B R O K E N B AY N E W S P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E C AT H O L I C D I O C E S E O F B R O K E N B AY J U N E 2 0 1 7 I S S U E 1 8 8
Healing through the scriptures ACYF Registrations now open All the single ladies! A new series about being Catholic in the modern world Hornsby Cathedral Parish An outwardly-focused, warm and caring community
Welcoming our newest Catholics
HEART TO HEART
Look for the doors that are open a bit…
ear friends, As is his practice, Pope Francis held a press conference on the flight home from his recent visit to Fatima, for the centenary of Our Lady’s apparition to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. I’m always interested in these media opportunities because we get to hear directly, and ‘off the cuff ’, what our Holy Father actually thinks, rather than his words being filtered through others. On this flight, Pope Francis was asked about his upcoming meeting with President Trump (which took place on 24 May), and their seemingly opposing views on global warming and welcoming migrants. His reply was quite enlightening. He said: “I never make a judgment of a person without listening to them. In our talk things will come out, I will say what I think, he will say what he thinks.
But I never, ever, want to make a judgment without hearing the person.” He went on to remark: “Always there are doors that are not closed. Look for the doors that are at least a little bit open, enter and talk about common things and go on. Step by step. Peace is handcrafted. It is made every day. Also friendship among people, mutual knowledge, esteem, is handcrafted. It’s made every day. Say what you think, but with respect. Walk together.” “Never judge someone before meeting them” and “Look for the doors that are open a bit.” These are two very good pieces of advice we can all practice daily. And they are two pieces of advice which closely reflect the way in which Jesus approached the relationship between judgment and mercy. To see this, let’s recall that most dramatic of Gospel stories when a woman, accused by the Pharisees of adultery and threated with the prescribed sentence of death, was thrown at the feet of Jesus for his judgement ( Jn 8.1-11). Jesus, you will recall, refuses to engage with the Pharisees, and instead bends down to groundlevel to write in the dirt. By this bending down, Jesus also comes to the place where the woman is – not standing over her threateningly, but being beside her openly. There, as we can imagine, they exchanged eye contact – person to person – and the ‘handcrafting’ of friendship
was able to occur. When Jesus finally stands back up to face her accusers, it is not the woman he has met who receives the judgement, but them. To this threatened woman Jesus first listened (with his heart), and thereby found a door ajar that would allow the woman to go on, step by step: “I do not condemn you… Go, and sin no more.” Justice and mercy cannot be understood apart from each other. This is because justice is about being attentive to the truth of the matter at hand, while mercy is about being attentive to the truth of the person concerned. In terms of the ‘truth of the matter’ in which the woman finds herself condemned, Jesus does not shy away from making a judgement: adultery is a sin against the 6th Commandment. But in terms of the ‘truth of the person’ that is present before him, neither does Jesus shy away from mercy: the woman is set free of her sin. I have been thinking quite a bit about this difference in relation to the recent public debate about people who identify as transgender, and the broader question of gender identity. So, let me offer you some thoughts in the light of the way of Jesus and the advice of Pope Francis. Firstly, some definitions. The terms ‘male’ and ‘female’ are biological categories. Apart from extremely rare cases of people born with a congenital condition that makes it difficult to determine maleness or femaleness (commonly
HEART TO HEART known as ‘intersex’), every human being is either of a male or female sex. Our sex is determined by our biology. The terms ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine,’ on the other hand, are gender categories. ‘Gender’ refers to the myriad of ways in which the basic biological difference in sex is given expression in our lived experience. All cultures have characteristic ways of expressing masculinity and femininity, and it is in this sense that gender is socially constructed. The ways in which cultures typically express masculinity and femininity will either foster or diminish the integral human development of both men and women. They may promote and entrench injustice and inequality between men and women. But they may also celebrate the equality, mutuality and difference of women and men. What seems to have emerged in our culture in recent years is a view that sex and gender are not only distinct, but separate things: sex is determined by a biological process; and gender, because it is formed in the process of socialisation, is fluid and can be chosen. There are varying forms of this idea, but essentially it claims that gender is not ‘assigned’ at birth, and people are free to determine for themselves how they might personally identify. In its extreme form, gender can be anything I assign for myself at any time. This is quite different to a genuinely human freedom that is discoverable in the way that I express my masculinity as a man or my femininity as a woman. This way of thinking about sex and gender involves a radical separation between our bodily make-up on the one hand, and our psychological make up on the other hand. It says: we are free to choose our own identity, rather than discover it from the body with which we have been endowed. But as Pope Francis has taught us in On the Gift of Love: “biological sex and the socio-cultural role of
sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated.” (AL.56) In other words, the Christian understanding of our humanity sees sex and gender as distinctive dimensions of our one bodily reality. To be human is to live a bodily life, through and through, even for people who are intersex. Our bodies are not just ‘vehicles’ for manipulation by our minds, we are our bodies. (Try to imagine yourself without your body!) This is what ensures there is equal dignity between males and females in our sexual difference: one is not ‘better than’ the other, such that we can change to something that might seem to ‘fit better’. Through our sexual difference we are able to express mutuality, reciprocity and generativity. This mutually enriching difference is at the basis of human relationships, and the way in which families come to reflect the life of the Trinity. What I have said above about sex and gender is about being attentive to the truth of the matter. But what of the truth of the person? What of the person who experiences gender dysphoria (that is, distress), and who feels intensely a mismatch between their biological make up and their feelings about their gender? What of the transgender person who believes that the sex of their body does not correspond with the gender of their identity? Our only truly Christian way of answering this question is the way of Jesus: “Neither do I condemn you.” Or as Pope Francis advises: first, never judge someone before meeting them, and then, look for the doors that are open a bit. The way of Jesus, and the advice of Francis, both speak of the path of love and mercy. And always, this path starts with ourselves. How might I want to experience love and mercy in the circumstances of my life, in my weaknesses and vulnerabilities? How would I hope that others will do unto me? Certainly, the path of
love and mercy is a truthful path; the honest word spoken with care and tenderness is a word always worth hearing. But the word of truth also calls for the footstep of accompaniment. We cannot know and befriend someone by shouting at them from afar. The value of our faith is in the shared understanding of loving and trusting relationships – friends walk together, so that they may come to know and love each other. The truth of the path we walk is built inside a person, not around the abstract societal rules outside of them. The true path is an internal gift from God and our accompaniment is to support them in meeting Jesus and realising this path. What a grace and honour that is for us to be present with someone as they meet Jesus! So, how do I be attentive to the truth of the person who is transgender or gender confused? We listen, we talk, we walk together. In the same press conference coming back from Fatima, Pope Francis also had this to say. They seem fitting words to finish with: “I don’t like to hurry things. Walk. Walk. Walk. And then we’ll see. For me, it’s not an issue of winners and losers, it’s an issue of brothers and sisters who must walk together, looking for a formula to make steps forward.” Please pray for me, as I pray for you.
Most Rev Peter A Comensoli Bishop of Broken Bay
BROKEN BAY BIBLE OFFER Through the generosity of the Fr Harry Davis Estate, the Diocese of Broken Bay offers a selection of Bibles at an affordable price. The Diocese of Broken Bay would like to congratulate The Bible Society of Australia on celebrating 200 years of sharing the Bible in Australia. The Bible Society is Australia’s longestliving organisation, inaugurated in Sydney on 7 March 1817, and works to translate and distribute the Bible, as well as promoting the Bible and its relevance today.
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DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY Most Rev Peter A Comensoli Bishop of Broken Bay
NEWS & ISSUES
All the single ladies!
By Catherine Day
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 Same-Sex Marriage, this series hopes to provide a fresh perspective on the issues that are all too important.
eing a single Catholic is hard. Currently in Australia, 38 per cent of the population is single. Yet in parishes, we are the forgotten few. There is such focus on getting married that singleness is almost like a state of limbo – we are just waiting to move to the married section of Church life. But surely there is more to being single; there has to be meaning in it. I have been told, time and time again, by many friends that I need to hurry up and get a boyfriend, almost as though being single is a problem. One friend has even gone so far as to tell me that if I hit 30 without ever having a boyfriend, no one will want me because there has to be something wrong with me. But here’s the truth of the matter, being single is not a problem. It is a gift, a gift that demands us to use it. St Paul in his letters to the Corinthians sings the praises of singleness: “Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage” (1 Cor. 7:27). St Paul sets up marriage as a Plan B. Get married if you have to but being single is the way to be. Simply because when you are free from the responsibility of being in a relationship, you are able to give God your undivided attention. Not only do we have the time to form the ultimate relationship with God, no matter how much we try, no one can love us fully as much as He does, but more than that, we are able to know who we are through Him. God made us to be social animals. We need to form
relationships because we were made to love and be loved. While our families and friends love us, the desire for romantic love is overwhelming. The sense of loneliness and the feelings of unwantedness can be allconsuming. But there is hope, you just need to devote yourself to God. All throughout university, I had a friend obsessed with getting married. She was convinced every boyfriend she had (she had a few) was the one. She wanted to be married to get away from her family, to have her problems fixed and ultimately, to feel complete. While marriage does offer joy, help and relief, it does not come without its problems. You are, after all, attaching yourself to someone else. Their problems become yours; your goals and ambitions become theirs. Rather than simplifying life, you are complicating it. We should not rush to get married. Being single is a time to be fruitful. Rather than being magically transformed into a better person when we get married, we need to spend this time becoming better Christians. We should start by spending time being selfless. “3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). Whatever we do, we need to be willing to give up
our time for others and for God. If we don’t know how to be selfless now, it will make life extremely hard when we get married. By doing more for God, our lives will become all about God. The importance of this is that rather than finding someone who will complete you here on earth, you will find God gifting you with the right person to lead you closer to Him. The world around us tells us not to worry about God. It tells us to indulge, to live however we want, to have as many sexual partners as we want (at different times or the same time), to be whoever and whatever we want. Live your life for yourself, and if it doesn’t go according to plan then blame the patriarchal system. Don’t listen to the world. Sure, your non-Catholic friends might be having the time of their lives, but are they truly satisfied? If you look deep enough, you’ll find that everything they do is to satisfy a thirst that will never be quenched. Being single is a time to be enjoyed as you develop into the person you want to be. For me, it will be a young woman who places God first. God does not want us to strictly follow Him without any love, He wants us to desire Him. By learning to focus on God, life will change. Singleness will no longer feel empty and lonely, but full. Being single is not being in limbo, it is a precious time that needs to celebrated.
