ARCHDIOCESE OF CANBERRA AND GOULBURN FREE | No. 355 | JULY 2019 | Circulation 19,000 Rome welcomes Australian Bishops and Youth
Latest news and a gallery of pictures from Rome: Page 17
Bumper year for Vinnies sleepout: Page 10
New CEO of Catholic Social Services: Page 7
Senator stands for traditional values: Page 8
2 LOCAL JULY 2019 LOCAL
Edition INTHIS ARCHBISHOP CHRISTOPHER’S DIARY April
Archbishop’s Message Archbishop Christopher Prowse
Archbishop’s Message Archbishop Christopher Prowse
Evangalise always - if necessary use words Dear Friends in Christ, HAPPY EASTERTO YOU ALL! I continue the pastoral reflections on the upcoming AUSTRALIAN PLENARY COUNCIL (2020/2021) that I began in the March edition of CATHOLIC VOICE. 2. Making the Church the home and t e school of Communion BY the time you read this message the bishops of Australia would be soon returning to Australia after our Ad Limina Apostolorum visit to Rome. I wrote to you about this in the last edition of Catholic Voice (June 2019). No doubt one of the predominate Roman Empire (the Circus of Nero) where brutal games were played and communal discernment for us all to consider at this time. In his recent Apostolic Exhorta- tion (March 2019) to young people, Christus Vivit (Christ Lives), Pope Francis offers timely advice on com- munal discernment (n.291-298). It is directed to y ung people considering Women.
Clergy Retirements and Appointments Senator stands for traditional values SATURDAY, 21 6.00pm Mass, St Joseph’s Parish, O’Connor SUNDAY, 22 11.00am Mass, St Christopher’s Cathedral WEDNESDAY, 25 8.00am ANZAC Day Mass, St Christopher’s Cathedral SATURDAY, 28 6.00pm Mass, Our Lady Help of Christians Parish South Woden SUNDAY, 29 11.00am Mass, St Christopher’s Cathedral Homelessness - One night is tough enough Shane Dwyer: Should we start again? SUNDAY, 8 to WEDNESDAY, 11 Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Oceania, Port Moresby TUESDAY, 17 The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church Feast Day
SUNDAY, 21 11.00am Mass, St Christopher’s Cathedral 5.00pm Evensong of Mary Magdalene, St Paul’s Anglican Church, Manuka TUESDAY, 23 7.30am Mass, St Christopher’s Cathedral WEDNESDAY, 24 12.15pm Mass, St Christopher’s Cathedral THURSDAY, 25 Bishops NSW/ACT meeting, Sydney FRIDAY, 26 10.00 am NAIDOC Mass, Christians executed (including St Peter). The only object still visible from these times till now is the giant Egyptian obelisk in the centre of St Peter’s Square. Like an “eye” silently observing thousands of years of hu- man activity (built around 2,500 BC), it is placed on a plinth upon which is written that Christ overcomes all and reigns forever! A Cross is placed on its top. What an everlasti g message of salvation! An obelisk that evan- gelises on such an historic site for Christians! Also, so many of the Churches f Rome are built upon marble taken from the ancient ruins of the Roman Empire. These basilicas too are often actually built upon the ruins of temples to pagan gods. Often pagan temples were not to be destroyed but converted to Christian use (eg. The Pantheon over the Temple of all gods, and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva over the Temple to the Egyptian goddess, Isis). These are wordless proclamations, not that Christianity has imposed herself and conquered, but that Jesus fulfils all that has gone before Him. It is a timeless message of evangelisa- tion that was consistently showcased in the first ille nium of Christianity. With the Spanish colonial evangelisa- tions of the second millennium, this approach was, sadly, often eclipsed. The challenge for Christians always is not to decide whether or not we ought to evangelise. To evangelise by sharing with everyone our saving encounters with Jesus our Lord and Saviour is our greatest joy and duty. The challenge is to find the most “fragrant” method of evangelisation for our time and place in Australia during our Plenary Council period and beyond. Ultimately, it becomes a matter of
H aving established 2020/2021 is marked by a lgrimage of conversion, we ed to then remind ourselves at we do this as Catholics. St John Paul II, in one of his onderful documents at the turn our new millennium, reflected at the great challenge facing in the millennium which is w beginning is precisely this o make the Church the home d the school of Communion.” ovo Millennio Ineunte, 2001, 43) Reflecting on this key term promoting a spirituality communion, Pope Francis mments: “The pastoral journey of e local community has as an sential reference point the storal plan of the diocese, hich is to be placed before the ogrammes of the associations, ovements and any particular oup. This pastoral unity, of eryone around the bishop, will eate unity in the Church.” Catholics have a particular eological understanding of encouragements we would have received is to eva gelise the Good News of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God in Australia no matter what challenging socio-cultural situation is presented to us all. Especially since the Second Vati- can Council (1962-1965), the Catholic Church has entered a golden age of teaching on evangelisation. Incredibly, there are still many, however, who are suspicious of even this term. It seems to connote for them some form of imposing the Cath lic Faith on others (proselytism). In fact, Catholic evangelisation is the exact pposite of this. It PROPOSES Jesus in season and out of season to the world but never IMPOSES. Recent Popes teach that evangeli- sation proposes Christ “by attraction” more than words. In a sense, we “per- fume” the world with the fragrance of Jesus. As St Paul proclaims, “To God we are the fragrance of Christ” (2 Cor 2/15). To St Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) is attributed the follow- ing helpful expression: “Preach Jesus and, if necessary, use words”. In Rome itself you can observe this wordless evangelisati n even by making a pilgrimage to the major basilicas as the Bishops of Australia have so recently done. Here architec- ture evangelises our eternal Christian mysteries. For example, there is St Peter’s Basilica built on top of a cemetery on Vatican Hill housing the tomb of St Peter. It is also built on the top of a major entertainment arena of the that the journey to the Plenary Council
