Bishops Announce Appointment of Plenary Council Executive Committee

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

The Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council today announced the names of those who have accepted appointment to the Plenary Council Executive Committee. Their appointment followed an extensive confidential process of consultation across the Australian Church to ensure diversity. Together they bring a variety of gifts, competencies and experience to the work of the Executive Committee.

The Committee will work closely with the Bishops Commission to ensure the successful preparation, celebration and implementation of the Plenary Council 2020. The Executive Committee membership with their home diocese is as follows:   Continue reading

30 Year’s on From Bob Hawke’s “No Child will live in Poverty” statement

Fr-Frank-BrennanFriday 23 June marked the 30th anniversary of Bob Hawke’s promise to ensure that “By 1990 no Australian child will live in poverty”.

Right now 731,300 children or 17.4% of all children in Australia are living in poverty, an increase of 2 percentage points over the past 10 years (from 2004-2014).

Last Thursday Fr Frank Brennan, CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia, joined other leaders in the social services sector, for a vigil on the lawns in front of Parliament House to remind our elected representatives that they can, and should do more, to rescue Australian children from the grip of poverty. Continue reading

‘With courage let us all combine’

Refugee Week
18-24 June 2017

By Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv
Bishop Delegate for Migrants and Refugees

bishop-LongRefugee Week 2017 (18-24 June 2017) is a time to celebrate Australia’s rich diversity and shed light on the success stories of migrants and refugees in our communities. Refugee Week coincides with World Refugee Day on 20 June 2017.

During Refugee Week Australians come together and celebrate the contribution migrants and refugees have made to our country. Australia has a rich multicultural heritage, adding to is diverse heritage. Australia’s success as a Nation is in part due to this rich diversity. Continue reading

Promoting stories of hope, the focus of SIGNIS World Congress

18953067_1379265945472397_4993027884420935572_n_200The highlight of any Congress is the sharing of stories and experiences by fellow communicators gathered from all corners of the globe, Gustavo Andujar, President of SIGNIS told delegates gathered at the opening plenary of the SIGNIS World Congress 2017 taking place in Quebec City from June 19 – 22.

The theme of the Congress is ‘Media for a Culture of Peace: Promoting Stories of Hope’. The first plenary ‘Communicating Hope’ highlighted how different organisations put the vision of promoting stories of hope into practice, particularly using communications and media in creative ways.

Gustavo Andujar, President of SIGNIS

Gustavo Andujar, President of SIGNIS

Prof David Mulroney, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Michael’s College, Toronto, spoke about his appointment to reignite the Catholic identity of the College. The University had become siloed and St Michael’s had lost its sense of community and vocation. “There was a sense of ambivalence, a disconnect with Catholic institutions and there was no hiring for ‘mission’.

“You can’t be a centre for catholic intellectuals if you don’t hire one occasionally.” Continue reading

Catholic Professional Standards Limited Announces Appointment of CEO

Sheree Limbrick

Sheree Limbrick

The Board of Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPS) today announced the appointment of Ms Sheree Limbrick as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

Ms Limbrick has a wealth of experience in stakeholder engagement and management, strategic planning and policy development, as well as more than 10 years experience in executive leadership in social services.

Ms Limbrick has most recently worked with CatholicCare Melbourne as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and prior to that as Director of Operations. Previously managing Statewide Programs for Berry Street, a service provider for vulnerable children and families across Victoria, Ms Limbrick established support services for Forgotten Australians.

In welcoming Ms Limbrick’s appointment, the Chair of CPS, Geoff Giudice AO, said: ‘CPS has a unique role in the history of the Church in Australia and carrying out that role will not be without challenges. The Board is confident that we have a CEO who will provide outstanding leadership in meeting those challenges and achieving the company’s objectives’.

Members of the company, Sr Ruth Durick OSU, President of Catholic Religious Australia and Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Vice-President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference also welcomed Ms Limbrick on her appointment to this new role. Continue reading

Excitement builds towards biggest faith festival for young people in a decade

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP with young people from Sydney at ACYF in Adelaide, 2015.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP with young people from Sydney at ACYF in Adelaide, 2015.

Blogging for the ACBC Media Blog this week, Archbishop Fisher continues to extend his invitation to the biggest faith festival for young people in a decade, the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, as more than 150 groups have already registered in just two weeks. 

The estimated group size of those registered to date has a combined total of over 10,000 participants! 

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Excitement builds as 🎉🙏 15,000 young people from all around 🇦🇺 will gather in Sydney for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, December 7-9.

Pope Francis gave us our theme ”Open New Horizons for Spreading Joy” when he addressed young people at the WYD Vigil in Krakow. He gave us our subtitle ”Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment” as the theme for next year’s Synod on Youth. So you’ll be at a mini World Youth Day and a mini World Synod.👍 And ”Franky” is challenging us to get off our couches, lace up our runners, and get out there expanding our horizons and spreading the joy of the Good News.

So come to our 3-day horizon-expanding, joy-making, Good-News-spreading party! There will be concerts, presentations, expos, justice and service activities, oodles of options. 🗣Youth meet God. Faith meets fun. Church meets the City.🕺❤️

It’s for Years 9 to 12 schoolies, for Uni students, and for young adults up to 30.