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 email@example.com
CHANCERY OFFICES Director, Office of the Bishop Private Secretary Sandie Cornish Vicar General: Very Rev Dr David Ranson VG Chancellor Jo Robertson Diocesan Financial Administrator, Director, Office for Stewardship: Emma McDonald Director, Office for Communications Annie Carrett Director, Office for Evangelisation: Daniel Ang Safeguarding (Chancery) Manager Jodie Crisafulli Tel: (02) 9847 0212 Director, Marriage Tribunal: Adrienne Connaghan Tel: (02) 9847 0458 Catholic Development Fund: Chris Field Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Alison Newell
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BROKEN BAY NEWS Editor: Melissa Loughlin Tel: (02) 9847 0722 firstname.lastname@example.org Design: Chris Murray Printed by NCP Printing 21,000 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.
Our Neighbourhoods of Grace Exploring our missionary outreach
Hornsby Cathedral Parish An outwardly-focused, warm and caring community By Debra Vermeer The Hornsby Cathedral Parish plays a special role in the life of the Diocese, but is also a local faith community with a missionary outlook and a commitment to helping each other grow in relationship to Jesus Christ.
he parish is a multicultural community, made up of two churches – the Cathedral Church of Our Lady of the Rosary at Waitara and Queen of Peace Church at Normanhurst. The Korean Catholic Community, located at Queen of Peace, is also a big part of the parish, and there is a large Filipino presence. Dean and Administrator, Fr Robert Borg, says a Cathedral parish always has a unique role to play in any diocese. “We are, of course, a parish church, but the Cathedral Church belongs to all the people of the Diocese, and so, one of our characteristics as a parish community is that we should be welcoming,” he says. Our Lady of the Rosary Church
celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, but has only been the Cathedral since 2008. The Hornsby Cathedral Parish was formed in 2009 when Our Lady of the Rosary Waitara and Queen of Peace Normanhurst came together to form the new Parish. “So, I think in some ways our community here is still learning how to be a Cathedral Parish and what that means for us. There are challenges, but it is also an honour and a privilege,” Fr Robert says. “The way I like to think of it is that when we dissolved the two parishes, there was a dying to Waitara and Normanhurst and a rising to the new Hornsby Cathedral Parish.” Deacon Roberto Corpuz says he sees the merging of the two
communities as akin to being salt in a meal. “You’re still giving your own flavour, but you’re becoming a part of the whole thing,” he says. Adding to the overall flavour of the Hornsby Cathedral Parish is the Korean Catholic community, which is based at Queen of Peace. Korean Chaplain, Fr Thomas Lee, says that, serving the entire Diocese, there are three Masses in Korean each weekend and Mass every day except Monday. “Each weekend we would have about 500 people coming to Mass,” he says. “Some come from quite long distances away, and on the first Sunday of the month we hold a lunch after Mass. “We have an adult choir, a children’s choir and a young
people’s band, and every Saturday night is a liturgy for young people.” The young people are preparing for an upcoming music festival and the Korean Catholic community has a range of devotions and activities, including 10 groups of the Legion of Mary. Every Saturday morning there are six Korean language classes held in the Queen of Peace hall. With each worshipping community in the Parish bringing its own particular characteristics to the whole, the Hornsby Cathedral Parish is uniquely blessed. Its multicultural Clergy team, headed by Bishop Peter Comensoli and including Assistant Priests Fr Peter De Souza, Fr Vincent Trung Nguyen, Fr Vincent Varghese, along with Fr Thomas, Fr Robert
Our Neighbourhoods of Grace Exploring our missionary outreach
and Deacon Roberto, also brings a range of gifts and talents, as does the dedicated staff. The Cathedral church of Our Lady of the Rosary, home to the Bishop’s Cathedra (chair), is the focus of all major Diocesan liturgies, and Mass is streamed live from there each day. “When it comes to Liturgy, we at the Cathedral are here to set the example,” Fr Robert says. “We follow the Liturgy of the Church and try to do it to the best of our ability to elevate the worship and to be an example for other parishes.” Assisting in making the liturgy the best it can be are a variety of choirs and musicians, including adult choirs, children’s choirs, and the youth group choir and musicians who play at Sunday night Masses.
In a level of commitment which would be hard to beat, the Collingridge sisters play and sing at the 8am Sunday Mass as they have done for the past 67 years. During the Parish’s 100th anniversary celebrations, various music groups came together, and during the Chrism Mass each year, a combined Choir, featuring members from right across the Diocese, leads the worship music. Parishioners also volunteer to assist in the many other liturgical ministries. Last year Bishop Peter allowed the Parish Pastoral Council to change the name to become the Parish Missionary Council. “ The Bishop wants us as a parish, to be on a missionary footing for evangelisation, and to be outward looking,” Fr Robert says.
Among the missionary activities reaching out to the local community is the Wednesday night Community Dinner, where parishioners share food and company with anyone who wishes to come, including those who might be homeless or lonely. Up to 30 or 40 people come each week and once a month, a parishioner offers haircuts after the dinner. The active Social Justice Group in the Parish also highlights issues of concern, including recent campaigns on justice for East Timor over rights to oil in the Timorese Sea, and a petition against changes to abortion laws in the NSW Parliament. The OLOR community has a sister-parish relationship with OLOR Parish in Dundee, South Africa – an initiative of former Pastoral Associate, Joan
Pavitt. The Parish holds regular fundraisers to help the situation of African orphans, through the Dundee parish. Meanwhile, those in need in the local community are helped by the St Vincent de Paul Society, with a Vinnies Conference at OLOR and Queen of Peace, and a roster of parishioners who volunteer for Vinnies’ Western Sydney food van. Young people, families and seniors are all cared for and valued at the Hornsby Cathedral Parish, with a youth group, young adults group and a children’s liturgy each Sunday morning at 9.30am Mass. There is a close relationship between Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, St Leo’s Catholic College and the Parish, with both Principals participating in the Parish Missionary Council. “We have a very strong
Our Neighbourhoods of Grace Exploring our missionary outreach
partnership between Parish, school and family and we value that partnership strongly,” says Jacinta Crowe, Principal of OLOR. “We do see it as building that neighbourhood of grace and fostering the faith development of our students and families. “We work very closely with parents in exposing their children to prayer and good liturgy, through Parish School Masses and other Parish community events, and we are also linked through the Parish’s social justice initiatives, which we support, such as Vinnies, the Dish local food van and the Community Dinner.” Principal of St Leo’s Catholic College, Wahroonga, Anthony Gleeson, agrees that the community is a close one. “It really is very much a community of grace here in
Hornsby,” he says. “There are many examples of when we all come together at The Light of Christ Centre, especially on Ash Wednesday, the Solemnity of the Assumption and the Bethlehem Advent Liturgy. We also get involved with the Parish’s social justice initiatives. “We believe that being part of the Parish, we have a shared responsibility for not only the present, but also the future and past generations in our mission of evangelisation. “And we are blessed to have the Parish Clergy come and celebrate Mass in our College Chapel each week, as well as offer Reconciliation and other sacraments.” A team of volunteer catechists goes out into five local State schools each week to share their
faith with the Catholic students, and each year a good number of new Catholics are welcomed into the Parish through the Order of Christian Initiation. In pastoral outreach to the sick and elderly, parishioners who don’t have transport to get to Mass are picked up by the Parish bus and delivered to the Cathedral door, while those who are house-bound receive Holy Communion in their home. There are 10 nursing homes within the Parish boundaries and they all receive Communion visits from both parishioners and Clergy, with regular celebration of Mass. The monthly Anointing of the Sick Mass is offered at both OLOR and Queen of Peace and a new healing prayer ministry has also begun. There are also social outlets, with the Over 50s group which
organises a monthly outing or function and a craft group which meets weekly at Normanhurst. Among the regular devotions in the Parish, a team of committed parishioners supports the 24 Hour Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on the First Friday of each month. “We are an active, outward looking Parish, with a big, warm community and, as the Cathedral Parish, we also have an important role to play within the Diocese,” says Fr Robert. “But when it comes down to it, our main task is to live out our Mission Statement, which says: ‘Our Mission as a Parish is, through the gift of Baptism, to come into a deeper and fuller relationship with Christ our Saviour’. That’s what we’re all about.”
CATHOLIC YOUTH BROKEN BAY
Registrations are open for ACYF By Kelly Paget, Team Leader, Catholic Youth Broken Bay The countdown is on for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) in Sydney from 7-9 December 2017.
he Festival is expected to be the largest gathering of Catholic young people in Australia since World Youth Day 2008. It aims to draw more than 15,000 young people from every State and Territory to explore, deepen and celebrate their Catholic faith on local soil. Organisers are pulling out all stops to ensure the Festival will bring alive a rich variety of speakers, entertainers, workshops and formation opportunities for our young people. The three-day event is an initiative of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, hosted in partnership with the Archdiocese of Sydney. The official theme of the Festival is, Open new horizons for spreading joy: Young people, faith and vocational discernment. The gathering will be hosted at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush with the final Mass taking place at the Domain within the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. Young people from Year 9 at school through to the age of 30 are encouraged to join one
of our Catholic Youth Broken Bay groups to attend. If you attend a Catholic School and are in Years 9-11, we invite you to contact your school directly about registering as a part of your school group. For everyone else, we ask you to ‘Express your Interest’ in attending the festival be registering your details at www.trybooking. com/PQKW. With these details registered we will be in contact about registering you within one of the CYBB groups. Bishop Peter was among the first to officially register for the festival when the bishops gathered for the plenary in May. Archbishop Fisher at the Plenary said “The Festival will be a national expression and joyful celebration of the young Church in Australia. I encourage young people across Australia to go online and register with a local group today or visit the Festival website to find out about other opportunities and the pre-festival competitions.” There are many ways for our young people
to start getting involved in the festival now. The Song, Art and Short Film Competitions are all up and running and give the opportunity for young people to creatively explore the festival theme. Those above the festival age bracket can also be part of this amazing opportunity, with over 700 volunteers needed to ensure the smooth running of the festival. Volunteers will be needed for a range of tasks from ushering through to supporting liturgy in the Worship Centre and everything in-between. Volunteers must be over 26 years of age. Details regarding volunteers can be found on the festival website, www.acyf.org.au We also welcome the entire Church community to book in Saturday evening, 9 December 2017, to attend the final Mass at the Domain which is open to the public. Being present with the young heart of the Church, full of energy and joy at the conclusion of what will be a life-making experience for them, will be a sight not to be missed.