this term “pastoral plan”. For example, the documents of the Vatican II Council make it quite clear that our Church has both a hierarchical and a collegial structure. It is this living experience of Communion – of all of the baptised working in the service of the Kingdom of God among us – that is essential. Following from this is the understanding that we all have equal dignity but we serve in different tasks. The Lay Faithful direct the entire world towards the Kingdom of God. The Clergy specifically serve in the governance, teaching and sanctification of the Church. Even in this they are assisted by the Lay Faithful. The Bishops, as successors of the Apostles, serve under the leadership of the Pope, and become signs of unity and Communion of their entire diocese. We are all part of this school of communion. This is different from viewing the Church purely from the prism of a parliamentary democ- racy. The principle in a democ- racy rests on the understanding
that all power comes from the people. In the Church, however, all power comes from Christ. It is the power of the Holy Spirit to serve. There are many wonderful examples in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn over the years of the practical living out of this ecclesial vision of Communion and Service. For example, there have been several attempts in the Archdio- cese to articulate a pastoral plan for herself. In more recent years, diocesan-wide and regional deanery assemblies have moved towards a vision of encouraging our people in the crucial areas of married and family life. So many of our diocesan agencies give incredible service in this area. This pastoral plan needs further development. Diocesan Pastoral Councils have also been created to flesh out pastoral plans. These have lapsed over the years. They need to be re-freshed in a manner that involves as many as possible. Similar observa- tions could be said too about a new Diocesan Commission for
In this Year of Youth, our common vision too must be focussed on the place of youth in the Archdiocese. Surprising to some, this is a very dynamic pastoral area in the Archdiocese at present. Let us encourage it together. These and other possible examples, especially responding to the incredible thirst for prayer among so many, the pastoral care and dynamic contribution of our migrants and refugees, care for the poor and margin- alised, and the welcome of new Catholics via the RCIA, ought be areas of our communion in listening and practical charity to ensure that all find a “home” in our Archdiocese. Our pilgrimage to the national Plenary Assembly in 2020/21 offers us increased Gospel urgency to focus on these vital pastoral areas. In the next edition of Catholic Voice I will continue on these reflections in preparations for the Plenary Assembly. God bless us all in the excit- ing times ahead.
t eir vocational calling. However, the three kinds of sensitivities that the Jesuit P pe offers to individuals can help us all discern God’s will in a co munal manner. It is based, states the Holy Father, on our ability to listen. Po e Francis writes of the first sensitivity directed to the individual. There must be a willingness to listen. This requires time and giving “space” to whatever is shared. The biblical example of Jesus with the disciples on the way to Emmaus comes to mind (Luke 24/13-35). The second sensitivity is marked by discernment. “It tries to grasp where grace or temptation is present” (n.293). It tries to discern what the Holy Spirit is saying as disti ct from “the traps laid by the evil spirit… it takes courage, warmth and tact.” The third sensitivity co cerns “to perceive what is driving” us (n.294). It is a matter of discerning ultimate intentions. It is deeper than mere thoughts or feelings. It is the challenge to discern “what is most pleasing to the Lord”. All of this concerns acc mpanying each other on the journey of faith – the real meaning, surely, of what our Plenary Council is all about. The Bishops of Australia spent some generous days together in retreat considering what communal discernment is all about in our Catholic/Christian context. Let us all consider this vital topic together as we discern “what is pleasing to the Lord” for the future evangelisation of Australia.
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Rome welcomes Australian Bishops and Youth
The Pope has instituted a new Marian feast honor- ing Mary as mother of the church. It will be celebrated every year on the Monday after Pentecost. Justice Matters: The Justice of Jesus and the State
Pilgrims on a journey
ARCHDIOCESE OF CANBERRA AND GOULBURN
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Archbishop’s Diary July 2019
THURSDAY, 11- SUNDAY, 14 ACU/ La Salle Academy Intern Formation Program, London MONDAY, 15 WEDNESDAY, 17 ACU/ La Salle Academy Intern Formation Program, Rome
(National Aboriginal Islander Day Observance Celebration), St Christopher’s Cathedral SUNDAY, 28 10.00 Confirmation Mass, Sacred Heart Parish, Temora WEDNESDAY, 31 7.30am Mass, St Christopher’s Cathedral 12.30pm Inter-Faith Leaders Luncheon, Archbishop’s House 5.30pm Mass, Jesuit Fathers leaving Canberra, St Christopher’s Cathedral
HE RECENT fires at Tathra have brought great destruction properties and immense trauma to this close coastal ommunity in our Archdiocese. It reminds us all that we are a passing world as pilgrims on a journey to the Father’s eavenly home. This Easter time can help us all re-focus n the things that will never end. In Jesus Christ, our pil- rim leader, “we have this hope, and sure and steadfast nchor of the soul.” (Hebrew 6/19) As we pray for the frag- SATURDAY, 20 10.00am Catholic Women’s Gathering, Daramalan Col- lege, Dickson 6.00pm Mass, St Vincent de Paul, Com- missioning Mass - National President, St Pet r Chanel, Yarralumla
LOCAL 3 CATHOLIC VOICE
Farewelling Fr Frank
has been such a privilege to move around the country and do formation work about Catholic social teaching with our member organisations.” Fr Frank revealed his motiva- tion for the role was to better understand the needs of poor and disadvantaged people. “I had spoken to just about every principal in the country and done a lot in the health sec- tor and parishes, but I felt with the welfare sector I hadn’t made much of an impact,” he said. “Chris Sidoti (former Human Rights Commissioner) said to me, ‘You deal with Aborigines and refugees and migrants but what about the poor and disadvantaged’. “Mainstream welfare agencies do a tremendous job but those of us from the major churches provide a faith context which is so very important, and my hope is that ecumenical spirit can be strengthened.” Fr Frank’s departure marks the end of the Jesuit Community in Canberra, after 51 years. A farewell Mass to acknowledge Fr Frank, and the Jesuits’ contribution, will be held at St Christopher’s Cathedral at 5.30pm on Wednesday July 31. Archbishop Christopher Prowse will celebrate the Mass, with the Jesuit Provincial Fr Brian McCoy SJ. Everyone is welcome, with refreshments to follow.
