Call for Australia to ensure safety of those seeking asylum in our region Media Statement from Most Rev Terence Brady, Chairman, Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Bishop Terence Brady“Mr Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, yesterday made the statement that, ‘Australia’s policy of offshore processing in Papua New Guinea and Nauru…has caused extensive, avoidable suffering for far too long.’”

“Those remaining in offshore processing in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, attempting to come to Australia for safety and a better life, deserve better.”

“People seeking asylum are often vulnerable members of our global community. It is imperative that they are treated humanely with options for settlement in safe countries and where no one is sent to a country or place where they may face further persecution.”

“Australia, if it is to be committed to its international obligations, must work with countries in the region and non-government organisations to ensure the safety of those seeking asylum in our region.”

“Whilst it is important to prevent the loss of life at sea, it is equally important to provide adequate care for those in offshore detention. Australia needs to take responsibility for those in offshore detention and provide them adequate amenities, and provide quick resettlement options.”

“I urge the Australian Government, to assist in the quick resettlement of those in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, provide options for families to reunite, and to endorse programs that both protect lives at sea and in its care.”

For media enquiries, please contact Fr Maurizio Pettenà, National Director ACMRO, on info@acmro.catholic.org.au

 For the UNHCR media release, http://www.unhcr.org/en-au/news/press/2017/7/597217484/unhcr-chief-filippo-grandi-calls-australia-end-harmful-practice-offshore.html

 

Catholic news looks to the future with new ideas, fresh faces, informed support

200_CNCathnews, Australia’s leading faith-based website, has a new home and a new independent editorial board to lead it into the future, following recent changes to its operations.

The changes at Church Resources in September 2016 included the withdrawal from management of CathNews, and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s subsequent divestment of the Church Resources operation, heralded the changes for CathNews.

During a thorough consultation process, three options were considered, including ceasing publication; outsourcing to an external contractor; and finally, transferring operations to the ACBC Communications Office, with the latter option being accepted by the Bishops across Australia.

CathNews will now be managed in collaboration with a new external advisory board that has been established to provide oversight of the publication, under the governance of the ACBC’s Bishops Commission for Administration and Information.

The board members who will serve a term of three years are : Australian Catholic University’s Research Ethics Manager, Susanna Gorman; Archdiocese of Perth Communications Manager, Jamie O’Brien; Australian Catholic Media Council Chair, Debra Vermeer; Good Samaritan Sister, Patty Fawkner; and Financial Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn, Helen Delahunty. Continue reading

Parishes encouraged to celebrate the Feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop

Mary_McKillop_Med_Res-298x300_200The Council for Australian Catholic Women urges parishes and groups to celebrate the feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (1842–1909) on August 8 this year.

As a significant Australian woman, the Council would like to see the inspiration of Mary MacKillop alive.

The Chair of the Council for Australian Catholic Women, Mrs Lyn Horner said, “St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia’s first saint, lived her faith in very practical ways. She relied on God to provide what was needed while she reached out to neglected children, the elderly, the poor and women in need. She is remembered and loved for her contribution to Catholic education across Australia and New Zealand.

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop exhibited courage, trust, openness and deep faith through many trials. I hope that all Australian Catholics, especially women, will continue to be challenged and encouraged by Mary’s way of life.” Continue reading

Sourcing bread and wine for the Mass, bishops reminded of their duty

bigstock-Hands-Of-The-Pope-Celebrated-T-151787903_200The Bishops of Australia received a reminder this week, 8 July, from the Vatican about their responsibility to verify those who provide the bread and wine for the celebration of Mass.

The letter was issued to all bishops around the world from Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Cardinal Sarah wrote that until recent times, many religious communities took responsibility for “baking the bread and making the wine for the celebration of the Eucharist. Today, however, these materials are also sold in supermarkets and other stores and even over the internet”.

Eucharistic bread and wine

Eucharistic bread and wine

In order to remove any doubt about the “validity of the matter for the Eucharist”, the Dicastery suggested that the bishop should designate “a competent authority in actually guaranteeing the genuineness of the Eucharistic matter by producers as well as those responsible for its distribution and sale”.

