Christmas comes early for seafarers in Sydney

Roslyn Rajasingam, national director of the Apostleship of the Sea

Seafarers on three ships docked at Port Botany received some early Christmas cheer as part of a planned visit from the Apostleship of the Sea ministry.

Roslyn Rajasingam, Apostleship of the Sea Australia’s national director, visited the ships along with Barry Cleary, a retired ship engineer and a volunteer ship visitor for AoS for the past five years in the Archdiocese of Sydney. Continue reading

Church rallies to support those affected by Queensland fires

Bishop Michael McCarthy

Queensland’s devastating bushfires have seen Catholic communities throughout the Rockhampton Diocese scramble to assist one another during the ongoing emergency.

Rockhampton Bishop Michael McCarthy yesterday praised the heroic acts of fire and emergency service workers and volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to save lives and property. Continue reading

Bishops, young people celebrate fruits of Year of Youth

Adeline Bock tells bishops how the Year of Youth can be a catalyst for change for the Church in Australia

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference welcomed a group of young Catholics from across the country to Sydney last week as the Church in Australia marked the end of the Year of Youth.

Opened at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival last December, the Year of Youth concluded on Saturday, the final day of the Church’s liturgical year. Continue reading

Cathedrals go red for religious freedom

St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne on Red Wednesday

Two of Australia’s major cathedrals were splashed with the colour of martyrs on Wednesday night as a sign of solidarity with those who suffer religious persecution around the world.

Joining other faiths and landmark public and government buildings worldwide, St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne and St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney were floodlit red. Continue reading

Bishops recognise priest’s 50 years as bridge between faith and film

Fr Peter Malone MSC

The Australian Catholic bishops yesterday recognised a Melbourne priest’s 50-year dedication to reviewing films for the Church that began with the iconic film To Sir with Love.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Fr Richard Leonard SJ, the director of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting (ACOFB), honoured Fr Peter Malone MSC at the bishops’ plenary meeting, in the presence of other Catholic film reviewers. Continue reading

Religious freedom report reveals erosion of rights

Venice is one of many cities around the world that will mark Red Wednesday (Rome Reports).

More than 61 per cent of the world’s population live in countries where religious freedom is not respected, according to a worldwide report released last night.

The biennial Religious Freedom in the World report was published by the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need International. Simultaneous launches took place in many locations, including London, Paris, Santiago, Manila and New York. Continue reading

Catholics must help stem scourge of domestic violence

Dr Patricia Madigan OP

Australian Catholic leaders are backing Pope Francis’ firm condemnation of domestic violence and encouraging Catholics to help eradicate violence against women – which has claimed dozens of lives this year.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women will be marked on Sunday, November 25, and the Catholic Church is joining other parts of the community to highlight the need for action. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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