By Felicity de Fombelle
HE may be one of Australia’s ‘Living Treasures’, but in some parts of the country, Fr Frank Brennan is a complete unknown. And that has been a welcome and humbling experience for the Jesuit priest. “It’s all very well to be a ‘Liv- ing National Treasure’,” Fr Frank told an audience recently. “But it brings you back to earth when you turn up at country centres and they say, ‘Who are you? What do you do?’ That has been good for my humility.” The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) hosted a farewell for Fr Frank in early June, to acknowledge his two and a half years as CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA). From next year, he will be Rector at Newman College at the University of Melbourne. The high-profile scholar and commentator will be much missed across the Archdiocese, where he generously assisted in many parishes, particularly in Curtin and Yarralumla, and was actively involved in a number of groups, including the Jesuit Discussion Group and Con- cerned Catholics. Among the crowd of more than 50 people at the farewell was friend Andrew Phelan from St Thomas More Parish in Campbell. “I used to be the Chief Executive and Principal Registrar of the High Court, and I knew Frank’s Dad, Gerard, who was Chief Justice for many years,” Andrew said. “He was a regular visitor after he retired too, giving talks at the Court, and we had a function last year for his 90th birthday.” ACBC General Secretary Fr Stephen Hackett MSC praised Fr Frank’s leadership and service, which he said had transformed CSSA’s focus and work. Fr Stephen also noted that, with Fr Frank’s departure, the
Marymead CEO Camilla Rowland, Fr Frank Brennan and Catholic Health Australia CEO Suzanne Grenwood. Photo Felicity de Fombelle.
three peak bodies of the Church – Catholic Social Services, the National Catholic Education Commission and Catholic Health Australia – will be led by women. Jacinta Collins is National Executive Director at the NCEC and her former Senate colleague Dr Ursula Stephens will replace Fr Frank. Catholic Health
wonderful things, but hopefully when you click your fingers he’ll return,” Mr vane-Tempest said. “When Frank joined us, we knew of his advocacy for disadvan- taged people and the Indigenous community, but what we didn’t know or expect was that Frank brings to the role significant managerial and leadership skills.
He has been innovative and agile in making that work and develop- ing partnerships to deliver on projects.” Mr vane-Tempest lauded Fr Frank’s advocacy and persuasion skills and shared a Martin Luther King quote that he said was apt for his friend: “ Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Taking up the raptor theme, Fr Frank told the group that “one of the problems with a raptor is that he is not always at home.” “And for that reason I have to acknowledge that the staff have been absolutely phenomenal,” he added. “When I arrived I was not expecting that we would have to scale back as significantly as we did, but we now have the begin- nings of better relationships with the ACBC and Catholic Health and other agencies. It
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King.
Australia is headed by Suzanne Greenwood. CSSA Board Member Paul vane-Tempest shared with the audience that, when Fr Frank’s appointment was made, he told staff they should think of the in-demand Jesuit as “a trained raptor”. “He’ll fly off and do lots of
“He has been of tremendous assistance to the Board in defining and clarifying our role and work, and that has been the overwhelming legacy and contribution Frank has made. “What was also surprising to me was Frank’s capacity to deal with the organisation’s limited and significantly reduced income.
Fr Frank, Mary Jamison and Fr Stephen Hackett. Photo Felicity de Fombelle.
Jeremy Stuparich (ACBC), Mary Miles-Craig (CSSA) and Brenton Prosser (CSSA). Photo Felicity de Fombelle.
JULY 2019 4 LOCAL
Retirements & Appointments
Retirements and appointments across the Archdiocese A number of retirements and appointments were announced for the Archdiocese in July.
Fr Dermid McDermott
Fr Neville Drinkwater
Fr Lachlan Coll.
CATHEDRAL PARISH Fr Trenton, who was the Assistant Priest of the Young Mission which includes the Par- ishes of Grenfell, Boorowa and Binalong, has commenced as the Administrator of the Cathedral Parish. He will be joined by Fr Norvin Dias from the Sydney Archdiocese, who will take on the role of Assistant Priest. Fr Trenton Van Reesch… was ordained on August 28 2015 and was appointed Assistant Priest of the Temora Mission before taking on the role of Assistant Priest of the Young Mission.
currently the Parish Priest of Young and Administrator of Grenfell, Boorowa and Binalong, will be replacing Fr Neville Drinkwater as Parish Priest at Charnwood from September 28. Fr Andrew Lotton will fill in that role from July 5 until September 27. Fr Neville Drinkwater will celebrate his final Mass as Parish priest of St Thomas Aquinas Parish in Charnwood, ACT on Thursday July 4. It is the weekly Mass celebrated with the staff and children from the parish primary school. Fr Neville was ordained in Newcastle on 24 July 1954 and has spent his sixty five years within our Archdiocese.
