Category Archives: Bishops

Nationwide Month of Prayer and Fasting for Marriage and Families

bigstock-happy-family-having-fun-on-flo-13104605-web1_200A national month of prayer and fasting for marriage and families will be initiated in October 2016 by the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council.

‘The month of prayer and fasting is intended to be held in parishes across Australia during October 2016 as the nation prepares for a conversation on marriage,’ Bishop Michael Kennedy, the Bishops Delegate for Marriage and Family, said.

‘I encourage you to support your parish community to celebrate Mass, pray the Rosary and undertake Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during this time with the special intention of marriages and families in mind.’

The Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council have created a prayer resource to assist parishes during the month of prayer and fasting.

‘The resource includes prayers for people who are same-sex attracted or gender questioning and their families,’ Bishop Kennedy said.  Continue reading

Pope Francis accepts Bishop Hanna’s Resignation

Bishop Gerard Hanna

Bishop Gerard Hanna

The Holy Father Pope Francis has today, 12 September 2016, accepted the resignation of Bishop Gerard Hanna as the fifth Bishop of Wagga Wagga due to health reasons.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn, has been appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga.

On 9 December 1968, Bishop Hanna was ordained a Priest of the Diocese of Armidale. He was appointed Bishop of Wagga Wagga on 5 February 2002 at the age of 60.

Bishop Hanna will turn 75 years old on 22 December this year.

Speaking about his retirement, Bishop Hanna said, ‘It has been a special time ministering to the people of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga. Due to continuous ill health, it is no longer possible for me to continue my ministry across the diocese. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the families, parishes and communities across the diocese for their support, engagement and welcome throughout my time as Bishop of Wagga’. Continue reading

Scale of migration from Syria is staggering, Bishop Rabbat told Colloquium on Christian-Muslim relations

Bishop Robert Rabbat

Bishop Robert Rabbat

The sixth annual Bishop Joe Grech Memorial Colloquium has been held in Melbourne, at Australian Catholic University. This year, the Australian Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) convened the Colloquium, in association with ACU.

Father Maurizio Pettena, Director of the ACMRO, introduced the speakers, His Eminence Bishop Robert Rabbat, the Eparch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of Australia and New Zealand, Mr Bayram Aktepe, President of the Islamic Council of Victoria, and Scalabrian priest Father Fabbio Baggio, a dean and professor at the Pontifical University in Rome.

The theme for the 2016 Colloquium was ‘Ethics and Migration’, with the topic, ‘Christian-Muslim relations in a persecuted region and the impact on immigration.’ In his introductory remarks,   Father Pettena reminded the audience that this week is the week leading up to the 102nd World Day for Migrants and Refugees on Sunday 28 August.

Pope Francis has chosen the theme for this year’s World Day: ‘migrants and refugees challenge us – the response of the gospel of mercy’. Justice without mercy, says Pope Francis, does not constitute true and lasting justice. Continue reading

Look to Mary as the model of mercy, Archbishop Prowse suggests during World Youth Day

Archbishop Prowse

Archbishop Prowse

On Friday 29 July, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse, delivered his third catechesis during World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland. Australian pilgrims gathered in the ‘big top’ tent to hear his talk about Mary who is the model of mercy.

Today’s third and final catechesis is titled, “Lord, make me an Instrument of Your Mercy”.

When I think of Mercy, I think of Mary, the Mother of God. We are given the great gift of her praise of God in her encounter with her cousin Elizabeth. It is called The Magnificat. In the Magnificat, Mary says, “His mercy is without end.” I like to think of Mary as the Missionary of Mercy. Continue reading

Now is the time of mercy, Cardinal Dolan told Aussie pilgrims

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

When it comes to god we are all Olympic gold medalists at putting things off, when it comes to critical things in life, we are experts at putting things off. That’s why today’s catechesis, ‘Now is the Time of Mercy‘ is so critical at this time, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, told hundreds of Aussies pilgrims during World Youth Day.

‘We live on Gods mercy. We don’t and shouldn’t delay with God. We should’t put things off.’ 

Quoting St Augustine, the Cardinal said, ‘we will always have God’s mercy, we might not have tomorrow but we will always have God’s mercy. Haunting, isn’t it? That’s why now is the time of mercy’.

Gathered in a packed tent on Wednesday 27 July, Cardinal Dolan delivered an engaging, urgent and compassionate talk to young people at the english speaking catechesis site. Continue reading

Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania focus on the people of West Papua

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv and Bishop Robert McGuckin at the FCBCO meeting.

Australian delegates, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv and Bishop Robert McGuckin attending the FCBCO meeting.

The Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, PNG/SI, CEPAC) is currently meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. We come from a multitude of island nation States spread throughout the Pacific.

