Any change to marriage law must include protections for religious freedom

Parliament must work to unify Australians by respecting different views on marriage, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Denis Hart said today in the wake of the result of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

“The Catholic Church, and many others who sought to retain the definition of marriage as it has been understood for centuries, continues to view marriage as a special union between a woman and a man, which allows for the creation and nurture of children,” Archbishop Hart said. Continue reading

Australian Youth Ministers to Gather in Western Sydney in 2018

The Australian Catholic Bishops Office for Youth and the Diocese of Parramatta will host the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention (ACYMC), from 21-23 September 2018, at Rooty Hill RSL.

The ACYMC will explore the call of Pope Francis to ‘Open New Horizons for Spreading Joy’ and going out to the peripheries to support young people in finding their place in the world.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney and Bishops Delegate for Youth, shared his hopes about the fourth ACYMC. Continue reading

30 days until Australian Catholic Youth Festival Office for Youth | 7 November 2017

With only a month to go, Sydney is gearing up to play host to more than 18,000 young Catholics from around the nation for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival.

The 3-day event of concerts, workshops, social events, forums and worship at Sydney’s Olympic Park from 7-9 December boasts a stellar line up of international and home-grown presenters and performers including world renowned Canadian Christian singer and headline act, Matt Maher. Continue reading

Catholic women on a mission

Rachelle Smith, Bishop McCarthy and Andrea Dean

Newly appointed staff of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Andrea Dean and Rachelle Smith, discussed details of the leadership program when they met with Bishop Michael McCarthy in Sydney recently.

The two year program, a blend of online learning and residential experiences, is a project of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in partnership with Catholic Mission and Australian Catholic University to cultivate future women leaders.

Rachelle Smith, who comes to the position of coordinator of the Leadership for Mission program with extensive experience in youth ministry and event coordination in Tasmania, said: “I’m thrilled to part of this visionary initiative and I look forward to working with the candidates over the next two years.” Continue reading

Don’t miss having your say on Catholic media Australian Catholic Media Council

Australian Catholics are being urged to have their say on Catholic media by participating in a survey developed by the Australian Catholic Media Council, under the auspices of the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation.

The Australian Catholic Media User Survey, which closes on November 30, will help inform the Commission about how and where people get their Catholic news and information. Continue reading

First joint Plenary Council meeting Monday October 23, 2017

Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council meeting

The first joint meeting of the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council, the Executive Committee and the Facilitation Team was held on October 19-20 at St Joseph’s Retreat Centre in Baulkham Hills, Sydney.

It was an important step on the journey toward Plenary Council 2020 which was announced by the Bishops of Australia earlier this year.

The purpose of the meeting was to allow the three groups to meet each other and to share personal stories and hopes for the Plenary Council.  It was also a time to start building a shared sense of the Council journey with its three phases – preparation, celebration and implementation.  Prayer was interwoven through the two-day program with input and sharing sessions in small groups. Continue reading

Australia’s economy must serve every one of us Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

‘Australia now has the second-highest net worth per person in the world. But we cannot justify this wealth if, in accumulating it, we have left behind those who are most in need’, says Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, the Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC).

Bishop Long writes this in his foreword to the latest publication from the ACSJC, An Economy that Works for All by Joe Zabar, Senior Director, Strategic Operations and Economic Policy at Catholic Social Services Australia. Continue reading

World Mental Health Day Message from Bishop Terence Brady

Mental Health Week logoWorld Mental Health Day is observed annually today (October 10). This year, the Church has sought to celebrate this day as an opportunity to encourage a truly pastoral view that embraces our total community as the living Body of Christ.

To be authentic, this view must include every member of the community acknowledging their call, their gift and their presence. We cannot claim to be truly disciples of Jesus unless we are totally engaged in honouring His presence in each one and in building and nurturing this community to be a living witness of that presence. Clearly this is a revealed truth that is fundamental to our sense of our own real value. Just as clearly this truth should be so evident in our lived experience that others are drawn to know, understand and experience the Father’s love that Jesus reveals. Continue reading

Women deserve better: Doctors debate future of reproductive medicine at Melbourne conference National Fertility Conference 27-28 October

Press Release from the Australian Institute for Restorative Reproductive Medicine (AIRRM):

Untitled design (11)Renowned Chilean gynaecologist Professor Pilar Vigil and the University of Newcastle’s Laureate Professor John Aitken examine the future of reproductive medicine at the Australasian Institute of Restorative Reproductive Medicine’s National Fertility Conference on October 27 and 28.

A free public forum opens the conference wherein a frank discussion will take place around the ever increasing use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) as women delay pregnancy and seek quick solutions.

“We need to understand this headlong rush into ART is going to have a long-term impact on the
health and wellbeing of future generations,” Professor Aitken warns.

