The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has welcomed Michael Willett as its first chief operating officer, a role established as part of the restructure of the organisation implemented in January 2020.
Mr Willett, whose background includes time in the banking industry and recent experience in the medical and not-for-profit sector, said he was excited to take up the position last week.
The two assemblies for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will now take place in October 2021 and April 2022, following the disruption of the original schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference last week decided to postpone the opening assembly by 12 months, with it now to be held in October 2021. Adelaide remains the venue for the first assembly. The second assembly will be in Sydney in April 2022.
The Australian Catholic bishops have welcomed a report into Catholic Church governance practices and possible reforms, which was presented to them shortly before last week’s plenary meeting.
The report, entitled The Light from the Southern Cross: Promoting Co-responsible Governance in the Catholic Church in Australia, was commissioned by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference following a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Catholic Emergency Relief Australia has opened an initial grant application round to support those continuing the long process of recovery from the summer’s catastrophic bushfire season.
CERA chair Susan Pascoe said while the country “is largely – and understandably – focused on the COVID-19 pandemic”, challenges like social isolation and financial hardship are exacerbating some problems the bushfires caused.
The Australian Catholic Media Council has launched a resource encouraging parishes to embrace Pope Francis’ invitation to share the Gospel story – online and in person – as the Church in Australia marks World Communications Day this Sunday, May 17.
Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day 2020, released in January, focuses on the importance of storytelling, including the sharing of stories between generations.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Australians’ lives, including their worship, the Catholic bishops will entrust the country to the care of Mary Help of Christians on her feast day next week.
In a message issued today as “A word of encouragement to the Catholic people of Australia”, the bishops noted that the country “has certainly suffered because of the pandemic, but not as grievously as some other countries”.
The Catholic bishops of Australia have today elected Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane to a second two-year term as president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
Archbishop Coleridge was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in 2002 and later became Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn. Since 2012, he has served as Archbishop of Brisbane.
Videoconferencing has become commonplace for many Catholic organisations (Catholic Voice)
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will enter uncharted territory this week as it holds its biannual plenary meeting, using video technology to allow its work to continue during the COVID-19 crisis.
Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge said the bishops are having to adapt to the current realities just like all Australians.
The Catholic community in Australia with responsibility for outreach to those who work on the seas will come together for a live-streamed Mass this week to renew themselves in their ministry.
Bishop Bosco Puthur, the Bishop Promoter for the Apostleship of the Sea Australia, said the distancing protocols in ports across the country caused by COVID-19 have had an impact on people on land and those on board.
The chairman of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service has used the annual message for the feast of St Joseph the Worker to call for “social solidarity in a time of social distancing”.
Bishop Vincent Long van Nguyen OFM Conv said the May 1 feast day has taken on additional meaning as millions of Australians face job insecurity and financial stress.
The Ruby Princess is seen during its ill-fated trip to New Zealand last month (Rebecca Comini photo)
The Ruby Princess’ much-maligned status in the country’s COVID-19 story didn’t stop the Catholic Church offering pastoral care to the crew and seeking to ensure they got the help they needed.
Bishop Bosco Puthur, the Bishop Promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea ministry to seafarers, wrote to New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, calling for the state authorities to ensure the welfare of the crew was not forgotten.
In response to the dramatic changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the bishops of Australia have made the “difficult, but necessary” decision to postpone the first assembly of the Plenary Council.
Changes in the ways people live, work and communicate due to the pandemic led the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council to consult with the advisory and planning teams, as well as the wider Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.