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Listen to what the Spirit is saying... A year of Listening Plenary Council 2020

Warringah Catholic Parish: Bringing people together in Christ.


JUNE 2018



Trust in the Lord is the greatest witness to a youthful heart beating to the rhythm of grace in the life of the Church.

Growing Young in Christ A SPIRITUAL LETTER TO CHRIST’S FAITHFUL OF BROKEN BAY IN THE YEAR OF YOUTH 2018 AND TOWARDS THE PLENARY COUNCIL 2020 MOST REV PETER A COMENSOLI PENTECOST 2018 But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31) Dear friends in Christ, In this Year of Youth, and as we begin our Diocesan journey towards the National Assembly of the Church in Australia – the Plenary Council of 2020, I want to reflect with you on what it means to be young in Christ. May this question direct our hearts and minds in the year ahead...

Jesus Christ – The One who is Young To walk into the Sistine Chapel in Rome is to walk into the living story of the Catholic Church. Yet, for many people today it is nothing more than a glorified art gallery, telling an old story of an old institution. But what if we were to look to the walls of the Chapel with an eye willing to see

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beyond their artistic merit? What might we see? Perhaps there is a story to tell which is not old but young. Every panel in the Sistine Chapel leads the eye onwards to the vast back wall upon which is Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Last Judgement. There, the future of our humanity – our eternal re-creation – is told in enormous figures and dramatic scenes. At its centre stands the pinnacle of our humanity, Jesus Christ. He is gigantic in proportions and majestic in presence. Gone is the gaunt, wounded body of the Crucified Lord. Before us now stands the risen Christ in all his glory, strong and beautiful to behold. And he is young! We tend to imagine God to be elderly. This has contributed to a pervading sense of a Church that Cover design by Cyrilla Almeida

HEART TO HEART is worn down, old and stuffy. However, these views of God and his Church, Christ’s Body, are mistaken. Jesus Christ is anything but old: he is the New Adam (1Cor 15:45); the Bridegroom running to meet his Bride (Mt 9:15); the Alpha and Omega (Rev 21:6); the eternally young I AM (Jn 8:58). Christ is young. Time and again, Jesus points to his own eternal vitality as the sign of God’s renewed presence among us. He offers new wine to the wedding couple (Jn 2:1); he gives living water to the Samaritan woman (Jn 4:7); he feeds the multitude with the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35); and he stands among his friends offering them his peace (Jn 20:20). Through these great ‘signs’ we can be sure that Jesus Christ is the fullness of life, given for us. We Christians are disciples of a young Christ.

heart beating to the rhythm of grace in the life of the Church. The young in Spirit are true guides to discipleship in the Lord. The saints are witnesses to the youthfulness of Christ because their lives glowed with holiness. They did not aim to create for themselves a flawlessly manicured life. Instead, they worked to live their lives in a way that could show the world graced faces of faith, hope and love. The signs of a youthful discipleship in the Lord are not too hard to identify. Just as blood shows up in the colouring of our skin, so grace shows up in the colouring of our lives. We need only look to the complexion of our own lives to see God’s presence. How does my life look to someone else? Is there a sense of trustfulness evident in my presence, along grace shows up in the colouring of our lives. We need only look to the complexion of our own lives to see God’s presence.

Holiness – Being Young in Christ The history of our salvation is full of stories of the young saying ‘yes’ to God. Think of the young Samuel – “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening” (1 Sam 3:10), or the young David – “The Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7), or the young Ruth – “Wherever you go, I will go” (Ruth 1:16). In each story it is the open heart of these young people – their willing and generous ‘yes’ – that moves the heart of God. None of them was perfect; yet each of them was receptive to the Lord’s plan for them. No other young person’s ‘yes’ to God can be more highly regarded than that of the young woman from Nazareth, Mary. Mary’s ‘yes’ to the news from the Angel set her on a path in life of complete openness to the Lord. When she found words to describe her heart in God, they were full of joy: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” (Lk :46-47) Mary’s ‘yes’ to God stands above and beyond any ‘yes’ we might hesitantly make to the Lord, for she responded to God with a heart full of grace. Yet, our hearts are no different from hers to the extent that we too, like her, are God’s beloved, lowly servants. Shining with baptismal grace, we have received the same fullness of grace as Mary. Therefore, the youthful ‘yes’ of Mary may equally be ours to declare.

Our Youthful ‘Yes’ – a Holy Complexion It has always been the young in grace who have been the most open to saying ‘yes’ to God. Trust in the Lord is the greatest witness to a youthful BROKEN BAY NEWS

Before us now stands the risen Christ in all his glory, strong and beautiful to behold. And he is young! JUNE 2018 3

HEART TO HEART with hope? Does my friendship with Jesus show in what I say and do? Where does grace shine out in my life? Does my face shine with Christ?

Living in the World Holiness is trusting that God has already created us beautifully in his image, and by the grace of Baptism has re-created us in the image of his Son, Jesus. Yet, how can we live in a way in which a holy complexion might shine, when society and culture combine to create false images of our humanity? A quote attributed to Pope Benedict XVI might help us to understand the nature of this call to youthful holiness, this living with a graced complexion: “The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” The way of the world will inevitably clog our hearts with an accumulation of cares, leaving us old and worn out. Whereas the way of God is built to expand our hearts with the flow of grace, invigorating our lives and renewing our spirits. Those who choose to live God’s way are the ones who desire a better life, who hope for a better future, and who work for a better now. Our years of age are not decisive in this respect. A beautiful face is possible at any age. The gracefully young are the ones who have embraced a Gospel boldness in life, and who leave a trace of God’s grace for others to follow.

The Church: Young in (the) Body and (the) Spirit If Christ Jesus is young; and if we, Christ’s disciples, can be young; then the Body of Christ, the Church, is called to be young. This is a truth we urgently need to hear today. It is a truth that offers us a sure path to real life. As the Body of Christ, the Church is living, organic, creative: “For just as the body is

one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ… Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1Cor 12:12, 27) We, the Church, are an organic body in Christ, and not an institution that is remade at our will. We are a creative body in Christ and are not a collection of curiosities in a museum. We are the living body of Christ, and not merely an NGO doing good works. The first disciples of Jesus discovered the beauty of the Church in an upper room where they had gathered fearful, confused and despondent, to await a sign from God. That sign was the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. In that extraordinary moment, which gave birth to the Church, the disciples were transformed (Acts 2:1-13). From the beginning the Church was alive and energetic. The question is: would this be the description we would give to the Church in Australia today? We want to find hope, but struggle to see it before us. We call for reform, but do not seek conversion. We desire change, so long as others do the changing. Are these not the fears and wounds that are holding us back in our upper rooms? Are they not what make us – and our life in the Church – old and tired, angry or indifferent?

Discovering a New Pentecost So, into our stagnant pools of despondency, let a pebble of encouragement be dropped to stir us up! We need the young to draw us back into Christ’s Body, the Church. Young people today live in a world difficult to understand. Ask them for little and they will give nothing; ask for much and they will give everything. Young people look for, and expect, a closeness between the ideal and the reality of life in the Church. They hope for, and demand, witnesses of holiness in whom they can place their trust, in a culture where little is trustworthy. Young people need a creed to believe in, and a compass

by which they can be guided, in order to channel their abundant energies for Christ. They need us to light the path ahead. The grace of Baptism is the pebble that can continue to ripple through our lives, stirring us up and back to Pentecost. This is not to dismiss the reality of our fallen ways. Instead, it is to see ourselves as wounded healers – and forgiven forgivers – so as to let the fire of evangelical energy be rekindled in us. A new Pentecost is there to be discovered so that we might find our way back to our youthfulness in Christ.

A New Song in an Ancient Land Ours is an ancient land, into which the song-line of the Christian life is weaving into the song-lines of those who have travelled this earth long before us. It tells a shared story of the abiding presence of the Creator who now sings the song of the Redeemer. When Pope St John Paul II first came to Australia in 1986, he made his way to its centre, and spoke the name of Christ into the heart of our country. In this Year of Youth, and as we journey together towards the Plenary Council of 2020, may his words – spoken to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders of this Great South Land – find an echo in us today: Please pray for me, as I pray for you.

Most Rev Peter A Comensoli Bishop of Broken Bay

“You are like a tree standing in the middle of a bush-fire sweeping through the timber. The leaves are scorched and the tough bark is scarred and burned; but inside the tree the sap is still flowing, and under the ground the roots are still strong. Like that tree you have endured the flames, and you still have the power to be reborn. The time for this rebirth is now!” Pope St John Paul II Read the full version of Bishop Peter’s Spiritual Letter online

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Warringah Catholic Parish Bringing people together in Christ Nestled on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the Catholic Parish of Warringah is home to a warm and welcoming community from many different nationalities with the shared aim of bringing people together in Christ. BY DEBRA VERMEER


he Parish is made up of two worshipping communities at St John the Apostle, Narraweena and St Kevin’s, Dee Why and is cared for by the Scalabrinian Fathers. Assistant Priest, Fr Fransiskus Yangminta cs, says there are two key elements of Scalabrinian spirituality, which are evident in the Parish – communion and hospitality. “That means that we focus on bringing people of different backgrounds together, providing space for different groups so that they can freely express their cultural tradition,” he says. “We try to keep our charism of working with migrants, refugees, seafarers and people on the move very much alive in our parishes and chaplaincies.” Parish Pastoral Council member John Calabrese, a member of the Italian community within the Parish, agrees that Warringah Parish is a vibrant multicultural community. “It’s a bit of a mixture alright,” he says. “We have a real multicultural mix, with Italians, Tongans, Filipinos, Indians, Brazilians, Spanish speakers, Dutch, Irish and of course plain old Australians and I think everyone feels at home here.” Parish Priest, Fr Reinaldo Vassoler cs, says the liturgical celebrations reflect that multicultural mix BROKEN BAY NEWS

with the Parish offering regular Masses in Italian, Filipino, Spanish and Portuguese as well as English. “We have a lot of elderly people, but we also see young people and we really value our two schools,” he says.

“Our relationship with the Parish continues to strengthen under Fr Reinaldo’s leadership and I see a lot of potential to develop that relationship even further through the Parish Council,” he says.

“While we don’t see all the families from the School every Sunday we do have a regular School Family Mass when the children and their families come to the Parish for Mass and we have close ties.” Lorraine Vincent, Principal of St Kevin’s Catholic School, Dee Why says she believes both schools have a strong relationship with the Parish. “Both Principals attend the Parish Council meetings once a month and we have a very engaging Parish Priest who brings people in together,” she says. “We have a very multicultural parish and that’s reflected in our school community and we do try to involve the students in the life of the Parish.” Lorraine says the students are a visible presence at Masses, especially the Friday lunchtime Mass where one class is nominated to join with the Parish, as well as the Family Mass. Mark Bateman, Principal of St John’s Catholic School, Narraweena says the School and Parish try to do things together whenever they can. JUNE 2018 5


Exploring our missionary outreach

“We are seeing high levels of involvement between the School and the Parish. “The Family Masses are getting stronger attendances and the kids really participate, by taking up the gifts, singing and providing excellent re-enactments of the Gospel. “We try to encourage a genuine sense of invitation to our families from both the Parish and School and try to encourage that involvement and put easy strategies in place so that people feel welcome.” The multicultural nature of the Parish helps set the tone for liturgy, especially when it comes to music. “We have beautiful Filipino choirs,” says Fr Reinaldo. “All of our choirs are great. We have choirs at Dee Why and at Narraweena.” Fr Fransiskus says the Parish is also starting to rebuild its young adults group, which had fallen away over the years. “We started again in November with just seven

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young adults,” he says. “We meet once a month on the fourth Sunday for faith formation and discussions and we’re doing a lot of fundraising for one of our young people to go to World Youth Day in Panama. “The group’s members are also very active in the liturgical celebrations. “We had the Year of Youth Cross in our Parish for a week recently and the group of young people carried the cross into Mass, which was really moving actually. After Mass we invited people to write down their spiritual intentions and stick it to the wooden cross. It was wonderful.”

Anointing of the Sick Mass in the Parish on the last Thursday of the month. On the social front, the Italian Catholic Federation, which has 96 members, meets once a month on the second Tuesday for bingo and cards and every Monday, another Italian group meets in the church hall at St Kevin’s, also for bingo and cards. “We’ve also started exercises for the seniors every Tuesday and Friday,” John says. Warringah Parish has a rich prayer and spiritual life, with a range of devotional opportunities on offer.

Seniors are also well looked after, both spiritually and socially, says Fr Reinaldo.

An Italian prayer group meets every Wednesday at Narraweena and every Friday evening the Divine Mercy Chaplet is prayed, followed by Adoration.

“Whenever we know of someone who can’t come to Mass, we go to visit them in their home or nursing home,” he says. “We also offer Masses and Anointing of the Sick at the Scalabrinian Village at Allambie Heights as well as Mass in Dee Why Gardens residential retirement village, and an

A Filipino group gathers for prayer and devotions and there is a travelling Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help every fortnight where the Novena and Mass is celebrated at the home of a parishioner and then it moves on the following fortnight to another parishioner’s home.

