St Monica’s parishioner
and teacher Judy Gray
received an OAM in
this year’s Queen’s
Photograph: Wendie Parkinson
2 CatholicOutlook July 2010
Celebrating our jubilarians: 230 years of service
THE BISHOP’S LETTER
housing project for
at-risk youth was
launched in Western
Sydney in May.
Bishop Anthony Fisher OP
Sixty years ago this month – on 22
July 1950 – His Eminence Norman
Cardinal Gilroy ordained three men
who would eventually become priests
of the Diocese of Parramatta: Fr Eric
Burton, Fr Les Campion and Fr David
Scott. Ten years later, it was Fr Gerry
Iverson’s turn (see P6 of this issue).
Between them these men have served
the people of Sydney for 230 years, longer
than the time elapsed since European
settlement! They have lived through the
Great Depression, the Second World
War, the Menzies era, Vietnam, the
assassination of JFK and Martin Luther
King Jnr, Vatican II, the first man on
the moon, the fall of Communism, the
establishment of the Diocese of Parramatta,
so many new parishes, churches, schools,
a new cathedral, and on it goes …
For 230 years these men have served and
still they serve – even if two are officially
living in ‘retirement’. Priests don’t really
retire. They are priests forever ‘according
to the line of Melchizedek’, priests of Jesus
Christ. It’s ‘ontological’. It goes to the heart
of your identity, your destiny, your DNA.
Six decades ago, when those young
men lay prostrate before the altar for
the Litany of Saints and then knelt for
the Laying on of Hands and Prayer
of Ordination, they could not have
guessed how our Church and our world
would change and how they themselves
would change in the years ahead.
To some extent they gave themselves
over to a great unknown. But they knew
they could trust in the God of all time
and space. They said to Him, like couples
on their wedding day, like religious
when they take their vows: whatever,
whenever, however, I am for you, all for
you, now and always. All for God, all
for His Church, all for His people.
All for God
Priests are men of God. It is not their
natural gifts people most admire, but their
supernatural ones. No man makes himself
a priest. Nor can he ever deserve to be
a priest. We have done nothing, could
do nothing, to earn this gift. God’s grace
is pure gift, given in mercy and love.
When people are disappointed with
their priests it pays tribute to the fact
1 July 7pm, Confirmations at St Monica’s Parish, Richmond
2 July 6.30pm, Civic Reception, Granville Town Hall
4 July 9.30am, Installation of Rev Robert Sheridan,
Parish Priest of Blackheath Parish
6 July Centacare Catholic Social Services Meeting
7 July Diocesan Schools Council Meeting
12 July Opening Liturgy, National Council of Priests Conference, Parramatta
15 July Closing Liturgy, National Council of Priests Conference
& Conference Dinner, Parramatta
16 July 7pm, Golden Jubilee of Rev Gerry Iverson, Parish Priest
of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes
that they still look to us to be different.
To be genuine representatives of
something bigger, something better,
something beyond. To be God’s men.
So a priest must be first and foremost a
man of prayer and sacrifice, a man of the
altar and the kneeler. His celibacy, his hard
work, even exhaustion, his penances, his
oft’ renewed, life-long determination to
give his all – all speak of the love of God
and his conviction of God’s love for him.
When tasked with building a new
community, a priest does not start
with nothing. He starts with God and
the faith of those God is drawing to
Himself. Our priests are men of God.
All for His Church
No man is a priest for himself!
Priesthood is given on trust, to be shared.
Priests are stewards of God’s mysteries.
They do not hoard the Word of God and
the sacraments, but pass them on to others.
For this they received Holy Orders. Our
four priests were ordained – ordered – for
service in a particular place, at a particular
time. They accepted the call to serve God’s
Catholic people, first throughout Sydney,
and then in Western Sydney. The Church
needed them there. And it was there that
they built up the Church and sustain it still.
In building up the Eucharistic community
priests are privileged to have many other
priests, religious and especially lay people
as collaborators. By their sacramental
ministry, and especially by presiding at
the Sunday Eucharist, they strengthen
Photography: Alphonsus Fok and Grace Lu
people’s faith and call them ever deeper
into that communion with Christ and His
saints that is the Church. Our priests give
themselves generously to the Church.
All for His people
But priests are not there just for the
practising Catholics. Parramatta’s priests
have a mission to all the people of these
western suburbs, hills and mountains.
A priest must be a preacher of the
Gospel, an instrument of encounter
with Jesus Christ, for people of all
backgrounds, beliefs, life-stages. Our
priests give themselves to all people.
At every priestly ordination in our
Diocese, after the Bishop laid hands
upon the head of the candidates, our four
jubilarians laid their hands too on the man
being ordained. This shows that every
new priest is ordained to join a line of
priests, a fraternity, a ‘presbyteral college’
gathered around the bishop of the Diocese.
Priesthood is no solitary existence. There
is the brotherhood among our priests
and it is no exaggeration to say that our
four jubilarians have been exemplary
in their service to their brothers. They
have offered friendship, hospitality,
support and example. They have truly
built up the presbyterate of Parramatta.
We thank them for accepting God’s call
to offer themselves for priesthood, for
sticking with it in good times and in bad,
and for the witness of their lives. May
many more follow in their footsteps!
THE BISHOP’S DIARY
18 July 9.30am, Installation of Rev Robert Riedling, Parish
Priest of St Michael’s Parish, South Blacktown
21 July Catholic Education Commission of NSW Meeting, Sydney
22 July Clergy Day, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta
23 July Opening & Blessing, Sacred Heart Primary School, Mt Druitt
25 July 11am, St Patrick’s Cathedral Mass
27 July Diocesan Development Fund Board Meeting
28 July Diocesan Finance Council Meeting
29 July Presentation of Bro. John Taylor Award, Xavier College, Llandilo
30 July Mass for the 10th General Chapter of the Sisters of Mercy, Parramatta
St Monica’s parishioner
and teacher Judy Gray
received an OAM in
this year’s Queen’s
In a world of
how do Catholic
schools respond to
the challenge of
meeting the individual
needs of students
The official publication of the Diocese of Parramatta.
Bishop Anthony Fisher op
Tel (02) 9683 6277
Fax (02) 9630 4813
PO Box 3066, North
Parramatta, NSW, 1750
Tel (02) 8838 3409
Fax (02) 9630 4813
PO Box 3066, North
Parramatta, NSW, 1750
Tel (02) 8838 3409
Fax (02) 9630 4813
Deadlines: Editorial and
advertising – 10th of the
month prior to publication
Catholic Education Office
Tel (02) 9840 5683
On 16 July, Fr Gerry
Iverson will celebrate
his golden jubilee
of ordination to
priesthood with a
Mass and supper.
Bishop Anthony has
appointed Fr Suresh
Kumar MSFS as the new
Diocesan Youth Director.
Tel (02) 8838 3407
Tel (02) 8838 3406
Printing: Rural Press
Printing, North Richmond
40,000 copies of Catholic
Outlook are distributed
monthly through 49 parishes
and 82 Catholic schools. All
material in this publication
is copyright and may not
be reproduced without
permission of the editor.
Catholic Outlook is a
member of the Australasian
Catholic Press Assoc.
and the Australasian
Religious Press Assoc.
Agencies collaborate to Keep Kids in Mind
On 24 June at the head office
of Centacare Catholic Social
Services – Diocese of Parramatta
a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) was signed by four
Catholic social service and welfare
The MOU between Catholic
Care and Centacare agencies
across Sydney and environs establishes
a consortium to deliver the
Keeping Kids in Mind Project,
which assists parents to co-operate
The signatories to the MOU
were the Chief Executive Officers
and Executive Directors of the
Signatories to the MOU (from left): Bernard Boerma (Catholic Care – Sydney), Kath
McCormack (Catholic Care – Wollongong), Deirdre Cheers (Centacare Broken Bay), and Otto
Henfling (Centacare Catholic Social Services – Parramatta). Photo: David Tang
Sr Marie Bourke
Are you called to
the Benedictine life
of divine praise and
for the Church
Rev Mother Cyril OSB Tel (02) 9627 5171
Tyburn Priory, 325 Garfield Road,
Riverstone, NSW 2765
Greater Sydney area, the Central
Coast and Illawarra regions of
Catholic Care (Sydney), Catholic
Care (Wollongong), Centacare
Broken Bay, and Centacare
Catholic Social Services – Diocese
The Keeping Kids in Mind
Project is a case management support
model that offers a range of
therapeutic, educational and family
dispute resolution services to
couples and families experiencing
conflict in separation.
The project is designed to inform
and improve parents’ awareness
regarding the impact of their conflict
on their children’s psychological
and emotional development
and to increase their commitment
to collaborative parenting.
The agencies have been developing
the project for the past
three years. It includes a group
work program that has been
running as a pilot program and
has been researched and positively
The great benefits of the Keeping
Kids in Mind consortium are for
the children in these families experiencing
and an improvement in family relationships
CatholicOutlook July 2010 3
Indigenous parenting resource
Centacare Catholic Social Services
(CCSS) has launched a new resource
to assist services interested in providing
a facilitative group to Indigenous
parents and carers affected by drug
and/or alcohol, to increase their
parenting and caring skills.
The Indigenous Persons Infant
& Pre-Schooler Parenting Groups
Project educational and support
groups model has been developed
to be specifically appropriate for
Indigenous parents and carers living
in Western Sydney.
The project responds to the experience
of CCSS staff working in
Western Sydney, which has found
many Indigenous parents and carers
lack information and support
as they attempt to parent young
children, especially when the parents’
lives are impacted by drug and
The need of these parents is
heightened by the fact Indigenous
people do not necessarily feel comfortable
participating in support
and educational programs aimed at
the general community.
The project has been generously
funded by the Sydney West Area
Health Service as an initiative to
help maintain and strengthen partnerships
with ante-natal, post-natal
and community health services to
develop better health outcomes
in the region for Indigenous parents/carers
and children, adversely
affected by drug and/or alcohol.
The project’s resource manual
(including CD) is available through
CCSS for $10 (including postage),
by phoning (02) 9933 0222 or
An online version of the manual
is also accessible from the Resources
section of the CCSS site at
Photographer: Ian Hitchcock for North Queensland
Combined Women’s Service Inc.
You can help sisters to build formation house in Zambia
Australian-born Sr Marie Bourke
has been working with the sick and
dying in remote areas of northern
Zambia for 15 years.
A member of the Franciscan
Missionaries of the Divine
Motherhood, she works with
Nigerian nuns Sr Rogita
Bonaventure and Sr Anna Gochin
in bringing nursing care to more
than 90 villages where people have
“We are keeping people alive
who would otherwise die. We try
to witness to people that they matter,”
said Sr Marie of the homebased,
clinical and palliative care
for people with HIV/AIDS. It is
a ministry that has dramatically
reduced the mortality rate, especially
For the Zambian people whose
lives they touch the Franciscans’
mission is the affirmation of a
compassionate, loving God in their
lives. Their devotion to caring in
Christ’s name has inspired many
local women to want to follow
them into religious life.
In answering this call the
Franciscans are now in the latter
stages of preparing to build a formation
house where aspirants can
discern their vocation. Here local
women will deepen their Christian
education. Those who choose to
stay will on go to profess their vows
as religious women.
The order recently accepted
a quotation of $327,800 for the
building of the new formation
house. The two-storey building
will be simply finished in concrete
throughout, with tiling in
the bathrooms and laundry.
With $219,618 already raised
towards these costs, there is a
shortfall of $108,182 before they
can bring the new formation house
Catholic Mission’s National
Director, Martin Teulan, said the
formation house will build directly
on the legacy of missionary work of
the sisters in remote Zambia.
“It speaks of a living faith which
is putting down deep roots for
the future of the Catholic Church
in Africa. Through our donors,
Catholic Mission is assisting Sr
Marie to bring this worthy enterprise
For further information on
how you can help with this
mission phone Catholic Mission’s
Media Officer, Netta Kovach,
tel (02) 9919 7800 or visit
4 CatholicOutlook July 2010
At-risk youth start building for their future
Australia’s first combined training, employment
and housing project for at-risk youth
was launched in Shalvey, addressing the
twin issues of extremely high unemployment
and homelessness faced by at-risk youth in
The first sod was turned to mark the
Affordable Housing for Life (AHFL) project’s
launch on Friday 28 May by the Federal
Minister for Employment Participation,
Senator Mark Arbib, together with AHFL
trainees Robert, Mick, Jerome, Dane and
Steven who proudly attended the event.
“This project is a first in that it will give
young, homeless people real training, work
experience and shelter,” Senator Arbib said.
The project participants at the launch were
aged between 15 and 18, all from extremely
disadvantaged backgrounds. They spoke
positively of their involvement so far with
the project’s training component.
“It feels good,” one of the participants said.
“I’ll know it’s something that I’ve done in my
life and I can actually live in it.”
It is hoped that the Shalvey house will be
completed by the end of this year.
‘Positive and productive lives’
The Shalvey house is the first of two
AHFL project homes (the other being in
Hebersham) that have been approved under
the new SEPP Affordable Housing-Supported
Accommodation, a more streamlined development
process for social housing providers.
The project aims to be fully self-sustaining
on completion of the first two houses.
The project was conceived by Marist
Youth Care (MYC), the largest not-forprofit
provider of residential care to youth
at risk in Western Sydney.
AHFL brings together MYC’s expertise and
experience as a community housing provider
in partnership with BoysTown (employment
skills), Bridgeworks Employment and
Training (training skills), St John of God
Healthcare and St Michael’s Family Centre
at Baulkham Hills.
According to Marist Youth Care CEO
Cate Sydes, the project aims to provide not
just a bed, but also the tools and support
at-risk youth need to lead more positive and
“MYC currently provides full-time residential
care for up to 120 at-risk young
people per night and outreach services for
1,000 young people and their families each
year,” Cate said.
“The benefit of the AHFL project is that
it recognises the critical need for housing,
whist integrating a range of essential services
to provide a solution for these young people’s
lives in working towards independence.
“The first intake of young people entering
the AHFL program are undertaking training
and are now working on-site after completing
their pre-employment training. They are
really excited at the prospects of constructing
what could be their own home.”
At the launch of the Affordable Housing for Life project are (from left):
AHFL Manager William Rak, project participants Mick and Robert,
Senator Arbib and Marist Youth Care CEO Cate Sydes.
The AHFL project is based on a Social
Enterprise Model, which provides paid work
and on-the-job training to enable young people
to successfully make the transition into
open and sustainable employment.