Queanbeyan, Gunning, Gund- agai, Curtin, Boorowa, Ungarie being places of priestly ministry, however it has been Charnwood (in 1974) where he has had the joy and the challenge of ‘starting from scratch’ to bring into being his beloved parish community- School, presbytery, Parish Centre and Church! Fr Tom Thornton was ordained in 1980 and was the Assistant Priest at Young from 1980-1985. Then followed Braddon in 1986, Bombala from 1987-89, the Marriage Tribunal in 1989, Ottawa Canada from 1989-1991 and PP at Warra- manga in 1991. From 1992-2001 he was PP at Pearce, 2001-2002
Kambah PP, 2002-2004 Hosital Chaplain, 2004-2005 Moruya PP, appointed PP Moruya and Batemans Bay 2005 and subsequently the Young Mission including Grenfell, Boorowa and Binalong. GOULBURN / CROOK- WELL /TARALGA PARISHES Fr Joshy Kurien Thekkine- dath, who is the Parish Priest of Cootamundra and the Admin- istrator of Murrumburrah, will take on the roles of Parish Priest of Goulburn/Crookwell, Administrator of Crookwell and Administrator of Taralga from Fr Dermid McDermott on September 28. Fr Dermid McDermott was ordained in 1992 at St Paul’s Seminary in Kensington after twenty years in the legal profession. He served at Page until 95, then Calwell in 1996, Young 1997 and Evatt from 1998-20091. From 2001-2009 Fr Dermid was the Parish Priest of Queanbeyan and from 2009 until now the Parish Priest of Goulburn. Fr Joshy Kurien Thekkinedath is from Kerala, India. He was or- dained in April 2012 in Canberra and appointed Assistant Priest of Queanbeyan for 18 months. From 2014 he has been the Parish Priest of Cootamundra/ Harden. From 2018 he has been the Dean (Vicar Forane) of the Western Deanery. WANNIASSA PARISH Vicar General Fr Tony Percy has been appointed Parish Priest of Wanniassa, in addition to his role as Vicar General, to replace the retiring Fr Lachlan Coll.
Fr Lachlan Coll was born in Ayrshire Scotland in 1940. After completing his primary school he migrated with his family to Australia in 1950 and settled in Tasmania. He completed his secondary schooling with the Christian Brothers at St. Virgil's College in Hobart. On leaving school he undertook the study of accountancy. In 1963 he moved to Canberra with the Commonwealth Audit Office. He was married at St. Christopher's Cathedral in 1964 and spent the next three years in Papua New Guinea. He has a son and two daughters and five grandchildren. His wife died in 1984. Father Lachlan entered St. Paul's National Seminary for late vocations to the priesthood in 1988. He was ordained to the priesthood in August 1992 at Holy Family Parish, Gowrie. He has served in a number of city and country parishes within the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn since ordination. In August 2008 Father Lachlan took up his present appointment as Parish priest at St. Anthony’s of Padua. Fr Tony Percy will take on the role of Parish Priest of Wan- niassa from August 24. He was ordained in 1990 and appointed Assistant Priest of Young from 1991-1994. From 1994 – 1997 he was Assistant Priest of Quean- beyan, from 1997-1999, Admin- istrator of Ardlethan, Ariah Park and Barellan and from 1999-2003 studied in Washington DC. From 2003-2008 he was Parish Priest of Goulburn, from 2008-2014, Rector of the Sydney Seminary and from 2015 until now has been the Vicar General of the Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese.
CHARNWOOD PARISH Fr Tom Thornton, who is
CATHOLIC VOICE LOCAL 5
Sisters of Mary Queen of Peace - 50 years
C elebrating the 15 th S t T homas M ore P arish and F orum D inner
Maeve Heaney: Women Leadership in the Church
By Chris Gordon
day can’t fit into words… I mean we can’t even really name God.” As a member of a consecrated ministry, Dr Heaney has com- mitted herself to God through vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, giving her another perspective on the role of women in the church. “It will never be a majority calling nor perhaps should it be but there is a tremendous history in the church of religious women and men committing to an “alone with God” commitment and service of others. Religious life shifts according to the needs, so the way it looks changes, as it responds to the signs of the times. “You have congregations that emerge dedicated to education, dedicated to health, a lot of the more recent ones would be dedicated to evangelisation, or prayer, or current issues such as trafficking or refugees … but I believe the church will always have people called to consecrated life. I think it’s an intrinsic part of how some people understand God’s calling. It’s been present in our church since the beginnings, in different forms, but it’s always been there.” One of the questions that is sometimes raised in discussions about the role of women in the Catholic Church is whether women should be able to become priests, but Dr Heaney believes the question itself is limited. “We need to broaden the question,” she said. “I think we need to think about the different roles that men and women can have in collaborating together. I think we probably need to deepen our own ecclesiology and our theology of priesthood and the priesthood of the baptised so we can under- stand better how those two knit together. And that would help us ask the question differently. “We have an image of priests, and we have a specific image of leadership when we ask that question, but I think we need to reimagine both. So I’m not saying it’s not a question, or not an important one, I’m saying maybe we’re not ready for it… and that’s a maybe, I don’t know.” “But I think we need to walk with care. Sometimes this conver- sation really gets hijacked and polarised and people stop listen- ing to one another and I think that’s unhelpful. So that’s not a theme I speak into specifically because I think we need to broaden the question.”