Exploring our missionary outreach

The Indian parishioners hold a prayer meeting on the fourth Saturday of every month and there is a devotion to the Sacred Heart held in both churches as well as a Divine Will Prayer Group.

“It is led by clergy from one of the different churches and when we get to the beach, the cross is carried by all the clergy and we finish on the beach with prayers.

On top of that, the Legion of Mary is active in the Parish, as is the St Vincent de Paul.

“It’s really beautiful and very well attended, with about 600-700 people taking part.”

“We have one new devotion, prompted by Bishop Peter’s devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe,” says Fr Reinaldo. “On 12 December, Bishop Peter launched the Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Guadalupe and on the second Saturday of the month we now gather to pray the Rosary and offer devotion to Our Lady.” Ecumenism is strong on the Northern Beaches and each year the Parish supports the Ecumenical Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. “All the different Christian religions get together and start from outside our church and then they stop along the streets, praying the Stations until we get to the beach,” says John.


On the social justice front, Vinnies is active in both communities within the Parish and a number of young people are also part of Vinnies. Every year, parishioners take a family’s name from a Christmas tree at the front of the church and prepare a Christmas hamper for that family, which are then distributed to needy people. The Vinnies Christmas Appeal is also well supported. “Over the years we’ve done quite a bit on the social justice front,” says John. “As a parish, we sponsored a family of refugees from Sierra-Leone in Africa to come and settle here. We did that through the Manly Social Justice Group. And the Narraweena community was very active in providing meals for those in need. It’s gone a bit quieter in


recent times but if we see a new opportunity we’d be open to it.” Fr Reinaldo says Warringah Parish is blessed to have many volunteers helping in a variety of ways. “For instance, we have many catechists working at the local public schools, sharing their faith with the young students, as well as people engaged in the various ministries and liturgical life of the Parish,” he says. “We gather all the volunteers together for a Thanksgiving Dinner to express our gratitude for what they’re doing. There are more than 160 people engaged in the different ministries.” Another big social event on the annual calendar is the International Family Night – a Mass and multicultural dinner held at the Narraweena church. “Those nights are wonderful,” says Fr Reinaldo, “because they really show what we want our Parish to be known for – communion, diversity and hospitality.”

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Halfway through the Year of Youth: What a year so far! The Year of Youth is proving to be a wonderful instigator for youth ministry initiatives across our Broken Bay Parishes. BY KELLY PAGET


he CYBB Pilgrim Cross has allowed host parishes to advocate for the place of young people in their community and celebrate the joy and vibrancy that they bring. Throughout this year, several concepts, like the CYBB Pilgrim Cross, have begun as a direct result of the findings of the recent Diocesan General Synod report. This report was compiled as a response to Pope Francis’ call to all young people to participate in dialogue leading up to the October gathering in Rome. To understand where this all stems from, let’s take a step back to December 2015 when the Bishops publicly announced that Australia would celebrate a Year of Youth in 2018: A time for our Australian Church to prayerfully discern the importance and life-giving presence of young people in the local Church. At the time this announcement was being prepared, the Holy Spirit unveiled itself in an incredible way, as Pope Francis announced a General Synod of Bishops would gather in the same year to focus on Young people. Now we knew that the power of the Holy Spirit would draw not only our local Australian Church, but also the global Church to discern the energy and place of our youth. In response to the Pope’s call for a general synod, each diocese was asked to compile a report to be submitted at the end of 2017. The data for this report was mainly gathered through a national online survey of young people. Over 15,000 responses from young people aged 16-30 were collected from across our continent, with 1,249 of them (to be exact) being from our Diocese of Broken Bay. This valuable data included their thoughts on the main issues they face in their lives,

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whether they feel listened to by Church leaders, and consideration of what is and is not working for young people in the Church. In Broken Bay we also undertook a ‘video consultation’ with young people, with a very broad and open-ended question to camera – ‘If you had 1 minute to speak with the Pope, what would you tell him.’ The findings of both the online survey and the video responses were passionate, joy-filled, genuine, pained and challenging. All of these were then used to collate the 19-page Diocesan report which was then submitted to the National Office for Youth for processing prior to submission to the Vatican. Although the structure and form of the report was strictly prescribed by the Holy See, the final report has been a great learning and review tool for the Diocese. Some of the most important findings from the report included: • The four biggest issues facing young people in our Diocese are mental health, school and study, body image and drugs/alcohol • When scoring out of 10, young people in Broken Bay gave a mean score 5.5 for feeling listened to by people in the Church, slightly lower than the national mean of 5.9 • The most ‘successful’ Church run activities included youth Masses, youth groups, music concerts and Praise & Worship Nights When asked what they want from the Church, four common areas began to emerge; 1. The environment, poverty and war

2. Need of the Church/clergy to relate better to young people 3. Creating a place for young people in the Church 4. The discussion of social issues such as the inclusion of LGBT people and same-sex marriage. With all this information, CYBB along with the General Synod Task group, worked on a plan to implement several new initiatives in association with the year of youth. These included: • Clergy and parish leadership formation focusing on the findings of the Synod, understanding young people and developing healthy and sustainable relationships with young people. • CYBB Youth Cross Parish Pilgrimage, to encourage parish events and programs as well as engage local leadership in conversation about the future involvement of young people in the parish • Encouraging parishes to host youth forums to engage young people in conversation about issues that matter to them which affect their place in the Church and society, this will lead to an end of year Diocesan Synodal Youth Assembly with Bishop Peter. As we reach the half way point for the Year of Youth, we are filled with joy with the constant intervention of the Holy Spirit on this journey, inspiring our faith communities to engage with the CYBB Pilgrim Cross and invigorate their local youth ministry initiatives. What will the second half of this extraordinary year bring? Let’s the Holy Spirit continue to inspire and surprise us.



Plenary Council 2020: “I believe in the Holy Spirit” The Plenary Council in 2020 and the listening and dialogue that will precede it are important because our faith upholds that it is the Holy Spirit who guides the Church in every age. BY DANIEL ANG

In the proclamation of the Word, the celebration of the sacraments, and in the living body of God’s holy people we encounter the accessibility of the Spirit of Jesus in history. It is by these ways that we are put in touch with the loving, reconciling, nourishing and disruptive presence of God who calls us to live as his disciples. For this reason the third century theologian Hippolytus could describe the Church in faith as truly “the place where the Spirit dwells.”

We conclude with the words of Pope Francis, drawn from his new Apostolic Exhortation on the call to holiness, Gaudete et Exsultate. The Spirit continues to call the Church to conversion, with the hope-filled expectation that this same Spirit can bring about more than we expect or imagine if we have the courage to receive and respond in kind: “Let us ask the Lord for the grace not to hesitate when the Spirit calls us to take a step forward. Let us ask for the apostolic courage to share the Gospel with others and to stop trying to make our Christian life a museum of memories. In every situation, may the Holy Spirit cause us to contemplate history in the light of the risen Jesus. In this way, the Church will not stand still, but constantly welcome the Lord’s surprises”. This is our prayer and our hope as we journey toward Plenary Council 2020.

Pilgrimages. Got questions? Call 1800 819 156


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Graces of Mary


Footsteps of Jesus




As we embark on a process of

Please be in touch with your Parish Priest, principal, or local leader if you would like more information about the listening sessions encouraged in your community, or visit the national website for more information about the

Plenary Council itself:


It is for this reason, in faith and humility, that the bishops of Australia have asked all of God’s people to share their sense of faith for our future as Church, ‘What is God asking of us in Australia at this time?’ What are those ways in which our Church, encompassing each one of us, is called to change in order to better respond to Jesus in the present?

As the people of Broken Bay, we are dedicated to this discernment in faith. Since baptism the Spirit already dwells in our hearts, the apostolic faith and missionary spirit are not strangers to us.

At Pentecost (20 May), all of our parish communities, Catholic primary and secondary schools, youth leaders, CatholicCare centres, religious orders, ecclesial movements and migrant communities received a Plenary Council support kit, including an invitation to select a ‘Local Animator’ to coordinate and encourage listening sessions in their local community, especially between August and October. Bishop Peter will seek to visit communities during these months to listen to the sense of faith stirred by our listening and dialogue.


However, this gift of the Holy Spirit has to be received time and again and stir our response if the Church is to authentically express the life and mission of Jesus. In speaking of the Spirit who both guides and supports, Pope Francis recognises with sobriety, “One has to be aware that such a great gift, of which with gratitude we are perpetual servants, rests on fragile shoulders”. It is clear from our history as Church, and even in our everyday living, that we are not always receptive or obedient to God’s calling in the Spirit.

dialogue in our faith communities, we are fortified by the words of Pope Francis, shared last year in reflection on the Spirit of God, “I invite you to cultivate an attitude of listening, growing in the freedom of renouncing one’s own point of view (when it is shown to be partial and insufficient), to assume that of God. Without letting oneself be conditioned by the eyes of others, make efforts to get to know with your own eyes the places and the people, the spiritual and cultural “tradition” of the diocese entrusted to you, to respectfully enter into the memory of its testimony of Christ and to interpret its concrete present in the light of the Gospel outside which there is no future for the Church.”



e trust by baptism and confirmation that all the faithful have been gifted with a capacity to encounter the Risen Jesus, understand his teaching and actions, and to embrace the new way of life that he offers. It is the Holy Spirit who enables each Christian, and so the Church as a community of Christians, to understand and live faithfully the difference that Jesus brings.

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

9 October 2018 – accompanied by Fr John Adams 9 May 2019 – accompanied by Fr Shinto Francis Or ask us about our full range of departures.

“An experience of a lifetime. The bible came alive. It’s not just a book anymore but a reality. My faith became my way of life.” – Aurea Martin

“It’s like I was floating when I was there during those pilgrimages days. Can’t explain it really. Absolutely wonderful” – Adelaida




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“What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?” We believe Catholic families are being led by the Spirit to the task of reforming the institution of the Church, these families having a large part to play in being that change. To be effective agents of change, Catholic families need to be embedded into the systems of the institution that are able to facilitate that change. Advisory boards, parish councils, diocesan councils and with the clergy. The voices of Catholic families, both practising and, just as importantly, those who have left the Church, need to be heard and the Plenary Council is the perfect forum to facilitate this.” – Shane and Leanne Hyland, Warnervale Parish

“During this day and age when spirituality among the youth isn’t as strong as it once was, I think what God is asking most fervently of us is to simply remember him and the values of Christianity. I believe what he wants is for the youth to not get so consumed in all the emerging trends and scientific advancements that we forget our faith and our mission to do good works on earth. To remember how to be selfless and forgiving and in touch with our spirituality. At this time, God is asking the church to maintain their faith in him and to believe that he will bring people to him, even though it may seem like they’ve strayed from the path of Christianity. He asks only for every individual to do good in their own lives and lead by example and leave the harder tasks to him.” – Sarah Chahine, Ku-ring-gai Chase Parish “To be honest, prior to today I would not have an answer to this question. I saw the Church purely as a religious discipline of faith, values and community. Now thinking about this question I feel that I am still somewhat confused. But in saying that, my answer to the question falls back to the people of the Church. I think that God is asking for his people to be a community, to hear and value people with their heads, hearts and hands… When I am thinking about my own spiritual journey, funnily enough it was pretty much non-existent until I began university. And now yes I can say it has developed, but there are factors that hold me back as those who I love cannot continue this journey as they have a very blunt view of the Church. What I ask is that our Church be more enticing.” – Secondary School Teacher, Diocese of Broken Bay

“I think what God is asking of the priesthood in Australia is integrity, honesty, prayerfulness, to exercise best practice in leadership, to collaborate with the lay faithful, to exercise humility and accountability, to have a missionary focus together with the parish community and to be a part of a community of equals in humble loving service.” – Fr Paul Finucane, Kincumber Parish

“God is to be found with the poor the underprivileged and persecuted. We the Church must open our hearts to them and support them but we must first listen to them. Ask them what they think and what they would like us to do. The key word is Listen and not talk talk talk. I think God wants the Church to be outward to be innovative. As an Indigenous man I can say we have been talked to enough. Now is the time to be just and generous. God wants us to listen and to act.” – Ken Ralph, Aboriginal Ministry

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PLENARY COUNCIL “I think that what God is asking of me at this time is what He has always been asking – to become focused on Him rather than on me and to become missionary, to reach out to others! To show others how much I love and care for them, to proclaim his Good News, to journey with the people I meet on the road of life. I would like to share what I have learnt with others who could learn from my experiences. I would like to learn from others who have had more experience than me (or a different experience to mine). I think God is asking us to be holy as God is holy!” – Roman Pazniewski, Pymble Parish

