Catholic Voice - February 2020

ARCHDIOCESE OF CANBERRA AND GOULBURN FREE | No. 361 | February 2020 | Circulation 19,000


Cobargo residents Deb Taylor and Carolyn More found themselves in the fight of their lives in the battle for the Cobargo Church. Page 3


In a time of bushfires, drought and smoke

parishes and the generosity of so many others is a wonderful example of practical charity. Extra coordina- tion of our education, health and social services is evident to ensure those most in need receive help and our prayerful support. During my pastoral visits to our South Coast parishes, and parishes in the high country, I have assured them all of our prayerful and practi- cal support. These embattled com- munities are tremendously grateful for all our concern and help. The bushfire season and drought are far from over. We continue to pray humbly to the Lord for help in our time of great need and danger. Our prayers are particularly directed to those who have died and their grieving families, and all who are suffering. • This is a bushfire message Arch- bishop Christopher delivered in early January.


As we all know, we are in the midst of a most dangerous bushfire season. Already too many lives have been lost. The destruction of properties, livestock and native animals is widespread. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and communities impacted during this time of bush- fires. We continue our prayers for more rain in our drought-stricken land. We are most grateful for the heroism of the emergency services. Our Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn has been severely impacted with the drought and now the bushfires. Also, the smoke haze is virtually a daily health concern for so many people. Typically, the practical generos- ity of the Archdiocese has been immediate. The financial twinning of city parishes with fire-affected

Archbishop Christopher with Parish Priest, Fr Pale Leota saying liturgical prayers at the site of the former Kiah Church.

Lending a helping hand at the Bega Book sale for the bushfires. Archbishop Christopher visists Rita Conden from Lilli Pilli.

Archbishop Christopher with teachers from the Batemans Bay region

The small church taken by the bushfires

The bushfires that claimed so many lives also took one of our smallest churches, Our Lady of the Princes Highway in Kiah. Archdiocesan Archivist Denis Connor shares the history of the Bega Valley church.

By Denis Connor

“Our Lady of the Princes Highway” was named by the Parish Priest of Pambula Fr Clarence Lehane. The Kiah church was blessed and opened by Bishop Barry in April 1929. It replaced an earlier church that had been burnt by bushfires in December 1926. Those fires also claimed the post office and general store. No further information about this earlier church has been located. The cost of the new weather- board church had been estimated at c. £1 000. A key parishioner in fundraising for the church was Mrs Isabella McMahon, described as :one of the most highly esteemed residents of the district”. She was the wife of local James McMahon. At its opening the debt on the church was c. £400. Fr Lehane noted in a letter

Our Lady of the Princess Highway, Kiah.

to Bishop Barry in January 1931 that ’Seats, vestment press, vestments and Benediction requisites had been purchased for Kiah’. The church is also noted as having stained glass windows, statues of the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as a set of Stations of the Cross.

Pastoral reports through the 1930s to 1960s indicate that Mass was offered at Kiah monthly, except from 1945 to 1955 when it was offered fortnightly. Mass attendance was as high as 70 around 1940 and dropped to 20-25 in the 1960s.

The site of the church after the fires.




The battle for the Cobargo Church Amid tragic stories of loss come tales of courage, determination and community spirit. On New Year’s Eve, Cobargo residents Deb Taylor and Carolyn More found themselves in the fight of their lives in the battle for Cobargo Church. Here Deb and Carolyn share with the Catholic Voice their account of the day .

Deb: We received general warnings but it wasn’t really ex- pected that the fires would come here. We’re not really in the forest. You would have thought this town would be safe. Everyone was surprised. We were watching the Fires Near Me app which showed a potential threat of an ember attack but it was a fair way away from us. We got up at 4am, looked out the window and we could see it. We were very concerned about the older people who live down the street, so I ran to their houses to alert them. It was totally underestimated. You get sent text messages if you’re in danger. Two texts came at 4.50am. “There's a fire in your immediate area. Decide whether to stay or go.” And, “It’s too late to leave. You're in immediate danger.” We didn't actually see the texts until later because we were too busy. We sorted out what we would do, getting the hoses together and buckets. We had known enough the night before to have clothes ready; woollen gear, masks, gloves, scarves to wrap around your head. It was just the two of us. We’ve got the presbytery, the church, this convent where we live and Doris who lives next door. I don’t know if you’ve seen an ember attack but it’s just like little bombs that fly through the air and wherever they land catches on fire. Then they fan out in a circle. There was a north-westerly wind behind it which was push- ing the fire towards us. Because the paddocks were so dry, the paddocks just burst into flames. Carolyn: Paul Tarlington’s house up on the hill survived. His family go back to the 1800s. The windows in the back of the church were dedicated to the family and put it in by them. They were made in England and cost more than the whole convent. There was a shed behind the church that went up. We were trying to save the bell tower so it wouldn’t fall on the church. Losing it would have been a big thing, it's living history. The people attending this church now have great great grandparents who came here. But when the wind changed the trees at the front of the church caught. The only way

Corbargo Church tower saved from the fires and the destroyed shed at the back of the church.

