Category Archives: Press Releases

MEDIA STATEMENT: Catholic Bishops, Religious Leaders respond to Royal Commission final report

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has today released its final report, which includes a large number of recommendations, many of which will have a significant impact on the way the Catholic Church operates in Australia.

President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, said the release of the final report is the culmination of almost five years of intense examination of the way in which many different institutions, including the Catholic Church, have historically failed children. Continue reading

New Apostleship of the Sea director breaks new ground

The Catholic Church’s ministry to seafarers who visit Australian shores has a new national director, with Roslyn Rajasingam this week beginning as the first lay woman to hold the role.

Mrs Rajasingam, who has worked in Catholic and other faith-based agencies in Australia and overseas for most of the past 25 years, said the Church’s work through the Apostleship of the Sea is invaluable to those who work on the water. Continue reading

New Vatican publication highlights Indigenous art, culture

When people think of the Vatican Museums, minds turn to Michelangelo and Raphael. But a new book celebrates the prominent place of Indigenous Australian art and culture on display at the much-visited attraction.

Australia – The Vatican Museums Indigenous Collection, which features some of the earliest known documentations of Australian Indigenous cultures, was officially launched in Canberra last week. The publication was a joint project of Aboriginal Studies Press and the Vatican Museums. Continue reading

Pope Francis names Fr Brian Mascord fifth Bishop of Wollongong

The Holy Father has today appointed Fr Brian Mascord, currently the Vicar General of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, the fifth Bishop of Wollongong.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Denis Hart said Bishop-Elect Mascord brings a wealth of experience in parish ministry, education, chaplaincy and governance. Continue reading

New report confirms the vastness of the Catholic workforce Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations

Our Work Matters bookletsAlmost 220,000 people work in Catholic organisations across the country, a new report has found, confirming the Catholic Church’s place as one of the largest employers in Australia.

Bunbury Bishop Gerard Holohan, Bishops’ Delegate for Employment Relations, said those working in Catholic ministries – small and large – are carrying on the work of Jesus.

“The Catholic Church in Australia today continues the mission of Christ to humanity. This includes its organisations which minister to the poor and the sick; to the elderly and those struggling to find work; to Indigenous people and the homeless,” he said. Continue reading

Youth Festival’s official song boasts of a Joyful Generation Office for Youth

With just two weeks until the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, the Australian Catholic Bishops Office for Youth has launched the official song for the festival.

The lively anthem that will have the festival participants jumping with joy is called Joyful Generation. Continue reading

Any change to marriage law must include protections for religious freedom

Archbishop Denis Hart

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

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

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’.

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