Implementation of the Social Enterprise
project has been supported by the
Commonwealth Government, which committed
$1,711,847 under the Jobs Fund
Program, and the Mercy Foundation, which
The project will focus on the
construction of ‘green’ dwellings to house
homeless young people or those at risk of
homelessness. At the same time as providing
access to affordable accommodation,
the project also offers national accredited
training, ongoing employment and the
opportunity to be socially included within
their local communities.
Project participants will be employed for
up to six months within the Social Enterprise
under the direction of a full-time supervisor
and will be paid award wages in the building
and construction industry.
Trainees will receive on- and off-the-job
training in a nationally recognised qualification
(Certificate II in Building and Construction).
Participants will also be eligible for safe,
secure and affordable permanent housing;
assistance into open and ongoing sustainable
employment; and other wrap-around mentoring
and health support services.
Project aims to
people to achieve
A win-win partnership has been formed
between Marist Youth Care (MYC)
and the Marrin Weejali Aboriginal
Corporation. The two organisations
will “walk together” to proactively
and sensitively provide a means to
further close the gap in healthcare, life
expectancy and employment for the
Western Sydney Aboriginal community.
Through the partnership, the Community
Support Service Program (CSS) Yanna
Janawee (Aboriginal for ‘walking
with me’) has been established.
The CSS program will support Western
Sydney Aboriginal community members
and their families who need links to
a range of mainstream and Aboriginal
services in Blacktown and Mt Druitt.
Services may include welfare, social
support, family violence (including
drug and alcohol), housing, childcare
and legal advice. There will also be
free and readily available access
to the internet at both sites.
Marist Youth Care, a Western-Sydney based
organisation with more than 100 years’
experience in caring for young people at
risk of social inclusion, initiated the CSS
partnership after current statistics showed
that 42% of participants in MYC’s Youth
Homelessness Program were Aboriginal.
The CSS program will act as an
information referral and assessment
bureau, identifying client needs
and enhancing access to the most
appropriate local support services.
By better linking Aboriginal people to
community services, CSS will improve
social inclusion and community
cohesion. The overall aim of the
project is to support Aboriginal
people in the Blacktown and Mt Druitt
areas to achieve independence.
FATIMA DAY – 13th JULY
Programme: 9.30am Confessions, 10.00am Exposition & Rosary,
11.00am Solemn Eucharist, 1.30pm Eucharistic Procession to
Grotto, 2.00pm Devotions at Grotto, 3.00pm Conclusion
Our Main Celebrant:
Fr Marek Dutkiewicz OSPPE
Member of the Community of Pauline Fathers
and Brothers at Penrose Park
DIVINE MERCY DEVOTION
THE THIRD SUNDAY EACH MONTH:
11.00am Holy Mass with renewal of marriage
vows followed by an individual blessing of
families with the most Blessed Sacrament.
1.30pm Devotions including Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament,
Chaplet, Benediction and veneration of relics of St Faustina.
18th July we remember those whose
anniversaries are between 31 and 35 years
Pauline Fathers’ Monastery – 120 Hanging Rock Rd, Berrima NSW 2577 – Open daily from 8 am to 5pm
Although the address used for mail is Berrima please take care that you DO NOT divert off the Freeway to the village of Berrima as the Shrine is
some 15km further south. It is the 3rd right turn after McDonald’s and Shell Service Station.
phone (02) 4878 9192; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; website www.paulinefathers.org
Bus contact numbers: Sydney (02) 9823 7763 or (02) 9642 3373; Northern Beaches (May & October only) (02) 9984 8988 Central Coast (02) 4329
3369 or (02) 4396 6549; Illawarra (02) 4274 1490; Shoalhaven (02) 4423 3330; Canberra/Queanbeyan/Goulburn (02) 6254 6202
CatholicOutlook July 2010 5
news and events from
St Monica’s teacher receives OAM
Judy Gray, a teacher and parishioner
from St Monica’s Parish and
Primary School at Richmond, was
awarded a Medal of the Order
of Australia (OAM) in this year’s
Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Judy received the award for her
service to the community through
music, sporting and emergency
service organisations in particular.
Having lived in the Hawkesbury
region her whole life, Judy has been
a long-term member of Richmond
Parish. She is an active member
of the parish’s music ministry utilising
her many musical gifts to
enhance the parish’s services. As
well as singing in the church choir,
she also sings with one of the local
community choirs, the Hawkesbury
Judy said she was overwhelmed
when she found out she had received
the award. “It’s overwhelming for
me to have received this award. I
just wonder why me It’s just the
way I live my life,” she said.
“Encouragement came from my
mother and father who were both
keen sportspeople and musicians.
They always encouraged me to do
the best I could and pass on the
knowledge that I have gained. That’s
why I wanted to become a teacher.”
Parish priest Fr Walter Fogarty
said Judy was a very worthy recipient
of the award. “Her sense of
dedication and enthusiasm is truly
inspirational,” he said. “The parish
is very lucky to have someone as
talented as Judy in its midst.
“Much loved by generations
of students and their parents the
announcement of the award has
been enthusiastically received
by the parish and the wider
“Not one to seek the limelight,
Judy humbly accepted the honour
after much soul searching about
her own worthiness to receive
the award. Characteristically, she
doesn’t see what she does as being
anything out of the ordinary.”
From the age of 10 Judy has
been involved in the Hawkesbury
District Concert Band and now, in
her capacity as musical director/
conductor, she leads the band every
year in the Anzac Day march.
She also plays the Last Post on
the bugle at school and local Anzac
celebrations. In previous years,
she taught the school band at St
Monica’s and still lends her musical
talents on special occasions.
During her 27 years at St
Monica’s Primary Judy has taught
all year groups from Kindergarten
to Year 6 and currently teaches
Years 3 and 4.
Principal Lyn Legrand said
Judy was a dedicated teacher who
was particularly committed to
encouraging boys to become more
engaged in their learning.
Judy Gray … inspiring students to achieve excellence
“Judy is a highly regarded teacher
at the school and always has the
children very much at the fore,”
Lyn said. “She is always inspiring
her students to achieve excellence
and has a particular passion for
finding ways to engage boys more
in their learning.”
Also a tireless sportswoman,
Judy has played with the Richmond
Hockey Club since she was 12 years
old and now also coaches the club’s
Judy said she tried to live by Mary
MacKillop’s challenge to ‘never see
a need without doing something
about it’. On one occasion, Judy
walked into the Hawkesbury Show
Association to drop off some of the
students’ artworks when she saw a
man surrounded by thousands of
“I asked if I could be of some
assistance and I’ve been working
with the Hawkesbury Show
Association now for the past 10
years,” she said.
Judy also became involved in the
Rural Fire Service in 1995 when a
state of emergency was declared
in the Hawkesbury. She volunteers
in a communications role and is
responsible for liaison between the
fire grounds and offices via radio,
phones and messaging. “My brothers
were volunteers with the RFS
and I knew they needed some help
so I joined,” she said.
LUCRATIVE PRIZES FOR SENIOR SCHOOL ESSAY WRITERS
Campion College Australia has launched a very
lucrative essay competition open to students from
all schools. Open to Year 11 and Year 12 students,
the competition is designed to seek out and foster
academic excellence in the humanities. If you are
a good essay writer, this competition is for you.
Here are the conditions of entry
Select one of the following essay questions:
1. Who do you think has been one of the greatest
leaders in the course of history and why
2. “Because of the emergence of the internet, books
will soon have no role in education.” Do you agree
Essay Length: 2,000 to 2,500 words.
Submission Date: 1st August 2010.
First Prize: $3,000. Second Prize: $2,000.
Third Prize: $1,000. 8 Highly Commended: $250 each.
Award Night: 18th October 2010
GET THE EDGE IN YEAR 12
Sir Winston Churchill
Come to Campion for a life-changing summer camp. This is a
great opportunity to learn vital skills for life and school.
19-23 January 2011: for Students entering Year 12 in 2011
The program is a short live-in bridging course from secondary to tertiary education,
with Leadership training; personal, social and spiritual development.
Get the edge: learn essential study skills before your fi nal school year.
Sample undergraduate teaching in literature, history, philosophy and theology.
Have fun with adventure and social activities.
Make new friends in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere.
Five days and four nights from $400.
Some scholarship assistance available.
APPLY NOW FOR CAMPION’S EARLY ACCEPTANCE SCHEME
If you are commencing your trial examinations in mid-2010, now is the time to
put in your application for the early acceptance scheme. Students who apply
to Campion before the HSC, and are eligible to enrol based on trial marks, will
have guaranteed entry to the Bachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts degree.
OPEN DAY – SATURDAY 28TH AUGUST 2010
This year’s Campion College Australia Open Day will be held on
Saturday 28th August. From 10am to 3pm. Mark your diary.
Our graduates are looking forward to their roles as teachers,
lawyers, doctors, and many other careers.
Enrolments Now Open
Applications are now open for students to enrol at Campion for its
mid-year intake. You may have already commenced at university but
are fi nding that it is not what you expected it to be or you may be a
mature-age student who wants to make the leap to a bachelor degree.
Campion’s mid-year intake commences on Monday 2 August.
Arrange a campus visit now by calling (02) 9896 9300.
To fi nd out more about Campion
Phone (02) 9896 9300
or visit: www.campion.edu.au
6 CatholicOutlook July 2010
Fr Gerry Iverson celebrates
golden jubilee of ordination
At times self deprecating despite
the many achievements in his
priestly ministry, but with a wonderfully
wry sense of humour, Rev
Gerry Iverson celebrates his golden
jubilee this month.
Exactly 50 years to the day of
his ordination on 16 July 1960,
Fr Gerry will be joined by Bishop
Anthony, parishioners and friends
from across the Diocese at Our
Lady Queen of Peace Parish for
Mass at 7pm followed by a reception
in the parish hall.
The eldest of four children (he
has two brothers and one sister)
Gerry Iverson was born in 1937 to
Claude and Kathleen Iverson. He
grew up in Albury and was educated
at St Patrick’s Primary and
Christian Bros College.
After completing his schooling,
the young Gerry went straight into
the seminary in 1954 at just 17
years of age. “Later at Manly, I used
to tell my own students that had I
been the rector of the seminary at
the time I would have said, ‘Gerry
Iverson go away and grow up a bit
and come back later on.’”
He said a number of things drew
Fr Gerry Iverson, parish priest
of Our Lady Queen of Peace
him to priesthood. “It was a vocation
which had a lot more prestige
attached to it than it does now,” Fr
Gerry explains. With such a strong
Irish Catholic presence in the parish,
the priest at that time was
almost an icon in the community.
One of the teachers at his high
school also had a very strong
influence on his decision to
become a priest. “Br Tom Davitt,
a Christian Brother, was a wild
eccentric Irishman, but his love of
the priesthood was profound and
his influence on us was extraordinary.
It seemed like a very fulfilling
kind of vocation.”
Gerry spent two years at the seminary
in Springwood, and a further
seven years at Manly, including
two years of graduate studies.
His first appointment was in
1963 to the parish of Junee as second
curate. He did “a lot of knocking
on doors” for home visitation
and set up a young people’s group.
After 12 months at Junee he was
transferred to the Cathedral parish
at Wagga Wagga as fourth curate
for four years. “I was the bottom of
the barrel,” he said grinning.
Following a three-year appointment
at Griffith he returned to
the Cathedral as Administrator
from 1973-78 under Bishop Frank
Carroll. As the leader of the parish
team, it was during this time that
Fr Gerry began working officially
in the ministry that has been one of
the focuses of his priesthood.
Working with counsellors from
Charles Sturt University and other
Christian clergy he helped to establish
a marriage and personal counselling
service in Wagga, which was
similar to the type of service now
provided by Centacare.
In 1979, Fr Gerry returned to
academia in a very different way
as he puts it, when he went off
for a ‘mid-life re-education’ at the
Institute of Pastoral Studies in
Chicago in the US.
He completed a Masters degree
with a wide scope for developing
pastoral skills, updating his knowledge
of theology and scripture, psychology
and understanding human
behaviour. He said this was a wonderfully
enriching period in his life.
On his return to Australia, he
accepted an appointment as curate
in Albury and then Griffith while
becoming Director of Marriage
Education and Family Support
for five years in the Diocese of
From 1985-90, Fr Gerry was rector
of the seminary at St Patrick’s
College, Manly. “And God laughed,”
he said. “It was a rewarding experience
to be in charge of the formation
of these young people and
dealing with their enthusiasm and
their questions of commitment;
facing up to the realities of inconsistency
and human failure, and all
the things that can interfere with
the best of our intentions.”
Archbishop Ted Clancy sent Fr
Gerry to look at what was happening
in formation at seminaries
around the world for three
months. He came back determined
to ensure the students were more
active in the evaluation process of
their formation experience than
they had been before.
He aimed to produce a fairer
process of participation in which
they would give the educators
feedback and they, in turn, would
react and respond. It was an enjoyable
but challenging time, and he
feels he worked harder there than
anywhere else in terms of a sense
However, he missed the variety
of closeness with families that parish
ministry brings. “It was in one
sense a desert experience. But, of
course, in the desert the flowers
bloom after the rain comes; so it
was also a very rich experience.”
Looking for a change of pace, he
then applied for temporary work
Fr Gerry is grateful for the support of the parish team including (standing,
from left): Louise Woefl, Sacramental Coordinator; Sabine Harriss, Parish
Secretary; Sr Helen Cunningham OP, Pastoral Associate; Fr Zakaria
Gayed, Assistant Priest; and Richard Ward, Parish Manager (seated).
in the Diocese of Parramatta.
Bishop Bede Heather sent him to
Mt Kurrajong House of Prayer,
which was a much more relaxed
lifestyle in comparison to his time
at the seminary.
Once he was incardinated in
Parramatta, he was appointed to
Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish.
Fr Gerry came to Greystanes on
Easter Sunday 1994 in the fallout
of the sexual abuse accusations that
had seen the Brothers of St Gerard
Majella depart that year and the
parish subsequently handed back
to the diocesan clergy.
Fr Gerry was faced with another
career challenge, this time to rebuild
and reunite the parish. He saw his
job as reinforcing the positives
achieved by the brothers during
their administration, and focussed
on high-quality liturgy and a strong
adult formation program.
While many felt disillusioned
and walked away, many others
recognised the chance of a new
beginning. Now in his 17th year at
Greystanes, Fr Gerry is proud that
the parish has achieved a sense of
ownership. “There is a significant
number of people involved in ministry
and the quality of the leadership
is extraordinary,” he said.