Deb could save the church was to chainsaw the tree down. At the same time the water stopped, which was pretty terrifying. It's amazing how close the fire came to the church. Deb: About 4:30 everyone else was gone. We've met up with one of the nice firies who was there that morning. We think they dowsed the back of the presbytery with foam. I think we were very fortunate to have that happen before they actually knew the scale of the fire because it just went ballistic. You’re looking down the main street towards Cobargo and there are just balls of flame and you're looking over on that hill, more houses going up … and hearing the explosion of the gas cylinders. Carolyn and I were left on our own among these five properties in the street. We love these old buildings. The presbytery is at one end and Doris' house is down the other. Every so often we would look in between the buildings, running and putting out little fires here and there. At first the hose was working, but for a terrifying moment the water slowed, then stopped. The emergency services had diverted it. It is at that point you need to decide what can be left to burn and what should be saved. We were lucky enough to have a group captain of the RFS who called up Narooma RFS and they

put out the presbytery. I thanked them personally after it was all over. Carolyn: We were liter- ally running from one place to another putting out embers. We could show a very good graphic of it because we were both wearing fitbits. As it turns out Deb should be dead. Her heart rate was in the 190’s for four hours. I got eight fitbit awards on the day of the fires. I walked over 26,000 steps, nearly 20km - Deb did over 20km. It was just crazy. The fences were burning and when the shed at the back went, I rang 000 and we were on hold for five minutes. They said they'd try to send someone but no one came. Deb: There was an instance when I was on one end of the hose and Carolyn was behind me or go.” And, “It’s too late to leave. You’re in immedi- ate danger.” We didn’t actually see the texts until later because we were too busy. Two texts came at 4.50am. “There’s a fire in your imme- diate area. Decide whether to stay

Top: Carolyn and Deb at home in their kitchen. Above: Carolyn attends to the roses outside the Old Convent house.

holding it up out of flames so it wouldn’t burn. I think I was a bit disorientated. Carolyn: I'm pulling this hose back, which has no one at the end of it. It's melting in my hands and the actual nozzle is still working though it had burnt. I didn’t know where Debbie was but I can’t go looking for her. I just had to focus; it was pretty scary. We knew that if we weren't putting out the spot fires, the place definitely would have gone up. We didn't want to stop then. We've saved the buildings up to this point. We got into the swing of it and not long after we felt it had actually turned I don’t know how but we got through it. Next day I woke up and the weird thing is it didn’t feel like day or night. It was dark for days with this red and orange glow. It's a bit like jet lag; you are totally time disorientated. Deb: We didn’t have power, we didn't have water. No one could get into Cobargo, no one could get out. People in the town were really pleased we had looked after the “Catholic Precinct”. I understand

Fr Joe Tran, the Parish Priest of Cobargo had received news during the fires that all the build- ing had been lost. That would have been tradgic. We spent the next three days madly cleaning up all properties beacsue it was predicted there would be another wave of extreme weather. The day after the fires was so surreal. The red. The winds, the hot winds, the red sky. And then the total black. Totally black and then raining ash. You feel so isolated, and I think in shock. The people who lost houses, there's a lot of them up the back end of this street, but at the same time, there is a bit of resilience. There was an attitude of “I'm just going to get on with it. We're going to deal with it and get through it and move on.” There's a lot of worry about the future of the town, seeing the historic buildings that went in town. This week there’s been a lot of activity: people coming, because the church is open every day and people come in. They are great buildings. That's why people love this street. And you do have a sense of civic custodianship.


The comfort offered by parishes

Highway, Kiah, on the south coast. It was opened in 1929, ironically replacing an earlier church which was razed by fires just three years earlier. Some of our parishioners have lost their family homes. It was not until last year that I began to understand the effect of losing your home to fire. Retired Deacon Paul Rummery and his wife Jo were out to dinner in December 2018 when their house burnt down. A neighbour took them in. Waking the next morning, they realised they did not even have a tooth brush. Everything had gone. With so many houses lost, the Archdiocese mobilised her parishes. Unaffected parishes contrib- uted at least $3000 to people who had lost their homes. These small but significant contribu- tions have helped families until other relief arrives. The expres- sions of gratitude have been

edifying, to say the least.

Fr Tony Percy, VG

I marvelled at the ease and accuracy with which my brother priests and parishioners shared information. This meant that parishes and the Archdiocese could pay money directly into the bank accounts of those most affected. We have the joy of knowing that the money given is the money received, and speedily. It is true that in times of crisis the goodness of people seems to be like incense rising to the heavens. Perhaps people do experience the grace of acceptance, a sense of the mystery of God’s love amid the horror and a new aware- ness of the fragility of earthly riches. We pray for everyone who has suffered from this calamity. And we hope those families feel some comfort in knowing the 51 parishes in the Archdiocese keep them in their prayers.

TOWARDS the end of her life, poet Anne Bradstreet’s library went up in smoke. British-born Bradstreet (1612-72) was the first poet in the modern era to have a book of poems published. Losing her cherished library prompted her to pen Upon the Burning of our House, which begins: In silent night when rest I took, For sorrow near I did not look, I wakened was with thund’ring noise And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice. That fearful sound of “fire” and “fire,” devastating. Floods at least leave something behind. Fires do not. Nothing is left. Lives have been lost. Property has disappeared almost without trace. One of our churches did not survive, Our Lady of the Princes Let no man know is my Desire. Our recent fires have been

Thank you to all the parishes, communities and individuals who have given to bushfire-affected parishes in our Archdiocese

Diocese of Wagga Wagga St Mary's Parish Crockwell

Mary Queen of Apostles Parish,Goulburn Mary Help of Christians Parish South Woden Corpus Christi Parish South Tuggeranong St Christopher's Cathedral St Benedict's Parish Narrabundah Canberra Central Parish Korean Catholic Community Canberra St Anthony of Padua, Wanniassa Parish Holy Spirit, Gungahlin Parish The Transfiguration Parish Woden North St Patrick’s Boowra Parish St Joseph’s Grenfill Parish St Mary’s Young Parish St Thomas the Apostle, Kambah Parish Order of Malta

The spontaneous giving of our parishes Archbishop Christopher spent a week in January visiting bushfire- affected parishes and communities. This is an extract from his homily at St Bernard’s Parish in Batemans Bay.

