Scale of migration from Syria is staggering, Bishop Rabbat told Colloquium on Christian-Muslim relations

Bishop Robert Rabbat

Bishop Robert Rabbat

The sixth annual Bishop Joe Grech Memorial Colloquium has been held in Melbourne, at Australian Catholic University. This year, the Australian Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) convened the Colloquium, in association with ACU.

Father Maurizio Pettena, Director of the ACMRO, introduced the speakers, His Eminence Bishop Robert Rabbat, the Eparch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of Australia and New Zealand, Mr Bayram Aktepe, President of the Islamic Council of Victoria, and Scalabrian priest Father Fabbio Baggio, a dean and professor at the Pontifical University in Rome.

The theme for the 2016 Colloquium was ‘Ethics and Migration’, with the topic, ‘Christian-Muslim relations in a persecuted region and the impact on immigration.’ In his introductory remarks,   Father Pettena reminded the audience that this week is the week leading up to the 102nd World Day for Migrants and Refugees on Sunday 28 August.

Pope Francis has chosen the theme for this year’s World Day: ‘migrants and refugees challenge us – the response of the gospel of mercy’. Justice without mercy, says Pope Francis, does not constitute true and lasting justice. Continue reading

Look to Mary as the model of mercy, Archbishop Prowse suggests during World Youth Day

Archbishop Prowse

Archbishop Prowse

On Friday 29 July, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse, delivered his third catechesis during World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland. Australian pilgrims gathered in the ‘big top’ tent to hear his talk about Mary who is the model of mercy.

Today’s third and final catechesis is titled, “Lord, make me an Instrument of Your Mercy”.

When I think of Mercy, I think of Mary, the Mother of God. We are given the great gift of her praise of God in her encounter with her cousin Elizabeth. It is called The Magnificat. In the Magnificat, Mary says, “His mercy is without end.” I like to think of Mary as the Missionary of Mercy. Continue reading

Pope calls young people to teach us how to live in diversity, in dialogue and to experience multiculturalism

Pope Francis arriving at Campus Misericordiae

World Youth Day, Prayer Vigil, 30 July 2016

Dear Young Friends, good evening!

It is good to be here with you at this Prayer Vigil!

At the end of her powerful and moving witness, Rand asked something of us.  She said: “I earnestly ask you to pray for my beloved country”.  Her story, involving war, grief and loss, ended with a request for prayers.  Is there a better way for us to begin our vigil than by praying?

We have come here from different parts of the world, from different continents, countries, languages, cultures and peoples.  Some of us are sons and daughters of nations that may be at odds and engaged in various conflicts or even open war.  Others of us come from countries that may be at “peace”, free of war and conflict, where most of the terrible things occurring in our world are simply a story on the evening news.  But think about it. Continue reading

Now is the time of mercy, Cardinal Dolan told Aussie pilgrims

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

When it comes to god we are all Olympic gold medalists at putting things off, when it comes to critical things in life, we are experts at putting things off. That’s why today’s catechesis, ‘Now is the Time of Mercy‘ is so critical at this time, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, told hundreds of Aussies pilgrims during World Youth Day.

‘We live on Gods mercy. We don’t and shouldn’t delay with God. We should’t put things off.’ 

Quoting St Augustine, the Cardinal said, ‘we will always have God’s mercy, we might not have tomorrow but we will always have God’s mercy. Haunting, isn’t it? That’s why now is the time of mercy’.

Gathered in a packed tent on Wednesday 27 July, Cardinal Dolan delivered an engaging, urgent and compassionate talk to young people at the english speaking catechesis site. Continue reading

Two New Bishops Ordained in the Archdiocese of Sydney

IMG_1703_SqThe Episcopal Ordination of the Most Reverend Anthony Randazzo and Most Reverend Richard Umbers took place at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney on Wednesday evening 24 August 2016, the Feast of St Bartholomew.

Both Bishop Randazzo and Bishop Umbers were ordained Auxiliary Bishops of Sydney and will join Bishop Terry Brady as the three Auxiliary Bishops serving the Archdiocese of Sydney.

The Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney, was the Principal Consecrator and Celebrant. The Most Reverend Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane, and the Most Reverend Stephen Lee Bun-sang, Bishop of Macau, were the Principal Co-Consecrators. Continue reading

Migrants and Refugees challenge us to enact a culture of encounter, welcome and acceptance, says Bishop Long

ACBC_OpIn this Year of Mercy, with many newly arrived migrants and refugees in Australia, we must enact a culture of encounter, welcome and acceptance in practical, personal and communal ways, says Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv.

Speaking ahead of Migrant and Refugee Sunday on 28 August 2016, the Bishops Delegate for Migrants and Refugees drew attention to the example set by Pope Francis on his way back to the Vatican from the Greek Island of Lesbos in April this year, ‘he brought with him 12 Syrian refugees, all of whom are Muslim and had their homes destroyed by war’.

