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

Nation responds to Pope’s second World Day of the Poor

Parishes throughout Australia are answering Pope Francis’ call to mark World Day of the Poor on Sunday by hosting community events to support those in need.

Special lunches are planned in several capital cities and major centres throughout Australia, and smaller parishes are making donations to Church organisations dedicated to assisting the poor and marginalised.

Pope Francis last year called on all Catholics to mark the World Day of the Poor on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time each year. The Second World Day of the Poor will take place this Sunday, November 18. Continue reading

Prison chaplain finds Jesus in every cell

Melbourne prison chaplain and teacher Jwan Kada

For Melbourne youth prison chaplain Jwan Kada, the life-giving freedom of Jesus Christ can be found in every prison cell.

Reflecting on her vocation in the lead-up to Prison Sunday on November 11, the 33-year-old former Iraqi refugee is living her Catholic faith well outside the four walls of her close-knit Chaldean community. Continue reading

Bishop Elliott completes 11 years as a ‘happy bishop’

Bishop Peter Elliott

Bishop Peter Elliott says he kept Mother Teresa’s exhortation to new bishops – that they be “happy bishops” – front of mind and in his heart during his 11 years of episcopal ministry in Melbourne Archdiocese.

Pope Francis today announced that he has accepted Bishop Elliott’s resignation, which he submitted recently upon reaching the retirement age of 75. Bishop Elliott had been appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in 2007. Continue reading

Women’s mentoring program to launch in WA next week

A national program aimed at building the skills, confidence and networks of Australian Catholic women will be launched in Western Australia next week.

Catholic Women’s Mentoring, launched in Sydney in May 2017, also helps women increase their capacity to use their gifts and talents to support the Church in Australia and the broader Australian community. Continue reading

Mountaineering priest aims for greater heights

Fr Morgan Batt

The white sand and surf beaches of Queensland’s holiday glitter strip are a far cry from scaling the world’s highest mountains, but Burleigh Heads parish priest and acclaimed mountaineer Fr Morgan Batt sees the connections.

“There is a lot of synergy because both entail an outdoor life, physicality and meeting a complete variety of people from all walks of life. The difference is the amount of people,” Fr Batt said from his parish office, just a short drive from Australia’s iconic surfing beaches that he is quickly coming to love. Continue reading

Volunteers, donors keep anti-trafficking efforts going

The voice of trafficked women throughout Australia will continue to be heard with the official opening of a new anti-trafficking service in Perth yesterday.

The Archdiocese of Perth has stepped in to provide an office for ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) after the organisation lost its $125,000 in Commonwealth funding in June this year. Continue reading