Collaboration will enhance Church’s disaster response

A new whole-of-Church initiative to help people and communities recover from the current bushfire crisis will set the blueprint for how the Catholic Church responds to domestic natural disasters in the future.

Earlier this month, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and a number of other national organisations encouraged Catholics to donate to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal, which is supporting people who have lost loved ones, homes, property and animals.

Continue reading

Bushfire catastrophe has brought out the best in us

Bishop Pat Power and Alison Burt listen to the experiences of people in and around Tumut including those who were on the front lines (CSSA photo/Facebook)

by Ursula Stephens, CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia

Visiting some of the areas of southern New South Wales most affected by the unprecedented bushfires in recent days has highlighted the extent of the devastation and the long road of recovery that is ahead for so many communities.

In Wingello, I witnessed the capacity of a little village to hold its own, grateful for the diligence and persistence of firefighters who held off the fire in the Morton National Park. The community has rallied to support those who lost their homes, and there is an enormous sense of resilience in dealing with the aftermath of the terrifying experience.

Continue reading

Catholic Church plans national response to bushfires

Parishes across Australia will take up special collections at Masses on Australia Day weekend to support people and communities affected by devastating bushfires that have claimed more than 20 lives.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge, in a statement on January 7, spoke of “our powerlessness before the devastating force of nature”, while praising the “heroic” efforts of firefighters and the resilience of the affected communities.

Continue reading

Bishops extend national prayer campaign for drought

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has extended the national prayer campaign for drought as historically dry conditions continue to affect most parts of eastern Australia.

The Bishops Conference initiated the prayer campaign to be held during the month of November, but this week decided that it should run indefinitely, until drought conditions ease.

Continue reading

Malcolm Hart to lead National Centre for Evangelisation

Malcolm Hart has been appointed director of the revamped National Centre for Evangelisation

Malcolm Hart, the director of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s Office for Youth, has been appointed director of the National Centre for Evangelisation.

Mr Hart, who last week served as director of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival for the fourth time, will lead a revamped National Centre for Evangelisation, which will take on the functions of a number of offices – including the Office for Youth. Continue reading

At closing Mass, Festival pilgrims told to be courageous

The closing Mass of the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival was held on Tuesday evening in Perth

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has encouraged thousands of young Catholics to leave the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival ready to open their hearts and lives to Jesus.

An open-air Mass at Trinity College in East Perth was the culmination of the three-day Festival, which attracted 5500 young people from across the country. It was the largest Catholic event ever held in Western Australia. Continue reading

The Church and the Media: Vatican I and Pope Pius IX

An 1871 portrait of Pope Pius IX by George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-1894) (Wikimedia)

December 8 marked the 150th anniversary of the opening of the First Vatican Council. This is the final article in a series on the Council, its key moments and its legacy.

by Dr Josephine Laffin, Australian Catholic University

Full in the panting heart of Rome
Beneath the apostle’s crowning dome.
From pilgrim’s lips that kiss the ground,
Breathes in all tongues one only sound —
God bless our Pope, the great, the good!

Continue reading

Be witnesses to the goodness of God, young Catholics urged

Bishop for Youth Columba Macbeth-Green OSPPE speaks with young Indigenous Catholics about faith, culture and life at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival

American speaker, evangelist and author Katie Prejean McGrady has told 5500 young Australian Catholics that they are made “not only for something great” in this world, but that they are ultimately made “to worship God for eternity”.

Mrs McGrady was addressing the evening plenary session on the second day of the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival, which will conclude in Perth on Tuesday evening. Continue reading

Australian Catholic Youth Festival pilgrims told: ‘Rebuild my Church’

Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe SDB welcomes pilgrims to the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (www.icebergmedia.com.au)

Thousands of young Australian Catholics have been challenged to “go out and rebuild” God’s Church on the opening day of the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival.

The opening session of the Festival, which has drawn 5500 young people from across Australia, featured a Welcome to Country, high-tempo music, inspirational speakers and moments of prayer. Continue reading

Reception and implementation of the First Vatican Council

The First Vatican Council opened on December 8, 1869 — the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Wikimedia Commons)

December 8 marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the First Vatican Council. This is the second is a series of articles on the Council, its key moments and its legacy.

by Dr Mariusz Biliniewicz, University of Notre Dame Australia

The First Vatican Council, the 20th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, took place between the Council of Trent (1545-63) and Vatican II (1962-65) – arguably the two most important councils of the Catholic Church in the second millennium. Continue reading

Vatican I and the doctrine of papal infallibility

The Chair of Peter in St Peter’s Basilica (Wikimedia)

December 8 marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the First Vatican Council. This is the first is a series of articles on the Council, its key moments and its legacy.

by Bishop Peter J. Elliott

The First Vatican Council defined papal infallibility, a widely misunderstood teaching of the Church. The history of the Ecumenical Council that met in Rome between 1869 and 1870 reveals what the doctrine of papal infallibility really means. Continue reading

Bishop urges leadership roles for people with disability

The Bishop Delegate for Disability Issues has used his message for the International Day of People with Disability to call on Catholic communities across Australia to invite people with disability to take up leadership positions.

The theme for the 2019 celebration, held on December 3, is “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership”. Continue reading