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Priests joyfully deliver Christmas message of hope

Fr Matthias Ogwo with members of the Rockhampton Catholic community

Priests in the Diocese of Rockhampton are sharing the joy of Christ’s birth, providing hope for communities devastated by prolonged drought and catastrophic bushfires.

Fr Matthias Ogwo, Fr Raj Kodavatikanti HGN and Fr Ronaldo Rodriguez have already begun celebrating Christmas Masses and will collectively clock up several thousand kilometres driving between isolated mining towns and farming communities. Continue reading

Bush and beach priests prepare for Christmas

Fr Brian Mathews has a huge parish that takes in Uluru.

From isolated outback mining towns to Queensland’s surf beach holiday spots, Australia’s parish communities are listening to the Spirit and preparing for Christmas.

As the Inland Mission’s parish priest for the past four years, Fr Brian Mathews is looking forward to celebrating the last ever Christmas Mass in the local pub of the soon-to-be-closed mining town of Mintabie, more than 1100km northwest of Adelaide. Continue reading

Survey results renew liturgy translation debate

The results of a survey about the 2011 changes to the liturgy has again opened up debate around the suitability of some parts of the English translation spoken at Mass.

At a meeting in September, the National Liturgical Council discussed the results of the National Centre for Pastoral Research document Mass Attender’s Attitudes to the English Translation of the Mass. Continue reading

Christmas comes early for seafarers in Sydney

Roslyn Rajasingam, national director of the Apostleship of the Sea

Seafarers on three ships docked at Port Botany received some early Christmas cheer as part of a planned visit from the Apostleship of the Sea ministry.

Roslyn Rajasingam, Apostleship of the Sea Australia’s national director, visited the ships along with Barry Cleary, a retired ship engineer and a volunteer ship visitor for AoS for the past five years in the Archdiocese of Sydney. Continue reading

Church rallies to support those affected by Queensland fires

Bishop Michael McCarthy

Queensland’s devastating bushfires have seen Catholic communities throughout the Rockhampton Diocese scramble to assist one another during the ongoing emergency.

Rockhampton Bishop Michael McCarthy yesterday praised the heroic acts of fire and emergency service workers and volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to save lives and property. Continue reading

Cathedrals go red for religious freedom

St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne on Red Wednesday

Two of Australia’s major cathedrals were splashed with the colour of martyrs on Wednesday night as a sign of solidarity with those who suffer religious persecution around the world.

Joining other faiths and landmark public and government buildings worldwide, St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne and St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney were floodlit red. Continue reading

Bishops recognise priest’s 50 years as bridge between faith and film

Fr Peter Malone MSC

The Australian Catholic bishops yesterday recognised a Melbourne priest’s 50-year dedication to reviewing films for the Church that began with the iconic film To Sir with Love.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Fr Richard Leonard SJ, the director of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting (ACOFB), honoured Fr Peter Malone MSC at the bishops’ plenary meeting, in the presence of other Catholic film reviewers. Continue reading

Religious freedom report reveals erosion of rights

Venice is one of many cities around the world that will mark Red Wednesday (Rome Reports).

More than 61 per cent of the world’s population live in countries where religious freedom is not respected, according to a worldwide report released last night.

The biennial Religious Freedom in the World report was published by the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need International. Simultaneous launches took place in many locations, including London, Paris, Santiago, Manila and New York. Continue reading

Catholics must help stem scourge of domestic violence

Dr Patricia Madigan OP

Australian Catholic leaders are backing Pope Francis’ firm condemnation of domestic violence and encouraging Catholics to help eradicate violence against women – which has claimed dozens of lives this year.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women will be marked on Sunday, November 25, and the Catholic Church is joining other parts of the community to highlight the need for action. Continue reading

New focus on Indigenous youth suicide prevention

Sabrina-Ann Stevens

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) is focusing on finding new ways to support rural and regional communities to prevent youth suicide.

The tragedy of youth suicide was a major subject of discussions at the recent NATSICC assembly in Perth, where more than 300 delegates gathered from throughout Australia to explore the theme “Strong Faith – Strong Youth – Strong Future”. Continue reading

No Simple Fix to Address Intergenerational Disadvantage

Fr Frank Brennan SJ

Intergenerational welfare dependency cannot be addressed without first fixing factors affecting entrenched disadvantage, according to the Church’s peak national bodies for social services.

Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) and Jesuit Social Services, along with Catholic Care Wilcannia-Forbes, are set to appear before the Select Committee into Intergenerational Welfare Dependence in Canberra this week.

Continue reading