Archbishop Christopher’s pastoral visit

“YOU have gone through, you are going through a traumatic experience and I want to offer you not just mine but the entire Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn’s prayers and loving support. “My visit is a pastoral one to be alongside you, listen to your stories and understand how the reverberations of this trauma are still echoing in your hearts and minds. “The best way to gather is around the table of the Lord to give us strength as the Lord always does. “It is good to be together

as Catholics to point out Jesus to one another. Where is Jesus in these terrible experiences? Where is healing? Where is peace? We do that as we listen to each other, not just today but in the weeks and months ahead. “Australians are practical and generous people and in times of distress, the greatness of the Australian spirit comes forward. “I have been overwhelmed with the spontaneous “twinning” of parishes where people in our Canberra parishes gave immedi- ate financial help to parishes in need.”

Archbishop Christopher blesses the remains of a parishioner’s burnt house.


Saint of the battlefields to visit fire-ravaged towns

horror of the weather and the doom of the impending fires.

By Catherine Sheehan

AS the Relics of St Therese of Lisieux tour a country reeling from bushfires, the Prioress of Canberra’s Carmelite Monastery said it was timely to remember the French saint had a heart for people doing it tough, particularly those in the midst of warfare. “She’s such an amazing saint and has done so much for so many people,” Sr Mary Agnes told the Catholic Voice. The Monastery in Red Hill will host the Relics of the French Carmelite saint and her parents, Sts Louis and Zelie Martin, on 28 and 29 March. Sr Mary Agnes, who has been Prioress for 23 years, hopes the visit will bring “much comfort” to people at this difficult time. The 91 year-old Sister also expressed a desire to see the forgotten stories of St Therese helping those in need brought to light once more. In particular, the once well-known reports of French soldiers during the First World War who claimed they had seen the saint walking through the battlefields, even though she had died in 1897, long before the War broke out in 1914. “It was particularly during the First World War when that terrible fighting on the Western Front was raging that she would appear on the battlefields,” Sr Mary Agnes said. The 40 reported apparitions were recorded in a series of books titled Shower of Roses and published in 1920. The books detail how the saint appeared to soldiers amid the blood and mire of the trenches, providing encourage- ment, comfort and protection. They nicknamed her their “little sister of the trenches”. “Actually it was the soldiers who petitioned the Pope to beatify her, that’s where it all came from,” Sr Mary Agnes said. “These things are forgotten, I don’t know why. It’s a wonderful story and it needs to be brought to light.” When St Therese’s Relics first visited the monastery in 2002, enormous crowds flocked to venerate “in great reverence, joy and awe”, Sr Mary Agnes said, with many returning to the

Everyone has gone through the unease of not knowing what’s going to happen.” While his parishioners are still coming to terms with the tragedy, Fr Luke said the visit of the Relics of St Therese and her parents to the parish on March 30 could help people find some healing.

“There’s a great love for her which goes to show there’s a true relationship there,” Fr Luke said. “People feel her presence and her closeness.” “The saints are our friends and when you look at someone who has lived a good holy life, yes it does encourage us to be

like them but also it’s a source of grace. Her good life opens the doors of heaven and makes heaven available for all

Sr Mary Agnes at the Carmelite Monastery in Red Hill where she has been Prioress for 23 years.

of us. It’s a great source of joy.”

across our country, the visit of the Relics to the region of Bega and Cooma parishes will be especially relevant,” Mr Croker said. Parish Priest at St Patrick’s in Bega, Fr Luke Verrell, said the “presence” of St Therese could potentially help people in the area to move on following the devastation of the fires. While Bega was not hit directly hit, the town has suf- fered due to fires in neighboring towns, particularly Bemboka. “Bega was affected mostly in terms of taking people who had been evacuated, from Eden, Merimbula, Bermagui, Bemboka and other places,” Fr Luke said. “We had 3,000 in the show- ground at one stage.” The town also endured 24 hours of complete darkness, he said, when the fire front first struck on New Year’s Eve. “The fires were just continu- ally burning,” Fr Luke said. “It was hard for the firefighters, so black they didn’t know where the fire front was. “Everyone

sacrament of Confession. Kevin Croker, coordinator of the 2020 Relics tour through the Canberra and Goulburn Archdiocese, recalled the large number of people wanting to attend Reconciliation during the last visit. There was a “mystical” sense, he said, that the saint was drawing people back to the sacrament. “It was a joyous celebration with standing room only to venerate the relics at the Cathe- dral,” Mr Croker said. “And school children were lining the streets to welcome the relics.” During the 2002 visit, Mr Croker ensured the Relics made an unscheduled stop at the Mount St Joseph Nursing Home in Young where an elderly Carmelite Sister was living. Sr John of the Cross, who was in her 90s at the time, was able to silently venerate the relics, he said, before she passed away peacefully that night. This year the Relics are scheduled to visit 10 parishes in the Archdiocese from March 25 to April 1. “Given the devastating fires and subsequent loss of life

