Author Archives: Mark Wei

Australian Bishops gravely concerned about crisis in Iraq

Playing With WaterMedia statement, 27 August 2014

Australia’s Catholic bishops have expressed grave concern at the humanitarian crisis that is continuing to worsen in northern Iraq. The Australian bishops condemn outright the use of terrorism in the name of religion.

Tens of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee Mosul, Qaraqosh and other areas of Northern Iraq, with demands by Islamic State fighters that they convert to Islam or die. The Yazidis, other Muslim, religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq, have also been forced to flee from forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Continue reading

Parishioners called to be disciples of Jesus at PROCLAIM 2014 

Authors of Rebuilt Fr White & Tom Corcoran

Authors of Rebuilt Fr White & Tom Corcoran

Media release, 23 August 2014

The key message for the Church is to call parishioners to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ, keynote speakers Fr Michael White and Tom Corcoran told delegates attending the Proclaim 2014 Conference on the New Evangelisation.

“It is essential for the parish to reorient towards reaching those who are not active in the life of the Church,” Fr White said.

“The key elements to rebuilding the parish are focusing on unchurched people, prioritising the weekend experience and moving Church people to action,” Tom Corcoran explained.

Continue reading

Reviving Parish Life

Fr Michael White addresses delegates at Proclaim 2014 Conference

Fr Michael White addresses delegates at Proclaim 2014 Conference


Proclaim 2014, 21 August 2014

On day one of Proclaim 2014, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference National Conference on Evangelisation, Fr Michael White and Thomas Corcoran delivered a keynote address on how to ‘Make Church Matter’.

Over a number of years these two men have worked together to rebuild the parish at the Church of the Nativity in Timonium, North Baltimore, USA.

In 2013, they co-authored a book called ‘Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter’. Continue reading

Adelaide to Host Second Australian Catholic Youth Festival in 2015

ACYF Ade15 logoMedia Release, 13 August 2014

The second Australian Catholic Youth Festival will be held in Adelaide from 3-5 December 2015, the Office for Youth announced today.
Hosted by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) to engage and empower young people in the life of the Catholic Church, the festival is expected to draw more than 4000 participants.
Bishop Anthony Fisher OP, the Bishops’ Delegate for Youth said the Australian Bishops were committed to the Festival: “After the success of the inaugural event in Melbourne and its impact across the country, the Australian Bishops have committed to repeating the Festival every three years into the future.”
“It is fantastic that we are able to hold the next Festival in Adelaide in 2015, and I invite all young people and their teachers and youth ministers from around Australia to make the pilgrimage to Adelaide,” Bishop Fisher said.
The theme of the Festival is ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’ (Mt 5:8). This is also the theme chosen for 2015 diocesan celebrations in advance of World Youth Day 2016.
Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson said: “I am proud that we are able to host the Festival in Adelaide in 2015, and I look forward to welcoming thousands of young people from around the country to our wonderful city to share in the Good News.”
“I am particularly excited about the theme for the Festival as it allows us to experience the journey of St Mary MacKillop here in Adelaide. Mary was a woman who in the face of many challenges, kept her heart pure and focused on Christ,” Archbishop Wilson said.
The ACBC Office for Youth will coordinate the Festival, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Adelaide and Catholic Education South Australia.
Over the coming months, a Steering Committee for the event will be established along with campaigns for an official festival song, workshop presenters and youth involvement.
An overview of the successful 2013 festival is available Continue reading

National day of mourning and national memorial service for victims of Flight MH17

St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne

St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne

From Archdiocese of Melbourne News

The Prime Minster has declared Thursday 7 August 2014 to be a National Day of Mourning to honour the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

The Government has arranged for a National Memorial Service to take place at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, at 10.30am on Thursday 7 August 2014.

The National Memorial Service is interdenominational and members of the public are invited to attend.

Upon the Government’s announcement, Archbishop Hart said ‘I extend my deepest sympathy and prayer to those families, friends and communities so devastated by the loss of their loved ones on Flight MH17.

‘I hope and pray that all who gather at St Patrick’s Cathedral next Thursday for this National Day of Mourning for the victims will be united in their prayer and efforts to bring healing to those who grieve.

‘May the efforts of so many people of goodwill, witness the power of love which brings peace, justice and hope in these darkest days.’

– Archbishop Denis Hart

Arrangements have also been made for the outside broadcast of the National Memorial Service in anticipation of large crowds wanting to support the families of those lost on Flight MH17.

Those wishing to attend the National Memorial Service should contact a Ceremonial and Protocol Officer on (02) 6271 5991 or (02) 6271 5209 or via email at up until 12 noon on Wednesday 6 August 2014.