“Having been married for 25 years and raising four children, life has had its highs and lows, joys and sadness, as I’ve matured so has my faith and my ability to ask God for help. Twenty-five years of marriage has made me grateful that God has sent me an amazing husband who I thank God for every day. I couldn’t have faced life’s challenges without him or God. I believe at this time in our changing world, God is asking us to be compassionate, loving, caring and forgiving which is not always easy. In fact it’s really, really tough. Without having a strong faith, nurtured by the Catholic community, I’m not sure I would have the capacity and willingness to be the face of Christ in my family and community.” – Johanne Spek, Toukley Parish

“Firstly, I address the question directly to myself – what is God asking of me? The Gospels record the last command from Jesus as ‘proclaim the Good News to all’. I seek to respond to this command in my role as a Special Religious Education (SRE) teacher to children in State schools and as the leader of an RCIA team. I seek to tell them the Jesus story of love and community. I think what God is asking of catechists is a continued generous response as witnesses to the children in State schools, all this while accepting the outcomes of our efforts as determined by the Holy Spirit. The challenge, as we journey towards the Plenary Council in 2020, is to identify the opportunities and concerns of contemporary Australia then propose, accept and implement our responses under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.” – Alaine Corne, Gosford Parish

“I think God wants us to take every possible opportunity to be a light for a world desperately searching for hope. I think we are being asked to look deeply into the beauty of our Church and to illuminate that – our customs, our traditions, our convictions, our sense of hope and our revolutionary message of forgiveness and gentleness. Our world is thirsting for the exact things that make our Catholic faith truly unique, such as the sacraments and the Eucharist. We have a responsibility to be formed in our faith and to deeply love our faith and to deliver a message that is consistent, reflecting Jesus’ message of life and love.” – Christine Pace, Frenchs Forest Parish


…serving the Diocese of Broken Bay since 1967 Rebecca Pincott Michael Bolton

Australian Family Owned & Operated 301-303 PENNANT HILLS ROAD, THORNLEIGH


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New development plans for Our Lady Help of Christians, Epping Stockland, Australia’s largest diversified property group and a leading Retirement Living provider, has entered into a partnership with the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay, to renew Our Lady Help of Christians Church and School through providing a much-needed retirement living community and a 21st century learning environment for school children in the heart of Epping.


ocated on the site of the existing heritage church, parish offices and primary school, fronting both Oxford and Cambridge Streets, plans for the future, mixed-use community include approximately 200 retirement living apartments, 132 aged care beds, a brand new primary school for 220 students and a renewed community and parish building comprising a parish hall for 400 people and parish office facilities. Stockland’s CEO of Retirement Living Stephen Bull said, “With Epping continuing to be one of Sydney’s fastest growing areas for young children and over 60s, I’m pleased we’ve been able to enter into this partnership to collaboratively create a vision for a residential community for older Australians, a brand new 21st

century primary school and renewed facilities for the local parish. “Our development proposal, which we plan to submit later this year, responds to growing population demand in the area. The site for the proposed new community is within walking distance to rail, which will soon be upgraded to Metro, and the Epping town centre. We know seniors want to be part of a vibrant, thriving community close to public transport, shops, clubs, cafés and restaurants, and we want to provide options for people to remain living in the communities they know and love as they age, close to families, friends and services,” Mr Bull said. Parish Priest of Epping and Carlingford, Fr Peter Dowd said, “In response to the development of our much-loved local community, the

Parish took time over a number of years to discern its vision for the future and its engagement with the wider community. Our Parish, including our school community, expressed a keen desire to ensure Our Lady Help of Christians, Epping would remain a place of welcome for the entire community, including additional open and green space amidst the surrounding new residential developments. “Further, we hoped to respond to community need, such as seniors living, renew our school and parish offices, provide for much needed parishioner car parking on site and explore the possibility of the new parish hall being available in some way for use by the wider community.” As part of the plans, the existing heritage-listed church will be

"We’re excited about the opportunity to create a multigenerational community where people can interact..." preserved and celebrated, with the church’s position as the site’s focal point further enhanced throughout the precinct design. “We’re excited about the opportunity to create a multigenerational community where people can interact and add much value to each other’s lives. We’ve been discussing ideas such as a communal community garden for the school, parish and retiree residents, volunteer opportunities at the school for the residents and cross generational learning such as technology sessions run by the students for the older residents,” Fr Peter continued. Plans for the new precinct include: • A new one-stream primary school to the south of the church, with provision for a second stream should it be required

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Celebrating 70 glorious years of marriage It’s not every day that one has the privileged opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with a wonderful couple on the cusp of celebrating 70 years of marriage! BY STEVEN BUHAGIAR


visited Anthony and Gloria Morath in their home of the past 21 years in Toukley on the NSW Central Coast. I have to specify the exact location because throughout their married life they have lived in a number of suburbs in and around Sydney including Seaforth, Balgowlah, Bexley, Oatley, Eastwood, Emu Plains and Windsor. Tony and Gloria met when they were aged just 11 and 12 in the harbour suburb of Elizabeth Bay. They reminisce that it was a beautiful place to grow up in and that they only wondered this week whether the local tennis courts were still in operation. Tony remembers the first time he laid eyes on Gloria and said that it immediately “set his heart all a flutter!” From that day on he was

intent on marrying her and during their courtship he would send her love notes one of which turned up again after 60 years! They tied the knot at St Canice’s Rushcutters Bay in 1948. Gloria and Tony quickly settled into family life and soon had three handsome young sons; Phillip, Paul and Peter. Their life revolved around their family, business duties and of course their local parish. Going to Mass on Sundays was always a family priority even at a time when their work commitments meant that they were going to bed on the Saturday night at 1.00am! I asked Gloria for some advice that she might like to give to a newly married couple. “There are always going to be ups and downs. I never liked the ‘downs’. So, I’d go to Tony and talk

to him about the problem and in that way, I’d keep myself on an even keel.” I asked the same question of Tony; “We always worked together as a team. It is always good to have shared goals and projects.” It was obvious that the love chemistry was still firing strong between the two. When asked what they loved most about each other. Gloria started… “He is pretty even. He doesn’t often hop off the perch! In all these years of marriage he does everything with a smile. I get my happy heart from him.” Tony kept it shorter… “Her beautiful brown eyes and her laughter!” Fr Tiziano Torresan of Toukley Parish said Tony and Gloria are much loved in the Parish and that they are still involved in different areas of ministry.

Tony still serves and reads at Mass and Gloria is part of the parish choir. He added that they felt it was important to celebrate their 70th anniversary with a blessing ceremony at the Sunday Mass. God bless you Tony and Gloria.

"I get my happy heart from him."

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JUNE 2018 13


Rejoice and Be Glad A new Apostolic Exhortation on Holiness All of Pope Francis’ most recent documents have very joyful-sounding names, such as ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ and ‘The Joy of Love’.


is latest Apostolic Exhortation follows this theme: “Rejoice and be Glad” (Gaudete et Exsultate), on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, released in April. Whilst the title is joyful, the first line of the text immediately hints at a more serious note. “’REJOICE AND BE GLAD’ (Mt 5:12), Jesus tells those persecuted or humiliated for his sake” (GE, 1). Rejoice when persecuted – this sounds much like the Beatitudes, a reflection on which indeed makes up a significant part of this document. Pope Francis continues: “The Lord asks everything of us, and in return he offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created. He wants us to be saints and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence” (GE, 1). We are encouraged to move along the path of holiness so that we can know the joy of the fullness of life which God offers us. As examples, Pope Francis quotes 40 saints throughout the text who have shown us the way. Saints such as St Thérèse of Lisieux, who showed holiness by patiently putting up with the mistakes of others (GE, 69); and St John of the Cross, who teaches us to rejoice in the good of others and to let others have precedence over ourselves (GE, 117). But Pope Francis shows that holiness is attainable by everyone, including the holiness “in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families” (GE, 7). Everyone must find their own path, unique to them, and not simply copy the path of others. The Beatitudes are presented as Jesus’ own words which show us what it means to be holy. They are teachings which unsettle and challenge us, demanding a real change in the way we live (GE, 66). Blessed (or “holy”) are those that are poor of heart; who react with meekness and humility; who know how to mourn with others; who hunger and thirst for righteousness; who see and act with mercy; who keep a heart free of all that tarnishes love; who sow peace all around; and who accept daily the path of the Gospel, even though it may cause problems. The Beatitudes are a “Christian’s identity card” (GE, 63). Pope Francis then offers other signs of holiness of particular relevance in today’s world. Firstly, perseverance, patience and meekness – to be

14 JUNE 2018

BY PINA BERNARD slow to anger and to overcome evil with good (GE, 113); to combat aggressive and selfish inclinations (GE, 114); not to vilify others online (GE, 115); not to look down on others (GE, 117); and to be humble (GE, 118). Not surprisingly, the second sign of holiness is joy and a sense of humour. The joy that comes from the Holy Spirit is not destroyed when hard times come. It is the recognition that we are infinitely loved (GE, 125), and not simply the passing pleasure of consumerism offered by today’s consumerist culture (GE, 128). Boldness and passion are also signs of holiness, the boldness to evangelise with real fervour. Jesus is our example, who showed no hesitancy or timidity in his compassion towards others (GE, 131). When we are fearful and tempted to stay within our own safe haven, Pope Francis challenges us “constantly to set out anew, to pass beyond what is familiar, to the fringes and where humanity is most wounded...God is not afraid! He is fearless! He is always greater than our plans and schemes. Unafraid of the fringes, he himself became a fringe… So if we dare to go to the fringes, we will find him there” (GE, 135). Holiness is also found in community, side by side with others (GE, 140); and in constant prayer, including time spent alone with God (GE, 149), and meeting Jesus in the Scriptures (GE, 157). The last chapter of the Exhortation reminds us that the call to holiness exists in the context of the constant battle against evil that is the Christian life. We need to keep alert so that we are not

“God asks everything of us, yet he also gives everything to us” seduced by false promises (GE, 162). Discernment is all the more necessary today, given the myriad of possibilities, trends and novelties, all presented to us as good (GE, 167). Prayerful discernment comes from listening to the Lord, to others, and to reality itself (GE, 172). The logic of the Christian comes from the Cross, which again, is another example of God’s way not necessarily being our way, of a “mysterious logic that is not of this world”(GE, 174). It is a whole other dynamic that we need to engage with. Pope Francis concludes as he began: “God asks everything of us, yet he also gives everything to us” (GE, 175). If we want the fullness of what God offers, then the key is putting into practice this way of holiness. Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy. On the contrary, you will become what the Father had in mind when he created you, and you will be faithful to your deepest self (GE, 32). Read the whole document at


A Pilgrim’s Progress Last year I had the privilege of walking the Camino de Santiago (translated “The Way of Saint James”) with three of my brothers and some close friends. BY SAMUEL FRENCH


can confidently say that this pilgrimage was one of the most edifying experiences of my life – physically, humanly and spiritually. Our aim was to walk roughly 800kms from St Jean Pied de Port in France across to the city of Santiago de Compostela on the north-west side of Spain.

This famous route has been traversed by Catholic pilgrims since the middle of the 11th century. Since then, the Camino has seen the rise of new commerce and customs, such as volunteer run hostels called albergues, and the ever-present symbol of the Galician shell – a traditional proof of having completed the journey. Pope Benedict XVI, during a visit to the Cathedral of Santiago in 2010 said: “To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself.” No words could be truer of my own experience. If there is one thing I can say with certainty, it is that the Camino was hard! Our small band was determined to enter into the spirit of the pilgrimage. BROKEN BAY NEWS

We avoided cosy hotels and opted instead to stay in cheap albergues, designed to provide the bare necessities for pilgrims. Everything we had we carried in our backpacks, and averaging 30kms per day, our feet and legs paid the price for any superfluous weight. Hunger, sweat and blisters were a daily occurrence, but separated from the material excesses of everyday life, we soon became aware of the blissful contentment of living simply, despite some discomfort. Our daily routine would begin at 4am: We would slide out of our bunks, strap our feet, eat a small breakfast and hit the road with a prayer. It was amazing to me how the bond that existed between my brothers and friends, whom I had known for so long, seemed to grow ever-deeper every step of the journey. We met people of all nations, languages, religions and creeds. But it was clear to all that our small group was unashamedly Catholic. Several times a day we would stop in churches, towns or on the roadside to pray the Divine Office. Our rosary could be heard mumbled under strained breathing as we

struggled up hills. Whenever possible, we made our way to daily Mass, which was unsurprisingly always in Spanish. Soon enough our small company began to grow. Attracted by either our apparent faith or proclivity for frivolity, other Catholics and Christians from the United States, Croatia, Germany and Colombia, began walking, eating, lodging, partying and praying with us. A more motley crew could not be imagined, but within days it felt like we were family. The Holy Spirit had drawn us together in an impressive display of the universality of the Church. We arrived together in the city of Santiago on 24 July, the eve of its patron’s feast. We were met with riotous music, dancing, singing, and fireworks – a spectacle which reflected the joyous sentiments in our hearts. While our feet had walked across a country, our souls had been elevated towards God. The fire of the Holy Spirit had tempered the bonds of our friendship and gifted us with a new spiritual family. No words can really describe the experience of my Camino, but its remembrance I will treasure until the day my earthly pilgrimage ends. JUNE 2018 15


Finding faith in the stars Br Guy Consolmagno SJ, the Vatican Astronomer, visited the Diocese of Broken Bay in late April for a series of presentations about faith and science, and left us all with a lot more to think about when we look up into the stars at night. BY MELISSA LOUGHLIN


uring his visit, Br Guy was welcomed at the Sydney Observatory and given a private tour with Curator Dr Andrew Jacob. Both Andrew and Br Guy had many stories to tell and learned a lot from each other. Br Guy’s hopes for his trip to Australia was firstly, that people learn there is a Vatican Observatory, and secondly, that the Church supports mainstream science. “I hope that people come away with a new joy in looking at the stars, especially people in Australia where you have such a wonderful sky to see!” said Br Guy. “The joy we get from the universe is very much a joy from the Creator who delights in sharing creation with us.”


