Bishop-Elect Timothy Harris
The Holy Father has today appointed Fr Timothy Harris, a priest of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, as the sixth Bishop of Townsville.
Bishop-Elect Harris is currently the Parish Priest of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.
Speaking about his new appointment, Bishop-Elect Harris said, ‘I’m very conscious that the Diocese of Townsville has been without a bishop for three years. It has been on all of our minds. If the bishop is a sign of unity, which he is, I hope that I can strengthen the unity of the vast Diocese of Townsville and build on the work of Bishop Michael Putney and, since his death, on the efforts of Diocesan Administrator, Fr Mick Lowcock, the Parish Priest of Mount Isa. Continue reading
Bishop elect Gregory Homeming O.C.D.
Pope Francis has appointed Fr Gregory Homeming O.C.D as the sixth Bishop of Lismore and accepted the resignation of Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett today, 20 December.
Bishop Jarrett has served the Diocese of Lismore for the past 15 years.
Fr Homeming is currently the Regional Vicar of the Discalced Carmelite Friars in Sydney, Australia. Speaking about his appointment today, he said, ‘I am humbled by the news. I knew that I had to say yes after the past 31 years as a Friar. There is a lot that I have to learn. I hope that the people and the priests of the Diocese of Lismore will teach me how to be their bishop.
I have travelled to the Diocese of Lismore many times as Superior of the Discalced Carmelites visiting the Carmelite nuns at Goonellabah, New South Wales’.
Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, congratulated Fr Homeming following the announcement. ‘I join the bishops of Australia in rejoicing at the appointment of Fr Homeming as Bishop of Lismore. He brings wide experience as a retreat-giver, spiritual director and leader. His gifts will be a great enrichment to the Church in Australia.’ Continue reading
Archbishop Prowse, Elder Tony and Archbishop Yllana.
HOMILY at St Christopher’s Cathedral, Canberra on the First Sunday of Advent and the 30th Anniversary of St John Paul II’s Speech at Alice Springs.
We have now entered into a new Liturgical Year focussing on the Gospel of Matthew. We begin today our Advent Season.
The Gospel calls us to STAY AWAKE in anticipation for the Lord’s coming. We are to be ‘READY,’…for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour’. It is a time of hope.
Not only is Jesus to come unexpectedly in time, but he comes unexpectedly in appearance. Who would have expected the Almighty Son of God to come unexpectedly as a fragile child in a Bethlehem stable, at an unexpected time of Roman Imperialism in the chaotic religious culture of Judea.
Also today, we welcome Pope Francis’ representative in Australia, our Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency, Archbishop Yllana, as our Principal Celebrant. He is with us because it is a special day for all Australians. We look back to the Pastoral Visit 30 years ago of St John Paul II to Australia. In this 1986 visit, the Pope visited all States of Australia. It was however, his monumental speech in Alice Springs (29th November 1986) that we recall today. Continue reading
Archbishop Denis Hart
The Australian Catholic Bishops congratulate the Most Rev Denis J Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Melbourne, on his appointment by Pope Francis as a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
This appointment acknowledges Archbishop Hart’s contribution to the liturgical life of the Catholic Church in Australia and internationally.
Vatican Congregations are the senior bodies of the Roman Curia, each entrusted by the Holy Father with a particular area of responsibility.
The Holy See announced the nomination by Pope Francis of ten Cardinals, seven Archbishops and ten Bishops as members of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on Friday 28 October 2016.
Archbishop Hart expressed gratitude for the trust implied in this appointment while expressing readiness to assist the work of the Church in whatever way possible. Continue reading
Bishop Michael Kennedy with Aussie pilgrims during World Youth Day, 2016.
“No family drops down from heaven perfectly formed.” (325) This, I believe, was one of Pope Francis’ key messages in his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love. It’s also one of the reasons the Catholic Bishops of Australia are calling all the faithful to a month of prayer and fasting for marriage and families during the month of October, and why many other Christians are joining in this effort too. Happy families require effort; happy families need prayer.
You see the Pope and the whole Church continue to present the beauty and perfection of God’s plan for marriage and family as a community of life and love that reflects the very life and love of God himself in the Blessed Trinity. But we also know that the everyday lives of families can be rather messy affairs. You don’t need me, or anybody for that matter, to name all the things that can make our family life bumpy and difficult. Each of us just has to think of our own family situation! Continue reading
Fr Bedi Asmon SVD using music for mission at Brazil’s Evangeliza Feira.
Fr Bernadinus (Bedi) Asmon SVD, a young missionary from Indonesia, who undertook his formation in Australia, is now living and ministering in Brazil where he has discovered that music is the common language with the people he serves.
Fr Bedi, who spent five years studying in Australia, before his final vows and ordination in 2014, has been in Brazil since March 2015.
