New focus on Indigenous youth suicide prevention

Sabrina-Ann Stevens

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) is focusing on finding new ways to support rural and regional communities to prevent youth suicide.

The tragedy of youth suicide was a major subject of discussions at the recent NATSICC assembly in Perth, where more than 300 delegates gathered from throughout Australia to explore the theme “Strong Faith – Strong Youth – Strong Future”. Continue reading

No Simple Fix to Address Intergenerational Disadvantage

Fr Frank Brennan SJ

Intergenerational welfare dependency cannot be addressed without first fixing factors affecting entrenched disadvantage, according to the Church’s peak national bodies for social services.

Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) and Jesuit Social Services, along with Catholic Care Wilcannia-Forbes, are set to appear before the Select Committee into Intergenerational Welfare Dependence in Canberra this week.

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Nation responds to Pope’s second World Day of the Poor

Parishes throughout Australia are answering Pope Francis’ call to mark World Day of the Poor on Sunday by hosting community events to support those in need.

Special lunches are planned in several capital cities and major centres throughout Australia, and smaller parishes are making donations to Church organisations dedicated to assisting the poor and marginalised.

Pope Francis last year called on all Catholics to mark the World Day of the Poor on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time each year. The Second World Day of the Poor will take place this Sunday, November 18. Continue reading

Prison chaplain finds Jesus in every cell

Melbourne prison chaplain and teacher Jwan Kada

For Melbourne youth prison chaplain Jwan Kada, the life-giving freedom of Jesus Christ can be found in every prison cell.

Reflecting on her vocation in the lead-up to Prison Sunday on November 11, the 33-year-old former Iraqi refugee is living her Catholic faith well outside the four walls of her close-knit Chaldean community. Continue reading

Bishop Elliott completes 11 years as a ‘happy bishop’

Bishop Peter Elliott

Bishop Peter Elliott says he kept Mother Teresa’s exhortation to new bishops – that they be “happy bishops” – front of mind and in his heart during his 11 years of episcopal ministry in Melbourne Archdiocese.

Pope Francis today announced that he has accepted Bishop Elliott’s resignation, which he submitted recently upon reaching the retirement age of 75. Bishop Elliott had been appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in 2007. Continue reading

Women’s mentoring program to launch in WA next week

A national program aimed at building the skills, confidence and networks of Australian Catholic women will be launched in Western Australia next week.

Catholic Women’s Mentoring, launched in Sydney in May 2017, also helps women increase their capacity to use their gifts and talents to support the Church in Australia and the broader Australian community. Continue reading

Mountaineering priest aims for greater heights

Fr Morgan Batt

The white sand and surf beaches of Queensland’s holiday glitter strip are a far cry from scaling the world’s highest mountains, but Burleigh Heads parish priest and acclaimed mountaineer Fr Morgan Batt sees the connections.

“There is a lot of synergy because both entail an outdoor life, physicality and meeting a complete variety of people from all walks of life. The difference is the amount of people,” Fr Batt said from his parish office, just a short drive from Australia’s iconic surfing beaches that he is quickly coming to love. Continue reading

Volunteers, donors keep anti-trafficking efforts going

The voice of trafficked women throughout Australia will continue to be heard with the official opening of a new anti-trafficking service in Perth yesterday.

The Archdiocese of Perth has stepped in to provide an office for ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) after the organisation lost its $125,000 in Commonwealth funding in June this year. Continue reading

Pope urges faithful to respond to the ‘cry of the poor’

The second World Day of the Poor will be celebrated on November 18.

In his message for the second World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis has called for a new evangelisation that prompts Catholics “to make tangible the Church’s response to the cry of the poor”.

In a letter to clergy throughout Australia, Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life chairman Bishop Terence Brady encouraged all Catholic communities to be involved and respond to the theme of day: “This poor man cried and the Lord heard him” (Psalm 34:7). Continue reading

Historic ordination for Solomon Islands

Bishop Houhou receives his mitre from Archbishop Kurian

The young Catholic population of the Solomon Islands has joyfully welcomed the episcopal ordination of their first locally-born Catholic bishop.

Fr Peter Houhou, who had been vicar general of the Archdiocese of Honiara and administrator of Holy Cross Cathedral, became the new Bishop of Auki earlier this month in a jubilant, emotional and culturally-rich celebration at St Augustine Catholic Cathedral. Continue reading

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