Br Guy gave three amazing presentations to big crowds, at Pennant Hills, Waitara and Tuggerah. The event at Tuggerah was special, as it was at night with guests invited to look up into the sky with telescopes under Br Guy’s instruction. After a rainy and cloudy day, it wasn’t looking hopeful at seeing much, but luckily the clouds parted and the sky cleared just in time! Another of God’s miracles! When we look up the stars, most of us just see small lights twinkling; Br Guy sees a lot more. “Since I was a child I have known the stars by name,” said Br Guy. “Seeing them now reminds me of all sorts of moments in my life when seeing them meant something special, perhaps when my father first named



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"...we and our solar system are actually in the middle of this disk, that we are very much a part of this whole universe."

the summer triangle, or when I felt homesick in Africa and then saw overhead my familiar friends. “I also remember one wonderful moment in Sevenhill in South Australia, looking at the Milky Way, and then seeing the Magellanic Clouds off to the south (something I can’t see in the northern hemisphere); seeing the two, I suddenly realised that I am not just looking at a streak of stars ‘out there’, that we and our solar system are actually in the middle of this disk, that we are very much a part of this whole universe.” Being the Director of the Vatican Observatory is a varied and interesting role, which keeps Br Guy excited all the time. “It is just so much fun… to look at the stars, to handle the meteoritic rocks that fell to us from the asteroid belt, to understand (at least a little bit) about what they are telling us,” said Br Guy. “The universe is beautiful; so are the laws that describe how they work. I do feel a constant joy, a joy that reminds me of my favourite moments of prayer.” When asked if he himself would like to travel into space, Br Guy answered, “I never wanted to do that when I was a kid; I didn’t want to be an adventurer, I wanted to be the guy who sent off the adventurers… Gandalf, not Bilbo! But as I have grown older I have become more adventurous, and now my motto is to never walk past an open door without at least taking a peek through.

"I hear him laughing with delight..." So, sure, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to go into space?” Being an Astronomer and a Jesuit Brother is an unusual combination. But Br Guy sees himself first as a Jesuit Brother. “I remember hearing my father, who had a very successful career, saying that his most important vocation was being the father of a family,” said Br Guy. “Likewise my first commitment is to my Jesuit family. If I were asked to move to a parish, serve soup in a soup kitchen, I would be happy to do it.” Looking up at the stars, Br Guy believes wholeheartedly that it makes him, and others, feel closer to God. “I hear him laughing with delight, the way that an artist enjoys an audience that gets what he or she is trying to do. It is a form of conversation between us, which is to say, it is a form of prayer. And then I hear, ‘But wait! There’s one more thing…’ and I can’t wait to see what’s going to be revealed next.”

life faith

Laying a Foundation of Hope By Pina Bernard

Christian Hope


Julian of Norwich, the 14th century English mystic and theologian, is probably best known for her saying, “all shall be well”

he Star Wars movies have taken us on what feels like a lifetime journey with friends and enemies through ups and downs. We’ve watched Anakin grow up and turn to the dark side; watched as planets are destroyed, and others saved; watched as the Empire takes control, but then the Jedi come fighting back to victory; watched as Han Solo is lost. As with most movies, no matter what happens, we always hold on to that possibility, that hope, that things will work out well in the end. A new character emerges who is strong with the Force; Luke returns; a spaceship is dispatched to do the impossible and destroy the Death Star. With movies (and tv series), we are in the hands of the movie creators and must trust that they have an idea where we are going. We trust that they will be gentle with us, the audience, and that no matter what they put us through (which sometimes is a lot!) that in the end, there will be some order or good outcome, some possibility for the future. This has similarities to a life of faith. Julian of Norwich, the 14th century English mystic and theologian, is probably best known for her saying, “all shall be well” (The Revelations of Divine Love.) In few words, she captures something of the hope that a life of faith can bring – a conviction that, with God, everything will indeed be ok. The way we use the word ‘hope’ in our daily language does not have this certainty. Rather, it means something like wishful thinking, a desire

for something we are not sure will happen but have an optimistic feeling that it will. Christian hope is very different. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes hope as: “the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Heb 10:23)”” (CCC, 1817) Firstly, our hope is a virtue, which means that it is something that we can practice and grow in. We can work towards a possible future good. Our ultimate hope is eternal life, and this is something that we can trust in. After all, Jesus gained new life for us through his dying and rising. As he lives, we can live. We can trust in this because Jesus is trustworthy and faithful. Christian hope is a confident expectation. But as well as this ultimate hope, Christian hope is for today as well. It is a hope in the possibility of rising after every dying, big or small, that we experience in our lives. It’s a pattern that is inbuilt in the seasons of the earth, where autumn and winter bring a slowing down and dying, followed by spring that brings new growth leading to the fullness of summer. In our own lives, we die a little when a relationship is broken; a job ends; sickness takes its toll; or things don’t turn out the way we would like. Christian hope sees new possibility through all our dying experiences. But how do we get this hope, this conviction that can support us every day in all the situations we find ourselves?

joy and peace in the process. Meeting people like this is a profound experience. They seem to exude happiness and quiet joy all the time. I first met people with this gift of a trusting faith at University. “What have they found?”, I asked myself. I had faith, but not like that, not as strong, faithful or joyful. They taught me that there was more to be discovered, and that in fact, Jesus was encounterable.

Jesus is encounterable

C Our hope in this fullness of life does not allow us to settle for mediocrity.

“no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”

The answer must lie in Jesus. Baptised into Jesus’ name, I have a share in this life already. Jesus has died and come through death. Whatever sorrow I experience, Jesus has been there and come through it; and I can draw on that too, it is accessible to me.

Mediocrity or Fullness of Life


t is this hope that leads to a fullness of life and a basis for our joy as Christians. In the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (2018), Pope Francis begins in this way: “REJOICE AND BE GLAD” (Mt 5:12), Jesus tells those persecuted or humiliated for his sake. The Lord asks everything of us, and in return he offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created. He wants us to be saints and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence. (GE, 1) Our hope in this fullness of life does not allow us to settle for mediocrity. If we were to search our own faith life, where do we sit on the spectrum of “bland and mediocre existence” versus “true life, the happiness for which we were created”? Pope Francis is well known for speaking of the joy that the Gospel brings us, but how do I get that joy? Have I settled for less? The answer comes from our relationship with Jesus, and how we respond to what he offers us. If we look in the Scriptures, and even in our own life now, we can see that people respond differently to Jesus. Some can be afraid, fearing that following Jesus authentically can ask too much of them; they may need to change more than what they would like to at this point in time. They may even be open to ridicule among family and friends, and they fear the repercussions. Some are openly hostile. Some show indifference and are not interested in what Jesus has to offer, totally missing the treasure to be found there. Christianity can be seen as irrelevant, even as something superseded and belonging to the past, and without any meaning in day-today life today. However, many do embrace it, some even giving their life for it, finding a supernatural

an a relationship with Jesus be real? Can I experience it? Can I trust it? Actually, yes. Jesus is encounterable. Starting from the Scriptures, the most striking encounter is by St Paul, whose meeting with Christ is sudden and dramatic (Acts 9:19). Equally powerful, but different, is the encounter by the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Jesus comes to walk beside them, telling them about himself, and “their hearts burn within them.” Meeting Jesus is not just information, it is transformation. In their pain and heartache at his death, he comforts them and makes himself known to them. And then they experience joy. This personal encounter and relationship makes all the difference to how we understand Jesus and who he is for us. Pope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium, writes the following: I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”. The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realise that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace” (EG, 3). As Pope Francis reminds us, the invitation is for everyone, and Jesus does not disappoint. We can trust him. God was serious about this relationship. God came in person, as Jesus, as a human being that we could relate to more easily. The Scripture story of the Woman at the Well in the fourth chapter of John’s Gospel gives us a good insight into what happens when we encounter Christ. In the first instance, just like the Samaritan woman, we may not even recognise him. We just don’t get it. Jesus comes to us in a way we don’t expect; and offers us what we don’t even realise we need. As the conversation goes on, just like the woman, we will likely have to face up to some of the sin in our lives and work on that. But as we struggle with the conversation, we come to realise the wonderful gift that Jesus wants to give us – living water, fullness of life. Filled

with an excitement we can’t contain, we are compelled to bring the message of Jesus to everyone around us. A life transformed. This is our gift too, our Good News. We need to hear the story of Jesus again and again. As Pope Francis puts it: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 164)

The Holy Spirit


he key ingredient in all this is the Holy Spirit. We often forget about this important member of the Trinity, but the Holy Spirit is what animates and brings our faith alive. It is the Spirit within us that makes Jesus present to us. It can be said that God can be felt to be with us in three different ways. Firstly, there is God ‘out there’, somewhat distant from me. Secondly, there is God walking beside me, side by side, as Jesus would. Thirdly, there is God within me, the Holy Spirit that fills me up. So which description/s best describes God for you – distant, beside or within? Perhaps all three. As we stick with the Christian journey, there is movement from a more distant God to a more intimate God. Let’s learn to pray for the Spirit to come and shake us up. It is through the action of the Spirit that God moves in my life and in the life of the Christian community, the Church. Alpha is a course that seeks to bring people into relationship with Christ, and a key component of Alpha is the Holy Spirit Weekend, a chance to take time out and pray for the Spirit to come into our lives and transform us. And people do experience the Holy Spirit which touches their hearts in surprising and new ways. The Spirit is always doing new things and opening us up to new possibilities. If Alpha is running in your community, or you are invited to Alpha, say yes! Jesus showed how much God wants to give us the Spirit. In Luke’s Gospel it says, ‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ (Luke 11:9-13) Our ultimate prayer is for the Holy Spirit. This is what God wants us to ask him for; and if we have this gift, we have everything. The Holy Spirit is a person, our helper on this faith journey through life. Our prayer to the Spirit can be simply, “Come Holy Spirit!” Let’s pray that the Spirit will fill us up with the fullness of God, animate us, and guide us, both personally and communally.

Interestingly, with the Plenary Council 2020 coming up, there is a focus on listening to the Holy Spirit and what the Spirit is saying to the Church. It is the Spirit that will animate the discussions and the ensuing discernment. And the Spirit does come. I am reminded of a priest who shared his story of being dragged reluctantly to a weekend retreat when he was a teenager, only to experience a real encounter with Christ that transformed his life and eventually led him to be a priest. His heart was touched and embraced by this encounter of Christ through the Holy Spirit, and a new conviction of faith developed which was grounded and real. As St Paul says in Romans, “hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Rom 5:5) Of course, this encounter with Christ develops gradually over time, rather than just at one specific moment; and God works differently in each person, and in God’s time, not ours. What is important is building and maintaining our friendship with Christ based on prayer.



uilding our friendship with Jesus necessarily relies on keeping connected through prayer. I still remember when I started a habit of prayer. I was very young and had had a bad dream. My grandmother told me to say a prayer, so I did. And so began a habit that lasted many years of nightly prayer. I think this was God’s way of starting our friendship! It kept me connected, which held me in good stead in the start of my faith life as a child and into my teens. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer and the big impact that a little habit of prayer can have in your life and the life of your family.

Don’t underestimate the power of prayer and the big impact that a little habit of prayer can have in your life and the life of your family.

“the Holy Spirit is what animates and brings our faith alive.”

Some ways to introduce more prayer into your life and family 1.