But by far the most enduring
part of Fr Gerry’s ministry has
been assisting in marriages. At
Greystanes, he has enjoyed preparing
couples for marriage and
watching the growth in their
understanding of the challenges
and the strengths they develop
with each other.
“The best thing about being a
priest is the entrée card it gives
you into people’s lives. You can be
with them in their most precious
moments, their moments of grace.
“It is not just the celebration of
the sacraments that is important,
but the sharing of the joy and
the sorrow, struggles and hopefulness,
and all those human emotions
that go with those different
stages of life.”
The hardest part is sometimes
the loneliness. “The biggest burden
as one grows older is the sense of
loss of sharing in the most common
of human experience; that of
raising children and being a father,”
“What helps you to cope is the
trust people bring to you in inviting
you to be a part of their family
life. The cultivation of friendships
is the essential counterpart of
priestly ministry. You are a friend
to a great number of people and it
is a great support in maintaining a
As he prepares to celebrate 50
years of priesthood, Fr Gerry cites
the words of Jesus in John 10:10
as his choice in Scripture: “I have
come that they may have life and
have it to the full.” He feels it sums
up the priesthood and Christian
life, and is a most wonderful way of
living a fulfilling human life.
Fr Gerry will celebrate his golden
jubilee with a Mass at 7pm on 16
July followed by a reception in the
parish hall. For catering purposes,
please advise the parish if you will
be attending tel (02) 9631 8135.
CEO Sleepout raises $2.6m
This year for the first time the
Society of St Vincent de Paul’s
CEO Sleepout went national, raising
more than $2.6 million. The
CEO Sleepout is part of Vinnies
Winter Appeal, which aims to
raise awareness about homelessness,
and to raise funds for Vinnies
ABS figures show more than
100,000 people do not have a home.
While this statistic refers to a lack
of housing, homelessness is an issue
beyond mere bricks and mortar.
The reasons for homelessness,
like the makeshift dwellings
or the people themselves,
are diverse. Prime Minister Rudd
has rightly called homelessness a
The onset of winter only worsens
the situation. Earlier this year a
pretty nasty debate broke out about
whether homeless people should be
blamed for their predicament.
One of the most insightful voices
in that public discussion came
from Dr John Falzon, CEO of St
Vincent de Paul’s National Council.
“Everyone has a story. And they
don’t happen in limbo,” he said.
“They happen in the context of
developing social and economic
structures. Each person’s story is a
unique intersection of the personal
and the political. Each intersection
continues to change.”
We all make choices. We do so in
a broader context, e.g. maybe you
have chosen to go overseas recently.
Why Because you love travel.
That’s the personal. But maybe you
only did so because flights were
cheap. This was because carriers
needed to remain competitive during
the global financial crisis, which
was triggered by the bursting of
the US housing bubble. That’s the
political. Together they make what
Dr Falzon calls an ‘intersection’.
Homelessness is similar. Dr
Falzon attempted to move the
debate beyond apportioning
blame to being aware of these
intersections, particular when
“choices are constrained for those
… systematically locked out of the
This winter we should remember
those left out in the cold
and support organisations like
Vinnies, which offer ‘a hand up,
not a hand out’.
Volunteers are needed for
the Vinnies Winter Doorknock
Appeal in August. To register
as a volunteer or make a donation
call (02) 9689 1900 or go to
Evan Ellis is the Diocesan Social
Justice Co-ordinator tel (02) 8838
Bishop Julian Porteous blessed the natural burial ground (from left):
Peter Ward, Chairman of Catholic Cemeteries Board; Minister Tony
Kelly; and Michael McMahon, CEO of Catholic Cemeteries Board
Natural burial ground
The NSW Minister for Lands, Tony
Kelly MP, opened Sydney’s first natural
burial ground on 17 June, saying
that it offered a cheaper, more
environmentally friendly choice for
families when it came to farewelling
Mr Kelly commended the
Catholic Cemeteries Board’s
initiative at St Francis Field,
within the grounds of Kemps
The field was blessed by Bishop
Julian Porteous, Auxiliary Bishop of
Sydney and Chairman of Catholic
Minister Kelly said natural burial
grounds responded to an emerging
need within the community for an
interment option more environmentally
friendly than traditional
burials or cremation.
Burials in St Francis Field will be
in biodegradable coffins and will
not be marked by traditional headstones
– instead they are designed
to blend back into the natural setting
of the field.
CatholicOutlook July 2010 7
This reduces the need for
manicured grounds and reliance
on chemicals – creating a lowcarbon
Bishop Julian said that as
Chairman of Catholic Earthcare
he had a particular interest in
this form of burial. “It combines a
greater environmental consciousness
together with respect for the
dead,” he said.
“Some Catholics may have a sensitivity
to an environmental cemetery
but, in time, I believe they
will grow to accept it. St Francis
Field will be a place of memorial,
remembrance and prayer.”
The latest GPS technology is
used to ensure the location of the
deceased is noted and recorded.
At the front of the burial area there
will be an acknowledgement of each
person buried there in the form of
a plaque. There will also be a place
set aside for prayer and reflection.
Tenure is also limited to 30 years,
with the option to renew if desired.
In this way St Francis Field may
become a sustainable burial ground
for generations to come.
“No doubt natural burial grounds
will become a popular option for
many families over time,” he said.
Mr Kelly said that the
Government would continue to
work with its Crown Cemetery
Trusts in exploring more opportunities
for natural burial grounds
and other sustainable ways of managing
the State’s cemeteries.
8 CatholicOutlook July 2010
A new way of praying …
Rev Peter Williams
The words we use when we pray
publicly are very important.
They are important because
they help shape our religious
consciousness and they tell us
about who we are in relationship
to God and to one another as
members of the Body of Christ.
In the last half of 2011 we will
begin using a new translation of
the Roman Missal, which was
recently approved by the Holy See.
It has been a long process to get
to this point, which began after
the publication of the third edition
of the Missal in Latin in 2002.
For the past eight years the
International Commission on
English in the Liturgy (ICEL) has
been translating the Missal and
sending segments of it to the 11
English-speaking conferences of
bishops that make up ICEL.
There have been lots of
suggestions made about how
to translate the text. Late last
year the Australian Catholic
Bishops Conference voted on
the final segment and the entire
Missal was sent to Rome for
recognitio by the Holy See.
This Missal contains the
texts for the Order of Mass,
Solemnities and Feast Days of
Saints, the Proper of Seasons,
and Masses for Various Needs
and Occasions and Votive Masses
and Masses for the Dead.
Added to this will be specific
Australian observances like
the Feast of Mary MacKillop,
Australia Day and Anzac Day.
The way in which Mass is
celebrated will not change from
the way it is celebrated now, but
when we start using the new
Missal we will be introduced to
some new responses, and some
of the parts of the Mass that we
currently have become familiar
with have been re-translated.
This will mean that we will
have new musical settings to
the Mass as the Gloria (Glory
to God in the Highest) has
been translated so that it is
much closer to the Latin text.
There is a slight change in the
Sanctus (Holy, holy …) and the
Memorial Acclamations have
been re-translated. The Agnus Dei
(Lamb of God) remains the same.
Perhaps one of the biggest
changes we will need to adapt
to is the greeting response to
the priest. We currently say
“And also with you”, but the
new response will be “And with
your spirit”, which is closer to
the Latin “Et cum spiritutuo”.
To help explain and
introduce the changes, the
National Liturgical Council
will prepare material in the
form of bulletin inserts, homily
notes, commentator’s notes,
laminated cards and PowerPoint
presentations with the new texts
that will assist congregations in
preparing for the new translation.
Also available will be a DVD
resource entitled: “Become One
Body, One Spirit in Christ”,
which will be used as the
principal resource in all the
In the Diocese of Parramatta
in preparation for the changes
there will be a process of
education for the clergy and also
for the people of the Diocese.
This will take place over a
number of months before we start
using the new translation. I am
sure that at first we will find some
discomfort using the new texts but
just as people adjusted to the Mass
going from Latin to English in
the late 1960s and early 1970s, we
will soon be using the new texts
and responses with confidence.
Rev Peter Williams is Director
of Liturgy in the Diocese of
Parramatta and Executive
Secretary of the Bishops
Commission for Liturgy.
The new Missal will include specific Australian
observances such as the Feast of Mary MacKillop
Western Sydney Doorknock Appeal
is on again over two weekends:
21-22 August & 28-29 August 2010
Now it is winter and the overnight temperature drops to almost
zero degrees. A growing number of people are experiencing homelessness
and poverty in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
Homeless families have been known to spend cold nights sleeping
in a rundown car. Others may not be able to afford electricity, gas or
firewood to heat their homes or buy food to feed their families.
We need your help to assist with doorknocking for three hours. It is a
great way of having fun, exercising and meeting people in your area
while collecting money for a good cause.
To register as a volunteer for the Doorknock Appeal
Tel (02) 9568 0253 or go to www.vinnies.org.au
Your gift today will give someone
a different tomorrow.
You can make a donation at: www.vinnies.org.au
More insurance options
and improved flexibility
Chisholm Cottage, Westmead
Chisholm Cottage provides low-cost, short-term
accommodation for friends and relatives of
country people attending Westmead Hospitals.
It is owned and operated by the
Catholic Women’s League (Aust),
Diocese of Parramatta Inc.
The Cottage needs volunteers to assist with
house duties, to answer the phone, etc,
once a month, from 9.30am to 1.30pm.
For more information please ring
Chisholm Cottage tel (02) 9633 4228
and leave your contact details.
The Australian Catholic Superannuation
& Retirement Fund
(ACSRF), Australia’s largest
Catholic superannuation provider,
has improved its insurance offering
for members to provide greater
benefits and flexibility without
ACSRF chief executive Greg
Cantor said the changes would give
members more options when it
comes to their insurance, as well as
the ability to take advantage of special
offers to increase their cover if
they need it.
“We’re delivering an enhanced
suite of products to our members
for the same low price they’re used
to,” he said. “Australia is one of
the most underinsured countries
in the developed world. We hope
these changes will have a positive
effect in helping to reduce the size
of this problem.”
Under the changes, the dollar
value for each unit of Death and
Total and Permanent Disablement
(TPD) cover has increased between
8% and 28%, depending on age,
with the cost per unit remaining
Members can increase their coverage
without underwriting during
a special offer period and are able
to choose either age-based unitised
or fixed-rate cover. Cover has also
been extended from age 65 to 70.
ACSRF has increased the
income protection benefit from
75% to 85% of salary. Claimants
will receive the majority (75/85ths)
of their benefit in a lump-sum pay-
Mr Greg Cantor
ment with the remaining 10/85ths
now being directed to their superannuation
“The Trustees of the Fund want
to make sure members’ superannuation
is looked after even when
they’re ill,” Mr Cantor said. “It’s
just another way we’re helping our
members prepare for a comfortable
ING is continuing to underwrite
the insurance and has provided
the improved cover because of the
fund’s favourable claims experience
with the insurer.
Detailed information on the
changes can be found online at
in the fund’s Product Disclosure
Statement and Insurance fact sheet
(available online from 1 July 2010).
New Chairman appointed
Richard Haddock has been appointed
the next Chairman of ACSRF,
effective 1 July 2010. Richard
replaces Br Kelvin Canavan FMS
AM, who has been a member of
the Trustee Board since 1993 and
Chair for the past three years. The
fund currently has nearly 90,000
members and $3.9 billion assets.
Mr Haddock commenced
his professional life as a lawyer
with Blake Dawson Waldron. He
then spent a great part of his
career with BNP Paribas and was
Deputy General Manager of the
Australian operation at the time
of his departure.
Mr Haddock is on the boards
of several organisations. He is
Chairman of Commonwealth
Managed Investments Ltd, and
CatholicCare. He is a director of
Tishman Speyer Australia Ltd and
Retirement Villages Group Ltd. He
is honorary treasurer and a national
director of Caritas Australia.
CatholicOutlook July 2010 9
10 CatholicOutlook July 2010
BISHOP ANTHONY FISHER’S HOMILY
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ and Institution of Lectors
St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, 6 June 2010
On 22 September 1871, the Bishop
of Adelaide, Lawrence Shiels,
excommunicated the 33-yearold
foundress of the Sisters of St
Joseph of the Sacred Heart. Mary
MacKillop’s resolution, independence
and success had won her
admirers but also enemies, and the
whispering campaign reached the
ears of the bishop who reacted with
alarm and cut her off.
You might say that this year she’ll
get her own back, as she is ‘raised
to the altars’.
One internet site now names
her “Patron Saint of Opponents
of Church Authority”: NOT, I
suspect, a title approved by Pope
Benedict XVI for her October celebrations,
nor one Mary would
have wanted herself.
Mary of the Cross was always
a woman of the Church and harboured
no bitterness. Rather than
defy her ‘poor dear bishop’, as she
called him, she obeyed and was
soon exonerated by a commission
of other bishops and reinstated.
Her vision for her congregation
was in due course confirmed
by Rome. The hierarchy of the
Church were as often her protectors
as her problems.
In the Apostles’ Creed the sacraments
of Holy Communion and
Confession are described as “the
communion of saints and forgiveness
of sins”, and so central are
they to our faith and practice that
they are linked to life everlasting,
that other Communion of Saints to
which Mary now belongs.
No doubt, as Mary MacKillop’s
story is retold this year, her excommunication
will be used as an
example of the tyranny of authority,
but this will miss the point
that Mary so loved the Eucharist
that to be cut off from it, even for
a day, was a terrible trial. Perhaps
as a result of getting it so wrong
with her, Australia’s bishops rarely
excommunicate anyone …
Yet there are ways that we can
cut ourselves off from communion.
Every Catholic knows, or should
know, that going to Communion
shouldn’t be automatic. We should
not go just out of habit or because
there is a queue to join.
To receive Holy Communion
we must be baptised and Catholic
ourselves, we should believe in
the Real Presence and the rest
of the Church’s faith and morals,
and be genuinely trying to live
Normally, we should have fasted
for an hour or more. Above all, we
must be well disposed: we should
only open our mouths to Christ if
we have already opened our hearts
If we are filled with anger or
hate towards God or neighbour,
if we are so distracted by other
things that we have not given the
readings and prayers of the Mass
the slightest attention, maybe we
We certainly should not go to
Communion if we are conscious
of any grave, unconfessed sin –
but rather go to Confession, as
soon as possible, and in the meantime
attend Mass reverently but
Our communion is both with
Christ’s body the Eucharist and
Christ’s body the Church and
we must be in full communion
with both to line up for
This teaching of the Church
is no new thing. In our Second
Reading (1 Cor 11:23-36) we
heard Paul, writing to Christians
in Corinth, to remind them how
sacred is the Eucharist.