THIS year’s St Thomas More Forum could hardly have been more timely. The presentation by Dr Sr. Maeve Louise Heaney VDMF, entitled “ Women’s Leadership in the Future of the Church: Naming the Nameless ” traversed some of the discussion points and recom- mendations that have arisen from the Royal Commission and the Plenary Council process regard- ing the role of women in the Church. Dr Heaney, a consecrated member of the Verbum Dei Community and Director of the Xavier Centre for Theological Formation at Australian Catholic University, theologises through words and music and will be bringing this expertise into the evening’s forum, along with her personal experience and theologi- cal training. “Music and theology is my specific area of research, rather than leadership or what might be called feminist theology,” she explained. “But I was asked to speak about this theme as a woman who serves in areas of leadership. I direct a Centre for theological formation, a field which is often led more by men than women, and I have often been asked to talk about what this means, what it feels like. “I think the Church needs to reflect more deeply on our ecclesiology and what our com- munities look like and could look like. The Pope asked for reflec- tion in Evangelii Gaudium on how women could be more involved in decision making in church structures… the Royal Commis- sion also asked for lay people to be involved in that process. “The Australian Bishops since the year 2000 have been commit- ted to reflecting upon and trying to open spaces for there to be more balance in the presence of men and women around areas of ecclesial work in the world. So I think, at present, there are many women doing many wonderful things but I also think we need to think about it more and address it more for the future generations. Dr Heaney explained that these are not radical thoughts or considerations and that, while the essentials should and will remain unchanged, that there is still a discussion to be had about the changing shape of people’s involvement in the church. “I know a lot of young women
ON THE eve of Pentecost, One of the Sisters of Mary Queen of Peace with Archbishop Christopher Prowse. Photo supplied. Archbishop Christopher Prowse, celebrated a Mass for the Congregation of Sisters of Mary Queen of Peace at their community house in Bonner. This occasion recognized the fact that this year the Congregation celebrated 50 years since their foundation in Buonmethuot Diocese by Bishop Peter Nguyen Huy Mai. The Congregation devel- oped a Charism of building up the Kingdom of God especially among the ethnic minority peo- ple who lived in the Central Highlands. They were estab- lished on the Model and Motherhood of Mary who sought to build a life founded on pondering how she was called to be obedient to God’s will in serving others. When Archbishop Christopher asked Sr. Kim, the community leader what was the special gift of this congregation she replied, “It was to live the spiritual and corporal works of mercy which sought to reach out to those in greatest need.” She also commented about how the sisters bore witness to the Gospel in their work of vis- itation and living a life of sim- plicity, joyfulness and generosity to others. The congregation now has 54 community houses in Viet Nam and overseas. There are currently 246 fully professed sisters, 139 sisters who have taken temporary vows, 51 novices, 27 postulants and 102 young women in for- mation who aspire to consider a life as a religious sister. Over 100 people attended the Mass and cultural evening which celebrated the important contribution that the congrega- tion has made to the local com- munity especially in Holy Spirit Parish, Gungahlin, in Canberra and in surrounding regions. This was a joyful occasion in which people raised their hearts and minds to God in song, dance and celebration.
Dr Sr Maeve Louise Heaney VDMF. Photo Jeanine Doyle.
that look at the church and don’t feel that there’s enough space for them,” she said. “I think the Church is shifting and changing. I love my Church
Dr Heaney’s presentation also showcased something new for the forum. She drew not only upon her experiences as a woman, a leader in the Church, and her
God communicates with us in a variety of ways and limiting ourselves to just words can sometimes limit our capacity of understanding things.
and I think we have a history, a heritage and traditions to hold on to, and yet we need to mediate into the future what we are called to be. I’m not saying the essen- tials are changing … they can’t … but what it looks like in the future might, and perhaps none of us know really how, and therefore how we can build it together needs thought. “I think the role of women and how baptised people interact with priests… how they can support them, and our bishops more, and what roles can be given to women to make that task more collaborative. “I’m not trailblazing some- thing that people don’t know, I’m giving expression to things that are currently happening. And I think we need to imagine things differently. There are many Scrip- ture passages that would help us, but we need more knowledge of scripture. “We should also look at the history of the church, as there have been women involved in many ways that we often forget or lose sight of. So I think we need to reflect upon it more and collaborate more.”
theological training, but also her skills and passion for music and performance which she believes are complementary. “There are theological reasons as well as musical reasons for combining the two elements,” she explained. “My PhD and my training is theological, but my area of research was interdisciplinary because there’s a whole thread of theology that emerged in the twentieth century that invited us to think about theology more broadly and to integrate the notion of beauty, of the arts, the fact that we don’t only com- municate with words… and that THE WORD that we believe in is bigger than words. “God communicates with us in a variety of ways and limit- ing ourselves to just words can sometimes limit our capacity of understanding things. At the end of the day writing novels, storytelling, music, poetry are also ways in which we make sense of things, so why shouldn’t theology use some of those tools in order to help us broaden and grasp in greater depth what our faith has to say… which at the end of the
JULY 2019 6 LOCAL Women’s twilight retreat OVER 80 women of diverse ages,
ourselves as God sees and accepts us, and this helps us to get on with the business of living out our call, faithful to him.” Zuzy Webster, par- ish secretary in Yass, attended with a carload of other working mums. She found it a fantastic opportunity to connect, share and explore aspects of faith with a diverse group. “It was great to see that you are not alone or isolated as a person of faith” said Zuzy. Zuzy believes that “women of faith are
