Category Archives: Press Releases

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Names National WYD 2013 Pilgrimage Tour Provider

Media Release
8 February, 2012

In preparation for Australia’s pilgrimage to World Youth Day (WYD) in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has named Harvest Pilgrimages as their official Tour Operator for the Conference’s National Pilgrimage of Australian groups attending this universal event.

“I am happy to see Harvest Pilgrimages partner with us again for WYD Rio de Janeiro” said Bishop Christopher Prowse, Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life (BCPL) Delegate for Youth. Continue reading

Reduce the funding gap for Catholic Schools

Media Release, 2 February, 2012

The school funding data in this week’s ROGS Report (Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services 2012, pages 4.33 and 4.34) provides a very interesting statistic.

• Government funding for government schools has increased each year in the period 2005-06 to 2009-10 by an average of 2.7%.

• Government funding for non-government schools has increased over the same period by an annual average of just 0.7%.

NCEC calls on the Commonwealth Government to reduce the operating resources gap in Catholic schools. Continue reading

Bishop Les Tomlinson appointed Bishop of Sandhurst

Media Release, 3 February, Archdiocese of Melbourne

Photo from the Bendigo Advertiser

Pope Benedict XVI announced in Rome today the appointment of Bishop Les Tomlinson D.D., as Bishop of Sandhurst. Bishop Tomlinson is presently the Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. He will take up his position as Bishop of Sandhurst on 1 March 2012.

The Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst includes central Victoria and the Goulburn Valley and north-eastern Victoria to the Murray River in the north.
Bishop Tomlinson said he was humbled by the confidence that the Pope has shown in him and that he was delighted to accept the appointment. Bishop Tomlinson was born and raised in Mildura and is no stranger to country life. Continue reading

Bishops’ Australia Day call for time limit on detention

Media Release
24 January, 2012

To mark Australia Day, the Catholic Bishops Commission for Justice, Ecology and Development calls upon political parties to work towards a common approach to asylum seekers, so that human beings do not become pawns in a political argument. Further, and more immediately, to honour the Australian sense of justice and compassion, there must be a defined limit to incarceration in detention centres for people who are not criminals. The Bishops are calling on the Government to limit detention to three months.

Four of the Bishops who signed this statement minister directly to asylum seekers in immigration detention centres located in their dioceses. Bishop Julian Porteous, Auxiliary Bishop in Sydney, supported the opinions of the other Bishops who have direct involvement in the pastoral care of asylum seekers in detention. “Prolonged and indefinite detention in these facilities can only produce psychological damage”, he said. Continue reading

Catholic schools: making good use of government and family funds

Media Release
10 January, 2012

The National Catholic Education Commission commented today on reports in the Australian Newspaper and on the ABC regarding government funding for Catholic schools, suggesting that there has been a misrepresentation in the media of how much funding schools receive per student.

Mrs Therese Temby, Chair of the National Catholic Education Commission, said that the reporting is quite misleading, as it suggests that Catholic schools receive a higher level of funding than Government schools. Continue reading

Oranges and Sunshine is named Australian Film of the Year by the Catholic Film Office for 2011.

Noting the quality of many of the Australian films produced this year, the jury of the Australian Catholic Film Office (ACFO) has awarded its 2011 Film of the Year to Jim Loach’s Oranges and Sunshine.

This film tells the story of a Nottingham social worker, Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson), who almost singlehandedly confronted the UK Government on its relocation scheme that forcibly moved more than 130,000 children from the UK to other countries between the 1940s and the 1970s. More than 7,000 so-called “degenerate” and “unfit” children, who were in the protection of the UK social services, were shipped to Australia.
Continue reading

One year on, much-loved Bishop’s legacy still being felt

Media Release
28 December, 2011

Exactly one year after the sudden death of Sandhurst Catholic Bishop Joseph Angelo Grech, the legacy of the much-loved pastor is still being felt by the Catholic community around Australia.

On 28 December, 2010, Bishop Joe passed away at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne at the age of 62, after complications arose from an existing blood disorder.

The Bishop had just a couple of weeks earlier spoken out on the tragedy of a boat of asylum seekers who had drowned just short of safety on Christmas Island, calling upon all people of good will to reflect deeply on the nation’s treatment of vulnerable people.

Director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office Fr Maurizio Pettenà CS was with Bishop Joe in the days leading up to his death and attested to the concern that he showed for asylum seekers and refugees to the very end.

“Even in his final lucid moments he was speaking about how we need to do more for migrant chaplains, particularly for overseas priests, those who live in remote places and are isolated”, he said.

Bishop Joe was particularly loved by young people around Australia and remembered for his way of making each individual feel and know that they were loved by God.

He was well-known for using the phrase “God does not make rubbish” often, particularly when preaching to young people.

His funeral on 6 January, 2011 attracted over 4,000 people to Bendigo’s Sacred Heart Cathedral.

For media enquiries please contact Beth Doherty on 0407 081 256. A number of high res photos of Bishop Joe are available by getting in contact.

Catholic Migrant office calls for reflection on asylum policy during the Christmas season.

Media Release,
23 December 2011
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office today urged both political parties to show moral leadership over the Christmas period with regard to policy debates on asylum seekers and refugees.
Director of the ACMRO Fr Maurizio Pettenà CS expressed the view that people seeking asylum need to be processed in countries who are signatories to the UN Refugee Convention and who can assure them of the opportunity to rebuild their lives in dignity.
“Richer countries like Australia have a moral duty to do more to help the world’s refugees who are mostly hosted by poorer nations” he said.
“Christmas reminds us that it is in giving that we receive. This applies even more so to how much we give to those who seek asylum. Increasing the humanitarian program is an appropriate outcome that both political parties can agree on.” Continue reading

Foundation Chapter and Eucharist heralds new era for Sisters of Mercy

Institutional leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy

MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday December 20, 2011

About 1,500 Sisters of Mercy, their friends, families and ministry colleagues gathered at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on Sunday, December 18, for the foundation Eucharist of the newly established Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

This historic occasion, also attended by members of other religious congregations and many bishops and priests from dioceses throughout Australia and PNG, heralded the beginning of a new era for the Sisters of Mercy. Continue reading

Typhoon Washi fallout escalates, Caritas Australia opens appeal for Philippines

Photo by Bobby Timonera

Media Release
December 19, 2011

With the death toll rising dramatically to 652, more than 50,000 displaced and over 800 people still missing, aid and development agency, Caritas Australia, has requested urgent public support from Australians to deal with the large-scale emergency response needed in the Philippines. Continue reading

“Increase humanitarian intake to prevent future asylum tragedies” says Catholic Migrant office

Media Release
19 December, 2011

The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) today expressed sorrow over the tragedy which has resulted in the deaths of a possible 160 people, mostly thought to be asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iran.

This time last year, a similar tragedy occurred when just short of safety, a boat carrying 50 Middle Eastern asylum seekers crashed off the rocks of Christmas Island. Continue reading