He recalls its Institution: how on
the night He was betrayed, Jesus
took bread and wine, gave thanks
and said, “This is my Body, which
will be given up for you … This
is the cup of my Blood, the Blood
of the new covenant. Do this in
memory of me.”
Paul had to remind the
Corinthians of the seriousness of
what they were doing, because some
were taking it for granted. The very
next verse after our reading (v 37) is
especially telling: “Therefore, anyone
who eats the Lord’s Bread or
Seminarians Leo Napuli, Alfredito Dalagdog and Niño Canete were installed in the Office
of Lectors of God’s Holy Word. Photography: Alphonsus Fok and Grace Lu
Bishop Anthony Fisher’s homilies are
archived on the diocesan website
You can read the Bishop’s monthly Letter in Catholic
Outlook, his pastoral messages, and addresses. The
website also has media galleries with photos and
videos, information about joining the priesthood, and
profiles of priests in the Diocese of Parramatta.
drinks the Lord’s Cup unworthily
profanes the Body and Blood of
the Lord. So let each man examine
himself before he eats of that Bread
and drinks of that Cup.”
Of course, none of us is perfect
when we come to receive the
Blessed Sacrament. Our faith is
often weak and our knowledge of
it imperfect; our daily lives are a
mixture of good deeds and not so
good, heroic generosity and more
mediocre humdrum, virtuous
deeds that make virtuous character
and, sadly, sins and those
habitual sins we call vices.
The Church is for sinners and
would look pretty silly without
them, rather like a hospital without
patients. On that huge cross in our
Cathedral we are confronted with
the stark fact that God so loved the
world He gave His only Son, gave
Him into the hands of sinful men.
Rather than keep Himself secure
and clean, God gave Himself into
our hands as a fragile babe at
Christmas and as an innocent victim
on Good Friday.
At Corpus Christi we consider the
awesome fact that God still gives
Himself into the hands of sinful
men, at every Holy Communion, as
we receive the host into our hands
and tongues and persons.
As God did not will to remain
always safe in heaven, He does not
will to remain always secure in
the tabernacle. On this Solemn
Feast, all around the world, He
will be received at altars, or paraded
through street processions,
or exposed for Adoration and
Benediction. At each place He will
be received into souls less than perfectly
But at the very least, we must
be ready and willing to be transformed
by Him and into Him,
even as He transforms bread
and wine into His very body and
blood, body and soul, humanity
and divinity. We must not stubbornly
resist conversion to His
ways, as if we knew better.
We must receive God at
Communion not just out of habit,
not just because there is a queue
there and we have always joined it,
but as an expression of and food
for a genuinely Christian life, a life
lived especially for Christ and His
little ones – the orphans and widows,
the unborn, new-born and
the soon-to-die, the refugees and
When we say Amen to the Sacred
Host and the Chalice before us, we
say ‘yes’ to embracing the whole
life of the Gospel. We say ‘yes’ to
receiving Christ into our bodies
and souls. ‘Yes’ to then taking Him
out to the world: out to our homes,
workplaces, shopping centres,
schools, leisure activities, the public
square and all its institutions.
We say ‘Amen’ to then bringing
that world back to Christ, next
week at Mass, so that He might
transform our world and ourselves
with the bread and wine, into the
Communion of Saints.
Dear sons in Christ, Leo
Napuli, Alfredito Dalagdog and
Niño Canete, seminarians for the
Diocese of Parramatta: today you
will be installed in the Office of
Lectors of God’s Holy Word as
part of your journey to that day
when, as priests of Jesus Christ,
you will consecrate the Body and
Blood of the Lord yourselves.
It was through Christ His Son
that God the Father revealed the
mystery of salvation and brought
it to fulfilment. Having made
all things known to us Christ
entrusted to His Church the mission
of preaching the Gospel to
the whole world.
From today you will share in that
mission as readers and bearers of
God’s word. As ministerial Lectors
you will proclaim the Word of
God in the liturgical assembly. You
may instruct children and adults in
faith, and prepare them to receive
the sacraments worthily. You will
bring the message of salvation to
those who have not yet received it.
With your help people will come
to know God and so be able to
reach eternal life.
In proclaiming the Word to others,
accept it yourselves in obedience
to the Holy Spirit. Meditate
on it constantly, so that each day
you will have a deeper love of
the Scriptures, and in all you say
and do show forth to the world
our Saviour, Jesus Christ, our
CatholicOutlook July 2010 11
What happens at Mass
Indeed a number of things
happen at Mass. Mass, or
liturgy, is the source and summit
(CS10). In the liturgy, God
is acting – it is God’s action.
God acts to save us. What
higher summit can one hope
to achieve It is a huge event.
The entirety of God’s saving
love is concentrated in the
ritual action and words of the
Eucharistic liturgy. It is a gift.
It is not immediately
understandable – it is a mystery
and, being a gift, cannot be
defined in our terms. God
defines the meaning within the
liturgy and we deprive ourselves
of the gift if we attempt to
manipulate the liturgy so that
it is meaningful on our terms.
Being the summit, it is
arrived at slowly and with
care and effort. The liturgy
requires our initiation through
Baptism, Confirmation and is
ongoing through the Eucharistic
liturgy. The liturgy is a ritual
and, therefore, it is through
the repetition that a gradual
deepening of understanding
and engagement occurs.
It is the form of the ritual
that delivers a content. Not
an intellectual content to be
grasped with the mind, but
an actual event; nothing less
than the very event of our
salvation. If we come not
prepared to be open to this
form, we run the risk of leaving
the same way as we came.
The ritual can take us out
of ourselves and beyond
ourselves. The very forms
themselves – the Word, the
bread and wine, the movements
of people and priest – become
saturated with significance.
The Mass is about love; that
is, the Mass is an encounter.
It is an encounter with God
through Jesus Christ. The
Jesus who was crucified and
rose from the dead is Lord and
God. It is through this new
relationship that the liturgy
changes us and offers us a new
relationship; a new way of being.
Every relationship needs to
be experienced and Mass is
the foundational experience
of our relationship with God
through Jesus, experienced and
celebrated in all its fullness.
It is through this relationship
and constant conversion that
we are able to engage in all
other relationships. It makes it
possible for us to love others as
we have been loved by God.
The Mass ends as it began
– with the sign of the cross:
the Trinitarian formulae that
is the embodiment of this
relationship. It is in the name
of this relationship that we
are sent forth into the world.
As the assembly, the Church
has been transformed through
the liturgy, so it is the Church
that goes out and on to be the
Body of Christ in the world.
That is, to be the baptised,
transformed through the
Eucharistic liturgy and
transforming through the new
relationship in love. “There
is no greater love than this”
and it is only this love that
can transform the world.
The liturgy changes us and offers us a new relationship;
a new way of being. Photo: David Tang
12 CatholicOutlook July 2010
Building on a once in
a lifetime opportunity
Over recent months, there have been many news
stories regarding cost blowouts of some school
projects under the Australian Government’s
Building the Education Revolution program.
Comparisons with the Catholic school sector
have shown that Catholic schools have been
able to achieve better value for money,
overall, for their building projects.
Recent claims that the Catholic school
sector has achieved value for money with
buildings that are inferior to our public school
counterparts are absolutely not true.
All building projects in the Diocese of Parramatta
are architect designed, fully engineered, permanent
constructions that will last as long as any building.
I had the opportunity to speak to a Senate
Hearing recently with Bishop Anthony about
the response by our Diocese to the Building
the Education Revolution program.
From the beginning, in our Diocese we have
looked at this program as a once in a lifetime
opportunity. Australian schools have not seen, nor
will likely see again, the level of investment into
school buildings and educational infrastructure.
We have worked with our local school communities
to ensure that improving learning and teaching is at
the centre of our planning and design of projects,
and that our infrastructure will stand the test of
time and benefit students now and in the future.
I am extremely pleased with the response by our
school communities and our facilities team at
the Catholic Education Office who are managing
this significant program exceptionally well.
To date, 76 schools have completed their
National School Pride projects for minor building
and maintenance works; of the 54 projects
funded under the Primary Schools for the 21 st
Century program, 80% have commenced onsite
construction with funding of up to $3 million per
school to build multipurpose halls or learning
spaces; four secondary schools have commenced
onsite construction of language learning centres
under the Science and Language Centres for
21st Century Secondary Schools program
with funding of $1.97 million per school.
While most of the construction will be
completed over the coming months, the
important work of improving learning and
teaching in our schools will continue.
This once in a lifetime opportunity allows
us to build on our work of ensuring our
schools deliver a world-class Catholic
education for every student in our care.
Executive Director of Schools
Diocese of Parramatta
When diversity is the norm:
Inclusive practices in action
In a world of increasing diversity, how do schools respond to the challenge of meeting the individual needs of
students to deliver personalised, relevant and meaningful learning
Jan Heyworth, Elizabeth Rowe and Gabrielle Stehr
Why value diversity
The increasing diversity in
contemporary society poses
considerable challenges for schools
and school systems in meeting
the needs of all students.
Catholic education in the Diocese
of Parramatta approaches this
diversity within the context of our
Catholic worldview, central to which
is an appreciation of the sacredness
and dignity of the human person.
Honouring the diversity of all people
is, therefore, a key principle of learning
and teaching in the Diocese.
The range of needs across the
whole student population, including
those young people with learning
difficulties, disabilities or complex
personal, social or emotional needs,
increasingly means that diversity is
the norm for schooling in today’s
world. All students have specific
learning needs that must be met.
When we see student need in
terms of diversity, we avoid the
possible stereotyping and lowered
expectations that can come from an
approach that labels students as above
or below a set norm or average.
Labelling tends to identify difficulties
or differences in learning in terms
of deficiencies or impairments.
By contrast, a diversity model
focuses on the student’s strengths
and what he or she can achieve.
Our diocesan system of schools
responds to the challenge of meeting
the diverse needs of students by
placing the students at the centre
of learning and teaching.
The underpinning principle
is to focus support at the school
level where it makes the most
difference to student learning.
Since the quality of the teaching is
the critical factor in how well students
learn, support is located as closely
as possible to the learning space.
Therefore, the quality of the
relationship between the student and
teacher is crucial. These relationships
are strengthened when teachers work
and learn together about how best to
meet the needs of their students.
Catering for diversity through
Inclusive practices, based on the
principles of quality and equity, respond
to diversity through an invitation to
participate in learning together.
They are not additional to existing
practices, but are a way of working
to increase the participation of all
students and all adults within an
inclusive school community.
Inclusion is not the same as
integration or mainstreaming.
Integration is the process of placing
students with additional needs into
regular schools and classrooms,
with supports introduced to assist
the student to fit into existing
school structures and programs.
By contrast, inclusion emphasises
how schools respond flexibly to the
individual needs of every student.
St Margaret Mary’s Primary,
Merrylands is a school in which the
individual needs of every student are
met within an inclusive framework.
Principal Carmel Agius explains
that the learning needs of all students
are met by flexibly providing the
resources necessary to support
their individual learning.
“This means the students with
additional needs learn alongside
their peers with appropriate supports
provided by their classroom teacher,
learning support teacher(s), peers
and other adults working in the
learning spaces,” she said.
“Similarly, students who are
academically gifted are provided
with opportunities to extend their
learning within the learning spaces.”
At the heart of inclusive practice:
A diversity model does not distinguish
between students on the basis of
disability or non-disability, instead
regarding all students as individual
learners with their own strengths,
competencies and identities.
Catering for diversity means
taking a strengths-based approach
to each student that builds upon
what learners know and what they
believe about themselves as learners.
Student-centred planning is about
classroom teachers personalising the
learning for students, including those
students with specific additional needs.
This work is complex and is best
done when teachers collaborate with
each other, with specialist teachers
within the learning support team,
and with school leaders to plan how
their students’ needs can be met.
Central to this team approach
is collaboration with teachers and
leaders working and learning together
on real and often complex issues of
learning and teaching both within,
and beyond, the learning space.
At St Columba’s High School,
Springwood the learning support
coordinator works with teachers
to build their capacity to respond
to the diverse needs of student.
The learning support committee, which
consists of representatives from different
areas of the school, looks at the different
learning needs across the curriculum.
Principal Delma Horan said collaboration
is the key when responding to diversity.
“We believe that all students can
learn and that the gifts and talents
of the individual learner should be
recognised, as well as the areas that need
support and development,” she said.
“We can do this by working together
to both know our students’ learning
needs and by employing specific
strategies that are best able to make
the difference for the learning.
“The teacher assesses where the
student is at now and where they need
to be. By working with the student, the
teacher identifies ways to close the gap.
We are a learning community that is the
richer for the diversity of its learners.”
How does it work in practice
All good teaching begins by knowing
the learner. Teachers begin building a
picture of each learner with an assessment
of the student’s learning needs. The
learning issue could be academic,
social, behavioural or emotional.
Essential contribution of families
The knowledge, wisdom and experience
of families are essential components
of student-centred planning. Parents
know their own children better than
anyone else and this “expert knowledge”
needs to be respected and drawn upon
throughout the planning process.
Step 1: problem solving
with a colleague
When a teacher identifies that he or
she needs to know more about how
or what to teach so that a student can
take the next step, the teacher problem
solves with a colleague(s) to develop and
implement a teaching plan to address
the identified need of the learner.
Step 2: teacher collaborates with
leadership team member
If additional support is required the
teacher seeks the assistance of an
appropriate leadership team member.
All relevant data such as student work
samples and formal assessment data is
analysed. The teacher and leadership team
member develop a plan together that
includes a way of monitoring progress
and facilitating ongoing collaboration.
Step 3: wider collaboration
with school support team
If concerns continue, a meeting of the
school support team is convened led by a
member of the leadership team. The team,
which may include the school counsellor, as
well as the learning support teacher and the
classroom teacher, collaborate across their
areas of expertise to support the teacher in
meeting the specific needs of the student.
Step 4: school and system collaboration
The school support team may decide that
the student’s needs require additional
expertise from beyond the school. This
may result in a request for support from
specialist staff within the Catholic Education
Office for further collaboration, input
and planning. Key responsibility for the
student’s learning needs remains, however,
with the student’s regular teacher(s).