Go to page 1 10 11 for the full Itinerary for the visit of the relics of St Therese and her parents, Saints Louis and Zelie Martin to the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn

has been affected with the


Edition INTHIS

Archbishop’s Message Archbishop Christopher Prowse 2020 - Plenary Council Pilgrimage


One Mission

Inviting young people to Belong, Believe, Become

E ITHER directly or indirectly we have begun already our Plenary Council Pilgrimage in Australia. Di- rectly – our representatives coming together in Adelaide (October 2020) and then Sydney (2021) is approach- ing. Indirectly – our gatherings of all those interested throughout Australian parishes and communities is now well advanced. I can only – once again – encour- age you to participate in our pilgrim- age journey together, to where the Holy Spirit is leading the Australian Catholic Church in these times. How can we become a more Christ- centred Church? Through Baptism, we all become participants in the mission of Jesus in His Church. This mission of Jesus has three aspects according to our ancient Tradition – sanctifying (priest), prophetic (prophet) and governing (King). GOVERNANCE Much emphasis has been given to the governing (Kingly) office of Jesus’ mission. Clearly, the sex abuse scandal raises this dimension. However, even without this scandal in Australia, society’s aggressive secu- larism demands governing structures and foundational attitudes that are both transparent and accountable. So much of the helpful feedback so far is focussed on governance issues. We are grateful. This is surely a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst. SANCTIFYING When I attended the spectacularly successful Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Perth (Dec 2019), it was clear to everyone that the almost SUNDAY, 2 11.00am Mass, Feast of Senior Santo Nino, St Christopher’s Cathedral TUESDAY, 4 7.30am Prayer Open- ing of 2020 Parliamentary Year, St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Forrest 12.15pm Mass, St Christopher’s Cathedral SUNDAY, 9 Installation Mass for Fr Lolesio Gisa, St Anthony’s Church, Cootamundra TUESDAY, 11 4.00pm Blessing of the Australian Catholic University Health Science Facilities, Dickson

6,000 new Millennial Catholics from throughout Australia were focus- sing on another aspect of Christ’s Mission: the sanctifying (priestly) dimension. The youth took for granted that the Catholic Church is to be trans- parent and accountable in Her gov- ernance. Yet, their incredible thirst and hunger for Jesus in Scripture and Tradition (especially our Sacramental life) was a great surprise to others. Their insistence was for the Catholic Church in Australia to re-discover with the young a new and vibrant evangelising energy of the Holy Spirit. Just when many were surmising that the young had abandoned the Church, the op- posite seems to be happening! The Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation were in great demand. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (long periods of Ritual Silence) were a highlight for many. It is especially pleasing to know that Regional Youth movements through large parts of Australia have now reached a certain level of sophistication. Returning from national (or international) youth kerygmatic festivals youth are able now to engage in the essential catechetical formation directed at missionary discipleship when they return to their home dioceses. PROPHETIC During the Perth Youth Festival, the third dimension of Christ’s mis- sion became, for me at least, manifest in a most subtle manner. It was through the considerable presence of so many youth from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds. The prophetic (prophet) dimension THURSDAY, 13 7.00pm Prayer Service, Community of the Risen Lord Conference, St Francis Xavier College, Berwick SATURDAY, 15 – SUNDAY, 16 “Strength in Weakness” Confer- ence, Melbourne WEDNESDAY, 19 10.00am Diocese of Wagga Wagga Consultors THURSDAY, 20 9.00am Marist Col- lege Commencement Mass, Pearce FRIDAY, 21 9.00am Bishop’s Com- mission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry, Sydney

of Christ’s mission was heard in their essential “voice” for the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. I recall participating in sev- eral Plenary Council – “Listen and Discern Youth gatherings.” One had a good number of Aboriginal youth present. The affirming atmosphere of the festival gave them extra confidence to share openly their hopes and anxieties. Their sharings were prophetic. How can we be the Church that Jesus wants us to be without allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through this ancient culture in our midst who continue to be marginalised in our land of plenty? There was no doubt about their love of the Catholic Church and their desire to be active in Her future here in this new but ancient land. THE HEAD, THE HEART AND THE HANDS Pope Francis often talks about the Church’s mission embracing together the head, the heart and the hands. After all, we are the one Body of Christ. Let us avoid any fragmenta- tion of our tri-partite Baptismal Mission of priest, prophet and King. We need a logical and pragmatic HEAD to embrace the kindly/gov- ernance dimension. We ask for a HEART that is open to the sanctify- ing presence of the Holy Spirit, to a conversion, like the youth. We pray too for HANDS that are ready to serve the marginalised and prophetic voice in our midst (especially the first Australians).

FEATURE: St Therese of Lisieux

Living among poverty and plenty

12 17

Offering a heal- ing touch, today, next week and next year

New Catholic Voice editor NEWSPAPER journalist

Felicity de Fombelle has been appointed editor of the Catholic Voice. A mother-of-four, Felicity began her journalism career at The Sun newspaper in Mel- bourne in 1990 and covered state and federal politics. She was a reporter in London and has spent more than 15 years working as a federal political staffer.

This is the Plenary Council worthy of the Lord’s blessing!

For the past year Felicity has been the Media and Policy Adviser at the National Catholic Education Commission. Felicity starts as Catholic Voice editor on February 4.

