Bishop Vincent Long Appointed Bishop of Parramatta

Bishop Vincent Long Nguyen O.F.M. Conv.

Bishop Vincent Long Nguyen O.F.M. Conv.

Pope Francis has announced today the appointment as the fourth Bishop of Parramatta, the Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen, O.F.M. Conv., who has been until now an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference welcomed the appointment, ‘after distinguished leadership in the Conventual Franciscans, Bishop Vincent Long van Nguyen has been Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne since 2011, working as a gifted and compassionate pastor, Episcopal Vicar and Chair of the Victorian Catholic Education Commission’.

‘We joyfully welcome his appointment as Bishop of Parramatta, knowing that his Christ-like gifts and simplicity will serve the people of his new diocese so well.’

‘I feel a sense of responsibility and honour to be appointed to the Diocese of Parramatta. I accepted the appointment by Pope Francis with humility,’ Bishop Long said following the announcement. Continue reading

50th World Communications Day opportunity for parishes to speak out

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The ACBC World Communications Day initiative to gather ‘grassroots’ stories of compassion and mercy from around Australia is an opportunity for ordinary Catholics and child abuse survivors to speak directly to the Church leadership.

As part of the 50th World Communications Day, the Australian Catholic Media Council is inviting each diocese to share local stories about ‘Communication and Mercy’.

The CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Mr Francis Sullivan, said the initiative could be of huge benefit to the church leadership as it hears directly from the people in the pews about their reactions to the Royal Commission and what they have seen and heard about the way the church leadership is responding.

‘One of the big challenges for us now is to find the language and the way in which we can communicate the very significant changes that have taken place within the Church over the past years to protect children and help survivors. Continue reading

Tax cuts to the rich and service cuts to the rest

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In responding to the Federal Budget, Marcelle Mogg, Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) CEO said:

“Vulnerable Australians have again been overlooked in this third Federal Budget from the Coalition Government.  The 2016-17 Budget provides tax cuts to the rich and service cuts to the rest. This Budget has given tax relief to those earning over $80K.  This measure will cost $4 billion which could have been spent on investment in families and communities.”

“Australia has an estimated 600,000 children living in poverty and this Budget offers them little hope. If the Government invested in these children’s families directly they could have secured the future of the children and stimulated the economy.” 

“For the third year running, this government offers nothing to those who are homeless or experiencing significant housing stress. Securing the basics in life – a house, an education, and health care – are increasingly beyond the means of average Australians, and impossible for those on low incomes. The successive failure of this government to address Australia’s housing crisis, rental affordability and rising homelessness is a disgrace. A long term strategy and binding agreement between the Commonwealth and States and Territories is needed to ensure all people have a home.” Continue reading

Aid cuts signal shift to an insular Australia

Caritas Australia logoCaritas Australia (CA) has expressed deep disappointment in this year’s federal budget, specifically the decision to cut even deeper into an already diminished Australian official aid program. 

The cut of an additional $224m is the third successive cut by this government and has reduced Australia to its least generous role among OECD countries in 40 years.

Caritas Australia CEO, Paul O’Callaghan said that Australia has had a prominent and bipartisan record of strong support for economic improvement and poverty alleviation, both in our immediate region and beyond.

“Together with Australia’s outstanding contribution through peace-keeping missions, this aid and development role over many decades led to Australia being regarded as a significant leader and middle power,” Mr O’Callaghan said. Continue reading

Communicating the Power of Mercy

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Celebrating the 50th World Communications Day, the Australian Catholic Media Council is launching a grassroots initiative by inviting each diocese to share local stories about ‘Communication and Mercy’.

This year, Pope Francis has chosen the theme ‘Communication and Mercy’ and invites us all to reflect on this relationship.

Launching the initiative ahead of World Communications Day, celebrated on Sunday 8 May 2016, Bishop Peter Comensoli, Bishops Delegate for Media, said, ‘The stories will celebrate the local heroes in our parishes – the agents of mercy and compassion in our midst – and encourage further local engagement and inspiration by using the hashtag #Thepowerofmercy’.

The initiative will run from World Communications Day, Sunday 8 May 2016, until the conclusion of the Year of Mercy on Sunday 20 November 2016. The stories will be told in print, broadcast or digital media platforms and will be published on the Bishops Conference website: Worldcommunicationsday.org.au Continue reading

PROCLAIM 2016 Early bird registrations now open!

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With 120 days to go, Registrations for PROCLAIM 2016 have now opened with great Early Bird rates available.

This exciting conference on the New Evangelisation is expected to draw more than 500 participants from across Australia to discuss, exchange and learn fresh ways in which parishes can become evangelising communities of the twenty-first century.

Running across three days from 1-3 September 2016, PROCLAIM 2016 draws upon the inspiration of this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and the ongoing missionary challenge of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium.

