Category Archives: ACBC agency news

Church needs to engage marginalised young Australians

Ashleigh Green

Ashleigh Green

From 5th to 9th April, I had the great honour of being the Australian Youth Delegate at the conference, ‘From Krakow to Panama: The Synod Journeying with Young People,’ held in Rome.

Organised by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, the conference was attended by 270 delegates from 103 countries. Significantly, over half of the delegates were young people.

When we arrived at the conference venue on Tuesday afternoon, few of us knew what to expect. Some had travelled 30 hours to be there, others just one hour, but we had one thing in common – we had big dreams for the Church and we craved the opportunity to be heard. 

Two days were devoted to discussions about the upcoming Synod of Bishops on ‘Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment.’ I delivered a presentation on my hopes for the Synod and the Year of Youth, with my focus being the need to engage our most marginalised young Australians.

As a social worker, I work with young people in Out of Home Care and families in crisis. I urged that we create new and welcoming spaces in the Church that meet our young, disadvantaged Australians where they are at.  Continue reading

New mentoring program for Australian Catholic women set to launch

Christine Pace

Christine Pace

A new mentoring program, aimed at helping to build the skills and faith of Australian Catholic women so they can have a positive impact in both the Church and wider society, is set to be launched in May.

The Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring Program is the initiative of Christine Pace and other members of the Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship for 2015/16.

It will be launched on Saturday, May 20 during the group’s final residential gathering at Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney. Senator Deborah O’Neill will be guest speaker.

Christine says the idea for the mentoring program sprang, in part, from the conversations at the last Catholic Women’s Colloquium.

“At the Colloquium, a lot of women were talking about the need for women to get together and support themselves and organise themselves to have an impact in the Church,” she says.

“And as I thought about that, I thought the answer to that is a mentoring program, which would provide a structured way for women to get together in faith and grow in confidence and skills in whatever area they are in.” Continue reading

Cosmos named ACBC Official Tour Operator for World Youth Day, Panama 2019

28164636443_5d1773f074_o_200Cosmos will be the official tour operator to coordinate the Australian pilgrimage to World Youth Day (WYD) 2019 in Panama, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, the Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Youth announced today.

After facilitating a rigorous process of informing, identifying and selecting a company to support the Australian pilgrimage, the Australian Bishops selected Cosmos as the company that will manage up to 30 groups and over 1,000 pilgrims.

Cosmos managed the successful Australian pilgrimages to WYD 2016 in Krakow, as the ACBC Tour Operator. Cosmos is continuing to build on its extensive experience in offering affordable tours across the globe, which includes a range of pilgrimage experiences. Cosmos caters for over 40,000 clients each year and is part of the Globus Family of Brands, one of the world’s largest touring companies.

Archbishop Anthony said, “I am happy to announce the appointment of Cosmos as our tour operator for WYD 2019 in Panama as it provides young people and the Church in Australia a great opportunity to encounter the Catholic Church in Central America and to encounter Pope Francis through the WYD experience. Continue reading

Church calls Australian youth to showcase their talents ahead of major youth festival

acyf17-logo_200Young people across Australia are invited to showcase their musical, artistic and film making talents ahead of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) later this year.

For all singers and songwriters out there, the Festival is seeking entries for the official theme song of ACYF. Do you have what it takes or do you know someone who could compose the lyrics for the official song to be professionally recorded and sung by more than 15,000 young people this December?

This exciting opportunity is open to all ages, however the song must appeal to young people by engaging them in a way that touches their hearts and minds. The song must reflect the joyful and exciting atmosphere of the Festival. As an agent of evangelisation, the song should draw young people to Jesus and the Church. Entries close on 26 May 2017.

The Australian Catholic Youth Festival is also seeking entries to a short film competition and an art competition that will be curated into an exhibition at the Festival to be held at Sydney Olympic Park from 7 to 9 December 2017. Continue reading

How should we care for migrants and refugees?

Cardinal Peter Turkson

Cardinal Peter Turkson

The care of migrants and refugees coming to Australia is one of the most divisive issues in Australian public debate.

Pastoral care of migrants and refugees will be top of the agenda for the Church in Australia later this year as Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana and Cardinal Orlando Quevedo from the Philippines arrive in Melbourne to give keynote speeches at a national conference on the issue.

The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office, an agency of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, will host this timely conference at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne Campus, on July 19 and 20.

Cardinal Turkson will deliver a keynote address focusing on his role as Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development within the Roman Curia. The Dicastery is in effect a department to promote the care of vulnerable and marginalised people. The Ghanaian Cardinal will also reflect on his work with Pope Francis. Continue reading

Youth leaders fly to Rome to plan Synod 2018 and World Youth Day 2019

Ashleigh Green

Ashleigh Green

Australian Catholic youth leaders will fly to Rome next month to help plan two major events for young people.

Ashleigh Green, a young woman from the Broken Bay Diocese and Malcolm Hart, Director of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Office for Youth, will head to Rome in the first week of April, to participate at an international meeting about World Youth Day (WYD) and the upcoming Synod on young people.

