Author Archives: Mark Wei

Bishop Peter Ingham celebrates 50 years as a priest with a letter from Pope Francis

Celebraing 50 years of priesthood Bishop of Wollongong Peter Ingham

Celebraing 50 years of priesthood Bishop of Wollongong Peter Ingham

Bishop Peter Ingham was surprised last week to receive a letter from Pope Francis congratulating him on his 50th anniversary as a priest on Friday 18 July 2014.

The letter from Pope Francis, in Latin, conveyed his good wishes and blessing upon Bishop Ingham, the clergy and the people of the Diocese of Wollongong.

Pope Francis wrote in the letter, “I send you this letter my venerable brother, because you will celebrate your 50th anniversary of your ordination to the priesthood. I wish to convey my good wishes to you for having consistently exercised the sacred ministry. For this you are to be congratulated…May the blessing be both to you and through you to your Vicars General and the Church community of your diocese. I very lovingly impart my Apostolic Blessing and ask from you prayers for me and my Petrine Ministry.”  Continue reading

Living the Joy of the Gospel

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin at the Catholic Leadership Centre, Maelbourne

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin at the Catholic Leadership Centre, Melbourne

Global Perspectives for Local Action: The European Perspective

Speaking about Pope Francis and his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Archbishop of Dublin Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin addressed a Catholic Leadership Forum of priests, school principals and archdiocesan agency leaders gathered at the Catholic Leadership Centre, Melbourne on 14 July 2014.

A few weeks ago I was speaking with a Parish Priest in my diocese who told me that he was a little worried about his Curate. He said that his curate was a hard worker and that he got on reasonably well with people, but that he had a problem.

I asked what this problem was and the Parish Priest replied that the problem was with a person and when I asked further, to my surprise the answer was Pope Francis.

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Homily on MH17 tragedy

dreamstime_m_15873804Sunday, 20 July 2014

By Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe SDB

As we gather in the Cathedral for Mass this morning, we are all deeply aware of and profoundly shocked by the terrible act of violence in Ukraine which has cost so many lives and horrified the world.

Families the world over are in mourning. We are no different here in Western Australia. The most recent information indicates that nine residents of our state have been killed, the youngest just eight years old.

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Mass of Remembrance and a Call for Peace

18 July 2014

Dear Brother Priests,

We are all shocked and deeply saddened at the terrible news of the Ukrainian airline tragedy, Malaysian Airlines MH17.

Firstly, I offer my prayers for all those who perished in this disaster and for their families and friends. We know there were a number of Australians on the flight, as well as many delegates for the 20th International Aids Conference in Melbourne, and I would encourage everyone to join me in prayer for them.

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Message of Condolence and Mass offered following MH17 airline tragedy

18 July 2014

Media release from Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese of Sydney Bishop Peter Comensoli

Message of Condolence and Mass offered following MH17 airline tragedy St Mary’s Cathedral Sunday 20 July 2014

A member of the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart at a Catholic girls’ school, Kincoppal-Rose Bay, was among the 28 known Australians to have died in the Ukrainian airline tragedy, Malaysian Airlines MH17.

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Catholic groups to meet ahead of International HIV/AIDS Conference


Media release, Caritas Australia

It’s estimated that the Catholic Church provides as much as 25 per cent of the care worldwide for people living with HIV, especially in developing countries.

Given the level of care and compassion in response to HIV and AIDS within the Catholic Church, a conference will be held ahead of the 20th International AIDS conference in Melbourne that brings together those engaged in faith-based responses to this epidemic.

The pre-conference is sponsored by Caritas Internationalis, Caritas Australia, St Vincent’s Health Australia and the Catholic HIV and AIDS Network (CHAN). It will enable delegates from Catholic ministries overseas as well as in Australia, to build linkages and exchange best practice on spiritual and pastoral care for those affected by HIV and AIDS, as well as explore the intersection between faith and science in combatting the pandemic.

Monsignor Robert Vitillo, who works for Caritas Internationalis as both Head of Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva and Special Advisor on HIV and AIDS and health, said the pre-conference, Stepping up the Pace; Remembering the Loaves and the Fishes, would look at best practice in HIV and AIDS interventions; scientific developments, advocacy with pharmaceutical companies, access to funding in order to finance church HIV and AIDS programs and ethical issues. He will be in Melbourne for the pre-conference and the main UN Conference.

He noted that since the 2012 International AIDS Conference, the church had witnessed a decrease in funding for many faith-based care and other community-based systems that provide treatment, care, and support for people living with AIDS and HIV and their families.

“Yet we are continually being asked to ‘do more with less’,” Monsignor Vitillo said.

