Category Archives: Press Releases

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

Australian Catholic Bishops Congratulate Archbishop Denis Hart on his Vatican Appointment

Archbishop Denis Hart

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

It Is Time To Bring Them Here

bigstock-refugees-103545785_200 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

Migrants and Refugees challenge us to enact a culture of encounter, welcome and acceptance, says Bishop Long

ACBC_OpIn this Year of Mercy, with many newly arrived migrants and refugees in Australia, we must enact a culture of encounter, welcome and acceptance in practical, personal and communal ways, says Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv.

Speaking ahead of Migrant and Refugee Sunday on 28 August 2016, the Bishops Delegate for Migrants and Refugees drew attention to the example set by Pope Francis on his way back to the Vatican from the Greek Island of Lesbos in April this year, ‘he brought with him 12 Syrian refugees, all of whom are Muslim and had their homes destroyed by war’.

‘This is the international context for this year’s Migrant and Refugee Sunday, which will be celebrated on 28 August in Australia. Although we are far removed from the crisis, we are challenged to open our hearts to the sufferings of others.

‘Compassion – which literally means to suffer with – is the hallmark of Christianity. In keeping with the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Holy Father has chosen as its theme: Migrants and Refugees challenge us: The Response of the Gospel of Mercy.’ Continue reading

World Youth Day is a catalyst for renewal in youth ministry, Australian bishops say

Pilgrims at the Australian Gathering in Tauron Arena, Krakow.

Pilgrims at the Australian Gathering in Tauron Arena, Krakow.

World Youth Day in Sydney changed the landscape of youth ministry nationally, the Australian bishops said today during a national gathering of Australian pilgrims currently participating at World Youth Day (WYD) events in Krakow, Poland.

Today, the Australian Bishops joined more than 3,000 young people at a national Australian gathering during WYD Krakow that included a launch of the ‘Year of Youth’, building on the legacy of World Youth Day 2008 (WYD08).

The Year of Youth will celebrate the tenth anniversary of World Youth Day, Sydney and highlight how the Australian Church continues to tell the story of WYD08 in its local ministry.

Bishop Mark Edwards, Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Youth and an MC at the national gathering said, ‘The years of preparation leading up to World Youth Day 2008 (WYD08) and its events have changed the landscape of youth ministry leaving a lasting impression on the Church. Local youth ministries have grown and diversified. The number of youth ministers has increased along with diocesan support structures. Continue reading

Follow the Australian Journey to World Youth Day with Live Web cast on Xt3.com

XT3_WYD16WebcastAd_JPG_BlogMany friends, family and parishioners will have the opportunity to follow Australia’s journey to the city of mercy as 2,500 World Youth Day pilgrims travelling to Poland with the live web cast of events from Krakow through the digital platform Xt3.com.

From 26-31 July, main events from Krakow will be broadcast live at: www.xt3.com/live.

Xt3, meaning Christ in the Third Millennium, is a website and digital resource that began in 2008 during World Youth Day, Sydney, as a way to connect pilgrims. It has since developed into a hub of Catholic online resources.

Hosted by the Archdiocese of Sydney, Xt3 is a digital resource where Catholic events can be viewed live from the comfort of your own home, such as the meeting of Pope Francis with the youth of the world in Krakow during World Youth Day this month.

Given the international time difference, the World Youth Day events will be available to watch at any time after the live web cast has been broadcast.

A unique feature of the Xt3 live web cast is the ability for viewers to comment online and join in solidarity with those present and others watching from around the world. Social media posts using the hash tag #AussiePilgrims will be published on screen during the live web cast. Continue reading

Parishes called to acknowledge the vital role of Seafarers in the Year of Mercy

On Sea Sunday 10 July, Catholic parishes throughout Australia will acknowledge the vital role of over 130,000 Seafarers who transit through Australia’s 25 ports while working at sea and the associated, dedicated port chaplains and volunteers. The parish support will be generated through a collection based on the annual, national Sea Sunday appeal.

