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Cardinal Sandri encourages Eastern Catholics in Australia

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri addresses the Australian Bishops

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri addresses the Australian Bishops

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, delivered an address at the Plenary meeting of the Australian Bishops Conference today, 10 May, in Sydney.

Over the past few days, accompanied by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Tito Yllana, Cardinal Sandri has visited the five Eastern Eparchys in Australia; Maronite, Melkite, Ukrainian, Chaldean and Syro-Malabar communities.

Cardinal Sandri shared reflections with the bishops about the situation of Christians in the Middle East with a particular focus on Iraq and Syria. He also spoke about the presence of Eastern Catholics in Australia. He thanked the bishops, ‘for the beautiful book “Eastern Catholic Churches in Australia“, that you have published: I hope it will be an example also for other Episcopal Conference’. Continue reading

Bishops launch new norms and guidelines for the permanent diaconate

IMG_9345_200The Australian Bishops officially launched new norms and guidelines for the permanent diaconate during their plenary meeting in Sydney on May 8.

Deacon Tony Aspinall, National Coordinator of the Permanent Diaconate joined Bishop Peter Ingham, Outgoing Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry to launch the guidelines following a special Mass with deacons at Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel in Sydney.

Deacons Tony Hoban and Roberto Corpuz joined the bishops at the launch along with Fr Greg Bourke, Executive Secretary of the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry.

The ‘Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons and Guidelines for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons’ were developed by the Australian Bishops following the publication of a Vatican document providing clarity about the formation of deacons. Each bishops’ conference was encouraged to develop their own guidelines. Continue reading

Pope Francis appoints Fr Ken Howell an Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane

Bishop-Elect Ken Howell

Bishop-Elect Ken Howell

The Holy Father has appointed Fr Kenneth Michael Howell as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Brisbane. The announcement was made at noon Rome time today. The Auxiliary Bishop-Elect will serve alongside Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge. 

On behalf of the Australian Bishops, Archbishop Denis Hart welcomed the appointment, “Father Howell has shown gifted service as Liturgist, Cathedral Administrator and Pastor, having recently overseen the construction and completion of the new Mary, Mother of Mercy Church in the Parish of Burleigh Heads.

Fr Howell’s gifts, knowledge and love of people will make him a welcome and respected member of the Bishops Conference, where I’ve no doubt he will provide generous service.”

On receiving the news, Fr Howell told the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, “Brisbane is my home place and the Church that has nurtured my faith. It has been the great blessing of my life to serve this Church as a priest for the past 34 years. This new opportunity to serve the Brisbane church as an auxiliary bishop, I see as both a joy and an exciting challenge”. Continue reading

Bishop O’Regan launches the ACU Centre for Liturgy

Bishop Patrick O'Regan

Bishop Patrick O’Regan

The Most Reverend Patrick O’Regan, Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Liturgy officially launched and blessed the new Centre for Liturgy at the Australian Catholic University on 21 November 2016.

The launch took place during the Spring Plenary meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in North Sydney.

Speaking at the launch, Bishop O’Regan said, ‘It is my privilege to officially launch the Australian Catholic University Centre for Liturgy. In doing so it brings alive the dream of Sacrosanctum Concilum #44 in its section on The Promotion of Pastoral-Liturgical Action which decreed that there be liturgical commissions in every territory and that, “So far as possible the commission should be aided by some kind of Institute for Pastoral Liturgy, consisting of persons who are eminent in these matters…” Continue reading

eConference to Focus on Mercy: A Way of Being in the World

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-9-04-35-am_200The annual eConference hosted by the Broken Bay Institute in partnership with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will commemorate the Jubilee Year of Mercy and take up Pope Francis’ invitation to explore this central element of our faith.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Vice-President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will deliver an address on the following themes, Pope Francis’ vision and dream of Mercy in our Church and world, and ‘Leaving Space for Mercy: the Sermon on the Mount’.

He will join Sr Veronica Lawson RSM, Scripture scholar and author of the book, The Blessing of Mercy. Sr Lawson will speak about ‘Leaving Space for Mercy: a Hebrew Perspective’ and ‘a Lucan perspective’.

Mr Phil Glendenning, Director of the Edmund Rice Centre and President of the Refugee Council of Australia will address, ‘The Cry of the Poor, the Cry of the Earth’.

The conference will take place on Tuesday 20 September from 10am to 2.45pm AEST. Registration is currently open on the Broke Bay Institute website. Continue reading

Two New Bishops Ordained in the Archdiocese of Sydney

IMG_1703_SqThe Episcopal Ordination of the Most Reverend Anthony Randazzo and Most Reverend Richard Umbers took place at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney on Wednesday evening 24 August 2016, the Feast of St Bartholomew.

Both Bishop Randazzo and Bishop Umbers were ordained Auxiliary Bishops of Sydney and will join Bishop Terry Brady as the three Auxiliary Bishops serving the Archdiocese of Sydney.

The Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney, was the Principal Consecrator and Celebrant. The Most Reverend Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane, and the Most Reverend Stephen Lee Bun-sang, Bishop of Macau, were the Principal Co-Consecrators. Continue reading

Tree of Life resource celebrates Laudato Si’ anniversary

Tree of Life image for a Laudato Si' ResourceCatholic Earthcare Australia’s 2016 resource has been launched on World Environment Day to encourage the community to celebrate the first Anniversary of the papal encyclical Laudato Si’ by coming together to experience dialogue and stimulate action on caring for our common home.

