Author Archives: Irene Sutherland

Prayer campaign for the success of the Family Synod

Prayer for families

Prayer for families

A day of prayer and fasting for the success of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family has been proposed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for Friday 10 October 2014. This proposal is part of a prayer campaign for the success of the Synod and begins with the distribution of prayer cards at parish masses on Sunday 5 October, the opening day of the Synod.

This will be the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops run in Rome through to Sunday 19 October. It will consider the topic The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.

Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life, Bishop Eugene Hurley of Darwin, said this day of prayer and fasting is an ideal way for parish communities, institutes of consecrated life, associations and movements in Australia to pray for the success of the Synod. Continue reading

Bishop Saunders on the good, the bad and the footy

Christopher Saunders, Bishop of Broome

Christopher Saunders, Bishop of Broome

Written by Christopher Saunders and first published on the CathNews website, 25 September, 2014.

The Australian Rules and Rugby League seasons are at their climax – the Grand Finals. All this season the sports pages have featured names like Inglis, Thurston, Soward and Thaiday in League, and Goodes, Franklin, Wingard and Ryder in AFL.

All these men can claim Indigenous heritage. They and many like them remind us of the enormous contribution that Indigenous people have made to Australian sports. Think beyond those two football codes and we can conjure with names like Cathy Freeman, Nova Peris, Kurtley Beale and countless others. Continue reading

Reach out to the Muslim community, we’re all Aussies together

Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Written by Denis Hart

The Australian
September 26, 2014

Archbishop of Melbourne and president of the ACBC, Denis Hart, has an opinion piece in today’s Australian newspaper arguing that the brutal attacks of the Islamic State against Christian, Muslim, Yazidi and other groups in northern Iraq, along with events in Australia including the terrible attack in Melbourne, have led to heightened community concern. The purpose of terrorism is to divide and conquer and we should resist that by reaching out to the Muslim community and not allow terrorists to change our open hearts to suspicion and fear.



Read the opinion piece at The Australian here (you will need a paid subscription to The Australian to read the full article)

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle multiple media award winner for Aurora

Cover of Aurora quarterly magazine.

Aurora magazine cover

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle was the big winner of multiple awards for its monthly magazine Aurora at two media conferences held last week in Canberra. This included receiving the highly respected Gutenberg Award.

Aurora attracted three awards at the Australasian Catholic Press Association (ACPA) dinner held last Thursday followed by another four awards at the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) lunch on Sunday.

The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, was delighted with Aurora’s success. “Since commencing distribution of Aurora through secular newspapers in 2011, the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has been able to reach a broader audience beyond our Catholic community. It has meant they’ve been able to communicate the Church’s good news stories, as well as provide honest coverage of the difficult issues they’ve faced in regard to clerical child sexual abuse”, Archbishop Hart said.

The awards from ACPA were for best layout and design, best print magazine and the Bishop Philip Kennedy Memorial Award for Overall Excellence in a Catholic Publication. Continue reading

Catholic Church rejects more charity red tape

church-spireThis article was written by Fr Brian Lucas and first appeared in the The Sydney Morning Herald on 10 September 2014

Regulators, like death and taxes, are always with us. Good law advances the common good by balancing the benefits of regulation with the extra paperwork.

On Monday at the National Press Club the CEO of World Vision Australia, Reverend Tim Costello, said that one church denominationopposed the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, because it didn’t “want a secular, atheistic regulator in charge”. On Tuesday Fairfax Media said he was referring to the Catholic Church and I completely reject that claim.

The Catholic Church has always taken a pragmatic approach to government regulation. Our concern has always been about the value and extent of the regulatory red tape, rather than the identity of the regulator. Continue reading

Bishop Collins laid to rest


Most Reverend Edmund John Patrick Collins MSC DD AM, Bishop Emeritus Catholic Diocese of Darwin, RIP.

Bishop Ted Collins MSC DD AM laid to rest  St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral Darwin

On Tuesday 19th August, The Most Reverend Edmund John Patrick Collins MSC DD AM, Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Darwin was laid to rest in the Crypt of the St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral Darwin.

The Solemn Pontifical Mass of Christian Burial was presided by The Most Reverend Bishop Eugene Hurley DD, and con celebrated by Archbishop Phillip Wilson of Adelaide, Bishop Christopher Saunders of Broome, Bishop James Foley of Cairns and retired Archbishop John Bathersby and Bishop Luc Matthys.

An overflowing St Mary’s Cathedral with over 1,000 in attendance, were joined by Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas, Administrator of the Northern Territory, The Honourable Adam Giles, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Northern Territory Government Ministers, The Leader of the Opposition, Ms Delia Lawrie, The Right Worshipful, Lord Mayor of Darwin, Katrina Fong Lim, Members of the Legislative Assembly, Federal politicians Mrs Natasha Griggs and The Honourable Warren Snowden.

Bishop Ted Collin’s only surviving sibling, sister Madge travelled from New South Wales for the Requiem Mass, together with Bishop Ted’ niece Anne and nephews Tony and Gerard. Continue reading