International Catholic Megastar confirmed for Australian Catholic Youth Festival
Matt Maher is arguably the biggest Catholic name in global contemporary Christian music and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is delighted to announce he will be coming to Sydney for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival from 7-9 December 2017.
he internationally acclaimed Canadian songwriter and worship leader is heading to Australia with his band to join with 15,000 young people at the biggest Festival of its kind to be held in the country. He will perform, lead worship and provide engaging input on each day of the three-day Festival at Sydney Olympic Park including Sydney Showgrounds, Qudos Bank Arena and The Domain.
Matt Maher expressed his excitement to be visiting Sydney again. “There is a lot happening down under and I can’t wait to get to Sydney with my band for ACYF to celebrate with the young heart of the Church,” he said. Maher was in Sydney for the World Youth Day in 2008 and at the same time made his major recording label debut with the album Empty and Beautiful. Since then, Maher has
become a staple in the artistic and song writing community. Maher was awarded the Songwriter of the Year at the 2015 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, has been named iTunes Best Christian & Gospel Single and is an eight time Grammy nominee. He has garnered multiple radio successes writing and recording songs like “Lord, I Need You,” “Alive Again,” “Hold Us Together,” “Christ Is Risen,” “All The People Said Amen” and “Your Grace Is Enough”, and released his eighth and latest album entitled, Saints and Sinners. Maher has penned songs recorded by Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Third Day, Matt Redman, Hillsong, Passion and Meredith Andrews, among others. He continues to perform and speak as a part of global highprofile events, including performing on stage with Pope Francis in front of more than 3 million people at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, and at the World Meeting of Families, marking Pope Francis’ first visit to the US in 2015. Many Australian WYD pilgrims remember Maher’s performances at World Youth Day as a particular highlight including at World Youth Day 2016, which took place in Krakow, Poland.
CATHOLIC YOUTH BROKEN BAY
By Ashleigh Green
“Dear young people,” Pope Francis proclaimed at our Palm Sunday Vigil in Rome on 8 April, “Be courageous! … I would like to invite you to undertake this way, this path to the Synod and to Panama, and to do so with joy, to do so with your aspirations, without fear, without embarrassment, to do so courageously.”
hat moment, as Pope Francis made his way down the aisle at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and shared his message with delegates from 130 countries, was one that will stay with me forever. The joy in the basilica was electric and the presence of the Holy Spirit almost tangible as we sang, prayed and hung onto the Holy Father’s every word. Our Vigil and subsequent Mass with Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square on Palm Sunday was the culmination of four days of meetings in Rome that I attended from 5 - 8 April. As the Australian youth delegate, I was one of 270 delegates from 130 countries who met to evaluate WYD 2016 in Krakow, to prepare for WYD 2019 in Panama and to begin preparations for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on ‘Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment’ in October 2018. As youth delegates from across the globe, we were invited to be real and honest as we shared our experiences of being young
Catholics in 2017. On 6 April I presented my hopes for the Church with the assembly of fellow delegates, bishops and cardinals. I shared the realities of my work as a social worker at CatholicCare working with young people in Out of Home Care. “One of my hopes,” I shared, “is that we better engage our most disadvantaged and marginalised young Australians. Yes, the Church-going young Catholics sitting in the pews on Sunday comprise a small percentage of youth. But how can we engage the 16-yearold Aboriginal girl living in a CatholicCare residential group home in Sydney? How can we engage the 20-year-old young mum who has spent her youth moving from foster home to foster home and now has a child of her own?” As we journey towards the Synod on Youth next year, the Church has circulated a questionnaire to which we are all invited to respond. The questions deal with young people’s realities, hopes and expectations. Significantly,
the Church does not want the responses to be limited to those of practicing Catholics. The Church is seeking out the voices of those on the margins, those who have been hurt by the Church and those who, perhaps, don’t quite know where they fit in. The responses will inform the discussions in Rome in October 2018 and will, most likely, contribute to a subsequent apostolic exhortation. The Synod journey has only just begun and it has been a blessing to be involved in these initial stages. As I continue to descend from my mountain-top experience I am challenged to grapple with how I’ll apply all that I learnt and experienced to my reality in the Diocese of Broken Bay. It is an exciting time to be a Catholic young person! I urge my fellow young people to stay connected, to dream, to find your community in the Church and, as Pope Francis urges us, to seek the wisdom of the older generation who go before us.
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Beginning an Adventure By Pina Bernard
If I was asked what my greatest adventure was, my initial thoughts would go perhaps to bushwalking treks in the Blue Mountains, or an exciting overseas trip.
n further reflection, I would say that becoming a parent (and the journey that has led me on!) is, indeed, a huge adventure lived each and every day. My mind wouldn’t immediately go to my faith journey, and yet, Bear Grylls, a recognised face of survival and outdoor adventure, puts it this way:
“I remember crawling onto the summit of Everest, and clearing the snow from my mask to see the curvature of the earth at the edges. But finding a simple faith that empowers my life, to me, that’s been my greatest adventure.” Author and TV-host Bear Grylls is the ambassador for Alpha, a tool that introduces
Alpha in Gosford Parish has had a great response.
people to Jesus and the Christian faith. He says that Alpha is the best thing he has ever done; leading him into a faith is like a backbone, helping him to stand tall when dealing with the storms of life. Alpha allows people to have the chance to explore faith, ask questions about faith and life, and share their point of view in a welcoming and friendly environment. Run over eleven weeks, its components are food, a talk and discussion. Commencing with a meal, guests come to know each other
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informally. A video of about 30 minutes is then shown to start to unpack a particular question such as: Is there more to life than this? Who is Jesus? Why did Jesus die? and Why and how do I read the Bible? The Alpha film series is a new, visually engaging production, and videos are free to access online, with the content including participation by Catholic presenters such as Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household. Following the video input, guests gather in small groups to share thoughts and ideas about the topic. There is no obligation to speak, and no question is too simple. Great conversation is an integral part of Alpha, and all are welcome to share freely and honestly. Alpha is about bringing people to Jesus, and to a friendship with him. It is the first step in a faith journey, but one which we are all called to enter and go deeper into. Alpha leads us to a better understanding of who Jesus is, and in particular, who Jesus is for me, and makes faith interesting and relevant to our lives. A number of parishes of the Diocese of Broken Bay are running Alpha, including The Lakes, Chatswood, Gosford, Warnervale, Ku-ring-gai Chase and Kincumber. The Catholic Life & Faith Formation Team are happy to assist any parishes with the implementation of Alpha, and a training intensive weekend will be taking place in the Diocese on 16-18 June. For further information, please contact Pina Bernard on 9847 0474 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gospel of the Family By Daniel Ang, Director, Office for Evangelisation
In a recent reflection on family life Pope Francis raised two questions, “Does the Gospel continue to be a joy for the world?” and “Does the family continue to be good news for today’s world?”
n answering those questions with a resounding “yes” Pope Francis wants to draw our attention to family life as expressing and giving witness to the abundant nature of God’s own love. It is on the basis of a family’s love for God and love of one another that the family can spread and make present God’s presence in the world, and be a concrete sign of God’s joy and faithfulness in the midst of human fragility and weakness. In fact the everyday toil, blessings and stories of family life teach the Church something about its own path to holiness, one that involves continual renewal, sacrificial love and forgiveness above all things. Hence in his Apostolic Exhortation on marriage and family, Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis declares that “the Church, in order to understand her mystery, looks to the Christian family, which manifests her in a real way” (AL 67). Indeed Pope Francis holds up the family, even in its imperfections, as good news for the world and affirms that the wider evangelisation of our culture passes through family life. The relationships, complexities and hopes of our families echo in our wider culture while our families are shaped by the cultural changes we experience around us. It is especially in the family that the Church and world meet. As a Church, how might we better support the journey of family life in this day? In accompanying families in faith we can attend deeply to the intimate realities of domestic life and those various factors that impact upon family life, from education, employment, healthcare, transport, technology, to the environment. A lack of affordable housing, long workdays, the experience of newly arrived migrants, the changing shape of childhood, the breakdown and challenges of marriage, and the epidemic of domestic violence, all impact upon our families and are shaping family life for the future. Pope Francis is not aloof from these concrete difficulties, observing “In many cases, parents come home exhausted, not wanting to talk, and many families no longer even share a common meal. Distractions abound … This makes it all the more difficult for parents to hand on the faith to their children. Other responses pointed to the effect of severe stress on families, who often seem more caught up with securing their future than with enjoying the present” (AL 50). Insecurity, cultural pressures and societal factors can disincline young people from entering committed relationships or even starting a family. To this situation the community of the Church can offer accompaniment,
understanding, mercy and practical encouragement. In embracing the Gospel as a way of life, our communities are sources of spiritual strength, consolation and vitality for family relationships through its pastoral care of and faithfulness to each individual in their lived situation. It can raise opportunities for dialogue about married and family life and to present the reasons and motivations for choosing marriage and the family as a courageous and fulfilling path of life. We can proclaim marriage and family life as a holy vocation, all the while recognising the inevitable difficulties that can arise and affirming with realism, as Pope Francis does, that “love does not have to be perfect for us to value it” (AL 113). Pope Francis has urged local communities to renew pre-marriage accompaniment and consider forms of spiritual mentorship of young couples by mature couples, to promote a spirituality of family life within the parish, household prayer and welcoming celebrations of the Sunday Eucharist. The gathering and networking of couples to discuss their spirituality and to find solidarity in each other, the involvement of whole families in ministry and mission, within and beyond the parish, retreats for couples and families, and
attentiveness to the joys and needs of children in our communities all contribute to the Church’s support of marriage and family life as a welcome and essential gift to the Church. This affirmation and support is critical because families grow within the context of community and are a much needed experience and witness of abundant love, a precious home of faith and forgiveness amidst a humanity often wounded and starved of tender mercy. Does the Gospel continue to be a joy for the world and does the family continue to be good news for today’s world? These questions seek an answer in Christian communities, in our accompaniment, preaching of the good news of marriage and family, and the welcoming and invitational relationships that form the heart of the Church as a “family of families” (AL 87).