Archbishop’s Diary - February 2020

SATURDAY, 22 12 Noon, National Day of Prayer and Fasting, Parlia- ment House, Canberra SUNDAY, 23 8.00am Mass, St Christopher’s Cathedral WEDNESDAY, 26 10.00am Project Compassion launch, St John Paul II College, Nicholls. 12.15pm Ash Wednesday Mass, St Christopher’s Cathedral THURSDAY, 23 6.00pm Book launch “Leaning into the Spirit” , Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Barton

EDITORIALTEAM: ADVERTISING: ADDRESS: GPO Box 3089 Canberra ACT 2601 DEADLINE: Editorial and advertising 15th of the month before publication. Catholic Voice is published by the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and printed by Capital Fine Print, Fyshwick. It is a member of the Australasian Catholic Press Association and the Australasian Religious Press Association. Every month 19,000 copies are distributed. Print Post Publication No.100008082. Cover picture: Deb Taylor and Carolyn More outside Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, Cobargo


National Reconciliation Week celebrations at St Francis Xavier School

Restoring a unique Goulburn beauty

By Staff Writers

A TOTAL of $5 million will be spent by the Archdiocese to continue restoration work of the unique Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Goulburn. The Cathedral has national and international significance as the only greenstone building of its type in the world. The Cathedral is also impor- tant to the Archdiocese because it was the seat of the former Diocese of Goulburn that began in 1864, which then became the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn in 1948. The Diocese of Goulburn began to serve the mostly Irish Catholic families of the south coast, southern highlands and south-west areas of New South Wales. Former parish priest and now Vicar-General Fr Tony Percy said Bishop Lanigan was enthroned in 1866 and served for 33 years. He built the Cathedral, which was the seat of the Diocese for almost 85 years. “The restoration has been underway for 30 years and was started by Fr Laurie Blake,” Fr Tony said. “About $4 million has already been spent and fortunately the most important jobs have been done to secure the building which had a huge problem with rising damp. “There is now some more structural work and then we can move inside and do a beautiful job of restoring that grand old cathedral. “We also want to improve and beautify the grounds so families can visit not just the building but enjoy the grounds, perhaps pray the Rosary and have the Stations of the Cross, to be engaged spiritually. We will explore all of these options.” A new committee to be run by the Archdiocese will oversee the next stage of the restoration project. Its membership is due to be announced this month and work will begin in March. Fr Tony said there would be a Mass at the Cathedral, to be celebrated by Archbishop Prowse, to acknowledge all the donors who have contributed to the project over the last 30 to


By jacinta elwin

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A captivated assembly waited on every word at the St Peter and Paul’s Goulburn inaugural Spelling Bee. Photo Chris Gordon

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they could write the word down before spelling it out. After the demonstration round, each student went through five progressively harder rounds, with incorrect attempts knocking a student out of the competition. If, after the final round, there s still mor th one tudent in contention, they’d be given another word each and if there were still multiple students in play, they’d share the win. Sounds simple, but it’s another thing under lights and with a few hundred students looking on. The students in the audience took a little while to been drawn in, but as student after student fell by the wayside, they became more gripped. Y u could hear the proverbial pin dropped a tudents weighed up the correct spe ling, you couldn’t hear yourself think when the cheers follow d a successful attempt. The Year 3/4 competition fin- ished with a particularly dramatic climax – literally – with just two students remaining and student Oscar Martin asked to spell DRAMATIC. Chevell Ward was asked to spell PREHISTORIC and in the end Chevell won with Oscar runner-up. The Year 5/6 competition also came down to a fin wo playoff. This time, whe the words




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Sophie Phillips places her hand print onto the school’s Reconcili- ation Pole.

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NATIONAL Reconcilia- tion Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. NRW commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. St Francis Xavier School celebrated Reconciliation Week with a special day last Thursday. Down the Track provided the school com- munity with a nourishing breakfast before school to start the day. Then the morn- ing assembly was commenced with Aunty Joy Kelly sharing the Welcome to Country and the Year 6 leaders sharing information about the significance of Reconciliation Week and leading us in prayer. Families were invited to join the students as they par- ticipated in various learning opportunities from the Healing lessons, produced by the Healing Foundation and in the creation of a Reconcili- ation Pole, which Ms Alison Wheeler and Georgina Kelly have helped design and create.



Top: Fr Joshy Kurien, Parish Priest at Goulburn. Above: Lifting the copper shingle spire into place.

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To donate to the restoration appeal, contact the Archdiocesan Office 02 6239 9800. Donations are tax deductible through the National Trust.

A student from the O’Brien House concentrates on his word. Photo Chris Gordon. Top: Workers put the finishing touches to the copper shingle spire. Middle: Restoration of St Peter and Paul’s Cathedral. Above: An orginal sketch of the Cathedral.


years plus the many workers and parishioners. “With Goulburn growing in population, this project will be a major boost to our faith commu- nity and the wider community,” Fr Tony said.” “There are two other fine, beautiful churches in Goulburn, the Anglican Church and the Uniting Church. “We hope to make our

Cathedral a place of pilgrimage. We want to make it a Minor Basilica and need to apply to Rome for that. “Pilgrimages provide people of faith with places where they can be refreshed and comforted and challenged by the word of God.” The Archdiocese hopes the restoration project will be complete within three years.


DYSLEXIA and DACHSHUND were read out, even some of the teachers traded nervous glances, perhaps glad they weren’t able to win. Nadine Jassani ended up being named Grand Champion, spelling Dyslexia, and Vasilious Papazoglou was runner up with Dachshund his allotted word.

Miss N ely said the response w s very positive and the event w uld now probably be an annual fixture. “I think the stud nts were apprehensive to start with but they really got into it in the end,” she said. “It’s pretty likely we’ll do it again.”

