottaro provided an excellent insight into the way that men and women think and how their brains are wired differently even from a very young age. He highlighted the key differences inherent in each sex, naming those biological and psychological characteristics which form a beautiful complementarity when women and men come together in relationship and, crucially, in one as important as marriage. Our own Bishop Peter Comensoli delved into the ‘concrete realities’ of marriage and family life as expressed in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, and then broke this open further with the conference participants who chose to attend the workshop which he facilitated. Christina King, who recently provided parents with the ‘Parenting for Love’ afternoon at St Agatha’s Parish Pennant Hills, was also a speaker at the conference and encouraged participants to persevere despite the difficulties and stresses that are part and parcel of married and family life and to do so especially with the assistance of the graces on offer in living a sacramental life.


NEWS AND ISSUES

Two CYBBies join the Pro-Life walk In January this year, two of our CYBBies (Catholic Youth Broken Bay) joined a group of young people and walked from Brisbane to Melbourne for the pro-life movement. BY MELISSA LOUGHLIN

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onica Pazniewski of Hornsby Cathedral Parish and Rachel Vala, Youth Minister at Pennant Hills Parish, were part of the group of 12 walkers, including one priest, that participated in the annual Crossroads event. It took the group of walkers 34 days to complete the 1600 kilometres journey, walking for sixseven hours a day. The walkers came from all up and down the east coast of Australia, from Brisbane, Coffs Harbour, Casino, Wollongong, Melbourne and Sydney. To prepare for the journey, Monica practiced walking a few kilometres a day and even joined a gym. “Nothing could have possibly prepared me for the physical intensity and coping with the heat though,” said Monica. Monica has always been a supporter of the pro-life movement. She decided to do Crossroads when she heard about it through friends who did it last year. “I’ve always been very passionate about standing up for the rights of the unborn, and this seemed like an awesome way to get involved with the cause,” said Monica. “When I was about 4 years old my mum went to a pro-life talk,” added Monica. “She came home with a little figurine of a foetus aged 11 weeks. It was such a profound moment when she told me that sometimes mothers don’t want their children and so these poor little babies are killed. Heartbroken, I held that little figurine in my hands. I made it a little nest out of blankets to keep it safe and warm. I cuddled it and looked after it for many years!” The Crossroads walk is a peaceful invitation for people to choose life. “We don’t actively approach people on the streets, but are more than willing to chat if they approach us,” added Monica. “We speak at Masses on the weekends to inform parishioners about the dignity and sanctity of human life. We also pray a LOT! We do a rosary every leg of the walk as well as a Divine Mercy Chaplet. We say the morning and evening office too. It was great to have a priest on board to help us all with our spiritual journey. I grew a lot in my faith.” Despite the peaceful nature of the walk, the Crossroads group did receive a lot of negativity, especially when praying outside abortion clinics. “People often angrily beeped their horns at us while we were walking or would swear at us,” said Monica. “In the shopping centres sometimes people would even physically threaten us.

BROKEN BAY NEWS

But there was a lot of positive feedback too. The parishioners loved us! Some people on the walk would stop to take photos of us or thank us for what we were doing. The tradies also really liked us (probably because we were in hi-vis yellow shirts too!)” Monica says the experience was wonderful and she would definitely do it again and is keen to get involved in the pro-life movement in other ways. “In February this year I did a Life Choice Internship where we spent five days learning all about the devastating effects of abortion, euthanasia and eugenics,” said Monica. “I’m also keen to get

involved with Diamond Pregnancy Support. They comfort women and families faced with unexpected pregnancies and give them help and counselling to make positive decisions.”

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NEWS AND ISSUES

Vatican Archbishop visits Broken Bay

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His Excellency, Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, Secretary of the Holy See’s Congregation for Catholic Education (second highest official) was a very special guest in the Hornsby Cathedral precinct on Monday 5 March, 2018.

rchbishop Zani visited staff and students of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School,Waitara, St Leo’s Catholic College, and CatholicCare’s Waitara Family Centre and Early Learning Centre.

A guest of the Australian Catholic University, the Archbishop and Mgr Thiverge experienced various levels of Catholic education, from early childhood through to Tertiary, during their week-long stay. Bishop Peter Comensoli welcomed and toured with the official party which included: Fr Anthony

Casamento csma (Director, Identity and Mission ACU); Nigel Zimmermann (Associate Director, Church Policy ACU); Mr Julian Leeser MP, Member for Berowra; Diocesan representatives – Fr David Ranson VG; Fr Robert Borg (Dean of the Cathedral); Deacon Roberto Corpuz; Principals Jacinta Crowe and Tony Gleeson; Director of Schools Peter Hamill; Virginia Ryan (Assistant Director CSO Evangelisation and Catholic Formation); and Annie Carrett (Senior Advisor and Director, Communications).

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Accompanied by Professor Monsignor Guy-Real Thiverge, the Secretary General of the Holy See’s new foundation – Fondazione Gravissium Educationis, His Excellency spent several hours

experiencing Australian Catholic education firsthand – chatting with students, teachers and Program workers.