Pray with members of your family, together or one-on-one, at the big moments of decision, or when they are unwell or troubled


Pray in the car


Start a routine of praying at a particular time during the day, eg first thing in the morning; bedtime; grace at dinner


Start the day with a prayer App, eg Pray As You Go


Put a simple prayer on the fridge and pray it every time you walk past


Pray the Rosary with your family


When there is a moment of difficulty in your day, let Jesus into that situation in prayer


Don’t just pray for what you need – find appropriate moments to praise God, thank God, say sorry to God


Pray using texts from the Bible

10. Drop into your local Church (eg at school drop off) to just sit for a moment in prayer

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope”

Don’t Settle


t is easy to settle for what we think Christian life is, without realising that Jesus is always calling us to more. Let’s not settle for who we currently think Jesus is; or for where our faith is at now. There is much more that Jesus wants to give us and reveal to us. By laying a foundation of hope through coming to really encounter Christ through the Holy Spirit and through constant prayer, we come to know that we are loved, that we are never abandoned. We are never alone. We learn to trust in the loving care of our God. We can experience this through circumstances in our lives where we see good; through the other people in our lives and their love; and we are sustained in our worshipping Christian community. We become people of hope for other people too. Christian hope is the opposite of despair. It is the realisation that our disappointments, destructiveness and deaths are not the end of the story. That despite everything, God’s embrace covers everything. God holds it all. There may be distress, but there is not despair. There is a difference – hope is the difference – hope in a future, no matter what.

Spe Salvi (Pope Benedict, 2010) says, “Here too we see as a distinguishing mark of Christians the fact that they have a future: it is not that they know the details of what awaits them, but they know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness.” (SS, 2) A close friend was battling cancer, and when I visited her in hospital she said to me clearly and with conviction, “I’m not afraid.” I realise now that she would have known the gravity of her own situation at that time (which I didn’t), and I now understand the gravity of those words and the faith and underlying hope that carried them. It is the same conviction that I heard from a couple who had just lost their adult child who said, “how do people cope without faith?” It was still so terribly tough, but faith kept them from total despair. To have somewhere familiar to turn is a godsend, literally. If we have laid that foundation in our lives, we have something to hold on to when otherwise we might be consumed with darkness. As St John Paul II says, “I plead with you – never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.” I was at a retreat some years ago and was reflecting on the wide expanse of ocean before me. The waves were continually rolling into the shore, their white crests crashing into each other. There was turbulence and messiness on top, but I realised that below the waves on the surface, there was a great body of ocean that was, in comparison, quite calm. I could see the analogy with the great expanse and stable, secure foundation that is God, and my own personal turbulence now gained a different perspective. I felt supported and on a secure foundation no matter what. We conclude with one of the most popular passages in the Bible, most probably because it speaks of hope: As it says in Jeremiah, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jer 29:11).

Life + Faith is a series of informative articles that link faith and everyday life, prepared by the Catholic Life & Faith Formation Team, Office for Evangelisation. Contact: 8379 1627 The next feature will be in the October Broken Bay News.


St Paul: Persecutor to Preacher Broken Bay Bible Conference 2018

The Greek language is indeed “all Greek to me”, but not to Rev Nicholas King SJ, an acclaimed international biblical scholar and Fellow in New Testament at Oxford who will be presenting on St Paul at this year’s Broken Bay Bible Conference on 27-28 July. BY PINA BERNARD


r King has translated the whole Bible from the Greek Septuagint (a 2nd century BCE translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) and from the New Testament into his own English translation, which is a tremendous achievement. He has spent all his life as a Jesuit in teaching, at secondary and tertiary level, and is a gifted educator. Also bringing much expertise to our topic is Dr Catherine Playoust, Lecturer in Biblical Studies at the Catholic Theological College University of Divinity in Melbourne, who holds a licentiate from Weston Jesuit School of Theology and a doctorate from Harvard Divinity School; and Most Rev David Walker, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Broken Bay, who represents the Australian Catholic Bishops at the Catholic Biblical Federation. The topic of the Conference is equally engaging – “St Paul; Persecutor to Preacher”. In chapter 8 of Acts of the Apostles it states, “Saul was ravaging

“Love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude”

the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3). In just the next chapter, we hear that he “went in and out among them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord” (Acts 9:27). This gives us a taste of the complexity that is the life of St Paul: powerfully committed in persecution, and then equally powerfully committed in preaching Christ after a remarkable transformation. The Conference will allow us to look more closely at the man who had such a profound impact on the early Church. Paul was ideally equipped to cross the boundaries of language, culture and religion, as he was Greek-speaking from the Jewish diaspora, a Pharisee, and a Roman citizen, giving him the perfect platform from which to announce the gospel to everyone. He did this with great zeal, building up faith communities along the way; and his letters to the early church communities are among the earliest written documents in the New Testament. Come and meet the man who wrote the wonderfully familiar, “Love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude” (1 Cor 13:4); and who was able to rejoice in Christ despite his continual suffering for the sake of the Gospel and his imprisonment.

Our engaging presenters will bring the Scriptures and the story of St Paul to life for us. Given that many of the Second Reading texts from our Liturgy come from St Paul’s writings, whatever we can do to lay a solid foundation for an understanding of these texts will be very enriching. The Conference includes the celebration of Mass presided by Most Rev Peter A Comensoli; a Panel presentation; and a Conference Dinner on the Friday evening. Further details are available at


International Speaker Rev Nicholas King SJ

Fellow in New Testament Campion Hall Oxford


Dr Catherine Playoust

PREACHER 27 – 28 JULY 2018

Lecturer in Biblical Studies Catholic Theological College University of Divinity

Most Rev David L Walker

Bishop Emeritus of Broken Bay, ACBC Representative to the Catholic Biblical Federation


Register at or contact or 8379 1627 BROKEN BAY NEWS

JUNE 2018 21


St Patrick’s Asquith celebrates 60 years of education


On 17 March, St Patrick’s Day, St Patrick’s Catholic School, Asquith celebrated their 60th anniversary.

ishop Peter A Comensoli was the chief celebrant at a beautiful outdoor Mass in the school grounds, con-celebrated by Parish Priest Fr Shaju John and Fr Leonse Kurian. Students took part in the Mass with reading, bringing the gifts and liturgical dance.

Special guests at the celebration included Federal Member for Bradfield Paul Fletcher, State Member for Hornsby Matt Kean and Councillor Warren Waddell. Director of Schools, Peter Hamill was also present, along with other Catholic Schools Office representatives Virginia Ryan and Di Hynes.

The celebrations also included a sausage sizzle for all the guests and a wonderful display of memorabilia and photos from the last 60 years.

The Sisters of Mercy opened St Patrick’s on 28 January 1958, with the first classroom temporarily operating in the parish hall. Two Sisters were there

in the early days, St Mary Antoinette as Principal and Sr Mary Bernadette as teacher. In January 1959, Cardinal Gilroy officially opened and blessed the school, which by then had 150 students. Sr Mary Bernadette (now known as Sr Maureen Shakeshaft) was present at the celebrations, along with other former Principals and staff, Sr Monica Raper, Sr Paul (now known as Sr Pat Barton), Sr Miriam Grech, Mr Robert Peers and current Principal Mr Bernard Cumming. In his speech, Bernard Cumming especially acknowledged the Sisters of Mercy who had created a wonderful quality Catholic education for families in Asquith, and also made special mention of Christine McNamara, who has been teaching at St Patrick’s for over 50 years!

A reunion of former Principals (and one Assistant Principal). Back Row: Mr Robert Peers, Mr Bernard Cumming. Front row: Sr Pat Barton, Sr Monica Raper, Sr Maureen Shakeshaft and Sr Miriam Grech

“Thank you also to the current families at St Patrick’s who make it such a great community, and thank you to the current staff that we are blessed to work with,” said Mr Cumming. “See you all at the 100th celebration in 2058!

St Leo’s Shave for a Cure Students and staff at St Leo’s Catholic College let their hair down in March for the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave.


eam Leo” consisted of 14 students and five staff members, and was led by Year 12 student and Students’ Representative Council President Josh McLeod. The event, which sees participants sponsored to shave their heads, raised a staggering $11,265. “We originally set a target of $3,000, which was quickly exceeded once our Principal and two staff members announced they would also shave their heads,” said Josh. Tyson Manktelow of Tyson’s Hairdressing at Hornsby Hospital gave the participants a professional shave for the event. Tyson is a parent of two daughters who attend the College.

22 JUNE 2018

“I think most people within the community have been personally affected by cancer in one form or another – this was just one small way in which we felt we could help,” added Josh. Ella Stewart and Veronica Smith, both aged 16 and in Year 11, were heralded by their peers as the bravest students in the College as they shaved their heads, donating the hair to a charity which recycles human hair into wigs for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. “I was so nervous and in complete shock when Tyson the hairdresser started to shave my head,” said Ella. “But Veronica and I were both a hundred per cent committed to shaving for the cause. Our hair will grow again, and we aren’t going through any trauma like a cancer patient. It was so worth it.”

The event was attended by Mieka Hynec from the Leukaemia Foundation, who also co-ordinated the promotional material and advertising.


Creative Learning Pays off for St Brigid’s Since St Brigid’s Catholic College at Lake Munmorah opened four years ago, it has embraced a new method of teaching called “enquirybased learning,” which supports students to work independently and collaborate, take initiative, and think creatively about problems.


he approach is now paying off as the HSC program has recently changed to include an enquiry-based approach to learning.

“It’s perfect timing for our College as our students have always been across that method of learning from Year 7 onwards, and now they’re equipped for the HSC,” said Julie Terry, the College Principal. Ms Terry said that enquiry-based learning equips students for the future.

“In our modern world, we need to focus on the things machines can’t do, like creative thinking, innovation, and self-management,” she said. “We feel it is our responsibility to educate not just for the HSC, although that’s an important milestone, but also to educate for life.” Students from St Brigid’s are also encouraged to engage with creative work, and several students just took out prizes in the ‘About Face’ exhibition at Gosford Regional Gallery.

Claudia McCartney in Year 11 received 1st prize and Lara Umback in Year 8 received 2nd prize in their respective age categories. Molly Hay in Year 9 also had her work selected for the exhibition. Even the school buildings have been designed for creative learning, with an open-plan teaching area where students sit at communal tables and face each other instead of the teacher. They can also break into smaller, more casual areas for smallgroup work, including outdoors.

Students Design Playground at Corpus Christi, St Ives


Who better to design a new playground than the children themselves?

t Corpus Christi Catholic School, St Ives, Year 4 students drew up the original designs for their new playground back in 2016. Sally Harrison, Early Learning Project Officer at the Catholic Schools Office then shaped the plans with a view to play-based learning, and the Student Representative Council in turn consulted with the whole school to refine the designs. Principal Barbara Yee said, “Outdoor play is so important for student growth and we wanted to create a space that the children could engage with through imaginative play but that can also evolve as the students grow.” A grant from the NSW Government made the BROKEN BAY NEWS

new playground possible, as well as contributions from the Parents and Friends of the school, with $25,000 raised through fundraising. “It’s important to encourage children to explore their environment so we wanted to create a play space that allows them to be imaginative, creative and active all at the same time,” said Ms Yee. In addition to the playground, the school has also completed a new toilet block and upgraded the vegetable garden to teach the students about sustainability and the environment. The school celebrated the first phase of the new play space recently with an official opening and special morning tea attended by Jonathan O’Dea, the Member for Davidson. JUNE 2018 23


St Kevin’s Makes NAPLAN Honour Roll When St Kevin’s Catholic School, Dee Why made the Honour Roll of the 2017 NAPLAN results, no one was more delighted than the Principal, Lorraine Vincent.

“When we do decimals we talk about shopping and money, making links between mathematical concepts and the realworld.”


’m very proud of the children and the teachers – it’s a real achievement for us,” said Ms Vincent. The Honour Roll recognises substantially above average gain in reading and/or numeracy achievement as measured by NAPLAN for all students from Year 3 to Year 5. This was a particular boon to the school given 68 per cent of the student body comes from a non-English speaking background. The School has a part-time specialist EAL (English as an Additional Language) teacher on site to support those children. “Language and deep understanding

is an essential aspect of all learning. Problem solving is the foundation of mathematics, so using open-ended tasks addresses different students’ needs,” said Fiona Ngamu, the Assistant Principal. “We put everything into real-life experiences. When we do decimals

we talk about shopping and money, making links between mathematical concepts and the real world.” The “open-ended tasks” allow students to reach the answer to a question in different ways, with the focus being on the journey towards the solution, rather than the solution itself.

St Martin’s students are going green


Children at St Martin’s Catholic School, Davidson went green this year with several eco projects funded by a NSW Government Eco Schools Grant. r Christopher Biefeld, the Assistant Principal at St Martin’s, secured a

grant of $3500 to work with community organisations, parents and students on developing a sustainability program.

“Students will design gardens to grow food, plant more native plants to beautify the school, start a worm farm, reduce our waste and recycle more,” said Mr Biefeld. As part of the program, all students will also have the chance to visit the Kimbriki Eco-house and gardens in Terrey Hills. The St Martin’s Environment Ministry Team are also proud to announce that they have reduced waste school-wide, and are helping to raise awareness of caring for the environment at the school. Rylie in Year 6 said she has helped to reduce the waste after participating in “Waste Free Wednesday” every week last year. “I got a lunch box with sections so I could put food in it without using

24 JUNE 2018

“Students will design gardens to grow food, plant more native plants to beautify the school, start a worm farm, reduce our waste and recycle more…” packaging,” she explained. “It then got me into the routine of having no waste and I am now totally wastefree every day.” Watch this Green Space!


