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.

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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

Scripture offers rich imagery of God’s nature

Andrea Dean, director of the Office for the Participation of Women

Last week, Brisbane’s Sunday Mail carried the headline “Brisbane Girls’ Schools Go Gender Neutral”.

Not surprisingly, the story, perhaps intended to sensationalise, was about how these schools would refer to God during prayer. It was picked up by a number of aggregation services and discussion ensued. Continue reading

Queen’s Birthday awards recognise servants of the Church

Sr Mary Shanahan was among a number of prominent Catholics to receive Queen’s Birthday honours (photo supplied)

Queen’s Birthday honours have been bestowed upon a number of leading Catholic lay and religious leaders, recognising their decades of work as servants of the Church in Australia.

Among the many Queen’s Birthday honours awardees are: Sr Mary Margaret Shanahan RSCJ, Fr Robert (Bob) Sheridan and Sr Patricia Caroline Bailey OP. Justice Neville Owen, the former chair of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, who currently serves on the Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors, has also been recognised in the awards. Continue reading

Announcement of National Themes for Discernment opens next phase for Plenary Council

The Plenary Council 2020 moves into its next phase of preparation today with the announcement of the National Themes for Discernment that emerged from a historic process of listening to the voices of more than 222,000 people.

Between May 2018 and March 2019, almost 17,500 submissions, from individuals and groups of all sizes, addressed the Plenary Council’s central question: “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?” Continue reading