Supporting student self-discovery
The diversity model has the studentteacher
relationship at its heart. Students
are more engaged when learning is
connected with their passions and
when their learning is personalised,
focused on building achievement, and
on developing the talents of the child.
St Canice’s Primary, Katoomba is
focusing on students’ passions and
talents through an initiative called
Movies for the Minds (M4M). M4M is
a project where students film, edit and
present movies at a festival that capture
some of their learning experiences.
Principal Paul Devlin said Movies for the
Minds engages the students and provides
freedom to create in such a way that allows
personal expression for students of all ages
and learning capabilities. “The learning
environment allows students to naturally
discover their own interests and we have
found that they really want to learn.”
Carrington, S. (1999) Inclusion needs a
different school culture. International Journal
of Inclusive Education 3(3), 257-268.
CEO Parramatta, (2010) Theory of Action. Sydney:
Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Parramatta.
CEO Parramatta, (2009) Statement on Learning. Sydney:
Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Parramatta.
Robinson, K. and Aronica, L. (2009) The
Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes
Everything. New York: Viking.
Snelling, J. (2007) Including students
with disabilities: A curriculum toolkit for
schools and teachers. Melbourne: Royal
Children’s Hospital Education Institute.
Jan Heyworth is the Head of Religious Education
and Learning Services and Elizabeth Rowe
is the team leader, Student Services for the
Catholic Education Office Parramatta.
CatholicOutlook July 2010 13
St Monica’s officially opens new multi-purpose learning centre
A special ceremony was held at St Monica’s
Primary, North Parramatta on 28 May to
officially open and bless the new multipurpose
learning centre. The learning spaces
were blessed by Bishop Anthony Fisher OP
and officially opened by the State Member
for Parramatta, Tanya Gadiel MP, and the
Executive Director of Schools, Greg Whitby.
The building project, which was funded
by the Australian Government’s Building
the Education Revolution program and the
Catholic Block Grant Authority, included the
construction of the multi-purpose learning
centre. The centre provides flexible, open
Bishop Anthony blesses the new learning centre
with (from left): Greg Whitby, Michael Hopley,
Tanya Gadiel MP, and Fr Fernando Montano
learning spaces for all stage groups in the one space with a kitchen and a library, as well as a
new administration block and after school care centre on the ground floor.
Good Shepherd students make a wish for others suffering from disease
Students present the cheque to Toni Baker from the
Make A Wish Foundation with Mrs Magatanong (far
left) and class teacher Mrs Baird (far right)
Parramatta Eels continue their learning at Parramatta Marist High
The Parramatta Eels visited Parramatta
Marist High, Westmead in May to take part
in an online training course as part of their
Certificate IV in Frontline Management. The
school is providing the Parramatta NRL players
access to its advanced computer technologies
as well as training by the students. Nathan
Cayless, Parramatta Eels captain and former
Parramatta Marist student, said he was
pleased to be able to come back to his old
school to further his education. “It was a great
school and I really enjoyed my time here,”
he said. “It’s amazing how schooling has
changed. You obviously don’t need to bring
a pen and paper to class anymore, instead,
everyone has laptops.”
Mike Chin assists Parramatta Marist students
to film a scene in the playground
Catholic schools designed to shine
Students from St Bernadette’s Primary and
Gilroy College, Castle Hill have joined forces
with students from St Gabriel’s School for
Hearing Impaired Children, Castle Hill to work
on a collaborative project called Design2Shine.
Over three weeks students worked in groups
to design and create a school beautification
project at St Gabriel’s, which involved the
creation of a courtyard garden. The students
posted pictures and comments of what they
did during the day on their wiki, Design2Shine.
This is the first of a three-part beautification
project between the schools.
Good Shepherd Primary, Plumpton held
a mufti day on 28 May to raise money for
the Make A Wish Foundation in honour
of Year 6 student, Anthony Magtanong
who is in hospital fighting the disease,
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Anthony
has recently undergone a bone marrow
transplant that involved his brother,
who is also a student at Good Shepherd,
donating marrow. Anthony’s classmates,
who keep in touch with him regularly via
Skype, chose to raise money for the Make A
Wish Foundation so they could help other
children in similar situations. The students
managed to raise $700 through the mufti
day and other fundraising activities.
Parramatta Marist High students with former student
and Parramatta Eels captain Nathan Cayless
Students at Parramatta Marist High, Westmead
have also been working on a collaborative
project with acclaimed music and multimedia
artist/producer, Michael Chin to develop a
multimedia production celebrating Parramatta
Marist’s 190th anniversary. The students
have used time-lapse and stop-motion
methodologies to condense video footage
taken over long periods of time into a short
multimedia presentation. Audio software
and microphones have been used to sample
and capture sounds for their compositions
and the video, images and sounds are
then edited in video editing software to
synchronise with the music they had created.
The project is part of the Diocese’s creative
and performing arts program, Captivate.
St Bernadette’s students show off the new play
equipment in the garden courtyard at St Gabriel’s
14 CatholicOutlook July 2010
The flexible learning spaces at St Margaret Mary’s Primary allow for greater teacher collaboration
Does class size matter
The Chair of the Productivity Commission,
Gary Banks, has called for less emphasis
on reducing class sizes in schools in
favour of improving teacher quality.
In a speech given earlier this year
titled Advancing Australia’s ‘Human
Capital Agenda’* he cites a 2009 report
commissioned by the Australian
Government, which showed a decline in
Australia’s international performance in
literacy and numeracy.
“They [the report] observe that, as
this decline occurred over a period in
which real expenditure per student rose
substantially — through smaller class sizes
and higher teacher:student ratios — school
productivity probably fell during that time.”
Mr Banks said the investment in
reducing class sizes was a “costly mistake”
because it had diverted much-needed
funding away from initiatives to improve
the quality of teaching.
“Arguably, the most costly mistake has
been to spend scarce budgetary resources on
smaller class sizes instead of better teachers,
notwithstanding steadily accumulating
evidence that smaller classes, in the ranges
contemplated, were unlikely to achieve
improved learning outcomes,” he said.
Mr Banks cited the need for policy
makers to strengthen the evidence-base
for policy decisions and reform initiatives
in the future.
Contemporary educational theory and
research shows the greatest influence
on student learning outcomes is the
quality of the teacher. Everything else
such as smaller class sizes, spending per
student or technology capability has
less influence on improving the learning
outcomes of students.
The work of Prof John Hattie from
the University of Auckland and other
educational theorists reinforces this view.
Prof Hattie’s 15-year research, which is
a meta-analyses of 50,000 studies of 200
million students, looks at the effectiveness
of 138 different influences on student
achievement. He found that learning
outcomes improved when teachers worked
collaboratively and were engaged in
ongoing professional learning.
Teachers are empowered when they are
able to learn from one another, sharing
good practice and critically reflecting on
their own work. It is even more powerful
when professional learning becomes part of
their daily practice.
The challenge faced by education systems
is to provide the most appropriate structures
to foster quality learning and teaching.
The Building the Education Revolution has
provided Catholic schools in the Diocese
with a unique opportunity to modernise
their learning spaces and to facilitate
opportunities for teachers to work in teams
to monitor learning and plan effectively.
These new spaces are designed around
flexibility – providing for different learning
activities and styles of teaching that focus
on the diversity of individual learners.
Education sets the foundation for
lifelong learning when it enables students
to develop the skills, knowledge and
confidence to become independent learners
and active participants in society.
Catholic education in the Diocese of
Parramatta is strategically focused on
improving the learning outcomes of all
students by improving the quality of
teaching in all schools.
When teachers work collaboratively,
share expertise and good practice, and
participate in an ongoing conversation
about learning within the classroom, they
are able to improve their teaching practice.
The research shows, this makes the biggest
difference to student learning.
* The fourth Ian Little Lecture, Melbourne,
13 April 2010. http://www.pc.gov.au/
Treasurer Wayne Swan visits Holy Cross Primary’s BER projects
The Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and
Australian Labor Party candidate for Greenway,
Michelle Rowland visited Holy Cross Primary,
Glenwood on 19 May to see the new $3 million
multi-purpose hall that was constructed as
part of the Australian Government’s Building
the Education Revolution (BER). Mr Swan was
pleased to see how the school had utilised the
funds and said the school had achieved the
goals the Australian Government had intended
for the initiative. “As well as providing stimulus
to the economy and the creation of jobs in
the local community, the BER program is a
long overdue investment in infrastructure for
Australian schools,” Mr Swan said.
Chisholm Catholic Primary students inspired
by the work of their namesake
Students and staff at Chisholm Catholic Primary,
Bligh Park received a visit from Sarah Chisholm,
the great-great-great-granddaughter of the
school’s namesake, Caroline Chisholm, on 28
May. The visit was part of the Chisholm Day
celebrations, a school tradition held every year
to mark the anniversary of the birth of Caroline
Chisholm on 30 May 1877. Remarkably, Sarah
has followed in the footsteps of her renowned
relative, who was known for helping immigrants
to Australia. Sarah also helps those who have
Sarah Chisholm visits the Stage 3 learning
space to speak about her work with
humanitarian aid agencies
Delany College committed to building a safe and peaceful community
Members of the school community at Delany
College, Granville recently participated in
a conflict resolution program focusing on
restorative practices. Restorative practices
assists teachers, students and parents to build,
maintain and restore relationships. Students
and staff attended a training day on 11 May
focusing on restorative justice principles,
qualities of leadership, skills in active listening
and paraphrasing, scripts to resolve conflict
and peer observation and evaluation of
problem-solving skills. A workshop was held
for parents in which they were given some
helpful suggestions on using restorative
practices at home to help build quality
relationships with their children.
Wayne Swan and Michelle Rowland
speaks with Holy Cross students
come to Australia as refugees and as she visited
the classrooms she spoke to the students about
her work for humanitarian aid organisations.
Delany College is committed to building
a safe and peaceful community
Catholic primary students show some heart
at Westmead Private Hospital
As part of the Heart Foundation’s ‘Heart Week’,
Westmead Private Hospital displayed artworks
from Sacred Heart Primary students and future
Mother Teresa Primary students who are currently
attending school at Sacred Heart, Westmead. Now
in its 10th year, the competition aims to raise
children’s awareness of the importance of staying
healthy. This year’s theme was ‘identify the
warning signs of a potentially sick heart’. About
60 students submitted their creative entries
Sacred Heart students (from left): Matthew
Mina, Laura Ramia, Jessica Ramia and Valerie
Udan, show off their artworks with Mother
Teresa Principal, Gary Borg
Watoto Choir brings message of hope
and peace to Holy Family Primary
On 27 May, the students and staff of Holy Family
Primary, Luddenham were treated to a wonderful
cultural experience when the Watoto Children’s
Choir visited the school. The Watoto Choir from
Uganda in Eastern Africa is dedicated to improving
the way of life for children in Africa. The word
‘watoto’ means ‘children’ in the Swahili language
and the choir is made up of 18 children who have
been orphaned through war, poverty and disease.
The choir performed two songs for the school
community and the Holy Family student choir
sang a song of welcome to the Watoto choir.
depicting the signs of an unhealthy heart. The
artworks were on display at Westmead Private
Hospital throughout May to coincide with Heart
Week from 2-8 May.
Watoto Children’s Choir treats Holy Family
students to an inspiring performance
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To find out how visit www.parra.catholic.edu.au
16 CatholicOutlook July 2010
Police chaplain’s role to be
a visible sign of God’s love
Rev Kevin Lee, Police Chaplain
My Uncle John was a police sergeant who
used to visit Mum, his only sister, when we
were kids, often wearing his blue uniform
and impressing us with the .38 calibre revolver
and handcuffs on his hips.
He said he joined the police force because
he wanted to make the world a better place.
His words still echoed in my memory when
I decided to become a priest for the same
reason. My brother Terry has recently fulfilled
his lifelong ambition joining the NSW
Police last year and following in his uncle’s
I was once riding my motorbike a little over
the speed limit one Sunday afternoon trying
to make it back to St Patrick’s Cathedral presbytery
in time for the evening Mass.
As I passed the Parramatta police station
I noticed a highway patrol car leaving the
station and I hoped he hadn’t seen me. As
I turned into the driveway, the patrol car
I thought once I was in the church grounds
I would be safe. As I hastened into the building
and closed the front door I saw the ominous
shape of an officer wearing his leather
cap through the opaque glass windows.
A moment later the doorbell rang and I
thought I was doomed. When I opened the
door the officer took off his cap and said,
“Father, do you have time for a confession”
I replied with relief, “For a moment
there I thought you were going to be taking
Over the months that followed, from the
referrals of that one policeman, I soon had
a steady stream of officers coming to speak
with me, not just about their sins but about
the difficulties of the police officer’s life.
They spoke about the challenge of maintaining
a belief in a loving God and the
goodness of humanity when all around
them they saw evil and bad. I used to enjoy
listening to them and shared their struggle
while continuing to offer the positives of my
As I told one man who had attended
six tragic road fatalities in one month, I
had seen just as many dead bodies in my
time ministering as part-time chaplain at
“You see only the deaths and disasters
whereas I also see the births, the optimism of
CENTRE FOR AUGUSTINIAN SPIRITUALITY
2-4 Hewitt Avenue, Greystanes
This centre offers Prayer and Reflection Days, Meditation classes, Workshops and Seminars in Lay Formation, for groups of adults (maximum 25) as
well as Spiritual Direction for individuals. There is accommodation for 3 or 4 guests who wish to make weekend or longer retreats.
TUESDAY 24 AUGUST
The place of Providence in
Augustine and in our experience
“You knew all along, O God, the real reason why I left to seek a different
country, but you did not reveal it either to me or to my mother, who bitterly
bewailed my departure and followed me to the seashore”. (Confessions Book
5, 15) We learn from St Augustine (so close to his Feast Day) about the place
of God’s Providence in our lives and in the world around us.
With Fr Paul Maloney OSA. Time: 9.45am-2.30pm.
Cost: $15 (conc. available). BYO lunch – refreshments provided.
young children in primary school, the joys of
engaged couples preparing for the happiest
day of their life.”
After about three years of ministering to
police in times of depression and post-traumatic
stress, as well as celebrating the baptisms
and weddings of a number of officers
I was asked to take on the role officially as a
chaplain for the NSW Police in 1998.
I have been a chaplain for nearly 12 years
now and am often asked, even by police,
what my role entails. It’s hard to explain
what a chaplain is to those who don’t have a
One incident might help you to understand.
I was called to attend a fatality and the
commanding officer asked, “Who is that”
The police officer explained, “That is the
chaplain, sir.” “What is he doing here” “He
prays for the deceased and helps police, sir”.
