Category Archives: Bishops

Dealing with abuse, theological and spiritual reflections

Fr Hans Zollner SJ

Fr Hans Zollner SJ. Photo credit

On 28 July, Fr Hans Zollner SJ will lead a day of reflection for bishops and leaders of religious institutes across Australia about dealing with abuse.

Fr Hans is President of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

The National Committee for Professional Standards will host the day of reflection in Sydney entitled: Dealing with abuse: Theological and Spiritual Reflection with an international perspective.

Fr Hans lectures at the Gregorian Institute in Rome and is also a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. He is visiting Australia for a short time in late July 2016.

The day will focus on exploring the personal and communal impact of child sexual abuse. There will be an opportunity to reflect on how we live spiritually and theologically in this time and to ask where God is calling us through this challenge. There may be an opportunity to share the experiences and lessons learnt from those in similar circumstances in other parts of the world.

The National Committee for Professional Standards is seeking to provide an important opportunity for our bishops and religious leaders to share and explore their own experience of dealing with abuse during this challenging time for the Church internationally.

Further details are available from: or (02) 9669 6218.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples live the name of mercy in their lives

ATSI_Sunday_2016 210 x 210Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples so often live the name of mercy in their lives, Bishop Christopher Saunders stated as he launched the annual statement to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday on 3 July.

‘The peoples of Australia’s First Nations are famously resilient and in their own words they are survivors. Notwithstanding the vagaries of government policy or the faulty efforts at work to close the gap, or the dreadful prejudices evident in racist attitudes so notoriously on display even in the public forum in recent times, Aboriginal and Islander Peoples so often live the name of mercy in their lives.’

Representing the Australian Catholic Bishops Commission for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (BCATSIP), Bishop Saunders also launched a new brochure ‘Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners 2016’ as a guide for parishes and Catholic organisations to use when hosting an event or service.

The theme of this year’s statement is how We Need Mercy. ‘Pope Francis tells us that humanity is deeply wounded and for this reason is in need of mercy, a mercy proclaimed by God and tenderly shared among people.’ Continue reading

Two new Auxiliary Bishops appointed to the Archdiocese of Sydney

Bishop-Elect Anthony Randazzo

Bishop-Elect Anthony Randazzo

His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed as Auxiliary Bishops of Sydney, the Reverend Monsignor Anthony Randazzo of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, and the Reverend Father Richard James Umbers of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei.

Mons Randazzo has also been appointed Titular Bishop of Quiza and Fr Umbers, Titular Bishop of Thala.

President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, welcomed the announcement by the Holy Father today.

‘I warmly welcome Monsignor Anthony Randazzo and Father Richard Umbers appointed as Auxiliary Bishops of Sydney. Both pastors bring a diversity of talents; they are generous and hard working, real men of the Church. Their gifts will be a further enrichment to the Archdiocese and to the Australian bishops. May they serve for many years.’

Upon receiving his new appointment, Bishop-Elect Randazzo said, ‘I find it a great privilege and joy to be called by the Holy Father to this role in the Archdiocese of Sydney. I am looking forward to meeting the people, the priests and religious across the Archdiocese, they are valiant people who have a marvellous faith. I look forward to evangelising with them and taking the Church into the modern world’. Continue reading

Why do we need faith in order to lead effectively?

Archbishop Costelloe

Archbishop Costelloe

Opening Reflection by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, Chair of the Australian Catholic Bishops Commission for Catholic Education at the NCEC conference on Sunday 19 June 2016.

Good afternoon everyone. My name is Archbishop Tim Costelloe and it is my great pleasure and honour to welcome you all to the National Catholic Education Commission Conference for 2016. I do so in my capacity as the Archbishop of Perth, as Chair of the Australian Catholic Bishops Commission for Catholic Education, as a proud and passionate supporter of our Catholic schools and as a fellow disciple of Jesus Christ with all of you. And so to you all, locals and visitors alike, leaders, teachers, and students in our schools and Education Offices, laity, religious and clergy, special guests and presenters, friends of Catholic education, and all of you brothers and sisters together as God’s holy people, welcome. Continue reading

Pathways for Christian Discipleship

Bishop Christopher Saunders

Bishop Christopher Saunders.

Highlighting the necessity of humility in Christian discipleship, Bishop of Broome, Christopher Saunders, delivered an address to Catholic educators at the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) conference in Perth on Sunday 19 June 2016. Bishop Saunders’ address is available below or you can view it on YouTube.

Matthew 28:18-20. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the very end of time.”

Thank you very much for your kind introduction. I wish to acknowledge the Whadjuk Noongar people of this region upon whose ancestral country we stand. Continue reading

Bishop Long’s homily during Mass of Installation


Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM ConV and Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP.

Dear friends,

The clergy and Catholic people of Parramatta have been waiting for long and here I am, only five feet and a half though. After 19 months without a bishop, you have been given one in the person of a Vietnamese Australian and a former boat person. Perhaps, you can add my appointment to the list of surprises that Pope Francis has done.