Catholics are being invited to write down their actions about caring for creation and bring them together in the form of a new ‘Tree of Life’ resource. “The ‘Tree of Life’ is a wonderful opportunity to share the message of the Pope’s encyclical, Laudato Si’ and to enable dialogue and action within local Catholic communities,” says Jacqui Remond, Director of Catholic Earthcare Australia, the ecological agency of the Catholic Church in Australia. Continue reading

Revamped website for Migrant & Refugee Office

acmro-website[2]The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) launched its revamped website this week. 

The website includes a section on asylum seeker policy, a media section and a resources centre. Interested viewers can sign up to receive the ACMRO eNewsletter through the website at

The upgraded website features a combination of neutral and bright colours with an uncluttered look and feel. If you would like to send the ACMRO feedback about the revamped website, please email:

It was upgraded to improve the accessibility and responsiveness of the site for users. The new website is faster and easy to navigate. Staff at the ACMRO will update the site on a regular basis with news regarding issues concerning migrants and refugees.

Resources for schools and parishes are readily available on the ACMRO website.

On 28 August 2016, the Church in Australia will celebrate Migrant and Refugee Sunday. A parish kit including a message from Bishop Vincent Long, Delegate for Migrants and Refugees, will be available to download from the ACMRO website.

To the ends of the earth

Bishop of Toowoomba, Robert McGuckin

Bishop of Toowoomba, Robert McGuckin

On Sunday 8 May, Bishop Robert McGuckin celebrated Mass in St Mary MacKillop Chapel, North Sydney, with his brother bishops during the plenary meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. 

Below is the homily Bishop McGuckin preached celebrating the Feast of the Ascension and World Communications Sunday. 

A number of times in the past weeks we have heard Jesus telling his followers that He was going to the Father and the Holy Spirit would come upon them.

The followers of Jesus, we are told in the Acts of the Apostles, would be his witnesses throughout Judea and Samaria and indeed to the ends of the earth.

Some years ago I was at an overseas conference, where the President of one of the Pontifical Councils, the Venezuelan Cardinal, Castillo Lara, gave a wonderful address on the spirit of law empowering all of us to engage in ministry and be involved in ministry. Afterwards I suggested to him that he should also come to Australia and deliver the same message. In a very delightful way he said to me, but Australia it is the end of the earth. (He very much meant this in a geographical manner, from where he usually resided in Rome). Continue reading

Tax cuts to the rich and service cuts to the rest


In responding to the Federal Budget, Marcelle Mogg, Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) CEO said:

“Vulnerable Australians have again been overlooked in this third Federal Budget from the Coalition Government.  The 2016-17 Budget provides tax cuts to the rich and service cuts to the rest. This Budget has given tax relief to those earning over $80K.  This measure will cost $4 billion which could have been spent on investment in families and communities.”

“Australia has an estimated 600,000 children living in poverty and this Budget offers them little hope. If the Government invested in these children’s families directly they could have secured the future of the children and stimulated the economy.” 

“For the third year running, this government offers nothing to those who are homeless or experiencing significant housing stress. Securing the basics in life – a house, an education, and health care – are increasingly beyond the means of average Australians, and impossible for those on low incomes. The successive failure of this government to address Australia’s housing crisis, rental affordability and rising homelessness is a disgrace. A long term strategy and binding agreement between the Commonwealth and States and Territories is needed to ensure all people have a home.” Continue reading

Vale Emeritus Bishop of Bunbury, Myles McKeon

Bishop McKeon, centre. Photo Credit: The Record, Perth

Bishop McKeon, centre. Photo Credit: The Record, Perth

With great sadness, I have to announce the death this morning, 2 May 2016, of Bishop Myles McKeon, the Second Bishop of Bunbury. He was 97 years of age.

Bishop McKeon served the Bunbury Diocese from 1969 with his resignation for reasons of health in 1982. Prior to this he was a priest of the Archdiocese of Perth from 1947 to 1962 when he was consecrated Auxiliary Bishop of Perth. He served in that role until his appointment to the Diocese of Bunbury.

Bishop McKeon is well remembered still as a kind and caring pastor. He was also one of the four Western Australian Bishops who collaborated for the founding of the Catholic Education Commission and the Catholic Institution of Western Australia, both of which were unique in the world of that time. Continue reading

A tribute to Bishop Satterthwaite, 1928-2016

Bishop Satterthwaite, Fourth Bishop of Lismore. Coadjutor bishop (1969-1970) Bishop of Lismore (1971-2001) May he rest in peace.

Bishop Satterthwaite, Fourth Bishop of Lismore. Coadjutor bishop (1969-1970) Bishop of Lismore (1971-2001) May he rest in peace.

Bishop Satterthwaite died on Saturday, 23 April 2016, just one week short of the 47th anniversary of his ordination to the episcopate by Cardinal Gilroy.

His provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the contribution of this unassuming man to the life of the Catholic community on the North Coast of New South Wales.

Ordained originally for the Diocese of Armidale, Bishop Satterthwaite was what has been termed “a late vocation”. Prior to ordination he had studied engineering at Sydney University and theology at the Lateran University in Rome. Ordination to the priesthood brought with it service in Glen Innes as assistant priest and Armidale as Chancellor and Bishop’s Secretary. At the time of his appointment to Lismore he was Administrator of the Cathedral.

In 1969, at the relatively young age of forty he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop to the then Bishop, Patrick Farrelly, himself first appointed as Coadjutor to Bishop John Carroll in 1931.

Bishop Satterthwaite spent the first years in the Diocese in Casino and Grafton before becoming Bishop of Lismore in 1971, on the retirement of Bishop Farrelly. Continue reading