It suggested that the bishops conference could mandate one or more religious congregations or another body capable of carrying out “the necessary checks on production, conservation and sale of the Eucharistic bread and wine in a given country and other countries to which they are exported”. Continue reading

Giving thanks to seafarers around world

Fr Roger Manalo

Fr Roger Manalo

As Catholic parishes throughout Australia prepare to celebrate Sea Sunday on 9 July 2017, it is timely to reflect on the vital work of the tens of thousands of seafarers who visit our ports each year – and the ministry of the Apostleship of the Sea which supports them. Lindy McNamara* reports.

Life at sea for crew members aboard a cargo ship or fishing vessel can be a lonely existence at times. Separated from family and friends for months at a time, often working in dangerous weather conditions, there is little wonder that feelings of isolation and depression are common.

However, the Apostleship of the Sea Catholic ministry (AOS) offers a ‘beacon of light’ to seafarers around the world by providing pastoral support for their ‘spiritual, social and material’ welfare. In Australia there are 15 AOS port chaplains / centre managers and more than 160 volunteers supporting the estimated 130,000 seafarers who transit the nation’s 25 ports each year through these centres. Continue reading

Parishes called to acknowledge the vital role of Seafarers “in the midst of the storm”

ACBC_Seafarer Banner 200 x 200 px v.2Parishes across Australia are called to support the work of Seafarers as part of the annual Sea Sunday Appeal on 9 July. Every dollar raised will help to provide pastoral support for seafaring men, women and their families through the works of Stella Maris centres across Australia.

Seafarers commonly face mental health challenges such as; depression, anxiety or thoughts of suicide given the nature of their work; long hours in highly pressured environments with quick turnarounds at port before heading back out to sea.

Working as crew on board a cruise ship or industrial container tanker can involve long journeys being away from home and unable to see family for weeks and months at a time. As a result, Seafarers often experience isolation, cultural barriers with fellow crew and fatigue.

The Bishops of Australia and Sea Chaplains recognise that loneliness and the mental health of Seafarers is a serious concern and a recurring theme amongst those working in the industry. Therefore the theme of this year’s Sea Sunday Appeal is ‘In the midst of the storm’ focusing on the importance of addressing mental health concerns and providing the necessary emotional, psychological and spiritual support to Seafarers who may well be experiencing ‘stormy times’ mentally.

In advance of Sea Sunday, Bishop Bosco Puthur, Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Seafarers highlighted the importance of supporting Seafarers who may be experiencing mental health challenges, ‘Our Sea Chaplains know that many Seafarers struggle with mental health conditions. In many cases, loneliness and isolation can be contributing factors to feelings of anxiety, depression or thoughts of suicide. It is important that our Sea Chaplains are resourced to support those working on board. The Sea Sunday Appeal helps us to provide some of the necessary support.’

Currently, ninety per cent of Australia’s trade involves shipping with more than one million Seafarers on the world’s oceans at any one time. While life at sea can be exciting, Seafarers can encounter poor and dangerous working conditions, mental health issues, family isolation and piracy with crews and ships being held hostage.

There are 25 ports operating across Australia supported by 15 Apostleship of the Sea Chaplains or centre managers. The Apostleship relies heavily on generous volunteers, of which there are approximately 160, who live out their faith by welcoming the stranger.

To make a donation supporting the Sea Sunday Appeal, simply transfer funds online to: Stella Maris Seafarers Centre, BSB: 083-347 and Account Number: 649518680 with the reference, ‘Sea Sunday Appeal’.

The Strength and Blessing of Indigenous Family Life is the focus for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday

ATSI_Sunday_2017 210 x 210 (1)Despite the devastating effects of colonisation, the dispossession of families in rural areas and the accompanying social dislocation, the strength and unity of Aboriginal families has survived, Bishop Eugene Hurley, Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, said at the release of the 2017 pastoral letter to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ASTI) Sunday.

‘All Australians can learn and benefit from the kinship model of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.’

