Building relationship starts with respect, trust

In the lead up to Pope Francis’s World Day of the Poor on Sunday, November 17, the Church in Australia is focussing on the many volunteers who work daily to help the poor in their communities. Read how Perth’s Kelvin McConville helps homeless men and women with a mental illness gain independence through his volunteer work with the Emmaus Community.

Retired psychiatric unit worker Kelvin McConville loves his volunteer work with the Emmaus Community, where he helps homeless men and women who suffer from a mental illness.

The Emmaus Community provides long-term independent community living for people of adult age who live with mental health issues. Continue reading

Prison ministry helps men prepare for life in the community

Dhurringile Prison chaplains, from left, Fr Michael Morley, Debbie Turvey, Denise Woodman, Denice Bourke and John Lilford

In the lead up to the Pope’s World Day of the Poor, on Sunday, November 17, the Church in Australia is focusing on the many volunteers who work daily to help the poor in their communities. Read how parishes in rural Victoria are helping minimum security prisoners transition back into society.

Community Church Program, a parish prison ministry, is helping to transition serving prisoners to a life back in the community in country Victoria.

Long-time prison chaplain Denice Bourke is the liaison chaplain for the Hume region in Victoria and is a member of the Tatura parish. She works with a team of prison chaplains and volunteers in the parishes of Beechworth, Tatura, Kyabram and Mooroopna to drive participants to and from the Dhurrringle and Beechworth prisons to the parish community for Mass. Continue reading

Ministry to seafarers strengthened in Taiwan

Members of the Australian delegation that attended the recent ICMA conference in Taiwan (photo supplied)

Australian delegates at the recent International Christian Maritime Association conference say the gathering helped strengthen their resolve to minister to people who make their living on the ocean.

Six Australian Catholics were among the more than 250 people from 40 countries in Taiwan for the week-long conference, which marked the 50th anniversary of the organisation’s founding. Continue reading

Church announces national drought prayer campaign

The Catholic Church in Australia is dedicating the month of November as a time to pray for those affected by crippling drought conditions and to pray for the gift of rain.

Parishes, schools, families and other Catholic communities across the country are being encouraged to participate in the National Prayer Campaign for Drought, which also invites people to provide assistance to those most in need. Continue reading

Church continues to strengthen child safety practices

The Catholic Church in Australia has made significant progress in responding to the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, Archbishop Mark Coleridge said today on the anniversary of the National Apology to survivors and victims.

On October 22 last year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and then-Opposition Leader Bill Shorten delivered apologies on behalf of the Australian people to those who were sexually abused as children. They followed the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, published in December 2017. Continue reading

Shane Mackinlay ordained eighth Bishop of Sandhurst

Bishop Shane Mackinlay during his episcopal ordination Mass on October 16 (Press 1 Photography/Bill Conroy)

by Jordan Grantham, Diocese of Sandhurst

Bishop Shane Mackinlay, the eighth Bishop of Sandhurst, was ordained to the episcopacy in Bendigo’s Sacred Heart Cathedral yesterday.

Melbourne Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli was the principal consecrator, joined by Bishop Leslie Tomlinson, Bishop Emeritus of Sandhurst, and Ballarat Bishop Paul Bird CSsR as co-consecrators. Continue reading

Government increasingly isolated in opposing Newstart boost

by Joe Zabar, Catholic Social Services Australia

The Senate Community Affairs References Committee’s inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart is now under way, with some 70 submissions received. The Committee chair, Senator Rachel Siewert, is by any measure one of the most seasoned and consistent advocates for disadvantaged Australians. As formidable a campaigner as she is, her committee is facing an enormous task in convincing the Government to lift the level of Newstart, regardless of the evidence presented.

The “Raise the Rate” campaign run by the Australian Council of Social Service – and supported by the sector – is seeking a $75 per week lift to the single Newstart rate. Senator Siewert’s party, the Greens, have publicly supported a $75 increase. Labor supports a lift, but is not committing to a specific rate. Continue reading

Bishop Anthony Randazzo named Bishop of Broken Bay

Images by Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2018

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Anthony Randazzo the fourth Bishop of Broken Bay, a diocese that covers much of Sydney’s North Shore and the New South Wales Central Coast.

Bishop Randazzo, currently an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Sydney, succeeds Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli, whose episcopacy in Broken Bay ended in July 2018 after he was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne. Continue reading

New reports give dioceses pastoral planning insights

National Centre for Pastoral Research director Trudy Dantis says new reports published this week will help bishops and Church leaders respond to the needs of their local communities.

Drawing on Australian Bureau of Statistics data from the 2016 Census, the diocesan social profiles provide insights into the demographics of the Catholic population in all 28 geographical dioceses. The reports show that the lives of Catholics, individually and collectively, can vary widely in different parts of the country. Continue reading

Australian Catholic Youth Festival theme song released

Sandhurst priest and recording artist Fr Rob Galea has released the theme song for the 2019 Australian Catholic Youth Festival

The theme song for the largest gathering of young Catholics in Australia – the Australian Catholic Youth Festival – has just been released.

With up to 5000 young Catholics expected to converge on Perth’s Convention and Exhibition Centre from December 8 to 10, Fr Rob Galea, founder of FRG Ministry and a priest of the Diocese of Sandhurst, has created a new theme song and video clip for ACYF19. Continue reading

Bishops release mental illness, outreach guidelines

Sr Myree Harris RSJ, acting chair of the Australian Catholic Disability Council, with the new resource “Do Not Be Afraid”

Catholic communities across Australia are being urged to help shatter the stigma surrounding mental illness by supporting and welcoming those who suffer and their families.

With one in five Australians experiencing a mental health illness each year and mental illness being the third-leading cause of disability, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on Friday released new mental illness and outreach guidelines for parishes. Continue reading