Fifty Years in Catholic Education Northern Beaches teacher Toni Walsh celebrated fifty years of Catholic teaching at a special ceremony in the Diocese.


t was so overwhelming,” she said. “There were so many people there and I’ve taught them, I’ve taught their children, right across the Diocese. It’s something I’m really proud of. I still haven’t come down to Earth!” In her half-century of teaching, Ms Walsh has seen a lot of changes. “The whole way we go about teaching has changed,” she said. “Children enjoy it more now, and I think a teacher can see the child learning – a bit like when you see the lights switched on, the ‘ah ha!’ moment.”

Ms Walsh taught full-time for 39 years before retiring twelve years ago, but found she could not keep away from Catholic schools. She is now a casual teacher on the Northern Beaches, as well as a catechist at Harbord Public School.

Toni has also worked closely with the Northern Beaches Catholic Sports Association, especially in the area of Rugby League, as well as the Broken

Bay Sports Council and the NSW Catholic Primary School Sports Council supporting Polding representatives and the All Schools High Schools Swimming Trials.

She was a teacher at St John’s Catholic School at Narraweena for 18 years as well as teaching at a number of schools across the Broken Bay Diocese including St Cecilia’s at Balgowlah, St Kieran’s at Manly Vale, and Holy Family at Lindfield.

Furniture for a Good Cause Preloved school furniture from schools across the Diocese of Broken Bay has been sent to Fiji to help rebuild cyclone-afflicted schools on the outer islands.


fter the 2016 Cyclone Winston devastated an island off Suva, the schools were rebuilt however the Fiji Government did not have the resources to furnish them. The Diocese banded together to help by providing furniture, school uniforms and stationery. Cowan and Lewis, a school uniform provider which manufactures much of their range in Fiji, covered the cost of a 20-foot shipping container to transport the furniture to Fiji. The Fijian Government will then ship the container to the island. Stationery provider Complete Office Supplies provided a truck and

three men to transport the furniture within New South Wales. “Both these organisations answered the call to support this project without hesitating and with their full support the container was filled to capacity and is now on its way to Fiji,” said Brian Williams, the Procurement Manager at the Catholic Schools Office, who organised the endeavour. “What a great result! The school staff who supported the project and our two partners have ensured that Fijian students will have great desks, chairs and library books to support their learning.”

‘Sweeter than Honey’ Teaching Scripture Summit

July 25 and /or July 26 2018 Northside Conference Centre St Leonards

Keynotes: Fr Nicholas King sj Bishop David Walker Dr Michele Connolly rsj Dr Margaret Carswell Dr Dan White 47 professional learning workshops

A professional learning initiative 'Sweeter than honey' is a professional learning initiative for teachers of Religious Education to support them in engaging their students in a more critical, creative and prayerful encounter with the Word of God.

for more details and to register visit our website


for further information contact Sallyanne Butel Catholic Schools Office Diocese of Broken Bay 98470294 JUNE 2018 25


Humanae Vitae 50th Anniversary Conference Hope of a New Springtime

A one-day conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae Vitae will be held at the Caroline Chisholm Centre Pennant Hills on 21 July 2018.


ome may ask why all the fuss considering the fact that Humanae Vitae may possibly be the most contentious of all Church documents released in the 20th century? One response would be to ask the reader to look again at the English translation of the encyclical’s title; ‘Of Human Life’. Almost immediately we recognise its perennial importance as it deals with the essence of life itself and, specifically, human life and what it is to be human. We can also add at this preliminary stage, that Humanae Vitae looked specifically at the question of the regulation of births and, most notably, the Church’s long-standing teaching that the use of contraceptive means to regulate births is always morally wrong. This in itself makes a discussion of Humanae Vitae as relevant today as it has been for each of the past five decades. It was a pleasant surprise to hear Pope Francis state his intention to canonise Blessed Pope Paul VI in October. The canonisation of Paul VI would mark a considerable intent in the mind of Pope Francis to recognise not only the aforementioned pope’s ‘odour’ of holiness, but also Pope Paul VI’s decision – and let it be said in the face of world-wide opposition and even insubordination – to promulgate via Humanae Vitae the Church’s continued opposition to the use of contraceptive means.

The use of the term ‘responsible parenthood’ in our day is misunderstood and even misappropriated. 26 JUNE 2018

BY STEVEN BUHAGIAR, TEAM LEADER, LIFE MARRIAGE FAMILY Here we do well to look again at the original text as it is easy to forget the actual words used and remember instead the bitter aftertaste that the encyclical left in the mouths of those who were hoping for a change of Church teaching with regard to the use of contraceptives. It is interesting to note the use of the term ‘responsible parenthood’ in the encyclical. For those who grew up post 1968, this term has been much used by those in support of contraception as well as those who would allow for an abortion. Thus the use of the term ‘responsible parenthood’ in our day is misunderstood and even misappropriated. Pope Paul VI uses it no less than seven times in one particular paragraph and does so to delineate clearly its proper definition and where the correct understanding of the term can only ever mean that the parents “are bound to ensure that what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator.” (HV10) This discernment of God’s will is really the point of contention for many Catholics today and is generally understood with relation to our understanding of conscience and our ensuing ability to make a good decision in the face of an important moral question. The Church has always encouraged her children to make decisions with an informed moral conscience where she the Church as mother has a mandate to provide clear guidelines and teaching in the area of faith and morals. The fact that she has taught definitively that contraception is never a licit means for regulating births (cf. CCC 2370) must be taken on board in an authentic exercise in the formation of conscience. It could be argued that this objective and overly ‘rigid’ understanding does not

take in the concrete realities of family life today. It is interesting to note that those in the Church advocating for contraception made this same point in 1968. Concrete realities there always will be but recourse must always be made to the truth of any matter and it is best, in light of this current discussion, if it is spelt out a bit more clearly in what follows. The starting point is to look at the actual structure in which the sexual act between a man and a woman takes place. Here the Church with an ear to the teaching of Christ himself (cf. Mt. 19:4-6) puts forward the characteristic features of marriage and married love. This love is fully human in that it involves a free act of the will. It is total and faithful to the exclusion of all others and that this is unto death. It is also ‘fecund’ meaning that it is fruitful where children are seen to be the supreme gift of marriage and where they contribute in the highest degree to their parent’s welfare. It is also important to note that Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae taught very clearly that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life. In every marital act then there is found two key meanings; (1) the unitive meaning and (2) the procreative meaning. These two meanings are inseparable and were established by the Creator to be as such. It is therefore morally wrong to interfere with this order and to do so knowingly would be to place oneself above the natural order established by God Himself. So far we have remained at the theological level where it can seem to come across as quite ‘rigid’ and where the Church can seem to be intent on ruining all the ‘fun’. But let

Keynote Speaker Katrina Zeno

it be stated as clearly now as it has ever been… the Church is for life! It always has been. “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” These words of Christ resonate through the ages. The Church looks to safeguard what is best for marriage and for the individual man and woman themselves. She looks to safeguard the family and the children who have every right to be born into that family. When the Church reminds her children that something is not good for them, she does so out of a real concern for their wellbeing and seeks to encourage them along a ‘better path’; one that lifts them to the full experience of life and love. Before we map out this ‘better path’, we do well to fully comprehend the gravity of what has ensued during these past 50 years where the western world en masse has in fact accepted the lie that the contraceptive pill was going to usher in the freedom and happiness it promised. Pope Paul VI made four predictions of what would happen if the contraceptive pill was popularly accepted and embedded into the life of any given society. Each of these prophetic predictions has come true and have formed veritable cancers which threaten the very existence of family life today.

ACROSS OUR DIOCESE First, Paul VI related that contraceptive practice would aid and abet “conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality.” We can look around today and see this has in fact happened. There is an epidemic of pornography, pre and extra marital affairs are the order of the day, sexually transmitted diseases abound, and advertising focuses heavily on sexual titillation. This is the end result of the sexual freedom that the Pill promised at its inception. Sex with no responsibility.

It is easy to forget the actual words used and remember instead the bitter aftertaste that the encyclical left in the mouths of those who were hoping for a change of Church teaching BROKEN BAY NEWS


, M A R R I AG

The program, the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and its partner program NaPro Technology, are the really ‘good news’ for couples who wish to embrace a method of responsible parenthood which corresponds to the mind of the Church and which does away with the love quashing and health draining qualities of contraceptive use. This truly is great news and key information indeed that will be at the heart of the Hope of a New Springtime 50th Anniversary Humanae Vitae one-day conference. Participants will hear from an array of qualified speakers who will seek to inform and encourage their audience to take up the challenge of sharing this key information relating to human identity and sexuality and to establish a real sense of hope for the future. E&

… the Church is for life! It always has been. The keynote speaker, Katrina Zeno of the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona and of the St John Paul II Theology of the Body Resource Centre, will share her keen insights on Humanae Vitae during the conference and will also facilitate the five-day Hope of a New Generation Theology of the Body winter school which will be held from 9-13 July 2018. To register or for more information about the Humane Vitae conference or the five-day Theology of the Body Course, please contact Steven Buhagiar on 0415 600 290 or


Third, the Pope recognised that public authorities would seek to implement birth control measures as a form of population policy and control.  Without dwelling too long on this point, we only have to look to China’s ‘One Child Policy’ to see how government

So now to the better path. Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae asked specifically for those in medical science to use their gifts to establish means that “through the observation of natural cycles of fertility, strive to establish a satisfactorily clear basis for the moral regulation of offspring.” (HV 24) Today we have in the aptly named Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, a world-leading body of researchers and practitioners who have successfully developed a program of fertility awareness that educates in and complements the natural cycles inherent to feminine and masculine biology. This is in no way a negative outcome of the Church’s insistence on adherence to natural law but rather a maternal encouragement

to open oneself up to the beauty and mystery of the human person and the inherent truth which always tends towards the good of each person.


The Pope also warned that men would lose respect for women and that they would become mere instruments of disordered pleasure and no longer cherished and looked upon as beloved companions and human persons of innate dignity and respect. How many marriages have lost their ‘inner soul’ and harmony as the Pill takes residence in the inner sanctum of the marital life and where the co-responsibility for fertility is thrown upon the woman to “take care of it”? It would be fair to conclude that this masculine predation and sexual coercion is at the heart of the #MeToo movement where the woman is seen to be ‘up for grabs’ and at the ready disposal of the male partner.

intervention has totally destroyed the gender balance across the nation and has instead introduced the overt arm of the law into the very heart of the marital bedroom.


Saturday 21 July PENNANT HILLS

FOR A NEW GENERATION a 5 day Immersion Course into St John Paul II’s Theology of the Body!



JUNE 2018 27

CatholicCare Children’s Services Early Learning & Care Centres

Out of School Hours Care

We pride ourselves on providing supportive and safe environments, where play and discovery allows for children to become skilful with their bodies, explore new interests, problem solve and think creatively. Our Early Learning Centres are purpose-built preschools on the grounds of local Catholic primary schools. All community members are welcome to enrol. Being Catholic is not required.

CatholicCare is an approved provider of before and after school and during vacations for children aged 5 - 12 years. Our centres operate at 19 Catholic primary schools across Northern Sydney and the Central Coast. Our services are available to children attending both Catholic and government schools. We provide safe, familiar and well maintained child-friendly environments, allowing us to offer a wide range of activities catering to children of different ages, interests and needs.

