Darwin’s retiring bishop reflects on life of great joy

Bishop Eugene Hurley

God’s call to the priesthood for Bishop Eugene Hurley was gentle, but insistent.

As he counts down his final days as head of the Darwin Diocese, the 78-year-old described that first call to the priesthood as a nagging, vague idea that he might want to be a priest – a feeling that he entertained for many years. Continue reading

Australian youth auditor announced for Vatican Synod

Twenty-two-year-old Sydneysider Sebastian Duhau will soon be winging his way to the Vatican as Australia’s youth auditor at the upcoming General Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.

Mr Duhau, from the Diocese of Parramatta, was nominated and accepted to participate in the General Synod itself, along with young people and lay Catholics from more than 40 countries, according to an official list of participants released by the Vatican on Saturday. Continue reading

New committee will strengthen national ministry to seafarers

The Church’s missionary work to serve the needs of seafarers has received a much-needed boost with the commissioning of a new national body.

Australia’s bishops yesterday welcomed the seven-member Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) national committee at its inaugural meeting and commissioning ceremony in Sydney. Continue reading

Bishops oppose plan to purge prayer from Senate

Parliament House, Canberra

A proposal to abandon formal prayer in the Senate has been strongly opposed by Australia’s Catholic bishops.

Senator Lee Rhiannon’s motion to create an inquiry proposes that the Senate should abandon the long tradition of formal prayer and replace it with a bland statement inviting senators to private reflection and prayer. Continue reading

Church calls for action to stem the rising tide of homelessness

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The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has used its 2018-19 Social Justice Statement to express deep concern about Australia’s alarming growth in homelessness and insecure housing.

In A Place to Call Home: Making a home for everyone in our land, released this morning, the bishops have called on Australians to look beyond the immediate challenges of the average household budget and to consider those who are homeless or facing housing stress because of skyrocketing rents and property prices. Continue reading

Church takes major steps to safeguard young and vulnerable

Fr Hans Zollner SJ

The Catholic Church in Australia is among the top five countries worldwide in adopting processes to safeguard children and vulnerable people, according to a key Vatican advisor.

Fr Hans Zollner SJ, one of the leading Church experts in safeguarding minors and on areas concerning sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church and beyond, said Australia had made great strides forward and had much to teach the wider Church. Continue reading

Church calls for global action for migrants and refugees

Fr Fabio Baggio CS and Fr Maurizio Pettena CS, director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office

Policies addressing migrants and refugees should always respond with mercy and solidarity, according to Fr Fabio Baggio CS, Under-Secretary of the Migrant and Refugee Section, a Vatican office directly guided by Pope Francis.

“Our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate. This is part of a common action that should be actively promoted by all the local Churches,” Fr Baggio said. Continue reading

2019 Catholic Youth Festival to tune into what Spirit is saying

More than 5000 young Catholics are expected to converge on Perth next year for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF).

As the largest Catholic gathering in Australia, the ACYF promotes and engages the life and voice of young Catholics, equipping them to live out their faith in the world. Continue reading

Australia’s youth will have a voice at the Vatican Office for Youth

The hopes and concerns of young Australian Catholics were given a voice at an Australian Catholic Youth Council workshop in Sydney yesterday.

In preparation for the upcoming General Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, Australia’s Synod delegates Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Mark Edwards OMI listened to attendees and discussed a wide range of issues. Continue reading