Participants will gain invaluable support, ideas and pastoral initiatives for their parish communities from keynote speakers Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington, Bishop Nicholas Hudson of the Archdiocese of Westminster; Dr Susan Timoney * (Washington) and Mr Daniel Ang Director, Office for Evangelisation, Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay. Continue reading

Mass of Christian Burial for Bishop Satterthwaite

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St Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore, 2 May 2016

HOMILY: Before I begin I would like to thank Monsignor John John Kallarakal, Counsellor of the Apostolic Nunciature in Canberra for his presence with us this morning, and for conveying on behalf of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Yllana, a message of condolence from His Holiness Pope Francis. The message, forwarded by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, reads as follows:

“The Holy Father was saddened to learn of the death of the Most Reverend John Steven Satterthwaite, Bishop Emeritus of Lismore, and he sends his condolences to the priests, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful of the Diocese. Recalling with gratitude the late Prelate’s many years of service to God’s people, Pope Francis joins you and all present at the Funeral Rites in commending his soul to the tender mercy of our heavenly Father. To all who mourn Bishop Satterthwaite’s passing, the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State.” Continue reading

Vale Emeritus Bishop of Bunbury, Myles McKeon

Bishop McKeon, centre. Photo Credit: The Record, Perth

Bishop McKeon, centre. Photo Credit: The Record, Perth

With great sadness, I have to announce the death this morning, 2 May 2016, of Bishop Myles McKeon, the Second Bishop of Bunbury. He was 97 years of age.

Bishop McKeon served the Bunbury Diocese from 1969 with his resignation for reasons of health in 1982. Prior to this he was a priest of the Archdiocese of Perth from 1947 to 1962 when he was consecrated Auxiliary Bishop of Perth. He served in that role until his appointment to the Diocese of Bunbury.

Bishop McKeon is well remembered still as a kind and caring pastor. He was also one of the four Western Australian Bishops who collaborated for the founding of the Catholic Education Commission and the Catholic Institution of Western Australia, both of which were unique in the world of that time. Continue reading

Making dreams come true

Hero picture at past World Youth DayTwelve lucky young pilgrims from across the country have been awarded sponsorship to attend World Youth Day in Poland from 25 – 31 July this year.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC), Office for Youth and the World Youth Day (WYD) Committee today announced twelve recipients of the ‘Pilgrim Support Program’.

The Pilgrim Support Program aims to support young people who may never ordinarily have had the opportunity to travel to World Youth Day. The program is funded by the ACBC, Catholic Church Insurance and Cosmos, the official tour operator for the Australian pilgrimage to WYD.

Pilgrims were nominated by their Bishops and Youth Ministry leaders. The selection criteria for the program included two key elements; providing opportunities for personal and spiritual development and identifying emerging youth ministry leaders. Continue reading

A tribute to Bishop Satterthwaite, 1928-2016

Bishop Satterthwaite, Fourth Bishop of Lismore. Coadjutor bishop (1969-1970) Bishop of Lismore (1971-2001) May he rest in peace.

Bishop Satterthwaite, Fourth Bishop of Lismore. Coadjutor bishop (1969-1970) Bishop of Lismore (1971-2001) May he rest in peace.

Bishop Satterthwaite died on Saturday, 23 April 2016, just one week short of the 47th anniversary of his ordination to the episcopate by Cardinal Gilroy.

His provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the contribution of this unassuming man to the life of the Catholic community on the North Coast of New South Wales.

Ordained originally for the Diocese of Armidale, Bishop Satterthwaite was what has been termed “a late vocation”. Prior to ordination he had studied engineering at Sydney University and theology at the Lateran University in Rome. Ordination to the priesthood brought with it service in Glen Innes as assistant priest and Armidale as Chancellor and Bishop’s Secretary. At the time of his appointment to Lismore he was Administrator of the Cathedral.

In 1969, at the relatively young age of forty he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop to the then Bishop, Patrick Farrelly, himself first appointed as Coadjutor to Bishop John Carroll in 1931.

Bishop Satterthwaite spent the first years in the Diocese in Casino and Grafton before becoming Bishop of Lismore in 1971, on the retirement of Bishop Farrelly. Continue reading

Australian Catholic Superannuation supports young dancer

Kim Wilcke & Elyse Lenehan The Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund awarded Elyse Lenehan, a dance student from Canberra, with a YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) Enrichment Grant on Tuesday 28 April at the annual Round the World Breakfast event.

Elyse is a young dancer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who is currently studying dance at NAISDA – National Aboriginal and Islander Dance Academy in Gosford.

The award was presented at the YWCA Canberra’s Round the World Breakfast event to celebrate World YWCA Day.

World YWCA Day is recognised every year across 120 countries. The Round the World Breakfast event provides an opportunity for YWCAs to come together to honour the contributions of women leaders in their communities. Continue reading

Catholic Education welcomes school funding commitment

School children in a classroomThe National Catholic Education Commission has welcomed the Coalition Government’s announcement of $1.2 billion in additional funding to support all Australian schools, saying it has placed school education at the centre of this year’s federal election campaign.

“Schools are important institutions in the community and well-directed investment in schools will determine the future of Australia as a society and an economy,” NCEC executive director Ross Fox said.

“Catholic education is pleased that the Government has today committed to future funding that reflects real costs for schools.”

In its announcement, the Coalition said per-student school funding from 2018 will increase at 3.56 per cent each year, which it says is in line with recent increases in school costs. Over the past two years, the NCEC has led calls for needs-based funding for all schools, with funding that keeps pace with school costs. Continue reading