A chance to go a bit public about your faith and ideals with 15,000 of your closest friends 😇🏄👨‍👩‍👧‍👦. To ask your big questions❓ and have the Church listen to you 💒. And lots of help working out what to do next with your life.

The Australian Catholic Youth Festival is for you, for Jesus, and for the future of our world.

Join me from our humongous opening Plenary on Thurs 7 Dec at Olympic Park till the Mother of All Masses on Sat 9 Dec at the Domain. Pope Francis’ words are for you: “Blaze new trails… open up new horizons… spread joy: the joy that is born of God’s love and wells up in your hearts with every act of mercy!”💕

See you there!

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP🐠

More info, www.acyf.org.au

President of Conference appeals for donations for the East Africa food crisis

East-Africa-social-media-image_200‘I am shocked to learn of the harrowing plight facing millions of people in a number of countries in East Africa,’ Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said today.

‘Sadly, there has been little coverage in Australia of this emerging tragedy. Today, I am lending my voice and that of the Catholic Church in Australia to urge you to help if possible.’

‘Prolonged drought is causing widespread hunger across East African countries. Somalia, South Sudan and parts of Ethiopia and Kenya are the worst affected.’

Caritas Australia, the Catholic Church’s international aid and development agency, through its international network, is working to support over 250,000 in the affected region. Continue reading

Harvester minimum wage case commemorated and invoked on its 110th anniversary

Minimum wageThis year is the 110th anniversary of the landmark Harvester minimum wage decision by Justice Higgins in 1910.

The basic objective of Harvester was to set a fair and reasonable minimum wage that would provide a decent standard of living for workers and their families. The Harvester minimum wage for unskilled workers came to be regarded as the Australian living wage.

Harvester was commemorated and invoked by the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations (ACCER) in its recent submission to the Fair Work Commission’s annual wage review.

ACCER’s submissions traced the influence of Justice Higgins and others on the legislation and decisions that enabled the setting of the living wage. ACCER’s submissions also drew on the assessments of former High Court judge Michael Kirby and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke regarding the influence that Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum had on the legislation and policies that resulted in the Harvester decision.    Continue reading

Calling young Australians to be part of an international conversation

ACBC----Youth-Synod-2018-Survey-Facebook-Ad-650px-v200Young people across Australia are being called to share their views about life, faith, and their experience of Church through an online survey published today by the Australian Bishops.

The survey seeks to capture the opinions and perspectives of young people as part of a national consultation process that will inform an international conversation in Rome next year.

Australians aged between 16 and 29 years are encouraged to complete the survey. The questions cover a range of topics including: the experience of being listened to, using social media and technology, friendships and influences in today’s world, opportunities for engagement with Church activities such as, outreach programs, youth masses, community leadership or parish events.

At a recent gathering of young people in Rome which has informed and helped to prepare this process, Ashleigh Green, a young social worker from Sydney said, one of her hopes for the Church in Australia is that ‘we can better engage our most disadvantaged and marginalised young Australians’.

‘I hope that we can use the common yearning for social justice as an avenue to engage youth and I hope that we can create new spaces for community within the Church,’ Ms Green added. Continue reading

Mentoring is a tool of empowerment

Andrea Dean and Christine Pace.

Andrea Dean and Christine Pace.

Mentoring is simply based on a friendship, a connection and a supportive environment focusing on a strengths based approach to learning, Christine Pace told almost 200 women gathered at the official launch of the Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring Program.

The Launch took place at Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney on Saturday evening, May 20. The program is a service project of the 2015-2017 Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship participants led by Christine Pace from the Diocese of Broken Bay.

‘It may seem daunting but it’s an exciting journey,’ Christine explained that the program was not about being top of the corporate ladder but rather ‘this program sees mentoring as a tool of empowerment for women’.

‘Faith filled women on fire with the Holy Spirit are gods hands and feet in the world. We need spiritual nourishment. When you are supported in your faith, you can flourish in your faith and life.’

It’s common for women to underestimate their capabilities. However, women are developed with their own gifts and talents.’ Continue reading

New Executive Director appointed to National Catholic Education Commission

Christian Zahra

Christian Zahra

Following a thorough national search and the identification of a number of highly-qualified candidates, the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education announced today, 17 May, that Christian Zahra will serve as the next executive director of the National Catholic Education Commission.

Making the announcement, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education, said, ‘Across a range of spheres – including politics, community development and business – Christian has been a major contributor to Australian society over the past two decades. In this new role, he will help to shape the educational opportunities of the one in five children and young people being educated in the 1,737 Catholic schools across the country. Continue reading

International Catholic megastar confirmed for Australian Catholic Youth Festival

MM-announce-hero-web_200Matt Maher is arguably the biggest Catholic name in global contemporary Christian music and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is delighted to announce he will be coming to Sydney for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival from 7-9 December 2017.

The internationally acclaimed Canadian songwriter and worship leader is heading to Australia with his band to join with 15,000 young people at the biggest Festival of its kind to be held in the country. He will perform, lead worship and provide engaging input on each day of the three-day Festival at Sydney Olympic Park including Sydney Showgrounds, Qudos Bank Arena and The Domain.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney and the Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Youth made the announcement today.

‘Matt Maher’s music is a powerful tool to reach young people and we’re so pleased to be welcoming this highly acclaimed artist for the ACYF,’ Archbishop Fisher said. Continue reading