Young people across Australia are being called to share their views about life, faith, and their experience of Church through an online survey published today by the Australian Bishops.
The survey seeks to capture the opinions and perspectives of young people as part of a national consultation process that will inform an international conversation in Rome next year.
Australians aged between 16 and 29 years are encouraged to complete the survey. The questions cover a range of topics including: the experience of being listened to, using social media and technology, friendships and influences in today’s world, opportunities for engagement with Church activities such as, outreach programs, youth masses, community leadership or parish events.
At a recent gathering of young people in Rome which has informed and helped to prepare this process, Ashleigh Green, a young social worker from Sydney said, one of her hopes for the Church in Australia is that ‘we can better engage our most disadvantaged and marginalised young Australians’.
‘I hope that we can use the common yearning for social justice as an avenue to engage youth and I hope that we can create new spaces for community within the Church,’ Ms Green added. Continue reading
Andrea Dean and Christine Pace.
Mentoring is simply based on a friendship, a connection and a supportive environment focusing on a strengths based approach to learning, Christine Pace told almost 200 women gathered at the official launch of the Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring Program.
The Launch took place at Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney on Saturday evening, May 20. The program is a service project of the 2015-2017 Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship participants led by Christine Pace from the Diocese of Broken Bay.
‘It may seem daunting but it’s an exciting journey,’ Christine explained that the program was not about being top of the corporate ladder but rather ‘this program sees mentoring as a tool of empowerment for women’.
‘Faith filled women on fire with the Holy Spirit are gods hands and feet in the world. We need spiritual nourishment. When you are supported in your faith, you can flourish in your faith and life.’
‘It’s common for women to underestimate their capabilities. However, women are developed with their own gifts and talents.’ Continue reading
Following a thorough national search and the identification of a number of highly-qualified candidates, the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education announced today, 17 May, that Christian Zahra will serve as the next executive director of the National Catholic Education Commission.
Making the announcement, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education, said, ‘Across a range of spheres – including politics, community development and business – Christian has been a major contributor to Australian society over the past two decades. In this new role, he will help to shape the educational opportunities of the one in five children and young people being educated in the 1,737 Catholic schools across the country. Continue reading
Matt Maher is arguably the biggest Catholic name in global contemporary Christian music and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is delighted to announce he will be coming to Sydney for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival from 7-9 December 2017.
The internationally acclaimed Canadian songwriter and worship leader is heading to Australia with his band to join with 15,000 young people at the biggest Festival of its kind to be held in the country. He will perform, lead worship and provide engaging input on each day of the three-day Festival at Sydney Olympic Park including Sydney Showgrounds, Qudos Bank Arena and The Domain.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney and the Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Youth made the announcement today.
‘Matt Maher’s music is a powerful tool to reach young people and we’re so pleased to be welcoming this highly acclaimed artist for the ACYF,’ Archbishop Fisher said. Continue reading
Bishop-Elect Michael Morrissey
The Holy Father has today appointed Fr Michael Morrissey, the Vicar General and Chancellor of the Diocese of Geraldton, as the ninth Bishop of Geraldton.
Bishop-Elect Morrissey is the first Bishop of Geraldton who was born, raised, ordained and has ministered in the Diocese.
Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference welcomed the appointment, ‘On behalf of the Australian bishops, I join priests and people in welcoming Fr Michael Morrissey as Bishop of Geraldton. He has long priestly experience of Geraldton and already has been involved with so many people young and old.
‘Fr Michael is a worthy successor after the twenty-five year term of Bishop Bianchini who has governed the diocese with so much love and care. We wish him many years of Gospel service as the new bishop.’
The Bishop-Elect said his appointment recognises ‘all those small communities scattered throughout the diocese, including Yalgoo, my home town where I grew up on a sheep station’. Following in Bishop Justin Bianchini’s footsteps is very special, he said after working closely with him for the past 25 years. ‘I hope to continue the legacy of Bishop Justin listening to the people and seeing where they would like to go in their faith and life.’ Continue reading
The Bishops Commission for Catholic Education, speaking on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, has expressed concern at some elements of the Federal Government’s budget announcement regarding Catholic school funding.
As Bishops, we acknowledge the difficult financial situation currently faced by the Government and the nation. We are fully aware of the need for restraint and responsible stewardship of the nation’s resources. We also acknowledge the Government’s recognition, in its funding proposals, of its responsibility to facilitate parental choice in the matter of education. It is this principle that undergirds the now well-established practice of funding a Government education system and a Catholic education system, as well as hundreds of Independent schools.