The multiplication of the loaves and fishes is one of the few miracles by Jesus that is recounted in all four gospels. The disciples are given a seemingly impossible task. They simply do not have the resources to feed this huge crowd and momentarily are paralysed. But Jesus showed them how to use few resources in order to feed a crowd of more than 5000. The pre-conference organisers believe that, as Catholic Church representatives gather for AIDS2014, the spirituality of the “Loaves and Fishes” can be their guide in efforts to “step up the pace”.

“This particular conference is important for Australia and for the whole Pacific region, because it’s the first time an international conference of this size in terms of responding to HIV and AIDS is being held in this region,” Monsignor Vitillo said.

“This represents an opportunity to promote behaviour change in order to prevent further spread of HIV in the region and to save lives through early diagnosis and treatment of those already living with the virus. Finally, it will help us to spread the Church’s message of care and non-judgemental compassion for all those living with or affected by HIV.”

“It’s also a time when the researchers present the latest findings that they have in terms of scientific research on treatments, on possible cure in the future and on possible vaccines.”

Monsignor Vitillo said it was also an important opportunity to affirm the fact that the Catholic church had been there since the beginning in terms of responding to HIV and AIDS.

“We have health and social services in the most rural and isolated parts of the world,” Monsignor Vitillo said.

For example, Caritas Australia in partnership with Catholic Health Services in Papua New Guinea, is helping to make prevention the cure for men, women and children most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS through the Sexually Transmitted Infections Management Program (STIMP).

The Catholic pre-conference will be held on 18-20 July at the Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne and will include presentations from His Excellency Tim Fischer, former Ambassador of Australia to the Holy See; Father Rick Bauer, Chair of CHAN; Professor Suzanne Crowe, Associate Director of the Burnet Institute; and Dr Steve Kraus, Asia/Pacific Regional Director of UNAIDS.

To find out more about the pre-conference go to
For more information contact: Media Advisor, Nicole Clements on 0408 869 833 

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RIP Emeritus Bishop of Broome, John Jobst

“The Australian Bishops remember Bishop John Jobst with affection and gratitude as a man of integrity and priestly goodness, and a true missionary. His care for the diocese of Broome and its aboriginal people was highly esteemed from 1959 – 1995 when he retired. May the Lord grant him the reward of his labours. May he rest in peace”

Archbishop Denis Hart
President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

New President of Catholic Religious Australia

Mercy Sister Berneice Loch OAM elected as new President of Catholic Religious Australia

Sister Berneice Loch rsm OAM

Sister Berneice Loch rsm OAM

Sister Berneice Loch rsm OAM has been elected as the new President of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) at the 2014 CRA National Assembly held in Melbourne on 23-27 June 2014.

Sr Berneice is currently Leader of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) and received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2013.

Notable among her leadership achievements was her central role in the establishment of Mercy Partners (2004-2011) and more recently the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.

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Tune into Catholic radio

Tune into 'The Journey' being aired on PULSE 94.1 in the Illawarra, LIFE FM 105.1 in Bendigo, 98.5 THE LIGHT in Albury-Wodonga and LIFE FM 103.9 Gippsland.

Promoting the Christian way of life via the medium of radio

1 July 2014

 “The Journey” weekly Catholic radio show expands its reach around Australia

In August 2013, the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong aired the first of its radio programs, The Journey, as part of a venture with regional Christian Radio broadcaster, PULSE 94.1FM.

The weekly program grew out of an enthusiasm from Bishop Peter Ingham, Chair of the Australian Catholic Media Council, to present the Good News of the Christian faith to a broad audience.

Bishop Ingham has invited his brother Bishops to make links to on their diocesan websites. Continue reading

ACBC celebrates ‘Stirring Hearts’ project

1 July 2014, Morning tea gathering 

Stirring Hearts, a digital storytelling project to celebrate World Com

Recently the ACBC General Secretariat staff gathered for a celebratory morning tea to mark ‘Stirring Hearts’, a digital storytelling project celebrating the 48th World Communications Day across the Catholic Church in Australia.

Our neighbours and friends at the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee office and CatholicLIFE within the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn also popped into the Secretariat for the morning brew.

Everyone enjoyed viewing some of the digital stories including the enduring faith story of Sr Hilda Scott and the courageous story about Lulu Mitshabu’s life and trust in God.

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Conference to Encourage Catholics to Occupy ‘Digital Continent’

30 June 2014, Media Release 

Australia and New Zealand’s Catholic digital media enthusiasts will get a chance to learn from two of the world’s foremost Catholic media figures in August for the first staging of the Catholic Digital Media Conference (CDMC) in North Sydney.

The follow-up to the successful CNMC Melbourne in September 2013, CDMC Sydney will offer insights into how Catholics can – and should – use the Internet to share the message of the Gospel, with useful tips on how platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram can be tools for evangelisation. Continue reading