In that time, he has lived in a few different communities, including some very poor regions, and he is now busy learning Portuguese and working in a parish in the city of Feira de Santana, the second biggest city in the state of Bahia.
“The death rate here due to violence is very high, around 5-8 people per week, and many of the victims are young people,” he says. Continue reading
One of the greatest crises of our day is the plight of people forced from their own countries by war, persecution or poverty and forced to live without a home, without safety and often separated from their families, Archbishop Denis Hart, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said today (13 October 2016).
Pope Francis has called on Catholics to welcome such vulnerable people as our brothers and sisters. In Australia, we do not have to directly meet the responsibilities that many other nations bear. But we do bear the shame of the expulsion and harsh treatment of the people who sought our protection only to be detained on Nauru and Manus Island.
International agencies have been appalled by the conditions under which they live and the effects on their health, spirits and self-respect. Pope Francis, to whom people detained on Manus Island have written, has also expressed his deep concern. The human costs on the detainees are mounting by the day.
The Australian Catholic Bishops also deplore the detention of our brothers and sisters on Nauru and Manus Island. While recognising the effort of the Government to find a solution, we say that enough is enough. We call on the Government to bring offshore detainees to Australia while awaiting further decisions on their future. Continue reading
On Tuesday 20 September next, Pope Francis has called for the observance of a ‘Day of Prayer for Peace’. The day of prayer coincides with the Holy Father’s visit to Assisi, Italy on 20 September. The day will centre around the theme, ‘Thirst for peace: faiths and cultures in dialogue’.
Representatives from different religions will meet the Holy Father upon arrival in Assisi including, His Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople; a Muslim representative; His Grace Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Centerbury; the Syro-Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch; a Jewish representative; and the supreme Head of the Tendai (Buddhists), Japan.
The representatives will join Pope Francis for lunch with a number of victims of war.
The moment of prayer for peace will take place at 4 p.m (Rome time) in the lower Basilica of St. Francis’ Church. There will be an ecumenical prayer for Christians in the presence of representatives from other religions. All of the participants will gather at St. Francis’ Square for a closing ceremony. Continue reading
Bishop Gerard Hanna
The Holy Father Pope Francis has today, 12 September 2016, accepted the resignation of Bishop Gerard Hanna as the fifth Bishop of Wagga Wagga due to health reasons.
Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn, has been appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga.
On 9 December 1968, Bishop Hanna was ordained a Priest of the Diocese of Armidale. He was appointed Bishop of Wagga Wagga on 5 February 2002 at the age of 60.
Bishop Hanna will turn 75 years old on 22 December this year.
Speaking about his retirement, Bishop Hanna said, ‘It has been a special time ministering to the people of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga. Due to continuous ill health, it is no longer possible for me to continue my ministry across the diocese. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the families, parishes and communities across the diocese for their support, engagement and welcome throughout my time as Bishop of Wagga’. Continue reading
As more and more Australians are living longer, we should celebrate the great ‘success story’ of our ageing population and, as a fair and compassionate nation, foster solidarity among all generations, Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council said today.
‘Australia must protect older people who are most vulnerable to hardship and who are at risk of feeling they are a burden on society.’
Bishop Tarabay was speaking at the launch of the Australian Catholic Bishops 2016-2017 Social Justice Statement, entitled ‘A Place at the Table: Social justice in an ageing society’.
The Statement highlights the significant contribution that older people continue to make to the life of the community. The number of Australians aged 65 and over will more than double from 3.6 million today to 8.9 million by the middle of the century. Around 75 per cent of men and 85 per cent of women are reaching retirement in good health and with around 20 years of life ahead of them. Continue reading
The new evangeliser needs four qualities for successful parish renewal: courage, confidence, a sense of urgency and joy, keynote speaker Cardinal Donald Wuerl told Proclaim 2016 delegates during his opening address on 1 September in Sydney.
‘Many young people today have these qualities,’ the Archbishop of Washington said.
‘Courage could also be described as boldness. We only have to think of Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth in order to understand the sense of urgency in our task, she set off at pace. We are not passive bystanders.’
Speaking about Pope Francis, parish renewal and evangelisation, the Cardinal said, ‘others have gone before us but the responsibility of parish renewal falls to us. It’s our turn now. Continue reading
Pope Francis’ message for today’s World Day of Prayer for the care of creation
United with our Orthodox brothers and sisters, and with the support of other Churches and Christian communities, the Catholic Church today marks the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation”.
This Day offers “individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.” 1
It is most encouraging that concern for the future of our planet is shared by the Churches and Christian communities, together with other religions. Indeed, in past decades numerous efforts have been made by religious leaders and organisations to call public attention to the dangers of an irresponsible exploitation of our planet.
Here I would mention Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople who, like his predecessor Patriarch Dimitrios, has long spoken out against the sin of harming creation and has drawn attention to the moral and spiritual crisis at the root of environmental problems. Continue reading