Sharing the mission of the Church

Ursuline Sister Kari Hatherell

Ursuline Sister Kari Hatherell

Parishioners are the unsung heroes of the church, working behind the scenes to keep parishes going and support the work of their priest.

Mission and ministry is not some airy fairy thing just for priests and holy people. It is the day-to-day hard slog of keeping the parish community running. Ministry is essential to offering a place for Catholics to gather, hear God’s word, celebrate the Eucharist and go out into the world refreshed and inspired to live and share the Good News.

Parish ministry often begins by lending a hand at Mass, whether that’s proclaiming the word, becoming a Eucharistic minister or offering to sing with the choir.

It was no different for Ursuline Sister Kari Hatherell who explains that people get involved in lay pastoral ministry ‘usually slowly’. Her own journey began in 1992 at the Caloundra Parish, on the north coast of Queensland. Continue reading

From boat person to bishop

Bishop Long

Most Rev Vincent Long Van Nguyen ofm conv

‘I was one of the boat people who escaped from South Vietnam.’

During migration awareness month [August], the new Australian Catholic Bishops Conference delegate for migrants and refugees, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen ofm conv, shared his journey from survival as a refugee to nurturing a longing to become a priest, before being appointed Auxilliary Bishop of Melbourne.

‘The escape happened after South Vietnam had fallen to the Vietnamese communist forces in 1975.’

‘My parents who had escaped by boat themselves from North Vietnam in 1954 encouraged me and my siblings to escape. They had experienced the cruelty and tyranny of communism.’

From an early age, ‘you could say that risk-taking and freedom-seeking were in our blood’.

Continue reading

‘Sock it to poverty’ during World Mission Month

World Mission Month - Indigenous AustraliaThis year, for the first time ever, Catholic Mission’s hallmark celebration will have a special joint focus on two mission areas when it launches on 1 September.

World Mission Month, celebrated annually in October by millions of Catholics, will this year profile the work of dedicated missionaries in Madagascar as well as remote Indigenous Australia.

The month-long celebration traditionally profiles just one country—in 2014 the campaign highlighted the mission to build a Catholic community and overcome endemic violence and crime in Jamaica.

Catholic Mission National Director Martin Teulan says the new approach will better enable Australians to witness the incredible work of mission happening in places all around the world. ‘It is expected that around 1,100 appeals will take place in parishes around Australia during World Mission Month this year,’ he said. Continue reading

Two Decades of Caring for Migrants and Refugees in Australia

women and childThis week the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) will celebrate 20 years of work caring for migrants and refugees, with a colloquium on Thursday 27 August at 7pm.

The fifth annual Bishop Joe Grech Memorial Colloquium will be held at the Philippa Brazil Lecture Theatre, Daniel Mannix Building, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne.

The Colloquium is titled, ‘20 Years of Migration Policy in Australia, the Church’s Pastoral Response’. It will be chaired by Sandie Cornish, an expert in Catholic Social Teaching and Province Director of Mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart in Australia and New Zealand. A questions and answers session will follow the keynote addresses. Continue reading

FRANKLY: a game-changer in Catholic parish life

_1030389Bursting onto the Catholic scene in parishes this Christmas, FRANKLY is a fresh new publication that will be a power house in evangelisation and a counter-balance to secular negativity about the Church.

Visually rich in photography and design, and modelled on the warm and conversational style of Pope Francis, FRANKLY is designed to be given as a gift to people on the margins of Catholic faith and practice. Continue reading

Church without frontiers, Mother to all 101st World Day of Migrants and Refugees

‘Migrants and refugees need our special attention and care, as they are our brothers and sisters’, Bishop Vincent Long said today as he released a parish kit celebrating the 101st World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM CONV is the Bishop Delegate for Migrants and Refugees.

The Catholic Church in Australia has dedicated the month of August to creating awareness of migration, which will culminate with the celebration of the 101st World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sunday 30 August 2015. The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office has made a pastoral resource kit available to assist parishes in celebrating the Day. Continue reading

Healing through ministry

Helping girls and young women overcome trauma and heal following beatings and sexual violence is the healing ministry of Sr Angelique Namaika, a woman with a passion for justice who is transforming her community.

Sr Angelique received the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award in 2013 for ‘her exceptional courage and unwavering support for survivors of brutal violence in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).’

Sr Angelique said that such brutality is carried out by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel group that moved into the DRC about ten years ago.

Continue reading

Livelihoods at stake if climate change is not addressed

Climate change is very real in Kirbati. It’s about survival. It’s about saving our islands. It’s about saving our homes, Kiribati native Maria Tiimon-Chi Fang told politicians and church leaders this week.

Environmental NGO’s, politicians and stakeholders gathered at Parliament House on Monday 17 August 2015 to discuss Pope Francis’s environment encyclical, Laudato Si’, focusing on the need for action on climate change.

Maria spoke of the firsthand experiences of those dealing with the reality of climate change. Living in Kiribati, Maria works with the Edmund Rice Centre’s Pacific Calling Partnership. Continue reading

Free to love. What is my “yes” worth?

Helping young Catholics to find and give the love that they were created for, that is the goal for Jason Evert, founder of Chastity Project, when he visits Australia later this year.

Jason will deliver a keynote address at the upcoming Australian Catholic Youth Festival, which takes place in Adelaide from 3-5 December 2015.

‘Pope John Paul II once said that chastity can only be thought of in association with the virtue of love. My hope is that through the presentations I offer, the youth will see how chastity frees them to love and frees them to know if they are being loved,’ Jason told the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Office for Youth. Continue reading

Catholic Church Insurance appoints new CEO

The Board of Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) has appointed Mr Rob Scenna to take over the position of Chief Executive Officer from Peter Rush who is retiring.

Chairman of the board, Paul Gallagher, made the announcement yesterday evening, 17 August 2015, following a CCI board meeting.

Rob will take up his appointment on 21 September 2015.

From 2001 until 2014, Rob worked in management roles with the ANZ Banking Group, most recently as Managing Director of ANZ Trustees until that business was sold in 2014. Since then, he has been in a private consulting practice. Continue reading