occupations and backgrounds gathered on cold winter's eve at the end of May for a Women’s Twilight Retreat in the Cathedral parish centre, Manuka. Vicki Dunne MLA was among the women who attended and described the event as “very inspiring and prayer- ful. It was a great joy to see so many women of all ages joined together,” she said. The night was hosted by the Dis- ciples of Jesus Community as a service to the women of the Archdiocese. Organiser Cathy Madsen described it simply as an opportunity to “share dinner together, get inspired and meet new friends” Through the talks and personal sharings, participants were invited to accept the idea that “having lives which are ‘less than perfect’ is really normal. It’s a beautiful opportunity to let God work in us and show Him off as the one who IS perfect”, Cathy Madsen explained. “It’s through accepting the reality of how messy our lives can be some- times, that we come to see and accept FR ANDREW Lotton was joined on Sunday June 9 at a celebration of 10 years in the priesthood in concelebration with Fr Paul Nulley PP at Joseph’s Par- ish and Sebastiano Sanna of the Apostolic Nunciature - in celebra- tion with the Neo-Catechumenal Way Community of the Parish. Fr Andrew, who is the acting Administrator of St Christopher’s Cathedral Parish, is a “local boy,” born and raised in Canberra. He recalled his long journey to the priesthood from practical atheism, Anglicanism and a significant experience with Catho- lic Charismatic Renewal. The Lord finally brought him a catechesis conducted by the Neo- catechumenal Way in Canberra, including its itinerary of faith formation in a small community. Jobs with the British and South African High Commissions were punctuated with periods in and out of the seminary leading to ordination for the Diocese of Perth in June 2009. “I love preaching the Good News, being in the Evangelisation gives me great happiness, not knowing where the Lord will take me,” Fr Andrew said. “What do you want me to say today Lord, what have you prepared for me? I was once a lonely man who could not even speak. Look at what the Lord has done for me, because he loves Michael Claessens
Above: Julie Anne Adlawan, and Rachel Fleurant (Missionaries of God’s Love) with young mum Anna Jeffrey Right: Over 80 women enjouy a simple dinner and some fellowship
very powerful, even if they don’t feel like that all of the time”. She was so in- spired by the retreat that she is talking to other school mums in Yass about starting a regular group to connect and share around faith. Another women’s retreat
opportunity is coming up in July, this one hosted by the Sisterhood National Catholic Women’s Movement. 9.00am- 5pm Sat 27th July, Haydon Hall Manuka more info at https://www.sis- terhood.org.au/local-connect-groups
A simpler way to donate
10 years of priesthood
FIRST it was coins in the plate… then it was notes. And now… electrons? At a number of parishes across the Archdiocese, parish- ioners are now able to tap their debit and credit cards to make donations during collections at Mass and other times. The Catholic Development Fund (CDF) has purchased a number of Quest donation tap machines for people to utilize at parishes and other institutions. “We began rolling these out just before Christmas,” CDF Manager Michele Murdock explained. “The first ones went to the Gungahlin parish and also at Bungendore over Christmas.” The tap machines can be used several ways, depending on the choice of the parish. Some are passed around with the collection plates, and some sit in a fixed position that parishioners can access as they choose. “I know at Gungahlin they have two devices connected to chargers that go into their basket plates that they pass around the main body of the Church for their Saturday night Mass and at other times they have one in the foyer and another available as required.” The machines are limited to “tap” transactions only and don’t allow insertion chip reading or strip swiping. Machines are now in use in
Gungahlin, Kambah, Goulburn and Tumut parishes, as well as St Mary Mackillop Hall, Eden, Marymead, CatholicCare and on CDF Loan (two devices for special events). “We have 22 devices so far with more coming,” said Michele. The amount is preset to suit each parish but can be changed for individual events, then changed back if required. “Gungahlin set it at $20 initially at Christmas and then in January they dropped it to $10,” Michele explained. “Fives and tens seem to be the most common setting but you can have several devices with different amounts. South Woden had a Youth Mass recently and had one device set to $5 and one to $10.” While it’s still too early to determine if the tap and go method of donations is raising
more or less money, figures from one site suggest they’ve made $4,000 from the devices since December. From all of the devices in use, $9,700 has been raised. “From my experience speak- ing to people at Bungendore as well, on occasions like Christmas and Easter where you get people coming that may not ordinarily come to Mass and may not think to bring cash with them that they’ve got the opportunity to give as well,” Michele said. Devices are soon to arrive at Queanbeyan, North Belconnen Parish Churches (Kaleen & Evatt), Bungendore & Woden South. The CDF board has recently approved the purchase of 10 devices. These machines are complementing the CDF Qkr! Parish mobile app which is also growing in use in the Archdiocese.
me! This is what he wants to do for you as well I’m sure. My life has been an adventure and I look forward to seeing what God has planned for me” Fr Andrew’s joy and evident gift for preaching are strong testimony to the huge vocational energy generated by the new movements and ecclesial realities being generated locally and across the Church... new seminaries, new orders and a new style of priesthood - charisms equipping the Church for the challenges it faces into this new millennium. Fr Andrew Lotton cutting the cake to celebrate his 10 years of priest- hood. Photo supplied
CATHOLIC VOICE LOCAL 7
Dr Ursula Stephen accepts the baton
Catholic social teachings, and you imbue those into the organisa- tions and the way in which we work in communities, then we do have an opportunity to influence government decisions. “We have an obligation to actually tell government how their decisions impact on the ground. And although a seasoned politician, Dr Stephens is proud of never placing politics ahead of her faith. When the Labor Party went in one direction regarding same-sex marriage, Dr Stephens exercised a conscience vote as she’d done a number of times before. “In my very first year in parliament the Access to RU486 legislation, which was basically an abortion debate, I advocated a position that was, I know, socially conservative at that time,” Dr Stephens recalls. “However, I’ve always respected the importance to have different voices being heard. I know that people felt there was someone in the parliament reflecting their concerns and I was fine about doing that. “We are currently being faced with the Victorian assisted dying legislation which comes into effect with many safeguards in place. However, the Church’s position is that there is dignity in dying that we need to acknowl- edge and our focus should be on dramatically improving palliative care services. “These are all testing issues, and I’m sure there will be more “ I don’t feel that I have to fit into his shoes at all, and if I did I try I would fall very short, so I will endeavour to put my own mark on the organisation.