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NEWS & ISSUES
Healing through the Scriptures By Melissa Loughlin Jane Dowling is the author of Child Arise! The Courage to Stand. A spiritual handbook for survivors of Sexual Abuse.
ane was sexually abused as a child by a family member, and then by a Catholic priest. At age 21, Jane became a member of an international Catholic missionary community, where her focus was on Prayer and Ministry of the Word. Jane studied the scriptures and found that God spoke to her through His Word. She found that her healing process after surviving sexual abuse, was based in the Word of God. “That’s the beauty of scripture,” said Jane. “It still speaks to us today. The readings will always be relevant, even though they were written so long ago. You just have to know how to listen.” Jane wrote Child Arise as a handbook to help other survivors find healing in the scriptures, which some might say is a difficult thing for survivors of clerical sexual abuse. Often people ask Jane which of her perpetrators had more impact on her life, the family member or the priest. “While both have great impact, the spiritual impact was greater with the abuse by the priest because the perpetrator is associated with God,” said Jane. “It is really difficult to separate God from the perpetrator. The two are very different.” “A lot of survivors turn away from God and the Church, but it important to know that our God is a loving God, and not an angry, cruel God, which is an image that many survivors have. The journey of spiritual healing is long, but it can happen. I believe if we can learn to separate God from our perpetrator and open our wounds to a God who is love, healing is possible.” “Forgiveness is a daily journey of embracing the impacts and effects in my life with Jesus. It’s a journey of being reconciled with myself and what happened
to me. Forgiveness can never be confused with saying ‘it’s ok what happened to me’. It’s a crime and it should never have happened. But I don’t wish my perpetrators harm, but hope they can reconcile in themselves and admit what they did. Forgiveness is being one with God.” A support network and professional help were vital in Jane’s own healing, and she would advise any survivor to seek help. “I have a lot of people to thank in helping me with my healing and having people to support you is so important.” Jane’s book Child Arise is a great resource for survivors of sexual abuse, but others can also learn about how to deal with difficult life situations through the scriptures. Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who endorsed the book, told Jane she might be too specific, focusing only on child sexual abuse survivors, and that the handbook is helpful for the wider community too. But it was Fr David Ranson who inspired Jane to write in a specific context in the course “Perspectives in Spirituality”. Jane was a student of Fr David at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, and he has been a wonderful support to Jane with her healing. Fr David has written the Foreword in Child Arise. With Fr David’s advice in mind, Jane wrote from the specific context of an abuse survivor and how listening to the Word of God can help a person get through the daily struggles of life. Jane’s journey of healing is not over. “Incredible healing took place through writing the book,” said Jane. “I had to stare issues in the face and I was able to come through those by allowing Jesus to speak to me through scriptures, a Word that I could apply and integrate in my life.
Not only did Jesus transform the issue but he changed me.” “Healing is a lifelong process, it goes deeper all the time,” said Jane. “New issues and old ones keep arising and invite me to heal more deeply. But I feel now I am better equipped to handle the issues, I have picked up a lot of skills and I have a great support network. Having people to hold you up spiritually is so important.” Jane is now an award-winning author, with Child Arise receiving the 2016 Australian Christian Book of the Year, and just recently awarded the Silver Medal in the self-help/recovery category at the 2017 Illumination Book Awards in the United States. “I was so shocked because I didn’t even know I was entered in these awards!” said Jane. “It was a really emotional and spiritual experience winning the award last year. The whole time I was writing the book I felt God was urging me to do it; I had a strong sense that this was what I was meant to do. Then the award really affirmed it for me.”
Jane added, “The purpose of the book was to reach out to survivors. I always thought that if I could help at least one survivor, then I’ve achieved something. “I’ve received so much from God and I would like to give back to survivors. I feel I have something to contribute.” Jane is currently studying a Master of Arts with a specialisation in Chaplaincy and plans to continue writing and maybe run some seminars to help other survivors. “I’m open to God’s plan at the moment,” said Jane. “Our relationship with God is a gift. Survivors of sexual abuse by clergy have often been robbed of that. Without a spiritual resource, they are often left in a place of hopelessness. If I can somehow help survivors reclaim their relationship with God, that would be a real achievement.” Child Arise! The Courage to Stand. A spiritual handbook for survivors of Sexual Abuse is published by David Lovell Publishing. It is available from www.childarise.com
NEWS & ISSUES
Famine strikes East Africa – you can help 23 million people are currently on the brink of famine in South Sudan and other areas of East Africa and Yemen, in what may become the worst humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War.
rgent assistance is needed now, to respond in South Sudan, and neighbouring countries experiencing severe drought and food insecurity, including Kenya, Malawi, Somalia and Ethiopia. Women and children are most at risk. In South Sudan alone, 270,000 children are severely malnourished and at immediate risk of starvation. Caritas Australia, in collaboration with the Caritas Internationalis network, has a long history of working successfully with desperately poor communities in the affected countries of Africa. Through its partners on the ground, Caritas is helping to deliver life-saving aid to communities most in need. Caritas CEO Paul O’Callaghan, who recently visited impacted areas in Kenya, spoke of the severity of this urgent humanitarian crisis. “This is an unprecedented
situation and may be the gravest food security event since the 1984 famine that devastated the people of Ethiopia.” “Caritas recently launched its Africa Emergency Appeal to raise life-saving funds for those in need.” Caritas Australia is delivering food aid and medical support to countless people affected by the crisis and women like Laimona from South Sudan. Laimona Khamis Mahmud is 40 years old and lives with her four children under a tarpaulin in a United Nations’ InternallyDisplaced Persons (IDP) camp in the town of Wau in South Sudan. “I’ve fled to this place with my four children but nobody wants to share a tent with me because I have epilepsy,” Laimona says. “If I get an attack, everyone is afraid of me. Therefore my children and I live here under this tarpaulin.”
The famine has hit them hard. “We only have some onions and some flour left but in four days’ time, our food will be finished. I have no idea what to do then,” she says.
Your support is crucial to families and communities most affected. To find out more or donate please visit www.caritas.org.au/ foodcrisis today.
Laimona is trying her hardest to provide for her children, but she needs support because of food shortages in South Sudan. Photo: Patrick Nicholson, Caritas Internationalis
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ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Welcoming our newest Catholics at Kincumber Parish On Easter Sunday, Kincumber Parish celebrated Mass at sunrise on MacMasters Beach. Fr Jim McKeon baptised the newest Catholics in the ocean, a great traditional celebration of baptism! Congratulations to all those who became Catholic through the RCIA program at Easter.
St Brendan’s celebrates 10th anniversary St Brendan’s Church at Lake Munmorah celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday 21 May 2017. Bishop Peter A Comensoli celebrated Mass along with Parish Priest Fr Stephen Wayoyi, assisted by Deacon Paul Simmons. Students from St Brigid’s Catholic College provided the music and singing for the Mass and Year 7 students created a lovely bunting to honour the 10th anniversary. It was a wonderful celebration of Broken Bay’s newest faith community, and great to see the strong community bond formed in a short amount of time.
NEWS & ISSUES
Igniting Feminine Genius On Saturday 20 May 2017, the new Catholic Women’s Mentoring initiative was launched at Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney.
lmost 200 people attended the launch which started with Mass in Mary MacKillop Chapel, celebrated by Fr Greg Bourke. At the launch in the auditorium, guests heard an inspiring speech by Senator Deborah O’Neill about the wonderful and unique gifts Catholic women have to offer our society. Dr Gerard Goldman, from BBI – The Australian Institute of Theological Education, the program’s inaugural partner, shared his excitement at this new program, before Program Coordinator Christine Pace shared her vision. Ms Pace is from Broken Bay and travelled with the Broken Bay Holy Land Bus to World Youth Day 2016. The Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring Program is a national program aiming at building the skills, confidence and networks of Australian Catholic women and encouraging them in their faith. The program aims to empower women to use their gifts and talents to make meaningful and significant contributions to the Australian Church and, in turn, have a positive impact upon Australian society. The Mentoring Program is the project of the 2015/2016 Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship (YCWIF) cohort and is supported by the ACBC’s Office of Participation of Women. An initiative of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the Fellowship began in 2006. The Acting Director for the National Office for the Participation of Women, Andrea Dean, says it’s been exciting to watch this program unfold. “I have journeyed with these women,
from all over Australia, and watched them wholeheartedly enter into the spirit of the fellowship. It’s inspiring to see this program as one of the many fruits of the Fellowship”, Ms Dean added. Australian women are invited to sign up online as a mentor or mentee. Mentors will be matched with a younger woman (mentee), according to their needs, and they will encourage and support them, sharing their faith
and life journeys. It is an informal program based on building networks and companionship to build confidence and connections among Australian Catholic women. You can follow the program on Twitter
and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ CatholicWomensMentoring/
or visit the website
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JUNE– AUGUST 2017
Office for Evangelisation PULLOUT 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.