Our Lady of Good Counsel ELC, Forestville 11 Currie Road P: (02) 9452 3069 E: St Brendan’s ELC, Lake Munmorah 29a Carters Road P: (02) 4358 1102 E: Our Lady Star of the Sea ELC, Terrigal 165 Serpentine Road P: (02) 4365 3222 E: Waitara Early Learning & Care Centre 29 Yardley Avenue P: (02) 9488 2400 E: St John the Baptist ELC, Woy Woy 21a Dulkara Road P: (02) 4344 1173 E:

Maria Regina OSHC, Avalon 42 Central Road P: 0481 602 039 E: St Gerard’s OSHC, Carlingford 543 North Rocks Road P: 0417 193 647 E: St Martin’s OSHC, Davidson 147 Prahran Avenue P: 0409 877 663 E: St Patrick’s OSHC, East Gosford Corner Melbourne & York Streets P: (02) 4323 4819 or 0408 165 671 or 0408 750 376 E: Our Lady of Good Counsel OSHC, Forestville 11 Currie Road P: 0400 787 186 or 0409 904 683 E: St John the Baptist OSHC, Freshwater 7 Johnson Street P: 0427 716 593 E: Holy Cross OSHC, Kincumber 37 Kincumber Street P: 0481 602 034 E:

Out of School Hours Care St Brendan’s OSHC, Lake Munmorah 29 Carters Road P: (02) 4358 8157 or 0408 789 189 E:

Our Lady of the Rosary OSHC, Waitara 23 Yardley Avenue P: 0418 637 541 or 0437 734 155 or 9488 2400 E:

Holy Family OSHC, Lindfield 2 Highfield Road P: 0481 601 904 E:

MacKillop Catholic College OSHC, Warnervale 91 Sparkes Road P: 0418 384 678 or 0400 916 619 E:

St Mary’s OSHC, Manly 6 Whistler Street P: 0409 455 359 E:

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour OSHC, West Pymble 66 Kendall Street P: (02) 9418 4409 or 0419 403 537 E:

St Kieran’s OSHC, Manly Vale 63 Gordon Street P: 0481 602 078 E:

St John the Baptist OSHC, Woy Woy 21a Dulkara Road P: (02) 4344 1173 or 0481 602 041 E:

Sacred Heart OSHC, Mona Vale 1 Keenan Street P: 0408 435 494 E:

Family Day Care

St Joseph’s OSHC, Narrabeen 108 Ocean Street P: 0448 869 324 E: Sacred Heart OSHC, Pymble 4 Richard Porter Way P: 0427 013 778 E: St John Fisher’s OSHC, Tumbi Umbi Hicks Lane P: 0481 602 075 E:

Family Day Care provides care and education for children from birth up to 12 years of age. Care is provided in the home of a qualified and registered educator. Our Family Day Care educators are in a wide range of suburbs in the Hornsby and Hills areas. Family Day Care Officer P: (02) 9488 2402 E:

In Home Care We also offer In Home Care - a flexible form of early childhood education and care where an approved educator provides care in the child’s home. In Home Care Officer P: (02) 9488 2412 E:


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

CATHOLIC LIFE & FAITH FORMATION Broken Bay Bible Conference “St Paul: Persecutor to Preacher” Presented by Rev Nicholas King SJ, Dr Catherine Playoust, and Most Rev David L. Walker. Come and meet the endlessly fascinating St Paul. Journey with him on his path from persecutor to preacher, and celebrate his great love in announcing the Gospel. Date: 27 & 28 July 2018 Venue: The Heritage Function Centre, West Ryde Cost: $110 both days; $55 single day RSVP: By Wednesday 11 July Enquiries: or Pina Bernard 8379 1627

Renewing Parish Culture

5.00pm Multicultural Mass; 6.00pm – 8.00pm Multicultural Celebration with food and entertainment Venue: The Light of Christ Centre and Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Hornsby Cathedral Parish, 23 Yardley Avenue, Waitara Enquiries: or Cristina Gomez 8379 1628

Putting Rungs on the Ladder This annual Tri-Diocesan Social Justice Twilight Reflection Evening, in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Sydney and Parramatta Diocese, looks at celebrating our social justice work and reflecting on the 2017-18 Social Justice statement “Everyone’s Business: Developing an inclusive and sustainable economy.” Date: Wednesday 22 August 2018, 6.30pm – 9.30pm Venue: TBC Hosted by the Diocese of Broken Bay Enquiries: or Cristina Gomez 8379 1628

Presented by Ron Huntley of Divine Renovation Ministry


Ron Huntley works closely with Fr James Mallon in Halifax, Canada, as Director of Coaching & Development. Ron will give two addresses at this event:

Annual Global Rosary Relay for priests – Sacred Heart Feast

• “Changing Parish Culture: How to Grow Missionary Disciples in Your Parish” • “Using Alpha as a Tool for Cultural Change” When: Sunday 22 July 2018, 11.00am – 3.00pm Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills (vehicular entry via City View Road) RSVP: By Monday 16 July or Pina Bernard 8379 1627

St Teresa of Avila: The Journey to God St Teresa’s ‘Way of Perfection’ is full of a rich and timeless wisdom that is still very relevant today as a guide in the spiritual life. Most Rev David L. Walker will lead us over two sessions in exploring the spirituality of this great Spanish 16th century Saint and Doctor of the Church. Presenter: Most Rev David L. Walker, Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Broken Bay When: Tuesdays 7 and 14 August 2018, 7.00pm – 9.00pm Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills RSVP: By Friday 3 August or Pina Bernard 8379 1627

Diocesan Multicultural Mass and Celebration Join us for this special inaugural diocesan Multicultural event to celebrate the 104th World Day of Refugees and Migrants on the theme “Welcoming, Protecting, Promoting, and Integrating Migrants and Refugees.” The afternoon includes: • A Panel Discussion with Most Rev Vincent Long, Phil Glendenning, Shakufa Tahari, Sr Jan Barnett (chairperson) • Multicultural celebration of Mass at the Cathedral • Showcase of food and entertainment at the Light of Christ Centre When: Saturday 18 August 2018, 3.00pm – 4.30pm Address and Panel;


JUNE 2018

The Worldpriest Annual Global

Rosary Relay

for Priests

Friday 8 June 2018

The Diocese is participating in the annual Rosary Relay for the spiritual well being of our priests. We are one of the 60 international locations where each prays the Rosary at a particular half hour of the day. Please come along and pray for our priests and vocations to the priesthood.




10.30 Local prayer time

Lead Location:

Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara Diocese of Broken Bay, Sydney

Mysteries to pray:


The Annual Rosary Relay for Priests 2 018 -- organised and coordinated by Worldpriest.

For further information visit our website:

When: Friday 8 June 2018, 10.30am sharp Venue: Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral Waitara Enquiries: or 0415 600 290 – Life Marriage and Family Team

Festival of Families – Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral Waitara – 8 July 2018 Join us at the inaugural Diocesan Festival of Families event! Cathedral Mass celebrated by Most Rev Peter A Comensoli. Morning tea followed by family formation in the Light of Christ Centre with international speaker Katrina Zeno (parents/adults) and with speakers from the Culture Project Australia catering for younger family members. All are invited to bring along a meal to share during the pot luck lunch and to participate in the lunchtime games and fun. Closes with another second formation session and family friendly community prayer time. Mass Celebrant: Most Rev Peter A Comensoli Speakers: Katrina J. Zeno MTS and the Culture Project Australia Date: Sunday 8 July 2018 Time and program: 9.30am Mass, 10.45am Festival start and presentations, 12.00 Potluck lunch and games, 1.30pm Formation and family prayer time, 3.30pm Close Venue: Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, 23 Yardley Ave, Waitara Enquiries: or 0415 600 290/ 8379 1630

Theology of the Body 5-day Winter School with Katrina J. Zeno – Hope for a New Generation – Level 1 A five day Theology of the Body course facilitated by international expert Katrina Zeno of the Saint John Paul II Resource Centre,


JUNE – AUGUST 2018 Phoenix Arizona. The content of the ‘Theology of the Body’ presents an integral vision of the human person which sets out in clarity God’s plan for human identity, sexuality, vocation and marriage. This is THE course of the year for those interested in revitalising our culture!

Registration: Enquiries: Steven Buhagiar 0415 600 290

Facilitator: Katrina J. Zeno MTS When: Monday 9 to Friday 13 July 2018, 9.00am to 4.00pm daily Venue: Campion College 8-14 Austin Woodbury Pl, Toongabbie Registration: Enquiries: Steven Buhagiar 0415 600 290


Humane Vitae 50th Anniversary ‘Hope of a New Springtime’ Conference With nine expert speakers from a variety of disciplines, the conference aims to re-present the content of Humanae Vitae and address the historical impact of the Contraceptive Pill. The conference theme of ‘hope’ will run through each presentation and leave participants convicted of the truth of Humanae Vitae’s enduring message of life and love. This conference will provide a much needed impetus to build anew the civilisation of love. Speakers: Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, Katrina Zeno, Dr Byron and Francine Pirola, Dr Veronica O’Connell, Sr Moira Debono, Rebecca Gosper, John Wilks, Eamon Keane and Katie Fullilove Date: Saturday 21 July 2018 Time: Registration 8.00am, Mass 8.15am, Conference 9.00am, Close 5.00pm Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills

Twilight Talks Catholic Youth Broken Bay invites you to Twilight Talks. Join Young Adults (18+) from around the Diocese to connect, share a meal, pray and be nourished by inspiring speakers. In June, we will break open discovering and listening to God’s call in our lives. When: Tuesday 19 June 2018 & Tuesday 7 August 2018, 6.30pm – 9.00pm Venue: Hotel Pennant Hills, 352 Pennant Hills Rd, Pennant Hills

PRAISEFEST Join young people (youth & young adults) from across the Diocese at PRAISEFEST! Get a chance to catch up with friends while enjoying our pre-event Festival, encounter God through vibrant and honest worship, and receive spiritual nourishment through an inspiring and relevant message. BBQ dinner will be provided from 6.00pm. When: Friday 31 August 2018, 6.00pm – 9.00pm Venue: Woy Woy Parish, 125 Blackwall Road Woy Woy For more details on any CYBB events and RSVP:

Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) CCD training and formation opportunities serve those involved in the mission of Special Religious Education (SRE) in our State Schools. Over the coming months, training will focus on Miracles & Parables and Using Music in the Classroom. Workshops will also be offered in Classroom Management and Safeguarding Children and Level 3 will commence. See details below for dates and venues.

A one-day in-service (9.30am–2:30pm):

Central Coast Region

The Department of Education requires all SRE teachers (catechists) and helpers to update training in the areas of Child Protection and Classroom Management every three (3) years. This training is being made available in the winter school holidays. • Safeguarding Children (Child Protection)

Venue: Lecture Room, Our Lady of the Rosary, The Entrance, (Parking entry via Ashton Ave Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch When: Monday 20 August 2018, 9:30am – 2:30pm RSVP: By Monday 13 August 2018

• Classroom Management

Northern Shore & Hornsby Region

Northern Beaches Region

Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch When: Friday 24 August 2018, 9:30am – 2:30pm RSVP: By Friday 17 August 2018

Venue: St Kieran’s Parish Centre, North Harbour, 2 King Street, Manly Vale Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch When: Monday 16 July 2018, 9:30am – 2:30pm RSVP: Monday 9 July 2018

North Shore & Hornsby Region

Level 3 Course: Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate – Rejoice and be Glad

Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch When: Wednesday 18 July 2018, 9:30am – 2:30pm RSVP: Wednesday 11 July 2018

The Office for Evangelisation offers CCD training to all interested people providing formation for personal growth and for ministry. Join us during August and September for a reflective study of Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate – Rejoice and be Glad.

Central Coast Region

Northern Beaches and Northern Shore & Hornsby Regions

Venue: Parish Centre, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, The Entrance Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch When: Friday 20 July 2018, Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm RSVP: Friday 13 July 2018

Venue: The Sun Room, Holy Name Church, 35 Billyard Avenue, Wahroonga Morning Tea Provided (BYO Lunch 10 Aug & 28 Sept) Date: Friday 10, 17, 24, 31 August & 7, 14, 21, 28 September 2018 Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm (10 Aug and 28 Sept are 9:30am – 2:30pm) RSVP: By Wednesday 1 August 2018

A one-day workshop (9.30am–2:30pm) to develop ‘Classroom Skills’: • Miracles and Parables • Teaching Strategies: Using Music in the Classroom

Northern Beaches Region Venue: Our Lady of Good Counsel, 9 Currie Road, Frenchs Forest Morning Tea Provided, BYO Lunch When: Friday 10 August 2018, 9:30am – 2:30pm RSVP: By Friday 3 August 2018 BROKEN BAY NEWS

Central Coast Region Venue: Our Lady Star of the Sea, 165 Serpentine Road, Terrigal Morning Tea Provided (BYO Lunch 6 Aug & 24 Sept) Date: Monday 6, 13, 20, 27 August & 3, 10, 17, 24 September 2018 Time: 9:30am – 12:00pm (6 Aug and 24 Sept are 9:30am – 2:30pm) RSVP: By Wednesday 1 August 2018 To RSVP to any CCD course, phone 8379 1643 or email JUNE 2018



A hidden gem of history in Kincumber There is a little known secret hidden away on the Central Coast that many people in the Diocese of Broken Bay haven’t discovered. BY MELISSA LOUGHLIN


he St Joseph’s Spirituality Centre at Kincumber is home to a wonderful museum housing many items from the boys’ home that St Mary MacKillop established in 1887. Even more valuable than the artefacts on show are the two lovely volunteers who are the curators of the Museum, Maria Moran and Jenny Dalli. Maria and Jenny have been running the Museum for almost ten years, after taking over from Zenna Elton and Bridie Murphy, who started the Museum under the guidance of the Sisters of St Joseph. With a background in retail, both Maria and Jenny take great pride in arranging the pieces in the Museum to tell the story of the boys’ home. “We’ve arranged the Museum so it tells the story of the boys who lived here,” said Jenny. “As you walk through through the different rooms you can see all the different aspects of their lives.” St Mary MacKillop opened the boys home in 1887, with 22 boys and one girl. By 1900 there

were 236 boys, mostly orphans, under the care of the Sisters of St Joseph. The home eventually was closed in 1976. Many of the artefacts in the Museum were donated by former residents of the home and their families. A few have also been found by staff in recent years amongst the grounds at Kincumber, including old shoes, marbles and some tools the boys used. Maria and her family have a special connection to the site. “My great aunt ran the small shop and café across the road that some of the boys used to work at,” said Maria. “My family have always lived in the area, I don’t think I’d be allowed to leave!” Maria’s family were also very close friends with Fr Patrick Croke, who was Parish Priest at Kincumber for nearly 40 years. “Fr Patrick was a wonderful mentor to the boys,” said Maria. “He always visited them and felt he had a duty to protect them. He called them ‘his boys’.” The Museum offers visitors a great step back in

time, with old school desks, sports equipment and books used by the boys, kitchen tables and utensils arranged lovingly and lots of photographs. There is also a special section dedicated to St Mary MacKillop and her connection to Kincumber, including a very special little book of instruction with her writing and signature, given to one of the Sisters. The St Joseph’s Boys Home Museum is open on Thursdays from 9.30am – 3.30pm. It is on the grounds of the St Joseph’s Spirituality Centre, 8 Humphreys Road, South Kincumber, next door to Holy Cross Church.