The Bishop of Broome, Christopher Saunders, drafted the statement titled, “The Strength and Blessing of Indigenous Family Life” on behalf of the Commission to mark ATSI Sunday across the Church in Australia on 2 July 2017.

Continue reading

Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Michael Morrissey takes place in Geraldton

Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey, Bishop Michael Morrissey and Emeritus Bishop Justin Bianchini.

Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey, Bishop Michael Morrissey and Emeritus Bishop Justin Bianchini.

The Most Reverend Michael Morrissey was ordained the ninth Bishop of Geraldton on the eve of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Wednesday 28 June at Nagle Catholic College Gymnasium, Geraldton.

The Archbishop of Perth, the Most Reverend Timothy Costelloe SDB, was the Principal Ordaining Bishop. The Principal co-consecrating Bishops were Emeritus Archbishop of Perth and the seventh Bishop of Geraldton, the Most Reverend Barry Hickey and the Most Reverend, Justin Bianchini, Bishop Emeritus of Geraldton. The Apostolic Nuncio in Australia, His Excellency the Most Reverend Adolfo Tito Yllana read the Papal Bull in Latin followed by a translation in English.

Bishop-Elect Morrissey is the first Bishop of Geraldton who was born, raised, ordained and ministered in the Diocese and said his appointment recognises all the small communities scattered throughout the diocese. Continue reading

Bishops Announce Appointment of Plenary Council Executive Committee

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

The Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council today announced the names of those who have accepted appointment to the Plenary Council Executive Committee. Their appointment followed an extensive confidential process of consultation across the Australian Church to ensure diversity. Together they bring a variety of gifts, competencies and experience to the work of the Executive Committee.

The Committee will work closely with the Bishops Commission to ensure the successful preparation, celebration and implementation of the Plenary Council 2020. The Executive Committee membership with their home diocese is as follows:   Continue reading

30 Year’s on From Bob Hawke’s “No Child will live in Poverty” statement

Fr-Frank-BrennanFriday 23 June marked the 30th anniversary of Bob Hawke’s promise to ensure that “By 1990 no Australian child will live in poverty”.

Right now 731,300 children or 17.4% of all children in Australia are living in poverty, an increase of 2 percentage points over the past 10 years (from 2004-2014).

Last Thursday Fr Frank Brennan, CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia, joined other leaders in the social services sector, for a vigil on the lawns in front of Parliament House to remind our elected representatives that they can, and should do more, to rescue Australian children from the grip of poverty. Continue reading

‘With courage let us all combine’

Refugee Week
18-24 June 2017

By Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv
Bishop Delegate for Migrants and Refugees

bishop-LongRefugee Week 2017 (18-24 June 2017) is a time to celebrate Australia’s rich diversity and shed light on the success stories of migrants and refugees in our communities. Refugee Week coincides with World Refugee Day on 20 June 2017.

During Refugee Week Australians come together and celebrate the contribution migrants and refugees have made to our country. Australia has a rich multicultural heritage, adding to is diverse heritage. Australia’s success as a Nation is in part due to this rich diversity. Continue reading

Promoting stories of hope, the focus of SIGNIS World Congress

18953067_1379265945472397_4993027884420935572_n_200The highlight of any Congress is the sharing of stories and experiences by fellow communicators gathered from all corners of the globe, Gustavo Andujar, President of SIGNIS told delegates gathered at the opening plenary of the SIGNIS World Congress 2017 taking place in Quebec City from June 19 – 22.

The theme of the Congress is ‘Media for a Culture of Peace: Promoting Stories of Hope’. The first plenary ‘Communicating Hope’ highlighted how different organisations put the vision of promoting stories of hope into practice, particularly using communications and media in creative ways.

Gustavo Andujar, President of SIGNIS

Gustavo Andujar, President of SIGNIS

Prof David Mulroney, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Michael’s College, Toronto, spoke about his appointment to reignite the Catholic identity of the College. The University had become siloed and St Michael’s had lost its sense of community and vocation. “There was a sense of ambivalence, a disconnect with Catholic institutions and there was no hiring for ‘mission’.

“You can’t be a centre for catholic intellectuals if you don’t hire one occasionally.” Continue reading