Restorative Reproductive Medicine (RRM) offers a re-focused approach to diagnosing the underlying causes of infertility. Unique to RRM is the goal to restore optimum health allowing conception to occur naturally. Continue reading

A vital pastoral work in a vast industry Apostleship of the Sea - Supporting Seafarers Worldwide

Untitled design (10)On the first day of the 24th World Congress of Catholic maritime charity, Apostleship of the Sea (AoS), the continuing value of its support for seafarers and fishermen was affirmed.

Pope Francis in his message to the Congress urged delegates to be the ‘Church that harbours the mystery of God that can attract people to him’.

Opening the Congress, the Vice President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), H.E. Chen Chien-jen said that the government of Taiwan appreciates the work of AoS, particularly that seafarers and fishermen are sometimes recruited from developing countries that do not have means to protect their rights.

In his opening address, Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development at the Vatican, noted that 38 million people were engaged in fisheries, 90% of whom were working in small scale fisheries, largely located in Asia and Africa. Continue reading

Seafarers the focus in strengthening a Christ-centred Mission

Untitled design (7)On 18 – 20 August 2017, representatives from the Anglican Church’s Mission to Seafarers (Australia and NZ) (MTS) and the Catholic Church’s Apostleship of the Sea (Australia and NZ) (AOS) held an inaugural combined meeting in Wellington, New Zealand.

Motivated by Matthew’s Gospel and following Christ’s example to “welcome the stranger”, these two organisations from different Christian denominations and different countries are considering how to forge new ways to better-serve the changing needs of seafarers in this region, collaboratively.

With many critical issues facing seafarers and their communities it is imperative that Mission to Seafarers and the Apostleship of the Sea do all they can to raise awareness; advocate and provide support to this often unseen group of international workers who provide 95% of the world’s trade through shipping.

By strengthening ecumenical relationships and trans-Tasman links, national representatives from the Mission to Seafarers and the Apostleship of the Sea desire to strive together in the interests of seafarers to provide an even stronger Christ-centred Mission in this region.

The August gathering also affirmed other important entities such as maritime agencies, unions, and port authorities who work closely with the MTS and AOS on both sides of the Tasman.

While continuing their long and proud traditions in this ministry, national representatives from Mission to Seafarers (Australia and NZ) and the Apostleship of the Sea (Australia and NZ) plan to further- develop these conversations.

Pictured above:
AOS and MTS Leadership in Wellington, NZ: Rev Lance Lukin, Sr Mary Leahy rsj, Rev Canon Garry Dodd, Fr Jeff Drane sm.   (Absent from photo Fr Roger Manalo cs)

 Enquiries to: pastoral.life@catholic.org.au

Brisbane to host PROCLAIM 2018

Untitled design (5)For the first time, the Brisbane Archdiocese will host the national Proclaim Conference. PROCLAIM 2018 will focus on inspiring, equipping and encouraging parishes and Catholic communities to engage in Evangelisation and Renewal. The theme of this year’s Conference is “Make your home in me.” (Jn 15:4)

PROCLAIM 2018 will run across three days from 12-14 July, 2018 at The Edmund Rice Performing Arts Centre (St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane).

PROCLAIM 2018 is organised and hosted by the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane, in partnership with the National Centre for Evangelisation on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

Following successful Proclaim conferences in 2012, 2014 and 2016, this important initiative of the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation is expected to engage parishes in an ongoing conversation focusing on Leadership, Culture Change, Young People, Belonging, Hospitality and Evangelisation. This conversation will draw together over 500 participants for keynote presentations, facilitated conversation sessions, peer learning, expert discussion panels and future visionary planning. Keynote speakers include Cardinal John Dew (NZ), and Ms Lana Turvey-Collins (Plenary Council 2020 Facilitator). More Keynote speakers to be announced.

Throughout the Conference, delegates will be offered the opportunity to develop their own Proclaim Action Plan which they are invited to implement on returning to their local parishes and communities around Australia.

2018 will be a significant year, not only has Pope Francis named it as the ‘Year for Youth’, but also because it is a key time in the lead up to the Plenary Council 2020.

“Proclaim 2018 will inspire Catholics to explore new ways of contemplating the face of Christ in community and so empower them to set out on the new paths of mission which the Holy Spirit is tracing for us at this crucial time” said Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge.

To register for updates please visit www.proclaimconference.com.au

Early bird registration will be open from October 20 via the conference website.

A PROCLAIM 2018 Sponsorship Proposal is available for interested organisations. Such sponsorship will provide excellent exposure amongst the Australian Catholic community. For all sponsorship related enquires please contact Michael King, National Centre for Evangelisation Phone: (02) 6201 9833 | Email: mking@catholicenquiry.com

For more information on PROCLAIM 2018, please contact Evangelisation Brisbane,
Phone: (07) 3324 3440 | Email: eb@bne.catholic.net.au