of advocacy on behalf of her constituents and also has extensive experience and a deep understanding of the social services sector, social policy development, government relations and community services more broadly. She holds a PhD in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Education and is an active member of her local parish community, serving on the finance council. Perhaps a better analogy than “filling shoes” might be accepting the baton passed to her for the next phase. Fr Frank’s term as CEO overlapped with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual abuse. The next phase might be described as the Post Royal Com- mission Phase, or the Plenary Phase, or simply the next phase in the CSSA’s existence. “We’ve had the Royal Com- mission which has been quite traumatic for the Church, for the community, for the victims and friends of victims. It’s really had a ripple effect through society,” Dr Stephens said. “But right now there’s a Royal Commission into Aged Care, and a Royal Commission into Disability Services. I think that we’re going to see very significant outcomes from these Royal Commissions as well, which will impact on the service delivery in the future. “So many of our member or- ganisations, as contracted service providers will be very challenged by some of the outcomes of these Royal Commissions. Help- ing them through that is going to be an important next step. “We will also have the out- comes of the Plenary Council to consider. Some will impact on parish based social services organisations, so we’ll be consid- ering all these challenges with an eye to the future – what are we all going to look like in five years’ time.” Dr Stephen’s availability for the position came due to a confluence of events – the timing of Fr Frank accepting his new position in Melbourne, and the result of the NSW state elections. Dr Stephens was committed to campaigning for the seat of Goulburn when the job was first
in the future, perhaps around eugenics or even environmental issues.. But I don’t stand by my faith in a dogged or adversarial way… I just think people need to see that there is a reflection of the whole of society’s values in the parliament and that’s an important legacy.” In preparation for her new role, Dr Stephens has already had a number of discussions with the CSSA Chair, Dr Maria Harries, attended a board meeting and will do a fuller handover with Fr Frank in the week before she commences. And while she readily con- cedes she has much to become familiar with, she has set herself a few key areas to focus on. In ad- dition to aged care, disability care, poverty and homelessness, Dr Stephens is keen to support those currently involved in Catholic Social Services. “I think that one challenge we have is in supporting our network of services, particularly in our rural and regional areas. Many are working on their own, or in a small team, delivering services to very vulnerable people.” she said. “They can be in the poorest communities or the most remote parts of the country, with limited professional support and trying to work in a model that’s been rolled out in the cities. There’s no one-size-fits-all model, but sometimes policy tries to make it look that way. “CSSA will be using an evidence-based approach to demonstrate what works best in those circumstances,” Dr Stephens said. “Our research and our advo- cacy will be aimed at ensuring we provide best value and greatest impact to deliver a fair and just society. “Our greatest strength as an organisation is our network of highly skilled, professional and committed people, whose experience will help to provide innovative and credible solutions for change. “We are driven by our values of compassion, collaboration and accountability and our capacity to think strategically about some of society’s most wicked policy problems.”
By chris gordon
THE clichéd comment to make to someone about to take over from a well-known and highly regarded person, is to say they have big shoes to fill. In taking over from Fr Frank Brennan as the new CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia on July 1, Dr Ursula Stephens comes to the position with very sizeable shoes of her own. At least metaphorically, even if her actual feet lean towards the daintier end of the spectrum. “First of all I believe Fr Frank Brennan leaves an extraordinary legacy for Catholic Social Services, not just in the organisa- tional change that he’s overseen, but also in guiding members and member organisations through some of the real trauma within the sector of the Royal Commis- sion and post the Royal Commis- sion,” Dr Stephens said. “We all know Fr Frank is very charismatic, he’s highly intelligent, a gifted speaker, and he’s an eminent lawyer. He has brought all of those gifts and experience to bear on his role, as he will, I’m sure, in his new role as Rector at Newman College.” “So no, I don’t feel that I have to fit into his shoes at all, and if I did I try I would fall very short, so I will endeavour to put my own mark on the organisation. “I believe one of my skills is in fostering collaboration across the CSSA networks and between the Catholic agencies - Catholic Social Services, Catholic Health and Catholic Education. I feel that we have a lot in common and will have more in common as we tackle challenges such as how we’re supporting an ageing population in Australia into the future.” Dr Stephens spent 12 years in the Australian Parliament as a Senator for New South Wales from 2002 to 2014, representing the Australian Labor Party. In that time she was Par- liamentary Secretary Assisting the Prime Minister for Social Inclusion in the first Rudd Gov- ernment, and later Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector. Dr Stephens comes to the position with a strong record
advertised and couldn’t apply initially. But when one door closed, she was available and very interested in the job that almost perfectly aligned with her back- ground and ongoing activities. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with people who are totally committed to delivering for those who are on the margins, and I think that’s such a powerful opportunity to be able to support them and to advocate for them,” she said. “They’re doing so much work on the ground. Fr Frank has done an amazing job in reforming the organisation and positioning CSSA for the future. “What comes now is the importance of advocacy and research in areas of social policy and social justice. We have the most extraordinary network of organisations with Catholic Social Services… 53 members and 650 sites across Australia… This is the largest reach of any organisation in social services and we have the capacity to really transform lives and influence government policy around that.” While Dr Stephen political background equips her well for policy, she makes the point that the role and approach as CEO of CSSA will be very different. “Catholic Social Services Aus- tralia, Catholic Health Australia and Catholic Education are three pillars of fundamental societal values and opportunities,” Dr Stephens explained. “It’s about life-long care. So if you draw on fundamental
JULY 2019 8 EDITORIAL Senator stands for traditional values
By catherine sheehan
Senator Stoker on…
BUSY mother of three, Amanda Stoker, left behind a successful career as a barrister to enter the Australian Parlia- ment last year because of her growing concern that freedom of speech was increasingly under threat in the country she loves. The Liberal Senator from Queensland says she was particularly concerned that Christians and other people with conservative views were being pushed out of the public square. “I had this frustration that the public space was becoming a place that was hostile for people who had traditional values, people who were Chris- tians or people who had similar world views,” Senator Stoker said. “I couldn’t stand by and allow that to continue because to do that would mean I was living in a country where my children wouldn’t have funda- mental freedoms to pursue a whole range of things, most importantly their faith. So that was one of the motivations that I stepped up when the oppor- tunity arose.” As Anglicans, she and husband Adam, are raising their three girls – Mary, aged five, Jane, three and Emma, one and-a –half – in the faith. “It’s a big part of our lives,” she said. “I feel like somehow in the twisted name of tolerance, many traditional and Christian voices have been shamed or shut out of the public space. I think that is something deeply harmful to us in the long term.” “Building an Australian cul- ture where we genuinely live and let live, where people are truly free to pursue their own pas- sions and their own definition of the perfect life, that’s what I’m really passionate about.” Senator Stoker is also passionately pro-life and she addressed Parliament in August last year in opposition to a bill seeking to allow the Northern Territory to enact Assisted Suicide legislation. “Not everyone is a Christian but I think everyone should be able to understand that the practice of euthanasia being permitted would harm our culture in a way that creates a subtle pressure for people regarded as resource intensive or a bit of a burden to voluntarily exit lest they become a hassle for others,” she said.
