Canberra hosts international meeting of general secretaries

General secretaries of the bishops conferences of France, Australia, Germany and England and Wales at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra

The general secretaries of the bishops conferences of England and Wales, Germany and France have completed a three-day visit to Canberra that examined key issues facing the Church in Australia and globally.

Fr Stephen Hackett MSC, general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said he was “delighted” to host the “very beneficial” gathering, which moves from country to country each year. Continue reading

Pope urges greater support for ministry to seafarers

Sea Sunday will be celebrated in Australia this Sunday, July 14.

In the lead-up to Sea Sunday on July 14, Pope Francis has urged chaplains and volunteers to redouble their efforts to support those working on the high seas.

The Sea Sunday Appeal offers the Church in Australia the opportunity to show its continued support for the ministry to seafarers provided by the Apostleship of the Sea and Stella Maris centres. Continue reading

Applications open for Plenary Council discernment groups

On July 1, the Plenary Council opened applications for the Discernment and Writing Groups that will play a critical role in helping the Catholic Church move forward in considering the Council’s six National Themes for Discernment.

At Pentecost, the Plenary Council announced that after almost 17,500 submissions reflecting the views of more than 222,000 people were assessed, reflected upon and prayed about, the National Themes for Discernment had emerged. Continue reading

Sr Anne Derwin’s leadership and faith remembered

Sr Anne Derwin greets Pope Benedict XVI as he arrives at the chapel in North Sydney that houses St Mary MacKillop’s tomb

Catholic leaders have paid tribute to Sr Anne Derwin RSJ, the former congregational leader of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and president of Catholic Religious Australia, who died earlier this week.

Sr Anne died peacefully at the Mater Hospital in North Sydney on June 23. She was 69. Continue reading

Faith-filled Australian lives celebrated during Ad Limina visit

Eileen O’Connor’s cause for canonisation was discussed during the Australian bishops’ Ad Limina Apostolorum visit yesterday (Archdiocese of Sydney photo)

Australian bishops are hopeful that a number of Australians could follow in the footsteps of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and enter the Church’s Communion of Saints.

As part of their Ad Limina Apostolorum pilgrimage, which commenced on Monday, bishops met Wednesday with officials from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, including its prefect, Cardinal Giovanni Becciu.

Continue reading

New coordinator appointed for women’s leadership program

Sr Ruth Durick OSU

There is a “crying need” for the voice, intellect and compassion of women to engage in the mission of Jesus through the Church, according to the newly-appointed coordinator of a peak Catholic leadership program for women.

Sr Ruth Durick OSU, who facilitated The Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship from 2006 to 2009 and has been provincial of the Ursuline Sisters, has just been appointed to the role of coordinator for Leadership for Mission. Continue reading

Bishops tackle big issues on Ad Limina visit

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP (right) celebrates Mass at St Mary Major, as Bishop Chris Saunders concelebrates

The Australian bishops have commenced a series of meetings with departments of the Holy See by visiting the influential Congregations for Bishops and for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The bishops are in Rome for their Ad Limina Apostolorum pilgrimage, which commenced on Monday with Mass at the tomb of St Peter and a two-and-a-half-hour conversation with Pope Francis – St Peter’s successor. Continue reading

Australian bishops meet Pope Francis, pray at St Peter’s tomb

Pope Francis poses for a photo with Australian bishops during their Ad Limina Apostolorum visit to the Vatican on June 24, 2019. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis has given his apostolic blessing to the Australian Catholic bishops and encouraged them to explore new ways of being missionary in Australia at this time.

Almost 40 Australian bishops today met with Pope Francis for more than two hours as part of their Ad Limina Apostolorum visit, translated as “To the Threshold of the Apostles”. Continue reading

Archbishop Mark Coleridge’s homily for Mass at the tomb of St Peter

On Monday, June 24, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference commenced its Ad Limina Apostolorum visit with Mass at the tomb of St Peter. This is Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge’s homily.

In the years when I worked here, I would often walk through St Peter’s from Santa Marta where I lived to the Palace yonder where I worked. Now and then I would think of St Peter, the Galilean fisherman lying beneath this grand pile and wonder what he makes of it. I would think of those haunting words at the end of John’s Gospel which Jesus speaks to Peter: “When you grow old, someone else will put a belt around you and take you where you would rather not go”. Continue reading

Bishops lament scourge of suicide in message for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday

A screenshot from the Australian bishops’ video message for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday

Australia’s Catholic bishops have called for greater collaboration to stem the tide of the terrible loss of life through suicide among not only the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, but throughout the wider Australian society.

In their annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday message, the bishops have identified five key principles to help government, faith-based and other organisations to walk together with communities struggling to cope with and to prevent the further loss of young lives. Continue reading

Bishops carrying prayers with them on pilgrimage

The Australian bishops will celebrate Mass in the papal basilicas, including St Peter’s, during the Ad Limina visit

Australia’s Catholic bishops have arrived in Italy and are preparing for their pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul with a period of prayer and discernment.

Almost 40 bishops will be in Rome next week for the Ad Limina Apostolorum visit, translated as “To the Threshold of the Apostles”. Continue reading

Brisbane couple’s list of awards grows longer

Kevin and Gail Shorthouse during their time in Papua New Guinea (photo supplied)

A Brisbane couple who spent 40 years as volunteers for Catholic Mission services in remote northern Papua New Guinea have been awarded Queen’s Birthday honours.

Kevin Shorthouse, 79, a former Catholic Mission pilot and teacher, and his wife Gail, 76, were pleasantly surprised on Monday to receive the Order of Australia Medal for their service to the people of Papua New Guinea. Continue reading