Carers should be celebrated as ‘our unsung heroes’

As the country marks National Carers Week, parishes and other Catholic communities are being encouraged to acknowledge and celebrate the role of those who provide unpaid support to people in need.

According to data from 2015, 2.7 million Australians were unpaid carers, offering support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged.

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Young women invited to apply for leadership program

Applications are now open for an Australian women’s leadership program that has been held up as an international exemplar for supporting the formation of Church leaders.

The Leadership for Mission program, a joint initiative of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and the Australian Catholic University with support from Catholic Mission, is a postgraduate program for women aged 25 to 35. It is delivered through three residential sessions over an 18-month period.

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Friendship and solidarity key themes in Pope Francis’ letter

(CNS photo/Cristian Gennari, pool)

A world that looks beyond a global pandemic with no roadmap can find one in Pope Francis’ new encyclical, which Archbishop Mark Coleridge says “is not just for believers but for the entire human family”.

Published this evening, the Pope’s third encyclical is entitled Fratelli Tutti (Brothers and Sisters All) – words taken from St Francis of Assisi, who the Pope says has inspired what he writes.

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Darwin Diocese commissions its Plenary Council delegates

Darwin’s Plenary Council delegates were commissioned during the diocese’s Chrism Mass on September 29 (Peter Edward photo)

The Diocese of Darwin last night became the first local Church to commission their delegates for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, the first assembly of which will open in Adelaide in 12 months’ time.

Given the postponement of the Plenary Council assemblies by a year due to COVID-19 restrictions on travel and public gatherings, it was proposed that dioceses consider commissioning their delegates on October 4, 2020 – the day the first assembly was due to commence.

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Ministry to seafarers gets new name, new logo in centenary year

As it celebrates 100 years of global ministry to seafarers, the Apostleship of the Sea is also marking the occasion with the official adoption of the familiar name Stella Maris and launch of a new logo.

Stella Maris, which translates as Star of the Sea, is the name already used for centres around the world from which pastoral care and practical support is delivered – including many Australian ports.

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Change to prayers during Mass due in November

Worshippers will from late November notice a slight change to the words the priest prays just before the Liturgy of the Word, with the amendment supporting a more faithful understanding of the Trinity.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments earlier this year wrote to episcopal conferences that use the English translation of the Roman Missal (2010) regarding a change to the conclusion to the collects – or opening prayers – used in the Mass.

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Flight into Egypt inspires message for migrants and refugees

Archbishop Christopher Prowse

The Bishop Delegate for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees has encouraged Catholics to see in the Scriptures and in Pope Francis’ example the Christian imperative to care for those “on the move”.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse, in a letter for this Sunday’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, said the understandable focus on the COVID-19 pandemic must not distract people from another ongoing crisis.

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Catholic leaders thank Implementation Advisory Group members

The presidents of Catholic Religious Australia and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference have thanked a group of key advisors who helped the Church progress matters related to safeguarding and child protection.

In letters sent earlier this month, Implementation Advisory Group (IAG) chair Jack de Groot informed Br Peter Carroll FMS and Archbishop Mark Coleridge that the group had concluded its work, with Mr de Groot noting “the many blessings that will result in taking forward the important and essential work of leading the Church in Australia”.

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Ministry to seafarers gets stamp of approval

Australia Post will release a commemorative envelope later this month celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Catholic Church’s ministry to seafarers through the Apostleship of the Sea.

The postage-paid envelope, which will cost $1.35, features an historical image of an Australian port and a photo of Melbourne Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli visiting his local Stella Maris centre in 2018.

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A Letter to the Faithful Regarding Development of a COVID-19 Vaccine


14 September 2020

Friends, I take this opportunity on the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross to share the perspective of the Catholic Church in Australia to development of a vaccine for COVID-19.

Many Catholics have sought advice from the bishops about the ethics of a vaccine, which has been discussed widely in Australia in recent weeks. Early in September I met with the Federal Health Minister to discuss vaccines for COVID-19, following a letter I wrote to the Prime Minister in July.

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Port Pirie bishop to be ordained in Poland

Fr Karol Kulczycki SDS, Bishop-Elect of the Diocese of Port Pirie, will be ordained in Poland later this month before taking up his ministry in the regional South Australian diocese.

Fr Kulczycki’s episcopal ordination will take place on September 29, the Feast of the Archangels, in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Trzebinia – the church in which he was ordained a priest in 1994.

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Holy See offers observations on Royal Commission recommendations

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has provided the Holy See’s observations on 12 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to the Australian Government.

The Royal Commission proposed that the Bishops Conference engage with the Holy See on those recommendations because they relate to universal Church law or practice. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin confirmed that the recommendations, and the entire final report of the Royal Commission, were studied closely by several Vatican dicasteries.

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