The effect of my presence at that particular
tragedy prompted the commander to contact
me when he was experiencing his own
personal challenges. That incredulous commander
has since become a Catholic.
If a priest had turned up in his clerical
collar he would not be allowed access to
situations like that. But a priest wearing the
uniform of the police is given greater acceptance
and openness from police of all faiths.
The chaplain is given respect because it is
immediately assumed ‘he is one of us’.
To summarise the ministry, I say that
we are like priests for police and the whole
police force is one big parish.
We are also expected to assist police with
the sacraments, particularly for those who
don’t feel a sense of belonging in their own
I encourage police to seek Baptism and
Marriage in the parish where they reside, but
they often admit to feeling more comfortable
with a chaplain who they know to be
approachable and available when they need
When I have been with police at an accident
scene or a pool drowning, or even after
a home invasion, the frantic relatives or victims
will often turn to me.
In those situations where a victim
has requested it, the chaplain is able to
put them in contact with clergy of their
Our role is not to “convert” police or proselytise
for our own Churches, but mainly to assist
Commander Z. (Ben) Feszczuk APM of Penrith Area Local Command with (from left):
Constable Rebecca Finch, Constable Maggie Bobin, and Rev Kevin Lee. Photo: Virginia Knight
police to see a spirituality and support which
comes from a relationship with the Divine.
The chaplaincy to police began rather
informally through the efforts of Fr Jim
Boland more than 35 years ago, who followed
the model that was familiar in the military.
Steadily over the years a system has
developed, which has ensured that police
will always have chaplains as long as there
are priests or religious willing to offer
The police chaplain is an honorary position
and although appointed by the Commissioner
after recommendation from a bishop, the
role carries no monetary remuneration.
I like to believe that the reward comes daily
from the sense of achievement I feel when I
see police living a more committed spiritual
life or if an officer seeks my services or refers
another member to a chaplain.
Each time the phone rings and it is a commander
or duty officer advising me of a fellow
officer who is experiencing a personal
crisis or undergoing an operation or recently
dealt with the death of a family member, I
feel “needed” and leap at the opportunity to
show the love of Jesus and the willingness of
the Catholic Church to reach out to another
family member in need.
Indeed the police do form a family of
members who have special needs and, therefore,
deserve a special ministry. In my time
of service I have enjoyed many friendships
and shared many experiences that I would
never have imagined possible when I was
first considering priesthood as a vocation.
Let me list a few.
TUESDAYS 7, 14, 21, 28 SEPTEMBER
Jesus Christ the same Yesterday, Today
and Forever in Augustinian spirituality
“Our Lord Jesus Christ, brothers and sisters, as far as I have been able to tune my mind
to the sacred writings can be understood and named in three ways”. (Sermon 341, 1)
We will spend these evenings discovering anew the “whole Christ” as envisioned by
Augustine who lived barely 300 years after the historic Jesus but met him every day in
scripture, liturgy and his extended community.
With Fr Paul Maloney OSA. Time: 7.45pm-9.15pm.
Supper provided. Cost: $80 per course ($20 per session) (conc. available).
THURSDAY 28TH OCTOBER
Praying in the
Year of St Luke
The Sunday Gospels this year focus on the Gospels of
St Luke. We will look to St Luke to find encouragement
in our prayer and union with our loving saviour Jesus
Christ the Lord.
With Fr John McCall OSA. Time: 9.45am-2.30pm.
Cost: $15 (conc. available). BYO lunch
– refreshments provided.
Fr Paul Maloney OSA Prior, tel (02) 9896 6794, email@example.com www.augustinians.org.au/ministries.html
I assisted at the Glenbrook train crash and
witnessed the removal of seven bodies from
the train wreck supporting police rescue
personnel for 11 hours.
I was appointed a chaplain to athletes during
the Sydney 2000 Olympics because, for
security reasons, only police chaplains were
permitted to have that status.
I have presided at numerous funerals for
police and their families, often as a result
of suicide. I celebrate lots of weddings for
police as well as baptising their babies. All
this also requires me to spend time in preparation
I am welcomed warmly whenever I visit
police stations around the region that I am
responsible for and also invited to attend to
difficult moments in policing such as delivering
death notices (the news of the death of
a member of the public).
For police, a chaplain is more than just
a friend or a colleague. The chaplain is a
visible sign of God’s love in the person of
the man standing there next to them while
they perform their often emotionally challenging
It is no surprise, therefore, that St
Michael the Archangel is the patron saint
for police. Each year on his feast day (29
September) a memorial service is held to
pray for all the police men and women
who have died in the active service for the
community. I often invoke the assistance
of St Michael when I am engaged in my
Fr Kevin Lee is Parish Priest of
Padre Pio Parish, Glenmore Park.
News from the CCD
Over the past two months,
the Confraternity of Christian
Doctrine (CCD) has been
engaged in circulating
the ethics trial petition in
parishes, the conclusion of
several accreditation courses
for catechists, and involving
in CCD training courses,
observing lessons and teaching
at Glenwood High School.
The ethics trial instituted
by the State Government
has continued in 10 primary
schools in the Sydney area.
In our Diocese, SRE teachers
at South Baulkham Hills have
been affected with class sizes
being reduced, as have the
classes of other Christian
denominations and other faiths.
More details about the trial
will be published in a future
issue of Catholic Outlook.
During Terms 1 and 2,
participated in the Level 1
course at Holy Spirit Parish,
St Clair in the company of a
number of SRE teachers.
The seminarians are Nino
Canete, Red Dalagdog, Thomas
Hien Thien Bui, Peter Kuraya, Leo
Napuli, Charles Nwaorgu, Larry
Tolentino, and John Sultana.
They observed lessons at
Grose View Public School and
Merrylands East Primary School
and have observed and taught
at Glenwood High School.
My personal thanks to the
SRE teachers and the parish
teams who have participated
and supported the seminarians
in their formation as future
priests for our Diocese.
The seminarians will undertake
the Level 2 course next semester
at St Nicholas of Myra Parish,
Penrith in addition to their
studies at the Catholic Institute
of Sydney in Strathfield and
in-house studies at the Holy
Spirit Seminary at St Marys.
The 990 SRE teachers in
the Diocese both welcome
you and appreciate the fact
that you have a growing
awareness of a major ministry
within each parish setting.
I want to congratulate all
the SRE teachers who do such
a great job for their parishes
in supporting Catholic
parents whose children are
in government schools.
In our Diocese, our SRE
teachers go into 206 primary
CatholicOutlook July 2010 17
On the SRE team are seminarians (back, from left): Larry Tolentino, John Sultana and Niño Cañete;
(seated) SRE teacher Irene Galea from Grose View Public School with (from left) Red Dalogdog,
Peter Kuraya, Charles Nwargou, John Watkins, Galbert Albino, Leo Napuli, and Thomas Bui
schools; four special education
units, and 22 secondary schools
where they teach 22,000
Catholic students each week.
These wonderful volunteers
give up their time for class and
preparation. You might take
the time occasionally to shake
their hand for their wonderful
contribution to parish life.
Within their ranks are senior
students in Catholic schools
who teach in state primary
schools as a part of their parish
SRE teams and are a great
testimony to their faith.
The term ‘hero worship’ comes
to mind with the work these
students do and the example they
set for their peers. Students from
St Dominic’s College, Penrith;
Patrician Brothers’ College,
Blacktown; Caroline Chisholm
College, Glenmore Park; Emmaus
College, Kemps Creek; Xavier
College, Llandilo; St Andrew’s
College John Paul II Campus,
Marayong, and St Columba’s
College, Springwood are part
of their parish SRE teams.
8am, 9.30am, 11am, 6pm
Mon-Fri 6.45am, 12.30pm; Sat 8am;
Saturday: 8.30-9.30am; 5.15-5.45pm
Anointing of the Sick within Mass
3rd Friday: 10am (every month except Jan.)
Filipino Mass: 2nd Sunday 12.30pm
Angelus: Mon-Fri noon
Rosary: Mon-Thurs 12.05pm
Morning Prayer Mon-Fri 6.30am;
of the Church: Sat & Sun 7.30am
Novena – 3rd Friday: 7.30pm
• Baptism by appointment. • Marriages by appointment •
Contact the Parish Secratary tel (02) 8839 8400 or (02) 9630 1115 firstname.lastname@example.org
18 CatholicOutlook July 2010
WE SALUTE PARISH SECRETARIES
On the parish team at Springwood are (from left): fellow Parish Secretary Jan Malone,
Parish Priest Fr Peter Connelly and Jean Quinlan. Photo: Virginia Knight
St Thomas Aquinas Parish, Springwood
After a career spanning several
decades and encompassing
everything from private enterprise
to government departments,
schools and parishes in both
the Anglican and Catholic
Churches, Jean Quinlan joined
the parish team at St Thomas
Aquinas, Springwood in 2000
as the Parish Secretary.
“I have been thinking that all
the things I have done (during
my career) have prepared me for
this,” Jean said as she reflected
on all the work experiences that
have helped to develop her skills.
Born in Sydney in 1940 in the
middle of WWII, Jean is the
second eldest of five girls (and an
identical twin). Her parents, Vera
and Joseph Dunn, lived in Mascot
and the girls attended the local
schools, Mascot Central Primary
and Gardeners Road High.
Like many girls of her
era, Jean had completed a
commercial course at school,
which included bookkeeping and
typing in order to go straight
into office employment.
While still at school, Jean
was recruited by the ES&A
Bank (English, Scottish &
Australian Bank) and upon
completing her Intermediate
certificate the bank put her
through business college to
learn how to use the accounting
machines for data processing.
After two-and-half years
with the bank Jean and her
twin sister went into nursing
at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
for a year. As she was tall, Jean
seemed to get all the ‘lifting’ jobs
in orthopaedics. And while it
wasn’t ultimately her forte, she
felt the time was not wasted as
it was a great life experience.
It was when she returned to
office work that she met Jim
Quinlan, who was the accountant,
and a work romance flourished.
At age 29, Jean married Jim “a
staunch Catholic” in his parish
church of St Michael’s Hurstville.
Jean left work to have their first
child but had intermittent casual
work. In 1975, they moved to
Narrabri bringing up their family
on 28 acres, five miles outside
town. “It was like coming home.
My grandfather had acreage
at Castlereagh and I always
felt a country girl at heart.”
Jean was baptised an Anglican
and although Jim never requested
it, when she was 40 and living in
Narrabri, she went through the
process and became a Catholic.
The couple already had three
children: Melinda, Jane and Paul.
It was in 1980 when all the
children were at school and Jean
was volunteering at both the
Catholic school they attended
and her Anglican parish that
she contracted pneumonia. “I
never stopped. I was always on
the go in both volunteer and
casual work. I had to stop and
reassess what I was doing and
what were my priorities.”
With the influence of the
Holy Spirit, Jean felt drawn
to the Catholic Church and
began attending Mass with Jim
and the children. “It started
when I had begun to question
the teachings of the Anglican
Church while doing Bible study.
“Once I realised the Real
Presence was in the Eucharist, it
wasn’t such a big thing as the Mass
(at the time) was similar to the
Anglican Communion Service”.
Jean was confirmed in the
Catholic faith and received first
Communion in the presence of
her mother, children and family.
In 1991, the family returned
to Sydney settling in Winmalee.
Jean reflects that the best thing
about working in a parish, what
really sets it apart from her other
occupations, is the opportunity of
working with the parishioners.
Having lived for almost 20 years
in the parish (and worked in the
office for 10), Jean has experienced
great joy in watching a generation
of children grow up, get married
and have families, helping them
to book weddings and baptisms.
So much so, she admits that
sometimes she feels like a member
of their extended family.
Recently, Jean celebrated
her 70th birthday and it is a
testimony to how important
she is in the lives of those at
Springwood that when the office
staff gave her a surprise morning
tea, many of the parishioners
turned up to help her celebrate.
“It was such a surprise. I had no
idea. It was just wonderful to
feel so appreciated and loved.”
This month, Jean starts 17
weeks’ holidays and long service.
So how does ‘the hub of the parish’
(as she describes the role of parish
secretary) intend to fill her time
during such a lengthy absence
She will spend six weeks
travelling around Europe,
including attending the
Oberammergau Passion Play
in Germany. On her return
she and her twin sister, Joyce,
will bushwalk to Wilsons
Promontory, the southern-most
point of mainland Australia.
For the rest of the time
she plans to join the local
bushwalking club and catch up
on her knitting and sewing.
I admit to feeling exhausted
just hearing her talk about
it! What was that about
never stopping Jean
Holy Spirit will not
allow Church to fail
On Pentecost Sunday, more than 800 people gathered at Our
Lady Queen of Peace Church, Greystanes to celebrate the great
outpouring of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus to His Church.
The occasional sermon was preached by Fr Ken Barker of the Missionaries
of God’s Love, affirming that the Holy Spirit would not allow the Church to
fail despite the problems that the media has been publicising aggressively.
Fr Ken witnessed to the fidelity and the power of the Holy Spirit
in many events in his own life and offered inspiration and
encouragement to all, emphasising the following points:
Pentecost Sunday is the Holy Spirit’s day, and if ever the
Church should rejoice, it is on Pentecost Sunday.
The Holy Spirit enlivens the Church, is our personal friend,
brings our liturgy to life, enlightens preaching and increases our
ability to hear the Word of God in a way that changes lives.
Without the Holy Spirit the Church is simply an organisation; with the
Holy Spirit it is the living presence of Jesus. Although we are a broken
people, the Holy Spirit makes us stewards of His grace in our time.
While the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in this century appeared to be late
in coming to the Catholic Church, this great grace came in God’s time, at
the close of the Council and was embraced by the hierarchy of the Church.
In 1998, Pope John Paul II urged, “open your hearts and lives to
the Holy Spirit and exercise the gifts for the good of the Church”
in keeping with the prophecy of Joel, “I will pour out my Spirit
on all flesh. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old
men see visions and your young men dream dreams.”
Today, 40 years since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in
Duquesne Catholic University in the US, there is a new need
for each of us to yield to the power of the Holy Spirit, to a
moment of grace, so that we become much more dependent
on God and turn to Jesus in the Church; it is His Church.
While the Church and scandal can seem to be synonymous in the
media today we remain confident that the Holy Spirit will not
allow the Church to fail. Whatever state of life we find ourselves
in, we are called to witness to the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Re-published courtesy of ‘Voice of the Spirit’ newsletter.
