Bishop Brady chats to inmates at Silverwater on Sunday 6 November 2016
In the middle of maximum security Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre, Sydney, a converted demountable classroom has been transformed into a chapel. Bishop Terry Brady, Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Prisoners along with 50 inmates, volunteers and prison chaplains, gathered to celebrate Mass on Sunday 6 November, the Jubilee for Prisoners.
During a moving service, the inmates and the chaplains held up the struggles of life in prison to God’s care and sought help to endure. Through the hymns and prayers, the prisoners who came voluntarily, readily participated in the service and expressed their gratitude for the opportunity.
Bishop Brady assured the women there is hope for them, no matter what circumstance they find themselves in. Continue reading →
Celebrating the Jubilee for Prisoners on Sunday 6 November, Bishop Terry Brady, the Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Prisoners, preached the homily below during Sunday evening Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.
Pope Francis has set aside this 32nd Sunday in the Church’s year; throughout the World as a special day of recognition for Prisoners and their families.
This jubilee day for Prisoners occurs within another special period in the Catholic Church – the Holy Year of Mercy; a time of grace, prayer, forgiveness and compassion. Both these jubilees are to remind us that God’s love is unconditional.
Many people have spent time in jail, including saints and even Jesus himself. The Holy Father’s message is for everyone, regardless of their circumstances, because we all possess human dignity.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Social Justice Statement 2011-2012 “Building Bridges, Not Walls”, raised similar concerns as Pope Francis. Both urged us all to think about the conditions in our prisons, and to ask who are most likely to find themselves there. Continue reading →
Prison Chaplains across Australia are delivering a special ‘Message for Prisoners’ from the Catholic Church about love and hope from the Australian Catholic Prisoners Pastoral Care Council.
This message marks the Jubilee for Prisoners chosen by Pope Francis to be celebrated during the Year of Mercy on 6 November 2016.
In his message written for prisoners, Bishop Delegate for the Australian Catholic Prisoners Pastoral Care Council, the Most Reverend Terry Brady said, ‘Pope Francis shows us the importance of accompanying one another in the ups and downs of life. We all stumble; make mistakes; fail others and ourselves. But we are all capable of loving and of experiencing hope’.
Bishop Brady said this special day for prisoners, occurring during the Year of Mercy, invites each one of us to follow the merciful example of God, ‘to forgive and love rather than judge and condemn’.
‘Many people have spent time in jail – including saints and even Jesus himself. His message is meant for everyone, regardless of the circumstances because we all possess human dignity.’ Continue reading →
One of the greatest crises of our day is the plight of people forced from their own countries by war, persecution or poverty and forced to live without a home, without safety and often separated from their families, Archbishop Denis Hart, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said today (13 October 2016).
Pope Francis has called on Catholics to welcome such vulnerable people as our brothers and sisters. In Australia, we do not have to directly meet the responsibilities that many other nations bear. But we do bear the shame of the expulsion and harsh treatment of the people who sought our protection only to be detained on Nauru and Manus Island.
International agencies have been appalled by the conditions under which they live and the effects on their health, spirits and self-respect. Pope Francis, to whom people detained on Manus Island have written, has also expressed his deep concern. The human costs on the detainees are mounting by the day.
The Australian Catholic Bishops also deplore the detention of our brothers and sisters on Nauru and Manus Island. While recognising the effort of the Government to find a solution, we say that enough is enough. We call on the Government to bring offshore detainees to Australia while awaiting further decisions on their future. 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 →
Bishop Mark Edwards, a member of the Bishops Commission for Family, Youth and Life will deliver the opening address at the National Fertility Conference in Melbourne this weekend, 16-18 September 2016.
On Friday evening, Bishop Edwards will address a public forum on the topic, ‘Infertility in the Year of Mercy- a Pastoral Response’.
The journey of infertility is a difficult one affecting one-in-six couples. Our technological culture promotes treatments like IVF which, unfortunately, have a low success rate and bypass the underlying cause(s).
Couples who prefer to conceive naturally, because of their religion or a desire for a healthier outcome, may struggle to find medical assistance, which aims to restore their fertility and offer hope.
In recent years, the number of Australian health care practitioners dedicated to a restorative approach to solving infertility has grown. The network includes doctors and members of the three national fertility awareness agencies*. Since 2014, they have met annually to promote therapies for infertility which are respectful of physical, mental and spiritual health, relationships and embryonic life. Continue reading →
On Sea Sunday 10 July, Catholic parishes throughout Australia will acknowledge the vital role of over 130,000 Seafarers who transit through Australia’s 25 ports while working at sea and the associated, dedicated port chaplains and volunteers. The parish support will be generated through a collection based on the annual, national Sea Sunday appeal.
Last year approximately 20,000 vessels visited Australia. Many of these received support from 15 Apostleship of the Sea Port Chaplains and over 164 Apostleship of the Sea volunteers. In the past twelve months, support was provided to 276 Seafarers who were hospitalised in Australia as a result of a medical emergency or an injury from a vessel at sea. These seafarers are isolated when admitted to hospital and remote from family. The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) reconnects these sick or injured seafarers with family and continues to support them until discharged, ensuring personal needs are met where possible. Continue reading →
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples so often live the name of mercy in their lives, Bishop Christopher Saunders stated as he launched the annual statement to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday on 3 July.
‘The peoples of Australia’s First Nations are famously resilient and in their own words they are survivors. Notwithstanding the vagaries of government policy or the faulty efforts at work to close the gap, or the dreadful prejudices evident in racist attitudes so notoriously on display even in the public forum in recent times, Aboriginal and Islander Peoples so often live the name of mercy in their lives.’
The theme of this year’s statement is how We Need Mercy. ‘Pope Francis tells us that humanity is deeply wounded and for this reason is in need of mercy, a mercy proclaimed by God and tenderly shared among people.’ Continue reading →
The Senior Choir at St Bernard’s Catholic Primary School, Berowra Heights, Sydney, has presented a new song called “Hands of Mercy” which has been sung at school Masses, and will feature as part of a special Year of Mercy Mass.
Written by Patricia Smith, Music Co-ordinator at Ku-ring-gai Chase Parish in the Diocese of Broken Bay, the song combines lyrics and meaningful actions to help young people participate in the Jubilee Year and understand what mercy means in everyday life and how to bring mercy to others. We can use our ‘hands of mercy’ to give life and love: to bring welcome, forgiveness, comfort, care, and healing; to give, share, and encourage. Continue reading →
Celebrating the Holy Year of Mercy, a new media initiative has been established to assist pilgrims entering the holy door of mercy in their diocese.
Produced by a Vatican-based organisation, Catholic Bytes, Misericordia Media offers media to pilgrims approaching any Mercy Door worldwide, and to help pilgrims to come to a better understanding of mercy, the faith, and the Church.
With this goal in mind, Misericordia Media has produced a 7 minute audio-guide and 10 minute video available at misericordia.media. The material is approved by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion for the New Evangelisation. Continue reading →