Pursue common good, CSSA urges politicians and voters

Indigenous Australians, those on the Newstart Allowance and refugees and asylum-seekers are among the groups of people Catholic Social Services Australia wants to be front and centre in the federal election campaign.

In the preamble to its pre-election statement, which outlines five key policy areas, CSSA insists that the election campaign provides “a challenge to every political party to offer the Australian nation a vision of social and economic inclusion where the inherent dignity and potential of each person can be realised”. Continue reading

Catholics urged to focus on Easter message of hope

Australia’s bishops and religious leaders have called on the faithful this Easter to be filled with hope for the future while encouraging Church organisations to continue providing great works of love, care and mercy.

In their 2019 Easter messages, the bishops reflected on local and global issues, including the effects of sexual abuse revelations, the rise of ideologies of hate expressed in violent massacres and the financial and social pressures on families, especially in regions crippled by long-term drought and natural disasters. Continue reading

The NDIS: an important choice for the election by Dr Brenton Prosser, Catholic Social Services Australia

Federal Budget week was another significant one for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It was a central feature in the speeches of both the Treasurer and the Opposition Leader.

Public debate centred on $1.6 billion of allocated (but unspent) funding going back into the Government’s projected $7.1 billion surplus. The Budget also allocated over $527 million for a Royal Commission into the mistreatment of people with a disability. But the question that remains with many of us is: Why was more not invested to improve choice and dignity for those in and around the scheme? Continue reading

CHA supports push for urgent aged care reform

CHA chief executive officer Suzanne Greenwood

Catholic Health Australia is part of a diverse coalition of aged care providers, unions, health professionals and consumer groups who are calling on candidates in the May 18 federal election to commit to “getting aged care right for everyone”.

Earlier this week, the National Aged Care Alliance, which comprises 52 national organisations, launched the Age Well Campaign, in anticipation of the election and in response to a disappointing Budget week for the sector. Continue reading

Vocational theme runs through Pope’s apostolic exhortation

Ashleigh Green participated as an Australian representative in events preparing for the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment

Pope Francis’ recent letter to young people, Christus Vivit, reveals the Pontiff’s preparedness to listen to the needs of young Catholics while providing guidance for all on vocations.

The apostolic exhortation, released last week, covers nine chapters that provide guidance to young people and the entire people of God on vocations and how to welcome young people more fully into the life of the Church. Continue reading

Young Catholic women exploring leadership pathways

The 12 young women who are participating in the Leadership for Mission program. From left: Polly Marriott (Hobart), Amelia Beckett (Sydney), Sarah Dixon (Darwin), Erin Gillard (Campbelltown), Ellie Betteridge (Gympie), Clare Atkinson (Wollongong), Leah Wilson (Newcastle), Sophie Cox (Brisbane), Ines Augustine (Sydney), Lauren Hall (Wollongong), Natalia Teguhputri (Melbourne), Rebecca Hall (Sydney).

Twelve young women from across Australia are “Reimagining Leadership” as part of a two-year program to help develop a new generation of Catholic leaders.

The women have just completed the third unit in the Leadership for Mission program. The unit – “Theology for the Future: Reimagining Leadership” – saw the students visiting different workplaces across Sydney to speak with women leaders in business, Church and the media. Continue reading

New Catholic social services body for NSW and ACT

Robert George (Centacare Bathurst), Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady, Anne-Marie Mioche (Centacare Wilcannia Forbes), Michael Austin (CatholicCare Wollongong), Anne Kirwan (CatholicCare Canberra Goulburn) and Mark Philips (CatholicCare Sydney). Photo by Jacqueline McCormack/CatholicCare Wollongong.

A new peak Catholic social service providers’ group for New South Wales and the ACT aims to enhance collaboration while renewing their mission focus.

Speaking at the official launch at Mary MacKillop Place recently, inaugural chair Michael Austin said the association had replaced the original branch structure and now represented 16 Catholic social service organisations from dioceses and congregational orders. Continue reading

Peak marriage conference sponsorship available

The Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council, an advisory body to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, is offering sponsorships for couples or individuals to attend this year’s Renaissance of Marriage conference.

As the peak gathering of professionals in the field of marriage preparation, support and enrichment in Australia, Renaissance of Marriage provides an opportunity to be part of the national dialogue on marriage and relationship education for the Catholic Church in Australia.

Continue reading

Rockhampton faithful gather to discuss future pastoral needs

Bishop McCarthy blesses the water at the Rockhampton Diocesan Assembly

Catholics from throughout the vast Rockhampton Diocese have gathered to discuss the needs of their communities with the view to drafting a 10-year pastoral plan.

The Rockhampton Diocesan Assembly 2019 was convened at St Joseph’s Cathedral last week, following a Chrism Mass attended by priests, parishioners, assembly delegates and students. Continue reading

Fusion of faith and culture for Central Australian church

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Alice Springs

Alice Springs parish is planning to mark two historical milestones while strengthening the fruits of reconciliation Pope Saint John Paul II spoke about during his visit there three decades ago.

Parish priest Fr Asaeli Raass SVD said the parish had much to celebrate this year with the 50th anniversary of their church – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart – and 90 years since the parish’s first priest, Fr James Long MSC, celebrated the first Catholic Mass on the land of the Arrernte people. Continue reading