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE PHONE 1300 1 LOWES OR EMAIL: * Each year, one scholarship up to the value of $5000 will be awarded to every secondary school (for a year 12 student) to which Lowes is the official Schoolwear supplier.

32 JUNE 2018


New WN Bull facility opens at Chatswood When Patsy Healy invited Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, Bishop of Broken Bay to bless the new premises of WN Bull Funerals in 222 Sydney Street, Chatswood, I was reminded on my first day of work for the company in 2004. BY RICHARD WHITE, FORMER DIRECTOR OF BEREAVEMENT SERVICES AT WN BULL FUNERALS


atsy Healy, the General Manager, took me into the mortuary before we went into the office. While Patsy did not say to me, ‘this room is the heart and soul of our business’, her attitude and the signs on the wall gave that meaning:

benefit; the familiarity with, and respect for, Catholic traditions and ritual made for a comfortable partnership with parishioners and clergy. However, the benefits for the funeral company went far beyond commercial arrangements.

‘Remember that families have entrusted their loved ones to us.’

‘This is a sacred place … ’ or ‘this room is the heart and soul of our business’ are profound statements; they are not lightly made. The sacred and the soul are found in the inevitable and often heart-rending experience of death. Nowhere is the holiness and the awe-filled more present than in the many public and varied symbols and rituals associated with death. Our recent celebration of ANZAC Day is an obvious example of this.

‘This is a sacred place and requires respect and care at all times.’ This was the attitude Patsy wanted to convey to me at the beginning of my employment. Over my seven and a half years as part of WN Bull Funerals, I grew to understand and appreciate the drama and the mystery of death and importance of care and solemnity in the conducting of funerals. From its beginnings in 1892, the company founded by William and Mary Bull, has been closely associated with the Catholic Church. There is no doubt that this association has been of mutual

these prayers and gestures are a confirmation and reminder that the everyday events and the most profound moments are sacred matters of heart and soul. The management of WN Bull Funerals are grateful for Bishop Peter’s ministrations on Wednesday 4 April and acknowledge the responsibility that this blessing involves for everyone in the funeral industry: ‘This is a sacred place and the work we do requires respect and care at all times’.

Bishop Peter’s blessing of WN Bull’s new building confirms and situates Patsy’s words within the prayerful practice of the Church. Like all the blessings in our tradition, from the giving thanks before a meal to the incensing and blessing of the coffin at the beginning of the funeral liturgy,

When the care you seek is unconditional - talk to us. 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.

Sydney 9519 5344 | Parramatta 9687 1072 | Central Coast 4323 1892 | Chatswood 9954 5255 | Broken Bay News2_APRIL 2018.indd 1


17/04/2018 12:45 pm

JUNE 2018 33


Renewing Parish Culture Ron Huntley, from Divine Renovation Ministry, visits Broken Bay Would you like the good news or the bad news? When it comes to the Church, the good news can seem to be hidden in more ways than one.



he good actions of so many who work tirelessly for others doesn’t get the coverage it deserves, and bad news often dominates. And the Good News that is the Gospel often takes a back seat too and isn’t communicated with the joy and passion that it deserves so that we and others might be transformed by it. In addition, the 2016 census showed a decline in the number of Australians identifying as Catholic from 25.3 per cent in 2011 to 22.6 per cent in 2016; whilst the ‘No religion’ category soared to 30.1 per cent. Discouraging indeed. But now to the good news. Catholic parishes are taking action to stop the decline, and one model that is starting to see fruits is the Divine Renovation model, founded in St Benedict’s Parish Halifax by Fr James Mallon. It is therefore a great pleasure to be able to welcome Ron Huntley, Divine Renovation Ministry Director of Coaching and Development, to the Diocese of Broken Bay on Sunday 22 July.

34 JUNE 2018

The Divine Renovation approach puts the Good News of Christ firmly at the centre of all a parish does and makes a priority of passing it on by inviting and accompanying people into discipleship. All are invited into a personal relationship with Christ that, through the Holy Spirit, is transformational and revitalises their faith (or indeed, brings them to faith). Alpha is a key component in effecting this renewal. Connect groups then offer people real and meaningful community; faith formation is given priority; people are invited to share their gifts in

ministry; and all this, with the focus on enhancing the Sunday Liturgy, means that the Mass becomes vibrant and life-giving. A parish moves from ‘maintenance mode’, where it exists just for those who are already there, to ‘mission mode’, where it becomes true to its core identity to be missionary and outreaching to everyone, bringing the joy of the Good News to a world that badly needs to hear it. Ron has extensive experience as a coach for parishes in this renewal process, and in particular, in the areas of creating a healthy parish culture and skilled leadership to support it. Ron will offer two addresses at this event: “Changing Parish Culture: How to Grow Missionary Disciples in Your Parish” and “Using Alpha as a Tool for Cultural Change.” A special invitation is extended to Parish Leadership Teams, Parish Pastoral Councils, Alpha Teams, Clergy and all who are passionate about parish renewal in the Church today. For further information, or to register, please email

or phone 8379 1627.


What a girl wants

DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY Most Rev Peter A Comensoli Bishop of Broken Bay Diocesan Office: Tel (02) 8379 1600 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

CHANCERY OFFICES Office of the Bishop Senior Advisor, Director, Communications Annie Carrett Vicar General: Very Rev Dr David Ranson VG Chancellor Jo Robertson Diocesan Financial Administrator, Director, Office for Stewardship: Emma McDonald Director, Office for Evangelisation: Daniel Ang Safeguarding (Chancery) Manager Jodie Crisafulli Tel: (02) 8379 1605 Director, Marriage Tribunal: Adrienne Connaghan Tel: (02) 8379 1680 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Alison Newell

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS OFFICE Director: Peter Hamill Tel (02) 9847 0000 PO Box 967 Pennant Hills NSW 1715 CATHOLICCARE Executive Director: Trish Devlin Tel: (02) 9481 2600 PO Box 966 Pennant Hills 1715 Children’s Services: Tel: (02) 9481 2660 Family Centres: Brookvale – Tel: (02) 8968 5100 Naremburn – Tel: (02) 8425 8700 Waitara – Tel: (02) 9488 2400 Warnervale – Tel: (02) 4356 2600 Foster and Residential Care: Tel: (02) 4320 7700 Mission, Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care (02) 9481 2658

BROKEN BAY NEWS Editor: Melissa Loughlin Tel: (02) 8379 1618 Design: Chris Murray Printed by NCP Printing 19,200 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.


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


remember, when I was a teenager, all my friends in high school would rush out every month to buy the latest Dolly magazine. It was always packed with beauty and fashion advice, celebrity gossip, and relationship advice (the real reason so many young girls got the magazine). Many a lunchtime were spent huddled around the magazine, unsealing the sealed section and absorbing as much as we could. The “advice” was usually the same thing: how to understand boys; how to get a boyfriend; how to be happy; and how to have shiny skin. It was magazines like Dolly that made me feel bad for not having a boyfriend, and as a teenager, I desperately wanted one. Looking back, I realise how foolish I was. The ‘advice’ was not helpful in any way. If anything, it was designed to make young girls feel bad about themselves. So, in an attempt to make up for all those years of bad advice, here is what I think young girls – and boys – should be told about dating. 1. First and foremost, it is crucial to understand that not everyone you meet is a potential boyfriend or girlfriend. Some people are just meant to be friends or acquaintances, and nothing more.

This is not a bad thing. If you view every single person who crosses your path as the “One”, then you risk coming off as desperate. This is a bad thing. 2. Don’t be desperate! Recently I told someone, women do not like desperate men. His response was that he wasn’t desperate but rather, if he didn’t let women know that he was actively seeking a potential wife, then they would say he wasn’t taking the initiative. To me, he was desperate – one of the first questions he asked me was what I wanted in a husband. While this is a good question to ask; making it part of the very first conversation you have with someone you have never met, sets off alarm bells. 3. A good place to find a boyfriend or girlfriend is within your own circle of friends. People might say that you run the risk of ruining the friendship, but where else are you going to see the true nature of a person. Going out in a group makes people behave differently than if they were to go out oneon-one. It is in the friendship group that you can see if a person really is kind; what they like and dislike; and if their values align with yours. What is more, it is

easy for romantic love to blossom out of friendship. 4. Don’t be scared of a set-up. Your family and friends know you better than you know yourself. If they (even your parents) suggest setting you up with someone, take the chance. This does not mean that you automatically will be dating. Take your time with it, because if you rush into it, you might find that you have made a mistake. A friend tried setting me up with a friend of her husband. On paper, he was a good fit for me, but once I went out with him it became clear that he was only after a physical relationship. I told him I was not interested; he took that to mean he needed to persuade me to say yes. 5. Men, if a woman says no then it means no! 6. Women, do not lead men on! 7. Do not be afraid to ask for advice. If you are dating, ask married couples how they dealt with certain problems you might be facing in your relationship. You will find that they will be more than happy to help. Also, if you find that you are having a difficult time actually forming a romantic relationship, turn to God. Maybe you are looking in the wrong places. God will never lead you astray: pray and listen, and eventually you will find the right person for you. I realise this is not a detailed list of advice, but I think it is a good starting point. Ultimately though, “we love because He loved us first” (1 John 4:19). Love is not something which is forced upon us, it is freely given. It is up to us to accept or decline that love. The same is true for romantic relationships. Never force love! Love that naturally forms will feel less like work and more like ‘a match made in heaven’. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we want? JUNE 2018 35

Leadership • Religious Education • Higher Education Leading Ecclesial Communities: Foundations, Challenges and Possibilities Professor Massimo Faggioli Professor of Historical Theology Villanova University Conjoint Professor, BBI-TAITE Professor Richard Lennan Professor of Systematic Theology School of Theology & Ministry, Boston College, USA

Two of the world’s leading theologians will be in Australia in July and August 2018 to present a two-day seminar in three cities:

Wagga Wagga 26-27 July Brisbane 30-31 July Sydney 2-3 August What are the signs of the times for Church leaders in the 21st century? How might leaders better understand contemporary Catholicism in the light of ecclesial history and Vatican II; existing Church structures and communities; and the many challenges to Catholic identity and mission that will continue to dominate or emerge in the Church’s future?

2018 Religious Education Symposium:

Religious Education in a Change of Era

Thursday 13 - Friday 14 September 2018 • Brisbane Exhibition & Convention Centre • International Speakers: Dr Chris Lowney (USA); Dr Ann Casson (UK); Dr Leonard Franchi (UK) • 33 National Expert Speakers • 32 Interactive Workshops • Professional Development Accreditations • Symposium Networking Dinner Applies to single or group registrations.

Each seminar will take a broad view of the theological and cultural landscape of Catholicism as it impacts leadership in the Church of today.

BBI-TAITE Higher Education

You may already have 1/2 the units necessary to complete a Master of Leadership and Theology or Master of Religious Education

If you have 2 years’ experience in Leadership, you may be eligible for up to 4 units of Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and if you have also completed a Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies, Religious Education, Leadership or a related area in the last 10 years, credit for up to 4 units may be applicable (together, that’s 8 units, which comprises 1/2 the Master of Leadership & Theology) If you have 4 years’ experience in Religious Education, you may be eligible for up to 2 units of RPL and if you have also completed a Graduate Certificate in Theology, Religious Education, Leadership or a related area in the last 10 years, credit for up to 4 units may be applicable (together, that’s 6 units, which comprises 1/2 the Master of Religious Education) Ring today to find out your eligibility: 02 9847 0030 Enrol today:

For academic credit for postgraduate students, visit: For seminar participants, visit:

Theology Connected

Broken bay news june 2018  
Broken bay news june 2018