Cardinal Clancy returns to his true home

Cardinal Edward Clancy  1923-2014

Cardinal Edward Clancy

Media Release, 3 August 2014

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference mourns the death of former Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal Edward Clancy, who died today at the age of 90 years.

Cardinal Clancy was President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference from 1986-2000. During his tenure, he launched the Bishops’ Research Project on ‘The Participation of Women in the Catholic Church in Australia’ at the Press Club in Canberra on 21 August 1996.

President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, said: “After a long illness, Cardinal Edward Clancy has returned to his true home. We remember him as a generous, disciplined leader who loved the Church, and was at home with ordinary people.”

“From 1983-2001, Cardinal Clancy led the Archdiocese of Sydney with distinction as a gifted pastor who undertook many projects including the completion of St Mary’s Cathedral.”

“Always a man of honesty and directness, he is remembered by bishops, priests and people for his unstinting generosity in the service of Church and community. I, and others, will remember his great personal kindness. May he rest in peace.”

Bishop of Wollongong, Peter Ingham, worked in the Sydney Archdiocesan Chancery under Cardinal Clancy for seven years between 1983-1990.

“I remember a prayerful, dedicated, humble and hard working archbishop. A man of integrity, who was determined, even-handed, and who discharged his responsibilities conscientiously, in fact with an overwhelming sense of duty. Of course you were never in doubt who was in charge but he always took full responsibility for his actions.”

“The Cardinal had a refined sense of humour, and enjoyed playing tennis in earlier years, some golf and cycling in Centennial Park,” Bishop Ingham said.

“In the years of his tenure as Archbishop, Cardinal Clancy oversaw the formation of the Australian Catholic University on which he served as Chancellor, the closure of St Patrick’s Seminary Manly to be re-established as the Seminary of The Good Shepherd at Homebush, and The Catholic Institute of Sydney, Strathfield,” Bishop Ingham added.

General Secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Fr Brian Lucas worked with Cardinal Clancy as the Sydney archdiocese secretary from 1990 to 2001.

“Cardinal Clancy will be remembered not only by decisions such as the creation of the dioceses of Broken Bay and Parramatta but for his strong leadership in the beatification and eventual canonisation of Mary MacKillop,” Fr Lucas said.

For media queries, please contact Aoife Connors on 0450 348 597 or

Image: Cardinal Clancy
Media Release: PDF (120 KB)
Further Information  
Obituary by Kerry Myers

Catholic Health Australia appoints CEO

Suzanne Greenwood, New Catholic Health Australia CEO

Suzanne Greenwood, New Catholic Health Australia CEO

Media Release, 29 July 2014

The Catholic Health Australia Stewardship Board has reached a unanimous decision to appoint a former medico-legal lawyer and Catholic hospital and aged care executive as the new Catholic Health Australia chief executive officer, following an extensive executive search process.

Suzanne Greenwood, the current national chief executive officer of the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia, will commence as the Catholic Health Australia CEO in October. Currently based in Queensland, Mrs Greenwood will move with her husband and two children to Canberra to take up the CHA role.

CHA Stewardship Board chair Rowena McNally said “I’m delighted to welcome Suzanne Greenwood to CHA. Mrs Greenwood is an experienced CEO who has held senior positions within several Catholic Church organisations, she currently heads a national member association and has a professional background in health ethics, policy and regulation. This terrific mix of skills and experience well positions CHA for the years ahead.”

Prior to her role leading the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia, Mrs Greenwood was general counsel at the St Vincent de Paul Society of Queensland. From 2008 to 2011, she was corporate counsel and company secretary at St Vincent’s Health and Aged Care in Brisbane, also a CHA member. She was earlier a senior lawyer at Queensland Health.

Mrs Greenwood is a current board member of the Good Sams Foundation and is a previous board chair of Epilepsy Queensland. She also formerly chaired the Human Research and Ethics Committee at St Vincent’s Health and Aged Care in Brisbane, and was a member of the Queensland Health Human Research Ethics Committee. She has also served on several advisory committees with the Brisbane Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane and the Brisbane Archdiocesan Development Fund Board.

Mrs Greenwood said “CHA’s role as the voice of the Church on health, aged care and community care matters is centrally important at this time. I am looking forward to working with Catholic hospital and aged care leaders, together with Catholic religious and Catholic Bishops, to continue CHA’s agenda for health equity.”

Ms McNally thanked the representatives of CHA members, of Catholic Religious Australia and of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference who participated in the Stewardship Board-led recruitment process. Ms McNally also thanked Fish & Nankivell Executive Search for its support during the recruitment process.