The OLQP Daytime Social Group
is organising a visit to the Victor
Chang Institute by coach. The trip
will include morning & afternoon
tea and a tour of the laboratories
and research centre. Lunch is at
Petersham RSL at own additional cost.
3 August – bus leaves church at 9am
Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish,
198 Old Prospect Road, Greystanes
Bookings Essential: Marie (02) 9896
7046 or Frances (02) 9636 5548
Potting Up at
Celebrate the natural environment
and learn more about sustainable
forest management with a forest
walk led by a local ranger, followed
by a session of ‘potting’ up native
plants to take home. A chance to
visit the nursery and chat to the
specialists in Australian native plants.
Sunday 25 July: 10–11am
Cumberland State Forest,
West Pennant Hills
Bookings essential: 1300 655 687
General ticket $5.50 Family
ticket (2A/2C) $18
CatholicOutlook July 2010 19
Junior Boot Camp
Come along to Junior Boot Camp
at Blacktown Aquatic Centre and
learn different exercises and
skills. Packed with fun, energising
activities to help build strong fit
bodies and gain confidence. A 10-
week program for 8-16YO run in
conjunction with State school terms,
with qualified professionals.
During Terms 3 & 4 in 2010
Blacktown Aquatic Centre,
Boyd Street, Blacktown
Bookings essential: (02) 9622 2279
Cost: Children 6-16 years $99
National Tree Day
The garden of Rouse Hill House
is shaded by Moreton Bay
Figs, fashionable additions to
any mid-19 th century country
garden. Enjoy a guided tour
of the garden focussing on
the Australian native trees.
Sunday 1 August: 11am–noon
Rouse Hill House & Farm,
Guntawong Road (off Rouse
Hill Road), Rouse Hill
(02) 8239 2211
General ticket: $4
Unpacking the Trunk
A trunk has arrived at Elizabeth
Farm. As we carefully unpack the
contents we discover the story of the
Macarthurs’ trading interests in the
colony and abroad. This new series
of talks and workshops will focus on
domestic life at Elizabeth Farm, a
centre for trade and colonial society.
Sunday 25 July: 4.30–6pm
Elizabeth Farm: 70 Alice
Bookings essential: (02) 8239 2211
General ticket $25. Children/
Australia’s First MasterChef
Julie Goodwin’s highly anticipated cookbook.
In stores now.
Diocesan Youth &
Young Adults Camp
DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA
FROM FRIDAY NIGHT 16TH JULY
TO SUNDAY AFTERNOON 18TH JULY
GALSTON GORGE CONFERENCE CENTRE
8 CRUSADER ROAD, GALSTON
Relive the Emmaus experience and join us in:
• Journeying with Christ
• Receive life from the Word
• Discover Christ’s presence and love in the Eucharist
Meet other young people, make new friends, share
ideas & experiences, grow spiritually and more!
The program will include a variety of inspiring talks,
music, games and fun activities, with reflection time.
So what are you waiting for
Invite your friends along and send in your registration form now!
For more details and to register, go to the Diocesan Youth Website:
Photos taken during “Witness09 – 2Gather” youth camp
WYD 2011 in Madrid
Pilgrim packages now available
World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney was an
unforgettable event where we welcomed
the world and together we experienced the
power and love of Jesus Christ in the universality
and youthfulness of the Church, in the
people who participated.
CatholicOutlook July 2010 21
With a bit more than a year to go to
World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, preparations
are already underway. The Diocese of
Parramatta invites you to join in experiencing
this international event.
The four pilgrimage options are:
Fr Suresh Kumar MSFS has joined Annabelle Cauchi in the
Diocesan Youth Office. Photo: Virginia Knight
New Director for Youth & Young Adult Apostolate
Bishop Anthony has appointed me as the
new Director of the Diocesan Youth Office
(Youth and Young Adult Apostolate), replacing
Anna Vercellone who resigned recently.
I am a religious belonging to the
Congregation of the Missionaries of St
Francis de Sales known as Fransalians.
I feel privileged to serve this Diocese,
which is so dynamic, vibrant and, moreover,
I was born in India, one of four children.
I was converted to Christianity when I was
seven-years-old. I was mischievous and full
of energy doing all sorts of “naughty” things
in my younger days.
But God had something different in store
I treasure my priesthood very much. I personally
feel that God had a special plan for
me, as he does for others.
The call to priesthood came when I was
thinking of becoming a police officer. So it
was a big challenge for me to change my lifestyle
in order to accept the will of God in my
life. I could do it because of God’s grace and
the prayers of my mother.
I have been an assistant priest at St Patrick’s
Cathedral for a couple of years.
Youth ministry has been a special call for
me since my school days. I believe that the
young people are the promise of tomorrow
for the Church and the world at large. In
ministering to young people, I hope to be
helping to create a future Church and a
Our Diocese is one of the largest in
Australia and very multicultural. We have
young people from different background and
cultures. They have so much to offer to the
Church and the world. Their talents and
capabilities can be used for the greater glory
of God. Our Mother Church always feels
proud of such wonderful young people.
World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney has been
a blessing to our country and especially to the
young people. Growth in spirituality and a
sense of belongingness is being seen tangibly.
I am sure that the next World Youth Day,
which is to be held in Madrid in 2011,
will confirm the gifts and blessings that we
received from Sydney.
I am looking forward to meet all the Parish
Priests, parish youth groups, youth movements
and youth communities to get to
know them better. We need to work together
with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order
to achieve our dreams of establishing the
Kingdom of God.
I welcome new suggestions and ideas from
anyone for the better functioning of the
youth office. I seek your prayers for me so
that I continue to be a simple instrument of
God to bring more and more people to God.
I can be contacted on the phone
(02) 8838 3419, mobile 04 8844 8844, or
The Exodus Journey:
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and World Youth
Day led by Bishop Anthony Fisher OP.
Day 1: 4 Aug – fly Australia to Egypt;
Day 2: 5 Aug – arrive Cairo;
Day 3: 6 Aug – Cairo exploration;
Day 4: 7 Aug – Cairo to Mt Sinai;
Day 5: 8 Aug – Mt Sinai & Red Sea;
Day 6: 9 Aug – via Masada & Dead Sea to Jerusalem;
Day 7: 10 Aug – Ein Karem/Bethlehem/Mount of Olives;
Day 8: 11 Aug – Old City of Jerusalem;
Day 9: 12 Aug – Nazareth/Cana/Mt Tabor;
Day 10: 13 Aug – Sea of Galilee;
Day 11: 14 Aug – Sea of Galilee;
Day 12: 15 – Jerusalem/fly to Madrid;
Day 13: 16 Aug – Official Opening Mass;
Days 14-16: 17-19 Aug – catechesis & youth festival;
Day 17: 20 Aug – pilgrimage walk to WYD Vigil;
Day 18: 21 Aug – XXVI World Youth Day, Papal Mass with the youth of the world;
Day 19: 2 Aug – depart Madrid;
Day 20/21: 23/24 Aug – arrive Australia.
World Youth Day Direct led by Fr Paul Marshall.
Day 1: 10 Aug – fly Australia to Spain;
Day 2: 11 Aug – arrive Madrid/Salamanca;
Days 2-5: 11-14 – Days in the Diocese/Salamanca;
Day 6: 15 Aug – Salamanca to WYD in Madrid;
Day 7: 16 Aug – official opening Mass;
Days 8-10: 17-19 Aug – catechesis & youth festival;
Day 11: 20 Aug – Pilgrimage Walk to WYD Vigil;
Day 12: 21 Aug – XXVI World Youth Day, Papal Mass with the youth of the world;
Day 13: 22 Aug – depart Madrid;
Day 14/15: 24 Aug – arrive Australia.
Road of Pilgrims:
Pilgrimage around various spots in Spain and then World
Youth Day led by Fr Fernando Montano MS
Day 1: 7 Aug – fly Australia to Spain;
Day 2: 8 Aug – arrive Barcelona;
Day 3: 9 Aug – Montserrat & Manresa encounter;
Day 4: 10 Aug – Barcelona;
Day 5: 11 Aug – Barcelona to Lourdes;
Day 6: 12 Aug – Lourdes pilgrimage;
Day 7: 13 Aug – Lourdes to San Sebastian;
Day 8: 14 Aug – via Loyola & Pamplona to Logrono;
Day 9: 15 Aug – via Burgos to Madrid;
Day 10: 16 Aug – Opening Mass;
Days 11-13: 17-19 Aug – catechesis & youth festival;
Day 14: 20 Aug – pilgrimage walk to WYD Vigil;
Day 15: 21 Aug – XXVI World Youth Day, Papal Mass with the youth of the world;
Day 16: 22 Aug – depart Madrid;
Day 17: 24 Aug – arrive Australia.
Viva Spain and Italy:
World Youth Day and then following with a pilgrimage
to Rome and Assisi by Fr Suresh Kumar MSFS.
Day 1: 10 Aug 2011 – fly Australia to Spain;
Day 2: 11 Aug – arrive Madrid/Salamanca;
Days 2-5: 11-14 – Days in the Diocese/Salamanca (4 nights);
Day 6: 15 Aug – Salamanca to WYD Madrid;
Day 7: 16th Aug – Official Opening Mass;
Days 8-10: 17-19 Aug – catechisis & youth festival;
Day 11: 20 Aug – pilgrimage walk to WYD Vigil;
Day 12: 21 Aug – XXVI World Youth Day, Papal Mass with the youth of the world;
Day 13: 22 Aug – Madrid to Rome;
Day 14: 23 Aug – Rome pilgrimage (Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, St Mary
Major Basilica, St John in Lateran, Colosseum, Circus Maximus & Roman Forum);
Day 15: 24 Aug – Rome pilgrimage (Basilica of St Paul Outside the
Walls, ancient Catacombs, Rome by night);
Day 16: 25 Aug – Rome to Assisi;
Day 17: 26 Aug – Assisi pilgrimage;
Day 18: 27 Aug – depart Italy;
Day 19/20: 29 Aug – arrive Australia.
For more info, contact: Annabelle Cauchi
tel (02) 8838 3418 or email email@example.com
22 CatholicOutlook July 2010
Icons: glimpses of eternity
The heart of the Christian Gospel is
that the infinite and invisible God,
who is uncontained, became visible
and containable in Jesus Christ by
the Holy Spirit, so icons are nothing
less than an affirmation that
“the Word became flesh and dwelt
among us” in reality, and that we
“have seen his glory … full of grace
and truth” (Jn 1:14).
Following St Paul, who referred
to Jesus Christ as the “image” or
“icon [eikon]” of God (cf 2 Cor.
4:4) 1 , the Christian tradition claims
that in the humanity of Jesus, the
faithful have been granted a vision
of God himself . 2 Therefore, icons
affirm that God really became
human, took on human flesh, and,
therefore, could be portrayed.
The theology and meaning of
icons was eventually clarified in the
8th Century during a tumultuous
dispute about icons known as the
Literally meaning “the smashing
of icons”, this heated quarrel gave
rise to a council in 787AD, the 7th
Ecumenical Council, in Nicaea. 3
This council outlined not only the
legitimacy of icons but also the
propriety of venerating them.
Simply put, the Council taught
that, to deny icons meant a renunciation
of the incarnation of the
eternal Son of God, thereby bringing
into question the salvation of
the human person. 4 Part of the
doctrinal statement of the Council
of Nicaea read:
“We declare that we defend
free from any innovations all the
written and unwritten ecclesiastical
traditions that have been entrusted
to us. One of these is the production
and representational art; this is quite
in harmony with the history of the
spread of the gospel, as it provides
confirmation that the becoming
man of the Word of God was real
and not just imaginary, and as it
brings us a similar benefit”. 5
It is clear that the existence of
icons was connected with a concern
to preserve a full doctrine of
the incarnation. Just as the written
words of the Scriptures brought the
faithful into an immediate encounter
with the very Word of God, so,
too, could icons, as graphic images,
do the same.
The icon was also seen as “theological
language in colour” highlighting
the sacredness of created
matter. Following the Incarnation,
the entire created cosmos could
now be transfigured and saved.
Christianity afforded a place of
salvation to God’s entire created
world, spiritual as well as material.
No material element was to be
excluded from the plan of God’s
redemption. In this way, all material
elements (in the case of icons,
colour, pigment, wood, etc) could
act as windows giving the faithful
glimpses of eternity – namely, an
anticipatory insight of the world as
it would be in the age to come.
To this end St John of Damascus,
echoing St Paul (Rom. 1:20) wrote:
“I worship the Creator of
matter who became matter for
my sake; who willed to take His
abode in matter; who worked out
my salvation through matter …
Never will I cease honouring the
matter through which my salvation
was wrought.” 6
The icon was seen as a joyful testimony
of the innate goodness of
the material world (cf Gen. 1:1-28),
its potential capacity to reflect the
divine, and as fitting recipients of
Christian respect and veneration
insofar as they could lead the faithful
into the presence of the divine.
That icons serve as windows into
eternity is seen from their inverse
perspective – namely, the elongated
facial features and hands, the
small mouth for example – which
want to depict a radically transfigured
world as it will ultimately be
in the kingdom of heaven. 7
Always worship and adoration
(latreia) were directed to God
alone, while reverence and veneration
(proskynesis) could be paid
And so, it must be remembered
that while it is true to affirm that
icons open for us a boundless
vision of the world as it was before
the Fall and as it will be in heaven,
this is nonetheless a “real-yet-partial”
experience awaiting its fulfilment
in the age to come.
In a profoundly mysterious way,
icons take the gaze of those viewing
an icon into the “beyond”, offering
them in this way a foretaste of the
sweet hope of the fullness of a life
in God to come in His eschatological
Philip Kariatlis is a lecturer at
St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox
Theological College, Sydney.
1 Also Col. 1:15: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”
Other Scriptural passages such as 1Jn 1:1-2; Heb. 1:1-3 could also be cited.
2 One can already begin to discern the various meanings of the word “icon”: For
example, Christ is the icon par excellence of God; the human person is also an
icon of God (cf Gen 1:26) and, of course, icons as sacred images.
3 This Council is also referred to as the “Council of Nicaea II”. Before that, the
Council of Trullo (691AD) had insisted upon the legitimacy of icons.
4 From this it is clear that the Christian tradition of the first common Christian millennium
saw the rejection of icons not simply as an indifference to art, but as a
Christological heresy not affording full and fitting doctrine of the Incarnation.
