Listening to the Spirit: 10,000 voices and climbing

Momentum is building as the Church reaches the midway point of the Open Listening and Dialogue phase of preparations for the Plenary Council in 2020.

Facilitator Lana Turvey-Collins says hearing the voices of more than 10,000 Australians is a great start and she hopes that’s just the tip of the iceberg as the Church builds towards the Plenary Council sessions to be held in October 2020 and May 2021. Continue reading

New executive secretary answers call to serve the Church nationally

The Australian bishops have appointed a new executive secretary to support their engagement with Indigenous Catholics and their work in the critical areas of evangelisation, laity and ministry.

Christopher Ohlsen, who was the first lay person to hold the role of master of ceremonies for the Diocese of Parramatta, said he had always been interested in the workings of the Church and in serving at the national level. Continue reading

Faith, spirituality and culture on display at NATSICC assembly

Australia’s First Peoples gathered in Perth last week to explore the strong connections between faith, spirituality and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Craig Arthur, the national administrator of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC), the peak advisory body to Australia’s bishops, said 250 delegates attended the week-long gathering. Continue reading

Office for Youth director named to Vatican advisory body

Malcolm Hart says his appointment as a consultor to a Vatican advisory body recognises the work of people ministering to young Catholics across Australia.

Over the weekend, Pope Francis named the inaugural – and current – director of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s Office for Youth a consultor to the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life. Continue reading

Youth Synod: Intervention by Bishop Mark Edwards OMI

Bishop Mark Edwards

On Friday, October 5, Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Mark Edwards OMI offered the following remarks at the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment:

Holy Father, sisters and brothers,

We are, as Pope Francis suggested to the Italian Bishops in 2015, entering a new era. I would like to suggest an image for intergenerational encounter and the spirituality and values of this new age in western culture. Continue reading

Church urged to help combat intolerance and social division

Professor Jacqui Ewart

The Catholic Church has a vital role to play in promoting social acceptance and inclusion to combat a rising tide of intolerance in Australia, an expert in the media reporting of Islam said.

Professor Jacqui Ewart, a former reporter, media manager and academic, told the recent Catholic Communications Congress in Brisbane that the Church could help find solutions to the “wicked problem” of a lack of tolerance of other faiths and cultures. Continue reading

Bishops to lead a new youth focus for universal Church

The Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment will see Church leaders share wisdom and learn from the world’s youth, according to Australia’s bishop delegates.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Mark Edwards OMI have arrived in Rome for the gathering of prelates, which runs from October 3 to 28. They have been joined by Melbourne Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli, who was personally selected by Pope Francis to attend. Continue reading

Bishop Charles Gauci ordained fifth Bishop of Darwin

In a ceremony rich with Catholic tradition and Aboriginal culture, the Diocese of Darwin on Wednesday night welcomed Bishop Charles Gauci as its new shepherd.

In June, Pope Francis announced that Fr Charles Gauci, then-administrator of St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Adelaide, would succeed Bishop Eugene Hurley, who had served in Darwin for the past 11 years. Continue reading

Australia’s multiculturalism a “gift to be preserved”

Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot

The leader of a Vatican delegation that has just completed a visit to Australia was delighted by the efforts of local Church organisations to enhance interfaith dialogue, education and understanding.

Spanish Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, said he was very happy with what he had seen in Australia and could reconfirm the existing spirit of multiculturalism. Continue reading

New Darwin Bishop feels hope, peace, excitement — and some trepidation

Fr Charles Gauci, who will be ordained Bishop of Darwin on September 26

Excitement, hope-filled anticipation, a sense of peace and some trepidation – these are just a few of the many emotions being felt by the incoming Bishop of Darwin on the eve of his ordination.

Speaking about his priorities, goals and concerns for his new flock, Fr Charles Gauci said he intended to focus his time on listening to the people, learning from them and working out how best to serve them. Continue reading