I am very honoured and humbled by this appointment and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Church in Parramatta during this time. As guided by my motto “go further into the deep” (Lk 5:40), I have taken many leaps of faith before, including the one that launched me literally onto the Pacific Ocean. Now I am about to be cast into the deep interior of Western Sydney, all the way to the beautiful Blue Mountains and the fertile plains of the Hawkesbury River. I cannot help but feel daunted by what lies ahead. Nevertheless, I make bold to move forward, trusting in the sustaining power of God and the support of many people and fellow ministers of the Gospel. Continue reading

Bishop Vincent Long Installed as Fourth Bishop of Parramatta

The new Bishop received formal recognition from a family in the Diocese, two pilgrims who will be participating in World Youth Day 2016, two members of Religious communities from the Diocese and two priests of the Diocese. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

The new Bishop receives formal recognition from a local priest. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

A Liturgical Reception and Solemn Mass of Installation celebrated the appointment of former Vietnamese boat person, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM ConV, as the fourth Bishop of Parramatta at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta tonight.

The Mass was concelebrated by Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Reverend Adolfo Tito Yllana, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, the archbishops and bishops of Australia, clergy of the Diocese of Parramatta and visiting clergy.

Prayers of the faithful were read in Malayalam, Arabic, Auslan, Cantonese, Spanish and Polish representing the ethnic diversity across the diocese. Continue reading

Australian Bishops head to World Youth Day

Nineteen Australian bishops will pack their bags for World Youth Day next month, proving age is no barrier to participation in the World’s largest youth event.

The faith filled festival will take place in Krakow, Poland from 25 – 31 July, with more than 2,500 Aussie pilgrims attending including teachers, chaplains, youth leaders and those who may be unsure about their faith.

Half of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will participate in World Youth Day celebrating St John Paul’s vision for young people, renewed again with the presence of Pope Francis.

President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, said, ‘World Youth Day is a unique opportunity for young people to deepen their faith and unity with the Pope and with each other. It is often a life-changing experience’.

‘During the five World Youth Days that I have attended, I have found my faith encouraged by the joy and deepening faith of beautiful young people,’ Archbishop Hart added. Continue reading

Bishops Establish New National Centre for Evangelisation

National Centre for EvangelisationA new National Centre for Evangelisation (NCE) is being established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.  It will bring together the work of the Catholic Enquiry Centre and the National Office for Evangelisation.

The Bishops Commission for Evangelisation made the announcement on Thursday 2 June 2016.

Launching the new Centre, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Chair of the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, said that ‘we’re trying to bring the old and the new together in a fresh configuration’.

The priorities of the new National Centre for Evangelisation (NCE) include further developing the work carried out by the Catholic Enquiry Centre and the National Office for Evangelisation.

The Catholic Enquiry Centre (CEC) was founded in 1959 to offer an invitation to all who are not Catholic to learn about and understand the Catholic faith through the promotion of courses and activities that seek to evangelise unbelievers. It will continue to operate within the new National Centre for Evangelisation. Continue reading

Liturgy of Lament and Hope

D8E_9384_ThumbOn Friday 3 June, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, a Liturgy of Lament and Hope to acknowledge publicly the pain and suffering of those who have been wounded by abuse in the Catholic Church, was held in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, Waitara.

Bishop Peter Comensoli, Bishop of Broken Bay, called upon his brother priests and the Diocesan faith community to join him for this sacred event, with more than 200 braving the wild Sydney weather to come together in prayer.

Opportunities for expressing lament such as this are important – a time at which people can give voice and shape to shared feelings of sadness, regret, and solidarity for what has occurred in our communities, and a time for the Diocese as a family to pray for those who have been wounded and turn towards the Lord with hope for healing. Continue reading

A Prayer for the Election

Hands folded in prayer. Instagram effect. Focus on thumbs.

Holy God, at the dawn of time you fashioned the world and set it on its course. In the fullness of time your Son took flesh and sowed the seeds of a new order, and day by day your Spirit works to bring to birth your realm of mercy, justice and peace.

We give you thanks for Australia, the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit. In this Spirit we pray for our land and all its people as the nation prepares to elect a new Federal Parliament.

We pray for the women and men who have offered themselves as candidates for public office. May those who are elected set their hearts always on honourable service and the common good.

We pray for the citizens of this much-blessed country, that they may take up their responsibility to vote with wisdom and freedom, and choose what is best for the whole community. Continue reading

Church communications in a digital environment

Bishop Comensoli

Bishop Peter Comensoli, Bishops Delegate for Media.

There really is something special about Rome. I was recently there (again!) for the Professional Seminar for Church Communications Offices, offered biennially by the University of Santa Croce, who offers a very substantial communications and media academic program.

Like any trip to Rome for a bishop, such occasions also offer the opportunity to ‘do some business’, which I duly did – catching up with friends, having a few meetings on the side, and especially this year, passing through the Holy Door of Mercy at St Peter’s Basilica. Che bella, Roma!

I was attending the Seminar in my capacity as the episcopal delegate on social communications for the Bishops’ Commission for Evangelisation (having recently succeeded Bishop Peter Ingham in the role – from ‘Pete’ to ‘re-Pete’!) My own Comms Director at Broken Bay, Annie Carrett, encouraged me to attend, having herself attended one of the past seminars and found the networking among fellow professionals particularly good. (I should add that Annie wasn’t so happy that I travelled alone!) Continue reading