Every vocation is an exodus from self ... It leads us on a journey of Adoration of the Lord ... and service to him in our brothers and sisters POPE FRANCIS Are you considering a vocation as a priest in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn? If so please contact Fr Paul Nulley


One Mission

“It is impossible to persevere in a fervent evangelization unless we are convinced from personal experience that it is not the same thing to have known Jesus as not to have known him . . . “ Evangelii Gaudium, #266

one’s spirituality arising, not forgetting the governance and pastoral outreach of the Church otherwise (cf. CatholicCare, Marymead and Vin- nies) in service of the common good. In our archdiocese

By Mgr John Woods

In 2017 Catholic schools educated 62.2 million students world- wide, many of whom were not Catholic. Since European settlement, the Australian Church has responded to a changing education landscape. In NSW rudimentary education was initially provided by individuals. The introduction of govern- ment funding for both public and denominational schools ended for the latter in 1880. As a result, Catholic schools were without government assistance and staffed almost entirely by religious sisters and brothers until ‘State Aid’ was granted some 80 years later, following the symbolic ‘Goulburn Catholic Schools Strike’ of 1962. Catholic Schools further the mission of the Church, the mission of Jesus. One might speak of the Church’s mission as being to Witness (to teach), to Celebrate (to sanctify) and to Enable (to govern) for the sake of the reign of God. These three related aspects encompass the understanding of Jesus as Prophet, Priest and King with whom the individual is called into relationship as part of the pilgrim People of God. In essence, Catholic Schools are evangelising communities founded on Jesus Christ, where faith and a way of life in a Catholic ethos are proclaimed and experienced in the pursuit of educational excellence for the fostering of ‘integral human development’. The life of the school points to the story of sal- vation manifest in the Church’s liturgy, especially the Mass and

25,000 students attend one of the 56 archdiocesan or ‘sys- temic’ schools supported by the Catholic Education (CE) Office, or one of the three congrega- tional schools (St Edmund’s, Marist and Daramalan). There are eight Early Learning Centres. The budget of $330 million for CE comes from parents and the Federal, NSW and ACT Govern- ments and educates students across an area 30 per cent bigger than Tasmania. Legislation prevents cross- funding between NSW and ACT schools. The Church has been grateful to government for recent engagement around proposed religious freedom legislation. Collaboration with state and national ecclesial bodies as well as the commitment of the 152 CE office staff ensure that our schools and 1825 full time teachers and support staff are well resourced. The response to the recent bushfires highlighted close collaboration between the office and schools in service of the local community. CE is addressing particular challenges with respect to teacher performance, student achieve- ment and government funding. For many people, education is a product to be purchased (or not) and some Catholics do not maintain the tribal affiliations of their forebears. Government funding is problematic longer term. What should be the future

Students at St Benedict’s Primary, Narrabundah.

three years when Jesus walked the earth mingling with the likes of you and me. As the colour green symbolises new growth, so too does Ordi- nary Time call us to grow in our faith and commitment to Jesus. To know someone we need to spend time with them or hear from others who knew them. This is what the New Testa- ment gives us; opportunities to hear these great stories of Jesus and stumbling disciples. The Hebrew scriptures that we hear in the First Reading and Responso- rial Psalms give us the stories and and inspired to grow to their potential.” This openness to all is reflected in over 30 per cent of students being other than Catholic. Combined with the majority of Catholic students and their families not regularly identifying with the parish com- munity and there is a rich field for evangelisation. How might parents as ‘first teachers’ be assisted other than at times of sacramental prepara- tion? A particular challenge is to teach religion and to form people to be religious: to know and to witness in a manner engaging head, heart and hands. The ‘Catholic Schools Youth Ministry Australia’ (CSYMA) has had wide appeal and seeks the same in a parish setting. Again, closer collaboration between

loaves and fishes and the healing of the sick and lame by Jesus is anything but “ordinary”. This liturgical season takes its name from being “ordered” in that we have 33 Sundays in Or- dinary Time spread throughout the liturgical calendar, broken or interrupted by Lent, Easter and returning after Pentecost Sunday, reaching its conclusion with the beginning of Advent. These liturgical seasons have a particular focus (e.g. penitential, the birth, death and resurrec- tion of Jesus Christ), whereas Ordinary Time focuses on those footprint of Catholic education, particularly in the ACT? These and other issues challenge the Archdiocesan Catholic Educa- tion Commission in supporting the CE Director Ross Fox and in making recommendations to Archbishop Christopher. In May Pope Francis will host an international gathering to affirm the value of educa- tion. Foundational to it will be the notion of ‘integral human development’, predicated on listening and sharing in the belief that the Church has much to bring to the table. The Church is anything but a ghetto; so too a Catholic school. The purpose of CE is “to build Catholic learning com- munities of hope, joy and wonder where all are welcomed

hymn that shaped Jesus; these are our heritage along with our Jew- ish brothers and sisters. Stories shape our identity, of who we are and who we are becoming. With more hot weather ahead, may our hope and faith be nourished and sustained as we journey through the season of Ordinary Time where the Church adorns herself in the beautiful colour of green. • Sharon Boyd is a Special- ist in Liturgy Education at ACU’s Centre for Liturgy School Councils and Parish Pastoral Councils is called for. The negative impact of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse and the re- sultant call for transparency and accountability in Church gover- nance and the cultural emphasis on individuality and relativism have been noted in discussions leading to the Plenary Council. Nonetheless, the strength of the Church is always in relationships. Only together can our families, parishes and local and regional schools build on a rich legacy so that in Christ we “might have life and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10). • Monsignor John Woods is Vicar for Education