Last year approximately 20,000 vessels visited Australia. Many of these received support from 15 Apostleship of the Sea Port Chaplains and over 164 Apostleship of the Sea volunteers. In the past twelve months, support was provided to 276 Seafarers who were hospitalised in Australia as a result of a medical emergency or an injury from a vessel at sea. These seafarers are isolated when admitted to hospital and remote from family. The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) reconnects these sick or injured seafarers with family and continues to support them until discharged, ensuring personal needs are met where possible. Continue reading

Two new Auxiliary Bishops appointed to the Archdiocese of Sydney

Bishop-Elect Anthony Randazzo

Bishop-Elect Anthony Randazzo

His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed as Auxiliary Bishops of Sydney, the Reverend Monsignor Anthony Randazzo of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, and the Reverend Father Richard James Umbers of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei.

Mons Randazzo has also been appointed Titular Bishop of Quiza and Fr Umbers, Titular Bishop of Thala.

President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, welcomed the announcement by the Holy Father today.

‘I warmly welcome Monsignor Anthony Randazzo and Father Richard Umbers appointed as Auxiliary Bishops of Sydney. Both pastors bring a diversity of talents; they are generous and hard working, real men of the Church. Their gifts will be a further enrichment to the Archdiocese and to the Australian bishops. May they serve for many years.’

Upon receiving his new appointment, Bishop-Elect Randazzo said, ‘I find it a great privilege and joy to be called by the Holy Father to this role in the Archdiocese of Sydney. I am looking forward to meeting the people, the priests and religious across the Archdiocese, they are valiant people who have a marvellous faith. I look forward to evangelising with them and taking the Church into the modern world’. Continue reading

PROCLAIM 2016 Get in Quick for Early Bird Prices!

2016 Proclaim eNewsbuttonEarly Bird Registrations for the exciting national PROCLAIM 2016 Conference on the new evangelisation will be closing Monday 27 June.

Registrations are coming in fast, with groups booked from dioceses across NSW, QLD and Victoria.

“We are delighted to see such an enthusiastic take-up,” said Conference Co-ordinator, Natalie Moutia.

“The strong response is a sign that people are looking for ways to really engage their communities in evangelisation. We believe the range of exceptional international speakers and variety of practical workshops will deliver wonderful opportunities for all involved.” Continue reading

Minister and the Opposition Leader address Catholic Educators

Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham.

Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham.

The joint hosts of the National Catholic Education Commission 2016 Conference have said the presence of Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at the gathering of 1,400 Catholic educators shows the value the politicians place on the role of Catholic schools in Australian society.

“With just 12 days until the federal election, Minister Birmingham and Mr Shorten have prioritised this event to explain their parties’ vision for Australian education and the important role that the 1,731 Catholic schools across Australia play in that educational enterprise,” NCEC executive director Ross Fox said.

Tim McDonald, executive director of Catholic Education Western Australia, said the visit “strengthens the already close bond that the 163 Catholic schools in Western Australia have with local and national political leaders in supporting the education of 78,000 students in all parts of the state”. Continue reading

National count of Mass attendance commences this month

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Parishioners attending Mass

The national count of Mass attendance across Australia will commence at the end of this month, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Pastoral Research Office announced today.

The first weekend in May, Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May 2016, will see the commencement of the national count of attendance. The count was first held in 2001. This will be the fourth time that the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has conducted the count at a national level.

The Count consists of a simple headcount of all attenders of all ages in all parishes and other Mass centres throughout Australia over the first four weekends in May. The count will only be conducted at the Sunday mass or the Saturday evening equivalent. Continue reading

Spotlight Film review

A still from the Spotlight trailer

A still from the movie trailer

Spotlight. Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachael McAdams, Liev Schreiber and John Slattery. Directed by Tom McCarthy. 129 minutes. Rated M (adult and sexual themes, coarse language).

This is one of the angriest films you will ever see.

In the Bible we hear about righteous anger, where God or humanity realises something is so wrong and sinful that ‘holy anger’ is the first and right response. At its best in the scriptures this anger leads to justice, making things right.

Spotlight is an occasion for holy, righteous anger and every adult Catholic should see it. Not because it is easy watching, but because it is necessary watching. The time to look away has gone. Continue reading