CONTACT: Rowena McNally on 0419 732885page1image22808 page1image23232 page1image23392

CHA represents the largest single grouping of non-government health, aged and community care services in Australia. 

Condolences from the Ukrainian Catholic Church to the Family and Friends of the Victims of Flight MH17

Memorial services are taking place across Australia for the innocent victims of MH17

The incredible has happened to Australian citizens and so many of other countries, including the Netherlands, Malaysia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Philippines, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States of America.

The terrorist attack on the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 has violently ended the promising, creative, fruitful lives of hundreds of innocent people. Their God-given dignity has been violated in the ultimate way: their life was destroyed. Then, even after death, they were further demeaned.

On behalf of all of the faithful of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, and in the name of all Ukrainians, we express our heartfelt condolences and spiritual solidarity.

In these days in our churches we have conducted memorial services for the innocent victims. As the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko has said: We, Ukrainians, have been shedding tears for the last half year because of the violence, terrorism, and war in our country; today we shed them with you. We thought we could not have more tears, but we do, and our tears and prayer is with you.

We are moved by the response of the Australian government, Churches, religious communities and especially the families of the victims. May the unity and integrity of the Australian people and all who bear the burden of this heinous crime serve to inspire the world in this time of tragedy and profound moral confusion and paralysis.

The grief and wartime anxiety of the Ukrainian people is exacerbated by the criminal inhumanity that occurred in the skies of Ukraine. We are at once tormented by the violence and shamed by the disgraceful treatment of the victims of this tragedy. It is hard to comment on our powerlessness in the face of enduring brutality. At this time we seek from God the wisdom and fortitude to understand and act according to God’s will.

For many months the Ukrainian people have done what they can to confront naked evil with peaceful demonstrations, night vigils in the bitter cold of winter, and unceasing prayer in the squares of Ukraine and in many countries of the world. They have been beaten, tortured, and shot before the cameras of the world. Ukraine has lost hundreds of citizens, the best of the nation. We have lost territory. At a great price Ukrainians have, however, gained dignity and unity. We are tormented by the authoritarian violence brought to our land; that has been our scourge and suffering. Today, this suffering brings us together and gives us common cause.

May we unite in spirit and deed to confront the evil besetting Europe and the world. We recommit ourselves to prayer, witness, and dialogue with all people of good will. Let us encourage each other with the promise of the Gospel that evil will be overcome and that in God we will find the truth and live it.

May the memory of the innocent victims be eternal!

Вічная Пам’ять! Eternal Memory !

+Peter Stasiuk, C.Ss.R.

Bishop of the Eparchy of Sts Peter & Paul for Ukrainian Catholics

In Australia, New Zealand & Oceania

+Borys Gudziak

Head of the Department of External Church Relations

of the Synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops.

Women’s Interfaith Fellowship Seeks Participants

Current Fellowship participants Snezana and Rebecca Beisler

Current Fellowship participants Snezana Taneveska and Rebecca Beisler

Media Release, 25 July 2014

The Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship, an initiative of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Office for the Participation for Women, is searching for inspiring women to participate in our 2015-2016 leadership programme.

The aim of the two-year Fellowship is to cultivate women’s capacity for leadership within the Catholic Church and society.

Ideal candidates should demonstrate an openness to spiritual growth and respect for other faith traditions. Continue reading

MH17 Disaster: Mass of Remembrance and Call for Peace

girlHomily by Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney Peter Comensoli

St Mary’s Cathedral, 20 July 2014

The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. (Matt 13.24-25)

One of the most profound and mysterious events in every person’s life is the moment of realisation that we human beings are a complex mixture of light and dark, of good and evil. In that moment when we first acknowledge this reality, honestly and humbly, we start to claim ownership of our humanity.

We know we are created for that which is good, true and beautiful, yet we allow ourselves to absorb that which is evil, false and ugly. God’s most marvellous creature of light and life often enough becomes lost in the shadows of corruption and death.

Continue reading

PROCLAIM 2014 Awakening Delegates to Challenges of Reviving Parish Life



Media release, 22 July 2014

PROCLAIM 2014, a conference on the new evangelisation, will awaken delegates to the challenges facing the Church in Australian to revitalise parish life.

The three-day conference from 21-23 August 2014 takes place at The Concourse, Chatswood, Sydney.

The conference theme, “Living the Joy of the Gospel in Parishes,” applies Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Evangelii Gaudium to the parish scene. Keynote addresses include: “Make Church Matter”; “What’s Working in Other Churches” and “Moving Members from Consumers to Contributors.”  Continue reading