We are encouraged that the Government has now announced that there will be a minimum funding indexation for all Australian schools in the medium to long term. The Government’s proposed floating indexation rate had been creating uncertainty for schools, school systems and families. Continue reading
Fairness and compassion should be the cornerstones of our society. How we treat our poorest and most vulnerable is a measure of our commitment to a fair and just society.
Today, Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said, the Catholic Bishops welcome the government’s commitment to fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme and its housing measures to help people secure more affordable housing.
The Bishops acknowledge the government’s decision to remove earlier measures from the 2014-15 budget that may have affected families and the vulnerable in our society.
For those on the very margins of our society, especially those with no prospect of meaningful work, the budget offers no new hope.
‘A lack of regard for the poor and marginalised alienates them from society rather than allowing them to participate fully within it,’ Archbishop Hart said. Continue reading
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
With seven months to go, online registration officially opened this morning for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) in Sydney from 7-9 December 2017.
Among the first to register were a number of the Bishops of Australia while gathered in Sydney for their biannual Plenary Meeting.
The Festival registration process can be completed on mobile or tablet devices. Alternatively, groups and individuals can register online at, www.acyf.org.au.
Groups are encouraged to register early with an additional incentive of a complimentary registration per organisation, for all groups of more than ten, that register before 31 May 2017. Continue reading
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri addresses the Australian Bishops
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, delivered an address at the Plenary meeting of the Australian Bishops Conference today, 10 May, in Sydney.
Over the past few days, accompanied by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Tito Yllana, Cardinal Sandri has visited the five Eastern Eparchys in Australia; Maronite, Melkite, Ukrainian, Chaldean and Syro-Malabar communities.
Cardinal Sandri shared reflections with the bishops about the situation of Christians in the Middle East with a particular focus on Iraq and Syria. He also spoke about the presence of Eastern Catholics in Australia. He thanked the bishops, ‘for the beautiful book “Eastern Catholic Churches in Australia“, that you have published: I hope it will be an example also for other Episcopal Conference’. Continue reading
The Australian Bishops officially launched new norms and guidelines for the permanent diaconate during their plenary meeting in Sydney on May 8.
Deacon Tony Aspinall, National Coordinator of the Permanent Diaconate joined Bishop Peter Ingham, Outgoing Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry to launch the guidelines following a special Mass with deacons at Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel in Sydney.
Deacons Tony Hoban and Roberto Corpuz joined the bishops at the launch along with Fr Greg Bourke, Executive Secretary of the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry.
The ‘Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons and Guidelines for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons’ were developed by the Australian Bishops following the publication of a Vatican document providing clarity about the formation of deacons. Each bishops’ conference was encouraged to develop their own guidelines. Continue reading
Archbishop Denis Hart and Sr Clare Condon SGS
During the annual meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia on May 6 in Sydney, the vision, commitment and work of Sr Clare Condon SGS was recognised and acknowledged.
Sr Clare has recently retired as Co-Chair of the National Committee for Professional Standards; a joint committee of Catholic Religious Australia and the Australian Catholic Bishops.
The committee was established to oversee the development of policies, principles and procedures in responding to Church-related abuse complaints. The committee’s purpose is to ensure pastoral care for victims and survivors of sexual and physical abuse by church personnel.
Speaking as President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Hart said, ‘Together with Bishop Bill Wright, Sr Clare Condon has provided wise and compassionate leadership to the National Committee for Professional Standards since 2012. In fact, Sr Clare Commenced as Co-Chair in the same month that Prime Minister Gillard announced the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Sr Clare Condon SGS and Archbishop Philip Wilson
‘Sr Clare came to the position having retired as the President of Catholic Religious Australia in 2010 and while serving as a board member of Catholic Church Insurance until 2016. And all of this while Congregational Leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritans, the first religious institute that commenced life in Australia. Today, besides members in all Australian mainland States and Territories, it has local members in Japan, Philippines and Kiribati.’ Continue reading
The Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring program is delighted to welcome BBI-The Australian Institute of Theological Education (BBI) as its inaugural annual partner for 2017/2018.
Launching in late May 2017, the Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring program is a national program aimed at building the skills, confidence and networks of Australian Catholic women and encouraging them in their faith.
The program aims to empower women to use their gifts and talents to make meaningful and significant contributions to the Australian Church and, in turn, have a positive impact upon Australian society. Continue reading