Address delivered on 4th October 2016 at the Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA on the conference theme: Religious Rights in a Pluralistic World
Firstly, thanks very much to Brigham Young University for organising this wonderful conference and for bringing us all together.
Australia is a pluralist society. We are blessed with freedom, a stable system of government and a rich mix of ethnic, racial and religious groups. But inherent in a pluralist society are different views and beliefs and the challenge of how to accommodate those different perspectives.
The Catholic Church in Australia is an established part of the community, with a quarter of Australians identifying as Catholic, with one in five Australian students attending Catholic schools and Catholic hospitals providing about ten percent of healthcare services across the nation. Continue reading
Archbishop Mark Coleridge, speaking at Australia’s largest Catholic eConference this week, said the time of Christendom is over, and the Catholic Church must recognise its real credential is in Mercy.
Calling for Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy to be enacted as a verb, Archbishop Coleridge said the Pope’s vision gives birth to action within the Church and across the global community.
“When I speak about the covenant of God, it is a community of Mercy in a merciless world. Find the hungry one, the thirsty one, the naked one, the sick one, the one who is infinitely strange and the one who is seemingly imprisoned by the power of death. Look at the Crucified and understand what you see,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
Captivating the eConference audience for over 4 hours, Archbishop Coleridge, along with renowned Catholic scholar, Sr Veronica Lawson and, President of the Refugee Council of Australia, Mr Phil Glendenning spoke compellingly about the plight of the 65 million people displaced around the world. Continue reading
On Friday 29 July, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse, delivered his third catechesis during World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland. Australian pilgrims gathered in the ‘big top’ tent to hear his talk about Mary who is the model of mercy.
Today’s third and final catechesis is titled, “Lord, make me an Instrument of Your Mercy”.
When I think of Mercy, I think of Mary, the Mother of God. We are given the great gift of her praise of God in her encounter with her cousin Elizabeth. It is called The Magnificat. In the Magnificat, Mary says, “His mercy is without end.” I like to think of Mary as the Missionary of Mercy. Continue reading
Over the past few days, Aussie pilgrims moved to ‘Days in the Diocese’ hosted by Polish parishes and families across the country. Meanwhile, other diocesan and religious groups continued their pre-World Youth Day pilgrimages in Europe before arriving into Krakow over the weekend.
The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are currently on pilgrimage in Italy following in the footsteps of the Saints from Milan to Padua, Assisi to Cascia; the resting place of St Rita, Saint of the Impossible.
There are 71 pilgrims journeying to World Youth Day from the diocese. Blogging about the experience, Joanne Isaac wrote, ‘On Sunday morning we visited the Basilica of St Anthony in Padua (Padova). In Italy, St Anthony is simply known as Il Santo (The Saint) as he is the only one to be canonised less than a year after his death in 1231. He turned his back on wealth to live in simplicity and dedicate his life to God. He was a great preacher and a Doctor of the Church.
Pilgrims from the Maitland-Newcastle WYD Pilgrimage.
The Basilica belongs to the Vatican so, as our tour guide Sal pointed out, “You’ll have one foot in Italy and one foot in the Vatican”. Every year 4.5 million people visit the church to venerate the relics of St Anthony – his incorrupt tongue, his jawbone and his vocal apparatus.’ Continue reading
Delegates have one more week to register for the PROCLAIM 2016 conference.
Registrations for PROCLAIM 2016 will close on 1 August. The event will features three international keynote speakers, 30 exhibitors supporting parish life and 35 practical workshops focused on one evangelising mission.
Hundreds of parish leaders from Australia and abroad will gather together for the event hosted by the Diocese of Broken Bay in partnership with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
The full conference program is available online.
Some of the workshop topics include: connecting parish and school, renewing sacramental preparation, family-friendly liturgies and evangelisation strategies.
Fr John Pearce CP & Paige Bullen will lead the workshop on ‘Connecting the Parish and School for Christ-Centred Mission. The relationship between the parish and school represents one of the greatest opportunities for evangelisation in the Australian context. Growing relationships and connections at various levels of parish and school life has been the key ingredient in the story of St Brigid’s, Marrickville. Continue reading
Celebrating the 50th World Communications Day, the Australian Catholic Media Council is launching a grassroots initiative by inviting each diocese to share local stories about ‘Communication and Mercy’.
This year, Pope Francis has chosen the theme ‘Communication and Mercy’ and invites us all to reflect on this relationship.
Launching the initiative ahead of World Communications Day, celebrated on Sunday 8 May 2016, Bishop Peter Comensoli, Bishops Delegate for Media, said, ‘The stories will celebrate the local heroes in our parishes – the agents of mercy and compassion in our midst – and encourage further local engagement and inspiration by using the hashtag #Thepowerofmercy’.
The initiative will run from World Communications Day, Sunday 8 May 2016, until the conclusion of the Year of Mercy on Sunday 20 November 2016. The stories will be told in print, broadcast or digital media platforms and will be published on the Bishops Conference website: Worldcommunicationsday.org.au Continue reading
On Sunday 28 February, a lively radio discussion took place about the policy priorities for Catholic Social Services.
ABC Religion Journalist, John Cleary, was joined in studio by leaders from Catholic Social Services including, Dr Maria Harries, Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA), Marcelle Mogg, CEO of CSSA and Denis Fitzgerald, CEO of Catholic Social Services Victoria.