32 APRIL 2018


ACROSS OUR DIOCESE

New Catholics welcomed in the Rite of Election ceremony O n 18 February, Bishop Peter A Comensoli welcomed Catechumens from across the Diocese of Broken Bay to Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara for the Rite of Election. These Catechumens have been participating in the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) program in their local parish.

Joined by their sponsors and their RCIA Parish Coordinators at the ceremony, the Catechumens’ names were added to the Book of Elect and will be baptised as Catholics in their parishes at Easter. We welcome them all to the Catholic community of Broken Bay, and keep them in our prayers.

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APRIL 2018 33


NEWS AND ISSUES

Most Rev Brian Mascord ordained as the fifth Bishop of Wollongong In one of the largest Catholic episcopal ordinations in Australian history, a “fullhouse” of some 4,500 guests, including the Apostolic Nuncio in Australia, His Excellency Most Reverend Adolfo Tito Yllana, witnessed the ordination of Most Rev Brian Mascord as the fifth Bishop of Wollongong at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong on Thursday 22 February 2018.

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ivestreamed to a national and global audience, the principal consecrator, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP (Archbishop of Sydney) and co-consecrators, Bishop Peter Ingham (now Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Wollongong) and Bishop William Wright (Bishop of MaitlandNewcastle Diocese), presided over the Mass of Ordination for the new Bishop Mascord. They were joined by 34 Australian bishops and 113 priests concelebrating the Mass; parishioners and families from all the diocesan parishes; principals, staff and students from more than 40 Diocesan Catholic schools; staff and families from diocesan agencies and affiliated organisations; leaders of other churches and faiths; civic leaders in government and business, along with over 700 of Bishop Brian’s family, friends, parishioners and community members from the Diocese of MaitlandNewcastle where he has ministered since being ordained to the priesthood in 1992. In a heartfelt message to his beloved and very proud parents,

Ron and Margaret, who were present to share in this experience with him, he thanked them for “being who they are and that God had revealed his faithfulness through the gift of their love for him.” Bishop Mascord said, “Life can throw up many challenges—ones that can, at times, seem almost insurmountable. When the Apostolic Nuncio rang me at the end of November with the invitation from the Holy Father, Pope Francis, to be the bishop of Wollongong, it all seemed totally insurmountable. But, here I am—overwhelmed, nervous, yet open to what the Lord has in store for me and for all of us. I am very conscious of the incredible trust that Pope Francis now places in me.” Bishop Mascord said, “I look forward to living and working with you as together we continue to build up the presence of the Kingdom of God in this area of the vineyard.” The new bishop has adopted the motto, “For all things give thanks,” from 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Bishop Brian Mascord with his parents Ron and Margaret. Pic by Daniel Hopper

In acknowledging the retiring Bishop Peter Ingham, Archbishop Fisher said, “Tonight the Chair of Peter becomes the Chair of Brian—in Wollongong at least—and I pay tribute to Bishop Peter Ingham for his faithful service as Bishop here for the past 16 ½ years. A good few in this region have been confirmed by him. Some more love him from his regular presence in parishes, schools and agencies. Others have been taught or led by him. And many have laughed at his ‘Dad jokes’.” The Diocese of Wollongong takes in the geographical areas of the Illawarra, Macarthur, Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands and is home to some 200,000 baptised Catholics. It is the first ordination of a bishop in the Diocese of Wollongong for some 22 years (Bishop Peter Ingham was already a bishop when he was installed as the fourth Bishop of Wollongong more than 16 years ago in 2001).

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NEWS AND ISSUES

Be Warriors for God

DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY Most Rev Peter A Comensoli Bishop of Broken Bay 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) PO Box 340 Pennant Hills NSW 1715 officeofthebishop@dbb.org.au

CHANCERY OFFICES Office of the Bishop Senior Advisor, Director, Communications Annie Carrett Vicar General: Very Rev Dr David Ranson VG Chancellor Jo Robertson Diocesan Financial Administrator, Director, Office for Stewardship: Emma McDonald Director, Office for Evangelisation: Daniel Ang Safeguarding (Chancery) Manager Jodie Crisafulli Tel: (02) 9847 0212 Director, Marriage Tribunal: Adrienne Connaghan Tel: (02) 9847 0458 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Alison Newell

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS OFFICE Director: Peter Hamill Tel (02) 9847 0000 PO Box 967 Pennant Hills NSW 1715 CATHOLICCARE Executive Director: Trish Devlin 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) 4320 7700 Mission, Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care (02) 9481 2658

BROKEN BAY NEWS Editor: Melissa Loughlin Tel: (02) 9847 0722 news@dbb.org.au Design: Chris Murray Printed by NCP Printing 20,000 copies of the Broken Bay News are distributed monthly through 26 parishes and 44 schools in the Diocese of Broken Bay. The Broken Bay News is a member of the Australasian Catholic Press Association. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply diocesan endorsement of products or services advertised.