We are delighted to be here in PNG and have enjoyed greatly the wonderful hospitality of this vibrant nation. It was an honour for us to meet with the Hon. Powes Parkop, Governor of Port Moresby, and we all offered him congratulations and encouragement on the development of this city and his commitment to justice, integrity and service in civic leadership. Continue reading

Opening Mass at World Youth Day, Krakow

IMG_6247_200

Photos by Emilie Ng, Catholic Leader

Welcome message to pilgrims at World Youth Day.

My dear friends!

The moment we have been waiting 3 years for has arrived.

We have been waiting since the day Pope Francis announced in Rio de Janeiro that the next World Youth Day would take place in Poland – in Krakow. We are pleased to welcome the Cardinal and delegation from Rio de Janeiro. I thank you for coming to us to pass the happiness of World Youth Day.

The clock fitted on the facade of St. Mary’s Basilica in the heart of historic Krakow counted the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the moment which we are now experiencing. 

But a more important clock, registering the thoughts and feelings in our hearts, spiritually prepared us for the meeting that we are beginning today of young disciples of the Master of Nazareth from all over the world. Continue reading

Highlights from the Australian Gathering at World Youth Day 2016

IMG_8987_OpMore than 3,000 young people from across the Australian dioceses and half of the Australian Catholic bishops gathered at Tauron arena on Tuesday 26 July 2016 to celebrate their faith, national identity and the beginning of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.

The two-hour gathering was filled with prayer, testimonies from young people, music and catechesis. Bishop Patrick O’Regan preached the homily and Bishop Peter Comensoli delivered a ‘call to action’ to young young. Two young people, Chris Lee from Parramatta diocese and Sr Elizabeth from Port Pirie diocese, gave witness to how they have received God’s mercy in their lives. Their authentic accounts described how we can discover God’s mercy when we show mercy to others, it is through our acts of mercy that God reveals his merciful heart to us. Sr Elizabeth said, ‘I thought by being committed to God, I would simply receive his mercy’.

Bishop Mark Edwards, Australian Bishops Delegate for Youth; Kelly Paget, Diocese of Broken Bay and Sunil Mohanaraj, Archdiocese of Adelaide were the MC’s.

Genevieve Bryant, Fr Rob Galea and the Salvatorians Soul band provided the festival music that had the entire gathering on their feet within seconds. Malcolm Hart, Director of the ACBC Office for Youth, unveiled an invitation to all of the young people to get involved in the the ‘Year of Youth’ 2018.

There was a beautiful period of reflection as the musicians sang a decade of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Watch highlights from the Australian gathering below.

The Australian gathering can be viewed online via a web cast from Xt3.

Pilgrims Walk in the Footsteps of the Saints

Siena_200Over the past few days, Aussie pilgrims moved to ‘Days in the Diocese’ hosted by Polish parishes and families across the country. Meanwhile, other diocesan and religious groups continued their pre-World Youth Day pilgrimages in Europe before arriving into Krakow over the weekend.

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are currently on pilgrimage in Italy following in the footsteps of the Saints from Milan to Padua, Assisi to Cascia; the resting place of St Rita, Saint of the Impossible.

There are 71 pilgrims journeying to World Youth Day from the diocese. Blogging about the experience, Joanne Isaac wrote, ‘On Sunday morning we visited the Basilica of St Anthony in Padua (Padova). In Italy, St Anthony is simply known as Il Santo (The Saint) as he is the only one to be canonised less than a year after his death in 1231. He turned his back on wealth to live in simplicity and dedicate his life to God. He was a great preacher and a Doctor of the Church.

Pilgrims from the Maitland-Newcastle Diocesan Group.

Pilgrims from the Maitland-Newcastle WYD Pilgrimage.

The Basilica belongs to the Vatican so, as our tour guide Sal pointed out, “You’ll have one foot in Italy and one foot in the Vatican”. Every year 4.5 million people visit the church to venerate the relics of St Anthony – his incorrupt tongue, his jawbone and his vocal apparatus.’ Continue reading

Closing date for PROCLAIM 2016 approaches

2016 Proclaim eNewsbuttonDelegates have one more week to register for the PROCLAIM 2016 conference.

Registrations for PROCLAIM 2016 will close on 1 August. The event will features three international keynote speakers, 30 exhibitors supporting parish life and 35 practical workshops focused on one evangelising mission.

Hundreds of parish leaders from Australia and abroad  will gather together for the event hosted by the Diocese of Broken Bay in partnership with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

The full conference program is available online.

Some of the workshop topics include: connecting parish and school, renewing sacramental preparation, family-friendly liturgies and evangelisation strategies.

Fr John Pearce CP & Paige Bullen will lead the workshop on ‘Connecting the Parish and School for Christ-Centred Mission. The relationship between the parish and school represents one of the greatest opportunities for evangelisation in the Australian context. Growing relationships and connections at various levels of parish and school life has been the key ingredient in the story of St Brigid’s, Marrickville. Continue reading