Anything but an Ordinary Time By Sharon Boyd

The new growth brings relief and hope for better things to come. Likewise green in the liturgical calendar shifts our attention to the ministry of Jesus after his Baptism by John the Baptist. Jesus’ earthly ministry

AFTER the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the liturgical calendar turns to the season of Ordinary Time where the liturgi- cal colour is green. With much of our country suffering drought and bushfires, our

was a short three years and it is this timeframe that we journey in through the season of Ordinary Time. In regular parlance, when something is referred to as being “ordinary” it is a disparaging comment. The multiple of the

eyes this summer have become accustomed to shades of browns and reds. In some parts of the country that have had rain, we welcome shoots of green trans- forming our scared landscape.


Inviting youth to belong, believe and become

life and mission of the broader Church, including our parishes, movements and communities. Practically, this means deepening the Junior and Youth Ministry across our Catholic school and parish communities and exploring avenues for the development of young adult ministry. This will draw on more Youth Ministers, with more than 25 to be employed across the Arch- diocese in 2020, across these communities. Finally, a greater focus on leadership formation will be explored, to continue to form those at forefront of the faith in our Archdiocese. Speaking on this new genera- tion of leaders, including Youth Ministers coming from within our Archdiocese, Chiara Catan- zariti said that she is “so excited to join with them this coming year to proclaim the Gospel by our lives, calling those around us to know they belong to the Church!” • Huw Warmenhoven is Archdiocesan Youth Minister Coordinato.

By Huw Warmenhoven

Key 2020 Events

WHERE do you belong? What do you believe? Who do you want to become? These are the questions that will guide the Archdiocese as it seeks to realise its vision for youth and young adults: that all would come to know they have been created out of love, for a life of love, by a God of love. To realise the aspirations that lie beneath these questions, the Archdiocese will invite young people to Belong to the Church (2020), Believe in Christ (2021) and Become a Disciple (2022) over the next three years. This will include a focus on each of the three great truths of Christianity that Pope Francis shares in Christus Vivit : • He is Alive and I am Alive. Youth Minister Christopher Gilroy says that at the heart of this vision is “a calling to give young people a vision of faith relevant to our time, in 2020”. “We want to help young people clearly see that they belong • God Loves, • Christ Saves,

Youth Ministry Equipping School: 27th February - 1 March Cultural Festival: 1 March SHINE Youth Gathering : 7 August Ignite Conference : 1 - 4 October Youth Pilgrimage and Marian Procession : 25 October ILLUMINATE Junior Gathering : 20 November To find out more 2020 dates for youth in our Archdiocese do to http://

Enthusiastic Youth Ministers

to the Church, that are loved beyond measure and Christ has great plans for each of them,” Christopher said. But how? The next three years will include a focus on

identifying key ‘entry points’ such as our Catholic primary and secondary schools and Univer- sity chaplaincies, and supporting discipleship pathways for our young people to enter into the

Youth Ministers Nathan Piper and Anjaue.

Weston Creek Parish Youth Leadership Team

Youth Minister Theresa Corson

St Therese of Lisieux relics touring Australia with parents Over one week in late March the relics of one of the most loved saints of modern times – St Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower - will tour churches, a Carmelite monastery and one school in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.

The relics of St Therese of Lisieux

C atholics from across our vast Archdiocese are expected in big numbers to a range of services including Masses, overnight vigils and prayer services when the relics of St Therese of Lisieux visit from 25-31 March. When St Therese’s relics last vis- ited Australia in 2002 an estimated 700,000 Catholics turned out to pray seeking her intercession. Greater numbers are expected on this tour. On this occasion her relics will be accompanied by those of two other modern saints: her mother, Zelie and father Louis. The dates and locations of the visit of the relics of the three saints from the one family were issued in December by Catholic Mission, the Church’s agency in Australia which supports mission- aries around the world. Saints Louis and Zelie Martin are the first married couple to be canonised in the history of the Church, reflecting in part the repeated urgings of the-then Pope John Paul II to find lay candidates whose causes might be promoted. Throughout his papacy St John Paul II repeatedly called for ordinary laity – men, women and youth - who might be canonised to emphasise the call to personal holi- ness expressed by our baptismal vocation. This was also strongly

out her famous ‘Little Way’ to holiness, which was to seek friendship with God in the small, ordinary daily events of life rather than big achievements or widespread influence. Circulated first to other Car- melite monasteries, the book was published a year after her death and has had a phenomenal impact on the Church. It has never gone out of print. Modern devotees of St Therese have included Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac, philosopher and Nobel Prize winner Henri Bergson, legendary French singer Edith Piaf who maintained that she was cured of blindness as a child through St Therese’s interces- sion, and Mother (now Saint) Teresa of Kolkata, founder of the Missionaries of Charity, who chose Therese for her own name as a religious sister. St Therese’s feast day is 1 October.

emphasised by Vatican II. Pope Francis canonised Saints Louis and Zelie in 2015. The relics of the three modern saints will spend two and a half months touring Australian diocese from January 22 to May 10. There are few – if any – other saints so beloved in the modern Church. Although she died virtually unknown at the age of 24 in her monastery at Lisieux in France after having more or less forced her way into being accepted as an underage Carmelite at the age of 15, Therese is regarded as a giant of the Christian vocation to holiness. She died in 1897 but her writings and her reputation for an astonishing (but at the time largely-hidden) sanctity saw public demand for her canonisation continue to grow until she was of- ficially beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1921 and declared a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1925. monastery after entering, Therese was named in 1927 as co-patron of the Church’s entire global missionary effort Despite never having set foot outside her