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Through the eyes of one young woman, this series will explore what it means to be Catholic in the modern world. Starting with what it means to be a single Catholic and ending with social issues such as SameSex Marriage, this series hopes to provide a fresh perspective on the issues that are all too important. BY CATHERINE DAY

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grew up in a religiously mixed household. My dad is Catholic, and my mum is Presbyterian. Our Sundays were divided between both Churches, but as a child and teenager I had more of a personal connection with the Presbyterian Church. Unlike Mass which goes for around 40 minutes, Presbyterian Sunday services run for about an hour and a half. Half an hour is dedicated to singing new and old hymns; and then an hour for the sermon. For the children, while their parents are listening to the Minister, Sunday School is held for the same length of time and structured the same. Then, the older ladies of the congregation would usually provide lunch in the church hall for everyone. Sundays here, for me, were wonderful! I spent it with my mum and her family, my church friends and, I felt involved in and impacted by the readings for that week. The Catholic Church however, appeared to be dull and lifeless. How wrong I was! It has only been in the last several years or so, that I have developed a stronger relationship with the Catholic faith. While I still attend services with my mum, I am Catholic. Our Church is so full of life: only last year, 19,000 young Catholics celebrated their faith together at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival; and the youth of our Diocese kicked off World Youth Day 2019 a few weeks ago by eating and dancing the night away. But, after

reading God is not nice by Ulrich L. Lehner, I think there are a few issues that we as a Church need to address. (I am currently re-reading this book, as it is difficult to read; mostly because it is steeped in philosophy and theology but also, it is extremely challenging). Firstly, too many of our youth have never really opened the Bible. While Protestants and Catholics use the Bible in different ways (for them, if it’s not in the Bible then it’s not from God), it is important that we read what is inside it; we cannot take the lazy way, of passively engaging with it during Mass because it is within the pages, the character of God is revealed to us. He is awe-inspiring, powerful, loving and demanding. God demands that we completely give Him all that we are. Rather than fully understanding who God is, we have constructed a god who does not really have a role within our everyday lives because we are scared. But we should not be. St Augustine converted after hearing children singing “Take and read. Take and read.” The saving words of the Scripture in the Bible he picked up to read, was what transformed his life and brought about a true and constant conversion. We all need to “take and read”. Secondly, we as a Church should not be scared to proclaim what we believe. Not just the fundamentals, but also all that which may be offensive to the world. When people take offence to a truth, it is because they

have rejected that truth. For example, consider gender ideology. Since the dawn of time, there has only been two genders; male and female. But, in the last decade or so, more than 56 genders have appeared. With that, people are whatever gender they feel themselves to be. Feeling has replaced truth. Truthfully, God only created male and female, both equal and distinct from each other. We need to be boldly declare this – and all truths – and not shy away in fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Thirdly, while I do say I am Catholic, there are many parts of the faith I do not know or fully understand. If someone were to ask me what the specifics of Catholicism are, I doubt I would give a good response. I think there are probably many other lay Catholics in same boat. I think there needs to be better education around what and why we believe what we believe. Not so much within the schools, but within our churches. Programs such as Alpha, are great in that they provide a wonderful opportunity for youth and adults to discuss the faith. We need more programs like this! We also need to have a discussion about Hell. Somewhere along the way, it has been forgotten and almost seems like an imaginary place. But it is not! “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). While I am aware that I appear critical, I want to stress that this is because I want to see more people in the pews, I want more of the youth to have a strong relationship with God, and I want us to stand against the current culture which seeks to destroy all that has been good for centuries. Our faith is beautiful. We need not be afraid of it, but wear it proudly and be warriors for God. APRIL 2018 35


Br Guy Consolmagno SJ Presentations in the Diocese of Broken Bay Br Guy Consolmagno SJ is the Director of the Vatican Observatory, and holds a PhD in Planetary Science. As both a Jesuit and a scientist, Br Guy will explore the fascinating topic of how faith and science co-exist. Br Guy has published a number of books, the latest titled “Would You Baptise an Extraterrestrial?”

In Awe of the Universe: Connecting Science and Faith 28 April The Universe is both rational and beautiful – how did it start and how will it end? Can it speak of God, and what can it tell us about the personality of the Creator? Why does the Vatican do Astronomy at all? Be enriched by this stimulating conversation about the connectedness of life, faith and science.

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looking Up at the Stars: we’re All Connected 30 April Stars have always been a source of wonder, and even Jesus’ birth featured a star. In looking at the night sky, we know there is more than what we can see. What’s out there? How are we on Earth connected to everything else? Br Guy will explore some of the big and new ideas in Astronomy, and the relationship between science and faith. This evening will conclude with a viewing of the night sky with telescopes (weather permitting).

CatholiC life & faith formation

Enquiries: faith.formation@dbb.org.au or 9847 0428

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Note: Registration is essential for these events.

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Broken bay news april 2018  
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