5 Doctrinal Statement, 7th Ecumenical Council cited in Jaroslav Pelikan (ed), Creeds and Confessions
of Faith in the Christian Tradition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 1:235 & 237.
6 First Apology Against Those Who Attack Divine Images, 16 (PG 94:1245A). Cited in Peter Bouteneff,
Sweeter Than Honey: Orthodox Thinking on Dogma and Truth (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 2006),
188-189. It is for this reason that there can be no question of idolatry when it comes to “venerating”
icons, since reverence is afforded not to the wood or the pigment but to the prototype depicted.
7 In this sense the icon is not unrealistic in what it depicts but supra-realistic, betraying the saving effects
of a world touched by God. It is this fact which rules out “realistic” or photographic portraits and events.
This article was first published in Catholic Outlook, May 2007
Michael Galovic holds his icon Jesus The Good Shepherd inspired by the Year for Priests
Profile of iconographer Michael Galovic
Mary MacKillop Place in North
Sydney recently hosted an exhibition
of works by renowned iconographer
Michael Galovic. “The Art
& Heritage of Icon Painting” showcased
a collection of Michael’s icons
including works depicting Mary of
the Cross and other figures.
In his works, Michael uses traditional
gesso, pure gold leaf and
paint with egg tempera, in a process
that adheres to strict rules and
technique, which combined make
icon writing a unique form of
Christian religious art.
Born in Belgrade in 1949,
Michael’s parents valued art not
only for its creative expression of
life, but as a viable career choice.
It was a natural progression for
Michael to study art at the Belgrade
Academy of Applied Arts with a
view to following it as a profession.
However, upon completion of his
studies Michael decided to leave art
and travel instead. For many years
he had been interested in languages
and had a strong inclination to see
the world. At this point it didn’t
seem possible that there was a way
to satisfy all three of his interests,
but time was to show him a way.
After 15 years in the art world
wilderness, Michael landed in
Australia in the 1990s. In his own
words he was already “itching to
resume art practice”. However, he
never believed it would form the
basis of his primary living.
Australia was in recession and
Michael found it difficult to get a
job. Consequently, he had to pursue
the only means of employment
open to him, and began painting.
As commissions began rolling in
and his work became recognised,
Michael began teaching icon painting
in colleges around Sydney.
After 10 years of very active painting
based in Bondi, he left behind
the congestion of Sydney and settled
on the Central Coast.
He has established his creative
studio and gallery, accessible to
visitors by appointment
Michael first began to develop
an interest in icon painting in his
late teens. Familiar with the images
of icons through his stepfather’s
art restoration work in Serbian
monasteries, Michael gave in to
his own personal curiosity and
began to teach himself the very
intricate and difficult process of
“When I started I had really big
Icon of St Therese of Lisieux, the “Little Flower”
problems like anyone who starts
on their own, not going to a school
or under the guidance of a director,”
Michael admits. “The task
was incredibly difficult and looked
almost impossible. But I like being
challenged; it is an intriguing and
While the problems in mastering
this art form seemed insurmountable
at times he kept on, and 40
years later, he is branded Australia’s
Michael’s work is in high demand
with pieces commissioned from
both individuals and institutions,
gracing more than 70 churches
across Australia, New Zealand and
the UK. “The process never tires
me. From the very beginning, I
endeavour to ever improve myself,”
Michael does not classify iconography
as art. “I don’t consider
icon painting as art. Art is only the
means, instrumental in conveying
the message. It is a mix of art and
craft in the service of theology.”
With his artworks now spread
throughout the world, the highlight
is the thought that he is leaving
behind a concrete contribution that
“There is great joy and fulfilment
in seeing people I don’t know come
across my work and cannot hide
their delight. It means so much that
what I do on a solitary basis can
reach the hearts of so many.”
For Michael, the highlight
of his painting life was an icon
commissioned in 2008 for Pope
Benedict XVI and given to the
Holy Father during World Youth
Day in Sydney. “I received a personal
letter from him thanking me
for the special effort and outcome
in creating that icon.”
Having seen Michael’s recent
exhibition at North Sydney I confess
that I felt drawn to his representation
of St Therese of Lisieux,
a piece which seemed to emanate
peace and grace.
Michael regularly exhibits in
many countries, and it seems he
has finally found a way to marry his
three loves. Travelling extensively
and meeting new people Michael
says the process of icon painting
“speaks a language of its own”.
For more information about
Michael’s work and to view his icons
Odyssey: Part 2
Having completed our journey across Western
Australia from the edge of the Nullabor
in darkness, we made our descent into
the outskirts of Perth as the first fingers
of dawn’s light were clawing their way
through a rain cloud-speckled skyline.
Whilst my companion sourced some minor
repairs to our vehicle I fell into conversation
with another fellow traveller, a truckie who
drives back and forth betwixt Queensland and
Western Australia, day after day, week after
week, carting various cargos for a living.
There is something very enchanting about
these gentlemen who, in many ways,
live a solitary existence, the loneliness
generally only relieved when they pull in
to truck stops to refuel body and vehicle.
Now I have been told that I could undoubtedly
talk underwater with a mouth full of marbles,
but these fellows beat me by the proverbial
country mile. With a wealth of issues burning
to be discussed at length, we whiled away
several hours on topics ranging from the
care and feeding of children, with particular
attention to the pitfalls of the teenage variety,
to politics and the state of the nation.
There was great warmth in his voice as he
expressed admiration for his wife holding
house and home together in Queensland
and wistfulness as he looked forward to
again seeing her and their progeny, of whose
achievements he was most proud to expound
upon at length, at the end of the week.
So it was that we finally rumbled
into Fremantle around mid-morning.
We were here to unload the cruise
vessel that had so fascinated our grey
nomad friend on the Nullabor.
By most people’s standards it would have
been considered large. I for one would
have been most contented to have spent
a day sunning myself on its capacious
decks, that is until I saw its larger sibling.
As we pulled up to deliver and met the crew,
the first mate informed us that this was only
the pilot vessel. The main event was tucked
up in dry-dock undergoing a facelift. He
kindly showed us over this boat (or should I
classify it as a ship) and it has to be said, had
they been advertising for extra crew I would
even now be penning this article afloat on
the ocean from the other side of the world.
That night we dislodged the trailer and
joined them for dinner at the boat owner’s
hotel, and it was still some feat finding
parking in a tiny side street in the suburbs
of Perth. I am sure the loading dock
had never been quite so overloaded!
The company was charming and the food
was good. Perched postcard-style, street-side
outside the hotel I met members of the parttime
bar staff when they alighted rotationally
at our table as their work breaks dictated.
They included a young medical student
who had just completed a number of
years working in pharmaceutical research
in a Third World country – enthralling!
From here we travelled up the West Australian
coast to Geraldton, this time to drop off the
antique tractor on a farming property.
Just as it had been built to do, the artefact
had spent much of its life at rest in a
paddock, and after a bit of TLC had been
applied the new owner intended to display
it proudly at the entrance to his property.
Like any dedicated city girl, I had never
experienced ‘life on the farm’. Sure, I had been
a regular devotee of McLeod’s Daughters, but
you really don’t appreciate the incredible size
of a farming property until you actually find
yourself right in the middle of it or rather at
that point, though I didn’t know it, the tip!
Framing a photo of the rusting relic against
the backdrop of uncluttered rolling hills,
property and tractor owner Tom Patience
inquired if I was interested in seeing some
old buildings erected in the 1800s, which
were nestled about 15 minutes away (a mere
handful of kilometres along dirt roads).
It seemed the original home of Edith
Cowan, West Australian domestic and
social rights for women pioneer, was still
standing (albeit in disrepair) on what
is now a part of John’s property.
We had the rare good fortune to wander
cautiously through the ruin, which he is
lobbying government heritage departments to
assist him in restoring. A stone’s throw away
was a set of whitewashed original stables,
which were remarkably well preserved but no
longer used on what is still a working farm.
To say I was fascinated would be to understate
my delight; my envy of his ownership
almost spilling over when John confided that
sometimes he had a ‘sleepover’ on the rickety
old camp bed beside the ancient open-range
oven in the kitchen area when it was late
and he couldn’t be bothered going home.
“You just ignore all the odd, unexplainable
noises,” he added mischievously as the
blood curdled appropriately in my receptive
veins and, involuntarily, I looked over my
shoulder to add some of the ghosts of
the past to our growing list of friends.
4 Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul.
4 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander
Sunday: NAIDOC Week commences.
5 Theology on Tap: “Left to Tell”.
Immaculée Ilibagiza will share her moving
story of surviving the 1994 Rwandan
genocide where she lost her family
and many of her friends. Today she is
regarded as one of world’s leading speakers
on peace, faith, and forgiveness.
Immaculée will sign copies of her books
purchased on the night. For ages 18-35.
Time: 6.30pm. Where: PJ Gallagher’s
Irish Pub, 74 Church St, Parramatta.
7 Blessed Peter To Rot.
12-16 SCENE: Sydney Congress Embracing
the New Evangelisation. Bishop Julian
Porteous, Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney
and chair of the congress, welcomes
people of all ages, especially youth,
to come together and learn about the
New Evangelisation, called for by Pope
John Paul II. Details: www.scene.org.au
13-17 Looking Beyond Division: the Centre
for Ecumenical Studies is offering a
five-day winter school introducing
the study of ecumenism. The Centre’s
academic co-ordinators are Rev Prof
Emeritus Robert Gribben and Rev Dr
Ray Williamson; international guest
lecturer Rev Dr John Gibaut, Director
of the World Council of Churches’ Faith
and Order Commission. Where: United
Theological College, 16 Masons Dve,
North Parramatta. Details: Rev Dr Ray
Williamson (02) 6272 6213, 0417 447 981
16-18 ‘The Road to Emmaus’ Diocesan
Youth & Young Adults Camp: relive
the Emmaus experience; by Journeying
with Christ, Receive life from the Word,
Reconciliation, and discover Christ’s
presence and love in the Eucharist.
Meet other young people, make
new friends, share ideas & experiences,
grow spiritually and more
Where: Galston Gorge Conference
Centre, 8 Crusader Rd, Galston. Details
and registration at the Diocesan Youth
19 Theology on Tap: Franciscan Friars
of the Renewal from New York. The
Franciscan Friars of the Renewal will
be performing & speaking. The Friars
are a Religious Community founded in
1987 by the leadership of Fr Benedict
Groeschel and Fr Stan Fortuna. Their
mission is to serve the poor and
evangelise through teaching & preaching
the Holy Gospel. For ages 18-35.
Time: 6.30pm. Where: PJ Gallagher’s
Irish Pub, 74 Church St, Parramatta.
30 July/ Worldwide Marriage
1 August Encounter Weekend: for married
couples. Where: Winbourne,
Edmund Rice Retreat Centre, Mulgoa.
Bookings: (02) 6379 1125, (02)
4283 3435, www.wwme.org.au
4 Feast of St John Vianney: 11am,
Mass for Jubilarians, St Patrick’s
6 Transfiguration of the Lord.
7-8 Caritas Australia Be More
8 Feast of Mary MacKillop.
8-15 National Vocations Awareness Week.
15 Assumption of Mary.
15 Christian Meditation Introduction
and Renewal Days: arrive at 10am
for Eucharist at 10.30am, followed by
presentations and periods of meditation,
concludes at 3pm. BYO picnic
lunch. Tea and coffee provided. Books
and other material available. Where:
CatholicOutlook July 2010 23
Benedictine Monastery, 121 Arcadia
Rd, Arcadia. Self-catering accommodation
is available in the new Monastery
Guest House. Bookings: Guest Master,
Br Terry tel 0438 282 318. Transport
inquiries: Ann Bergman (02) 9498
com or Ann Lomas (02) 9456
21-22 & Vinnies Western Sydney Doorknock
28-29 Appeal: volunteers are needed for
3 hours to collect donations for this
year’s appeal. It is a great way of
having fun, exercising and meeting
people in your area while collecting
money for a good cause. To register
tel (02) 9568 0253. To make a donation
go to www.vinnies.org.au
21 St Leo’s College, Wahroonga 30-year
reunion: for ex-students and staff in
Year 12 1980 & Year 10 1978 at the
Greengate Hotel (function centre). Time:
7pm. Cost: $70 (includes finger food &
drinks). Paul Fitzgerald 0400 61 44 08,
firstname.lastname@example.org or Peter Brown 0421
427 538, email@example.com
24 The place of Providence in Augustine
and in our Experience: “You knew
all along, O God, the real reason why
I left to seek a different country, but
you did not reveal it either to me or
to my mother, who bitterly bewailed
my departure and followed me to the
seashore”. (Confessions Book 5, 15)
We learn from St Augustine (so close
to his Feast Day) about the place of
God’s Providence in our lives and in the
world around us. With Fr Paul Maloney
OSA. Time: 9.45am-2.30pm. Cost: $15
(conc. available). BYO lunch – refreshments
provided. Bookings: (02) 9896
27 Death of Dom Helder Camara (1999).
29 Refugee & Migrant Sunday.
28 Campion College Open Day:
Time: 10am-3pm. On Campus:
8-14 Austin Woodbury Place, Old
Toongabbie. Details: tel (02) 9896
28 ACU Open Day: North Sydney
Campus. Time: 9am-4pm. Details:
5 Father’s Day.
11 St Patrick’s Cathedral Spring Fair: Come
and join us for entertainment activities
and lots of fun which will cater to all
members of the family. Where: 1 Marist
Place, Parramatta. Details: Sr Susan (02)
8839 8412, www.stpatscathedral.com.au
11 ACU Open Day: Strathfield
Campus. Time: 9am-4pm. Details:
26 Social Justice Sunday: This year’s
theme is ‘Peace-building as a
Christian response to anger and
violence in Australian society’.
27 Feast of St Vincent de Paul.
4 Feast of St Francis of Assisi.
5 Adult Confirmation. Where: St Patrick’s
Cathedral, Parramatta. Time: 7.30pm.
19 Mass for Sacraments of Initiation Coordinators
& Teams. Where: St Patrick’s
Cathedral, Parramatta. Time: 7.30pm.
24 World Mission Sunday.
28 Praying in the Year of St Luke: The
Sunday Gospels this year focus on the
Gospels of St Luke. We will look to St
Luke to find encouragement in our
prayer and union with our loving saviour
Jesus Christ the Lord. With Fr John
McCall OSA. Time: 9.45am-2.30pm.
Cost: $15 (conc. available). BYO lunch
– refreshments provided. Bookings: (02)
9896 6794, firstname.lastname@example.org
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