The five-day gathering will focus on the theme, From Krakow to Panama – The Synod Journeying with Young People. It will include an evaluation of WYD in Krakow during 2016 and will look ahead to WYD in Panama during 2019. Time will be spent on the pastoral and logistical preparations required. Members of both the Polish and Panamanian organising committees will be present.

Ashleigh Green was part of the Diocese of Broken Bay’s WYD pilgrimage to Krakow. Continue reading

A Month of Sundays named Australian Film of the Year

Anthony LaPaglia

Anthony LaPaglia (Image Credit, Brisbane Times)

The jury of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting has awarded its annual prize to Matthew Saville’s A MONTH OF SUNDAYS, released April 28, 2016.

This beautiful, gentle Australian film is about a lonely man, Frank, trying to find a fresh purpose in life. One day, he receives a phone call from an elderly widow, Sarah, who carries on a conversation with him as if she is his mother. Sarah’s wrong number leads to a friendship that gives meaning and purpose to Frank’s life in unexpected ways.

The film is a tender, dramatic character study of a man who reaches out to form an attachment to a woman, who becomes the means for his discovering the humanity he thought he had lost. Continue reading

One Year to Go to Australia’s Biggest Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney

acyf17-logo_200One year from today, thousands of young people will gather for the final Mass of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival to be held in Sydney from 7 to 9 December 2017.

The three-day Festival is a youthful and energetic celebration hosted by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in partnership with the Archdiocese of Sydney. The surrounding dioceses and Catholic agencies are generously supporting this whole of Church celebration.

The event will be held at Sydney Olympic Park and at other key locations in the city. It is expected to attract 15,000 young people who will celebrate their faith together while also acknowledging ten years since Sydney hosted World Youth Day in 2008. Continue reading

Church Welcomes Government’s Refugee Resettlement Deal with United States

bigstock-american-immigration-110906003_200“The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) welcomes the announcement by Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and Minister for Immigration, Peter Dutton that the Government will offer those on Manus Island and Nauru a one-off deal to resettle in the United States of America.”

“The ACMRO is grateful to the USA for accepting to resettle asylum seekers and opening its doors and welcoming those who have been awaiting settlement after many years of detention.”

“The ACMRO, however, is disappointed that Australia did not take the step of settling at least some of those on Manus Island or Nauru in Australia, showing other nations that we are accepting our fair share of the current refugee crisis. Continue reading

Media Statement from Bishop Vincent Long ofm conv

bigstock-hundreds-of-immigrants-are-in-102784622_200“The announcement by Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and Minister for Immigration, Peter Dutton that the Government will introduce proposed legislation banning those who have arrived to Australia by boat from 19 July 2013 onwards from ever being able to apply for a visa to Australia is deeply disappointing.”

“Seeking asylum even by boat is not illegal. It is a basic human right. Yet not content with demeaning them, the Australian government now want to introduce laws that will ban them from ever coming here.” Continue reading

Bishop Brady Celebrates Mass for Holy Father’s Jubilee for Prisoners

yearofmercy200x200Celebrating the Jubilee for Prisoners on Sunday 6 November, Bishop Terry Brady, the Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Prisoners, preached the homily below during Sunday evening Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. 

Pope Francis has set aside this 32nd Sunday in the Church’s year; throughout the World as a special day of recognition for Prisoners and their families.

This jubilee day for Prisoners occurs within another special period in the Catholic Church – the Holy Year of Mercy; a time of grace, prayer, forgiveness and compassion. Both these jubilees are to remind us that God’s love is unconditional.

Many people have spent time in jail, including saints and even Jesus himself. The Holy Father’s message is for everyone, regardless of their circumstances, because we all possess human dignity.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Social Justice Statement 2011-2012 “Building Bridges, Not Walls”, raised similar concerns as Pope Francis. Both urged us all to think about the conditions in our prisons, and to ask who are most likely to find themselves there. Continue reading

Prison Chaplains across Australia deliver ‘A Message for Prisoners’ during the Year of Mercy

Prison Chaplains across Australia are delivering a special ‘Message for Prisoners’ from the Catholic Church about love and hope from the Australian Catholic Prisoners Pastoral Care Council.

This message marks the Jubilee for Prisoners chosen by Pope Francis to be celebrated during the Year of Mercy on 6 November 2016.

In his message written for prisoners, Bishop Delegate for the Australian Catholic Prisoners Pastoral Care Council, the Most Reverend Terry Brady said, ‘Pope Francis shows us the importance of accompanying one another in the ups and downs of life. We all stumble; make mistakes; fail others and ourselves. But we are all capable of loving and of experiencing hope’.

Bishop Brady said this special day for prisoners, occurring during the Year of Mercy, invites each one of us to follow the merciful example of God, ‘to forgive and love rather than judge and condemn’.

‘Many people have spent time in jail – including saints and even Jesus himself. His message is meant for everyone, regardless of the circumstances because we all possess human dignity.’ Continue reading