LITURGICAL MUSIC FORMATION DAY CHOOSE IT WELL, USE IT WELL – TAPPING THE POWER OF MUSIC IN LITURGY Music is the Church’s most important art form because it plays an integral role in Catholic liturgy. Tapping into the power of liturgical music to engage the assembly in sung prayer can enable the full, fruitful and joyful expression of our faith. This formation day for parish liturgical musicians is being offered in response to the Parish Liturgical Music Surveys completed by parishes across the Diocese early in 2017. The workshop will introduce principles for choosing appropriate liturgical music and how to use it effectively in liturgical celebrations. We will focus on identifying processes to help parish leadership teams (priests and musicians) to work collaboratively to build up good liturgical music practices. All parish musicians and clergy are encouraged to make the most of this opportunity. Presenter: Professor Clare Johnson, Director of the ACU Centre for Liturgy Date: Saturday 22 July 2017 Time: 10:30am – 3:30pm (BYO lunch) Venue: Our Lady of the Rosary School Library, Hornsby Cathedral Parish, 23 Yardley Avenue, Waitara RSVP: By Tuesday 18 July 2017 to email@example.com or 9847 0508 Date: Saturday 29 July 2017 Time: 10:30am – 3:30pm (BYO lunch) Venue: The Parish Centre, The Entrance Parish, 239 The Entrance Rd, The Entrance RSVP: By Tuesday 25 July 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 9847 0508
MEETING CHRIST IN THE SCRIPTURES The Scriptures are a privileged place of coming to know Jesus’ life, mission, death and Resurrection. The Gospels give us portraits of Jesus that allow us to see different dimensions of who Jesus is; and the New Testament, in turn, draws on themes present throughout the Old Testament which further inform our understanding. In addition, as we read the Scriptures, we are drawn into a conversation and a place of encounter with Christ which transforms us. This course reflects on meeting Christ in our sacred Scriptures and emphasises who Christ is for us, thereby inviting a deeper relationship with Jesus, God made flesh. Presenters: Pina Bernard & David Patterson, Catholic Life & Faith Formation Date: Session 1: Thursday 20 July 2017; Session 2: Thursday 27 July 2017 Time: 10:30am – 12:30pm Venue: Bishop Barry Room, Our Lady of Dolours Parish, 94 Archer Street, Chatswood RSVP: By Tuesday 18 July 2017 to email@example.com or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448 Date: Session 1: Tuesday 25 July 2017; Session 2: Tuesday 1 August 2017 Time: 10:30am – 12:30pm Venue: Parish Centre, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, 239 The Entrance Road, The Entrance RSVP: By Friday 21 July 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448 Date: Session 1: Wednesday 26 July 2017; Session 2: Wednesday 2 August 2017 Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm Venue: School Hall, St Kevin’s Catholic Primary School, 57-59 Oaks Avenue, Dee Why RSVP: By Monday 24 July 2017 to email@example.com or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448
CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST & INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE: PAST & PRESENT SITUATIONS. A Presentation by Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald There has been much reporting on the difficult situation concerning Christians in the Middle East. In this presentation by Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, he will consider the present situation and the importance of religious freedom as a fundamental human right. Archbishop Fitzgerald will also consider the plight of other faiths, emphasising the importance of interreligious dialogue for the promotion of peace and understanding in our world. Archbishop Fitzgerald is the former president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He is retired Apostolic Nuncio to the Arab Republic of Egypt and delegate to the Arab League. He is a scholar of Islam and lives in Jerusalem. His previous presentation in our Diocese was met with much enthusiasm. Please don’t miss this special presentation of the Office for Evangelisation. Date: Saturday 19 August 2017 Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills (Vehicular entry via City View Road) RSVP: By Thursday 17 August 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448
THE EUCHARIST: NOURISHED + SENT A Presentation by Professor Clare Johnson The Eucharist is the ‘source and summit’ of our faith life, sustaining us in our mission as Catholic Christians by providing nourishment and encouragement for our journey in discipleship. Indeed, the celebration of the Mass is the privileged place where the faithful proclaim, worship, serve and deepen their faith in Jesus. In this ENCOUNTER series, Professor Clare Johnson will relate how the liturgical celebration, particularly the Eucharist, facilitates the building up of the Body of Christ, emphasising that we are anointed and sent to live the life of the Gospel in the world. Presenter: Professor Clare Johnson, Director of the ACU Centre for Liturgy Date: Thursday 24 August 2017 Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm Venue: St Leonard’s Hall, Corner of Willoughby and Donnelly Roads, Naremburn RSVP: By Monday 21 August 2017 to email@example.com or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448 Date: Wednesday 6 September 2017 Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm Venue: Parish Centre, Our Lady Star of the Sea, 165 Serpentine Road, Terrigal RSVP: By Monday 21 August 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448
BROKEN BAY BIBLE CONFERENCE 2017 SAVE THE DATE The Gospel of Matthew: Journey into Discipleship Friday / Saturday 6-7 October 2017 Caroline Chisholm Centre, Pennant Hills Presented by: Rev Dr Chris Monaghan CP Lecturer in Biblical Studies and President, Yarra Theological Union Dr Debra Snoddy Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Catholic Institute of Sydney Bishop David L. Walker Bishop Emeritus Diocese of Broken Bay For more details: email@example.com
JUNE– AUGUST 2017 MARRIAGE & FAMILY LIFE PRESENTATION SAVE THE DATE Bishop Peter A Comensoli will deliver a presentation on marriage and family life in August and September 2017. Bishop Peter has nominated Christian marriage and family life as an area of focus for the Diocese, and this talk will be an opportunity to explore together an aspect of this topic. Please save the date. More details to follow. Date: Tuesday 8 August 2017 Time: 7:30pm – 9:00pm Venue: The Light of Christ Centre, end of Yardley Avenue, Waitara RSVP: By Friday 4 August 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448 Date: Thursday 28 September 2017 Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm Venue: The Parish Centre, The Entrance Parish, 239 The Entrance Rd, The Entrance RSVP: By Tuesday 26 September 2017 to email@example.com or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448
THE SULTAN AND THE SAINT You are warmly invited to attend the Sydney Premiere of The Sultan and the Saint, narrated by Academy Award winner, Jeremy Irons. This docudrama is about the true story of St Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt and the risks they took for peace. “Set in a past period of East-West conflict, it speaks with urgency to our present. Two men of faith, one an itinerant Christian preacher, the other the ruler of a Muslim Empire, bucked a century of war, distrust, and insidious propaganda in a search for mutual respect and common ground” (www.sultanandthesaintfilm. com). Proudly sponsored by the Diocese of Broken Bay, Diocese of Parramatta, Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations, Franciscan Friars, Uniting Church of Australia, ISRA, Affinity Intercultural Foundation, and Western Sydney University. Date: Saturday 29 July 2017 Time: 7:00pm film and reception
Venue: Western Sydney University, Parramatta South Campus, Sir Ian and Nancy Turbott Auditorium, Building EE, Room G19 (Corner of Victoria Road and James Ruse Drive, Parramatta) Bookings: www.SultanSaintSydney.Eventbrite.com.au Cost: $10 For More Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 9352 8000
CYBB TWILIGHT TALKS 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. We have 2 exciting guests coming up in the next few months. Encountering Christ with Bishop Peter A Comensoli Date: Tuesday 13 June 2017 Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm Venue: New Brighton Hotel, 71 The Corso, Manly Get off the couch and into the world: Being a Christian today with Professor Massimo Faggioli Proudly hosted in conjunction with BBI, The Australian Institute of Theological Education Date: Tuesday 25 July 2017 Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm Venue: TBA For more details: email@example.com
TRAINING DAY CYBB Training Days are an opportunity to gather with young people and youth leaders interested and involved in local ministry to network and receive essential spiritual and practical formation. Potential and present leaders will receive training and background on “Safeguarding the Hope of the Church – Keeping Young People Safe” Date: Saturday 12 August 2017 Time: 9:30am – 2:00pm Venue: TBA
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD)
CCCD 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.
Secondary Catechists’ Conference
Central Coast Region
The Catholic Conference of Religious Educators in State Schools (CCRESS) is offering a one day conference in the Diocese of Broken Bay for all those who teach Special Religious Education in high schools. The day will include a quality keynote speaker, a choice of workshops, and a panel discussion that will further equip catechists to work with adolescents in the SRE classroom. Date: Tuesday 20 June 2017 Time: 9:30am – 4:00pm Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills
Date: Monday 3 July 2017
RSVP: By Tuesday 13 June 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 9847 0492
Safeguarding Children & Integrity in the Service of the Church: Classroom Management The Department of Education requires all SRE teachers (catechists) and helpers to undertake initial and ongoing training in the areas of Safeguarding Children, including child protection, and Classroom Management. It is mandatory for catechists and helpers to update this training every three years. One day workshops are being made available in three separate venues across the Diocese to allow all catechists easy access to this important training. Morning tea is provided; Please BYO lunch.
Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm Venue: Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, 165 Serpentine Road, Terrigal RSVP: By Monday 26 June 2017 to email@example.com or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448
Northern Beaches Region Date: Wednesday 5 July 2017 Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm Venue: St Kieran’s Parish Centre, North Harbour, 2 King Street, Manly Vale RSVP: By Wednesday 28 June 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448
North Shore & Hornsby Region Date: Friday 7 July 2017 Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills (Vehicular entry via City View Road) RSVP: By Friday 30 June 2017 to email@example.com or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448
Be kept informed about upcoming faith education and formation opportunities within the Diocese. Please contact David Patterson, Catholic Life & Faith Formation Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a monthly e-News detailing events from around the parishes.
Photo credit: Paul Fahy
Making Life Better for Gliders Students across the Broken Bay Diocese are working with Taronga Zoo to conserve the habitat of our native gliders.
or the last three years, Central Coast primary schools Holy Cross Catholic School at Kincumber, St John the Baptist Catholic School at Woy Woy, and St Patrick’s Catholic School at East Gosford have joined secondary schools St Joseph’s Catholic College and St Edward’s Catholic College (both also at East Gosford) in becoming advocates for the yellow-bellied glider.
As part of Project In-Situ, a Taronga community conservation program, which has been running for ten years, students have planted more trees to increase the habitat of the glider, both at Kincumba Mountain Reserve and in their own backyards, and have demonstrably increased community awareness of the threatened species.
Holy Cross has started a native bush tucker garden on the school fringe which is a reflective space for students as well as habitat for many native animals. This year, Northern Beaches schools will be joining the program and learning about the feathertail glider, which lives in heath forests on the Peninsula and where habitats reduced by urban
development. The students will monitor local wildlife with cameras and work closely with Northern Beaches Council fauna and bushland experts. Through the project, students use science, geography, literacy, Indigenous perspectives and creative arts to learn more about threatened species and help conserve and build their natural habitats.
Two Teachers Awarded Two Early Career Broken Bay teachers who graduated from the University of Notre Dame last year were recently presented with awards by the University.
rances Harrison, who teaches Kindergarten at St John the Baptist Catholic School
in Freshwater, won the Early Childhood Award. Frances attained the highest grade
point average of students from the Birth to 12 Bachelor of Education and was commended for her commitment to the objects of Notre Dame. “I’m honoured to receive this award,” Frances said. “I’m very grateful to the staff at Notre Dame for the wonderful education I received.” The award ceremony acknowledged Frances’ involvement in service learning experiences including work in disadvantaged communities in Kenya and Australia. Apart from her stunning academic qualifications, commitment to Catholic education and passion
for early years teaching, Frances’ ICT and web design skills were also acknowledged. Camilla Brown, who teaches Year 1 at Our Lady of Dolours Catholic School in Chatswood, received the MacKillop Award for an outstanding graduate in Religious Education. Camilla demonstrated a commitment to the Objects of Notre Dame Australia, and a commitment to quality Religious Education and attained the highest Grade Point Average in units that constitute the Religious Education major of all eligible students from the degree.
Journey to The Cross As part of the Easter celebrations, St Leo’s Catholic College in Wahroonga held a dramatic re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross.
he performance was watched by a thousand audience members, including students from Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School in Waitara and the Hornsby Cathedral Parish community. ‘Via Dolorosa – the Way of the Cross’ was produced and directed by Daniel Petrie, College Director of Evangelisation and Catholic Formation and was designed to transport the audience members back to First-Century Palestine. The performance featured a cast of students and teachers playing the full host of Biblical characters. The cast wore handmade costumes in richly embroidered fabrics with dramatic lighting effects and Middle Eastern spices used to create a feeling of authenticity. Remote-controlled smoke machines and period music
created an immersive experience for the audience. A heavy timber cross, constructed by woodworking students and staff, was raised with the crucified Jesus, played by Sam Harmon. Sam said, “I was honoured and humbled to be chosen for the part. The event was incredibly emotional; I could feel the atmosphere, it was quite intense.” Mr Petrie said that the performance allowed viewers to draw parallels with their own lives. “The messiness of life is a constant and we are often faced with choices and forks in the path that are difficult to discern. The resounding response of limitless love that is woven through each moment of the Passion brings comfort and hope to the reality of being human.”
Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic School at Terrigal took a novel approach to Lent this year, inviting students to perform a Disciple Challenge to raise money for charity.
tudents raised more than $3,000 for Caritas’ annual Lenten fundraiser Project Compassion, which provides aid to impoverished people in Australia and South East Asia. Families were invited to donate money to students in exchange for community-minded acts such as helping in the home, calling a loved relative or including someone who
felt left out. Some children also chose to bring their lunch from home and donate their canteen money to charity. Over 30 per cent of the total was raised by Year One student Ivy Power, who raised $1182 through donations and a GoFundMe page. Ivy loves pigs and was spurred on by the knowledge that her donation could provide pigs for
poor farmers in the Philippines. Ivy said she was inspired by her grandmother who is a farmer in South Africa. “ The pigs are my favourite,” she said. Children then used their Maths skills to count the money and work out the different ways in which Caritas might use it. They were excited to work out that their
donation could be used to provide 42 pigs to Filipino farmers. Organiser Laura Connor, Religious Education Co-ordinator at Our Lady Star of the Sea, commended Ivy’s leadership skills and said that Project Compassion was “helping to empower our most vulnerable neighbours worldwide to build a better future for their families and communities.”
Sailing Success Two students from St Brigid’s Catholic College at Lake Munmorah represented their school in the Combined High Schools Sailing Challenge in April.
icole Henderson in Year 10 and her brother James in Year 8 placed tenth in the 29ers class of the competition, which was held at Belmont. Nicole and James also helped
teach their fellow students to sail, after St Brigid’s offered sailing as an INFLAME activity for the first time this year. INFLAME is an elective activity run each Friday afternoon whereby students get to choose from a range of courses including; cooking, music, coding, sport, craft, Rock and Water program, sailing, comic writing and drama. Students who chose Sailing in Term 1 this year went to Mannering Park Amateur Sailing Club taking to the waters of Mannering Park, thanks to a partnership with the sailing club organised by Paul Nield, Director of Wellbeing for Learning at the College. As an unexpected bonus, students learnt powerboat craft and boating rules, with some gaining enough experience to sit for their junior boat licence. “It was wonderful to see their enjoyment of the sport,” said Mr Nield. “Thanks should also go to Mrs Dalton for driving students to the sailing club each week.”
Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Leaders Year 6 leaders from schools across the Diocese met with Bishop Peter A Comensoli to learn about leadership qualities.
ishop Peter discussed the meaning of Catholic leadership with the children, who were encouraged to use the words and actions of Jesus as a model for their own lives and to come up with ways to set an
example for younger students. The children interacted with those from other schools to share their insights and questions, then celebrated Eucharist together and returned to their schools inspired to make a difference.
Year 6 student Ana said, “Bishop Peter is an extraordinary, selfless person, who speaks as though the word ‘me’ isn’t in his vocabulary. His words inspire and motivate those who listen to be more like Jesus.”
“As I stepped into the church I felt blessed to be in the presence of such a holy person,” said Lachlan, another student. “Bishop Peter made Mass wonderful and I felt like I wanted to be there.”
Living History Year 3 students at Our Lady of Dolours Catholic School in Chatswood were transported back in time as part of the new History syllabus.
‘relics box’ on loan from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra gave the children a chance to touch, smell and examine primary and secondary sources from the First World War. The students were fascinated by the relics, which included
primary sources such as a canteen used on the battlefield, and secondary sources including recreations of soldier and nurse uniforms. The children handled the relics with great care, wearing white gloves and carefully sharing them around. The experience, which was
organised by Year 3 teachers Joe Martin and Sally Briggs, took the children’s learning beyond the classroom walls to give them empathy and compassion for the many lives affected by wars in the past and also in the present. Assistant Principal Kirsty Thorpe said, “It was a great
opportunity for the children to bring history to life as part of the school’s Cultures of Thinking.” The experience came as students and teachers in the Diocese are embracing the new History syllabus to learn about the history of their family, their community and their country.
Students of all ages from across the Diocese helped their schools commemorate ANZAC Day with many attending the school event held at the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park .
hildren from Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School at Wyoming marched down the main street of Gosford in their school uniforms, waving Australian flags. Nicholas and Kaitlin laid a wreath “in memory of the families of OLOR who have served our country.” At the same service, students from St Edward’s Catholic
College at East Gosford shared their experience of walking the Kokoda trail. Children from Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic School in Terrigal participated in their local ANZAC Dawn Service in a ceremony which featured surf lifeboats coming to shore in commemoration of the boats of Gallipoli.
To the children’s delight, the Bishop of Broken Bay, Bishop Peter A Comensoli, attended the service as part of the Official Party and took time out to chat to the children. St Martin’s Catholic School in Davidson held a special ANZAC Day liturgy with their Year 5 students creating a slideshow to share the stories
of the fallen. A particular highlight was Year 5 student Eden Russell playing the Last Post on trumpet. Stories unfolded of boys lying about their age to enlist, relatives meeting Lawrence of Arabia and an Aboriginal soldier whose father brought soil from his son’s grave in Belgium back home to Australia. BBN
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Youth Mission Team
Bringing the Good News to others
By Catherine Day
Every year a small group of young Catholics gather to go out into the community, and serve young people who are lacking in self-belief, hope and faith. Equipped with the Holy Spirit and a love that knows no bounds, these young Catholics impact 16,000 teenagers annually.
he Youth Mission Team (YMT) has, since 1986, seen these teenagers start the year defensive and despondent, to end making a commitment to Christ. Last year, four of Broken Bay’s own joined the Youth Mission Team. This is Dom Cantrall’s story. Like so many before him, Dom has had firsthand experience with a YMT. A few years ago, he formed a friendship with one of the Sydney team members, Joe Pullella. Joe taught Dom that good ministry does make a difference, and the importance of living the Gospel. “I saw this difference and was convicted to go out and be the good news to others,” Dom said. Ready to serve others, Dom and
members of the 2016 YMT headed down to Wollongong for a week’s worth of training. At the end of the week, Dom was placed into a team and was sent to Perth (there are four cities YMT ministers to – Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne and Perth) to do another two weeks of training. For Dom, the best and most essential parts of the training were what was learnt on the job, “You can’t fall in love with the Church, that is, the young people, from a talk, you can only do so by spending time with them.” For Dom, the purpose of the year was to spread the Gospel by engaging with the young people he and his team were ministering to. “Be a normal person. At the end of the day, that’s what kids connect
with. Some great tools for this were sport (ultimate Frisbee!), playing cards, bad dancing and food. They responded to nothing else like time and genuine interest – to see that an adult was attentive to them as a person was ground-breaking for a lot of them. So we would spend recess and lunch with them on ministry days, do a few chin-ups with the boys, and they give you and your message an incredible respect you would not expect.” While the year can be hard (spending a year away from your family and living off $25 a week) the memories that are made last a lifetime. Dom has found that one of his best memories from the experience was, “sitting and praying with a young guy at supper on one
of our camps. This young man is quite dear to me and it was my privilege to be with him and just hear his hopes, dreams and fears.” Since finishing YMT, Dom has been quite busy. While studying engineering at UTS, coaching his nephew’s football team and looking for a part-time job, Dom has set up, with other UTS students, a prolife society at university. He is also involved with the Disciples of Jesus here in Sydney. Ultimately, because of YMT, Dom knows that all he needs is Jesus. And as for his future, “I plan to follow the Lord, wherever He may lead me.”
hey smile, they heal, they teach, they comfort. Around the globe Catholic religious sisters quietly perform their dedicated and heroic service without remuneration and barely even noticed by the wider world. But in order to assist others, they themselves also need to be helped, for although they minister to so many, they themselves still need their daily bread and a roof over their heads. Each year the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) supports over 9,000 religious sisters wherever the Church is poor or persecuted. It is vital that the indispensable work of religious sisters in Christ’s Holy Catholic Church continues. Religious sisters are the unsung heroines in the Church. ACN is proud to assist the inspirational work carried out by religious sisters in some of the poorest, most dangerous places in the world. A complimentary Mother Teresa rosary designed by the Vatican rosary makers and blessed by Pope Francis will be sent to all those who can assist with a donation of $20.00 or more to support this cause and tick the box below.
The Mother Teresa rosary will be sent out to all those who can assist this cause with a donation of $20.00 or more and tick this box
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Carmel Keys honoured at the Jean Arnot Luncheon Carmel Keys was born on 8 August 1927 in Sydney and in this, her 90th year, Carmel has been honoured at the Jean Arnot Luncheon held in the Stranger’s Dining Room Parliament House, Sydney.
he Jean Arnot Luncheon is organised by the National Council of Women of NSW and The Business and Professional Women of Australia. Carmel has been sponsored for this honour by Australian Church Women of NSW Inc and Catholic Women’s League Australia – New South Wales Inc. The luncheon honours ladies in their 90s who have contributed to their communities in a variety of ways to improve the status of women. Carmel holds a Pharmacy degree, a Certificate in Archaeology (Victoria), and has done courses in Moral Theology, Philosophy and Ethics. Carmel has served on Parish Councils in NSW and Victoria as well as on Liturgy Committees. She has been a member of the Steering Committee for Diocesan Planning
and the Ecumenical Commission of Broken Bay and has attended meetings of the NSW Ecumenical Council. Carmel was President of Australian Church Women NSW 2006-2008. She has been noted for her commitment to ecumenism and concern for the welfare of fellow members. Carmel is a life member of Catholic Women’s League. She has been Diocesan President of Broken Bay Diocese, State President for two terms and President and Secretary of Manly Branch of CWL. Carmel has been Social Responsibilities Officer for both Australian Church Women NSW and Catholic Women’s League Diocese of Broken Bay. Carmel has written Parish histories, one in Victoria and one in Manly, and the History of Catholic Women’s League, Manly.
President of the Ex-Students Union for St Scholastica’s, Glebe Point was another of her commitments. Visiting the sick is an avenue of service Carmel has pursued faithfully. Carmel is also involved in works in the Philippines for the Asian Pacific Scholarship Fund for women in the area through the ACW and sponsors a student personally. Carmel is a caring, generous, unselfish person. She has supported and mentored others who have come after her in these roles and willingly gives of her time and energies to helping others. She is an active member of her church community at Manly-Freshwater Parish. She is a delightful person and it has been a privilege for those who have been able to know and work with her.