Political correctness: Political correctness and identity politics are toxic to the health of society because they silence free speech and they turn our society tribal in a way It’s the kind of empty gesture that characterizing the hard left at the moment when anybody who is really serious about virtue, is hands-on helping their neighbours and community. Religious freedom: It is a fundamental individual right and it is absolutely vital that all Australians are able to practice their faith unthreat- ened by fashionable causes. Abortion: It’s the first human right. If we don’t protect the right to life then none of the other things we associate with being human are truly safe.The measure of a society is the way it treats those who can’t speak for themselves.That has to include he elderly, those struggling with illness or disability, and those children who are not yet born. If we don’t speak up for and protect their first and most fundamental human right, then we’re not a very humane society at all. Euthanasia: I think it’s the kind of threshold that you can’t come back from. It is truly a slippery slope kind of case and you can look to any number of cases like Holland that show people who have in fact been not provided with good mental health manage- ment or management of pain being pushed down this path. If we just got the health care right, properly resourced and respectfully delivered, there would be less attractiveness for this kind of a course and there would I think be more under- standing of the fact that one can have a dignified death without having to kill themselves. Motherhood: It is the greatest privilege. It’s the biggest joy and you think you know how good it will be and it exceeds all expectations. The Catholic Church: I hope I can provide some encouragement to Catholics that tears us apart. Virtue-signaling:
and all Christians to more bravely and publicly proclaim their faith because in doing so they empower and encourage other Christians. Women in politics: I think women in politics make a great contribution but the best contributions I see in the Parliament are from parents of both sexes.The experience of being a parent is extremely important to the ability to formulate policy that reflects the lives that most Australians are leading. “Having it all”: Anyone who pretends they have it all is a liar.There’s nothing wrong with doing a few things well or doing all things across your lifetime, but not at once. I think sometimes we overwhelm and unnecessarily stress young women in particular with the lie that says you can have all things at once and it will be easy when the truth is there’s a season for I think most Australians accept that there is a section of our community for which same-sex marriage is important but that right can’t trump the rights of others who think differ- ently.That’s why religious freedom in this country needs to be protected. Transgender rights and Safe Schools: We can’t let leftist ideology trump biology.We can’t let the State take away a parent’s right to educate their child or children according to their own faith and their own values. Israel Folau: Israel Folau’s experience shows us that it has now become political and controversial to express, albeit inarticulately, a biblical truth because it has the potential to offend a small seg- ment of our community.What is lost in the media coverage is that he was trying to send a positive message about the availability of salvation for all of us.And the fact that doesn’t get covered says a lot about the agenda our press is intent on prosecuting. everything and that’s ok. Same-sex marriage:
Senator Amanda Stoker. Photo supplied.
“I think that would be a really sad shift in our culture and one that you could not protect against with any number of technical ‘safeguards’.” Senator Stoker said it was her husband who “prodded” her at the critical moment to enter politics and continues to be “wonderfully supportive” of her life as a Senator. Although too young to comprehend exactly what she does, she loves the fact her three girls don’t think it strange their mother is a politician. “They think it’s entirely normal and the kind of thing that any person who loves their country should be able to do.” While the recent election win for the Morrison government was not expected, Senator Stoker said she was not sur- prised that Australians voted in his favour. “I knew we were always the underdogs but everywhere we went and with every group we spoke to, the Prime Minister made a great impression. He had a great way of connecting with people and of understanding what matters to Australians.
“I never gave up hope and I’m really delighted to see the Australian people were willing to give him and the team the trust and the opportunity to govern for three years.” Having been in the Senate now for just over 12 months, Senator Stoker said she would like to see more topics on the parliamentary agenda that are relevant to the everyday con- cerns of Australians. “It’s the kind of place, that if you ever start to feel comfort- able in it, it’s time to go,” she laughed. “The things that get talked about in that building are often so far from what is on the hearts and minds of the Australians I represent.” “I think that shows how important it is to have people who are connected to their homes represented in the Parliament but also I think it’s really important to have families [represented] because it’s my life experience that you become a lot less willing to compromise on key issues when there’s something bigger than yourself at stake.”Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10-11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20
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