St Zelie are the only married couple to have been canonized, and they have a daughter who was called by Pope St Pius X, the greatest saint of the modern times. St Therese, who died in 1897, was a woman of precocious virtue and prayer. She says, “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” She shows us that holiness is simple and hidden, it does not seek recognition but turning away from self to God, it makes within the human heart a place for Jesus. As is the case with Jesus, holiness and goodness does not exist in a vacuum. It has a context. In Jesus’ case the context was the holy family. Extraordinary goodness does not exist in isolation. If you see a good child, you can generally presume that this goodness comes through the parents. Jesus was taught by Mary and St Joseph. St Therese is the daughter of holiness. The Church recognized that goodness is caught, and so investigated her parents, and found two saints. These three saints show us the integrity of virtue and holiness. The path to holiness is the path of struggle and ordinary life. It is carried and lived with love, and dependence on God. They experienced the mercy of the Father and this mercy crafted the way they lived and loved. In this they are of great relevance for us. They have been where we are, and have together allowed God to perfect them. Being a family, the Martins prove that the family is the seed ground of holiness and goodness. We can learn from them. Visit one of the churches which will host the relics. Pray and experience the saints. You will experience God and perhaps your life will change. As with a sacred site or souvenir, you can, through the saint, experience and connect with the holiness of God.

The relics of St Therese of Lisieux and her parents St Louis and St Marie-Azelie (Zelie) will be taken through a number of dioceses early in 2020. Many people wonder why the Church persists in what seems to be a mediaeval piety, an archaic practice. Why tour the remains of saints and make them available for the veneration of the faithful? Is this an outdated superstition? Despite the scenes of intense religious devotion around relics, there is certainly nothing magical or talisman like about the relics of saints. Of themselves relics are not holy. It is more correct to say, they are the remains of a holy person, a saint, and on account of their connection to that holy person are revered. In Australia we are used to caring for and respecting sacred sites. A place may be sacred for a number of reasons. It may be a place of spiritual significance to a people who identify with and are defined by that place; as is the case with many indigenous Australians. It may be a place where an important event took place and now is part of the national identity, such as Gallipoli. It may be a building in which over hundreds of years people have prayed and worshiped, such as a church or cathedral. We all have souvenirs of peo- ple we have loved, insignificant items of little value, but to us they are treasured gems which move us to remember a loved one or an event. When the item attaches to a person it can bring to mind the attributes and goodness of the person. In some cases it can even encourage us to live according to higher values. The relics of saints fall into this category. Relics are physical remains which connect us with the goodness and holiness of the saint. They remind us of the saint and through the saint move us to live better lives. The saints who are “visiting” Australia are a mother, a father and their daughter. St Louis and By Most Reverend Gregory Homeming OCD, Bishop of Lismore

an individual is recognised by the Church as a gifted teacher of the Christian faith. She became the 33rd person to be so recognised in the history of the Church. Therese was also the youngest, and only the third of four women to be recognised with the title; the three others are fellow Carmelite St Teresa of Avila, St Catherine of Siena and St Hildegard of Bingen. Therese’s appeal has grown steadily since her death. Key to her influence on the modern Church is the only work she ever wrote, a series of letters on her spiritual journey, which were edited by her sister who also became a Carmelite and eventually published under the title of The Story of a Soul. In her letters, Therese set

Wednesday 25 March 8pm: Arrive St Peter and St Paul’s, Goulburn Thursday 26 March 12 Noon Depart Goulburn, 3pm-6pm St Anthony’s Waniassa, 7pm-9pm St Monica’s, Evatt. Friday 27 March 8am Depart St Monica’s, Evatt. 9-11am Merici College, Braddon, then pilgrimage to St Patrick’s, Braddon. 11.30-1pm St Patrick’s Braddon, 1.30-5pm, St Joseph’s, O’Connor, 5.30pm St Benedict’s Narrabundah for healing Mass and overnight vigil Sat 28 March 8.30am Depart St Benedict’s, 9am-1pm Apostolic Nunciature, Red Hill 1.15pm Carmelite Monastery, Red Hill. The Carmelite Chapel will remain open for overnight prayer Sunday 29 March 9am Carmelite Monastery Mass, 10.15am Depart Monastery 10.45am St Christopher’s Cathedral, Forrest 11am Mass, followed by devotions and 5pm Mass, 6pm Depart for St Patrick’s, Bega. Arrivel 9pm Monday 30 March 9.30-1pm St Patrick’s, Bega, 4pm arrival St Patrick’s, Cooma for Mass, Rosary and veneration Tuesday 31 March 9am Depart Cooma, 12noon arrive St Patrick’s, Gundagai until 3pm departure. Itinerary Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn

Despite never having set foot outside her monastery after entering, she was named in 1927 as co-patron of the Church’s entire global missionary effort, joining

the legendary 16th Century Jesuit missionary, St Francis Xavier. In 1997 Pope John Paul II declared her to be a Doctor of the Church, a title which means

Do you have a story to share with the Catholic Voice about how St Therese has helped you in your life?

Tell the Voice. 02 6239 9833 Email your story to:

Published with thanks to Catholic Mission.


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