Divine Mercy Sunday at St Agatha’s On Sunday 23 April, St Agatha’s Parish, Pennant Hills celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday with a solemn afternoon of Mass, Prayer, Adoration, Reconciliation and Benediction. In his homily, Fr Paul Durkin spoke about the feast of Divine Mercy and quoted St Faustina. “Ask God for His mercy, be merciful to others and trust in Jesus completely”.
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
“This is what an inclusive Church looks like” On Sunday 30 April at Holy Name Church, Wahroonga, the regular 9.15am Mass took on a new look under the leadership of students from St Edmund’s and St Lucy’s Schools and the families of the HOPE group (Hearts Open to People Everywhere).
visitor from the Broken Bay Institute commented, as the large crowd of people streamed out afterwards, chattering and laughing, “this is what an inclusive Church looks like”. In welcoming everyone, Maddie Jones from St Edmund’s, thanked the parishioners of Holy Name for their support of the two schools over many years and mentioned in particular those who have volunteered their time helping in the classrooms. The students of both schools provided
all the music for the Mass, beginning and ending with the Leonard Cohen ‘Hallelujah’ song presented by the St Edmund’s choir. The congregation joined warmly in all the choruses and helped out strongly with their participation in the Lord’s Prayer and Creed led by St Lucy’s students, Christian Ansell and Sebastian Britos. Fr David Ranson chose for his Homily the story “Little Beaver and The Echo” by Amy MacDonald. Settling down on the
sanctuary steps, he called up the children to join him as he read to them about finding friends. Only the bravest came at first but by the end of the story, more had joined in, and a couple of little ones were sitting comfortably alongside their friend the priest on the top step, staring up into his face as he finished the story told lovingly just for them. After the Mass, Fr David commented on how encouraging it was to see so many people there and “to see the children
participate with the joy that they did”. Some of the parishioners spoke of their pride in the schools and their students. They cheered the children on with their enthusiastic clapping of every effortful contribution. As someone remarked, “the church was oozing with welcome, belonging and hospitality.” The Hope Mass for Special Families will happen twice a year at Holy Name. The next will be held on Sunday 27 August at 9.15am and everyone is welcome.
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WE HAVE YOUR SOLUTION 24
A first year seminarian shares his story… By Hien Vu My name is Hien Vu. I am the seventh of eight children and grew up in the countryside in Dong Nai, Vietnam.
was very fortunate to receive a very good education, in comparison to other brothers and sisters. My parents are devout Catholics in our local church and they are good, honourable people. In fact, they nurtured my spiritual life by attending Mass regularly and family prayer, especially the Rosary which we prayed together as a family each night. Along with these practices, I received a solid foundation in both studying at school and helping with activities in the parish where I lived. Moreover, as the youngest member of our family, my younger sister (who is now a novice in the Philippines) and I were under the considerate care of our older brothers and sisters who were already married. They showed great affection towards us, loved us and did not hesitate to correct us when we did something wrong. After finishing high school, I went to Ho Chi Minh City to study at the College of Foreign Economic Relations for three and a half years, gaining a degree in 2010 and then continuing my studies at the Foreign Trade University for one and a half years where I was awarded a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2013. During my student days, I met and made friends with other students from many different regions of Vietnam. Most of them were atheists, while others were of other religions like Buddhism or Hinduism. The majority of them were good people; however, I had a feeling that they were still missing something within, that related to a need of a right way to live. Some were living a loose life when they lived far from their families, without parental control. Also, I began to feel that I needed to do something specifically to help others as well as myself to break out of this circle of life which found me following the same, familiar road like many out there. Although I had the degrees, jobs and opportunities ahead, I felt I was missing something inside; I
asked myself: what exactly is my true purpose in life? Annually, on Good Shepherd Sunday, in St Joseph Major Seminary of Xuan Loc, an orientation day is held for those who want to discern about a priestly vocation. In 2013, with my mother’s encouragement, I attended the orientation day praying for vocations. I was impressed by what I had heard and seen, I had a vague feeling this is what I wanted to do. After that, I started to find out more about the vocation that I was being drawn to. My parents and all the other members of my family were happy about the fact that I want to discern my vocation to become a priest. However, they completely respected whatever decision I would make. I went to see my Parish Priest, other priests and sisters whom I knew, asking for spiritual guidance, with the hope that they would help me towards a deeper discernment. A question constantly echoed in my mind, “Is God calling me? Does He want me to be His priest?” Finally, after a considerable period of time praying and consulting, I signed up for the entrance exam for Xuan Loc Seminary and then
I was successfully chosen to be a diocesan pre-seminarian in 2013. Over the past three years, I have learnt a lot about community life not only in general knowledge but also I have known how to adapt to a new environment. In the seminary, we were trained under the particular guidelines for preseminarian. Living in a community, I had the opportunity to get to know many other brothers whom I had never met before. More than ever, it felt hard to live with others who had different characteristics, but finally I managed it well. In early 2015, I was chosen to consider a vocation in the Diocese of Broken Bay. This was a path that I had not thought of before. I always admired missionaries, but never had I supposed myself to be one of them! However, I gave it serious consideration. After one week praying and conferring with those concerned, I replied honestly to the vocation director that it was not my personal will to go, but if I was to be sent, I would go. My decision was made in total peace and freedom. It was not based on my own interest or transitory desire, but after a time being with God, just being there and reflecting, I heard a voice inside
telling me that this was what Jesus wanted me to do so. I was offered the opportunity for an immersion experience in Broken Bay for one month in 2015. I really treasured this time because of the experience I gained from it, especially about Australia, the Diocese of Broken Bay and the life of the Catholic Church here. After some delay with my visa, I finally came to Australia to become a seminarian for the Diocese of Broken Bay in August of 2016. In February, I officially joined the Seminary of The Good Shepherd, commencing my first year as a seminarian. And what I can say is that now I am really joyful to be here in the seminary! I follow the program and try to be open to the grace God bestows on me to transform me. I tell myself that I am just at the beginning of my life journey. I entrust my entire journey to God because He alone knows me best, and what will be best for me. With this faith, I am ready to accept what is ahead with joy and a burning desire. Contact the Vocations Ministry, Diocese of Broken Bay on 0418 522 449 or email
Naremburn Family Centre
helping those in need
A man who suffers from a permanent physical disability and is father to a teenager and two younger children presented to the police station feeling at his ‘wit’s end’, not feeling supported and not knowing where to turn.
Hattending school. The family are on
is teenager was doing drugs and not
Centrelink benefits and struggling to make ends meet.
After discussing with Dad his needs over the phone, Family Referral Service were able to liaise with the education program and the young person’s case manager to discover ways to get the
young person to the education program easier and address the barriers that were preventing her from getting there. Family Referral Service relieved some of the immediate financial pressure of the family with petrol and grocery vouchers, then connected family members up with appropriate counselling services and offered financial counselling and free
parenting courses to assist in managing teenagers’ difficult behaviours. “I truly cannot thank you enough. I literally have not been able to put petrol in my car… I really appreciate the understanding and appreciation of your position. It’s very rare, and you should be very proud of how you do what you do.”
Care and support for families fleeing domestic violence (Names have been changed for privacy)
The new domestic violence after-hours response program has been effective in its approach of providing face-to-face crisis support for vulnerable women and children.
Tclosely with housing providers, the
he team of after-hours workers, work
DV line, local police and homelessness services. The after-hours worker’s dedication and prompt, caring response to these women was evident during a busy weekend last month. One story we are happy to share, involved a young mother, Sarah and her two young children Ben and Sam who made the brave decision to leave a violent household and accessed a hotel for accommodation over the weekend. Sarah had no family support network and was feeling very fearful and lonely. Sarah had many thoughts of returning to her household with her
children as she had minimum money, and frequent calls and text messages from her husband, apologising for his behaviours and begging for her return. Our support workers attended the hotel Sarah was residing at, at Sarah’s request, for some face to face crisis counselling. Sarah appeared exhausted and distressed and identified she had no idea where to turn, feeling desperately lonely. Our support workers provided Sarah, Ben and Sam with practical support, including blankets, nappies and toiletries and assurance our service would again be in touch the following day to continue to provide emotional support. Over the weekend, our
workers continued to follow up with Sarah, with her consent, to ensure she remained feeling safe and secure and to ensure she understood her options as she had previously felt no other choice than returning to her husband. The workers advised Sarah, that she was able to be referred to CatholicCare’s Specialist homelessness services (SHS) for ongoing casework support with housing and counselling and Sarah was happy for this to happen. Sarah advised our workers she was feeling much stronger due to the consistent and caring support offered by the staff members during the evening when it is quiet and lonely.
FAMILY CENTRES: Central Coast • Naremburn • Waitara DISABILITY FUTURES: Central Coast • Northern Beaches • Northern Suburbs OUT OF HOME CARE: Foster Care • Therapeutic Group Care EARLY LEARNING AND CARE: Forestville • Lake Munmorah • Terrigal • Waitara • Woy Woy
Care and support for families fleeing domestic violence On the Monday, Sarah was able to access CatholicCare’s SHS program and later that week moved into our women’s refuge, which specialises in support for women and children escaping domestic violence situations and provides casework for ongoing housing and support needs
once the refuge is no longer the best place for the family. Due to the crisis support during the crucial hours of fleeing a violent situation, Sarah was able to remain strong and learn of resources and services that are there to support women in these vulnerable situations.
CatholicCare hope to continue to support and empower women who have made the first courageous move to leave a violent relationship and hopefully there will be many more success stories to share!
CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay opens new Early Learning Centre at Woy Woy
The Hon. Sarah Mitchell, MP was one of the special guests who attended the official opening ceremony held at CatholicCare’s new Early Learning Centre at Woy Woy in late March.
Tmembers of the local community he opening was attended by
including children and families who currently utilise this vital early childhood facility as well as local government and Indigenous representatives. Early Childhood Education and Care is an important part of CatholicCare’s service to the Central Coast Community. CatholicCare, with support of the NSW
Government’s Capital Works Program, now operates a 60 place Early Learning service located at St John the Baptist Primary School. “This service has provided many children and families in the local community an opportunity to utilise an early childhood service. Access to a quality early childhood education supports children to be well prepared for entering Primary School,” said Amy Trudgett,
CatholicCare’s St John the Baptist Woy Woy Early Learning Centre Coordinator. St John the Baptist Early Learning Centre boasts a natural play environment and overlooks local bushland. Our skilled and highly trained educators support children’s development through intentional teaching and a play-based philosophy, which supports children to be confident individuals as they navigate their way through early childhood.
OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS CARE: Carlingford • Collaroy Plateau • Davidson • East Gosford • Forestville • Freshwater Lake Munmorah • Manly • Mona Vale • Narrabeen • Pymble • Waitara • West Pymble • Woy Woy HOSPITAL CHAPLAINCY: Gosford • Hornsby • Manly • Mona Vale • Royal North Shore • Wahroonga (SAN) • Wyong BBN
ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
Filipino Chaplaincy celebrates a decade of praise and service By Cynthia Martin
The seed of the Filipino Chaplaincy Chatswood Parish (FCCP) was planted in October 2006 and became a reality in 2007 through the encouragement and support of Fr Christmar Daguno (a Filipino priest who worked with the Scalabrinians) and Fr Vince Casey (Parish Priest of Our Lady of Dolours at that time).
College, through the kind permission of the College Principal Mr John Couani. Bishop David gave the blessing and led the prayer before the meal. It was a great occasion for the community and the Clergy. Fr David Ranson congratulated the FCCP community for their involvement in the Chatswood Parish and encouraged everyone to continue their work not only in the Chatswood Parish but in the wider Diocese as well. The Papal Nuncio reminded that FCCP should not only work for Filipinos but do so for others in the Parish and the Broken Bay Diocese. He noted that this community is a precious asset to the Church, contributing in singing, the liturgy, the desire to help and reach out to others. He emphasised that he may be Filipino by blood and physical features, but he is the Representative of the Pope and is therefore for all in the Catholic Church. He urged everyone to go beyond the limits of origin and cultural belongingness because the Church is not just Filipino, the Church is universal. On 22 April, a thanksgiving dinner attended by the Clergy, coordinators and other supporters of the FCCP during the past ten years was held at the Pamana Filipino Restaurant in Chatswood. Bishop Peter Comensoli and Fr Christmar were the guests of honour. Fr Christmar thanked everyone for the support
he received through the years and he said the FCCP is proof that the empowerment of lay people works. Bishop Peter’s message focused on the great tradition that FCCP started and had grown from strength to strength. He addressed the young ones at the dinner about how lucky they are that Jesus comes into their life through their Filipino heritage enriched by living here in Australia. He noted the great sense of hope and joy in living one’s faith with the flavour of family history in an Australian context. Bishop Peter acknowledged that Filipino Catholics have always been a part of the Diocese of Broken Bay since it started 30 years ago. He emphasised that the Filipinos are an integral part of the Diocese and will continue to play an important role in the future. He noted that there are a number of Filipino priests serving in the Diocese (only slightly outnumbered by the Indian priests) and so his request is for the Filipino community to give him four seminarians! Bishop Peter urged all to keep going strong in faith and be witness to all. He promised his continued support to the FCCP and asked all to continue supporting him in his work. He blessed the community and said that the ten years of the FCCP is a sign of gratitude and a gift from the Holy Spirit. FR
FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS
he FCCP was established to support the Filipinos in the challenging task of assimilating into the Australian way of life without losing their Filipino values, tradition and culture at the same time maintaining and growing in their Catholic Faith in a much more secular society than they were used to. The Chaplaincy has provided the Filipinos opportunities to practice and live their faith together with the wider OLD Parish community. A Eucharistic celebration was held on 2 April 2017 at Our Lady of Dolours Church in Chatswood to mark the 10th anniversary. The main celebrant at the Mass was His Eminence Archbishop Adolfo Yllana, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, concelebrated with Bishop Emeritus David Walker, Vicar General Fr David Ranson, OLD Parish Priest Fr Paul Finucane, FCCP Chaplain Fr Norberto Ochoa, Fr Nestor Candado, assisted by Deacon Roberto Corpuz and Deacon Francis Belcina. It was a record attendance of more than 400 people who came from the parish community and beyond. Fr Paul thanked the Papal Nuncio and the Clergy for their presence and warmly wished the FCCP well. He jokingly said that any Filipino celebration is full of Fs – Filipinos, faith, feasts, food, fellowship, and more food! The celebration continued after Mass with lunch served at the covered court of St Pius X
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ACROSS OUR DIOCESE
St Pius X College Chatswood celebrates 80th Anniversary The St Pius X College community proudly celebrated its 80th Anniversary and Founder’s Day with Mass led by the Bishop of Broken Bay, the Most Reverend Peter A Comensoli on 2 May 2017.
ollege Principal, Mr John Couani, welcomed more than 1500 students, staff, Old Boys, parents, ex-teachers and Christian Brothers, was a celebration of faith. From humble beginnings, the College was established in 1937 when local priest Fr Barry then invited the Christian Brothers to establish a boys school in
Chatswood. Christian Brothers Chatswood was established, changing its name to St Pius X College in 1954 with the Canonisation of Giuseppe Sarto; Pope Pius X. As the Congregation gathered in prayer and thanksgiving for the past 80 years and reflected on the foundations for the College’s
future, Mr Couani said it was “a celebration of tradition, the legacy of the Christian Brothers and Catholic education in the Edmund Rice tradition”. But most importantly, it was a celebration of “community and our Catholic Faith”. Mr Couani paid tribute to the Brothers, Parish Priests and long serving lay staff who have sustained the vision for the school true to the College motto, Fide et Labore – through faith and hard work. In his homily Bishop Peter spoke about the significance of 80 years – the life of the College, the 80 years of Blessed Edmund Rice and the 80 years of Jesus Christ and the Apostolic Church. He also spoke of the 80 years to come asking the congregation “How are you going to plan for those 80 years? From Christ, through Edmund Rice, with the College now, what is your hope for the 80 to come? To answer that … I simply offer you this. Know your past, test your present and live your future.” The college celebrates its
milestone year whilst marking the touchstone of Gospel Spirituality and a scripturally themed year program has enhanced and strengthened the students’ connection to their faith at their various stages of development.
HELP A CHILD FEEL
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NEWS & ISSUES
Pope Francis canonises the children of Fatima
On 13 May 2017, Pope Francis canonised Jacinta and Francisco Marto in Fatima, exactly 100 years since the first vision of the Virgin Mary.
he two shepherd children, along with their cousin Lucia dos Santos, reported seeing the apparition of Mary in a field near their homes. Over 500,000 people attended the Canonisation Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Fatima with Pope Francis. The crowd erupted into applause and cheer when he announced that Francisco and Jacinta were now saints. Francisco died in 1919 at the
age of 10, and his sister Jacinta the following year aged 9. They are the two youngest saints who have not been martyred. In his homily, Pope Francis said; “ The Virgin Mother did not come here so that we could see her. We will have all eternity for that, provided, of course, that we go to heaven.” He said that Mary’s messages to the three children were a warning to all people about leading “a way of life that is
godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures.” Before the Mass, Pope Francis met the Portuguese Prime
Minister Antonio Costa, and visited the tombs of Sts Francisco and Jacinta and their cousin Lucia, who died at age 97 in 2005.
Australian premiere of The Sultan and the Saint The Sultan & the Saint is a new docudrama from Unity Productions Foundation that presents the historic meeting nearly 800 years ago between St Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt, the Muslim ruler Al-Malik al-Kamil, during the Fifth Crusade.
t Damietta in Egypt, at the height of the war, St Francis and his companion crossed no man’s land between the two opposing armies from the Christian camp to the Sultan’s camp and spent some days there meeting and discussing with the Sultan and his court. This remarkable encounter, and the commitment to peace of the two men behind it, changed the relationship between Muslims and Christians for the better. The premiere screening of The Sultan & the Saint is being co-hosted by The Columban Mission Institute and its Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations, in partnership with: • Western Sydney University • Franciscan Provincial Office Australia • Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay • Diocese of Parramatta • Uniting Church in Australia, NSW and ACT • Affinity Intercultural Foundation • Islamic Sciences Research Academy (ISRA) • With the cooperation of Unity Productions Foundation in the US.
Rev Dr Patrick McInerney SSC, Coordinator of The Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations, said the film’s message is very relevant to our times. “In our present time of Islamophobia, suspicion, fear and hostility towards Islam and Muslims, this is a wonderful example of Christian-Muslim dialogue, of Christians and Muslims meeting face-to-face, of promoting peace.” Everyone is welcome to attend the premiere on Saturday 29 July from 7.00pm-9.00pm. Following the screening, there will be a response from a Franciscan friar and a Muslim Sheikh. For information about the film, visit:
Tickets are $10, includes refreshments. Book online at
NEWS & ISSUES
International Professor to reflect upon Francis as Global Pope BBI – The Australian Institute of Theological Education is proud to welcome the internationally recognised expert on Vatican II and the leadership of Pope Francis, Professor Massimo Faggioli who will be teaching an exciting new course with the Institute in July and will be a guest speaker at its national eConference in August.
ased at Villanova University in the USA, Professor Faggioli is a world authority on the history and administrative inner workings of the Catholic Church and he is frequently featured in international media as a commentator on theological, religious and Church-related issues. Professor Faggioli will also be a keynote speaker at the BBI eConference, Gospel Leadership in Times of Chaos: the Hope of Pope Francis on Thursday 10 August. This year’s event will bring together an extraordinary lineup of prominent international and national speakers from the political, media and business arenas, alongside well respected theologians and leaders of religious congregations from across Australia to reflect upon the unique style of leadership offered by Pope Francis in turbulent times. Massimo Faggioli will also be teaching
Leading for Mission and Catholic Identity: Insights from Vatican II which will be presented as a two-day seminar, aimed at helping those aspiring to or who already hold leadership positions within Catholic institutions gain a deeper understanding of 21st century ‘inclusive’ Catholicism. Professor Faggioli will be teaching the new unit, alongside BBI’s Academic Dean, Professor Anthony Maher, drawing upon their joint research and publications in the field of Catholic Mission and Identity. The new unit is especially tailored to meet the needs of busy professionals, allowing them to complete all their requirements through attending a compulsory two-day face-to-face seminar on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 July, followed by six remaining sessions which are all completed online. The course can also be completed as a
professional development seminar over two days – 21 and 22 July 2017, allowing staff in Catholic institutions to potentially gain accreditation towards their PD requirements. More information is available on the BBI website: http://www.bbi.catholic.edu.au/highereducation/Leading-for-Mission-and-Catholic-Identity
Put those you love in the hands of those who care Of all life’s celebrations the funeral liturgy can touch us the most deeply. We prefer to place our trust and reliance on those who have the skill and experience to plan a funeral that has meaning and dignity. At least that’s what Sydney families look for when they choose WN Bull Funerals. As the funeral liturgy expresses faith, it also contextualises the life of the deceased with traditional and contemporary elements.
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