‘This is the international context for this year’s Migrant and Refugee Sunday, which will be celebrated on 28 August in Australia. Although we are far removed from the crisis, we are challenged to open our hearts to the sufferings of others.

‘Compassion – which literally means to suffer with – is the hallmark of Christianity. In keeping with the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Holy Father has chosen as its theme: Migrants and Refugees challenge us: The Response of the Gospel of Mercy.’ Continue reading

Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania focus on the people of West Papua

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv and Bishop Robert McGuckin at the FCBCO meeting.

Australian delegates, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv and Bishop Robert McGuckin attending the FCBCO meeting.

The Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, PNG/SI, CEPAC) is currently meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. We come from a multitude of island nation States spread throughout the Pacific.

We are delighted to be here in PNG and have enjoyed greatly the wonderful hospitality of this vibrant nation. It was an honour for us to meet with the Hon. Powes Parkop, Governor of Port Moresby, and we all offered him congratulations and encouragement on the development of this city and his commitment to justice, integrity and service in civic leadership. Continue reading

Migration Colloquium to Focus on Christian-Muslim Relations in a Persecuted Region

Bishop Robert Rabbat

Bishop Robert Rabbat

On Thursday 25 August, the sixth annual Bishop Joe Grech Memorial Colloquium will draw attention to Christian-Muslim Relations in a Persecuted Region and the Impact of these relations on Immigration.

Keynote speakers; Bishop Robert Rabbat, Melkite Catholic Eparch of Australia and New Zealand, Mr Bayram Aktepe, President of the Islamic Council of Victoria, and Fr Fabio Baggio, a missionary of the Scalabrinian Congregation, will present different perspectives on Christian-Muslim relations and debate the impact of such relations on immigration.

Hosted by the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO), the Colloquium will take place at the Philippa Brazil Lecture Theatre, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. Commencing at 7pm, the Colloquium is open to the public and free to attend. A questions and answers session will follow the keynote addresses. Continue reading

How Catholic Women Can Escalate Their Leadership Capacity In Just Two Days

2016-PSU-CACW-colloquium_poster_thumbHow do we make more space for women in decision-making, leadership and lay pastoral ministry in our Church? This is the focus for the Council for Australian Catholic Women’s Colloquium from 17 to 18 September at Mary Mackillop Place, North Sydney.

The Colloquium theme, Women as Witnesses to the Joy of the Gospel will set the scene for theological and pastoral reflection on Pope Francis’ call to “create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church” (Evangelii Gaudium 103).

The keynote addresses and workshops will examine this theme, Dr Maria Harries, Adjunct Professor at Curtin University will lead a keynote address considering the issues facing ‘Women in the Family’. Dr Michele Connolly, RSJ, Lecturer of New Testament Studies at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, will explore the issues facing ‘Women in the Church’. Dr Megan Brock RSJ, member of Catholic Religious Australia and a psychologist working in private practice, will deliver the final keynote address on ‘Women in Society’. Continue reading

Pope asks young people, do you want empty thrills or the power of grace in life?

Sequence 010_200Do you want a complete life? Pope Francis asked thousands of young people gathered from all over the world to celebrate World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow.

‘So I ask you: Are you looking for empty thrills in life, or do you want to feel a power that can give you a lasting sense of life and fulfilment?  Empty thrills or the power of grace?  To find fulfilment, to gain new strength, there is a way.  It is not a thing or an object, but a person, and he is alive. His name is Jesus Christ.’ 

‘Jesus can give you true passion for life.  Jesus can inspire us not to settle for less, but to give the very best of ourselves.  Jesus challenges us, spurs us on and helps us keep trying whenever we are tempted to give up.  Jesus pushes us to keep our sights high and to dream of great things.’

Gathered at Blonia Park, Krakow for the papal welcome on Thursday 28 July, young people listened attentively as Pope Francis said, ‘It pains me to meet young people who seem to have opted for “early retirement”. Continue reading

Opening Mass at World Youth Day, Krakow

IMG_6247_200

Photos by Emilie Ng, Catholic Leader

Welcome message to pilgrims at World Youth Day.

My dear friends!

The moment we have been waiting 3 years for has arrived.

We have been waiting since the day Pope Francis announced in Rio de Janeiro that the next World Youth Day would take place in Poland – in Krakow. We are pleased to welcome the Cardinal and delegation from Rio de Janeiro. I thank you for coming to us to pass the happiness of World Youth Day.

The clock fitted on the facade of St. Mary’s Basilica in the heart of historic Krakow counted the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the moment which we are now experiencing. 

But a more important clock, registering the thoughts and feelings in our hearts, spiritually prepared us for the meeting that we are beginning today of young disciples of the Master of Nazareth from all over the world. Continue reading